Hunt Scanlon’s 10 Most Important Recruiting Stories of 2017

What a year! 2017 was one of the best years ever in executive recruiting. Search consultants were busy, clients were happy, and the industry as a whole grappled well with the challenges of reinventing itself, and transitioning to something better. Like we do every year, Hunt Scanlon took on the challenge of selecting the Top 10 stories that shaped the recruiting landscape. Let’s take a look back at this one incredible year.
10 Most Important Recruiting Stories of 2017

December 22, 2017 – Looking back through more than a thousand recruiting stories published over the course of 2017, picking the 10 most important wasn’t easy. Hunt Scanlon Media tracked every little change, every small movement and, above all, lots of big progress. Truth be told, our choices for this year are a beacon for what lies ahead in 2018 and beyond. 2017, after all, was a year of change, innovation and transition. That’s what we see ahead.

The search industry is thriving, and few recruiters are without plans to build on the achievements they laid out in 2017. Take a look at upstart search firm from London, Marlin Hawk, which opened its American office six years ago in New York. They are building a winning strategy on finding transformational leaders, with a particular emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotics. That’s our future right there – and this boutique has singled it out in a big way.

Technology, of course, sits at the heart of so many searches being undertaken by the executive recruiters we track day in and day out. Whether it’s AI, innovative assessment tools or new social media platforms, recruiting outfits are breaking away from years of offering traditional services and going where no search firm has gone before.

Certain roles, like chief human resource officer and chief risk officer, among so many others, have gained new respect, and influence in the C-suite. We can thank recruiters partially for that. Why? Because more recruiters are increasingly digging deeper to fill roles, looking to different industries and across every function, and treating candidates who don’t make the cut with a little more respect. Those candidates filling these roles are taking their companies in radical new directions and giving them competitive advantage. That remains the quintessential reason why executive recruiters matter now more than ever.

It was no small challenge to pick the top 10 stories of this exciting year. But here they are, setting the stage for the future. Thank you all for your loyalty and trust. We’ll see you back here January 2, 2018. Until then, Happy New Year !!!!


Marlin Hawk Builds Winning Strategy on Finding Transformational Leaders
Six years ago, London-based Marlin Hawk sent Mark Oppenheimer, then just 27, to New York to establish an across-the-pond outpost for this enterprising leadership advisory firm. He had four years of experience as a researcher and the faith and support of his bosses back home. But when he stepped off the plane in America, Mr. Oppenheimer was largely on his own. This is the story of how one overseas search firm sent a lone recruiter to the Big Apple and turned its business into a juggernaut, winning over blue chip clients from cross town rivals.


Boutique Search Firms Step In Where Big Recruiters Falter
The biggest selling points for large search firms – the depth of their recruitment manpower and the diversity of their services – are the very elements that are causing many clients to turn to boutique recruiters. Craig Lapham, CEO of the Lapham Group, a New York-based recruitment firm that specializes in insurance and diversified financial services, even goes as far as saying that many companies are seeking an alternative to the “challenges and dysfunction” that plague the bigger talent providers. This article sets it all out and was one of our top stories of the year.


Why Search Firms Must Adjust and Adapt to Changing Times
The executive search industry, and the business world it serves, continues to undergo a transformation that no one would have predicted even a decade ago. According to one industry leader, recruitment firms that respond quickly to those changes, make adjustments and adapt will not only survive the years ahead but thrive. Some of those responses will be tangible, said Jorg Stegemann, CEO of Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting, such as search firms becoming more transparent. This article was clicked on more times than any other we had published within six months of its release.


Expanding Platforms Set New Direction, Rich Milestones, for Executive Recruiters
The top 50 executive search firms doing business across the Americas reached a new milestone in our annual rankings published this past spring, collectively generating $3.1 billion in revenue. For the group, top line growth jumped 9.7 percent – a slight slowdown from previous years, but a clear continuation of an incredible run for an industry that just a decade ago was left reeling from the Great Recession. Our rankings issue of ESR is always a favorite and this year was no different.


Why Amazon Remains Prime Hunting Ground for Headhunters
Egon Zehnder assisted BAMTech, the $3.5 billion live digital streaming service, in naming Michael Paull as its new chief executive officer. Mr. Paull, a 20-year media and content business expert, was recruited from Amazon, where he served as VP of digital video since 2012. Nothing plays on the mind – and organizational chart – of every CEO and his talent acquisition leader more than talent raiding. This article, above so many others we published on the topic, revealed why modern day poaching can create a logistical nightmare for companies . . . and how they can stem talent loss.


A CHRO View on Building Great Teams, From Inside and Out
Managing a large workforce at any company is no easy task. But when that workforce is 32,000 strong, it requires the steady hand of a top human resource leader who will keep everyone motivated, engaged, intact and forward thinking. In this case, that task takes place across 160 countries encompassing every cultural nuance imaginable. This is the domain of Michael D’Ambrose, chief human resources officer (CHRO) for Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), the $67 billion agricultural processing giant based in Chicago.


12 Reasons Why Companies Hire Executive Search Firms
Employers typically use an executive search firm when a top job opening is important enough, senior enough and when discretion is at a premium. These three factors warrant the investment of bringing in a search firm. And an investment it is. Retaining a recruiting firm will likely cost a minimum of $75,000, but that figure can rise dramatically with the seniority and pay level of the position. Once you start recruiting executives for your C-suite, in fact, the cost can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. These 12 industry leaders made the case for why search firms remain the best alternative to take when searching for top performing talent.


Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms
Academic institutions continue to pump big fees into the coffers of executive search firms nationwide. Many academic recruiting specialists say business, in fact, has never been better. Even smaller recruiting outfits have multiple assignments running concurrently, all at the senior levels, and if there’s any slowdown coming it is to be found at the talent identification stage. With so much activity, it seems, talent demand is far outstripping the supply. This article featured ‘Hunt Scanlon’s Top 50 Non-Profit & Higher Education Search Firms’ ranking, a compendium organizations around the country turned to in 2017 to find just the right search firm to help them out.


Chief Talent Officer Delivers Pivotal Advice to the C-Suite
CEOs are now putting people at the center of their growth strategies like never before. To manage that resource for optimal competitive advantage they are turning more and more to their chief talent officer for guidance. Joanne (Jo) Rencher is one of them – a visionary, results-driven human capital leader who is currently chief business and talent officer for Girl Scouts of the USA. This interview was conducted on a snowy day in New England in February this year and it was hands down one of our finest hours.


Life Sciences and Healthcare Search Firms Tap Outside Talent
As the life sciences sector continues to expand and reshape itself, organizations at the vanguard in the field are looking to renew and refresh their leadership ranks. In demand: multi-skilled executives who can effect change on many levels. Stepping up to the task are search consultants, recruiting well-rounded individuals who understand science as well as the dynamics of a transitioning industry. This article showcased a number of search firms specializing in the field and featured a new ranking of the best sector recruiters we could find.


Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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