Terrific piece by Kenneth Vinther Mortensen of Boyden.  Kenneth talks about the relationship between internal and external databases - the fall of the former and the rise of the latter - in the context of a wider discussion on digital transformation and the search sector.

His view is one that we fully concur with.  How many executive search databases will store, for example, the name of the CEO of a Fortune 500 company?  Dozens of them.  And, if they don't, any researcher can find that information in moments via Google.  There's no inherent value in that knowledge.

Information on Board and C-Suite executives is easy to find.  The level below that can be more challenging, but tools such as LinkedIn and Xing- while far from exhaustive - make vast amounts of such information publicly available.  Again, there is little inherent value in replicating that information in a search firm database.

As Kenneth argues, the Search firm provides value not through the ownership of raw data, but by the consulting element of the search process - the understanding of the need, the understanding of where to look, the ability to get past the gatekeeper, the ability to get the perfect candidate over the line.

Enjoy the article.