Q4 2006 State of the Industry Report


Executive search year-end net revenues rose 17.2 percent from 2005 to 2006, representing the third consecutive year of positive industry growth reported by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

The AESC quarterly analysis also revealed that in the final quarter of 2006, average net revenues increased by 19 percent compared to the same period a year ago, with the average revenue per consultant increasing 5.6 percent.

AESC President, Peter Felix, commented, “We are thrilled to see global executive search revenues surpassing the previous record levels experienced in 2000. The latest AESC statistics support the positive feedback we received throughout 2006 from AESC members regarding the current strength of the industry. As demographic shifts and new requirements from emerging markets drive demand for senior level talent around the world in the years ahead so we expect to see the role of executive search become even more critical in the quest for organizational success.”

North America represented 43 percent of the retained executive search market in 2006, with Europe shortly behind, accounting for 34 percent of search activity — both regions witnessed a minor decrease from 2005 year end figures. Conversely, Asia/Pacific and Central/South America's market shares increased from 2005 to 2006, both by one percent, to represent 15 percent and eight percent of the total market, respectively.

In 2006 the top three European markets for retained executive search combined (UK 33%, Germany 14%, and France 11%) represented over half of the total European market with 58 percent total share.

Industry Trends
Reflecting 2005 trends, in 2006 executive search activity was highest in the Financial industry holding 25 percent of searches, followed by the Industrial sector (22%), Consumer Products (17%), Technology (15%), Life Sciences/Healthcare (12%), Non-Profit (4%), and Professional Services (3%).

The yearly trend revealed a rise in all industries from quarter four 2005 to quarter four 2006, with the exception of Technology which was down 5.5 percent. Professional Services witnessed the largest yearly increase in searches started (+16.4%), followed by Consumer (+10.3%), Life Sciences/Healthcare (+8%), Industrial (+6.7%), Non-Profit (+6.5%), and Financial (+3.6%).

The data was collected from a sample of AESC member search firms representing the activity of over 1,200 executive search consultants in 42 countries worldwide. AESC access to job search data positions this Report as a leading indicator of the future worldwide job market and a barometer of hiring trends in key market sectors.

Read the full report.


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