Leveraging Industry Experience in Executive Search and Leadership Consulting

AESC Members work diligently to provide executive talent solutions for organizations across all industries and in all geographies—spanning 1,200+ offices in 70+ countries. Bringing a deep level of expertise to their clients, our Members have a unique vantage point as they help companies build effective organizational cultures and advise on leadership strategies impacting business leaders and the world. 

With our AESC Member Spotlights, we speak with members to get their take on the profession, industry and sector-specific trends, regional insights and more. 

Today, Victor Filamor, a Partner with Stones International, discusses how he utilizes his 25+ years of industry experience with clients in the Consumer & Retail and Industrial Sectors.  

Tell us about Stones International.

Stones International is a boutique senior level executive search firm with offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. Our founding partners established the firm in Hong Kong 11 years ago. They have lived in Asia for many years and have worked with multinationals in the luxury, fashion and logistics industries. These industry sectors were the original focus sectors of Stones International. Today our core sectors are in Consumer & Retail, Industrial, Life Sciences, and Financial Services.

Like our founding partners, all our senior consultants come from long careers at a senior level with our client industries. We are proud to be one of the very few independent international firms in Asia that have been certified by the AESC. 

How does Stones International provide clients with a competitive advantage?

We provide clients with a competitive advantage by partnering closely with them to ensure great hires. This is easier said than done. Stones International offers guarantees to protect the interest of both clients and candidates, often beyond the regular market standards. We work with the hiring managers and decision makers on a detailed brief in each assignment. Our clients gain competitive and market intelligence from candidate profiles we present to them after surgically mapping the market (local, regional, global as required).

Great hires remain great if they stay with our clients and continue to deliver. We are in continuous touch with the recruited candidates after they have joined our clients. We share regular reports on how recruited candidates perceive they are doing during their first year. These reports are valued by our clients because they allow them to synchronize perceptions and expectations with the new hires.

You specialize in the Consumer & Retail and Industrial Sectors placing top management regional, country and functional positions in Asia. Can you discuss how you leverage your expertise to provide solutions for the world’s most successful companies and brands?

My origins are from the client side. Prior to my 11-year career in executive search, I had over 25 years of P&L management, as well as marketing, sales and operations management experience with Consumer and Industrial Fortune 500 companies and Asian multinationals. I have lived in four countries across Asia. I have hired executives and have been a candidate placed by executive search firms during my corporate career.

This background allows me a quicker and deeper understanding of companies’ businesses and challenges and thus, be more effective in shortlisting candidates. It enables me to go beyond a job description in asking relevant questions from our clients and candidates. Coming from the client side gives me the gravitas to pitch our clients’ story to passive candidates. 

On the other hand, having been a candidate previously in my career gives me the sensitivity to be cognizant of how candidates want to be treated by executive search firms and clients during the recruitment process.

Finally, I am also a practicing executive coach. I work with executive clients to transform their performance at work.

Why is it important to have a standard setting board like AESC in Asia? 

I believe that clients work with a recruitment partner because of the executive search consultant, not necessarily the name of the firm. Building a relationship with client decision makers such that they partner with you on a retained basis does not happen overnight. 

However, retained executive search is still a growing industry within the Asia Pacific region. For instance, those new to working with a recruitment partner may not understand the varied nuances between retained executive search and contingent recruiting. As the AESC continues to build a strong brand in Asia, it will help company decision makers and influencers better understand the quality level of service that AESC Members deliver. 

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