Market trends in executive appointments, 2010-2015 – stress tests and relocation

Written by: Steve Playford
Published on: 24 Oct 2015
Category:’s recent research into the executive recruitment market has produced some very interesting results.  Today, let’s look at the way people’s perceptions of job security, commuting and other key aspects of work-life balance – including propensity to relocate - impact on their career and the likelihood of their changing jobs.

As far as our sample is concerned, and as you’d expect from an upwardly mobile group such as the over 3,600’s users surveyed, the vast majority (c. three-quarters) have relocated for a new job. What interesting here is that the percentage who have done so internationally is far lower in the UK.  In total, over half (52%) have relocated internationally; a reflection of the global market in which we live nowadays.

Relocation chart

One interesting result, especially given the focus on gender imbalance in the workplace and especially at C-suite level, is that women are less likely than men to relocate.  While this may be unsurprising on the international stage (there are too many countries where it’s less easy for women to be in any management work, let alone C-suite), it’s still disappointing to see that this applies in the UK as well.

When we looked at more personal concerns, “stress levels” (as perceived by respondents) have hardly altered between 2012 and 2015. This, interestingly, is mirrored in the workload and overtime changes (or rather stability) between these two years.  Correlation is not necessarily causation, but it’s a not unreasonable guess that there is some connection.

Commuting distances have changed a bit more than stress levels/overtime/workload, but not by much. Overall, our typical exec-appointments’ user seems to have much the same commute as in 2012 and in fact the percentage whose daily travel has decreased has gone down quite considerably (from 15% to 9%) while the smaller decline in the numbers whose commute has increased also suggests that business people are not having to look further afield for new work (unless they move country!).  This is also mirrored in the final column in the chart below, where it’s clear that, as we noted at the outset of this series of blogs, the overall feeling is that job security is much greater now than it was three years ago.

Last 12 months statsThere is a lot more detail available in our research which can help recruitment consultancies, in-house recruiters and others as they consider the best way ahead. Please do feel free to get in touch to discuss our findings and how they might affect your business.

Steve Playford, Global Director, FT Careers