A few weeks ago, Businessweek quoted the CEO of executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles as saying the search firm business model is broken. That’s an astonishing admission, although, of course, I’ve been saying it for quite some time, here, here and here.
Fernando Delgado recently posted a very thoughtful article on ERE entitled “The End of Transactional Search.” In it he argues 5 reasons executive search needs an overhaul:
- Search is often expensive and inflexible at a time when saving money and gaining flexibility is essential.
- More resources exist to find people now, so a great search process does not require the very expensive-to-maintain databases developed by major search firms.
- Candidates are increasingly skeptical of search firm “cattle calls.”
- The “hands off” policy of many firms is too restrictive.
- At the conclusion of a search, not only all the candidates, but also all the market intelligence gathered from the search stays with the search firm, not the employer – a poor value proposition.
While I have made most of these points before, I always like it when I find someone else who is also rethinking the executive search model. It’s about time.