America’s Best Recruiting Firms 2019

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For the ranking of "America’s Best Recruiting Firms" Statista and Forbes divided the broad field of recruitment firms into two main categories:

  • Executive Search (specialized in permanent placement of executive positions with at least USD 100,000 income per year)
  • Professional Search (specialized in permanent placement of professional and specialist positions up to USD 100,000 income per year).


The ranking in these categories are based on two surveys:

Client survey: 5,000 candidates and HR-managers as clients of recruitment firms within the last three years

Expert survey: More than 25,000 external recruiters from recruiting firms were invited, as experts, to share their market insights

The surveys took place between 13th December 2018 and the 31st February 2019 with invitations sent by e-mail including a personalized link. Each respondent could name up to ten recruiting firms per category. Giving a recommendation was not mandatory and an autocomplete function helped the respondent to select a recruiting firm. Respondents were also able to recommend any recruiting firm which did not appear in the auto-complete list.

(1) Candidates and HR-managers were asked to name recruiting firms they know and had worked with in the last three years and were also able to assess the nominated recruiting firms on a scale from 1 ("poor") to 6 ("excellent") in different aspects.

For candidates this assessment included the following aspects:

  • Quality and selection of offered positions
  • Quality of process (e.g. clear, reliable, timely)
  • Quality of communication (e.g. personal, professional).


For HR-managers this assessment included the following aspects:

  • Quality and selection of offered candidates and their fit within unique environments
  • Quality of process and communication e.g. purposeful, keeping commitments, responsiveness
  • Understanding of unique company culture
  • Price-performance ratio for offered services


(2) External recruiters were asked to recommend recruiting firms based on the case that they would not be able to provide a service or industry focus themselves. Self-recommendations and recommendations within one’s own recruiting firm were identified and not considered.



In total 6,300 respondents took this year’s surveys with over 17,000 nominations of recruiting firms.

Recommendations and evaluations from last year's surveys were also considered with a lower weighting to accommodate the consistently high reputation of a recruiting firms work.

The 250 best recruiting firms in the Professional as well as 200 in the Executive category were ranked based on the score from our elaborate model that included the number of nominations and recommendations as well as the assessment in the various evaluation areas across the groups of participants.

The ranking is comprised exclusively of recruiting firms that have a sufficient number of nominations.

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Brian Farhi

Statista Inc.

New York

Phone +1 212 419-5785