a very uncertain start to the year for executives, warns Apec

This new year will not yet mark a strong rebound for the executive employment market.

The job market promises to be complicated for executives

© Bertrand GUAY / AFP
The job market promises to be complicated for executives

If only one figure had to be retained to symbolize this start of the year on the job market: only 11% of companies plan to recruit in the first quarter, according to the new Apec barometer on recruitment and mobility intentions frames.

Unsurprisingly, the job market is likely to partially freeze over the next few months, marking the health and economic uncertainty of the start of the year. After a very difficult first confinement for those looking for a job, job offers were on the rise, even during the second confinement.

“Despite an eventful end to the year, large companies and SMEs were more likely to recruit executives in the 4th quarter of 2020 than they had envisaged in the September 2020 survey” indicates the ‘Apec.

However, the volume of offers was still 17% lower compared to the 4th quarter of 2019.


And the situation should not necessarily improve for the first quarter of 2021, due to lack of visibility. “Only 54% of companies with at least one executive in their workforce say they are confident in the evolution of their level of activity” underlines the study, which therefore provides for hiring at half mast.

This lack of dynamism masks disparities between sectors. The IT or the commercial sector will continue to create jobs but the companies concerned are still having great difficulty in recruiting the profiles sought, generally experienced and therefore already in place.

A risk rather than an opportunity

And for executives, it’s not really time for change. Only 12% of current executives plan to change companies in Q1 2021, while a majority (57%) believe that changing companies is more of a risk than an opportunity.

For Apec, this new year, very uncertain, poses many unknowns. The end of government aid planned for this year risks causing a wave of bankruptcies and therefore staff reductions. At the same time, the crisis raised the question of the quality of life which could also shift the lines and accentuate the mobility of executives. Finally, managerial practices have been shaken up by this crisis.

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