Knowledge is our business: IMSA Fall Meeting 2018

IMSA International Executive Search expands to new countries – Norway, Denmark and USA. The participants of the IMSA Fall Meeting in Mechelen, Belgium, were sharing knowledge and best practices in searching and attracting candidates, and the prospects of introducing Artificial Intelligence in executive search.

The intensive meeting held on 7th – 9th of November took place in the picturesque, historical city of Mechelen, Belgium. Among the masterpieces of Rubens and Van Dyck you can still feel the atmosphere of the golden era, even though this small, university city has blossomed thanks to trade, focused on international relations, crafts and knowledge.

The very same focus drives the IMSA network today. The organization announced new Members and new states covered by the network:

  • IMSA United States of America – represented by Mitchell Berger (Howard-Sloan Search)
  • IMSA US / Miami  – represented by the existing IMSA Member from Mexico, Lizette Ibarra (Bleumind)
  • IMSA Norway – represented by Jan Gunnar Storli (The Search House)
  • IMSA Denmark – represented by Martin Bo Sorensen and Jens Christian Jensen (Brinch & Partners)

New Members were accepted through a vote of IMSA Members present at the conference, representing countries like: Belgium, China, France, Germany, Mexico, Morocco, The Netherlands, Poland and UAE. Having accepted new countries into the network, IMSA currently consists of 24 countries, with 41 offices worldwide.

The secrets of executive search

During the discussions and knowledge sharing in Mechelen, best practices related to recruitment process and customer care gained much attention. The Members exchanged knowledge on the key to success while sourcing and recruiting candidates, as well as discussed most appreciated points and ways of communicating with the clients while conducting the recruitment process.

“It was amazing to acknowledge the differences in approaching and recruiting the candidates. Our members were so open in sharing the knowledge and exchanging their own small hints, which they had worked out during years of head hunting practice” says Monika Ciesielska, president of the IMSA, representing Poland.

“Our members were eager to share different practices and ideas as well as to listen to them. It was amazing to see how the discussion portrayed a great deal of expertise and knowledge, as well as a genuine interest for both the client and candidate´s success” says Lizette Ibarra, IMSA board member and the representative of Mexico and US/Miami.

AI in executive search

During the following knowledge exchange session Jerry Chang (IMSA board member representing China) presented his research on prospects of introducing AI in the recruitment process.

“Our members had a 2 hour-long presentation introducing Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning and expanding on the common terminologies used in this area of expertise, a more in-depth review of different Artificial Intelligence technologies and tools now available in the recruitment industry” – says Jerry Chang.

Machine learning technology might support the researcher. It could help at the stage of researching existing database of candidates, in order to evaluate the CVs, select them properly basing on experience and job description. Introducing AI could make at least one step in the recruitment process, much more compact and less time consuming, but it will never fully replace the role and knowledge of a skilled and experienced executive search head hunter. Human factor will always matters when it comes to relations oriented services like C-level recruitments.

Future on the global markets

IMSA members had also a unique opportunity to listen Philippe Gijsels, Chief Strategy Officer at BNP Paribas Fortis, who had share predictions of the near future on the global markets. Gijsels concerned Donald Trump policy as a creating exceptional situation on the financial market. “America First policy creates an unprecedented amount of liquidity towards the United States. As a result, American assets do relatively well. And that has nothing to do with the explosive increase of the Nasdaq” said Gijsels. He also noticed, that current situation is strongly connected with following questions, which bother almost all analytics this day. Is the USA dealing with a bubble just like in 2000? What are the risks of the American success story? What impact does this have on the new innovation wave from China? Do the pharma and the biotech sector still offer opportunities? And what’s most important: How will international businesses and companies be impacted?

“A very impressive meeting, where lots of ideas were discussed, where four new members joined our wonderful and enthusiastic network, and where all participants were enriched with new ideas and new friendships working all together to make IMSA International “the” reference in Executive Search” summarized Patrick Van Lijsebetten (IMSA Belgium), the host of the meeting in Mechelen.

The corporate world is running on an astonishing speed now, and the new concepts emerge. As the sharing of knowhow and ideas is the cornerstone of IMSA initiative, members are already looking forward to the 2019 Spring Meeting, which will be held in Italy.