Heidrick & Struggles Acquires Business Talent Group

Acquisitions continue to make news in the recruiting industry, with a number of notable purchases in recent months. This one takes advantage of big shifts already underway in the talent marketplace and underscores the importance of workforce agility at the most senior levels. It also brings one of the top executive search firms more in line with hiring trends expected in the post-pandemic era. Let’s go inside the latest deal.

April 7, 2021 – Executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping services provider Heidrick & Struggles has closed the acquisition of Business Talent Group (BTG), a marketplace for high-end independent talent on demand. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The addition of BTG complements Heidrick & Struggles’ strategic growth initiative to expand its suite of executive talent solutions to address new and ongoing client demands and builds on a two-year exclusive collaboration with BTG that began in 2019. BTG will continue to be led by co-founders and co-CEOs, Jody Greenstone Miller and Amelia Tyagi, and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Heidrick.

“Heidrick & Struggles was a forerunner of the executive search industry when the firm was founded more than 65 years ago,” said CEO Krishnan Rajagopalan. “The seismic changes over the past year have accelerated the future of work and underscored the importance of agile leaders and workforces. We are excited to be the first global leadership advisory firm to enter the on-demand, independent talent space and partner with BTG, a leader and pioneer of the high-end independent talent marketplace.”

“The high-end independent talent market continues to grow, and that growth will only increase as demand for speed, agility and flexibility in closing critical leadership gaps rises,” Mr. Rajagopalan said. “Our two-year collaboration with BTG served as a highly successful proof of concept for the on-demand, independent model at the executive level. By combining our premier global executive search capabilities with BTG’s unmatched on-demand marketplace for independent professionals, we are uniquely positioned to fulfill all of our clients’ talent needs, whether it is an immediate project-based role or a permanent placement.”

Related: Allen Austin Launches Interim Leadership Practice

BTG will continue to provide clients seamless on-demand access to top independent talent, including professionals with deep industry and functional expertise for interim leadership roles and critical, project-based initiatives, such as performing a market assessment, developing an ecommerce strategy, standing up a PPE supply chain or placing an interim CHRO to prepare for an IPO. BTG’s marketplace and model deliver the right independent talent on demand by blending proprietary data and technology – including the private and confidential First Look ® project-bidding platform that ensures the most efficient pricing – with a dedicated talent solutions team.

Improved Alignment

“Interim professionals bring niche skillsets, expertise, and leadership capabilities to drive change,” said Scott A. Scanlon, CEO and co-founder of Hunt Scanlon Media. As a result, he noted, “interim leaders will likely play a significant and growing role in top grading senior-level positions in a post-pandemic era, where costs and efficiency underpin executive hiring.” Mr. Scanlon said the move to acquire an interim platform will also better align Heidrick & Struggles “to support, develop, and empower a new generation of leaders who have more contemporary expectations of work. I can’t think of a better way to position a search firm for the new realities and massive changes we see coming to the workplace,” he said.

Related: Why Interim HR Leaders Are in Growing Demand

“Heidrick & Struggles is a true innovator and visionary in its recognition of how the rising use of independent talent, particularly at the executive level, and the paradigm shift in attitudes toward on-demand and remote work are benefitting clients and talent alike,” said Jody Greenstone Miller, co-founder and co-CEO. “Companies increasingly recognize that they need to tap on-demand, independent talent for essential project-based assignments, a trend which the pandemic has advanced.”

“Heidrick & Struggles’ executive search capabilities combined with our on-demand, independent talent marketplace brings the future of work to companies right now,” Ms. Miller said. “Blending the capabilities of a respected global leader in executive search with BTG’s on-demand, independent talent marketplace will boost BTG’s ability to scale globally and create exciting new opportunities for both BTG’s and Heidrick & Struggles’ clients. BTG looks forward to continuing to bring this new human capital infrastructure to a broader group of clients to help them get complex, mission-critical work done, while also giving top business professionals – who increasingly are choosing to work independently – access to more great projects.”

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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