Top 50 Executive Search Firms in Europe for 2023

In a diverse continent such as Europe, smaller regional executive search firms rule the market with strong client relationships and USPs.

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In Europe, there are over 3,700 organizations and individuals (excluding UK) that provides Executive Search services but only less than 300 firms that offers true Retained Executive Search or Direct Approach Executive Search as popularly known in the continent. There is also a rise in individual or freelance executive recruiters, often market or industry veterans who are retained for key search mandates.

Retained Executive Search takes a consultative approach like management consulting in hiring senior executives, typically Board positions, C-Suite, and other critical leadership positions. This form of search is ideal when you need the most qualified person and not just a qualified person.

We are proud to present to you our Top 50 Executive Search Firms in Europe for 2023.

Methodology

Our annual survey captures direct market feedback from candidates, clients and executive search buyers. Candidates who were placed, approached, or recommended for a role, in addition to brand recognition and executive search buyers who used a search firm for recruitment services participated in the public survey. Our resume and job description sharing and tracking platform gives us access to a large number of relevant senior executives in the market.

Our survey data is used by over 110 clients in Europe and those looking to recruit in Europe to determine their executive search buying strategy.

Our ranking is a true reflection of what the market thinks about each of these firms and must fulfil the below criteria.

  • Should be an executive search or board consulting firm.
  • Should follow direct approach executive search methodology.
  • Should have a research team and at least 2 partners/consultants.
  • Should follow a research oriented, systematic methodology in identifying and engaging with passive and hard-to-reach candidates.
  • Should be headquartered with most number of employees in Europe excluding UK.
  • Should have most consultants and employees based in Europe.
  • Excellent network of candidates who wouldn’t otherwise entertain unsolicited recruitment calls.
  • Extremely limited to no job postings online, on websites, job board or LinkedIn. Internal roles permitted.
  • Commitment to confidentiality and identity of clients and candidates.
  • In existence for at least 3 years in the market
Other key facts:

Survey period: 1June 2023 – 30 October 2023
Individual respondents: 16,300

Professional level of participants: Board Members, C-Suite Executives, Next Level Down Executives (SVP, EVP, Heads and critical roles), In-house Senior HR Executives etc.

Our ranking is not solely based on revenue or size of the business. “Revenue-only” approach to ranking puts smaller firms and those not willing to disclose revenue at a disadvantage even though they are deeply valued and trusted by candidates and clients alike.

Our ranking does not include firms headquartered in the UK.

Rank
Company
Net Promoter Score
HQ
#1
Egon Zehnder
View Net Promoter Score*
Switzerland
#2
Heads! International
View Net Promoter Score*
Germany
#3
Euro Search
View Net Promoter Score*
Italy
#4
The Executive Network
The Netherlands
#5
Key2people
View Net Promoter Score*
Italy
#6
Fitch Bennett Partners
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#7
Seeliger y Conde
View Net Promoter Score*
Spain
#8
Beyond Associés
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#9
Talengo
View Net Promoter Score*
Spain
#10
Delta Management Consultants
View Net Promoter Score*
Germany
image
#11
Eric Salmon & Partners
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#12
Meyer & Sohne
View Net Promoter Score*
Germany
#13
Maes & Lunau
View Net Promoter Score*
The Netherlands
#14
Witena Executive Search
View Net Promoter Score*
Switzerland
#15
Spengler Fox
View Net Promoter Score*
Germany
#16
Schilling Partners
View Net Promoter Score*
Switzerland
#17
Meissner and Partners
View Net Promoter Score*
Poland
#18
Holtrop Ravesloot
View Net Promoter Score*
The Netherlands
#19
Vogel & Detambel
View Net Promoter Score*
Germany
#20
FSC Executive Search
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#21
Progress Associés
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#22
Level Consulting
View Net Promoter Score*
Switzerland
#23
The Beaumont Group
View Net Promoter Score*
Belgium
#24
SDH Netherlands
View Net Promoter Score*
The Netherlands
#25
Michaël Berglund
View Net Promoter Score*
Sweden
image
#26
Dotto Research
View Net Promoter Score*
Italy
#27
Parangon Partners
View Net Promoter Score*
Spain
#28
Borderless Executive Search
View Net Promoter Score*
Belgium
#29
Cribb Executive Search
View Net Promoter Score*
Germany
#30
Exec Avenue
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#31
Jouve&Associes
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#32
Taking Turns
View Net Promoter Score*
Belgium
#33
Ellis & Partners
View Net Promoter Score*
Spain
#34
Human Capital Group
View Net Promoter Score*
Denmark
#35
Villa & Partners
View Net Promoter Score*
Italy
#36
aperlead
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#37
Mediatum
View Net Promoter Score*
Germany
#38
Agora Search
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#39
Career Openers Executive Search
View Net Promoter Score*
The Netherlands
#40
Jaehn & Partners Executive Search
View Net Promoter Score*
Switzerland
image
#41
Vendôme Associés
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#42
Momentous Oy
View Net Promoter Score*
Finland
#43
Saltor
View Net Promoter Score*
Spain
#44
Mermoz Associés
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#45
Prinzipal Partners
View Net Promoter Score*
Spain
#46
Arrowman Executive Search
View Net Promoter Score*
France
#47
LAB & Company
View Net Promoter Score*
Germany
#48
Fairchild Executive Search
View Net Promoter Score*
Finland
#49
Get Ahead Executive Search
View Net Promoter Score*
Germany
#50
Ad Capita Executive Search
View Net Promoter Score*
Portugal

*View Net Promoter Score – based on inputs received from the survey conducted by C-Suite CV Secure, Inc.

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