Why Detroit Is Once Again Attracting Headhunters

March 21, 2017 – Executive recruiters are increasingly being served hiring mandates all over the globe. To meet the demand, they continue to develop new practices, hire new recruiters, and open new locations. While the uptick in business has proven to be good for just about every executive search business, global recruiting consortiums seem well-placed and well-anchored to take advantage of some rather unusual geographic areas that once seemed to be cooling off but are now resurgent.

To that end, Panorama, a global network of independent executive search firms, just took on Detroit-based executive search firm The Hunter Group LLC as a member firm, giving the international recruiter a solid toehold in a rising talent market.

Hunter Group was founded in 1995 and focuses on finding leaders in advanced manufacturing and industrials, financial and professional services, social impact, higher education and board searches. “We are impressed by The Hunter Group and the quality of the business they have built since 1995,” said Craig Buffkin, global chairman of Panorama and managing partner of Buffkin / Baker. “I am personally delighted to welcome them to Panorama. We will all benefit from their experience, presence and reputation in their markets which will complement the work of our Panorama partners in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Brazil, India, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.”


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Blaire Miller, a partner at Hunter Group, said Panorama offers his firm’s clients a global talent research capability and local talent and leadership recruiting expertise. “We look forward to continued collaboration with this dynamic group of global search firms.” The team at The Hunter Group has decades of experience in recruiting, human resources, and organizational development. Ms. Miller is joined by fellow partners Sherry Muir Irwin, Jim Lionas, Wim van Acker, and Mike Dergis.

Detroit Expansion

Metro Detroit has propelled Michigan’s national ranking in emerging technology fields, including life sciences, information technology, and advanced manufacturing. Michigan ranks fourth in the U.S. in high tech employment with 568,000 high tech workers, which includes 70,000 in the automotive industry.

Just recently, member-owned recruitment network NPAworldwide added STI Professionals, also located in Detroit. The firm offers recruiting services in the technical/engineering, IT (information technology), creative and marketing, business analyst, accounting and office support areas.

Last year, Stanton Chase International, another search consortium, opened a new office in Detroit to serve its corporate clients in the manufacturing, automotive, commercial vehicle, and defense industries. Rich Kolpasky, a veteran search consultant and former senior executive in the automotive sector, heads up the office as managing director.

A Resurgent Detroit

“With the complex, multinational and interconnected business world we live in we have found the global automotive sector still has many of its roots in Detroit,” said Mickey Matthews, international chairman of Stanton Chase. “This foundation is now driving the future of the dynamic automotive sector with the now rapid integration and convergence of technology and consumer models broadening and quickening the pace of change. All of this has combined to increase the criticality for us to be there to achieve service excellence for our clients worldwide.”

Additionally, he said, the diversity of business in Detroit has led to a resurgence taking place in Michigan and across the Midwest. “Detroit is experiencing a renaissance of growth which is being propelled by a variety of business segments — it is not solely dependent on automotive any longer,” he said. That broadening of its business base has been the prime attraction for executive recruiters.

Being in Detroit, he added, “provides us ‘boots on the ground’ for not only our clients around the world but also for our global partners who are seeking early industry market insights and executive relationships which can drive growth in other key areas, like consumer goods, high tech and commercial real estate to name a few.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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