“The more things change, the more they stay the same”. The criteria for judging excellence in our professional services sector are perennial. Unquestionable professionalism, deep and specific consulting expertise, and aligned and impactful talent solutions are the universal benchmarks of how our profession is evaluated.
Leadership development services to support senior executive and governance appointees has become an emerging requirement. Sheffield has led this provision, creating an integrated and sustainable model of service delivery in 2001.
Our focus on ‘searching, selecting and shaping’ leaders continues to enhance the likelihood of success. We remain proud innovators.
- Ian Taylor, Managing Director, North Island
AESC has recently released the findings of their triennial survey. It provides a valuable insight into the views of executives worldwide and emerging trends.
In this article, we highlight why and how organisations are using executive search firms.
1. Top reason to select an executive search firm over in-house recruiting: Professionalism
When compared with in-house services, executive search firms are preferred due to their ability to access difficult to reach candidates, objectivity, confidentiality, providing diverse candidates, reduced risk, speed and professionalism. An executive search firm's functional knowledge and industry expertise is key to this preference as also this leads to increased speed of delivery.
2. Top factor for selecting an executive search firm: Consultant’s industry/ functional knowledge
50% chose the consultant’s industry/functional knowledge as an important factor when selecting a search firm. The knowledge, reputation, and experience with a consultant and/or firm has a substantial impact on whether a search firm is selected.
3. Top measure of search success: Business performance of successful candidate
The business performance of a candidate is the top measure of a search firm's success. It is interesting to note that since 2019, the length of tenure has moved down in importance. Speed of delivery is also highly important, with online practices such as virtual interviews becoming more popular and shortening the selection process. As mentioned above, search firms' industry and functional knowledge also contributes to speed of delivery.
4. Across the board increased openness to using search firm for other leadership services
Roughly 90% of respondents indicate there is or may be an advantage to working with the same firm for executive search and leadership advisory services. The growth in openness is striking overall, and specifically interim management, also known as on demand talent, rose from 50% in 2019 to 85% in 2022 – a colossal increase in three years.
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About the survey
“Every three years, AESC conducts a benchmark survey to gather the views of executives worldwide on the value the executive search and leadership consulting profession provides on critical talent challenges. The survey also allows us to identify trends and emerging issues that are front-of mind from a broad range of industries and geographies.” - Karen Greenbaum, AESC President & CEO
AESC member firms are the best of the best, carefully selected for the professionalism of their practices, as well as their policies and commitments to diversity, integrity, transparency, objectivity and confidentiality. They are an exclusive group of firms that operate according to the highest standards.