Executive Research Revolution: New Trends in Uncovering and Sourcing Top Executive Talent

In advance of AESC's 2018 Executive Research Forums, we sat down with AESC's Coordinator of Education and Outreach, Su Jin You, to better understand the top trends impacting Executive Research today as it relates to executive-level candidate sourcing, identification and selection.

Su Jin, could you introduce yourself and tell us about your role at AESC?

I am the Education & Outreach Coordinator at AESC. I manage and develop educational programs, forums, and webinars AESC offers as well as provide training on the BlueSteps candidate database.

Approximately how many executive researchers are within AESC membership? And how about in Europe and Africa?

There are approximately 3,400 executive researchers within AESC membership, about 1,200 of whom are in the Europe and Africa regions.

What are some of the hot button issues impacting the role of executive researchers?

With technological advances incrementally rising and the scope of research diversifying, some important issues impacting the role of researchers are big questions around data: data privacy, cyber security, data dependency, big data, regulations around data, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and so on. Astounding amounts of data are being collected and analyzed at alarming rates which entail greater attention to how we use data, share data, and the ethical concerns behind it. Greater reliance on data and the Internet naturally leads to issues around sourcing and impacts new methodologies in search.

What should client organizations know about how AESC members approach executive research?

All AESC members operate at the top of the profession in adhering to the AESC Code of Professional Practice. AESC members provide deep expertise in industries, functional roles, and geographies, all of which help their clients to succeed. In addition, as an AESC member, firms provide high-level candidate care. Candidate care ensures that every candidate who works with an executive search firm is supported throughout their experience by firms being responsive, offering feedback, and keeping candidate data secure. AESC ensures that all members are carefully vetted and represent the top of the profession.

AESC hosts Executive Research Forums. What are you trying to provide researchers and associates through these events?

AESC Executive Research Forums are a great way for the researcher and associate audience to not only acquire key insights on the trends affecting the profession but also to be in the forefront of best practices. In an era where the pace of change is fast, these Forums provide a great opportunity to explore new tools and approaches and apply them to your daily work.

What are some of the sessions one will experience at the London Forum?

The London Forum will be a full-day event touching upon hot topics currently affecting the profession. To address the impending GDPR legislation that is to go into effect in May, Clare Mahon, AESC’s Managing Director of Europe & Africa, will provide up-to-the-minute guidance on how the profession is adapting to the regulation. Another session will focus on the ‘candidate conversation.’ The candidate conversation is difficult, balancing learning about the candidate with selling the client’s opportunity, all at the same time. This session will be taken by Rachel Roche, who leads the Expert Forum series for AESC’s Certified Researcher Associate (CRA) program. She will share new methodologies focused on maximizing that candidate conversation. In addition, professional networking sites have dominated internet recruiting in recent years. However, online candidate behavior is changing, and recruiters need to know how to find and connect with candidates outside of the sites they have grown dependent on. An interactive session by expert trainer, Laura Stoker, from AIRS will highlight such changes and strategies in maneuvering them to locate unfrequented candidates easier. We are also pleased to have Kelsey Froehlich of Mintz Group take an interactive session on background checking and Vera Klaus of Phoenix Executive take a deep dive into organizational mapping.

What insights will participants take away after the event?

After attending the Forum, participants will be informed on how the profession is changing; how they can handle the impending EU GDPR regulation on data privacy; uncover issues through smarter search; maximize the candidate conversation; generate quality organizational maps; rediscover the importance of telephone research and referrals; how to maneuver the Internet in finding candidates; and explore a deeper look at unconscious bias.

How will the event ultimately benefit client companies who retain AESC member executive search and leadership consulting firms?

Client companies can ultimately benefit from the event because, with researchers acquiring new and fresh insight, they are then better equipped with tools, knowledge, and resources to serve their clients better. The content explored during the Forum include key insights as to how they can utilize the strength of the telephone, how they can find better candidates, how to remove their bias in search, and much more. With better equipped researchers, we’ll have even better candidate lists and better options for clients to find high-calibre candidates.