April 16th, 2014 – Vienna, Austria – AIMS International, a preeminent global Executive Search and Talent Management organization, has launched the 9th issue of its Business Climate indicator. The ABCA delivers a global insight from the executive search business point of view.

This analysis of the Executive Search Market surveys past, present and expected business conditions in 7 major business segments. It approaches the last 4 months and forecasts the next 4 months on the basis of interviews with AIMS International partners and consultants in 47 countries. The first ABCA was published in Q2 2011.

“Every issue of the ABCA delivers useful information for any business leader. AIMS International covers the whole world and as trends in Executive Search firms are very early signs of changes – good or bad, the ABCA analysis provides concise information about these trends. It is a good indicator of where the future is heading”, says Daniel Ekberg, President of AIMS International.

The ABCA Q1 2014 shows the following results:

1. There is a significant change in the current business situation of the local markets in the 47 countries compared to the ABCA 2013 Q3. Today, 46% (Δ +12%) of the AIMS International partners and consultants evaluate the state of business locally as good, 44% (Δ -6%) as middle and only 10% (Δ -6%) as bad. This positive evaluation of the local markets to that extend is rather surprising. Even more, if you consider that interviewees from 30 countries report about markets in the EMEA region which could be especially negatively be effected by the unstable situation in Ukraine.Obviously the economical and financial situation there seems to be quite serious and to be getting worse due to the continuing military aggression. An indicator is the exchange rate of the Ukrainian Hryvna per Euro, which has changed from about 11/1 to 18/1 since December 2013.


Source: http://www.xe.com/currencychartsThe devaluation of the Ukrainian Hryvna is dramatic and correspondingly the international and local business is suffering.Practically all potential business projects and start-up of new businesses are frozen. AIMS International partners and consultants report that international companies which have been operating in Ukraine for 5-10 years do not plan to terminate their activity there as of today. On the other hand both local and international companies have initiated cost and staff reduction. Partially this happens due to the loss of the activities in the Crimea, partially in order to be ready for the possible profit loss during this year. The labor market in Ukraine is almost frozen.

How is the current local business situation in the 47 countries?


2. Allowing multiple answers, significant differences in the development of important business segments during the last 12 months have become obvious: business in Industrial, Engineering and Logistics increased by 18 %, in the Energy segment by 8% and FMCG, Retail and Luxury goods by 1%. All other business segments which were surveyed (Automotive, the Financial Services, the IT&T, Pharmaceuticals, Health Care and Life Science) decreased simultaneously by 2-3%.

How is the development of specific industry segments in the last 4 months?


3. Following the answers to the questions about revenue development in the last 4 months, significant improvement has taken place. 44% of the partners and consultants report their revenues as increased (Δ +14%!), 38% as stable (Δ -19%!) and still 18% as decreased (Δ +4%). After a long period of decreasing revenues this counter reaction was necessary.

How is the revenue development in the last 4 months?



4. The strongest markets for Executive Search in EMEA seem to be Bulgaria, Finland and Italy, in the AMERICAS Canada and Perú. In APAC, Australia and Japan report strong business.

5. Corresponding to the above (questions 1. and 3.), today, 79% (Δ +29%) of the interviewees evaluate the number of current direct search projects in their countries as large or sufficient, still 21% (Δ -29%) evaluate it as not enough.

How is the number of current direct search projects?


6. Based on the development of the business situation in the last 6 months and also taking into consideration the number of orders at hand the forecast for the next 4 months (2014 April to July) the expectation is positive: 51% (Δ +17%) expect the business to be better (for the first time since 2012 Q1 more than 50%), only 3% as worse (Δ -11%) and 46% as stable (Δ -6%).

How is the forecast for the next 4 months?


The overall outlook for 2014 Q2 is promising.