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Why Choose a Member of AESC?


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Clients must be diligent in choosing a consultant. The problem they face is how to assess which consulting firms are ethical, experienced, and committed to excellence. For over 50 years the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants has set the standards for the profession. Here’s why:

The Top of the Profession

AESC members are the highest quality firms worldwide. Membership is selective and conducted by an AESC regional member council using global due diligence standards. The rigorous review process includes a site visit, an extensive evaluation of firm processes, checking of client references and a review of any legal actions that implicate the firm in ethical breaches. If selected, members agree to abide by the AESC’s Standards of Excellence and Code of Professional Practice.

Confidence and Security

AESC members provide their clients with credibility. AESC members understand and can assure appropriate levels of regulatory compliance for clients of search. The landscape of corporate governance is evolving at a rapid pace and on a global scale. With increasing oversight and transparency it is critical that hiring and advancement processes, especially in senior leadership roles, stand up to intense scrutiny. Boards increasingly see the value in hiring an independent third party to identify high-quality diverse talent, ensuring they have looked to the best in the market, not just friends and private networks.

When it comes to executive search, candidates respond very differently to an independent third party than they do to direct outreach from the hiring firm. Top executives trust the confidentiality they know they receive from an experienced independent third party. They are more likely to consider opportunities with the persuasion of someone they trust. Experienced AESC member consultants ensure that candidates have a highly professional, respectful, and positive experience. That experience can enhance a candidate’s perception of the client, and increase the likelihood that in-demand candidates will say “yes” to clients represented by an AESC member.

Across all services, integrity is the most important tenet of the AESC Code. Members have an unwavering commitment to integrity, and practice at the highest standards. Clients can be assured that their consultant will conduct assignments at the peak of professionalism.


AESC members provide companies with a competitive advantage—the ability to find, attract and develop the best talent in the world and ensure that executives are successfully integrated. AESC members provide much wider access to the passive job market, comprised of individuals who are not actively seeking employment but may be open to the right opportunity. It is particularly challenging to access that market, but this is one of many areas where AESC members excel. Members cultivate relationships over time, through deep, meaningful engagement within the specific industries in which they specialize.

Thought Leadership and Professional Development

AESC stays at the forefront of the profession—for the benefit of their clients. AESC members have exclusive access to research and reports on current issues relevant to the search for talent and effective leadership, such as diversity, data protection, and evolving regulatory environments.

AESC provides exclusive training for members to keep their teams’ skills sharp, including an Advanced Certificate in Executive Search and Leadership Consulting for senior consultants, developed jointly with Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. These programs for AESC members bring cutting-edge theory and industry best practices to client assignments.

Why Work with AESC Members?

Clients can expect to work with an executive search and leadership consulting firm that meets rigorous standards, has deep knowledge in their respective markets and industries, is committed to an exemplary Code of Professional Practice, and deploys unmatched resources to each assignment. AESC members serve as trusted advisors who consistently improve and innovate to bring the best resources to bear on behalf of their clients. 

By virtue of selecting an AESC member, clients can be secure in their choice of consulting firm, and can reap the benefits that only a trusted advisor can deliver. The best organizations work with the best firms: members of AESC.