June 19, 2017 – Search firms are launching expansive initiatives to move their businesses upstream into leadership consulting. Following similar moves taken by rivals, Russell Reynolds Associates recently launched such a drive. The new approach will allow the nation’s No. 5 recruiter to extend its reach further into the C-suite, where its consultants can achieve maximum productivity, and margins.
Other search firms have taken note, and are making bold moves or planning expansive modifications to their service platforms. The shift is likely to take recruiters, eventually, fully into CEO advisory work, talent benchmarking, people assessment, strategy & performance measurement, and culture shaping.
For publicly-held Heidrick & Struggles, a top rival to closely held Russell Reynolds, a similar shift in strategy is underway. While its executive recruiting business has been healthy, Heidrick continues to report that its leadership consulting segment is, in fact, the rapid expander in its talent services portfolio.
To that end, the company just named has appointed Andrew LeSueur as head of leadership consulting to oversee this growing business line in the Americas, its largest market. “Andrew’s success in accelerating the performance of our clients will bring immense value to our leadership consulting business as we look to further strengthen the firm’s complementary services,” said Colin Price, executive vice president and managing partner of the company’s leadership consulting practice.
“I look forward to the opportunity to make an even broader impact for the firm and our clients during a time when the need for visionary leadership, differentiating talent and thriving culture has never been greater,” said Mr. LeSueur, a former consultant at McKinsey & Co., where he was partner in the firm’s operations practice, working with clients to help create, implement and sustain performance transformations.
Last year, the segment increased by just over 100 percent, making it the second largest source of revenue within the company. For every search firm, the only sign of trouble ahead in this burgeoning space is attracting, hiring and then retaining key staff to see the business through. Leadership consulting, most recruiters will readily admit, is all about customization. The key ingredient to push that sort of new effort forward will be people.