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.