Top Executive Search Firms

Executive Search firms are specialized in C-level and top management positions. When considering help of some of the top executive search firms, it is important to understand how each company will work on your behalf to find and attract the most talented leaders for your organization. We showcase 8 top executive search firms that have excelled in helping their clients hire the best talent. A large range of recruiting firms have been considered, from more traditional international players to fast-growing boutiques. 

top executive search firms

1. Sim Carreira

Sim Carreira is a specialized recruiting company that has helped organizations hire the best top executives with an assertive and agile process. The company’s personalized approach and holistic top talent solution has enabled companies to expand in their local markets, and achieve successful new market entry. Regardless of the hiring model, location, or work format, the company understands the needs of the clients and through its consultive approach, proven processes, experienced headhunters and leveraged technology, work in a 100% success model to ensure that its success, depends on your success.   Visit

2.DHR International

DHR International is a privately held executive search solutions provider with more than 45 wholly-owned offices around the world – including North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. DHR’s consultants specialize 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 its select client base. Diversity: DHR strives to be a diverse and inclusive workplace, providing training and support to help us achieve this goal.   Visit


3. Korn Ferry International

Korn Ferry has been an executive search/recruitment innovator since 1969, working closely with clients and candidates to develop successful human capital strategies and solutions. With a global network, proven search process and deep industry expertise, Korn Ferry provides the competitive advantage needed to recruit and develop world-class leadership teams.  Visit  

4. Russell Reynolds

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.   Visit

5. Boyden

Founded in 1946, Boyden pioneered executive search firms, developing strategic partnerships with clients to identify, source, recruit and deliver critical leadership and human capital globally. Their international reach enables their clients to make strategic talent decisions based on their global needs.   Visit

6. Heidrick & Struggles

For Heidrick & Struggles changes in leadership are the key for successful business; the right leader can dramatically change the course of your business. At such high stakes, they understand it’s not enough to identify people with the right experience. The right candidate must also be able to fit into the culture – and have the clout to mobilize the company around their vision.   Visit

7. Isaacson Miller

Isaacson Miller is one of the top executive search firms in the United States. The company identifies and recruits exceptional candidates from a broad range of backgrounds across nonprofit, corporate, and government sectors, and contribute to increasingly diverse leadership in our client organizations with 60% of our placements identifying as women and/or people of color.

As one of the nation’s head chief pursuit firms, it has four decades of involvement with selecting senior pioneers for the top visual and performing expressions and social associations, scholastic clinical focuses, medical care establishments, establishments, preK-12 instruction and training improvement associations, colleges and universities, social justice advocacy groups, conservation and environment organizations, human services providers, and other mission-driven organizations that make a difference in people’s lives.   Visit

8. Egon Zehnder

Egon Zehnder is a global management consulting and executive search firm. It is the world’s largest privately held executive search firm and the third largest executive search and talent strategy firm globally. The firm offers services in Executive Search, Board Consulting and Leadership Strategy Services.

The company is very traditional, being founded in 1964 with headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland and currently has a global presence with 68 offices in 40 countries, around 500 consultants and over 2.600 employees. Visit

9. Randstad

Randstad is a Dutch multinational human resources consulting firm headquartered in Diemen, Netherlands. It was founded in the Netherlands in 1960 and operates in around 39 countries. Although Randstad began its services focused on temporary services as a temporary staffing agency, it developed other solutions regarding talent employment, including top executive search.  Randstad specializes in human resource services for temporary and permanent jobs, including contract staffing of professionals and senior managers and has over 650.000 employees worldwide.   Visit

10. Spencer Stuart

Spencer Stuart is an American global executive search and leadership consulting firm based in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 1956, operates 57 offices in 30 countries and is privately owned. Spencer Stuart has experience in leadership consulting. Over the decades, it has built a reputation for delivering meaningful impact for its clients — from the world’s largest companies to enterpreneurial startups to nonprofit organizations. Visit

factors taken into account to rank the best executive search firms

The ranking for the 10 top executive search firms has been inferred algorithmically and by human exploration on the web, magazines, newspaper and other published materials. Besides the specialty of helping organizations hire top management roles, other parameters have also been taken into consideration. The experience of their headhunters, the technology used, the success rates and impacts in their client and the market, their hiring processes as well as the regions covered, the range of their HR solutions, their track record and growth potential.

FAQ - Related to top executive firms

Executive Search firms are specialized recruiting firms that source C-level, Executive or Top Management talent for its clients. These strategic positions are typically conducted in a confidential manner and are carried out by experienced headhunters with business acumen, negotiation skills and deep understanding of the market.

Top executive search firms specialize in C-level, executive and managerial positions,

whereas staffing firms typically are focused on administrative, staff, and roles for entry-level jobs, most of which, require little to no previous work experience.


The world´s four biggest staffing firms by market share are: Randstad (4,9%), Adecco Group (4,6%), ManpowerGroup (4,1%), and Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd. (2,7%).


Together, the 4 biggest staffing firms worldwide have $ 224 billion in income.

Finding and hiring the best executive search firm is no easy task. There is a wide range of variety of specialties, work methods, solutions, fees, and warranties in the market.

The most important aspect in hiring through specialized recruiting firms is doing your due-diligence and finding a company that you are confident in and comfortable with.

Communication and trust are key elements in this business, so make sure that these characteristics are present in the conversation you have with the prospect executive search firm.

Although there are countless possibilities, we encourage companies to look for win-win scenarios, where payment is only made if the executive search firm presents the hired candidate.

Don´t forget to consider these 2 pillars when hiring a top executive search firm:

1) 100% Success Model (contingency fees)

When the headhunting company is paid only when your company is successful in hiring the desired candidate. Payment is also made after the individual starts with your company.

2)Non-exclusivity agreement

Some headhunting firms require exclusivity, so your company may end tied-up with an inefficient and ineffective partner. Other top executive search firms understand that what is important is that your company hires the best talent possible, and it is part of their job scope to find and present to you that candidate, regardless of the other means that you choose to source for the candidate.


Contact the top executive search firm to understand how they can address your business needs.

Fees vary widely, so conduct your due diligence to find the most suitable executive search firm to assist your company.

Pay attention to the format offered. Some Executive Search firms request a retainer fee, which is a non-refundable advanced payment regardless of a successful hire.

Other companies work with a 100% success model and any investment only occurs after the date of admission of the candidate with the company.

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