The International Executive Search Federation Launches New Standardized Search Process

February 29, 2024 – International Executive Search Federation (IESF) has unveiled a new initiative to standardize executive search processes across its global network. This comes after an intensive collaborative effort culminating in a unanimous agreement among partners during the 2023 annual general meeting. “The decision to standardize the search process underscores IESF’s dedication to fostering best practices and ethical standards within the executive search industry,” said Gertjan van de Groep, president of IESF. “It not only streamlines operations across our global network but also reinforces IESF’s position as a leader in executive search, dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of businesses and talent worldwide. For our clients, this means access to a seamless, high-caliber executive search experience, no matter where in the world they are located. For our candidates, it ensures a thoughtful, respectful, and effective journey towards their next career milestone. And for our partners, it represents a commitment to excellence, collaboration, and continuous improvement.”

“As IESF continues to navigate the complexities of global executive search, this unified quality search process stands as a beacon of the federation’s dedication to leadership, innovation, and ethical practice,” Mr. van de Groep said. “It is a bold step forward in IESF’s mission to connect organizations with visionary leaders, shaping the future of work across industries and borders.”

The agreed-upon process delineates a structured approach to executive search, encompassing four key stages:

1. Preparation and Initial Consultation.

• The process begins with a thorough agreement on the IESF search proposal, ensuring a retained and exclusive approach.

• Partners engage in in-depth discussions with clients to understand their unique needs, objectives, and requirements for the role, facilitating a well-defined search strategy.

• Market research and consultations with stakeholders are conducted to develop a comprehensive position specification document and compensation package.

2. Search Process.

• A detailed job description is prepared, and a wide-reaching search for both passive and active candidates is initiated.

Related: Top 5 Executive Search Trends for 2024

• Through extensive research and local sourcing methodologies, potential candidates are identified and rigorously evaluated. This evaluation includes resume reviews, professional accomplishments assessments, in-depth interviews, and comprehensive reference and background checks.

3. Introduction to the Client.

• A shortlist of qualified candidates, accompanied by comprehensive evaluation reports, is presented to the client.

• The client conducts interviews to further assess the candidates’ compatibility and potential contributions.

Embracing Change and Innovation for Executive Search in 2024
With 2024 underway, the executive search and recruiting industry continues to evolve. The past few years, particularly marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, have ushered in significant shifts in workplace dynamics, technological advancements, and evolving candidate expectations. An article from Gertjan Van de Groep, global president of International Executive Search Federation (IESF) and country manager Netherlands, delves into the anticipated trends and market developments that will shape executive search and recruiting in the forthcoming years.

“The pandemic era was a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the executive search industry,” Mr. Van de Groep said. “Faced with unprecedented challenges, the sector swiftly pivoted to address the evolving demands of client companies. The focus shifted from purely technical competencies to a balance that included crisis management and soft skills such as empathy and effective communication.”

• IESF partners facilitate the interview process, providing support and coordination as needed.

4. Completion of the Assignment

• The negotiation of the compensation package and terms of employment is mediated by IESF partners.

• Ongoing support, including reference checking and due diligence, is provided to ensure a smooth integration of the selected candidate.

Throughout each stage, IESF firms adhere to quality standards that emphasize care, respect, and proactive communication with candidates. This includes substantiated and carefully communicated decisions, personal confirmations at various stages, and continuous engagement with both candidates and clients.

Founded in 2002, the International Executive Search Federation identifies talent and leadership from 50 offices and 22 countries. The IESF offers a fully customized, local approach to search projects, based on culture, regional economics, and the local candidate marketplace.

Related: Top Trends for HR Leaders in 2024

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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