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The Top GovCon Executive Recruiters: Bob Brudno, Savoy Partners

ExecutiveBiz spoke to senior leaders at some of government contracting's most powerful firms to find out whom they turn to when they need an executive position filled, and compiled the 10 recruiters you need to know.

To get a sense of their positions on government contracting, we asked the recruiters for their take on the current state of the industry and where they see it going in the future.

Brudno was named one of the “100 Most Influential Executive Recruiters in the World,“  according to Bloomberg.

What is your take on the current state of the government-contracting field?
The Top GovCon Executive Recruiters: Bob Brudno, Savoy Partners - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Bob Brudno

“Many of our clients are rightly concerned about sea changes in government contracting, but the nimble will survive and thrive.  Surely, major programs will undergo changes or be canceled, but the demand for expertise and professional services should not decline in the years ahead.  The challenges in security, healthcare, energy, infrastructure, defense and other government services will remain as the population grows and ages.  There will still be a pie; just different sized and shaped pieces.  Some companies may be implementing reduction strategies. Our clients are using us to find ‘pathfinders’ into new areas for growth.”

What sets your practice apart in the field?

“We have recruited industry CEO's Ken Dahlberg, then his successor, Walt Havenstein; Stan Sloane; and Paul Cofoni, as well as many Group Presidents and general managers. Because all searches are conducted by a partner, without the involvement of less-experienced researchers and associates, our searches are marked by discretion that the best candidates appreciate. We often present only two to four candidates before there is a hire.  Most clients don't realize that as many as half of the high-level searches fail to produce an outside finalist.  The internal promotions that follow are presented as the best choice, but, in reality, they are done by default because the clients never saw anyone better.  That doesn't mean that there weren't better people.  The leader of the CEO Search Committee of a board asked me once, ‘If we pick you to do the search, how will I justify using a boutique search firm, instead of a big one, if we fail to find anyone?’  I said, ‘You won't have to.'”

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