What Is Executive Research & How Do I Grow My Skills?

Having Solid Executive Research Skills Effectively Supports the Executive Search Process 

Executive research is at the core of the search process. It is the main starting component in curating a shortlist of qualified executive candidates, and ultimately, finding the right fit for an organization.  

What Is Executive Research?  

Executive research is the process by which organizations assess executive candidates—both active and passive—to create a shortlist of candidates that meet the qualifications of their search assignment. This is typically an early stage of the executive search process, shortly following initial meetings where candidate criteria are determined. Executive research consists of a wide variety of responsibilities including understanding the role and the necessary core competencies, establishing a framework for a diverse, equitable and inclusive search, utilizing sourcing tools and organizational networks to identify all potential candidates, creating and placing advertisements for vacancies, liaising with consultants, candidates and clients, arranging interviews and meetings, and much more.

What Is the Role of an Executive Researcher in the Executive Search Process? 

Executive search firms and in-house talent acquisition teams value executive research so highly that they have specifically designed roles dedicated to such audits. Those who perform these responsibilities have varying titles, with some of the more common titles being Executive Researcher, Associate, Analyst or Search Coordinator. Regardless of the title, they play an important role in the executive search process. They support the executive search consultants or human resources officers by laying the groundwork for securing a successful leader.  

With their knowledge of the client and the assignment, executive researchers begin the name generation process with sourcing tools such as BlueSteps, strategically engage with their in-house sourcing software, and apply referral sourcing to identify potential candidates or organizations that would yield the right candidates. The executive researcher is the first point of contact for both referral sources and candidates. They schedule meetings and interviews to gauge interest and vet potential candidates before adding them to the shortlist.  

How an Executive Researcher Can Grow Their Skills 

In today’s ever-changing business environment, executive researchers are tasked with greater responsibility and finding solutions to new challenges. To adapt to the evolving demands of the role, executive researchers need to learn and develop their skill sets and knowledge.  

Professional development courses focused on executive research can help executive researchers or associates strengthen core skills and enhance their ability to succeed in the role. Through training, researchers or analysts can: 

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the executive search profession. 
  • Learn how to create a list of qualified candidates that meet their company’s/client’s needs. 
  • Discover the major aspects of an effective search strategy. 
  • Understand the latest sourcing methods and how to engage with referral sources. 
  • Explore new ways to assess interest and determine qualifications.  
  • Foster client and candidate relationships and communication. 

Why Executive Researchers Should Pursue AESC’s Certificate in Executive Research 

AESC’s Certificate in Executive Research is open to researchers, associates, analysts, in-house recruiters, talent acquisition managers, and team leaders interested in creating and delivering a list of top-tier candidates and supporting their team in the quest to identify and secure the best candidate.   

This is a three-part program featuring several forms of study, engagement and assessment. The foundation course covers a variety of topics including an introduction to executive search, tools for executive researchers, effective search strategies, sourcing, interviewing and qualifying candidates and due diligence and legislative issues. The second aspect of the program is the expert forums, which include interactive 90-minute sessions over the course of four days. Forums are scheduled throughout the year to accommodate a global audience. The entire program culminates in a final exam with role-play scenarios to demonstrate participants’ comprehension of the materials.  

This course can help executive researchers differentiate themselves from the rest, add value to their organization and/or clients, and strengthen their executive research and candidate development skills.  

Are you an executive researcher interested in upskilling? Or are you an executive search consultant interested in providing upskilling opportunities for your team of researchers?  

Enroll Today