C-suite execs are in demand in these two fields

Feb 9, 2015 | Yahoo! Finance

By Suzanne O'Halloran

Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers are doing their part to help drive the rebound in U.S. hiring by job hopping themselves, according to DHR International, the fifth largest executive search firm. CEO Geoff Hoffmann tells Yahoo Finance hiring at the top is back to pre-recessionary levels. “It's pretty close to levels that we saw in 2006 and 2007, which were the absolute peak.”

One of the hottest areas says Hoffmann is in technology after what’s been a rash of high profile cyber-hacks. “With the recent breach of Anthem (ANTM), Target (TGT) and Sony (SNE) every corporation, board of directors and CEO seem to be putting a lot of emphasis and attention on security.” Following its widely publicized data breach last year, Target hired former General Motors (GM) executive Brad Maiorino as its chief information security officer. Maiorino oversees security and technology risk strategy, according to the company.

On Wall Street, Hoffmann notes demand is more select. “We do a lot of work at the private equity portfolio businesses,” he explained with specific movement coming after the private equity firms make investments. “Switching out management teams, especially CFOs, they need a certain level of financial sophistication.”

While employment in financial activities rose by 26,000 in January according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hiring on Wall Street at the senior level remains lackluster. “Financial services, investment banking those high-paid jobs on Wall Street really drove a lot of the revenue and a lot of the activity in executive search at the senior level, now it is still there but its not nearly as prevalent as it once was.” Positions in securities, commodity contracts and investments added a modest 5,000 jobs last month.

While hiring on Wall Street is not keeping pace with other sectors, Hoffmann believes the rising stock market is providing a catalyst to overall job growth. “Executives now feel there is less risk for them to take on a new opportunity. They can go to a new job and not worry about a company cratering. They’ve got a little financial cushion they can fall back on if things don’t go as planned.”

Separately, privately held DHR International made an unsolicited offer to acquire rival firm CTPartners Executive Search (CTP). The offer was confirmed by CTPartners on February 6th.

Click here to view the Yahoo! Finance article.