A company’s CMO plays an essential role in business operations, especially as it relates to revenue growth. Having a vacant Chief Marketing Officer position can be catastrophic, but so can having the wrong person in the role.

When it’s time to find a new CMO, you have to be able to trust that your executive search firm knows more than just the very best ways to recruit top-tier talent. They also need to understand the intricacies of a CMO’s job duties and how to find the ideal candidate for this integral position. 

Executive Search Firms for CMOs

What your executive search team will look for in a CMO

An experienced and knowledgeable search team will know what to look for in a CMO. That includes prioritizing high-value candidates who can take your marketing to new heights. 

These are some things to look for in your next CMO:

  • Can develop an outstanding marketing strategy and vision that aligns with your business goals
  • Has experience with marketing budgets and resource allocation across different organizational functions, including advertising, digital marketing, events, PR, etc. 
  • Has a track record of successful marketing department management, including establishing an organizational structure, hiring talent, and evaluating employee performance
  • Can effectively analyze key metrics related to marketing campaigns, sales conversions, customer engagement, and market share 
  • Collaborates well with cross-functional teams and other business units, including product development, sales, services teams
  • Stays on top of industry trends related to technology, consumer behavior, and marketing strategy
  • History of developing others within the marketing department and leading teams effectively
  • Has exceptional references and recommendations

Chief Marketing Officer Search Firms

10 Chief Marketing Officer Search Firms 

There are literally thousands of recruiters and search firms out there, but a few big names stand out at the top of the industry. The best search firms are those that have extensive networks to find great candidates, an expert-level understanding of executive culture, a customized approach to the work of recruiting, and strong assessment capabilities to predict candidate success. 

10 of the most well-known CMO executive search firms include:

  1. Y Scouts
  2. Russell Reynolds Associates 
  3. Heidrick & Struggles
  4. Spencer Stuart
  5. Egon Zehnder
  6. RSR Partners
  7. Amrop
  8. Boyden
  9. Stanton Chase
  10. Korn Ferry

We are proud to be at the top of this list, serving our clients in a way that prioritizes finding the ideal candidate to align with your company’s purpose and culture. 

Y Scouts

We are proud to be among the best executive recruitment firms in today’s competitive marketplace. As a boutique firm with a passion for transforming organizations, we connect great companies with amazing CMO candidates. 

We believe that skilled talent has the most profound impact on your competitiveness in the market, no matter the industry. We’ve also worked with wide range of clients,  from medium-sized, family-owned businesses to large corporations. 

Y Scouts is a purpose-based firm focused on creating a paradigm shift in how firms recruit executives, thanks to our unique approach to recruitment. That includes Role Visioning and Success Outcome Design, a Covert Discovery Process, and our Leadership Model for Hiring on Purpose. (Scroll to the end of this article for more information on these proprietary Y Scouts programs.) 

Russell Reynolds

Russell Reynolds Associates is an executive search and leadership advisory firm founded in 1969 by Russell S. Reynolds, Jr. and Lee Getz. Originally located on Madison Avenue in New York City, the firm emerged as one of the “Big Six” leaders in the executive search industry by 1977. 

Over the next few decades, Russell Reynolds expanded globally at a rapid pace, establishing 47 offices around the world by the early 2000s. The firm specializes in advising large, complex organizations across various industries on selecting and developing leaders capable of guiding them through disruptive technological and market changes.

Heidrick & Struggles

Heidrick & Struggles is an executive search and leadership advisory firm founded in 1953 in Chicago by Gardner Heidrick and John Struggles. Over the past seven decades, the firm has expanded globally, establishing a major presence in Europe, Asia, and Latin America largely through acquisitions that have diversified its suite of talent solutions and consulting services focused on placing leaders, assessing and developing leadership, and shaping organizational culture. Most recently in 2021, Heidrick & Struggles acquired BTG, a high-end independent talent marketplace.

Yscouts for executive search firms

Spencer Stuart

Spencer Stuart is an executive search and leadership advisory firm founded in 1956 by Spencer “Spence” Stuart, who pioneered a globally-minded approach to recruitment grounded in research and professionalism. 

Over the past six decades, the firm has expanded to 70 offices across 31 countries, evolving from a focus on international executive search to providing additional services like senior-level assessment, succession planning, board advisory, and culture shaping. 

Egon Zehnder

Egon Zehnder consists of over 600 consultants across 36 countries focused on serving clients seeking executive talent solutions. The firm focuses on being a centralized global entity with integrated leadership services including executive search, leadership development, and organizational transformation. They are known for long-term relationships with clients, a broad geographic spread, and an emphasis on collaboration. 

RSR Partners

RSR Partners is a leadership advisory firm that believes exceptional people create sustainable competitive advantage, thus they seek to build long-lasting partnerships and provide strategic counsel. RSR Partners describes their core values as excellence, collaboration, and integrity.


Amrop is one of the world’s largest leadership and executive search consultancies with 68 offices across 55 countries and a team of over 550 professionals. Founded in 1977, the firm has built a reputation for quality, talent, and agility by fostering deep connections with clients to help them shape sustainable success.


Boyden is a global executive search and leadership advisory firm with over 70 offices across more than 45 countries. Boyden’s partners leverage the firm’s global resources and specialized industry and functional expertise to provide focused executive search, interim management, and leadership consulting services. The firm emphasizes responsiveness, commitment to clients, and forging connections across geographies.

Stanton Chase 

Stanton Chase is a global executive search and leadership advisory firm founded in 1990 by entrepreneurial partners seeking to transform recruitment practices by prioritizing client partnerships, trust, and transparency. With 70 offices across 45 countries, Stanton Chase provides personalized executive search, assessment, succession planning, and board services, measuring success through clients’ success.

Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry was founded in Los Angeles in 1969 by Lester Korn and Richard Ferry with a vision to become a global executive search firm. Over the next five decades, Korn Ferry significantly expanded its talent solutions through strategic acquisitions of leadership development, HR consulting, recruitment process outsourcing, and interim leadership firms. Major milestones include establishing Futurestep in 1998, acquiring Hay Group in 2015 to address the entire talent continuum, and purchasing Lucas Group in 2021 to boost recruitment capabilities. Most recently in 2023, Korn Ferry acquired Salo to further specialize in finance, accounting, and HR talent. 

Top choice for finding a CMO

Our Take: Why Y Scouts Tops the List 

With so many recruiting firms out there, including those that focus on C-Suite and executive leadership, it takes a lot to rise to the top of the field. 

Despite the strengths of our competitors, we have clients who come to us every day who are ready for something different. As a boutique firm, we have the experience to provide you with incredible recruiting solutions and the opportunity to focus all of our efforts on successfully finding the best possible CMO candidate for your company. 

We respect the impressive work that professionals in our industry do. At the same time, we are confident in our claim that Y Scouts should be your top choice for finding a CMO. We are the original purpose-based recruiting firm, and we are the only recruitment firm with a proven track record of focusing on purpose-aligned recruiting. 

Y Scouts offers three things that none of our competitors offer: 

  1. Role Visioning & Success Outcome Design
  2. Covert Discovery Process
  3. Leadership Model for Hiring on Purpose 

We look forward to sharing these revolutionary recruiting strategies with you! 

Our Process as a CMO Recruiter

Unlike traditional firms, Y Scouts has a unique process that is focused on uncovering candidates’ passions and aspirations before sharing any specific details about the role or specific company, then ensuring that those passions align with our clients’ vision. 

It’s not just about supplying a strong candidate. It’s about discovering the person who can step into your open CMO role and lead your marketing team to incredible success–right away. 

Some of the things that make our process unique: 

  • We will prioritize finding a CMO who is aligned with your company culture (purpose over resume!
  • We avoid transactional relationships and instead build enduring partnerships with our clients and candidates
  • Our recruiting methodology is fueled by research, data, and decades of experience

Trust Y Scouts for Your C-Level Executive Search–Especially for Your CMO

The team at Y Scouts won’t present a candidate to you until we have an unparalleled understanding of your company and its purpose. As the original purpose-driven executive search firm, we know that the best candidate will have more than just a stellar resume and a track record of success. They will also align perfectly with your company culture and purpose. 

Your marketing team is one of the most important pieces of your company puzzle, and you need someone in leadership over the marketing department 

Y Scouts has decades of performance-proven leadership search experience. We are focused on transforming how people and companies  connect to work that matters. When you’re ready to hire a new CMO, contact Y Scouts.

Let’s talk so that we can get started on hiring your next leader. Your new CMO is waiting to come on board–let’s find them!