Diversified Search Group

2018 State of the Industry Report:
Finding Transformational Talent in the Workplace of Tomorrow

“Digital transformation has been – and continues to be – a hot topic. It presents one of the biggest opportunities for businesses to reimagine how they organize, recruit, develop, manage, engage, and retain talent.”

– Rick DeRose
Founder & Managing Partner


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Hunt Scanlon’s latest 2018 recruiting industry sector report, ‘State of the Industry: Finding Transformational Talent in the Workplace of Tomorrow,’ marks another milestone for us – it is the 28th consecutive year that our editors and analysts have compiled the very best data on trends in executive search and talent acquisition. This year’s report is one of our most in-depth and thought-provoking. We explore the phenomenal growth taking place inside the leadership solutions space – and offer insight, guidance and recommendations from key industry specialists.

As the executive search industry continues to grow, the top 50 firms in the U.S. topped $3 billion in revenue in 2017. For some of the newer and boutique firms, double digit growth, as high as 43%, was reported. A driving force for further growth will be Artificial Intelligence and new automated technologies. Early adopters of the tech that can source and digest volumes of data more quickly and effectively than a fleet of recruiters could have an advantage in their toolbox. Even top firms, like Korn Ferry and Spencer Stuart, are looking for experts to help them implement the tech.


Our annual reports are chock full of data, statistics and analysis – and this 2018 edition is no exception. Our ‘Executive Summary’ and ‘Year In Review’ sections, which typically flow across some 75 or more pages, have become the industry’s most highly anticipated must-reads. We chart the course of the 50 leading search firms as well as the sector’s largest global players. They supply the data and we analyze it, but it is our insight and perspective that is so eagerly awaited each spring. Our Viewpoint chapter has also become a must-read among talent acquisition leaders and CHROs who come to our report each year to learn about industry trends and discover who the important players are.

“AI is the biggest game changer we've seen in 30 years of analyzing the talent sector,” said Scott A. Scanlon, founding chairman and CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media and editor-in-chief of this year’s rankings report. “AI empowers greater evaluative and predictive accuracy along with speed - the two biggest dilemmas in the recruitment lifecycle.”

Scott A. Scanlon
Editor-in-Chief, Hunt-Scanlon Media

This year, we will examine the massive uptick in the rise of people analytics which has opened up new opportunities for dedicated leadership in the HR analytics field. Many companies and their executive search partners are using workforce insights to narrow the data capability gap, something that is now fundamentally changing the way companies manage human resources and hire people.

Our report will also take an in-depth look at how HR and talent acquisition practitioners are already beginning to apply Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and bots into their talent acquisition strategies. Among HR professionals and executive search consultants, the adoption of AI is at a very early stage. But make no mistake, AI and automated technologies are about to transform the search for people. Fifteen percent of HR leaders polled from 40 countries said AI and automation are already impacting their workplace plans. Another 40 percent said they expect AI and automation to affect their plans within two to five years. Learn how they utilize data analytics and artificial intelligence tools, emphasize skills over formal education to increase diversity, and target passive candidates through hyper-personalization.


A large group of leadership advisory and executive search specialists provide a unique window into their expert thinking in this Industry Viewpoint section that has always been a favorite of past subscribers. Among the topics: How big data is shaping the future of retained search; How to source talent through AI; How automated technologies are transforming the search for people; How AI is eliminating hiring bias; How advanced analytics can improve talent management decision making and many more . These world-renowned search leaders guide us always with an eye to the future and with recruiting best-in-class talent in mind. So, if you’re interested in hearing from the industry’s most trusted and respected leadership advisory professionals, we encourage you to take the time to read this outstanding section of this year’s report.


Please include your email address on the order form. For further questions, please email: chris@huntscanlon.com.