Archive for AIMS International

Meet Bernardo Entschev

The United States of America is the world’s largest economy as well as the worlds biggest importer. The USA is also Sweden’s largest export market outside the EU, with a total annual export of goods and services valued at approximately SEK 90 billion (11% of Swedish exports). Approximately 1,600 Swedish companies already have a presence in The US. The ten largest industry sectors provide access to markets larger than Sweden’s entire GDP, and the highest growth is expected within healthcare, business services and software.

The world’s largest importer of goods and services is also the world’s largest consumer market with 331 million people. The USA’s ten largest industries, such as manufacturing, health care, financial services, education and consumer products, each account for annual sales that are greater than Sweden’s total GDP.

Tell us a little bit about you and the team in the US

I was a physician and I worked as a surgeon for 14 years. Then, motivated by my family (and the fact that we were blessed by triplets!) and searching for a better balance in quality of life I became an entrepreneur in Human Capital services. I started as a headhunter in Brazil where I grew our company size 6 times and expanded to 5 regional offices in Brasil. Then I moved to United States and ended up developing the whole operation in the US with offices in New Jersey/New York City and Miami. My largest experience is in the Life Sciences segment but I also work intensively in consumer goods, Industrial, IT and Telecom. Stefano Vetralla is my colleague at the Miami office. He is Italian and immigrated to the US 7 years ago. He was a senior HR Executive in many large companies like HP and Kemet Electronics. He is experienced in consumer goods and Industrial telecom segments.

Richard Schnaittacher is American and he is my colleague in New Jersey/New York City, he is a senior former executive from life sciences and consumer goods segments. He also has an intense international background and lived abroad in countries like China and Israel.

In what areas do you see the highest demand for Executive Search and Talent Management services in the US?

After the Covid 19 crisis the search for leaders with new skills (virtual sales, virtual engagement amongst others) are in super high demand. We have a huge demand in technical sales, specially related to engineering and also in IT transformation. In Board Services and Talent Management we see a huge interest in leadership development programs.

What kind of clients and positions do you work with?

We support all segments but the majority of our clients are in 5 industries: Industrial (chemicals, automation, machinery, packaging), Life Sciences (pharma, animal health, CRO, Medical Devices), Consumer (beverages and food production), Automotive and IT & Telecom (Fintech, Software, mobile phone signal management/transmission towers, hardware and software IT-companies providing service).

It´s been a strategy of yours to work with cross border business, both when working from US and earlier from Brazil. How has that developed over time? (I guess being in Miami is a good position for someone speaking both English, Portuguese and Spanish).

Miami is a great place to help international companies in US and LATAM (Latin America). Miami is also the bridge between US, Latin America and the rest of the World. From Brazil is easier to help international companies in LATAM. So when it comes to LATAM, over the last 7 years we were able to solve positions in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and it is getting better and better. Miami is a good location for the LATAM region but the majority of our clients are in US. We help companies all over US but most up North (New York, New Jersey, Illinois, North Carolina). And this is because in those states headhunting is a consolidated practice. In Florida still you have some influence from the LATAM region that headhunting is too expensive and they still try to avoid to use it as much as possible, but this is changing rapidly since the market in Florida have been receiving a lot of executives migrating from upper states. From our two offices in US we help companies from China and Europe to find candidates from all over US and sometimes Canada.

How specifically do you handle international assignments?

We always agree with the local partner in every major milestone (evolution reports, candidate reports, formats, content, communication with the client) and we follow what was agreed. The same thing when we generate the business. It works quite well in all cases and make the client comfortable since the process routine is the same in all countries. We have to be cautious of time zones, even within the US and adjust our hours to meet our clients needs.

Do you have any advice for non-American companies who wants to enter the US market?

Yes I do. I recommend always to hire a local executive that knows the local business practice, the market, administrative issues, taxes, etc. We still see many companies sending the first man from their original country. This might be a big mistake unless you also hire at least some local executives or if you worked some years in the US before. It takes time to learn the country etiquette for business and this always helps a lot, having somebody local in the team.

Meet Bernardo EntschevBernardo Entschev

 

 

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En kunnig och ambitiös 30-åring söker jobb!

I år firar AIMS International sin 30de födelsedag! Födelsen skedde när fem ägare till konsultföretag i Frankrike, Schweiz, Spanien, Storbritannien och Tyskland beslöt sig för att bilda AIMS International. Det fanns ett ökat behov hos kunderna att göra uppdrag över landsgränserna och näringslivet i Västeuropa såg överlag framför sig en ökad internationalisering i samband med att EU skulle bildas 1993. För att kunna erbjuda internationell rekrytering till svenska kunder anslöt vi oss här i Sverige till AIMS International samma år när vi när vi fick möjligheten. Då hade antalet medlemsländer vuxit till 11. Ja, man talade om medlemmar då. Och verksamheten var ett nätverk, där alla medlemmar hade sina egna företagsnamn.

Kundfokus då och nu

Målsättningen var att för kunderna göra det lika enkelt att få ett rekryteringsuppdrag löst på internationellt plan som i hemlandet. För att göra det möjligt måste det skapas gemensamma arbetssätt och rutiner, samtidigt som det krävdes stor flexibilitet för att lösa olika typer av rekryteringsuppdrag. På den tiden innebar det affärsmässiga samarbetet så gott som alltid att en Executive Search-konsult i ett land förmedlade ett uppdrag till en kollega i ett annat land. Att som i dag arbeta i team över landsgränserna och att i uppdrag söka kandidater över hela världen var ännu inte aktuellt. Men ett tydligt kundfokus, god anda och samarbetsvilja fanns i AIMS International från början, vilket kan ses som stadgan i det där nätverket som med åren blev en allt mer integrerad organisation, som brandade om till det gemensamma AIMS International. En viktig förutsättning som är sig lik är att gott arbete görs när marknader och kundbehov förstås samtidigt som Executive Search-konsulterna är vana att arbeta tillsammans. Allt för att uppdraget ska löpa tryggt och säkert enligt plan.

AIMS International i dryga 50 länder

Sedan födelsen har AIMS International vuxit till sig och blivit stor! Idag finns vi på alla kontinenter och i ca 50 länder. Senast anslöt sig ny partner i Kenya för att stå till tjänst med rekryteringar i Östafrika. Fler tjänster har adderats och omfattar idag även Board Services och Talent Management.

Under uppväxtåren har det så klart funnits både bra och mindre bra perioder. Det finns dock alltid en vilja att blicka framåt mot nya utmaningar och AIMS International är väl rustat för att möta och bistå kunderna med de behov som de har. Här kan du läsa vad Bernardo Entschev, vår President skrev i samband med 30-årsdagen.

Så här har du en kunnig och ambitiös 30-åring som söker jobb! Välkommen att ta kontakt om du vill diskutera något närmare med oss.

En kunnig och ambitiös 30-åring söker jobb!

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Trends in employee performance evaluations 2022

I have earlier written about the benefits of coaching and how it can boost your talent development. See the previous articles on https://aimsinternational.se/coaching-development-boost-for-talents/ and https://aimsinternational.se/coaching-for-performance/.

Most of the organizations conduct regular performance or developmental discussions based on historical performance. Whether this happens as an annual discussion, on a continuous process or based on project deliveries there are some trends 2022 which have become more and more important to be aware of. I have made following observations when discussing with managers and HR directors in various companies.

Leadership in a remote work environment

Working remotely is not a new thing. However, most of the managers used to meet their employees regularly or at least few times per year. The new issue arising out of increase of off-site working is that you may have more employees you have never met physically, and your only contacts are through digital channels.

This leads to some questions

  • How to evaluate the overall performance (what to deliver and how to deliver) when you have mostly met your employees only digitally?
  • How to give feedback on desired leadership, or employee, behaviors which are often designed to ordinary office and physical day-to-day interactions between the people?
  • How to give fair and solid feedback for the new employees if your company is lacking good on-boarding processes?

I have earlier proposed coaching and mentoring as tools to ensure the expected performance – discussing the targets, creating transparency and engagement, and ensuring employee motivation. It also helps in performance related discussions since it will be a natural continuation of earlier discussions. Ultimately the successful and ongoing dialogue between employee and manager will make annual performance dialogues obsolete since everything has been already handled.

Improving how to give immediate feedback

What other actions should companies take? I believe that a successful company train the managers and employees to engage themselves into continuous discussions on performance related challenges. This means that we need to learn how to share immediate feedback, be transparent and create an environment and culture where the employees are not left alone.

I also believe a successful company needs to revisit the evaluation criteria of the competency framework. This could mean considering the impacts of distance working and the expectations related to digital way-of-working. For example, distance working might set new requirements to be proactive and do more ad-hoc calls to sort out possible misunderstandings.

Coaching and mentoring programs

The solution what many clients are using is to provide coaching and mentoring programs to their employees to support and ensure individual performance. Most of the time coaching is provided by a direct manager, but more and more often external performance coaches are relied on to deliver these services.

We at AIMS International Sweden are specialized in supporting companies broadly when working with Talent Management issues including building new way-of-working and providing Coaching, Leadership Assessments and Executive Search. Please contact us in AIMS International Sweden in case you want to hear more about the solutions we can provide.

Mikko Taipale works as Executive Search and Talent Management Consultant in AIMS International Sweden. He is also a Certified Coach by International Coaching Federation (ACC). Before starting in AIMS International Sweden he worked close to 20 years in large corporations as a HR leader with a focus on Talent Management practices.

employee performance evaluations

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Ensuring effective onboarding through mentoring

I have previously written about coaching as a development tool and method and how it can benefit the improvement of the organizational performance . In this article I will look further into how companies ensure a fast and high-quality onboarding process by applying mentoring and coaching as a tool.

Based on this HBR article approximately 70% of Fortune 500 companies provide new employees mentoring support after joining the company. The recent studies evidence that these mentoring programs are clearly providing substantial benefits in terms of increased performance.

Individually designed programs

So how are these programs effectively established and how to ensure that you maximize the benefits? We have designed several onboarding programs including mentoring programs for senior experts and leaders and want to share below our experiences.

The critical question is if the onboarding program is optional or not. We have seen that some new managers simply do not see the need for a full program, and they decline mentoring (and also some other parts of onboarding programs). However, it is finally for the company to decide how the onboarding and introduction is managed. Our experience, supported by the research, is that well-designed onboarding programs will increase the performance which itself speaks in favor of having the program as a mandatory for everyone. At the same time for the senior leaders, we recommend highly individualized programs which are based on their specific onboarding challenges.

Include at least 3 mentoring meetings

We believe that a solid onboarding program includes at least 3 mentoring meetings. In practice this means that the new manager will be provided an experienced peer or senior managerial support in addition to support provided by his/her ordinary line manager. The mentor is acting voluntarily and providing his or her professional experience in the relevant field and many years of experience of company culture, products, services, decision making and collaboration through internal networks.

Enable faster introductions to the company culture

The main task for the mentor is to enable the fast introduction to the company culture and “unwritten/unsaid rules”. This might include sharing experiences on what kind of challenges other newly employed managers have faced. It is good to note that even mentor acts on the behalf of the company, not for his or her own interests, a successful mentoring relationship is also benefiting the mentor when providing new insights and outside-in perspectives to him or her.

Onboarding programs with clear targets

Onboarding program which includes mentoring should have some clear targets and evaluation in the end. This ensures that the program continues developing based on the needs of the new managers

To sum up, including mentoring into onboarding programs will increase the companies to reach high-quality results within a short timeframe.

We at AIMS International Sweden are specialized in supporting companies broadly when working with talent management issues including building new way-of-working and providing coaching, leadership assessments and executive search. Please contact us in AIMS International Sweden in case you want to hear more from the solutions we can provide.

Mikko Taipale works as a Partner in AIMS International Sweden. He is a member of Talent Management and Automotive & Mobility Global Practice Teams. Mikko works and is a certified leadership coach (ACC) and has worked as coach and mentor in many organizations. Before starting in AIMS International Sweden he worked close to 20 years in large corporates as a HR leader with a focus on talent management practices.

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Meet Cristina Favero

In our series of interviews with AIMS partners and colleagues in other countries, the turn has come to Cristina Favero who is a consultant at AIMS International Italy. She talks about what it is like to work as an Executive Search consultant in Italy and how her background in retail and international management serves as a good foundation to help her clients find key people.

Swedish-Italian trade relations (in brief)

Sweden exports goods worth SEK 38 billion and services worth SEK 8 billion a year to Italy and is the country’s 12th largest export destination for goods. The most important import goods are machines, food and motor vehicles and our most important export goods are paper products, metals, machines and motor vehicles. In 2019, there were 148 Swedish groups established in Italy, with a total of 29,658 employees. In the same year, 228 Italian companies with 8,807 employees were active in Sweden.

Hi Cristina, Nice to see you! You work with Executive Search at AIMS International Italy. Can you tell us a bit about your background and what was it that attracted you about Executive Search?

Hello Göran, nice to see you too! My background is in Economic and International Management, I started my career in Sales in the FMCG industry when I joined Reckitt Benckiser in London, working on one of the major retailers in the UK. From there I made a horizontal move to HR when I chose to move back to Italy with Unilever, where I spent a few years in various roles spanning from Leadership Development to HR Business Partnering in both the local Italian offices and in the corporate headquarters in the Netherlands. I joined AIMS International Italy in January 2019, as I have always been attracted by the world of Executive Search and Talent Management. As an HR professional, I am passionate about understanding and contributing to the vision of the companies I work with by providing them with the best talents, developing them and supporting their organisation needs. I feel energized by new challenges, discovering new approaches and ways of doing things and being a Consultant in this field allows me to achieve this purpose.

What is Italy´s economy like?

Italy has been for a long time a country with low growth, almost always lower than that of other European countries. This was due to low productivity, which was caused by many aspects such as political instability, bureaucracy, rigid labour market, aging population and difficulty for investors to make investments in Italy. Recently we are in a moment of recovery, with more openness towards digitalisation and innovation. The government is experiencing a moment of stability and prestige thanks to President Draghi, the vaccination campaign is at a very good level so the pandemic situation is under control. After a difficult 2020, 2021 will be a very bright year with a strong growth in GDP and a strong development of exports.

How would you describe the Executive Search market in Italy?

The Executive Search market in 2021 is booming, with a major upturn in investment in human resources after a pandemic-related lull. The economic growth and the rebound after the 2020 slowdown is leading many companies to hire managers and specialists. Many Italian companies are investing in order to ride the wave of recovery and to complete the generational and managerial transition of family businesses.

We are seeing international companies enter the domestic market, especially in the FinTech and technology sectors. Many companies are changing hands and being controlled by Private Equity funds and international conglomerates. The market demand is very strong both on the domestic front and from international investors.

How specifically do you handle international assignments?

International assignments are very important because they strengthen our reputation and image in the market and because international groups are often linked to the clients of our partners around the world. We deal with them with great care and attention. Over the last 25 years the company has worked with many Scandinavian companies as the founders’ professional experience started in Scandinavian consultancies and many of the early collaborations were with Swedish, Danish and Finnish companies. This has brought into the company a lot of culture and habit in dealing with Nordic cultures.

What makes AIMS International Italy one of the absolute leading companies in the country in Executive Search?

AIMS in Italy started with a team of professional and motivated consultants and has built over time a professional client-centred approach, which has always been served and managed with great care and sensitivity.

A stable shareholding structure and great harmony between the partners has allowed the development of a very clear and defined strategy, stable and consistent and able to bring the company after 25 years to a very high level of reputation and perception of quality. The investments in people and tools, anticipating market trends, has made the difference.

Today the company has a structure of headhunters who support partners and senior consultants made up of 20 experienced consultants specialised in various market sectors. One of the largest and most qualified research structures in Italy.

In addition to a rigorous methodology and resources specialised in candidate sourcing, we have also developed great expertise in assessing the personality and skills of potential candidates, significantly helping client companies choose the best people for them.

What are the most important advices for a foreing company who wish to establish or increase their presence in Italy?

The domestic market is big and attractive for many international newcomers. The business environment is now much better than in the past and many companies are successfully entering the Italian market. The political and infrastructural climate is definitely favourable today so I would definitely encourage foreign companies to establish their presence or keep investing here in Italy.

As a consultant you work with many clients within consumer markets. What other areas do you work with and what type of assignments do you do?

Indeed, my main area of expertise is in the Consumer industry, which is the one I am most passionate about. However I also work a lot in the recruitment of Managers in FinTech, technology and industrial sectors. I have also grown fond about Digital Transformation and everything connected to it, so I am also very active in the search and selection of the new emerging roles within the digital sphere, in the talent assessment of professionals in this world and in supporting companies in their digital turnaround.

Being part of the marketing team in AIMS International you get a good understanding on marketing and communication internationally. What trends do you see in Italy when it comes to marketing?

I think marketing today can no longer be distinguished from digital marketing and in this sense personalization is key. The online and social media have acquired more and more importance as consumers are always more connected but less easily accessible offline and hence need to be reached with highly personalised and almost tailor-made messages and contents. Moreover, the human dimension and the human experience remain at the heart, with more and more attention and sensibility to company purpose and values such as trust and transparency. One of the latest trends also sees employees actively involved in the promotion of their own company, becoming true ambassadors for both potential customers and new talents.

In AIMS Italy you created your own app for communicating with candidates. What trends do you see for Executive Search in the future?

We give great importance to the candidate experience and implementing innovative tools and technologies is very important to us in order to speed up processes and give very targeted and timely answers to clients. Today’s Search and Selection market is very competitive and fragmented and sometimes not so capable of discerning between consultants and their ability to give effective answers. We place ourselves on a highly specialised and managerial level of assignments, mainly working with the top management of international or Italian industrial groups, where the consultants’ skills and company know-how can really make the difference. We carry out our work with a consultancy approach, so that the top management can find in us a true partner with whom to discuss and address business issues.

I believe that the Executive Search trend will continue to be positive in the coming years because of the need for companies to have qualified consultancy support in identifying their leaders, and today’s trends of insourcing recruiters, RPOs and other international recruitment centres located in low-cost countries will not be able to fully compensate for this need.

Cristina Favero

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Ägare – Styrelse – VD med ledningsgrupp

Här kommer en kort introduktionsfilm till våra Board Services-tjänster inom AIMS International.

Vi utgår alltid från den specifika situation och de förbättringsområden som är aktuella för en verksamhet. Det kan gälla det övergripande samspelet mellan ägare, styrelse och ledning med VD i spetsen. Finns det tydlighet, kraft och smidighet ledningsfunktionerna och personerna emellan? Att ha en framåtblickande, diversifierad och effektiv styrelse är självklart för att framgång ska nås. De flesta styrelser har en inneboende potential till förbättringsarbete. Större eller mindre, mer eller mindre avgörande. Förutom det interna utvecklingsarbetet är samspelet med ägarna åt ena hållet och VD:n och dennes ledningsgrupp åt andra hållet något som många styrelser kan förbättra rejält. Det är t.ex. vanligt att ansvarsfördelning och förväntningar är diffusa till någon grad och att kommunikationsflödet inte är optimalt.

I vårt globala AIMS International Board Services Team är vi 15 erfarna konsulter från olika håll i världen, som kan leda internationella och nationella utvecklingsprojekt. Kunderna utgörs av allt från stora koncerner till medelstora och familjeägda företag.

Skulle du vilja ha ett samtal om Board Services är du välkommen att kontakta mig eller någon av våra konsulter så kan vi konfidentiellt resonera om vilket förbättringsarbete du/ni skulle vilja driva.

Titti Hammarling
Managing Partner
Global Head Board Services

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Meet Cecilia Diaz

In our series of interviews with AIMS partners in other countries, the turn has come to Cecilia Diaz, Managing Partner at AIMS International Mexico. She talks about what it is like to work as an Executive Search consultant in the Mexican market and about how she and her colleagues have a strong focus on, among other things, technology with the important tech hub in Guadalaraja and supporting international clients.

Mexico is Sweden’s second largest export market in Latin America after Brazil. The first Swedish companies appeared over 100 years ago, such as Ericsson, which was established in 1904. There are over 150 Swedish or Sweden-related companies with operations or representation in Mexico. Half of these are subsidiaries, half of which in turn have production in the country, including exports to third countries.

Swedish companies employ a total of more than 100,000 people in Mexico and the largest employer is Autoliv with about 13,000 employees around the country. We export telecom equipment, medical products, vehicles, including vehicle components. Sweden imports, among other things, internal combustion piston engines, telecom equipment, coffee and alcohol.

What is Mexico’s economy like?

Mexico´s diversified economy, including hi-tech industries, oil production, mineral exploitation, construction, aerospace and manufacturing is among the world’s 15 largest economies and is the second largest economy in Latin America. (Brazil is the fist one)

How is the overall situation in Mexico after over a year of the Covid-19 pandemic?

According to the IMF, GDP contracted by an estimated -8.2% in 2020, due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Nevertheless, IMF’s April 2021 forecast projects a growth of 5% for 2021 and 3% for 2022, subject to post-pandemic global economic recovery. Although the COVID-19 created significant challenges, the agricultural sector has been one of the more privileged sectors in Mexico.

Output in service-related activities (including trade and transportation) dropped 5.2 percent in Mexico, while goods-producing industries (including manufacturing, construction, and utilities) fell 0.5 percent while Agricultural output increased 4.4 percent.

Describe the development of Mexico as a new hub in IT and tech development.

Mexico’s IT outsourcing industry has been growing at an annual rate of 10%-15% and is now considered the third-largest exporter of IT services ($21 billion+ IT exports).Social, technological and economic factors are contributing to an explosion of innovation and technology development in Mexico, making the country a prime hub for global organizations implementing artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (Iot), cybersecurity and cloud solutions.

Supported by higher education, a growing middle class, and women’s participation in the economy, Mexico’s workforce offers superior English and Spanish language skills, proximity to the U.S. and Canada, convenient time zones, and a collaborative culture with more than 650,000 working technology professionals, and a technology workforce expanding three times faster than the global average, Mexico is primed to support international technology development.

Mexico now has the largest fintech environment, tech start-ups have tripled since 2010 as well as government and VC investment in the startup ecosystem. In addition, Mexico’s working age population is projected to be 68% by 2033, more than any other LatAm nation, according to (ResearchAndMarkets.com)

Guadalajara- the IT hub. How has the development been continuing since the start? Where is Mexico today as a tech hub?

The state of Jalisco is the first technology outsourcing destination chosen by the big makers of semiconductors of the Silicon Valley. As early as the 1960s, the IBM-like players were attracted by Jalisco’s education level, affordability, and government subsidies.

Since Guadalajara was chosen by the Federal Government and MIT to be the new Digital Creative City, gave the city significant funds to invest in building the infrastructure to host new IT Companies, the city became the core of Mexico’s IT software industry. Its robust telecommunications  infrastructure has also fostered significant growth, with some of the world’s largest high-tech companies, such as IBM, HP, Intel, Oracle, and Continental, calling it home.

The area ranks fourth in foreign direct investment which comes mainly from the United States, Germany, Spain, Japan, India, and China. Its cultural richness and economic vitality also make it one of the most cosmopolitan areas in the country, offering a high quality of life to its citizens

In what areas do you see the highest demand for Executive Search and Talent Management services in Mexico?

The industries with more demand for ES are Media & Technology; Agribusiness and Industrial (Electronics, TELECOM); the positions (which can be in all industries) that have had a growth in search demand are those related to e-commerce and digital market at different seniority levels.

Regarding Talent Management, unfortunately due to the pandemic many companies have stopped investing and aimed on the development beyond the technical training of their teams. A great area of opportunity to specialize in is Succession Planning since in Mexico 70% or more of the companies are family owned, there are large companies already in 2nd or 3rd generation, institutionalized that have not worked yet on their succession plan and replacement schedules in case of loss of talent in a key position, this is situation generates a very interesting opportunity to develop customized solutions that allow them to go down this path.

What kind of clients and positions do you work with?

We work with a wide range of clients, companies that are part of global groups with international presence, Mexican companies in the process of internationalization and even companies on their way to institutionalization, our main expertise is in highly specialized management and executive positions.

Most of our clients belong to the following industry segments:

  1. Industrial, Engineering & Logistics (80%)
  2.  Pharma, Healthcare Care & Life Science (13%)
  3. FMCG, Retail & Luxury Goods (7%)

Positions levels searched for:

  1. Lower Management
  2. Functional Experts
  3. Directors

Disciplines:

  1. Operations
  2. Human Resources
  3. Sales
  4. Administration
  5. Finance
  6. Marketing
  7. Customer Service

How specifically do you handle international assignments?

 As part of a global organization, we receive international assignments that require our local expertise, and at the same time leveraging a global vision at all times.

The first thing we do when receiving an international referral is a meeting along with the partners who refer the potential client in order to know the scope of the project, how has been the overall process (formats, personality traits of the client in terms of negotiation, his/her profile) once this first stage has been completed we have a kick off session with our Client to understand in depth their requirements and to know better their expectation on what needs to be ¨tropicalized¨ and what needs to remain at its full essence.

We then put the pieces together, to develop a strategy that will allow us to fulfill any position required in this market, with the stamp of the best quality that can be matched at an international level.

Our tools, best practices, and global expertise shared between Partners always allow us to go a step further in every search. 

How would you describe the Executive Search market in Mexico?

Executive Search in Mexico has been impacted by the digital transformation and the challenges that companies must make more efficient use of their budgets.

Tools such as LinkedIn (and other social networks) have impacted globally and Mexico is no exception, however, despite the networks and AI, a great differentiator and added value is the expertise of our consultants, their deep knowledge and understanding of the client, needs, culture and the market.

I believe that the Mexican market as a common denominator will try to search autonomously, estimating that through networks they will achieve the identification of the ideal profile. Nevertheless, as time passes by, they end up realizing the internal searching process has taken them much more effort and resources than planned, at that moment they will decide to look for an ally. 

What makes AIMS International Mexico one of the absolute leading companies in the country in Executive Search?

We are aiming to be one of the big players / leaders in Executive Search.

  • Global Presence
  • International approach
  • Expertise in the field
  • Service completely focused and centered in the client (customized service)
  • Team of professionals and a collaborative culture

Mexico has happy, solidary, competitive people and good workers!

Cecilia Diaz

Thank you Cecilia for taking the time to speak with us and also thank you to the other team members in Mexico who contributed with research and facts for this article:

References

https://santandertrade.com/en/portal/analyse-markets/mexico/economic-political-outline

https://ndscognitivelabs.com/insight-mexico-the-new-global-technology-development-hub/

https://connectamericas.com/content/guadalajara-mexican-silicon-valley

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mexico-rises-as-a-global-hub-for-innovation-as-tech-start-ups-have-tripled-in-10-years-300814747.html

https://www.dallasfed.org/research/swe/2021/swe2101/swe2101c.aspx

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Manager – what is your vacation strategy?

I share mine for your inspiration

Many companies and managers prepare themselves before the summer period starts with several weeks of vacation. For many of us it means that we try to close as many open topics as possible before the vacation period starts to be able to relax. Now before the summer period I feel it is good to reflect about what the vacation period means for each of us.

When I meet high performing managers and senior specialists the focus on our discussion is quite often on the job and performance. Usually, we talk also on work and life balance including vacation practices. When we discuss this more in-depth it becomes evident that managers´ possibility to have a decent vacation depends on a number of factors. Below are the top 3 reasons based on numerous discussions with managers.

First, global companies are used to handle business 24/7, all year around. The companies live in the world where someone is absent every day. It is quite natural that the globalization takes us towards the direction where key people are expected to be available also during their vacation. This is the price to be paid when accepting a key leadership position.

Secondly, we (still) have leaders who expect their reporting managers to always be available and, if not, interpret the vacation as a sign of lack of commitment or focus. We come back to leadership and to the question what kind of leadership culture we want to foster. Obviously if your manager wants you to work then you will most likely will do, also when on vacation.

Thirdly, and the most common reason is that managers are used to be available, use mobile working tools and respond to emails and calls even when they are on vacation. We say that we do that by our own choice, to have control and to enable a relaxed vacation.

For a vast majority of the manager´s you do not explain why vacation period is needed and I am not going to repeat all the positive reasons of having a vacation. I believe that each of us working in a global business environment should develop clear rules on how to manage work and vacation in the best way.

Here’s my personal vacation rules (or behaviors) for your support.

  • Work is only allowed if it cannot wait.
  • I do not call or send messages to my colleague who is on vacation. I only send emails if the issue cannot wait and nobody else can support.
  • I do not respond to emails unless it is urgent and cannot wait. If I am copied in an email, I take it is a sign that my response is not needed.
  • Client emails are always priority 1 and I will respond within the same day.
  • I check emails max 3 times per day – morning, lunch, and evening, if possible, without disturbing any other activities.

I have been working many years in international environments for global companies and during the years I have tried to follow working rules as above with minor modification. Sometimes with a good success and sometime with less of success. For summer 2021 I am again fully dedicated to these! Let us see how it goes.

Let us demonstrate strong Self-Leadership to enjoy the time with our families and friends. I want to wish everyone a relaxing vacation period!

Manager vacation

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EMEA – då och nu

Vi närmar oss årets eEMEA-möte i AIMS International. Denna vecka har vi digitala möten onsdag-fredag kring olika viktiga och aktuella teman. Förberedelserna har påmint oss om Europas och EMEA:s betydelse för våra kundsamarbeten och för oss själva som AIMS-partners. Hur har vår historia sett ut och vad har regionen för ställning i dag? Och det allra viktigaste – vad ger det våra kunder?

AIMS International grundades1992

AIMS International är sprunget ur viljan hos några visionära ledare för Executive Search-företag på kontinenten att erbjuda kunderna rekryteringar över landsgränserna. Ursprungsländerna var vid grundandet 1992: Frankrike, Schweiz, Spanien, Storbritannien och Tyskland. Sverige kom med så tidigt som 1993 och några av våra konsulter i Sverige var med redan på den tiden. Då som unga talanger.

Det är intressant att tänka tillbaka. Alla verksamheterna var mycket professionella. Det var före hemsidornas och exempelvis LinkedIns givna plats i rekryteringssammanhang, men behovet fanns då som nu att söka ledare till utländska dotterbolag och av att bredda sökandet efter kandidater genom att söka i fler än ett land. Att som konsult själv söka i ett annat land med de skillnader som fanns i språk, kultur och näringsliv upplevdes som en stor risk. I stället var det alltid säkrare att ta hjälp av ett konsultteam i det aktuella landet. I dag fungerar samarbetet på liknande sätt men mera projektorienterat och med tyngre roll hos en Key Account Manager, som känner kunden väl. Den digitala världen gör att sökarbetet kan göras i stort sett varifrån som helst. Kännedomen om lokala förhållanden och kulturer kan man däremot inte fånga in utan att ha konsulter på plats.

Vi fortsätter växa

AIMS International växte snabbt. Vi skapade gemensamma rutiner, gemensam organisation och till slut brandade bolagen i de olika länderna om till det gemensamma AIMS International. Därefter har samarbetet utvecklats vidare och vi har också breddat tjänsteutbudet till Board Services och Talent Management utöver Executive Search.

EMEA – AMERICAS – APAC

I Europa har vi i dag partners i Albanien, Belgien, Bulgarien, Danmark, Finland, Frankrike, Grekland, Irland, Italien, Litauen, Luxemburg, Nederländerna, Polen, Rumänien, Ryssland, Spanien, Schweiz, Storbritannien, Sverige, Tjeckien, Turkiet, Tyskland, Ungern och Österrike. Europaregionen har utökats till EMEA med verksamheter också i Egypten, Förenade Arabemiraten (Dubai), Marocko, Nigeria och Sydafrika. Därutöver finns AIMS International i alla viktiga länder i de andra världsdelarna. Totalt sett har AIMS International, tillsammans med AMERICAS och APAC regionerna, verksamhet i 50-talet länder.

Vad blir månne nästa steg i utvecklingen? Trots pandemins negativa konsekvenser på många plan så känns det som att vi har kommit varandra närmare. Då vi har stor lyhördhet för våra kunders situationer och behov så tror vi att de strategiska partnerskapen över landsgränserna kommer att bidra ännu mer till framgången hos kundföretagen. Att hitta och utveckla rätt ledare kommer inte att bli mindre viktigt framöver. Tidigare var konferenser tillsammans med våra kunder ett uppskattat inslag för gemensam omvärldsbevakning. Som alla längtar vi efter att träffas IRL men fram till dess ska vi nu umgås med EMEA-kollegorna i platt-formatet.

eEMEA 2021

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Att rekrytera till en startup

Att vara en startup påminner inte så lite om att vara ett nybildat band. Båda består av en liten grupp som går att räkna på ena handens fingrar. Relationerna i gruppen behöver fungera på ett bra sätt. Matchningen mellan kollegorna/bandmedlemmarna bara måste vara perfekt. Antingen är magin där eller så är den inte det. Haveririsken i ett tidigt skede i ett litet bolag är stor, en enda person kan bli ett allvarligt problem. Rätt rekrytering i en startup kan samtidigt betyda så otroligt mycket positivt.

Den första början

De flesta startups drivs av personer som känner varandra väldigt väl, i bandanalogin hittar man en trummis, en basist och en gitarrist som är de rätta i sammanhanget. Att bara samla ihop ett startkapital och sedan anställa en grupp okända personer skulle nog få försöka sig på. De personliga nätverken är snarare helt avgörande i det känsliga utgångsläget. Man engagerar bara de allra bästa utifrån de roller som ska tillsättas. Innan dessa personer är på plats kan inte verksamheten dras i gång. Den innersta kretsen måste vara en solid och stabil kärna i företaget.

Hur hantera nästa steg?

Att på ett bra sätt definiera de fortsatta behoven i företaget när utvecklingstakten är blixtsnabb är förstås en utmaning. Man lär känna sig själv under resans gång, lär känna marknaden, förstår hur erbjudandet ska se ut och när det ska komma. Man utvecklar den egna idén om affären. Idéer som kanske sträcker sig flera år in i framtiden måste ställas mot frågan hur man når break-even så snabbt som möjligt. Vad ska man först utveckla och ta till marknaden och vilka krav ställer det på medarbetarna? Den kunskapen växer snabbt och är en levande process som förstås påverkar behoven.

Ensam är inte stark

I 5-10-personersfasen är kompetensen naturligtvis oerhört viktig, varje medarbetare måste ensam kunna bära sitt ansvarsområde – bandet har bara en trummis. Samtidigt kan det mellanmänskliga riskera att sänka en hel verksamhet. I ett så känsligt läge har man inte råd med allvarliga konfliktytor. Det bara måste fungera i samarbetet mellan alla inblandade. Ett ensamt, men samarbetsobenäget, geni blir aldrig bättre än tre personer som verkligen kan samarbeta.

Ett sätt att gå tillväga för att smalna av urvalet är att rekrytera ur ett mindre nätverkssammanhang där man automatiskt får en selektion av kompetenser. Söker man t.ex. en utvecklare med en ovanlig kompetens vänder man sig kanske till ett forum för den typen av utvecklare. På samma sätt som att man en gång i tiden bara satte upp lappen där du sökte en ny trummis till bandet på anslagstavlan till den coolaste skivbutiken i stan. Det kan innebära att rekryteringen tar längre tid men sannolikheten för att det blir rätt blir betydligt högre. Viktigt blir förstås även att involvera hela det befintliga teamet, inte minst de som kommer att arbeta närmast den nya kollegan.

Kravet på rätt kompetens är grunden men rätt person är avgörande!

Matchningen mellan företagets kultur och de tillkommande medarbetarna är en minst lika viktig fråga som kompetensen. Förutom att ha en klar bild av vilka man är så blir det viktigt att kommunicera denna bild på ett tydligt sätt till de potentiella kandidaterna. Om man inser att alla inte skulle passa ur ett värderings- och personlighetsperspektiv är det lika bra att vara ärlig med det på en gång. Det som lockar en potentiell kandidat kan kännas fel för en annan. Ett första urval genom det filtret blir en vinst för alla inblandade.

Hur identifierar man då rätt person? Magkänsla kan vara en del av svaret, intuition byggd på många års samlad erfarenhet. Lång erfarenhet och magkänsla kan inte formaliseras i form av regler för ett rationellt beslutsunderlag men är ändå en viktig del av våra beslut. Men en ännu viktigare komponent är en ordentlig process och riktiga verktyg för att testa potentiella kandidater. För just startups kan tidsbrist vara en faktor att hantera. Vanliga processer för rekrytering överges och magkänslan sviks. Medskicket blir att backa ur bilden, ta in hela perspektivet att hellre acceptera en försening än att trampa snett i det som är en avgörande rekrytering. En felrekrytering är ett större bekymmer i det långa perspektivet.

Att rekrytera till en startup

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