Meet America’s Best Recruiting And Staffing Firms 2023

 When Aubry Alvarez, Ph.D., began looking for a job in the tech industry last year, she found that as “a psychologist with technical skills,” identifying a position that complimented her unique skill set was a challenge. “None of the roles felt quite aligned,” she says. “I also highly value work-life balance and was never sure from the outside whether any particular job would share the same values.”

That’s why Alvarez, who lives in Florida, decided to try a recruiting agency called The Mom Project—and she is thrilled that she did. “Working with a recruiter allowed me to share my background, interests, and values, and then have someone else keep tabs on the market for me, taking into account all of these elements,” she says. The results were astounding: Within two weeks, Alvarez had landed a contract position she loves at Meta. She is engaged in her projects, has extended her contract, and still has room for life outside of work. “I was pleasantly surprised with not only how aligned the role that they found for me, but also by the speed with which everything fell into place. I would simply not have been able to find that kind of role so quickly on my own,” Alvarez says.

It’s successes like these that make recruiting and staffing agencies so valuable in a workforce where people change jobs on average every two years and nine months, says Biron Clark, a former executive recruiter and founder of Career Sidekick, a career advice and job search website. Plus, given that 40% of workers in the U.S. last year said they expected to leave their jobs in the near future, according to a report from McKinsey & Company, recruiters and staffing companies can meet a critical need for both job seekers and employers.

But because not all recruiting agencies are created equal, Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to compile our seventh annual list of America’s Best Executive Recruiting FirmsAmerica’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms, and America’s Best Temp Staffing Firms.

The lists are derived from survey responses from more than 5,200 external recruiters, HR or hiring managers, and job seekers with recent experience working with a recruiting firm. The top-rated firms landed on one or more of Forbes’ three lists—150 companies in the executive search category, 200 companies in professional search, and 150 companies in temp staffing.

One company that consistently ranks well is Kelly, a recruiting firm with expertise in fields such as science, engineering, technology, telecom, and education. The agency, which has been in business for more than three-quarters of a century, took the No. 1 spot on the temp staffing list (up from No. 2 in 2022), edging out Robert Half, which dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 this year. Kelly also repeated its No. 2 ranking from last year in the professional recruiting category, coming up on the heels of Robert Half, which repeated its No. 1 ranking from last year.

The secret to the agency’s success? Peter Quigley, Kelly’s CEO, says it’s a combination of “time-tested practices and behaviors related to both the customers that we serve and the talent that we place, coupled with a very intentional combination of tools and technologies,” which he notes are constantly evolving. The firm is also keenly tuned in to what job candidates are seeking. Not only is the demand for hybrid and remote work at an all-time high, but increasingly, people “want to feel connected to a purpose and that their work is meaningful,” Quigley says, and Kelly can help them find that.

Recruiters at Adecco (which ranked No. 6 in temp staffing, No. 7 in professional recruiting, and No. 17 in executive recruiting) have discovered that flexibility has become job candidates’ highest priority. “The pandemic accelerated flexible work and cemented it as a must-have in the workforce,” says Geno Cutolo, head of Adecco North America. Adecco is meeting that needs through digital resources that enable candidates to “easily apply for jobs at their fingertips,” Cutolo says. Or, if they prefer, they can take advantage of in-person opportunities, such as recruiting events run by the Adecco “jobmobiles” that travel the country. “While remote and hybrid work has become a major part of the work culture since the pandemic, we balance that with our in-the-field approach,” Cutolo says. “We’re focused on staying close to our clients (aka employers), job seekers, and associates—connection still matters.”

A balance of high-tech offerings and face-to-face connections is also important for Aya Healthcare, No. 21 in temp staffing (up from No. 73 last year) and No. 83 in professional recruiting. Named the largest healthcare staffing firm in the U.S. by Staffing Industry Analysts, Aya has developed an innovative online platform that uses algorithms to match clinicians and healthcare employers.

“On the clinician side of the platform, they can register their preferences, and they can tell us what they’re looking for and then the system is smart enough with algorithms to amplify those preferences to help them land in areas where they’re most interested,” says April Hansen, a nurse and group president of workforce solutions at Aya Healthcare. “And the details are visible, so you no longer have to wait to hear back from a recruiter to see what a job pays; you don’t have to wait to try to figure out what hospital or client the job actually is; it’s self-service within the platform, and that’s been key because clinicians want on-demand real-time access to the job details.”

On the employer side, once a job is posted, it hits Aya’s database and the technology immediately starts presenting that job to candidates who are best matched for it. “This magic is happening in the middle of the platform,” Hansen says. “It’s seamless and it’s highly personalized to what the client needs and what the clinician needs.”

Along the way, Aya recruiters reach out to candidates to help them customize their searches or to provide services, including licensing and housing assistance (if a job involves relocating). “We help mitigate any problems that come up and solve issues really quickly,” Hansen says.

This efficient system of pairing clinicians with healthcare employers has become even more crucial post-pandemic as the U.S. grapples with a healthcare workforce shortage. Among the workers who haven’t left the healthcare field altogether, a growing number of burned-out clinicians are gravitating toward gig employment to gain more flexibility and control over their schedules. “They also want varied experiences as a burnout relief factor,” Hansen says, so the ability to easily find shifts in different settings for different days of the week can help clinicians remain engaged in their work.

Engaged employees and satisfied employers are, of course, the primary objectives of good recruiters. But the best recruiters, says Quigley from Kelly, take a long-term view of the recruiter-candidate relationship—helping job seekers develop their skills, identify next steps and work toward their ultimate career goals. As Quigley sums it up: “Our philosophy is we’re going to be your talent agent for life.”


Statista surveyed 5,200 external recruiters, HR or hiring managers, and participants who’ve worked with at least one of the firms, and gave them the chance to recommend and assess recruiting and staffing companies. The survey period ran from November 2022 through late February 2023, and the firms that received the highest scores made it onto one or more of the final three lists. The executive recruiting list includes the top 150 companies that specialize in filling positions with salaries of at least $100,000; the professional recruiting list consists of the top 200 companies that specialize in filling positions with salaries of less than $100,000; the temp staffing list includes the top 150 companies that focus on matching job candidates with employers for temporary and contract positions.

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