Executive Search Review

Past Articles From The Archives

Gary Burnison

Why Korn Ferry’s CEO Thinks We All Need to Adapt to Change

In a Harvard Business Review article, Korn Ferry’s chief executive Gary D. Burnison once compared a search firm to a hospital emergency room, writing that people only go to the ER – and an executive recruitment firm – in an emergency. “In medicine, big businesses are built around wellness and prevention,” he wrote. “I wanted

The Financial 50: Shifting Focus to Strategic Hiring and Specialization

Recruiting in the financial services sector is once again at a crossroads. As financial institutions emerged from the great meltdown eight years ago, heady times existed for search firms focused on any number of specialized areas within the field. But in the last year to 18 months signs have been emerging of slowing activity, and

Scrambling for Cybersecurity Leaders is Big Business for Recruiters

In the mid-1990s, when Joyce Brocaglia took on her first assignment to help build an information security operation for Citibank, it was a very different world. No one knew how much the Internet would grow and ultimately transform society. Technology was more primitive. Data was less accessible. And the massive connectivity we now taken for

Cybersecurity Recruiting Pioneer Looks Back, and Ahead

Alta Associates has risen over the past 30 years to become the most prominent boutique search firm specializing in the cybersecurity function. Founding CEO Joyce Brocaglia is a highly sought-after strategic advisor to her clients in the areas of information security, risk management and privacy. In the following interview, she discusses the evolution of the

Risk Management Starts with Pinpointing Vulnerabilities

Benchmark Executive Search, based in Reston, VA, is making its mark as a sought-after recruiter for both federal market and commercial companies in search of cyber talent. Jeremy King, the firm’s founder, has worked extensively with VC/PE backed firms that serve the government, building strong ties with leaders in intelligence, defense, and national security. Benchmark’s

How JBK Associates is Setting a New Path for Boutique Firms

Increasingly, specialist boutiques are coming into the viewfinder of major companies who are looking at options outside of the large, generalist players to recruit top talent. No firm epitomizes this trend more than Englewood Cliffs, NJ-based JBK Associates, which serves industry disciplines including healthcare, consumer/ retail & luxury, financial services, not-for-profit and life sciences. In

Hiring Times Continue to Rise Globally as Recruitment Screening Methods Multiply

Hiring times in the U.S., Canada, and in many major European markets and Australia are mushrooming, according to several new research reports. Adding time to the hiring clock is putting hiring plans in disarray, setting talent acquisition professionals off to conduct more of their own search work in an effort to reduce hiring cycle times.

Boutique-Firms Lead Recruiting Surge

Boutique Firms Lead Recruiting Industry Surge

Anyone taking the pulse of the headhunting industry today should look no further than the boutique bracket firms that make up this year’s “Hunt Scanlon Top 50 U.S./Americas Search Firm” rankings. A surge in growth among these players seems to support the notion that the senior talent industry’s sweet spot can be found in the middle

Korn Ferry Enters Billion Dollar Club as “Big Five” Report Strong Growth

Collectively, the five largest global talent leadership providers enjoyed a healthy nine percent revenue rise in 2014, powered by double digit growth rates at Spencer Stuart and Russell Reynolds Associates. Together, the Big Five brought in $3.384 billion in global consulting fees for the year. But bragging rights clearly belong to the industry’s leader, Korn

NY Power 60

The New York Power 60: Recruiting Epicenter Diversifies and Expands

No matter how much business activity is taking place in London, Hong Kong, or Dubai, New York City rules as the world center of commerce and deal making. From Wall Street and its stock exchanges to the bustling world of retail, fashion and high tech, millions of people and billions of dollars come in and

Setting A New Course

Increasingly, top consultants at large search firms are breaking ranks and setting out to build and develop new brands in unique ways by embracing cutting-edge strategies to best serve a demanding client base. Once partners with Top Five search firm, Heidrick & Struggles, Brad Stadler and Joe Riggione, who co-founded True in 2012, are leading a

Investment Capital to Flow as Recruiters Expand Business

When private investor Austin Marxe recently ponied up a $5 million lifeline to help CTPartners stave off its short term cash flow needs, he likely wasn’t looking for a long term place to park his money. In the span of less than a month, Mr. Marxe and his colleagues at AWM Investment Co. doubled their

Chartwell Partners: Building An Effective Brand

With its 2014 merger with Chicago-based Cavoure Partners, itself a high-end and established recruiter, Chartwell Partners seems poised to push its agenda forward within an executive search industry that is both expanding rapidly and changing almost exponentially. In the following interview, firm co-founder, R. Stuart Bush, discusses the many issues and challenges facing the industry

Tim McHugh

What Makes Search Firms A Good Investment

Timothy McHugh is a partner and global services analyst for Chicago-based William Blair & Co., where he specializes in the consulting, HR technology, information services, and staffing sectors. He joined Blair in 2002 and was involved in bringing CTPartners public in December 2010. Previously, Mr. McHugh was a senior research analyst at the Federal Reserve

Inside the Legendary Career of Gerry Roche

He is the ultimate Kingmaker. Gerry Roche, clearly one of the most recognizable names in the long history of executive search, has placed hundreds of top CEOs, board members and other senior executives over his long career. He has also changed business history. His 1983 recruitment of John Sculley from PepsiCo to the CEO post

Jack On Gerry: “It’s All About The Chemistry”

As CEO of GE from 1981 to 2001, Jack Welch set new standards on how CEOs lead and manage, and along the way he revolutionized the company. One of his greatest achievements was identifying and developing great talent, and many who worked for GE during his tenure blossomed professionally. One result was that GE became

As Life Sciences Expands – Bench International Sits at the Epicenter

According to the Coalition of Bioscience Institutes’ Life Sciences Workforce Trends Report 2014, national employment in the U.S. life sciences industry totaled 1.62 million last year spanning over 73,000 companies. Life sciences, which comprises the fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms as well as related considerations like bioethics, is flourishing

Women In Search: The New Corporate Gatekeepers

The last 25 years have brought significant advancement for women in the talent management profession. The unprecedented numbers of those coming into the field, taking on leadership roles, starting their own firms, and winning prestigious assignments has transformed the recruiting business. It is at such a point, in fact, that many female recruiters feel confident

As Lester Korn Retires, Succession Plan Set In Motion

Twenty-three years ago when the article below first appeared in Executive Search Review (May 1991), the executive recruiting business was truly a cottage industry. Korn Ferry’s global revenues topped just $100 million back then; in 2014 the firm will likely exceed $1billion in generated fees. Then, like now, Korn Ferry was ranked No. 1 in the talent

The Importance Of Recruiting The Right CFO

The challenge of identifying the most qualified CFO has traditionally fallen to executive search consultants who scour global talent markets for the professional with the best fit. Sitting at the apex of this group is recruiting firm Crist|Kolder Associates. Based in Hinsdale, Illinois, Crist|Kolder has recruited some of the most influential CFOs for organizations including:

Recruiting Business Up Nine Percent

For the third year in a row the top recruiting firms in the U.S./Americas region posted a nine percent growth rate, accounting for the bulk of the worldwide talent acquisition market. So flush is business in the U.S., this year’s Hunt Scanlon Media ranking was expanded from 25 to 40 search firms. “We benefited heavily from

Jason Hanold

The Emergence of In-House Recruiting

With retained executive search fees still holding at a steady one-third of estimated first year compensation and with major companies trimming large sums from their recruitment budgets, there is a growing trend by scores of public and private companies in the U.S. to turn inward and hand the recruitment reins over to in-house search professionals

Korn Ferry Nears $1 Billion In Revenue; Zehnder Sees Part European ‘Crisis’

With a stunning year of growth under its belt, Korn Ferry is now poised to be the first executive search firm to break the billion dollar mark. It has been an impressive transformation-in-the-making at the world’s largest publicly-traded talent provider in recent years – whose core business now encompasses C-suite and middle management recruiting, leadership

Chicagoland Top 40: Recruiting Market Is Booming

Next to New York and London, Chicago and its surrounding environs – commonly referred to as “Chicagoland” – has thrived for decades as one of the most important global recruiting hubs in the talent acquisition field. But an unusual and fairly recent confluence of factors is making it a true standout in the ever-expanding race

Heidrick Signals Shift In Strategy With Outside Pick As CEO

Heidrick & Struggles’ unlikely choice of ex-Goldman Sachs veteran Tracy R. Wolstencroft as its next president and CEO could signal the firm’s intention to makeover – but not reverse – its strategy as a public company. Mr. Wolstencroft is a distinct outsider to the headhunting industry, having cut his teeth in the professional services environment

Sustainability Sector Sees Growing Need For Talent

As the world moves toward a cleaner and greener existence, sustainability companies that serve this business discipline are increasingly focused on bringing on new generations of senior talent to lead them through the next phase of their continued growth. Sustainability encompasses clean and green technology, renewable energy and other environmental-based initiatives. Today, this multi-billion dollar

Nuances not for profit

The Nuances Of Not-for-Profit Search

The not-for-profit industry is like no other: it is a special sector that promotes a wide range of institutions for the betterment of society. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million not-for-profit organizations are registered in the U.S. This number includes public charities, private foundations, and other types of

The Importance Of Being A Recruiting Specialist

Being a true market master in executive search is critical to the success of any firm whose consultants must understand the complicated landscape in which they work. Top professionals must possess a full working knowledge of specific industries or functional disciplines which allow them to work as effectively as possible with their corporate counterparts to

African American Named To Run 10th Largest Recruiter

At Diversified Search, the tenth largest U.S. recruiter has tapped long time industry veteran, Dale E. Jones, to take the helm of the Philadelphia-based search outfit. As president, Mr. Jones becomes the first African American put into position to lead a major American search firm. Chairman and CEO Judith M. von Seldeneck, who founded Diversified

Nosal Sentencing Delayed

Six months ago, David Nosal, chairman & CEO of San Francisco-based Nosal Partners, was convicted of all charges in a six-count indictment by a federal jury that found that Mr. Nosal had conspired to gain unauthorized access to the computer system of his former employer, Korn/Ferry International, and to illegally obtaining its trade secrets in

The Search For A New Chief At Heidrick & Struggles Roll On

Heidrick & Struggles, the world’s fourth largest recruiter and No. 3 in the U.S./Americas as ranked by Hunt Scanlon Media, continues its search for a new leader amid continued defections of some of the firm’s top recruiters. Heidrick’s most important in-house appointment in years is being led by Heidrick veterans Jeff Sanders and Bonnie Gwin, who

Executive Search Industry Grows In U.S.

Executive search trend data compiled by Hunt Scanlon Media shows an industry growing domestically, declining globally and struggling with changing dynamics within its core recruitment service offerings. The Executive Search Review 2013 rankings study released by HSZ Media reports that the top 25 U.S. and Americas search firms grew by nine percent last year; the top

Trends For women In Business

Recruiting Pioneer Discusses Trends For Women In business

Judith M. von Seldeneck is founder, chairman and CEO of Diversified Search, headquartered in Philadelphia. Ms. von Seldeneck has been a pioneer in the search industry for 35 years and a leader in placing qualified women and diversity candidates. She has received numerous industry awards and has been active on a number of corporate boards

Global Search Firm Bets On China As Hiring In Europe Slows

Damien I. O’Brien is focused like a laser beam on China. As chief executive of Egon Zehnder, Mr. O’Brien is now guiding a firm that has dominated Europe for decades through the intricacies of recruiting talent in the world’s largest economy. “Our big focus is China,” he said. Zehnder today has just over five percent

Page 2 of 2

Why Korn Ferry’s CEO Thinks We All Need to Adapt to Change

Gary Burnison

In a Harvard Business Review article, Korn Ferry’s chief executive Gary D. Burnison once compared a search firm to a hospital emergency room, writing that people only go to the ER – and an executive recruitment firm – in an emergency. “In medicine, big businesses are built around wellness and prevention,” he wrote. “I wanted

The Financial 50: Shifting Focus to Strategic Hiring and Specialization

Recruiting in the financial services sector is once again at a crossroads. As financial institutions emerged from the great meltdown eight years ago, heady times existed for search firms focused on any number of specialized areas within the field. But in the last year to 18 months signs have been emerging of slowing activity, and

Scrambling for Cybersecurity Leaders is Big Business for Recruiters

In the mid-1990s, when Joyce Brocaglia took on her first assignment to help build an information security operation for Citibank, it was a very different world. No one knew how much the Internet would grow and ultimately transform society. Technology was more primitive. Data was less accessible. And the massive connectivity we now taken for

Cybersecurity Recruiting Pioneer Looks Back, and Ahead

Alta Associates has risen over the past 30 years to become the most prominent boutique search firm specializing in the cybersecurity function. Founding CEO Joyce Brocaglia is a highly sought-after strategic advisor to her clients in the areas of information security, risk management and privacy. In the following interview, she discusses the evolution of the

Risk Management Starts with Pinpointing Vulnerabilities

Benchmark Executive Search, based in Reston, VA, is making its mark as a sought-after recruiter for both federal market and commercial companies in search of cyber talent. Jeremy King, the firm’s founder, has worked extensively with VC/PE backed firms that serve the government, building strong ties with leaders in intelligence, defense, and national security. Benchmark’s

How JBK Associates is Setting a New Path for Boutique Firms

Increasingly, specialist boutiques are coming into the viewfinder of major companies who are looking at options outside of the large, generalist players to recruit top talent. No firm epitomizes this trend more than Englewood Cliffs, NJ-based JBK Associates, which serves industry disciplines including healthcare, consumer/ retail & luxury, financial services, not-for-profit and life sciences. In

Hiring Times Continue to Rise Globally as Recruitment Screening Methods Multiply

Hiring times in the U.S., Canada, and in many major European markets and Australia are mushrooming, according to several new research reports. Adding time to the hiring clock is putting hiring plans in disarray, setting talent acquisition professionals off to conduct more of their own search work in an effort to reduce hiring cycle times.

Boutique-Firms Lead Recruiting Surge

Boutique Firms Lead Recruiting Industry Surge

Anyone taking the pulse of the headhunting industry today should look no further than the boutique bracket firms that make up this year’s “Hunt Scanlon Top 50 U.S./Americas Search Firm” rankings. A surge in growth among these players seems to support the notion that the senior talent industry’s sweet spot can be found in the middle

Korn Ferry Enters Billion Dollar Club as “Big Five” Report Strong Growth

Collectively, the five largest global talent leadership providers enjoyed a healthy nine percent revenue rise in 2014, powered by double digit growth rates at Spencer Stuart and Russell Reynolds Associates. Together, the Big Five brought in $3.384 billion in global consulting fees for the year. But bragging rights clearly belong to the industry’s leader, Korn

NY Power 60

The New York Power 60: Recruiting Epicenter Diversifies and Expands

No matter how much business activity is taking place in London, Hong Kong, or Dubai, New York City rules as the world center of commerce and deal making. From Wall Street and its stock exchanges to the bustling world of retail, fashion and high tech, millions of people and billions of dollars come in and

Setting A New Course

Increasingly, top consultants at large search firms are breaking ranks and setting out to build and develop new brands in unique ways by embracing cutting-edge strategies to best serve a demanding client base. Once partners with Top Five search firm, Heidrick & Struggles, Brad Stadler and Joe Riggione, who co-founded True in 2012, are leading a

Investment Capital to Flow as Recruiters Expand Business

When private investor Austin Marxe recently ponied up a $5 million lifeline to help CTPartners stave off its short term cash flow needs, he likely wasn’t looking for a long term place to park his money. In the span of less than a month, Mr. Marxe and his colleagues at AWM Investment Co. doubled their

Chartwell Partners: Building An Effective Brand

With its 2014 merger with Chicago-based Cavoure Partners, itself a high-end and established recruiter, Chartwell Partners seems poised to push its agenda forward within an executive search industry that is both expanding rapidly and changing almost exponentially. In the following interview, firm co-founder, R. Stuart Bush, discusses the many issues and challenges facing the industry

Tim McHugh

What Makes Search Firms A Good Investment

Timothy McHugh is a partner and global services analyst for Chicago-based William Blair & Co., where he specializes in the consulting, HR technology, information services, and staffing sectors. He joined Blair in 2002 and was involved in bringing CTPartners public in December 2010. Previously, Mr. McHugh was a senior research analyst at the Federal Reserve

Inside the Legendary Career of Gerry Roche

He is the ultimate Kingmaker. Gerry Roche, clearly one of the most recognizable names in the long history of executive search, has placed hundreds of top CEOs, board members and other senior executives over his long career. He has also changed business history. His 1983 recruitment of John Sculley from PepsiCo to the CEO post

Jack On Gerry: “It’s All About The Chemistry”

As CEO of GE from 1981 to 2001, Jack Welch set new standards on how CEOs lead and manage, and along the way he revolutionized the company. One of his greatest achievements was identifying and developing great talent, and many who worked for GE during his tenure blossomed professionally. One result was that GE became

As Life Sciences Expands – Bench International Sits at the Epicenter

According to the Coalition of Bioscience Institutes’ Life Sciences Workforce Trends Report 2014, national employment in the U.S. life sciences industry totaled 1.62 million last year spanning over 73,000 companies. Life sciences, which comprises the fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms as well as related considerations like bioethics, is flourishing

Women In Search: The New Corporate Gatekeepers

The last 25 years have brought significant advancement for women in the talent management profession. The unprecedented numbers of those coming into the field, taking on leadership roles, starting their own firms, and winning prestigious assignments has transformed the recruiting business. It is at such a point, in fact, that many female recruiters feel confident

As Lester Korn Retires, Succession Plan Set In Motion

Twenty-three years ago when the article below first appeared in Executive Search Review (May 1991), the executive recruiting business was truly a cottage industry. Korn Ferry’s global revenues topped just $100 million back then; in 2014 the firm will likely exceed $1billion in generated fees. Then, like now, Korn Ferry was ranked No. 1 in the talent

The Importance Of Recruiting The Right CFO

The challenge of identifying the most qualified CFO has traditionally fallen to executive search consultants who scour global talent markets for the professional with the best fit. Sitting at the apex of this group is recruiting firm Crist|Kolder Associates. Based in Hinsdale, Illinois, Crist|Kolder has recruited some of the most influential CFOs for organizations including:

Recruiting Business Up Nine Percent

For the third year in a row the top recruiting firms in the U.S./Americas region posted a nine percent growth rate, accounting for the bulk of the worldwide talent acquisition market. So flush is business in the U.S., this year’s Hunt Scanlon Media ranking was expanded from 25 to 40 search firms. “We benefited heavily from

Jason Hanold

The Emergence of In-House Recruiting

With retained executive search fees still holding at a steady one-third of estimated first year compensation and with major companies trimming large sums from their recruitment budgets, there is a growing trend by scores of public and private companies in the U.S. to turn inward and hand the recruitment reins over to in-house search professionals

Korn Ferry Nears $1 Billion In Revenue; Zehnder Sees Part European ‘Crisis’

With a stunning year of growth under its belt, Korn Ferry is now poised to be the first executive search firm to break the billion dollar mark. It has been an impressive transformation-in-the-making at the world’s largest publicly-traded talent provider in recent years – whose core business now encompasses C-suite and middle management recruiting, leadership

Chicagoland Top 40: Recruiting Market Is Booming

Next to New York and London, Chicago and its surrounding environs – commonly referred to as “Chicagoland” – has thrived for decades as one of the most important global recruiting hubs in the talent acquisition field. But an unusual and fairly recent confluence of factors is making it a true standout in the ever-expanding race

Heidrick Signals Shift In Strategy With Outside Pick As CEO

Heidrick & Struggles’ unlikely choice of ex-Goldman Sachs veteran Tracy R. Wolstencroft as its next president and CEO could signal the firm’s intention to makeover – but not reverse – its strategy as a public company. Mr. Wolstencroft is a distinct outsider to the headhunting industry, having cut his teeth in the professional services environment

Sustainability Sector Sees Growing Need For Talent

As the world moves toward a cleaner and greener existence, sustainability companies that serve this business discipline are increasingly focused on bringing on new generations of senior talent to lead them through the next phase of their continued growth. Sustainability encompasses clean and green technology, renewable energy and other environmental-based initiatives. Today, this multi-billion dollar

Nuances not for profit

The Nuances Of Not-for-Profit Search

The not-for-profit industry is like no other: it is a special sector that promotes a wide range of institutions for the betterment of society. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million not-for-profit organizations are registered in the U.S. This number includes public charities, private foundations, and other types of

The Importance Of Being A Recruiting Specialist

Being a true market master in executive search is critical to the success of any firm whose consultants must understand the complicated landscape in which they work. Top professionals must possess a full working knowledge of specific industries or functional disciplines which allow them to work as effectively as possible with their corporate counterparts to

African American Named To Run 10th Largest Recruiter

At Diversified Search, the tenth largest U.S. recruiter has tapped long time industry veteran, Dale E. Jones, to take the helm of the Philadelphia-based search outfit. As president, Mr. Jones becomes the first African American put into position to lead a major American search firm. Chairman and CEO Judith M. von Seldeneck, who founded Diversified

Nosal Sentencing Delayed

Six months ago, David Nosal, chairman & CEO of San Francisco-based Nosal Partners, was convicted of all charges in a six-count indictment by a federal jury that found that Mr. Nosal had conspired to gain unauthorized access to the computer system of his former employer, Korn/Ferry International, and to illegally obtaining its trade secrets in

The Search For A New Chief At Heidrick & Struggles Roll On

Heidrick & Struggles, the world’s fourth largest recruiter and No. 3 in the U.S./Americas as ranked by Hunt Scanlon Media, continues its search for a new leader amid continued defections of some of the firm’s top recruiters. Heidrick’s most important in-house appointment in years is being led by Heidrick veterans Jeff Sanders and Bonnie Gwin, who

Executive Search Industry Grows In U.S.

Executive search trend data compiled by Hunt Scanlon Media shows an industry growing domestically, declining globally and struggling with changing dynamics within its core recruitment service offerings. The Executive Search Review 2013 rankings study released by HSZ Media reports that the top 25 U.S. and Americas search firms grew by nine percent last year; the top

Trends For women In Business

Recruiting Pioneer Discusses Trends For Women In business

Judith M. von Seldeneck is founder, chairman and CEO of Diversified Search, headquartered in Philadelphia. Ms. von Seldeneck has been a pioneer in the search industry for 35 years and a leader in placing qualified women and diversity candidates. She has received numerous industry awards and has been active on a number of corporate boards

Global Search Firm Bets On China As Hiring In Europe Slows

Damien I. O’Brien is focused like a laser beam on China. As chief executive of Egon Zehnder, Mr. O’Brien is now guiding a firm that has dominated Europe for decades through the intricacies of recruiting talent in the world’s largest economy. “Our big focus is China,” he said. Zehnder today has just over five percent

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