Q2 2010 State of the Industry Report

Executive Search Rebounds in Rapid Pace Quarterly Growth

Q2 2010 Reveals Continued Renewal in Executive Search Activity around the Globe

The second quarter of 2010 revealed the highest quarterly rise in executive search industry revenues since the low point in the recession only 15 months ago. Building upon already strong quarters in the second half of 2009 and early 2010, the latest report from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) shows a quarter-on-quarter 12 per cent growth rate in net revenue worldwide and substantial year-on-year growth in the number of search mandates started across most industries and regions. Highlights include a 42 per cent year-on-year rise in industry-wide revenues and a 38 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of new executive searches started globally.

Executive searches within the Financial Services industry witnessed the greatest year-on-year growth in Q2 2010, rising 50 per cent from Q2 2009. This growth was closely followed by increased search activity within the Technology industry, up 43.5 per cent year-on-year, and then Industrial (+39%) and Consumer (+37%). Such positive trends suggest a resurgence for those industries hit hardest by the recession.

AESC President, Peter Felix, commented, “The latest figures show cumulative strength since the industry’s weakest point in Q1 2009 – backed by strong year-on-year increases in activity and strong quarterly growth. The critical issue now is whether the next two quarters will hold up in the face of continuing uncertainty about a double dip recession. On the bright side, however, is the realization by many organizations that the shortage of talent, already evident before the recession, is reasserting itself strongly. Companies have begun to think strategically again and in looking for growth are seeking out those executives who can offer both operational strength but also practical leadership in taking organizations and teams forward. The retained search profession sees this as a challenging but exciting time in partnering with clients as they seek new growth in a much changed world.”

Based on quarterly regional trends, from Q1 2010 to Q2 2010, North America is emerging from the recession first and strongest, followed by Asia Pacific and other emerging markets. As predicted, Europe is lagging behind with flat results from quarter one to quarter two this year.

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 industry. Data for the report is collected from a consistent sample of AESC member search firms representing the activity of over 1300 executive search consultants in 46 countries worldwide. Data does not account for annual inflation. 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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