Global ‘Big Five’ Recruiters Surpass $3 Billion In Revenues

May 13, 2015 – May 1, 2014 (Greenwich, Connecticut) — Hunt Scanlon Media today released its annual rankings of global executive search firms. Overall, according to Hunt Scanlon, the recruiting industry’s ‘Big Five’ grew seven percent for the year, topping out at $3 billion in revenue. Included in this year’s rankings: Korn Ferry, Egon Zehnder, Spencer Stuart, Heidrick & Struggles and Russell Reynolds Associates. Two firms stood out on the Hunt Scanlon rankings this year – each for different reasons. Korn Ferry, which retained its rank as the world’s largest recruiting and leadership solutions provider, grew by 20 percent for the year – blowing away its rivals. Korn Ferry is now poised to be the first executive search firm to break the billion dollar mark, likely to occur in next year’s rankings.

“It has been an impressive trans­formation-in-the-making at the world’s larg­est publicly-traded talent provider in recent years,” said Scott A. Scanlon, the report’s executive editor. “Their core business now encompass­es C-suite and middle management recruit­ing, leadership strategy, succession planning, talent assessment, leadership and employ­ee development, onboarding, recruitment process outsourcing and inclusion consult­ing. Korn Ferry is fast becoming a single source for an entire spectrum of staffing-related services at the senior levels,” he added. “Once derided for offering an unwieldy hodge-podge of talent offerings, Korn Ferry has effectively built a streamlined talent con­veyor belt integrating an elixir of human re­source solutions for thousands of corporate customers around the globe.” In just a decade, Korn Ferry has tripled its size – from $323 million to $936 million, according to Hunt Scanlon Media.

At the other end of the global growth spectrum last year was Egon Zehnder. It was the only ‘Big Five’ search firm to post negative results (down two percent, to $634 million). Dragged down by anemic hiring across Europe, Zehnder’s largest market, the firm looked to emerging markets for growth. “But business there stalled,” said Mr. Scanlon, “leaving some to wonder if Zehnder had overreached in places not yet mature enough to sustain such a bet.” But like its rivals, Zehnder benefited from a surge in the U.S. economy. This improved their overall results.

About Hunt Scanlon Media

Hunt-Scanlon Media has been defining and informing the senior talent management sector for over 25 years. Our global staffing intelligence data comes in many forms: daily newswires, annual leadership and state of the industry reports, market intelligence sector briefings, and in our flagship newsletter Executive Search Review. Our exclusive news briefings, interviews, industry trends reports and rankings, forecasts and expert commentary offer unique insight and market intelligence as we track global talent management developments. Since our inception, talent management professionals worldwide have turned to Hunt Scanlon Media — making us the most widely referenced, single source for information in the human capital sector.

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