Association of Executive Search Consultants
The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional body representing the retained executive search industry. Founded in 1959 in the United States, it is today a global organization with its international headquarters in New York City, a European office in Brussels, and an Asia-Pacific office in Hong Kong.
Structure and role
The AESC’s membership of over 300 firms worldwide represents the highest level of retained executive search and leadership consulting. Members of the AESC ascribe to a strict Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines. AESC member retained executive search firms can be found in 75 countries, in each region of the world. When combined, it is estimated that AESC member search firms carry out over 70,000 executive search assignments per annum. 
The AESC organizes a number of events every year, including webinars, regional conferences and a Researchers and Associates Summit. The Association has a number of committees to address issues within the industry, such as Government Relations, Ethics and Professional Practices. These bodies are elected annually.
In addition to promoting and maintaining professional and ethical standards, the AESC provides executive recruitment training through its Campus program. The AESC also serves to broaden public understanding of retained executive search consulting and has a program for corporations using or planning to use the services of a retained search firm. This free service, CorporateConnect, offers resources on partnering with search firms and also puts corporate recruiters in touch with the AESC membership.
The Association also offers BlueSteps.com, an online career management service for executives earning a minimum of USD 100k (or the regional equivalent). BlueSteps provides a link between senior executives and AESC's member search firms as well as a suite of career services tailored to the needs of top executives.