Article: Reduction in third quarter executive search activity (Source: Association of Executive Search Consultants)

The senior executive search industry experienced a decrease in the number of new searches started worldwide in the third quarter of 2012, as reported today by the global Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC). New search mandates saw a fall of -7.6% year-on-year (from Q3 2011 to Q3 2012) and -6.8% 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% and saw the least quarter-on-quarter decline (-1.9%). Life Sciences/Healthcare also saw quarterly stability, with the number of new searches remaining steady from Q2 2012 to Q3 2012 (+0.4%), though declining -9.8% 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.

AESC President, Peter Felix, commented: “The quarterly statistics for this time of year are traditionally reflective of a slower period and this year is no exception. While the figures are disappointing they are not entirely surprising since anecdotal evidence had indicated a downturn in search business in August and September. However, the current quarter is off to a relatively good start and there is still a chance that the annual figures will be on a general level with 2011, in itself the third highest revenue level ever.”

About the Quarterly State of the Industry Report

The AESC State of the Executive Search Industry Report is quarterly research carried out by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) since 2004 on trends in the global retained executive search industry.

A full copy of the AESC’s Q3 2012 report is available upon request to AESC members and the press.

The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) represents the top retained executive search consulting firms around the world and promotes the highest professional standards in the industry. Visit for more information about AESC, The International Executive Search Directory or BlueSteps, the AESC’s executive career management service.


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