The financial services and insurance industries will be hungry for new hires during the first half of 1998.

A survey conducted by Management Recruiters International Inc., an executive recruitment and staffing company, reported that 64% of the financial services executives it interviewed said they intend to increase their level of hiring during the next six months. For the purposes of the study, financial services included banks, securities firms, and mortgage companies.

Also, about 56% of all insurance executives intend to increase staff during the next six months.

The demand is even stronger for high-growth fields such as telecommunications and information technology.

It's clear that the appetite for staffing up among insurance and financial services companies has grown in the past year. About 54% of financial services executives were planning to add staff in the first half of last year, while 47% of insurance executives harbored such intentions. The Pressure to Produce

You always knew it. Now a survey confirms it: most people get things done just in the nick of time.

The concept of "just in time" manufacturing - receiving goods to meet immediate needs rather than carrying expensive inventory - has spread to our personal lives, according to Dan Stamp, the chairman of Priority Management, a worldwide corporate training and development company.

"Our survey found that people are feeling more pressure to be productive , they're working longer hours, taking fewer holidays and feeling high levels of stress regularly," said Stamp. "

Some of the key findings of the Just in Time report, which surveyed 1,500 business people, include these:

*About nine of every 10 respondents work more than their workplace's normal workweek.

*More than half (54%) say they will work this long or longer in the next decade.

*Almost half (41%) took two weeks' vacation or less in the last year.

*Almost two-thirds say their job is more stressful than it was five years ago. CEOs Earning Their Keep

Chief executive officers are used to hearing that their performance doesn't live up to their lofty compensation.

But they won't hear that line from Ira Kay, a pay consultant with Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

In his new book, "CEO Pay and Shareholder Value: Helping the U.S. Win the Global Economic War," Mr. Kay writes that CEOs, instead of being deadbeats, actually deliver immense value compared to their compensation. He points out that from 1994 to 1996, the total value of stock owned by American households rose nearly 50%, to $8.5 trillion.

By comparison, he says, the CEOs of all the Fortune 500 companies took home less than 1% of the stock market increase, or about $1 billion.

"This is a small price to pay for economic security today and in retirement."

Mr. Kay also suggests that the nation's richest CEOs look like paupers compared with the nation's top athletes and entertainers.

Oprah Winfrey, who received $171 million in 1995, earned more than the top four CEOs combined. And boxer Mike Tyson earned $25 million for just 89 seconds in knocking out Peter McNeeley at the MGA Grand in Las Vegas.

Mr. Kay asked: "On average, top-athlete and top-CEO salaries seem comparable, but do Riddick Bowe or Shaquille O'Neal bring as much economic value to the world and create as many jobs as the CEO of General Electric?"

No. But have you ever seen Jack Welch's skyhook?

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