Hunt Scanlon’s Top 10 Search Assignments of 2018

December 18, 2018

With 2018 drawing to a close, we looked back through our archives over what was by all accounts a remarkable year for first-rate search assignments. Hunt Scanlon Media tracked hundreds of them. From CEO placements to those covering the bandwidth of the C-suite, our editorial team gleaned the best from every industry sector and functional discipline to create this year’s 10 most interesting list.

For search firms of every kind, it was a prosperous year. Important assignments for renowned clients are always a plus. But the variety of searches for such an impressive array of organizations speaks volumes about the recruitment industry’s impact on businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, sports organizations and government agencies of all kinds.

The big firms brought their reputations and sizable teams to the fore. Korn Ferry, for one, was retained to search for the successor to Les Moonves, who stepped down as CEO at CBS after accusations of sexual misconduct. Gannett Co. commenced the hunt for a successor to retiring president and CEO Robert Dickey by calling in Egon Zehnder. And Spencer Stuart found the new CEO for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The boutiques, however, won a significant number of assignments that not long ago would have gone to the Big Five. Lacking so many of the potential conflicts of interest that the big firms carry, not to mention a nimbleness that the bigger firms find hard to match, the boutiques won numerous impressive assignments this year. Phillips Oppenheim placed the new director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Isaacson Miller found the new director for the JFK Presidential Library and Museum. Hanold Associates was given the mission of identifying the next CHRO at Under Armour. And CarterBaldwin landed the new president of the Heritage Foundation.

All this is to say nothing of some other high-profile assignments: DHR International, for example, found the new executive director for the Miami City Ballet. Diversified Search placed the president and CEO for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. And Turnkey Search recruited the new team president for the Carolina Panthers.

While it is nearly impossible to pick just 10 of the most interesting search assignments over a full year – we tracked hundreds of them – that’s exactly what we’ve tried to do here. So, in case you missed any of these stories during the course of a very busy year, or if you’d like to reread what are likely some of your own favorites, here are our 10 best picks for 2018. Happy reading . . . and Happy New Year from Hunt Scanlon Media!