AESC Q2 2011 State of the Executive Search Industry


Strength of Demand for Executive Talent Continues

Q2 Data Indicates C-suite Recruiting is on the Rise across all Major Regions – with Particular Strength in New Markets

Second quarter data just released by the global Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) revealed a continued rise in senior executive recruitment activity worldwide following the industry’s return to growth since early 2010. The number of new executive search mandates rose +8% year-on-year (from Q2 2010 to Q2 2011), while the quarterly picture saw searches increase by +5.4% (from Q1 2011 to Q2 2011).

Most industries experienced a steady upward trend in the second quarter of 2011 with significant quarterly and yearly growth, including the Industrial, Consumer, Life Sciences/Healthcare and Financial Services sectors. Financial saw the most notable quarterly rise, up +19%, as it continued to regain its former leading market position. Technology was the only industry to fall in senior executive recruitment activity, both yearly (-3%) and quarterly (-6.7%), in Q2 2011.

The executive search industry in Central/South America grew by +32% between Q2 2010 and Q2 2011, a result that far exceeded any other region. Asia Pacific also demonstrated solid growth in the last 12 months with a +10% year on year improvement, highlighting the strength of the emerging markets. Following with modest growth in comparison, Europe grew by +3% and North America by +2%. Considering the relative size of these regions, all results are very positive amidst continued global economic concerns.    

AESC President, Peter Felix, commented: “During the past quarter executive search has once again shown considerable strength in most parts of the world and even shows promise of soon surpassing its all time peak of 2008. Increased search activity has been seen in all major regions but especially in the emerging markets where Central/South America saw exceptional quarterly growth in the number of new searches started. The strength in other markets has been less consistent and there is some evidence that in established markets such as the UK, Germany and France there is a flattening of demand. Nevertheless the overall picture has been most encouraging. It only remains to be seen whether the volatility surrounding the debt crisis will affect top management’s willingness to continue investing in the executive talent that it needs for the longer term.”

A full copy of the AESC’s Q2 2011 State of the Executive Search Industry report is available to AESC / BlueSteps members and the press by emailing Christian Pielow at cpielow@aesc.org.

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 1430 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.

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's mission is to promote the highest professional standards in retained executive search consulting, broaden public understanding of the search process, and serve as an advocate for the interests of its member firms. For more information, or to view the AESC Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines, visit www.aesc.org. The AESC also offers the BlueSteps career management service for senior executives, as well as CorporateConnect, a service for the HR community offering executive search industry information and access to the AESC membership.

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