The executive search market is off to a roaring start in 2021.

Perhaps most illustrative of this are two stats: Opened searches were up 53% YoY in Q1 and search velocity improved 18% YoY. In other words, searches are way up—and they’re moving a lot faster.

Whether we’re in the middle of a boom is certainly an open question, but we’re now two quarters into explosive growth and search leaders are telling us they’re highly optimistic this market will persist. Many are backing up that sentiment with actions: They’re hiring to meet the increased demands.

In our latest quarterly report, released today, we break down the start to the year. Here’s a sneak preview of what is inside.

» Download the full report here

Continued Momentum

Opened and completed searches didn’t just improve over Q1 2020; they improved over Q4 2020, as well. And they improved every month of Q1 2021.

Any way you look at it, Q1 was impressive.

And through that lens specifically, Q1 is an interesting litmus test. While we spent much of 2020 analyzing the recovery from a COVID dip and looking at early signals the impact digital transformation has had on the executive search process, we hadn’t yet reached a point where we could firmly say that an entire quarter’s worth of data was fully separated from the COVID dip.

But we’re there now. 

Perhaps most noteworthy about the quarter, though, isn’t that the global numbers were as strong as they were. It’s that seemingly every industry and every function benefited from the rising tide. 

Our report breaks down how each industry—specifically those that struggled with COVID headwinds—and function fared last quarter.

Faster Searches

While companies are heavily invested in adding executive talent, they’re also not wasting any time getting folks in the door. 

In our analysis, we found that searches completed Q1 moved about 18% faster than searches completed in Q1 2020. That’s about a whole month’s worth of time.

In conversations with search leaders, we’ve found this continued trend of accelerated searches may lead to another question: Will candidates ever be asked to fly in for interviews again? 

Searches aren’t just faster thanks to digital transformation, one search leader told us, they’re also cheaper. 

Our report further explores how firms are responding to these changes and evaluating opportunities for growth.

Get full access to the report  

With completed searches taking less time than ever, simply trying to hire your way into stronger market dynamics won’t be enough.

While hiring teams are opening more roles, and there’s enough business to help all firms grow, those roles that are being opened will continue to be filled faster and faster, and the DE&I expectations around how those roles are filled are already taking shape. 

Our latest quarterly report gives you the benchmark data you need to check your business against the market, as well as insights into larger trends that are emerging. Download it today.