Executive Search in USA – 2019 Outlook

Despite New Uncertainty, Challenges Mostly Generational

It appears the economic indicators are pointing to another growth year in 2019 for North America.

Projections for Canada are ~2% economic growth rate compared to 2.1% last year and the US projections are ~2.5% economic growth rate compared to 2.9% in 2018.  The much-reported tariff war has had a neutral effect, interest rates are still down, the unemployment rate is at record lows and overall optimism seems to have remained fairly steady.

However, uncertainty always abounds as evidenced by the slight retraction making this optimistic outlook a bit more pessimistic than I would prefer.

For businesses large and small, the challenge in a growth market will continue to be people and technology.  As the population ages and we begin to lose the intellectual capital of the baby boomers, more and more companies will find it difficult to backfill and secure talent to keep up in a growth economy.

Business owners/leaders will need to get creative with human capital acquisition to remain competitive or this phenomenon will affect not only their growth but also the growth of the economy as a whole.

The technology challenge is much the same. Digital advancement is changing so quickly that keeping up is also a key to growth both at the local company level and for the national economy.

Those of us in the North America recruiting market feel particularly good as most Cornerstone International Group firms across the region had a banner year in 2018 and the momentum seems to be continuing here in early 2019.

Most client companies are back on the offensive, recruiting leaders who can sustain and grow business units for the future. Needless say, technologically savvy leadership is paramount for most mandates.

As Chair of Cornerstone International Group North America, I do remain optimistic for our region.  However, that said, I lived through the 2009 market downturn and can’t help thinking perhaps we should all take a deep breath and enjoy the ride because it may not last much longer.