Chicago and Executive Search

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The Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants has 20 member search firms in Illinois, with a great majority located in Chicago, and roughly 160 executive search consultants, also known as executive recruiters or headhunters, working in the Chicago area. These executive recruiters specialize in senior-level executive searches in industries such as PR, Sales, Marketing, Communications, Advertising, Consumer Products and Machinery, Financial Services, and Manufacturing of consumer products.

Executive Job Opportunities in Chicago


According to CNN and the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index 2009, Chicago is the fourth most important business center in the world. Although Chicago is a major world financial center, it is also historically known for manufacturing, food processing, printing and publishing, ranking only second to New York in the publishing industry. Chicago is an excellent city to pursue executive positions in any of these industries.

In the 1990s, executive opportunities in the business and professional service sector experienced rapid growth in Chicago and eventually surpassed those available in manufacturing. As Chicago remains a distribution hub for packaged goods, executive recruiters and heaedhunters working in manufacturing still work on many assignments in the city.

Chicago also maintains high executive job concentration in the insurance sector, with many major insurance firms headquartered in the mid-western city.

Executives searching for opportunities in Chicago will note that 62 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Illinois, including:

  • Kraft Foods
  • Boeing
  • Walgreen
  • Sears Holdings
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Caterpillar
  • Hewitt Associates
  • Allstate
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Deere
  • OfficeMax
  • Fortune Brands
  • Northern Trust Company
  • Sara Lee
  • Motorola

Firms active in this region:

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