Founded in 1959, the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants is a professional organization representing individuals working in the retained executive search industry. Its membership spans some 75 countries around the world and includes more than 350 executive search and leadership consulting firms and 8000 individuals. A truly global force, the association has offices in New York, Brussels and Hong Kong.
Understanding Executive Search
The association is committed to promoting excellence in executive search. Often referred to as head hunting, this specialized form of management consulting involves more than simply finding qualified candidates. Working in an advisory capacity, an executive search professional helps a business find, assess and select the right person for a specific position. This process may involve a thorough vetting of candidates under consideration, an evaluation of the organization and its culture, a willingness to advise executive leadership, and even assistance in integrating a new hire.
Setting the Standard
Governed by a series of boards and councils, the association sets the standard for professionals in the executive search field. All members must promise to adhere to the organization’s Code of Professional Practice and its Code of Excellence. Professional and ethical guidelines, these codes demand that members deliver integrity, objectivity, excellence and confidentiality. They also require members to assist clients with matters of diversity and inclusion and avoid conflicts of interest.
Educating Executive Search and Leadership Consulting Professionals
For professionals looking to hone their skills, the association offers regular forums and webinars. Topics discussed range from emerging research techniques and tools to the challenges individuals working in the executive search industry tend to face. The association also offers the Certified Researcher/Associate program, which is designed to help individuals develop and maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed as executive search professionals; earning this certification also allows them to demonstrate their mastery of the subject. For more experienced members of the industry, the association has partnered with Cornell University to offer an advanced, graduate-level certification program in executive search and leadership consulting.
Building Connections with BlueSteps
The association’s BlueSteps service offers top-level executives both an opportunity to learn about the executive search process and a variety of career management tools. These tools include a complimentary career consultation, the chance to create a confidential career profile that is visible to executive search professionals around the globe, access to listings of the executive-level jobs that the association’s members are actively recruiting for and access to a searchable directory of reputable search firms. Executives also receive the chance to participate in various online seminars that cover a wide array of career management topics. This service provides executives with tools that can help them integrate executive search into their career management strategy and makes it easy for executives and executive search professionals to connect.
With a strong focus on education and excellence, the association works to keep its membership and the business community that it serves informed about cutting-edge developments in career management. Its commitment to ethics and top-notch professional practices help to build trust and encourage businesses that can benefit from executive search and leadership consulting services to rely on the expertise that its membership can provide.