News Column

Boards Hone in on Sector-Specific Candidates as Economic Factors and Regulatory Compliance Increase Risk; AESC Study Finds Strategic Skills Still Dominate

June 10, 2014

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The 2014 BlueSteps Board Director Career Report, just released by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), highlights numerous changes in the business environment that have not only impacted the board of directors, but have also made it more difficult for search committees to build a board with the right skills. Now, more than ever, board directors are concerned with the impact of external economic factors and regulatory compliance on their organization, as those factors ranked second and third respectively behind shareholder interests as board directors’ top business concerns.

The survey was conducted in May 2014 and received 107 responses from board directors in financial services, manufacturing/industrial, technology/telecoms, not for profit and other sectors worldwide. Additional findings of the report include:

  • Over half (63%) expect to stay in their current board position for two to five years.
  • 41% of board directors are concerned with finding new opportunities.

    Peter Felix, AESC & BlueSteps President, commented: “Boards can no longer rely on the old boys network or ‘friends of the chair’ to fill what have become critically important positions. As the role of the board director comes under increasing scrutiny and the prudential burdens upon directors grow, it is incumbent upon chairs of boards and chairs of the nominating committees to be fully knowledgeable about the competencies, behaviors and motivations of their board members. The board must reflect the challenges of the environment and the skills required to address them.”

    Following the study, BlueSteps will offer a webinar for both current and aspiring board directors on June 18, 2014 entitled Top Tips for Gaining Your Board Seat. This webinar will provide a chance for executives to hear from a panel of senior executive search consultants from top executive search firms who specialize in board searches. To learn more, please visit:

    A full copy of the 2014 BlueSteps Board Director Career Report is available for download at

    About is an online career management service for senior executives. As an exclusive service of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), BlueSteps enables senior executives to be visible to more than 8,000 AESC member executive search professionals who use BlueSteps to locate candidates. BlueSteps also offers a full suite of career management tools and resources specifically for senior-level executives. For more information, please visit

    About the Association of Executive Search Consultants

    The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional association for the retained executive search and leadership consulting industry. The AESC promotes the highest professional standards in retained executive search and leadership consulting. For information, please visit For the AESC’s free service for talent acquisition professionals, visit


    Joe Chappell, + 1 212-398-9556 ext. 236

    Source: Association of Executive Search Consultants

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    Source: Business Wire

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