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The Concerns of Senior Executives for 2011 and Beyond

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Recently in the 2011 Mid-Year BlueSteps Outlook Report, we gathered responses from over 700 senior executives, asking what are their biggest concerns for the second half of the year. There were four main areas of concern - economic stability, age discrimination, career management and energy costs.

Highest on the list was the state of the global economy. Many of the respondents were uncomfortable with the degree of investment stagnation, rising global debt and the prevalent attitude of pessimism regarding international trade which has been spurred by the global struggles we have faced in the past several years. The term 'double-dip recession' featured in many of their responses.

Beyond specific fiscal problems with the global economy, there was a strong concern for the role and power of the media in influencing financial markets, spurring fear and leading to greater inaction on hiring and investment.

Another issue on the minds of many executives is the difficulty to match up with younger competitors; with many feeling younger candidates are being increasingly preferred on the global job market. One executive stated he found it hard to compete in “a company that highly values [the] young and attractive” – a concern that is shared by many executives above the age of 50.

More generally, executives are concerned about their on-going career management and finding roles that match their career aspirations. No longer are executives finding it as easy to reach targets and exceed due to general business decline, and making their talents known in a “flooded job market” is becoming increasingly challenging. Achieving, maintaining or improving on pre-recession compensation levels is also a great concern.

Energy concerns and natural disasters also featured heavily in the concerns of the senior executive respondents. Many executives remarked on the rising energy costs, while others feared “a knee- jerk reaction to nuclear energy”, following the recent nuclear meltdown in Japan.

More information is available in the full press release of the 2011 BlueSteps Mid-Year Outlook Report.

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This article was written by Christian Pielow from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com

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