AESC Executive Research Forum: Insights from London

In today’s lightning-fast business climate and its impact on our profession, it is difficult as an executive researcher to navigate through the complex paths. To combat this, we hosted our first AESC Executive Research Forum of the year in London on 22 March.

A diverse range of executive researchers from large, global to boutique firms traveled from across Europe to accelerate their expertise in the profession.

The Forum focused on the theme, Research Revolution, and explored cutting-edge techniques in reaching executive research success. Critical research skills, tools, and approaches were shared for researchers to stay at the forefront of best practices. An attendee commented, “Well organized, one of the best events I’ve attended!”

Engaging sessions that touched upon various topics include the impending EU GDPR legislation, unconscious bias, maximization of sourcing, and what’s now, new, and next in executive research. Paul Benson, Korn Ferry’s Regional Market Leader – Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Global Industrial Market and AESC Global Chair, opened the event by providing insights on the profession in an era of widespread disruption and fast change.

<London 2018: Executive Research Forum


Clare Mahon from AESC discussed the impact the impending GDPR legislation will have on executive research teams on how, when, and why they solicit, use, access, and store personal data, as well as up-to-the-minute guidance on how to adapt to the new norm of widespread regulation. AESC Members who wish to learn more about GDPR are encouraged to log in to the AESC Member Portal for latest alerts on Legal Affairs and access to our Webinar Archive.

"Best and most simple explanation of the topic I've had yet! Some simple and digestible messages surrounding a gray confusing term."


Kelsey Froehlich and Ekaterina Tomashchuk from Mintz Group uncovered issues through smarter research and shared a series of war stories in the profession.

“Fun and engaging. Engendered spirit of camaraderie”


Rachel Roche, Founder and President of Smart Search, led an interactive session to discuss the generation of new strategies and concrete methods to maximize every moment of the candidate conversation.

“One of the best candidate approaching/sourcing sessions I’ve had. Her presentation skills were very good, interactive, and engaging. Her shared experiences and tips were extremely useful, and I will implement them in my day-to-day candidate interactions.”


Vera Klaus, Founder of Phoenix Executive, covered various ways to generate quality organizational maps and the importance of telephone research and referrals.

“I enjoyed her group tasks and her experience of gathering information in order to effectively map.”


Laura Stoker from AIRS examined the changes taking place with professional networking sites. She shared other options that are available for finding candidates as well as fast sourcing ideas to make locating candidates off the beaten path easier.

“So many useful tools I have never heard of! These will be so useful. Found this very helpful!"


Hayley Barnard from MIX Diversity Developers helped executive researchers start to identify how our brains might automatically filter out potential candidates without them being aware that they are doing so.

“Really thorough and interesting, dynamic, interactive. Full of examples”

Thank you to our partners AIRS, Cluen, Invenias, Mintz Group, and Phoenix Executive for their support. Their support enables us to deliver quality content and networking opportunities to search firms around the world.

AESC Executive Research Forums are the preliminary steps in becoming certified through AESC’s Certified Researcher Associate (CRA) program. The content explored in the Forums is a great and brief inside look of topics covered in the CRA program. For more information, please contact Su Jin You at

View upcoming AESC Executive Research Forums in your region.