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Fee per retained search rises 7% globally

August 15 2013

The value of recruiting assignments rose globally in the second quarter while the number of new searches fell, according to the Association of Executive Search Consultants’ 2013 Q2 State of the Executive Search Industry Report. The average fee per search assignment rose 6.9 percent in the second quarter of 2013 compared the second quarter of 2012, while the average number of new searches started fell 11.5 percent year over year.

“The second quarter results are a powerful indicator of what we have been observing for the past several years, i.e. retained executive search is moving increasingly upmarket and away from more volume based middle market recruiting where in-house and other forms of selection are making inroads by employing social media,” said AESC President Peter Felix.

Search activity declined in the second quarter in all major regions compared to the second quarter of 2012, with North America decreasing 13 percent. However, compared to the first quarter of 2013, search activity increased in Asia Pacific and Central/South America, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa remained flat and new searches fell 18.1 percent in North America.

North America accounted for 43.3 percent of executive searches worldwide in the second quarter. However, the average number of searches started fell 18.1 percent compared to the first quarter.

The report was based on data from 1,430 executive search consultants in 46 countries.

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