This paper reviews the results of an exploratory study designed to examine the perceptions of a random selection of Australian human resource professionals regarding the attributes required of and the quality of service provided by executive search firms (ESFs) and advertised recruitment agencies (ARAs). A total of 109 useable responses were entered and a four-factor solution was derived employing three factor extraction techniques (principal components analysis (PCA), principal axis factoring (PFA) and maximum likelihood (ML)) for both ESFs and ARAs. Some marginal differences between ESFs and ARAs were identified with respect to required attributes. More importantly the quality of service provided by both ESFs and ARAs was found to be below that required on all factorial attributes and on most individual attributes. Quality differences were found to be significant on all but one factor, and on most individual attributes. In short, the clients of both ESFs and ARAs did not believe the service they received met their requirements. Whilst results should be read with caution due to a relatively low response rate, factorial results do hold up across three factorial extraction techniques and a number of significant results (p<0.001) were derived on paired-sample t-tests associated with comparisons of attribute importance and service levels provided. Findings are discussed and the implications for professional practice and future research reviewed.