The Association of Executive Search Consultants is the professional body representing retained executive search consulting firms around the world.


Founded in New York in 1959, the AESC was established to help guide the development and standards of a professional service which was then still relatively new. An offshoot of management consulting, retained executive search has, over the past 50 years, played a major role in the identification and recruitment of senior executive talent for many different organizations in a wide variety of industries and countries. The success of executive search is such that the profession has grown to become a global industry with revenues in excess of $10 billion.


Since its inception the AESC has itself grown to become a worldwide organization, with an international board of directors representing three regional councils of member firms from The Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia/Pacific. Its global headquarters is in New York but it also has a regional office in Brussels. Today the AESC brand name is recognized as the standard bearer for retained executive search and represents member firms in 70 countries around the world, between them employing more than 6,000 search professionals. It is estimated that AESC member firms handle some 50,000 senior executive searches every year.


The AESC has always striven to represent the highest quality in executive search and thus its membership criteria are rigorous and only the most professional firms are admitted into membership.


The AESC has developed a Code of Ethics and Professional Practice guidelines that help member firms comply with the highest standards. Such is the nature of executive search and the impact that it can have on the success of organizations and individuals that compliance with these guidelines is fundamental to the reputation and credibility of the profession. The AESC has also developed practical documents for those involved with executive search such as the Client Bill of Rights, Client Charter and Candidate’s Bill of Rights.


Via its website, the AESC has become a worldwide portal onto executive search. The online membership directory, SearchConnect, and its automated version, SearchAlert, help clients to find appropriate firms to fill their senior executive hiring needs. Many assignments are referred to AESC members via these services.


Because of its worldwide footprint and recognized status as the official representative body of executive search, the AESC is able to act as a voice for the industry in its communications with its main audiences: search firms, client organizations, the senior executive community, government and the media.


The AESC reports on market demand and trends in executive recruiting around the world and conducts surveys on important management issues such as executive mobility, work/life balance and diversity. With initiatives such as this the AESC is well provided with current material for press releases and media contacts.


The AESC is recognized by the EU Commission, the US Government and other national bodies and is able to interpret and comment on legislation which may affect the practice of retained executive search around the world. Examples are data protection, age and diversity discrimination and licensing of executive search. The AESC also stands ready to offer industry opinions in matters involving litigation.


For more information regarding the AESC, please visit www.aesc.org