“2009 has turned out to be one of the most challenging years in the hotel business. Financing and debt related issues have affected almost every significant market in the world. Clearly, the US and European economies were hit hardest, while South America and parts of Asia were less affected.
Unemployment in the US has increased to nearly 14% which has had a profound effect on executive search and the staffing industry as a whole. The two publicly traded search firms, Korn Ferry and Heidrick & Struggles saw worldwide revenue and the North America region decline more than 40%. This trend has also affected our organization with gross revenue of the division declining 25% year over year. In relation to some of our larger brethren, we feel that we have performed extremely well during the downtown. We completed numerous C-level searches around the globe and have seen an uptick in retained searches in the industry over the last quarter.
My personal prediction for 2010 is cautiously optimistic. There are signs that the debt markets are starting to unfreeze and in turn, hiring will increase over the coming year. I have also observed the number of competitors in the space decrease significantly and that will bode well for us picking up market share in 2010.
Finally, we took the opportunity in 2009 to solidify our team and created a strategic plan that will guide us over the next three to five years. For those that have survived 2009, we believe there is a tremendous upside in owning opportunities and developing hotels, casinos and restaurants.”
– Keith Kefgen, MD & CEO AETHOS Consulting Group
The Partners at the firm each present an outlook for 2010 from their offices around the globe. Read more here.