Growth Trends for Related Jobs
As employment in the United States seems to approach capacity, employers are having an increasingly difficult time finding talent to fill their open positions. For this reason, companies attempting to fill their rosters are turning more and more to recruiting firms to pick up the slack in head-hunting and finding candidates for job openings.
Companies who conduct their own in-house hiring often invest tens of thousands of dollars to find candidates and comb through them for each open position. The hiring process requires human resources staffing, advertising, screening and several rounds of interviews, plus added expenses for new employee training and lost productivity during that time. Recruitment agencies take on these responsibilities to find specific candidates (rather than pools of applicants), and every year, Forbes ranks the best of these agencies in the U.S.
Best Executive Recruiting Firms
Forbes' ranking of the best executive recruiting firms focuses on agencies that fill positions with salaries of $100,000 or more per year. This list includes 200 firms, and the top five are as follows:
- Korn Ferry: This Los Angeles-based firm has been ranked as the No. 1 executive search provider for more than 25 years. It prides itself on understanding success and the market, and delivering results that allow clients to maximize their resources and lead effectively.
- Heidrick & Struggles: Based in Chicago, this agency works to find efficient, effective leaders – and doesn't necessarily limit its search criteria to experience.
- Spencer Stuart: Another Chicago firm, Spencer Stuart claims to "combine deep industry and functional knowledge with a proven executive search and assessment process" to help companies find leaders who can make a lasting impact on their organization.
- Russell Reynolds Associates: Russell Reynolds, rooted in New York, claims three key components to its executive search process: assembling the right team of recruiting consultants, presenting a strong selection of candidates and using their own tools to narrow down those candidates. The firm's goal is to help clients find leaders who look forward to the future and whose values align with the company at hand.
- Robert Half: No. 5 on Forbes' 2019 list calls the Silicon Valley home. Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, the agency's executive search branch focuses on filling C- and VP-level roles. The firm aims to find its clients successful executive candidates within 90 days.
Best Professional Recruiting Firms
The agencies on this list rank as the best at successfully filling positions with annual salaries less than $100,000. It includes a few familiar names, plus some new faces:
- Robert Half: The firm leads in professional recruiting, as well. It partners both with companies looking to fill professional positions and with job-hunters looking to find the right position for them. Companies partnering with Robert Half for professional recruiting purposes simply tell the firm about their hiring needs, review their staffing options, select candidates and follow up on Robert Half's satisfaction guarantee.
- Korn Ferry: This agency claims "unrivaled access to active and passive candidate pools, the industry's richest data on salaries and employee engagement, and proprietary tools such as Four Dimensional Executive Assessment and Executive Snapshot." These benefits give Korn Ferry an upper hand in identifying and recruiting prime candidates for open positions.
- Aerotek: Based in Hanover, Maryland, this agency boasts "flexible partnership models" for its company clients. It offers staffing services, a workforce management program and full-service engineering and clinical solutions. Staffing services include contract, contract-to-hire and direct placement hires for project-based and seasonal needs, plus niche requirements.
- Kelly Services: Rooted in Troy, Michigan, Kelly Services works with an array of Forbes- and Fortune-listed companies to help them attract, hire and retain valuable talent. The agency works in the following areas: temporary staffing, direct hire solutions, payroll services, on-site management, hiring interns, contingent labor program management and hiring veterans and military spouses.
- Randstad: This firm, based in Atlanta, Georgia, claims a "deep network of expertise that crosses industries and geographies." It works to staff call centers and recruit professionals in engineering, finance and accounting, health care, nonclinical health care, human resources, industrial settings, the legal field, life sciences, marketing, office and administration and technologies.
- Korn Ferry: Executive Search
- Heidrick & Struggles: Executive Search
- Spencer Stuart: Executive Search & Recruitment
- Russell Reynolds Associates: Executive Search
- Robert Half: Executive Search
- Korn Ferry: Professional Search
- Aerotek: Workforce Solutions
- Kelly: Professional Staffing Solutions
- Randstad: Staffing Solutions
- Forbes: America's Best Professional Recruiting Firms
- Forbes: America's Best Executive Recruiting Firms
- Forbes: America's Best Recruiting Firms 2019
Brenna Swanston is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She previously reported for the Sun newspaper in Santa Maria, California, and she holds a bachelor's in journalism from California Polytechnic State University.