A View from a European By Mikael StelanderEMEA, Executive Search, Technology Saturday, January 15th, 2011
In the Technology Industry, we have for decades acknowledges a rule that everything is invented on the West coast of North America, and then innovations travel across the U.S. , land in Europe (U.K., France or Benelux) and then spread to the Nordic Countries. The same “wave” travels also to the East from the U.S. and hits Japan first, then China and India. We expected the economic downturn and resultant reduction in executive search services to travel in the same manner.
Surprisingly, the current downturn in technology industry search assignments within Stanton Chase has not actd predictably. The downturn spread from the U.S. to Europe, but did not reach the Nordic Countries with the same impact. Nor in India. The numbers in NA have declined significantly – by 40-50%, or more, depending on the region, while our Asian and European operations have declined only by 30-40% and 3% respectively.
By technology sub-sector, Hardware and IT Services are down 74% and 28% respectively, Telecommunication is down 1%, while Software is up 9%! We believe that software and telecom is where the innovation and demand for more executives is higher and we expect this trend to continue into the recovery.
McKinsey said in its study in Spring 200 that Technology is always the first into a recession, but also usually the first one out. We as a search firm are seeing the early signs of a recovery and are wondering if the economic recovery will follow the old rules of being West Coast of U.S. Centric. Has the world changed? Will the enormous innovation investments in India and China turn the tide? Or are the solid technology companies in Europe taking the driver’s seat in the recovery?
As the Global Practice Leader for Stanton Chase’s Technology Practice Group, I don’t believe the technology world has changed that much. The U.S. technology market is still the largest unified market, and it still attracts a major share of startup and innovation investments. And, importantly, it attracts the best talent. Innovations will always come from the best talent, therefore we are expecting the United States to catch up to and then lead the world’s economic recovery.
By Mikael Stelander, Global practice Technology Leader and Partner – Helsinki