Top Executive Search Firms exists as a resource to employers seeking to understand the complexities of the executive search/recruiting industry. Our research offers prospective employers comprehensive look at the top executive search firms by offering resources, opinions, and rankings as a guide to helping you choose the best firm to meet your executive search needs. This list will be updated every two years based upon an algorithmic approach with includes public voting. While we do not accept payment from executive search firms for inclusion on this list, we do accept input and feedback from firms on the list. We do accept advertising from industry partners, vendors, suppliers, and employers.

In order to qualify for the Top 20 Executive Search Firms list, organizations must be retained search firms, have multiple practice areas, a global presence, displayed recognized thought leadership, and must have completed signature searches for global brands in multiple geographies.

Ranking Methodology

The ranking order for the Top 20 Executive Search Firms list is derived algorithmically based upon a proprietary weighting of the following criteria: annual revenue, number of placements, number of ancillary services or practice areas, level of searches handled by average salary, completion ratio, average time to complete, stick rate, client satisfaction (testimonials/votes), social media presence, executive thought leadership, and editorial input.

The executive search industry, trade associations, and various executive search firms produce a wide array lists and rankings and no such list / ranking, including this one, should substitute for due diligence on behalf of prospective clients or employees. The rankings noted on this site are deemed reliable, but cannot be guaranteed as some of the data is provided by firms ranked on the list, and such data, especially in the case of privately held companies, cannot be exhaustively verified.