Companies in this industry search, recruit, and place executives and senior managers for business and government clients. Major companies include Korn/Ferry International, Heidrick & Struggles International, Spencer Stuart, and Russell Reynolds (all based in the US), as well as Egon Zehnder International (Switzerland), The Caldwell Partners International (Canada) and Norman Broadbent (UK).
Job growth drives demand for the executive search industry. The profitability of individual companies depends on good marketing, development of a loyal client base, and effectiveness at identifying and recruiting qualified candidates. Large firms, especially those with an international footprint, can take advantage of multinational corporations’ need to find qualified executives worldwide. Small companies can compete successfully by specializing in recruiting for an industry or a job function. The US industry is fragmented; the 50 largest firms account for about 40% of revenues.
Products, Operations & Technology
Executive search firms locate candidates for positions, maintain databases of executives' resumes, match suitable candidates to clients, and conduct prescreening interviews and background checks on behalf of employers. Executives recruited by such firms generally fill permanent, top-level management positions, in contrast to workers recruited by personnel staffing agencies, which fulfill temporary assignments for clients. Firms also offer leadership consulting services, which include succession planning, executive assessment, talent retention management, executive development, and transition consulting.