December 23, 2020 – Caldwell has signed an agreement to acquire IQTalent Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“For 50 years, Caldwell has been connecting clients with transformational talent. With this merger, we are setting our sights on transforming the world of talent,” said John Wallace, chief executive officer. “IQTalent Partners’ unique service model and innovative use of technology, paired with Caldwell’s expertise, network and resources will allow us to serve our clients in a more integrated fashion and allow us to have a greater impact on their long-term success, which remains our primary mandate.”
Founded in 2009, IQTalent Partners provides talent acquisition solutions to 300 corporations from Fortune 500s to startups across a wide range of industries and functions throughout North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America. The firm recently launched IQTalent Xchange, a market concept using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) combined with human expertise to create a passive candidate marketplace. The proprietary platform includes more than 300 million global professionals, offering its customers unprecedented access to the most qualified candidates.
“At IQTalent Partners our mission is to find a better way for companies and candidates to find a match,” said CEO David Windley. “The merger with Caldwell strengthens our offerings to our clients at the executive search level and expands our access to a wider range of industry expertise, giving our clients one trusted go-to partner for their professional level recruiting needs, all the way through to the C-suite and boardroom.”
Make no mistake, these have been sobering days for executive recruiting firms around the globe. Most of them, regardless of size, location, or specialization were caught flat-footed by one of the most sweeping economic crises to ever hit the sector. As a result, the nation’s top search consultants have been resetting expectations throughout 2020 – and, in the process, setting a new course as 2021 looms.
Professional services firms – and executive recruiting outfits in particular – have a long history of finding their way through tough times. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Many search firms have used this time to dust off their own continuity and succession plans, or to reconsider that merger or acquisition which was something of a nuisance when times were flush. Others have taken a hard look at their capitalization strategies. This crisis, like no other, has driven many of the most well-known and respected brands in the recruiting business to reassess everything about their businesses, top to bottom.
Behind the scenes, this has been an active year for executive recruitment firms. To meet their advisory needs, Hunt Scanlon Media earlier this year launched a new set of solutions to assist search firms and talent solutions providers seeking mergers, acquisitions, or funding connections. Founders Scott A. Scanlon and Christopher W. Hunt sit down to discuss the new venture and the state of the industry.
“IQTalent Partners has seen explosive growth in the last six years, with a CAGR of 45 percent per year,” Mr. Windley said. “Coupled with the power, network and resources of Caldwell, we expect to see accelerated growth. Operating as two distinct brands with two different service offerings and pricing models, the two firms will take a collaborative approach to provide a unified and seamless client experience.” The firm ranked No. 30 on the most recent Hunt Scanlon Media roster of the 50 largest search firms, reporting revenue of $15.5 million, a 25 percent rise over the previous year. At the time the firm reported 56 consultants in two offices.
“Caldwell has a history of forward-thinking strategy – in 2009 when many firms in the recruitment industry contracted, we leveraged our financial strength to establish new sector practices and a significant presence in the U.S. market, more than doubling our revenue-producing potential and sparking a decade of continuous growth. We are confident that this is an investment in innovative models and technologies, and that combining our resources, network and team with the those of IQTalent Partners will drive a new and even more impressive era of growth.”
“Recruiting firms have been generally frustrated on how to grow and scale their executive search platforms,” said Scott A. Scanlon, CEO of Hunt Scanlon, based in Greenwich, Conn. The pandemic has accelerated deals across the sector, he added, with many more in the queue for 2021. “This transaction allows Caldwell to diversify its base and scale in new directions,” he said. “Search firms that can find ways to augment their primary business of connecting talent to top jobs faster and more efficiently via technology will be tomorrow’s new leaders in the recruiting space. This is a smart deal.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media