The Apollo Mission, Chocolate Heroes, and other trends impacting Executive Search

Last week we were in Amsterdam at the AESC European Conference,  a stimulating, thought provoking, and energizing event that reunited over 100 search professionals from global search firms across Europe. This year’s theme “Create the Future” focused on the evolution of executive search and the trends impacting the evolution of the profession as we continue to improve our partnering to both industry and the candidates we are approaching.

So, what does it take to attract top talent? What are companies looking for in their leaders so that they thrive in a VUCA world ? And finally, how will that impact and shape the search profession in the future?

Some key takeaways were:

– Candidates are increasingly looking to join “purpose driven organisations ” and companies that win the war for talent are those whose focus is meaningful to their employees. We saw an inspiring and eye-opening presentation of Tony’s Chocolonely, the proof that organisations can be commercially viable and responsible for people across their whole value chain.

– The employer brand is becoming increasingly important, with many companies transforming this into a dedicated role. In talent short markets, a strong employer brand and value proposition can make the difference when it comes to attracting best talent.

– Closely linked, onboarding is becoming critical in the retention process, with a strong influence on the effectiveness of an executive hire. Despite being an important retention tool, compensation alone is no longer the main motivator as expectations are shifting towards non-tangible benefits.

– Organizations too are evolving, and the pace of change is accelerating, increasing the requirement for leaders that have an “Apollo mindset”. Think of 1969, when mindset helped overcome the impossible to get man on the moon.

– Diversity remains more than a box that needs ticking. It is regarded as one of the normal drivers of business success.

– 2018 saw the best growth for the executive search profession since the global recession. Continued growth is forecast for 2019 and beyond, as disruption continues to hit and businesses seek a deeper consultative role from our profession in terms of talent and leadership advisory.

– Leadership advisory services continue to grow with a clear trend seeing business working more closely with their executive search partners. With this deepening of leadership consulting as part of our remit, we look at Next Gen consultants to bring depth of industry and or functional expertise to continue to best advise the businesses we serve.

For more detailed information about the above topics, AESC has just released their latest issue of the Executive Talent Magazine, concluding a year-long celebration of their 60th anniversary. In this issue, you will find a feature on the future of executive search and leadership consulting. Additionally, they explore purpose-driven companies, the current state of cybersecurity, the growing talent market in Africa, and much more.

The Executive Talent Magazine can be downloaded here.

Thank you, AESC, for the inspiring event in Amsterdam! We are proud to be AESC members and share our deep commitment to the highest quality standards in executive search and leadership advisory.