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Recruiting managers: what makes a company attractive

·    Professional challenges, career progression and a high salary are basic requirements
·    The work-life balance and company image are important factors
·    Only one fifth of managers are motivated by the size of an organization

Hamburg, 27th February 2014 – In the past few years, the demands made on managers have increased perceptibly. Global markets require better results, achieved faster. In return for higher levels of performance related stress, todays managers expect benefits above and beyond high salaries, interesting responsibilities and an appropriate title. This is demonstrated by the findings of the study “A Change of Job in Top Management” which was carried out by InterSearch Executive Consultants. The research was based on 150 interviews with company directors, senior and middle managers. 87% of respondents stated that work-life balance is an important consideration in their choice of employer. In addition, 84% stated that corporate image is an important factor, with 38% even rating it as “very important”.

The single most important criterion for a manager in deciding whether to accept a job offer is the scope for new professional challenges: 94% of the respondents rated this factor as “important”. Sharing second place at 92% were career progression and a high salary. A good work-life balance also features in the top three criteria (87%). The study further demonstrates that managers are able to attain their high salary expectations: four out of five respondents saw a pay-rise of over 20% with their last job move. “Managers take a top salary for granted – companies that wish to attract the very best candidates have to offer more than money”, says Dieter Albeck, Managing Partner of recruitment specialist, InterSearch Executive Consultants.

Managers are giving a higher priority to work-life balance – even the “old hands”

Contrary to expectation, a good work-life balance is just as important to older managers as to their younger “Generation Y” colleagues. 88% of over 55 year-olds agree with this criterion, nearly exactly as many as in the group of 25-34 year-olds (89%) or in the 35-44 year-old group (90%). Even among the 45-54 year-olds, four out of five respondents consider a good balance between personal and professional life to be desirable. A company whose culture allows for a good work-life balance will therefore be attractive to managers from all age groups. “In this respect, medium-sized companies can have a distinct advantage in the recruitment arena, for example, by actively communicating that managers are not required to be available at weekends, or that meetings never take place after 6 p.m.” says Dieter Albeck.

Over one third of managers place particular value on company image

A positive corporate image is also an important factor in the choice of a new employer: 84% of managers consider image to be “important”, with 38% rating it as “very important”. A company´s image is actually rated more highly that its location or the business sector in which it operates (81% each). The expert Dieter Albeck comments “A candidate´s image of a company can be influenced very strongly by their personal experience of that company. A potential employer can greatly improve their chances of a candidate accepting a job offer if they behave with consummate professionalism throughout the recruitment process”.

A further finding of the study shows that only 22% of managers consider the size of an organization to be a very important factor. At the same time, medium sized companies should be under no illusions: “It is a fairytale that salary is not important. A prospective employer should indicate early on that they can offer competitive remuneration – lowering the stakes will ensure the absence of top candidates from the selection pool” says Albeck.

The ranking of criteria for a change of job

  1. New responsibilities/challenges (94% important, 53% very important)
  2. Career progression                   (92% / 55%)
  3. Salary increase                        (92% / 47%)
  4. Work-life balance                     (87% / 32%)
  5. Corporate image                      (84% / 38%)
  6. Company location                    (81% / 34%)
  7. Business sector                      (81% / 34%)
  8. Company ownership structure  (72% / 22%)
  9. Internationality of business       (70% / 29%)
10. Size of company                     (69% / 22%)

Background Information

For the study “A Change of Job in Top Management”, 150 interviews were carried out with company directors, senior managers and middle managers. Respondents were asked on-line about the likelihood of a job change, which aspects of a change are most important to them, and how they experience the recruitment process. The respondents came from companies with upwards of 100 employees in the Trade, Service and Industrial sectors. The study was carried out in the third quarter of 2013.


About InterSearch Executive Consultants

We specialize in the recruitment of managers and the systematic analysis of management potential with a focus on the “Mittelstand” – medium sized national and international organizations. The company was founded in 1985 under the name “MR Personnel Consultancy” and has offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich with over 30 employees. Today InterSearch Executive Consultants belongs to the international InterSearch network with nearly 100 offices in 45 countries.

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Press contact: Thomas Bockholdt   Tel.: +49 40 46 88 42 0