The answer is rather difficult like it always is when it is question to guess the future!
Actually I see mainly three mains reasons:
- Seize the opportunity of the Pappy boom to increase its activities. Inherent to the process, the more the activity increases the higher the demand for Executive Search.
- Propose a partial answer to the increasing job mobility. Top performers are expected to change employers 5 to 10 times while in the past the average was between 3 and 5
- Induce, in some cases, a new assignment due to the position left vacant by the leaving candidate. The option of the internal promotion will gradually decrease due to the expected shortage of talents caused by the Pappy boom
Based on the above, the demand for search should grow at a higher rate than the economy.
Although the raise of the professional networks could expect to threaten the Executive Search business, its activity should keep growing at a higher pace than the economy.
I essentially see three reasons:
- The job mobility is expected to go increasing in the coming years
A few decades ago, top executives changed employers just a few times in their whole career. Today, the rate has accelerated. The average executive will presumably work in an increasing number of companies (probably 5 to 10).
The reasons for this increase are numerous: acceleration of the business cycles, immediate reaction, globalisation, etc ….
As consequence, the demand for search will increase (either for searching the new candidate and/or finding his substitute in the company he has just left).
- The Pappy boom
Many companies have already begun suffering from a shortage of talents (war of talents).
In the coming years, this shortage is expected to strongly increase due to the Pappy boom (the inevitable consequence of the earlier Baby boom!).
This shortage will again increase or reinforce the number of companies seeking high performers.
- The Search mechanics
Every assignment is based on an inevitable logic. It concerns two positions: one left by the candidate and one where he arrives.
In other words, every new assignment generates a potential need for another one in the company seeing its talent leaving.
In the coming years, the replacement of the leaving candidate by internal promotion could gradually decrease due to the expected shortage of talents caused by the Pappy boom. At the company level the Executive Search will bring an answer but without resolving the global macroeconomic lack of talents.
Therefore, the demand for Executive Search assignments should normally grow at a higher pace than the economy, in the coming years.
What could possibly change is the relationship between the practice and its customers. But this is a rather large and difficult subject that certainly deserves more than a few lines!