The recent news of CTPartner’s bankruptcy might serve as a warning sign of things to come for retained and other traditional search firms in our industry.

Though these types of firms have seemingly been around forever, that may be the very problem – many of these old-school firms are stuck in their ways and not moving along with the changes that have swiftly altered the state of the talent acquisition and search industry today.

Once the seventh-largest search firm in the U.S., CTPartners was very publicly plagued by litigation issues. The organization quickly lost its top internal talent for such reasons, yet was still giving $1.7 million in bonuses per executive last year!

We can all learn a powerful lesson from the warning CTPartners has provided. We should be asking, “What does this mean to the future of the search industry as a whole?” This is where other firms might go if they’re not careful!!

The trouble CTPartners got into can be avoided. Being in tune with today’s business environment and culture, being fluid with a shifting industry, and always being extremely cautious about impropriety and its effect on your business are crucial in today’s professional landscape.

The days of marble walls and Class A office space are quickly going out the window. If traditional retained search firms can’t get on board with the changing dynamics of the industry, more might meet their demise just as CTPartners did.