Interview: Fairfield Partners Co-Founder Sees Client Urgency Key Driver to Industry Turnaround

August 28, 2009 – Fairfield Partners is a Norwalk, Connecticut-based executive search firm specializing in technology and consumer products markets. Brian Curry co-founded Fairfield Partners with Eric Montgomery in July 2008. Mr. Curry has 20 years of corporate experience and five years of experience in executive search. Prior to entering the business, he was senior vice president of sales for Transcentive, a provider of performance-based compensation solutions. In the following interview, Mr. Curry discusses the challenges of getting a boutique recruiting firm off the ground in a down economic cycle.

How has the economic climate changed for you since August 2008?

From September 2008 to March of this year we were greatly impacted. Business picked up at the end of the first quarter and we had a strong Q2 with even more momentum building in the third quarter. It takes a while for people to pull the trigger, (longer than before the collapse), but we are seeing much greater activity.

What is your forecast for the economy for the remainder of the year? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about future growth in your business?

It’s hard to figure. Based on our small world, we are quietly optimistic, but still see situations where clients try a little longer to do searches on their own before reaching out for help. However, we have seen in some situations a greater urgency to get the project done than there was six months ago.

For the remainder of 2009 do you believe overall demand for recruiting and human capital services will increase, decrease, or remain flat?

I think the overall demand for recruiting will increase. Drivers are finding the right people to grow the business. As the economy gets better and people get busier, they have less time and patience in completing their key searches.

How do you see 2010 shaping up?

Our focus is in the technology and consumer products sectors. We have seen a little greater activity in technology in the short term. By all indications right now, 2010 looks to be much stronger than 2009. Our two sectors look to be both improving.

How have you tried to be most effective for your clients?

Since we have had less projects than normal, we are doing everything we can to knock the searches out of the park as quickly as possible. As you know, in this business, finding the right person in a timely manner is the best way to drive new and repeat business.

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