Competitors – the recruiters’ perspective 2013

There are many awards that a company can enter to see how they match up to their competition, but there are a lot of excellent companies that do not enter these for a variety of reasons.  We wanted to know who was making an impact in the market and who better to ask than the people who are competing against their peers every day; the recruiters.

We asked 341 Senior Recruiters, Directors and Business owners to let us know who they considered as their 3 biggest competitors to ascertain those companies making the biggest impact in the market.  We asked people from a cross section of the professional markets including Finance, Technology, HR, Energy and Search/Interim and they told us the following.

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Companies over 100 consultants are still making the biggest impact, however have lost market share (-10%) since August 2012.  SME’s have gained (+5%) as have midsized companies (+10%) whilst independent consultancies with less than 10 people have lost market share (-5%)

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Those businesses established 2000 – 2004 have increased their market share the most (+7%) whilst those established 2005 – 2009 have decreased the most (-10%).  Those established pre 2000 and post 2010 have increased their share marginally (+2% and +1% respectively).

There is no obvious reason why there should be such a drop in market share for those established 2005 – 2009.  One theory could be the lack of time, cash or foresight to plan for growth during the recession.  They were set up during a strong market and quickly entered the tough economic conditions of 2008/2009.  Those that were set up pre 2005 had the infrastructure and funds in place to weather this storm and have taken market share from them.  The post 2010 companies were set up mid recession and so they were fully aware of the market conditions and could plan accordingly.  2000 – 2004 companies have taken far more market share than pre 2000 and this could suggest that the pre 2000 companies have penetrated the market as much as they plan to, and are now either maintaining that share, or are focussing their efforts on other geographical markets.

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Some of the largest and most successful companies from last year have either slipped down the rankings or have fallen off them completely, whilst others have shot up the rankings.  Is it a coincidence that the top 4 are all businesses where the founder(s) are still very much involved? That the top 3 are niche, home grown consultancies rather than multinational generalists?  My personal opinion……hopefully not.  It will be interesting to see if this trend continues next year.

It is quite striking to me how only 38% of the market is dominated by 8 names, whilst 62% is being serviced by such a wide variety of names it would be impractical to name them all.  In my view this is a really healthy mix; it means that those companies that want to grow and dominate the market have the opportunity to do so, but it also leaves a lot of market share for those companies with different ambitions and motivations. 

We very much appreciate the input from all those that contributed to this survey and to make it as inclusive as possible also want to mention those companies that were also ranked highly by their peers within their specific niche:

Finance:                 Eximius, Kennedy Pearce

HR:                         Oakleaf, Digby Morgan

Search/Interim:     Heidrick & Struggles, Interim Partners

Technology:            Networkers International

Energy:                   Spencer Ogden

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Competitors – the recruiters’ perspective. 2012 results.

There are many awards that a company can enter to see how they match up to their competition, but there are a lot of excellent companies that do not enter these for a variety of reasons.  We wanted to know who was making an impact in the market and who better to ask than the people who are competing against their peers every day; the recruiters.

In August 2012 we asked 241 Consultants, Managers and Directors to let us know who they considered as their 3 biggest competitors to ascertain those companies making the biggest impact in the market.  We asked people from a cross section of the professional markets including Finance, Technology, HR and Legal and they told us the following:

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Is it a surprise that the large companies have come out on top?  Surely they have more consultants, work within more sectors and have larger advertising budgets than most others?  This may be true, but there is also some extremely large, well known, well funded business that didn’t even get a mention in the survey.  It’s interesting to see that both independent and SME companies are having almost twice the impact than the mid sized consultancies.

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As the above chart shows, the most established businesses account for almost half of the share in terms of who is deemed to be a key competitor. This is understandable given that they have had longer to establish their brand, increase their headcount and take more of a market share.  It is encouraging to see that new businesses established within the last 2 years are also featuring. Particularly commendable given the tough market conditions within which they have started out.

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Michael Page, Robert Walters and Morgan McKinley are the 3 companies that are making the biggest impact by far.  Combined, they equate to more than 27% of the total votes.

Is it fair to compare companies at the extreme ends of the spectrum; an international PLC with a boutique 1 man band? Perhaps not.  As such, there should be a special mention to the following businesses that also ranked highly against their peers in their respective sectors.

Finance:   Goodman Masson and Handle Recruitment

HR: Oakleaf Partnership and Frazer Jones

Legal: Shilton Sharpe Quarry and Glass Consultancy

Search: Odgers Berndtson and BIE Group

Technology: Aston Carter

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