Quarter one Data Reveals Widespread Growth across Industries

The first quarter of this year showed further positive signs of recovery for the senior executive search industry around the world with annual growth of 30.2 per cent in new executive search mandates and a 22 per cent rise in revenues – revealed new data from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

All industry sectors included in the survey enjoyed annual and quarterly increases in new search activity with the most significant annual growth witnessed in the Financial (+39.2%) and Technology (+37.3%) sectors. This was followed by notable yearly growth in the Life Sciences/Healthcare (+26.4%), Consumer (+25%) and Industrial (+20.1%) sectors.

AESC President Peter Felix commented, “These global search industry statistics confirm that senior executive recruitment is continuing its pullback from the rigor mortis of 12 months ago. While the first quarter figures are in themselves encouraging, what is more so is the cumulative growth since our industry turned the corner in the third quarter of last year. While momentum has been slow in coming, as seen for the global economy as a whole, growth is now not only tangible but the rate of growth is increasing.”

The Asia Pacific region experienced a significant year-on-year rise in new search mandates in January to March this year (+48.3%), followed by North America (+29%) and then Europe (+26%).

Mr. Felix added, “Although the industry’s revenues fell by 32.5 per cent in 2009, the low point was still considerably higher than the low point in 2002, during the last recession. If the pullback from that recession took three years to reach the previous high and only another two to reach new all time highs then this pullback is already in line with that and gives us hope of regaining former heights.”

“This indication of renewed hiring at the senior executive level will give greater confidence to executives who are either in transition or considering career changes. Our recent BlueSteps.com survey suggested that 41 per cent of executives are dissatisfied with their present positions and would respond positively to a new opportunity. We are not yet “out of the woods” but the underlying trends of talent shortage - caused by changing demographics and the demand from emerging markets - will, I am confident, continue to feed the demand for exceptional talent in the years ahead.”


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.

About The Association of Executive Search Consultants

The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional association for the retained executive search industry. The AESC promotes the highest professional standards in retained executive search consulting, broadens public understanding of the executive search process, and serves as an advocate for the interests of its member firms. For more information, or to download the AESC Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines, please visit www.aesc.org.

The AESC also offers www.bluesteps.com, a career management service for senior executives, and www.executivesearchconnect.com, a free service for the HR community offering industry information and tools to assist with senior executive recruiting, including access to the AESC membership directory.


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