Peter Felix, President of the search association AESC, writes that the “search profession continues to expand its global footprint as more and more countries adopt free enterprise models”. There’s a lot of kitchen logic to that but it hasn’t been helping Heidrick and Struggles (HSII) who once again is finding itself getting lambasted by the press.
In a August 24 article in the Economist, the company is taken to task as it was recently by me and Staffing Talk readers and by Business Week. The Economist repeats the same criticisms – poor financial performance, myopic cost-cutting decisions – so much so they risk a 15-yard penalty for piling on.
Still, founders Gardner Heidrick and John Struggles can’t be smiling from the grave as the company has raised the white flag and is hoping that some white knight like acquisition-hungry Recruit Holdings of Japan will swoop in and buy them out given the stock’s depressed level.
Truth be told, it’s not just HSII. Every lumbering recruiting company in the country would love to get on Recruit Holdings radar.
But with HSII now trading at 26% or almost $30 million less than we last covered, it is a tempting target indeed. Meanwhile, as Peter Felix points out, four of the other large headhunting firms are doing just fine, thank you very much.