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The Job Market for Senior Execs Is Heating Up

March 8, 2016, 4:04 PM UTC
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The higher up the org chart you go, the longer it usually takes to find a new position, partly just because there are fewer jobs up there. Even so, adding to a trend that began to surface in early 2015, employers are looking to fill more senior management positions, and faster. People earning between $150,000 and $250,000 are now getting hired after a search averaging a little over five months — down from seven months a year ago.

“We’ve also seen more executives with multiple job offers to consider,” says Patricia Siderius, managing director of outplacement at career consultants BPI group. Demand is especially strong for “leaders with experience in change management, and who have the ability to build strong teams.”

They can often command a premium, too. BPI’s latest poll of senior managers at 33 companies across 16 states shows that while almost one-third (30%) said their compensation at their new job is roughly the same as in their old one, more than half (53%) said they’re earning more. Only 17% reported taking a pay cut.

By far the most common path these executives took to their new role: Networking, mentioned by more than two-thirds (68%). Starting with a short list of target companies, executive job hunters need to “determine who in your network can help you make connections at those organizations,” says Siderius, adding that senior managers are “most likely to find out about positions that haven’t been posted anywhere, or a company may even create a new position.”

Ready to move on? Step away from your computer and take someone to lunch. About 25% of those surveyed found jobs through recruiters, the second biggest category after networking. Only a tiny 3% found their new jobs online.