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The UKs first major research project

The UKs first major research project into executive search is launched

The Association of Executive Recruiters, the group within the Recruitment and Employment Confederation that focuses on the executive search market, has launched a major research project to identify the future of executive search. The report comes at an important time, when those in the industry need a clear critical evaluation of the state of the industry.

The first of a three phase programme brings together all the existing information about the state of the executive recruitment market, both nationally and globally.

The research identifies for the first time the value of the UK search market at 853 million, a significant contribution to the UKs private recruitment industry.

The research highlights the intense pressure the executive search market has come under during the recession through reduced demand, pressure on margins and on factors such as more procurement involvement in contracts, more clients hiring their own their own internal search resources and greater use of technology and social media.

The next two phases of the research will gather data and insight from the clients and candidates so that the search industry can start to respond by improving standards and enhancing value creation. The business model for executive search is changing clients expect more and candidates are not receiving the level of service anticipated.

Commenting on the research, Kevin Green, the RECs Chief Executive, said: This research signals the AER and RECs intent to get seriously involved in executive search. As more search firms join, the AER and the REC will create a powerful voice about how to develop search firms so they can grow and add more value to their clients.

Executive search is an area which has been particularly hard hit by the recession and one which is facing significant change. This research really gets to grips with the sector by collating for the first time one source of easily available information. We will now be building on this and creating a powerful coalition around the issues identified in the second phase of research.

Derek Smart, chair of the AER, said: In the 15 years that I have worked within the Executive Search industry, I have not been aware of the total fee-earning market size, its main players or the impact of the sector within the whole recruitment industry.

This research is the first step to a greater understanding of the market. As the industry adjusts to the changes which are starting to reshape the search market, we can begin to direct our efforts towards the inevitable challenges which we will face.

We hope the research will stimulate discussion and debate among those within the sector so that they can make a positive contribution to shape the future of the search market.

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