Lack of top execs forces firms to search overseas

Employers in the UK are increasingly being forced to look outside their
organisation and even outside their industry to find top executives of the
right calibre, research claims.

A study by TMP Worldwide reveals the number of senior executives being
recruited from outside companies has more than doubled in the last two years.
The report also shows an increase in executive reshuffles in the boardroom,
with recruitment at this level up by nearly 40 per cent and the number of
executives quitting the boardroom up by 35 per cent.

Andrew Simpson, European president of TMP Worldwide Executive Search, said
although 75 per cent of senior appointments are still made from within, the
sharp rise in external recruitment highlights a shortage of capable senior

"One of the main problems is a shortage of top managers, highlighting
their need for a resourcing policy which looks beyond their own companies and
even industry," he said. "Companies need to combine this with key
staff retention, coaching, mentoring and development to keep valuable skills in

The financial services sector had the highest level of external recruitment,
at 38 per cent, during 2001, and the consumer sector the lowest at 15 per cent.

The report, The Flow of Senior Executives in Europe, was based on research
of 60 of Europe’s largest multinational companies and also reveals the
increasing proportion of senior managers with international experience. The UK
and France top the league with about 30 per cent of board level executives
having worked abroad, ahead of Belgium with 20 per cent.

The technology, media and telecommunications sectors are most likely to
employ senior executives who have international experience, with 36 per cent
having worked abroad.

By Ben Willmott

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