RLBenson Logo Header
Business Solutions for the Executive Search Industry

Meeting the business challenges of the executive search industry through experience, insight and thought leadership

Home Shadow

During this sustained period of economic uncertainty, the global executive search industry has faced some of the most difficult challenges ever. And despite significant improvement in revenue over the 2009-10 period, the ongoing uncertainty, coupled with new competitive forces, continues to translate into an inconsistent demand for search. This complex period has redefined the executive search business model and created new challenges for the leadership of search firms of all sizes.

RLBenson & Associates believes the landscape has forever changed. As clients focus on lowering costs, they seek different approaches to addressing many of their lower and middle level talent needs. Many of the less senior roles previously handled by search firms have either been eliminated or are now being handled by internal staffing organizations. These talent acquisition groups have become the newest competitive threat to search firms.

The implications for search firms are significant as a greater percentage of revenue will therefore be derived from activities related to the top end of organizations, including ancillary services. Though search firms will still be retained when internal recruiters experience extraordinary demand and require assistance on the overflow, competing at the mid-range will become increasingly price-centric and will require tremendously efficient processes in order to remain profitable.

To thrive, search firms worldwide must set a clear strategy to address and adapt to these critical marketplace changes. Firms must find innovative ways to bring value to clients and must establish clear differentiators to communicate their unique business proposition. Clear marketing and branding plans are essential and they must be complemented by a well defined and executed sales process to ensure a sufficient flow of new business.

Whether the solution is to target the top end of the market, to streamline operations to maximize effectiveness while containing costs, or to install that sales process, RLBenson & Associates brings a wealth of global experience, insight and thought leadership in the executive search industry to bear on crafting business solutions that will translate into maximum profitability.

What people are saying

"Bob’s insights, instincts and wealth of knowledge about our industry are unsurpassed by anyone I have worked with in over 30 years. Bob was invaluable in leading us through a major national and international global strategy and repositioning project…"

Judith von Seldeneck, Chairman and CEO, Diversified Search

"I have never enjoyed working with a consultant more than Bob Benson. His insights, instincts and wealth of knowledge about our industry are unsurpassed by anyone I have worked with in over 30 years. Bob was invaluable in leading us through a major national and international global strategy and repositioning project, playing a pivotal role in guiding our firm through rapid revenue growth and geographical expansion. It has been hugely successful and we could not have done it without him. His knowledge, contacts, and grasp of the major business issues were keys to our success."

Judith von Seldeneck, Chairman and CEO, Diversified Search

"Bob establishes an extraordinary trust level because he is adept at balancing people leadership in a professional services organization while simultaneously understanding and taking into account the client’s perspective..."

Dayton Ogden, Managing Director, CEO Succession Practice and former Chairman and CEO, Spencer Stuart

"Bob is one of the most knowledgeable and sensible students of the executive search profession of anyone I know. He made a huge contribution to building our firm, not only in the U.S., but also in Brussels and Germany, where he led practices during formative stages in their development. He was highly effective as a member of our Board of Directors as well. Bob establishes an extraordinary trust level because he is adept at balancing people leadership in a professional services organization while simultaneously understanding and taking into account the client’s perspective."

Dayton Ogden, Managing Director, CEO Succession Practice and former Chairman and CEO, Spencer Stuart

"Bob’s encyclopedic knowledge of what does and does not work in search has simplified decision-making and next steps. There is a sorting out that happens when you talk to Bob. He has helped eliminate the noise to get to the heart of our core differentiation in the marketplace..."

Krista Bradford, CEO, The Good Search, LLC

"Bob Benson is a brilliant strategist, tactician and trusted advisor who has helped refine our unique positioning in the marketplace. Operationally, his encyclopedic knowledge of what does and does not work in search has simplified decision-making and next steps. As a classic entrepreneur, I came to our first meeting brimming with ideas. There is a sorting out that happens when you talk to Bob. He has helped eliminate the noise to get to the heart of our core differentiation in the marketplace. The insight is priceless."

Krista Bradford, CEO, The Good Search, LLC

"Bob has provided incredible insights and a depth of strategic perspective toward growth and operating issues. His knowledge of the search industry and his business focus provide an unparalleled framework for growing a search practice…"

Steve Hochberg, President, Caliber Associates

"Bob has provided incredible insights and a depth of strategic perspective toward growth and operating issues. His knowledge of the search industry and his business focus provide an unparalleled framework for growing a search practice. Bob is a pleasure to work with and conducts his practice with the utmost of credibility and integrity—he is the consummate professional."

Steve Hochberg, President, Caliber Associates

"Bob Benson has the soundest judgment I know regarding what it takes for a firm to thrive in the Executive Search profession. He has been a counselor to me with respect to my own firm and, most recently, in the combination of my firm with another…"

Jeff Hodge, Formerly Chairman, Hodge Partners

"I’ve known Bob Benson since we were management colleagues at one of the ‘big firms.’ He is a professional of utmost integrity and someone who has the soundest judgment I know regarding what it takes for a firm to thrive in the Executive Search profession. He has been a counselor to me with respect to my own firm and, most recently, in the combination of my firm with another. I look forward to continuing to get Bob’s ideas and solutions!"

Jeff Hodge, Formerly Chairman, Hodge Partners

"I have always been impressed with Bob’s ability to work comfortably in cross-border situations. He was integral in building several local practices into robust, profitable and integrated international businesses."

Manolo Marquez, Chairman and CEO, Hudson Highland Group

"I have worked with Bob for a number of years and have always been impressed with his ability to work comfortably in cross-border situations. His cultural sensitivity, coupled with his understanding of specialty practices, served him well when he was working in Europe. He was integral in building several local practices into robust, profitable and integrated international businesses."

Manolo Marquez, Chairman and CEO, Hudson Highland Group


What people are saying >