March 4, 2013 – According to 2012 year-end data released by the BlueSteps, a career management service of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), worldwide recruiting industry revenues fell 6.4 percent putting estimated 2012 revenues for the executive search and leadership consulting profession at $9.74 billion. Despite the number of new executive search assignments falling 7.1 percent in 2012 from 2011, continued growth was recorded in the level of fees for assignments (up 1.7 percent annually in 2012), indicating continued demand for the high-end of search and leadership consulting. North America, accounting for 45.1 percent of the global executive search marketshare in 2012, experienced the least annual decline in the number of new searches started in 2012 over 2011 (down 1.1 percent) and displayed upward year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter search activity in the fourth quarter of 2012. The EMEA region fell 11.6 percent annually in 2012, just behind Asia Pacific (-12.1 percent), and followed by Central/South America (-7.3 percent).
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