It can easily be argued that search, as a specialism, has always been an outsourced function; as very few internal HR departments have had the courage, contacts or the credibility to conduct searches at director-level in the UK, let alone looking at overseas options. The fabled ‘little black book’ that has made many a head hunters’ fortune is jealously guarded and it has been seen as a cost-efficient option to hire search consultants, often at an eye-watering retainer, to conduct a series of one-off searches, sometimes to open-ended timescales.
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