The ABCA Q4 2012

November 14th, 2012 – Vienna, Austria – AIMS International, a preeminent global Executive Search and Talent Management organization, has launched the fifth issue of its Business Climate indicator. The ABCA delivers a global insight into the executive search business.

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 48 countries. The first ABCA was published in Q2 2011.

“Every issue of the ABCA delivers interesting insights for me, as EVP AMERICAS at AIMS International and as an owner of a company with international business relations” comments AIMS International Vice President John W. Poracky.

The ABCA Q4 2012 shows the following significant results:

  1. 30% (Δ -7%) of the AIMS International partners and consultants evaluate the current state of business as good, 45% (Δ -6%) as middle and 26% (Δ +14%) as bad. The indizes for a stabilization of business which had been visible in the Q2 2012 ABCA are gone. In fact, the number of those who evaluate the current business situation as good has reached the all time low of 30%. Solely evaluating the situation in the EMEA Region is even worse, as only 17% evaluate the situation as good there.How is the present state of business in your company?
  2. Allowing multiple answers, significant differences in the development of important business segments during the last 12 months have become obvious:  the business situation in FMCG, Retail and Luxury Goods (Δ+10%) as well as the Energy or IT and Telecom (Δ+11%) segments are stable. Business in the Industrial, Engineering and Logistics segment has decreased remarkably: Δ -10% Executive Search projects.
  3. Following the answers to the questions about the revenue development in the last 4 months you can see that stabilization is not taking place. There is both a shift from companies with increasing revenues to stable revenues as well as a shift from companies with stable revenues towards decreasing revenues. Global markets in the 7 industry segments are in rough waters again.
  4. Only 56% (Δ -11%) of the AIMS partners evaluated their number of current projects as large or sufficient, 45% (Δ +12%) as not enough. Alarming is that only 9% (Δ -3%) of the companies evaluate their number of current projects as large. Upcoming free capacities are mainly used for quality enhancement initiatives.
  5. As for the forecast for the next 4 months, 85% (Δ -6%) expect the business to be stable or better, 15% (Δ +6%) as worse. The significant decrease of positive business expectation (Δ -16%) is another signal of tendencies towards rougher markets.

The overall outlook for Q1,2 2013 is not promising.

Corporate Communications

Christian Schulte +49 178 2854744

About AIMS International (

Incorporated in Vienna, Austria in 1992, AIMS International is an international executive search organization of independently owned and managed executive search firms who work collaboratively to execute executive search assignment for global clients around the world. AIMS International is represented by over 350 consultants in more than 90 offices in over 50 countries throughout all continents. It was ranked the largest executive search partnership in the world by Search-Consult Magazine.

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