November 4, 2012 – The headhunting industry experienced a decrease in the number of new searches started worldwide in the third quarter of 2012, as reported by the global the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC). New search mandates saw a fall of -7.6 percent year-on-year (from Q3 2011 to Q3 2012) and -6.8 percent quarter-on-quarter (from Q2 2012 to Q3 2012). Showing some stability in the third quarter were executive searches within the technology sector, which held a year-on-year increase of +12.3 percent and saw the least quarter-on-quarter decline (-1.9 percent). Life sciences/healthcare also saw quarterly stability, with the number of new searches remaining steady from Q2 2012 to Q3 2012 (+0.4 percent), though declining -9.8 percent yearly. All other major industries surveyed by the AESC – industrial, financial and consumer – saw a reduction in search activity on both a yearly and quarterly basis in the third quarter of 2012. The EMEA region saw the greatest decline in new searches started in Q3 2012, followed by Asia Pacific, North America, and then Central/South America – which was the only region to show a positive trend in new search mandates. “While the figures are disappointing they are not entirely surprising since anecdotal evidence had indicated a downturn in search business in August and September,” said Peter Felix, president of the AESC.
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