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.
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. Advertising payments will only affect listing by those firms who meet other qualifications noted above.
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, can be biased and cannot be exhaustively verified.