What to Make of CIO Recruitment Slowdown?

Ann All

So what to make of the Association of Executive Search Consultant (AESC) report that found that the number of searches for tech executives fell more than any other professional sector in 2007's second quarter?


Experts have mixed opinions, reports InformationWeek. The AESC president says it could indicate either a slowing economy or a more stable one. After all, in the first quarter of 2007, tech executive recruitment activity grew 19 percent over the final quarter of 2006.


The summer traditionally tends to be a slow time for IT hiring, notes a partner at executive recruitment firm Battalia Winston International, who thinks the drop is a "precautionary" tactic for tech firms rather than a major downturn. Similarly, the CEO of executive recruitment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas calls it a "yellow flag."


The only other industry to experience a drop in recruitment activity during 2007's Q2 was the consumer sector, according to the InformationWeek story, although many other sectors were flat. Sectors that saw growth included nonprofits, industrial and life sciences and health care.


Though we hesitate to mention it for fear of breeding a "sky is falling" mentality when a "clouds on the horizon" outlook might be more appropriate, there have been a few recent reports of organizations eliminating CIO positions. And of course it's no secret that CIOs often feel their job is not well understood by the broader business.

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