Getting the right man

Hiring companies want more bang for their buck, and search firms are falling in line

In the rarefied world of executive search, discounts hardly matter. Or do they? Ask SK Dutt, president and head-group HR, ABG Group. “A few years ago, search firms used to be adamant about not cutting even 1% of their commission; now they are more open to negotiations,” he says. He is, of course, talking about the changing attitudes of executive search firms over the past four to five years. Tough times — slowing revenue growth and the pressure to manage costs — have pushed Indian companies to take a long hard look at how cost-effective and accountable their search firm partners are.