ESIX Annual Benchmark Survey



After more than 10 years of comprehensive surveys of a relatively stable, but admittedly changing, sample of Fortune 500 companies (not unlike the Dow Jones Index), we report results again this year that largely verify what we already knew was going on. This is not a bad thing, and worth remembering as we examine the data more carefully and draw conclusions about year-to-year differences.  


What we already knew, and what these survey results help to confirm, is that:


  • Companies are continuing to recognize and actively manage the executive recruiting function;

  • The function is growing; Companies are increasingly conducting searches directly, with more selective use of search firms;
  • Compensation of corporate executive search leaders and team members is increasing; These teams are managing search firms in a way that improves search firm performance;

  • In direct search, companies are achieving results that compare favorably to those of retained search firms.   
  • The concept of the corporate executive recruiting function has definitively come of age.  

Going forward, to continue to advance the function, we encourage respondents to develop a big-picture view of your team’s role and impact on your organization. Each year we ask, because we want you to know: How many vacancies did we have in our executive population last year and how did we fill them? And, ultimately, which sources of hire have produced the best candidates? When more of us can answer these questions, we can take the executive recruiting function to the next level.

One area that we predict will become more important is the role of research and competitive intelligence. The in-house research role is gradually becoming more prevalent, and there has been more interest in competitive intelligence and talent mapping in the last few years. We hope that this is a sign that the function is becoming even more strategic, and we look forward to more to come.


ESIX Members - if you have not yet received your copy of the most recent Annual Survey, please contact us.