Best Executive Search Firm Badge 2023

2023 Winners: Add your badge to your marketing materials.

Are you looking for the best executive search firms?

Whether you are a director, VP, or C-Level executive, you probably know that most executive jobs are not posted online.

The “hidden job market” consists of jobs being filled by executive search firms that are oftentimes unposted. This means, you won’t be able to find them online.

While there is nothing wrong with searching for jobs and applying online, you can help yourself by making some of the top executive search firms aware of your search.

If you’re looking for nonprofit executive search firms you can check out our list here.

Before we present our list of the best executive search firms, here’s a little bit of information about what they are.

What Are Executive Search Firms?

An executive search firm is defined by Inc. as “specialized recruitment services that find top-level candidates for senior, executive, or other highly specialized positions for clients.”

There are a variety of acceptable names for executive search firms. In this article, you will notice us using a handful of terms interchangeably.

  • Executive search firms
  • Executive recruiters
  • Executive recruitment agencies
  • Executive headhunters
  • Executive placement companies

Some executive search firms are small boutique shops with a few employees. Other notable agencies such as KornFerry have hundreds or thousands of employees.

Some executive search firms specialize in one industry (i.e. finance). Others cover a broad array of careers (i.e. finance, sales, HR, tech).

Below, we will help identify a variety of the top executive search firms, with insight into their areas of expertise.

Best Search Firms for Executives

FMP Reverse Recruiting
Find My Profession Best Overall More Details
Korn Ferry
Korn Ferry 100+ Offices Worldwide More Details
Heidrick & Struggles
Heidrick & Struggles 70+ Years Experience More Details
4
Spencer Stuart
4
Spencer Stuart Straightforward Process More Details
5
Russell Reynolds Associates
5
Russell Reynolds Associates Most Service Offerings More Details
6
Egon Zehnder
6
Egon Zehnder More Details
7
Boyden
7
Boyden More Details
8
DHR Global
8
DHR Global More Details
9
Lucas Group
9
Lucas Group More Details
10
Diversified Search Group
10
Diversified Search Group More Details

How We Choose Winners

Each of the executive search firms below was reviewed by a team of certified career experts taking into consideration the following:

Credentials

Overall experience, awards, and certifications.

Opportunities

Number and variety of jobs available.

Reviews

Client reviews on third-party platforms.

This list serves the following executive level positions:

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), Chief Human Resources Manager (CHRM), Chief Data Officer (CDO), Executive Director, Managing Director, President, Vice President (VP), Chair of the Board, and other C-suite and director positions.

Executive Search Firm Reviews

1

Find My Profession

Find My Profession is not what you would consider a “traditional” executive search firm. Rather than being retained by companies to fill open positions (traditional search firm), Find My Profession is the only company on this list who is retained directly by the job seeker. We help executives with their job search through elite reverse recruiting services. Your dedicated reverse recruiter will find jobs for you, apply to jobs, network on your behalf, and act as your job search consultant.

PROS

Vastly different from the rest of the companies on this list, we take the traditional executive search process and flip it on its head by working directly for you, the job seeker, to take care of your job search for you to land your dream job.

CONS

Find My Profession is not retained by the hiring company, which means it is the job seeker’s responsibility to retain our services.

Contact

(831) 888-0967

2

Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global consulting firm that offers some of the best recruitment services you will find. One of our top executive search firms, Korn Ferry states their goal is to help clients “close the gap between the talent you have and the talent you need.”  They help client companies hire the right people, focusing on talent acquisition and employee development.

PROS

Clearly efficient in helping executives navigate and advance their careers, they boast of a placement every three minutes. Their website claims that the CEOs they place through their job recruitment services stay 67% longer and deliver 25% greater value.

CONS

Although the success of this recruitment firm speaks to its efficiency and expertise, single individuals seeking an executive position might be overwhelmed by the options and categories available on their website.

Contact

(800) 633-4410

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3

Heidrick & Struggles

Heidrick & Struggles provides senior-level executive search services, as well as leadership consulting. One of the original executive search firms, Heidrick & Struggles has been in existence for over 60 years. Considered one of the top recruiting firms, their consultants offer integrated leadership solutions with a vision to transform leaders, teams, and organizations.

PROS

This network of executive search consultants and professionals follow four primary values: win as one firm, own the results, grow with our clients, and always act with integrity. With their commitment to diversity and inclusion, their executive placement services seek to source diverse and innovative talent.

CONS

This company’s professional recruitment services are geared toward helping companies and organizations find the right talent with their executive search service, rather than assisting executive individuals seeking a position.

Contact

(312) 496-1200

4

Spencer Stuart

Spencer Stuart offers executive search services to top companies. This is one of the top headhunting firms with many clients, from multinational corporations to medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurial startups. They are considered one of the premier firms for counsel and executive recruitment.

PROS

Spencer Stuart is committed to helping businesses find and develop executive leaders using an executive search and recruitment process that employs professional assessment. They also seek to connect with exceptional executives who might be senior-level candidates for their client companies. They have a straightforward process in which you submit your resume, making your details available to their experienced executive headhunters.

CONS

For those who might be concerned about their personal data, registering as a candidate with Spencer Stuart makes your information available to their offices worldwide.

Contact

(212) 336-0220

5

Russell Reynolds Associates

Russell Reynolds Associates is one of the best recruitment agencies founded on the objective of executive search and recruitment. Their goal is to understand their client’s goals and then to determine the ideal leadership candidate to fill those roles. Their executive recruiting consultants draw on personal experience and their network of contacts to facilitate their search for executive leadership.

PROS

Russell Reynolds Associates offers not only executive search services, but also assessments, cultural evaluations, advice on digital and technological platforms, and succession planning. If you register as a candidate, you can upload your resume and wait to be contacted by a consultant.

CONS

With a focus on over half a dozen services in varied industries, some potential candidates might prefer to go with executive recruitment agencies that have a more narrow focus.

Contact

(312) 775-8940

6

Egon Zehnder

Egon Zehnder states that their primary goal is “to empower our clients to drive lasting positive change through leadership.” Since 1964, Egon Zehnder has focused on providing executive job search services at senior levels for their clients. In the past five years, they have performed over 3,600 assignments and placements. In addition to executive job search placements, they provide board advisory services, succession planning, and leadership development.

PROS

Their team of over 450 consultants and executive recruiters consists of former business leaders who have experience in various industries, including financial services, technology and communications, and the public and social sectors. They state that their best recruitment services enable them to build long-term relationships with clients.

CONS

Because their focus is on building partnerships with client companies, a candidate seeking executive placement in a smaller, entrepreneurial company might not find what they’re looking for here.

Contact

Contact form on website

Resume Writing Services

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7

Boyden

Boyden was founded over 70 years ago, in 1946, as a pioneer of the executive search format. They opened the first of their international executive placement firms in Geneva in 1962. Throughout their existence, Boyden has focused on partnering with client companies and organizations to source and recruit executive talent. In 2011, Trina Gordon was named CEO of Boyden World Corporation, the first female CEO of one of the largest job recruitment agencies.

PROS

Their website is clean and easily navigable. As with other similar job search firms, you can upload your CV and resume as an executive candidate. They also offer business and leadership consulting and coaching from their executive recruiters.

CONS

As one of the executive headhunter firms whose primary service is to their client companies, executive individuals searching for the ideal position might find themselves facing high levels of competition.

Contact

(415) 332-7111

8

DHR Global

DHR Global claims to be “the only global executive search firm that combines unparalleled research capabilities, truly personalized service, and creative agility.” They use their global network to seek out ideal expertise as far as candidates by offering a “firm-wide collaboration” across their various locations with the ultimate goal to “deliver top talent to every client.”

PROS

They offer a two-year guarantee; if a candidate leaves or gets fired within two years of hiring, they will recruit a new candidate for no additional fee. The process they use for their top recruiting services is clearly stated on their website; it involves assessment and research, as well as candidate qualification, identification, and development, and selection.

CONS

As their focus is on client companies, individuals seeking an executive placement with top recruitment agencies such as this one might not receive the same level of attention and focus.

Contact

Contact form on website

9

Lucas Group

Lucas Group offers to help you land your next executive position through their access to executive positions that are currently hiring. The goal of this executive search firm is “to be North America’s premier executive recruiting firm.” They also seek to place candidates in a position that helps satisfy their career ambitions.

PROS

Their website is easily navigable, with a job search function that showcases hiring opportunities throughout North America. You can search for current jobs by category or location. Their executive recruiters help you find opportunities and work toward your career goals.

CONS

Although you can find available jobs in your location on Lucas Group’s website, you cannot search for specific executive roles.

Contact

(800) 466-4489

10

Diversified Search Group

Diversified Search Group is the last on our list of top 10 executive search firms in America. The firm’s executive headhunters have a global reach, enabling them to provide clients with professional executive recruitments. Over the past 40 years, Diversified Search has worked to identify ideal candidates and offer executive placements in top-level leadership positions.

PROS

This is one of the top recruitment agencies that work across multiple sectors, industries, and fields. Their assessment services utilize behavioral interviews and a standardized employment assessment tool to help client companies make well-informed decisions about candidates.

CONS

Their website, although modern, is not the easiest to navigate for executive candidates. There is only one link for job hunters, visible on the bottom left side of the page after you click “menu.” You click on “submit resume” and reach a separate page where you can create a candidate profile.

Contact

(800) 423-3932

Previous Years Winners

Executive Search Firm Winners (2022)

Find My Profession, Korn Ferry, Heidrick & Struggles, Spencer Stuart, Russell Reynolds Associates, Egon Zehnder, Boyden, DHR Global, Lucas Group, Diversified Search Group

Have You Used An Executive Job Search Sites?

While executive search firms can be instrumental in your job search, it’s important to stay proactive by applying to jobs.

Once you’ve made these search firms aware of your search, it’s time to get to work.

There are numerous job search sites specifically created for executive jobs. Some charge membership fees to see their exclusive job listings, while others are free.

Make sure to check out our list of the best executive job search sites