Executive Search, despite its boom, remains a fragmented market. With many thousands of providers, it is hard to choose the right one. Large multinationals usually work with the five giants: Spencer Stuart, Heidrick & Struggles, Russell Reynolds Associates, Egon Zehnder, and Korn Ferry. This quintet, known as the “Shrek” firm are specialized in hiring for large corporate conglomerates.
Boutique firms like Key Search with deep expertise in specific industries are thriving within their sectors with a dedicated focus. There are also a huge amount of individual consultants sometimes known as cowboy’s since, as one puts it, “anyone can buy a computer, get a LinkedIn license and call themselves a search expert”.