BusinessWeek has a list of the 50 most influential ones. To profile:
You can't get to the top without the headhunters. That's as true for businesses as it is for established and emerging leaders. The world's top headhunters control access to the lion's share of C-suite succession and leader-replacement searches for the world's largest corporations. Their influence also extends to the top ranks of the most ambitious smaller companies, which understand how crucial top talent is and are willing to pay for it.
Who are the most powerful talent brokers? They include former management consultants, corporate human resources executives, authors, boardroom advisers, graduates of the world's most elite business schools, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and trusted confidants of the world's most powerful business leaders. They are almost universally workaholics and globetrotters with a passion for the business of executive matchmaking, an affinity for socializing and peering deep into the human psyche, and a finely honed instinct for fitting candidate and company.
Thirty-one of the first 50 headhunters profiled herein hail from North America, the world's largest market, for their refined talent-spotting abilities. Many of them recruit for industries—such as financial services, consumer goods and services, technology, retail, and manufacturing—that have long relied on external talent to drive performance and fulfill senior leadership functions including the most prized C-suite posts.
And given its recent recruitment of two especially influential headhunters from competing firms, NYSE-listed Korn/Ferry International (KFY) takes the lead with seven headhunters on this initial list of executive recruitment power brokers.
Oh, and there's one Indian on the list too. Dinesh Mirchandani, Regional director, Boyden World