Executive Search in UK – 2016 Outlook


The relatively strong GDP growth does not translate into high levels of optimism, not least because government policy continues to focus on both deficit and public debt reduction.

Very specific ‘hot spots’ are visible with data security and capture and use of ‘big data’, both exercising the major corporate players and specialist players.

At the same time traditional industries, steel and oil and gas, have been negatively affected by both oversupply and weak global demand.

London continues to be a geographic ‘ hot spot’ but even its traditional strength in Financial Services continues to be subdued. On the other hand, London as a European Silicon Valley goes from strength to strength taking advantage of the ‘cluster’ effect around the previously underdeveloped East End and the arrival of major US players like Google.

Digitalisation and Digital Transformation are now main stream with all business-to-consumer companies considering best methods to engage with the customer in a holistic digital manner.  This is a poorly understood challenge generally and certainly short staffed with the greater skills and experience needed at the sharp end from UX through to business transformation.


Big Data has become a very strong sector with more buyers than sellers – again a shortage of skilled developers with relevant experience.

2016 will see the first opportunity for UK voters to have their say on our partial membership of Europe. Populist comment focuses on issues such as freedom of movement (code for immigration) while informed discussion about the value of freedom to trade and move capital is harder to find.

Some element of uncertainty about the outcome may well impact on business decision making which is already very risk averse.

So from a search perspective the ‘hot spots’ are there to focus on and there will always be Boards who need to make changes to assuage shareholders.  Overall, however, it looks like being a steady but not spectacular year