The Executive Market Shows Distinct Signs of Life

At the Barrett Group we help clients clarify their career objectives. This means often changing industries or roles in the process—and then go out and discover their dream roles. We have been doing this for 30 years. We have developed a very successful, five-step program to navigate the job market. The Barrett Group has highly experienced coaches, consultants, writers, and researchers, and everyone else at the Barrett Group help clients implement with exceptional results.

Quarter One in 2021 demonstrates this again. But you will notice there are also some distinct differences in the job market from 2020 as well.

Our data set is too small as yet to have a statistically valid read on the entire US and European markets. But we can show the difference in hiring industries between 2020 (full year) and 2021 so far (quarter one). (See the Change in Hiring Industry graphic.)

It certainly does seem that industrial activity is picking up.

For example, manufacturing surged as a share of hirings in Q1 vs. 2020. Financial services’ share of hirings also seems to have gained pace in the first quarter while consulting, electronics, health care, IT, and retail/wholesale/e-commerce have remained strong in absolute terms but lost share relatively.

The overall volume of activity in the job market has decidedly increased in Q1, too, as evidence extracted from our Hiring Line website reveals. (See the Hiring Line Activity graphic.) The increased interview activity in March suggests that hirings will continue to be strong into Q2, 2021 as well. Bottom line, for the clients who landed jobs in Q1 the average time interval between clients engaging the Barrett Group and landing the position of their choice remains 27 weeks.

As far as clients signing on is concerned, there continues to be a shift toward the higher income brackets as more and more executives embrace the idea of proactively managing their own careers instead of letting their employers or mere chance dictate their economic futures. (See the Client Income Demographics chart.)

In fact, even after landing, our clients receive continued support (depending on the programs they purchase) and derive an on-going, significant benefit. Here’s how one client expressed this on-going value:

“It is thanks to my career consultant that communication with my boss has gotten a lot easier since I started my new job. It was her suggestion that I have short, daily meetings with my boss to set expectations and recap our conversation from the day before and discuss changes in our initiative, or anything new coming down the pike. The meetings aren’t long or in depth, but, because we are starting a new initiative, it’s important to build trust. So, Lori’s [his career consultant’s] suggestion was huge.”

Gian Toro, 2020

So why did executives seek us out in 2021?

The answer has not changed dramatically since 2020, though the “No Growth Potential” justification has increased considerably, again underlining our belief that executives are learning that they can proactively manage their own careers, even if they may need professional help to do so optimally. (See the Reasons for Seeking Career Assistance graphic.)

That is, of course, why the Barrett Group is here and what has sustained us these 30 years. We make it our job to help you find yours. Why not explore professional help in achieving your career aspirations today? We look forward to hearing from you.

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

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