The global Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) and their BlueSteps.com service join forces with the European Commission, leading business schools, corporate women and professional organizations from around the world in support of gender diversity on corporate boards. The announcement has been made at dual press conferences in New York at the Forté Foundation and in Brussels at the European Commission with the European Business Schools/Women on Board initiative.

E-commerce has come a long way since the introduction of the virtual shopping cart. Ever-advancing technology and the rapidly growing number of mobile devices present an ongoing e-commerce opportunity in both the business-to-consumer and business-to-business spaces. In light of the continued proliferation of e-commerce, coupled with the rising customer demand for mobile shopping experiences and potentially game-changing intelligence from big data, many companies are refining how they structure their sales function. As a result, they are also reevaluating the leadership skills they need to maximize the channel and related developments as part of their overall go-to-market strategies.

HR executive searches have been in high demand by organizations worldwide. Boyden’s Leadership Series recently interviewed Catherine Gray, Principal of Boyden Chicago, to discuss the current hiring trends for Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) and what qualities are most sought after by top executive search firms hiring CHROs. The full interview, and a feature on Dean Carter, Chief Human Resources Officer of Sears Holdings, is available at www.boyden.com.
A recent survey by BlueSteps, the career management service of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) provided insight into the role that social networking websites, both international and Chinese, play in executive career management strategy in China. 
Over 100 executives answered the survey; 54.5% were either in a Managing Director (29.7%) or Chief Executive Officer role (24.8%).  The remaining participants held job titles such as Chief Operations Officer (8.9%), Chief Financial Officer (5%), SVP (4%) or EVP (3%). Approximately 25% of these Executives were Chinese Nationals, and 65% were expatriates in China.

Networking has become so much a part of the corporate nomenclature that some executives can’t get through a day without making reference to this ultimate act of business schmoozing. And while membership in peer networking groups can be a beneficial means of meeting up with other “movers and shakers,” following up on those associations may be the ultimate “contact” sport.

The rules of corporate governance are changing rapidly. Spurred by shareholder activism, a strong emphasis on shareholder value enhancement and the imperative to be a responsible corporate citizen, the demands on CEO and Board are becoming stringent.

However, in many cases Board room practices do not meet today’s demands, and this raises several questions for Independent Board Directors. Should Independent Board Directors permit the CEO and their fellow directors to stand still? Should they remain passive and not rock the boat? Or should they act as true catalysts for change? If so, what can they concretely do to exercise effective participation in the Board ?

New Survey Shows that 62% of executives expect to remain in their current industry for the next four years or more, while 38% expect to be in a new industry within three years.
Being a member of a board of directors is a sought after position for many senior-level executives. Limited seats are available on boards, which means competition for membership is high, thus senior-level executives have to be well qualified in order to be shortlisted as a candidate.
Expert retained executive search professionals, who fill such positions on a regular basis, tend to advise potential candidates to follow five key strategies. For an insight into some of these, see the below points. View the full webinar for the full list and expanded commentary.
1. Make Yourself Known!

The AESC and BlueSteps attended the Regional Breakfast & America's Council meeting in Chicago yesterday to discuss the current retained executive search environment. Below is an introduction to what was covered during the meeting.

Many casual observers of the retained executive search industry have been quick to sound its death knell, often citing two key factors: LinkedIn and in-house recruiting. LinkedIn, they say, makes recruiting—even at the executive level—a “do it yourself” activity and significantly devalues search firms.

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