Q4 2008 State of the Executive Search Industry

logo125x125The Association of Executive Search Consultants says industry revenues grew a mere 3% annually in 2008, compared to 22% in 2007.

In its “Q4 2008 State of the Executive Search Industry and Year End Report,” the AESC links the fall in searches and revenues to decision-makers who put a freeze on hiring, particularly in November and December following the Wall Street catastrophe in October.

Where does this recession hurt? Everywhere, says the AESC. Asia Pacific experienced the greatest yearly decrease in the number of search assignments in Q4 2008, falling 22% against the same period in 2007, followed by Europe (-21.3%), North America (-21.1%), and Central/South America (-16.4%).

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The lone bright spot reveals that the average fee per executive search assignment increased both quarterly and yearly, indicating a senior level of executive search activity.

AESC President Peter Felix noted that “trends in the senior recruitment industry often act as an indicator of wider economic trends as strategic talent management responds to changes in world markets. We are hopeful that the hiring freeze in North America will be replaced quickly by a crisis recovery mode as organizations focus on the vital issue of leadership, thereby stimulating recovery in other parts of the world.”

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


1 Comment on “Q4 2008 State of the Executive Search Industry

  1. Speaking of the state of the Executive Search Industry, I am a recuiter and have just received a very discouraging article within a candidate newsletter from one of the major job 100K +posting sites higher bracket. It was written as the feature article of their newsletter emailed out to candidates (8 Questions To Ask A Headhunter?), and written by Anthony Kaul who happens to be the Founder and CEO of Canada’s “leading” executive job board – HigherBracket.ca. As far as I can tell he makes his money through advertizing and a resume database of candidates – posting is free and a huge portion of his posts (ie. primary money making content) come from Executive Search Firms. This article, in my personal opinion, has a really negative tone and the state of the Executive Search Industry is not going to be improving any time soon if our supposed partners are putting out this type of article. One quote that will give you an idea of the tone is question #6 ” 6. Can you please send me the job advert or job description?

    You may want to add to this question – “I understand that you cannot at this stage reveal the name of the employer, but … can you send me the job advert or job description with their name removed?” This is vital… for two reasons. Firstly it will give you vital information about the job that you did not ask about during the call. Second, this intelligence will often allow you to use google to search out who else is posting the job and/or whom the employer might be”

    He might as well have entitled his article “Who needs a recruiter anyway?”

    With friends like this this industry sure doesn’t need any enemies.

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