Executive Search Firms Continue to Adapt to Economic Conditions

The world is changing—and the demands of companies everywhere are changing with it. To keep up, executive recruiters must stay connected and strengthen their relationships, says Diane McIntyre, of Teneo. Join us this week for an interactive webinar that focuses on how search firms are meeting the challenges of these uncertain days, with a panel that will include Ms. McIntyre and leaders from Harlschon, Alexander Hughes, and Wilton & Bain, supported by Hunt Scanlon Media and Ezekia.

February 17, 2023 – Beyond the health crisis it created, COVID-19 in many ways changed the world. In business and our work lives, the pandemic sparked and accelerated shifts that had already been stirring, driving them to the forefront, from the rise of technology and remote work to a greater emphasis on work-life balance.

Concern about supply chains, meanwhile, is driving a move away from dependence on China for manufacturing and a spreading deglobalization. World events, like the war in Ukraine, have only created more uncertainty, leaving leaders at companies urgently trying to understand the ramifications and how, armed with ever-growing sheaves of data, they can best respond. Executive search firms have been key partners in helping companies address the shift in how they hire talent, both in identifying and acting as trusted talent partners.

In this market, talent is moving around more fluidly, and companies are undergoing constant transformations. The firms that will be successful will stay connected and deepen their relationships, so they are top of mind to their clients, according to Diane McIntyre, CEO and the head of people advisory for Teneo. “This ensures when they are needed, due to a transformation, acquisition, or loss of talent they are the first call,” she said. “Its important to continue to build relationships and strength in growth areas, or areas that are resilient to macroeconomic conditions. Quality of relationships and ease of user experience will differentiate.”

Executive search firms that have not expanded to have boots on the ground in other countries will find themselves at a loss, according to Ms. McIntyre. “The world is shrinking while access to talent is expanding,” she said. “Knowing regional markets, understanding cultural nuances, and being able to evaluate candidates who bring the right international or global experience are not easy. Those who do not invest in learning the markets they place in and source from will not serve their clients well. And clients are not as hesitant as they used to be about transitioning from one search firm to another during a search to make sure the search is done right.”

Looking ahead, Ms. McIntyre believes companies will be more focused on acquiring talent that adds to the culture, brings different experiences and backgrounds to the executive team, creates a more inclusive environment, and pushes the company to think differently. “There will be a stronger push to go beyond just acquiring talent,” she said. “Companies will want to grow and develop leaders from the moment they start through leadership assessments, development programs, and coaching. Leadership development will shift from personality assessments to capability assessments that are focused on growing specific skills that help the person become a better leader and improve performance.


These topics and more will be explored further this Tuesday in an interactive webinar with an expert panel led by Anthony Harling, founding partner of Harlschon; Julien Rozet, group CEO of Alexander Hughes; Ms. McIntyre; David Heron, group CEO for Wilton & Bain; and supported by Hunt Scanlon Media and Ezekia. We invite you to join this talented lineup as they explore how search firms are adapting to these ever changing economic conditions.

Free registration … Click here to sign up!


Anthony Harling is founding partner of Harlschon. He has helped numerous executives in different countries and from different industries to develop their own clear, concise, and compelling personal narrative. This has become the foundation of his approach to career transition. Alongside his coaching work with executives, Mr. Harling continues to operate as managing partner of executive search firm Archer Mann, which he co-founded with Jim Burley over 10 years ago. He began his executive search career with Heidrick & Struggles International in London before moving to the Frankfurt office and later returning to the U.K. His early search work was predominantly in the technology and professional services sectors, recently expanded to include industrial and consumer sector experience. 

Julien Rozet is group CEO of Alexander Hughes. He began his career in the U.S. as part of the merger and acquisitions team of BNP Paribas in New York. There, he mainly worked on transatlantic operations. Mr. Rozet then joined the auditing and evaluation team of Arthur Andersen in Paris, working in various sectors, including industrial manufacturing. In 2005, he joined Alexander Hughes as senior consultant based in France. Mr. Rozet then took on additional responsibilities in the international development of the Alexander Hughes Group. In 2009, he became chairman of the management board of the group. He leads search assignments mainly in the industry, utilities and financial services sectors. 

Diane McIntyre is CEO and the head of people advisory for Teneo with responsibility for scaling the talent business in the U.S. She provides CEOs and leadership in areas including: board and executive recruiting, strategic alignment, assessment, leadership development, C-suite succession, board effectiveness, and board succession planning. Ms. McIntyre serves clients from F100 giants to PE growth market pioneers.


David Heron is group CEO for Wilton & Bain. He joined the firm in 2011, as founding partner of its interim management practice. He was named group CEO following the completion of an MBO backed by Beechbrook Capital in 2017. Prior to this, Mr. Heron was head of the TMT practice for a U.K. interim provider, and previously he established and then ran the interim management business for Badenoch & Clark. Mr. Heron is passionate about inclusivity, teamwork, and collaboration. In addition to his board responsibilities, he takes a lead client partner role in several of our most important relationships. 

Attendance is free. To learn more and register to attend, click here

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

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