InterSearch survey looks at Cross-Border hiring intentions among its client companies

InterSearch Worldwide recently conducted a survey to gauge the hiring intentions – particularly involving cross-border searches – of executives among its client companies during the year ahead.

Among companies with offices in countries outside of where their headquarters are located, plans to conduct searches for executives in foreign offices during the year ahead were evenly split. Fifty percent said they were planning to conduct searches while the other half said they were not.

Results based on company size, however, varied greatly among those responding to the survey.

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of larger companies – those with annual revenue of more than US$500 million or approximately 400 million Euro – indicated they planned to hire new executives in their offices around the world during the year ahead. When asked about their preference to hire locals versus ex-pats, 56 percent said they target locals exclusively while 42 percent said they target both locals and ex-pats. Just 2 percent said they only target ex-pats.

Results among medium-sized companies – those with annual revenue between US$50-500 million or approximately 40-400 million Euro – nearly mirrored the total results of all responding companies, with 51 percent saying they planned to conduct cross-border searches for executives in the next 12 months while 49 percent said they would not. Unlike their larger counterparts, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of medium-sized companies said they target both locals and ex-pats when looking to hire executives. Twenty-nine percent said they prefer to hire locally.

Among smaller companies – annual revenue under US$50 million or approximately 40 million Euro – less than a quarter (23 percent) said they would be conducting cross-border searches for executives in the year ahead while 77 percent said they would not. Of those planning to hire, 53 percent said they target both locals and ex-pats while 47 percent prefer to target locals.

“Clearly, particularly among larger and medium-sized companies, demand is quite high for cross-border executive searches. This is good news for the InterSearch network since we excel in partnering on cross-border search work,” said InterSearch Chairman Peter Waite. “To monitor these cross-border hiring trends and related matters over time we plan to conduct this survey once each year.”

Additional survey results

The survey also collected data on the importance of having multinational experience and/or education when considering candidates for executive-level positions. Some level of multinational exposure was either important (45 percent) or very important (43 percent) to 88 percent of respondents. Just 12 percent said it was not important.

Not surprisingly, English remains by far the dominant language of business. In terms of requiring a common language – in addition to the local language – for executives to speak, the results from respondents were:

  • English only (74 percent)
  • English + a local language (15 percent)
  • English + Spanish (6 percent)
  • English + German (3 percent)
  • English + French (2 percent)

InterSearch conducted this online survey of companies around the world during the summer of 2014.

Additional survey results can be found here.

About InterSearch

InterSearch Worldwide is a global organization of executive search firms consistently ranked amongst the largest retained executive search practices in the world. InterSearch is currently operating in more than 50 countries, staffed by local professionals selected for their experience and reputation in their own markets and their ability to operate internationally. For additional information, please visit

Media contact:   Eric Sodorff +1 847 922 4370