We recently asked an executive recruiter from an AESC member search firm to explain the value of BlueSteps to our member firms and to describe how candidates like you are found through the database.
Clara Widdison: What is the typical process when conducting a search in terms of how you source your candidates?

Betsy Bruening: Once we identify all criteria for the search, we use our proprietary database, our sources and contacts, and network with people in similar roles or industries. We also conduct raw research using internet search and social media.

How does BlueSteps fit into your candidate search process?

We always mine the BlueSteps database to find people who may have the requisite skills and experiences whenever we pick up a new search.  

We also find BlueSteps to be a great source for networking.  BlueSteps candidates are usually very helpful in identifying others who would be a fit for our search if they are not a candidate.   Once I strike up a conversation with someone, I remember them for future opportunities and often add them to our proprietary database.

Have you found any candidates through BlueSteps that you have gone on to present to a client?

Oh yes. It happens on a regular basis.

How many candidates have you sourced from BlueSteps that have ended up on the slate?

Probably at least one on every third or fourth search.  

How can a candidate best present him/herself to get noticed in a marketplace that is saturated with talented people?

Getting noticed requires a clear resume and many points of contact. Networking, use of social media—especially LinkedIn—and a strong set of connections that will assist. We usually find the best candidates by asking people who they know.  BlueSteps candidates want to be the person that is recommended by their network.  I sometimes get a referral from someone and will look to see if they are in BlueSteps, find their resume and make the contact.

About Betsy Bruening
Betsy Bruening is a founding partner and the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at AESC member search firm The Prout Group. She has over fifteen years of executive search experience and has successfully executed searches for C-level and Board of Director positions. At The Prout Group, she leads the Industrial and Board of Director practices. Prior to founding the firm in 2002, Betsy spent seven years with Heidrick & Struggles and was previously in Human Resources roles with BP America.

BlueSteps members raise their profiles to top executive recruiters in 75 countries like those at The Prout Group, who specialize in searches in their region, industry or targets.

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Clara Widdison This interview was conducted by Clara Widdison of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

About The Association of Executive Search Consultants
The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional association for the retained executive search industry. The AESC promotes the highest professional standards in retained executive search consulting, broadens public understanding of the executive search process, and serves as an advocate for the interests of its member firms. For more information, or to download the AESC Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines, please visit www.aesc.org.

The AESC offers www.bluesteps.com, a career management service for senior executives, and www.executivesearchconnect.com, a free service for the HR community offering industry information and tools to assist with senior executive recruiting, including access to the AESC membership directory.

About BlueSteps
BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 8,000 executive search professionals in more than 75 countries, including China. Be visible, and be considered for up to 75,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com.



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