The List

  1. Korn Ferry International

    Los Angeles, CA

    Global – Over 80 Offices Worldwide


    As an innovator in executive search/recruitment since 1969, Korn Ferry works closely with clients and candidates to craft successful human capital strategies and solutions.  With a global network, time-proven search process, and broad industry expertise, Korn Ferry provides the competitive advantage necessary to recruit and develop world-class leadership teams.


    Korn Ferry, the largest search firm in the world, held on to the #1 ranking again this year. The growth of Korn Ferry continues to be fueled by its impressive list of acquisitions (Hay Group, Pivot. etc.), which have made Korn Ferry the only search firm on the list with more than one billion dollars in revenue.

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  2. N2Growth

    Philadelphia, PA

    Global: more than 50 Offices Worldwide


    Recognized as the elite of the executive search boutiques, and the only boutique search firm that consistently ranks in our top 10 ahead of many larger executive search firms. Specializing in C-level and Board Member search assignments, the firm’s commitment to thought leadership, heavy technology investments into proprietary intellectual property, and a complete innovation of traditional search practices have made N2Growth the fastest growing executive search firm on the planet for the last five years. Where most executive search firms claim to be big, N2Growth claims to be better, focusing on process and diversity, equity, and inclusion, see their “who’s who” list of clients proving this claim.


    N2Growth remained #2 on our list. The firm had impressive growth since the last ranking growing from 25 locations to now having nearly 50 locations globally, and has been consistently named by Forbes at the top of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms every year. N2Growth’s industry-leading portfolio of intellectual property gives it a technology edge, but it’s the dominance over the balance of the industry in thought leadership and business model innovation that makes it a client favorite.

  3. Heidrick & Struggles

    Chicago, IL

    Global – 51 Locations Globally


    As one of the first executive search firms in the U.S., Heidrick & Struggles has provided expert executive search services since 1953. Their methods are based on a thorough understanding of each client’s strategic, financial, and operational issues.


    Heidrick moved up one spot on the list to #4 this year. A storied brand in the executive search business, Heidrick went through a period of reorganization and consolidation in recent times shrinking from well over 100 locations down to 51. However the appointment of Tracy Wolstencroft (former Goldman Sachs executive) as president and CEO in 2014 has buoyed the firm, which seems to have found its way back from the abyss and has returned to solid footing once again.

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  4. Egon Zehnder

    Zurich, Switzerland

    Global – Over 60 Offices Worldwide


    Since 1964, Egon Zehnder has been helping clients find the right leadership through the identification, assessment, and recruitment of the world’s most talented business leaders. Because of their long-term outlook, Egon Zehnder consultants follow up with candidates and clients regularly to ensure outstanding performance and fit.


    Egon Zehnder is the only non-U.S. firm to make the top 5 holding on to its #3 ranking for the second consecutive year. While their presence is still light by comparison in the America’s, they clearly remain the most dominant firm in Europe.

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  5. Spencer Stuart

    Chicago, IL

    Global - Over 50 Offices Worldwide


    Spencer Stuart is a global leader in executive search and the adviser of choice to top companies seeking counsel on senior leadership needs. Their clients include leading multinational corporations, medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurial startups, and nonprofit organizations across a variety of industries.


    Spencer Stuart moved up one spot to #5 on this year’s list. Spencer is perhaps the most traditional search firm on the list, but what they do well, they do very well. Spencer’s strength may not be in their size, innovation, or thought leadership, but they clearly have one of the better board practices in the business.

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  6. Russell Reynolds

    Global - Over 40 Offices Worldwide


    Based in 40 offices worldwide, Russell Reynolds’ consultants work closely with public and private organizations to identify, assess, and recruit senior executives and board members to drive long-term growth and success.

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  7. Boyden

    Global – Over 70 Offices Worldwide


    Founded in 1946, Boyden pioneered the use of executive search, strategically partnering with clients to identify, search, source, recruit, and deliver key leadership talent and human capital all over the world.  Their international reach enables their clients to make strategic talent decisions within the context of their global requirements.

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  8. Stanton Chase International

    London, England

    Global - Over 70 Offices Worldwide


    Since their founding in 1990, Stanton Chase has been committed to building world-class management teams for clients competing in a global market.  They strive to provide exceptional leaders and organizational solutions to enhance a client’s competitive advantage through experience, insight, and teamwork.

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    Paris, France

    Global – Over 55 Office Worldwide


    TRANSEARCH was founded in 1982 and has dedicated itself to assisting clients in acquiring leadership talent through outstanding research capabilities and access to a global talent pool, thorough assessment methodology, in-depth reference checking, and critical contribution to completion of the search by facilitating final negotiations.

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  10. DHR International

    Chicago, IL

    Global - Over 50 Offices Worldwide


    For over 20 years DHR International’s renowned consultants have specialized in all industries and functions in order to provide unparalleled senior-level executive search, management assessment and succession planning services tailored to the unique qualities and specifications of their select client base.

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  11. Signium

    Chicago, IL

    Over 40 Offices Worldwide


    For over 60 years, Signium (formerly Ward Howell International) has earned its reputation as a leader in the global executive search market.  Its consultants possess exceptional experience and deploy high-touch expertise and rigorous processes to consistently deliver the highest quality candidates to their clientele.

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  12. Bo Le Associates

    Hong Kong

    Global - 25 Offices Worldwide


    As the largest executive search firm in Asia, Bo Le Associates specializes in handling senior level assignments in a variety of industries.  Their focus is to build strong relationships with clients, anchored in a give-and-take approach and unrelenting commitment to prioritizing clients’ interests ahead of anything else.

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  13. Odgers Berndtson

    Global - 50 offices in 27


    Odgers Berndtson is an established brand, representing one of the most successful global executive search entities in the world. Known as as Ray & Berndtson until 2009, our change of name reflects our commitment to work even more cohesively to find the highest calibre of individuals throughout the world.

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  14. IIC Partners

    Washington DC

    Global - 45 offices in 33 countries


    IIC stands for ‘Independent, International Consultants’ and this is really what makes our organization so unique. Each of our independently owned and managed member firms is a clear leader in its local or national market and areas of sector specialism – Industrial, Financial Services, Consumer & Retail, Energy, Life Sciences, Technology, Board Search, Higher Education, Infrastructure and Human Resources. Continue reading “IIC Partners” »

  15. Witt/Kieffer

    Oakbrook, IL

    National - 9 Offices Nationwide


    For over 40 years the Witt/Kieffer mission has been to identify outstanding leadership solutions for organizations committed to improving the quality of life.  By specializing in health care, education, and not-for-profit industries, Witt/Kieffer has the experience necessary to identify leaders with the best mix of skills, experience, vision, and character to fulfill their missions.

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  16. On Partners

    Solon, OH

    International - 8 Locations


    At ON Partners, the success of our clients depends on the strength of our team. With over 100 years of combined recruiting experience, our track record speaks for itself. We’re more than just headhunters. We’ve assembled the best recruiters in the industry for one unified purpose: to recruit top talent that delivers exceptional results for our clients. Our partners are recognized for possessing deep knowledge in their chosen specialties, unparalleled breadth of expertise across broad industries, and passion for delivering world-class results.

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  17. Caldwell Partners

    Toronto, Canada



    Caldwell Partners is one of the world’s premier providers of executive search and has been for more than 45 years. As one of the most trusted advisors in executive search, we have a sterling reputation built on successful searches for board directors, chief and senior executives, and selected functional experts.

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  18. True Search

    Haddonfield, NJ

    International - 8 Offices


    True Search creates value for the global economy by finding and placing the most desirable C-level executives. Our clients are consumer, life sciences, venture capital and private equity firms, and tech companies of all kinds. The True Search team consists of industry and functional specialists, all of whom are committed to delivering exceptional service. True Search is part of True Talent Advisory, the multinational parent company of a suite of human capital products and services.

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  19. NGS Global

    San Francisco, CA

    Global – Over 27 Offices Worldwide


    NGS Global provides the extensive resources of major global executive search firms along with high-touch service, accelerated completion cycles and superior candidate access made possible by a mid-sized platform without external shareholders. Through our commitment to industry expertise, cultural knowledge and partner-led search execution, we deliver exceptional value to our clients.

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