A third-quarter report from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) shows that the executive search and leadership consulting profession continues to grow both in revenues and number of searches.

Average fee per assignment grew 3% year-on-year and 5.81% quarter-on-quarter.   While the average number of searches started declined slightly quarter-on-quarter (1.25%), its year-on-year performance is up 4.87%.

The quarterly research has been carried out by the AESC since 2004 on trends in the global retained executive search and leadership consulting industry. Data for the report is collected from a consistent sample of AESC member search firms representing the activity of 1,430 executive search consultants in 46 countries worldwide.

Executive Search President

Karen Greenbaum

Access to retained executive search data by the AESC, the global representative body for this industry, positions this report as a leading indicator of the future worldwide management employment market.  It is a barometer of hiring trends for top-level and seldom advertised positions in key market sectors.

The Q3 State of the Executive Search Industry report reveals that the technology sector had a very strong quarter, moving it into second place behind financial services for average number of searches started (up 18.52% year-on-year and 5.36% quarter-on-quarter).

“We were pleased to see the technology sector rebounding after a somewhat surprising drop last quarter,” said Karen Greenbaum, AESC President & CEO.  “The strength of the most recent quarter was impressive.”

The life sciences / healthcare sector slowed slightly during Q3, but overall has performed strongly this year (up 20% year-on-year but down 1.27% quarter-on-quarter).

Industrial remains the largest sector at 24.6% with financial services remaining steady at 21.1%. Technology and life sciences / healthcare are at 15.3% and 15% respectively.

North America is the largest market for executive search, controlling a 44.4% share of the profession, followed by EMEA (32.4%), Asia Pacific (17.1%), and Latin America (6.1%).

Year-on-year three of these regions recorded significant growth in the number of searches started (Asia Pacific, 7.23%; North America, 6.94%; EMEA, 6.94%). For the second consecutive quarter Latin America witnessed a decrease in the number of searches both quarter-on-quarter (1.73%) and year-on-year (8.7%).

To read the full report, click here.