Q4 2011 State of the Industry Report

Continued Growth for Retained Executive Search Industry in 2011, According to AESC

Annual State of the Executive Search Industry report shows 9% uptick over 2010.

2011 data just released by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) shows that the retained executive search industry experienced continued momentum during 2011 with a 9% yearly increase bringing total industry revenues to an estimated $10.41 billion. 2011 saw the third highest revenues on record for the industry, not far off from all time industry high of $11 billion reached in 2008.

AESC President, Peter Felix, commented: “The continued growth within the executive search industry during a period of sustained global economic volatility illustrates how critical and valuable the services are that our member firms deliver each day. While not all industries and regions saw growth in executive recruitment in 2011, the overall trends were positive and show areas of opportunities for senior executives around the world.”

The global average number of new executive searches started in 2011 rose 5.4% over 2010 figures with North America and Europe contributing the most growth, up 9.7% and 4.7% respectively. Asia Pacific remained flat with only 0.2% growth and Central/South America saw a slight decline of 1%. Industry market share remained relatively flat across the board with the biggest growth seen in the Industrial (1.5%) and Consumer Products (1%) sectors. The financial sector decreased its share of the market by 2.3% and technology decreased by 1.2%.

Felix continued: “It is encouraging to see how strongly the search industry has come back from the deep recession of 2009, and that clients continue to actively employ executive search to combat the underlying talent shortage. We remain in very challenging markets but I am convinced that retained executive search will continue as a key part of the management toolbox when looking for long term competitiveness and success.”

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. 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.


Thought leadership category