Leadership Jumping Ship: Attracting and retaining the best performers at professional services firms
Leadership StrategiesSuccession PlanningProfessional ServicesHuman ResourcesBoard and CEO AdvisoryExecutive Search
Article Icon Report
Hans-Reus.jpg
February 08, 2017
5 mins min read
Leadership StrategiesSuccession PlanningProfessional ServicesHuman ResourcesBoard and CEO AdvisoryExecutive Search
rra-capabilities-board-effectiveness.jpg

 

​Summary

In September 2016, Russell Reynolds Associates surveyed 333 senior executives at professional services firms across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific to explore:

the reasons they accept or decline offers of employment at other firms and

their perceptions of recruiting processes.

The respondents are employed by a wide range of professional services firms, public and private, large and small, which are focused on strategy consulting, technology advisory, operations and other services.

Key findings include:

Top performers are highly sought after: 80% of respondents receive four or more calls per year for external opportunities, and 19% receive more than 15 such calls per year.

Both women and men consider a more interesting or challenging role the most important factor by far when accepting a career move, outweighing 10 other factors, including compensation.

Women are interviewing for jobs and accepting offers at a higher rate than men.

Executives aged 40 and above place more emphasis on innovative culture than younger executives when evaluating a future role and employer.

Compensation is twice as critical to executives in the Americas as it is to those in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

We are pleased to share our findings and insights to help companies attract the best talent in the marketplace. The report first explores gender-based differences, followed by insights related to seniority and age. We conclude with geographical variances. We welcome the opportunity to share additional details regarding the report and to discuss strategies to help you navigate this competitive talent market.

Recruiting top talent in professional services has become hypercompetitive

Female executives are in high demand and making moves

Leadership Jumping Ship_pic1.2.jpg
Leadership Jumping Ship_pic2.2.jpg


Candidates want to "step up" — new challenges and expanded opportunities drive career moves

Leadership Jumping Ship_pic3v2.jpg

Gender matters: understanding differences in attitudes

Leadership Jumping Ship_pic4.jpg

Insights related to seniority and age

Leadership Jumping Ship_pic5.jpg

A more challenging role is universally most important for executives considering a job change

Leadership Jumping Ship_pic6.jpg

CONTRIBUTORS

ANTONIO MACHADO helps clients build successful leadership teams by advising them on talent decisions and by identifying, attracting and assessing senior executives. He is a member of the firm’s Business and Professional Services practice and Technology practice. He serves public, private and private-equity backed clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. He is based in Atlanta.

LAWRENCE KENNY co-leads the firm's Business and Professional Services practice and focuses on senior executive search and leadership and assessment assignments in the Technology sector. Lawrence recruits CEOs, CFOs, and board members for public companies and works with clients in the consulting, systems integration, and BPO and outsourcing industries. He is based in Atlanta.

ADRIAN FISCHER helps European and German clients recruit and retain top-tier business leaders. As a former strategy consultant working exclusively in the digital technology sector, he focuses on three areas: business and professional services, e.g., strategy consulting, Big Four and IT services firms (including CIO-related work), technology companies including telecommunications and high-tech, and digital including pure Internet players and digital transformations of major companies in financial services, retail and automotive. He is based in Munich.

HANS REUS helps global, European and Dutch clients identify, assess, appoint and retain top-tier business leaders. He focuses on two markets, in line with his previous experience and education: business and professional services, e.g., consulting, accountancy, law firms, temporary staffing and business process outsourcing, which he co-leads globally, and technology, e.g., digital, information security, Internet of Things, cloud, media, mobility, outsourcing, chief information officers, semiconductors and clean tech. He is based in Amsterdam.

PUNEET KALRA leads the firm's Technology sector in India and drives its strategy across the Asia-Pacific region. He also co-leads the Business and Professional Services practice globally. Puneet has led various technology CEO- and CXO-level searches searches as well as leadership assessment and CEO succession engagements in India and globally with both multinational and Indian heritage companies. He is based in New Delhi.

MIKI CARLTON is the firm’s global knowledge leader for the technology sector. She is based in Palo Alto.

KATIE DEWEY is a knowledge analyst in the technology sector. She is based in Palo Alto.

GEORGE HEAD is a knowledge analyst in the technology sector. He is based in London.

 

FOOTNOTES

Survey response options were "not important," "somewhat important," "important," and "critical."

Survey response options were "not important," "somewhat important," "important," and "critical."

Survey response options were "not important," "somewhat important," "important," and "critical."

The term "partner" refers to a leader in professional services firms and includes partners, managing directors, vice presidents, etc.

"Pre-partner" includes managers, senior managers, directors, principals, consultants, etc., who are below partner level.