Q1 2015 State of the Industry Report

Technology and Non-Profit Sectors Inspire Rise in Executive Search Assignments

First quarter trends indicate an increase in revenue and new assignments, buoyed by increased activity in the technology and non-profit sectors

First quarter 2015 executive search and leadership consulting data indicates a quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year rise of new assignments in the technology sector of 18.9% and 13.8% respectively. Similarly, the non-profit sector recorded quarter-on-quarter growth of 28.8% and year-on-year growth of 13.9%.

This growth in new search activity underpins positive quarterly revenue growth for the profession overall, with 3.9% quarter-on-quarter growth and 7.5% year-on-year growth. The number of new assignments increased by 6.3% quarter-on-quarter and 5.5% year-on-year globally, presenting a positive outlook for the profession as the year progresses.

Karen Greenbaum, AESC President and CEO, said: “Our profession is optimistic about the year ahead, and these statistics reveal that this outlook is justified. AESC members serve their clients as trusted advisors, and continue to expand the value they provide through leadership consulting.

“The technology sector is at the heart of business today, driving customer relationships, strategic insights and operational efficiency. Executive search and leadership consulting firms are alert to the latest developments in this sector and these statistics reveal that AESC members are meeting their clients’ needs by filling emerging roles, such as Chief Information Security Officers, as well as the more traditional roles that continue to be in-demand.”

The Industrial sector continued its recent momentum with a strong first quarter. The number of new assignments rose modestly by 3.5% quarter-on-quarter, but significantly by 18% year-on-year. The Industrial sector continues to be the largest market for executive search and leadership consulting, with 25.7% of global market share. Elsewhere, the Consumer sector recorded positive quarter-on-quarter growth of 9.7%, although year-on-year the number of assignments fell by 1.6%.

All major regions witnessed an increase in the number of assignments started both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year, with North America recording the most notable growth of 7.2% and 6.9% respectively. The North American market represents 43.1% of the global market, with EMEA representing 33.4%, Asia Pacific representing 16.9%, and Latin America representing 6.6%.

The AESC State of the Executive Search Industry Report is quarterly research carried out by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) since 2004 on trends in the global retained executive search and leadership consulting industry. Data for the report is collected from a consistent sample of AESC member search firms representing the activity of 1,430 executive search consultants in 46 countries worldwide. AESC access to retained executive search data positions this report as a leading indicator of the future worldwide management employment market and a barometer of hiring trends for top-level and seldom advertised positions in key market sectors.

Read the full report.


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