AESC panel discussion about attracting and retaining diverse talent at executive search firms

TRANSEARCH International’s Director of Research, Cristina Franzoni, was invited to participate in an AESC panel discussion about attracting and retaining diverse talent at executive search firms. This panel took place during AESC's Chicago Researchers' & Associates Forum in October 2016. AESC is the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants.

Given Cristina's experience with new hires in the Chicago office, her comments specifically highlighted attracting and retaining millennials and best practices when integrating new junior hires onto project teams. Overall, the AESC Forum focused on many aspects for researchers and recruiters to successfully source and recruit top talent.

Below, highlights from Cristina Franzoni's Q&A during the panel discussion:

When it comes to new junior hires, what trends are you seeing and how has your firm had to adapt to attract and retain new hires?

There are five areas that we have focused on to attract and retain new hires, they are:

  1. Flexibility - Ability to work remote and adaptability in work hours; not beholden to traditional 9 to 5 hours.
  2. Joining in the strategy – Collaborating on "the bigger picture," being heard and included in internal meetings as well as with clients.
  3. Paving the way, in your own way – Discovering how to best apply your strengths, best fit and direction for your career.
  4. Work-life balance - Work hard, play hard; while balancing family and work life.
  5. Work Family – Flat “tribal” organization, team oriented decision-making.

When integrating new hires onto existing project teams, how do you engage new talent?

Having people with varying levels of experience on a project team means taking an open approach to how project teams integrate and work together. There are several mindsets our firm exhibits when it comes to keeping new hires engaged and interested, while maintaining internal procedures and goals:

  • New Vision – They lend a fresh set of eyes, encourage idea-generating conversations. No "my way is the highway" attitude. Be adaptable and open to new ideas, even if not always implemented.
  • Broadening Your Team Approach - Allow new hires to develop strengths and find their best fit within the project team. Don’t let it be an arbitrary decision.
  • Responsibility - When they are ready, give them an opportunity to increase responsibilities. Explore what is that person comfortable with? What is the team comfortable with? Consider all stakeholders involved when deciding best practices and roles.
  • Goals/Metrics - As teams shift and change, uphold defined standards and keep to the goals.
  • Defined Roles with Flexibility - Balance between clearly defined responsibilities and the ability to adapt in an ever-changing workflow.
  • Feedback – Quarterly or in real-time, don’t settle for annual reviews. Millennials particular seek real-time feedback; take advantage and don't wait a full year to tell them how they are performing or how they could improve.

Read the full recap from AESC or visit its website, follow this link: