About us


About us


MidlandHunt is focused exclusively on recruitment for high-level and middle management roles. Our leading consultants each have over 12 years of experience working with Russian and multinational organizations. Clients can feel confident that MidlandHunt is skilled in staffing solutions for this select and selective business sector.

As a full-service agency, we recognize and value the qualities needed to excel in high-level positions. MidlandHunt employs a strict policy of vetting candidates before introduction to clients. This process ensures selection of exceptionally qualified professionals who have excelled — and will continue to do so — in their respective fields. MidlandHunt also employs bespoke methods allowing us to work with clients on an individual basis so that needs are satisfied and desired criteria is met for any project. For example, our consultants collaborate with clients and present project teams that are tailored to industry specific requirements.

MidlandHunt takes its role as a member of select group, International Network of Executive Search Associated Consultants, seriously.

To continue our prestigious relationship with AIMS, we maintain only the highest standards of practice.

MidlandHunt always provides referrals to demonstrate our stellar track record in Russia, Ukraine and CIS. As recruiters, we actively reach out to top-tier talent to maintain our impressive networking database. Finally, our philosophy is to nurture relationships with our talent and client community.


  • our leading consultants have over 15 years experience of successfully closed projects for Russian and multinational companies. We use referrals in our work. We establish contact with people who are not in active job search. We believe in the importance of market knowledge but we also believe in value of good and trust-based relationships with it’s participants;
  • successful track record of projects closed in Russia, Ukraine and CIS;
  • long-term cooperation with most clients — over 70% of them return to us with more business;
  • due to deep understanding of organizational structure and corporate culture of our clients and excellent knowledge of key managers in all industry sectors, execution time of the projects can be significantly reduced — up to 3-4 weeks after signing the contract;
  • industrial and functional specialization;
  • permanent control over quality of services and personal involvement of company management in project execution.


MidlandHunt specializes in management recruitment for the following industries:

  • industry;
  • banking / finance;
  • pharmaceutical;
  • insurance;
  • FMCG / retail;
  • media, telecom, IT;
  • construction and development.

Quality Over Quantity

News provided by INAC member – Pacific Search Partners – Australia.

In an archaic view of governance, board appointments still rely on an old-boys club, where who you know counts for more than what you know, and where a director’s best asset is a network that guarantees him or her a seat regardless of performance.

In contemporary governance, director appointments have more in common with executive ones: boards make a list of candidates, use search firms to add external prospects, and have a rigorous interview and selection process.

Even so, networking remains a vital part of board appointments and a critical skill for emerging directors. A strong governance network can advise, mentor and endorse aspiring directors, and reassure boards that the candidate is connected.

“Boards are paying more attention to the strength of an emerging director’s network,” says Pacific Search Partners managing director, Rene Johnson MAICD. “I’m often quizzed by a board nomination committee on the strength of a candidate’s network when presenting them as a potential director. They want to know how connected the director is in business or government.”

Boards, understandably, rely on networks. When a new appointment is needed, directors inevitably turn to their personal networks as a starting point. They might recommend colleagues who are available, have the right skills and are a good fit with the board.

I’m often quizzed by a board nomination committee on the strength of a candidate’s network when presenting them as a potential director. They want to know how connected the director is in business or government.

Networks also reduce the risk of bad board appointments. Unlike executive appointments, an underperforming director cannot be sacked and quickly replaced on most boards. The chairman must be sure a director who might serve three three-year terms on a board is a strong fit. So they use their networks to find trusted colleagues who endorse an emerging director.

“Populating boards is ultimately about finding the right chemistry,” Johnson says. “Boards want to know a new director will add value and fit in. Naturally, they turn to people who have worked with them, or know them. If you want to join a particular board, make yourself known to some of the directors, so you are considered when the initial candidates list is drawn up.”

That is not easy for all emerging directors. Networking in executive circles often means talking to people in similar companies or industries. Conversations can be more goal-focused and outcomes can be faster. In governance networking, an aspiring director might have to network across the private, public, government and not-for-profit sectors, and across industries.

Also, board appointments can take much longer. An aspiring director might need several years of networking to build a full governance portfolio. Unlike executive networking, board networking can require immersing oneself in the governance community, to build contacts and profile and demonstrate a long-term commitment to modern, professional boards.

Finding a balance Another challenge is marketing. Aggressive self-promotion by directors sits uncomfortably with many boards even though it is common in executive circles. But being able to sell oneself to boards, without being overt or a bore, remains a useful networking skill.

BoardFocus Advisory’s principal partner, Dr Judith MacCormick FAICD, says patience, authenticity and a willingness to give back are the foundations of strong networking. “People can spend years networking in the governance community without getting their desired board positions. Recognise that building a governance portfolio is a full-time job and treat networking as a continuous process. Be patient and maintain your confidence when setbacks occur.”

A sustained presence in the governance community is important, she says. “Keep attending governance events and stay engaged in board issues. Maintain your profile, join panels, present at conferences, or write opinion pieces on different board issues. Other directors will recognise your governance commitment and see you as part of the board community.”

Developing a thought-leadership position on governance issues helps with networking, Dr MacCormick says. “Be seen to have a position on issues that matter. Boards want directors who think independently, are willing to state their view and defend their position.”

Dr MacCormick says good networkers give back. “They make a point of helping others; they might send them a paper they would be interested in, or email or text them when they need support. They are generous, always looking to help those around them, and expansive.”

Johnson says governance networking should be selective and purposeful. “Being selective about which governance events you attend means you can invest more time and effort in them,” he says. “It’s far better to have a meaningful 20-minute conversation with two people and follow it up, than 20 conversations that go nowhere.”

Aspiring directors must let other directors know they are available, Johnson says. “Put yourself forward. Let other directors know why you are at an event and what your governance aim is.”

Johnson says the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ (AICD) Company Directors Course is a useful first step. “AICD events, such as the Leaders Edge Luncheons, are a fantastic way to network. The AICD mentoring program has been a massive success. Directors I meet who have been through the program have clearly benefited from it and become part of the mentors’ networks and connections.”

Approaching search firms that specialise in director appointments is another helpful networking step. “Cast your net wider and meet with boutique search firms that do more work in the not-for-profit sector or among small and mid-cap public and private companies.”

Top Tips for governance networking

  1. The transition – Start planning and building a governance network well before leaving an executive role.
  2. Executive networks – Keep current networks alive. Aspiring directors who have not served on boards may need endorsement.
  3. Networks within networks – Those who want to build diverse governance portfolios may need a strong contact base in the not-for-profit sector and another with government enterprise.
  4. Thought leadership – Develop a position on key governance issues, through the Australian Institute of Company Directors or industry events, or by posting opinion pieces through prominent online networks.
  5. Search firms – Register your interest for board positions with search firms that specialise in governance appointments.

Cultural awareness underpins effective search

Traditional cultural values have become enmeshed with the management clichés and corporate platitudes that are now as much a mystery to their targets as to those that deliver them.

For a topic that matters so much to all involved, how do we so frequently miscommunicate, misinterpret and misjudge cultural capabilities, aspirations and desires?

Why, where corporate culture is concerned, does simple courtesy, respect, charm, attentiveness and being mindful of one’s personal responsibilities no longer cut the mustard?

Simple, because culture is complex, idiosyncratic and, ultimately, human.

Culture Matters

Consciously or not, people, societies and businesses have long been defined by their ideas, customs, beliefs and social behaviours – the very definition of ‘culture’.

Yet, where culture was once considered a natural by-product of shared appreciation and understanding, it is now a cornerstone of corporate strategy – as observed by Drucker “culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

Because of this, the focus on cultural schemas has become a preoccupation of businesses and those that advise them. Accordingly, Executive Search businesses must seek to better understand the cultural profiles of their clients and candidates to execute an effective search.

As observed by Drucker “culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

Indeed, the beneficial impact of a positive culture stretches beyond traditional ‘peopleorientated’ niceties; with compelling cases made for financial benefits and brand awareness, not to mention employee performance and wellbeing.

Despite the widespread acceptance of the value of a positive corporate culture, its complexities continue to befuddle employers, employees and candidates alike. Such disorientation is made evident by Deloitte’s recent findings: only 28 percent of employees understand their culture well and fewer (19 percent) believe it is the “right culture”.

Cultural complexity

So, why has such an intrinsically important component of the corporate makeup become so misconceived and, consequently, elusive? Well, primarily because culture is complex.

Cultural details are deeply subjective; what is deemed “right” by an employer may not necessarily rank among an employee’s principal cultural priorities or, indeed, the corporate hallmarks sought by a prospective client. Effectively, it means something different to everyone.

Herein lies the principal challenge for those involved: the most valuable cultures are those which are distinct. Yet, our ability to interact effectively is most challenged by social and cultural dynamics with which we are not familiar.

The likelihood of job turnover at an organisation with rich company culture is 13.9 %, in contrast to 48.4% in companies with a poor culture.” - Colombia University, 2013

Executive search businesses play an increasingly crucial role in assisting their clients to build a distinct corporate culture, underpinned by the unique brand values that are so cherished, while truthfully reflecting the people, products and services that define their organisations.

Search business must intrinsically understand the cultural hallmarks of both clients and candidates to accurately determine those that are culturally aligned. The ability to facilitate a shared way of thinking, feeling and acting is fundamental to increasing the consistency and predictability of future candidates. Indeed, the nirvana is to achieve shared cultural schemas that promote natural and productive interactions. Effectively, search business must seek to identify a form of ‘cultural intelligence’ among candidates.

Non-academic intelligences

The likes of emotional intelligence, practical intelligence and social intelligence are intrinsically bound to culture. Accordingly, they make far more pragmatic indicators of cultural compatibility and potential performance within a different culture than more readily assessed academic abilities and personality traits.

These non-academic intelligences underpin cultural intelligence. Traits of which most people and businesses are aware, but seldom truly understand. It is this misunderstanding that breeds such discomfort in businesses and candidates, causing them to steer away from these more informative measures of prospective cultural compatibility.

Herein lies the problem: unlike traditional academic intelligences, these are less tangible and often subjective. Indeed, such intelligences tend to be most evident where there is a natural cultural bond, driven by comfort and tacit understanding.

“Happy workers are 12 percent more productive than the average worker”
– University of Warwick, 2014

Fundamentally, understanding culture is hard work. It takes time, effort and intelligences that are not readily explainable or defined. So, it is increasingly important that search businesses demonstrate and exercise nonacademic intelligences to better identify candidates with the same cultural awareness for their clients.

In summary…

Corporate culture is not defined by a vision statement, a set of guiding principles or a platitude-ridden ‘personal profile’; it is tacit. It is about saying nothing. Being understood without being openly expressed.

This is not to say that culture cannot be nurtured. Quite the contrary; it requires a depth of understanding beyond any other component of business, which is why nonacademic intelligences are critical attributes of a search consultancy to provide their clients and candidates with an edge over their competitors.

Culture requires a depth of understanding beyond any other component of business.

The human and social dynamics of cultural schemas are precisely the traits that make it such a valuable and beguiling commodity. Lest we forget the simplest, yet most telling of cultural indicators: courtesy, respect, charm, attentiveness and mindfulness. These qualities are not add-ons to corporate culture, they are the mortar that holds it together.

Culture is about interacting, learning and understanding. Failing together and succeeding together.

Culture is the very essence of being human.

INAC is a global network of independent executive search firms. We work in partnership to provide member firms with scale, expertise and access to international markets.

We provide our member firms with a collaborative, agile and flexible framework to support the global nature of theirs and their clients’ businesses. Our network of over 20 independent member firms spans 30 countries and four continents.

Orginal INAC post is here.

3 Keys to Manage Talent in times of constant change

It has become significantly more difficult to attract, manage and retain talent. So many factors in the contemporary world of business complicate organisational and human capital management. Nowadays, organisations must be at the forefront of the changing economic context, where a majority of managers and leaders coming from the “Baby Boomers” generation must motivate and manage the “Y” generation.

In this context of complexity, we would like to share a few keys that may be useful for your company:

  • Key nr. 1: Unlocking leadership excellence and understanding what inspires leaders and their teams
  • Key nr. 2: Plan for increasingly higher mobility of current and future leaders
  • Key nr. 3: Identify talent suitable for YOUR environment and performance manage against strategic objectives

The first key is the importance of leadership excellence and understanding what inspires companies and their teams. In this context, AIMS International Chile conducted a study to identify the principal skills that leaders must have. During this study, 30 generic management competencies were presented, and the managers’ task was to prioritise these competencies.

The top 3 competencies were:  

Ethical sense (90%), Strategic thinking (83%) and Commitment and Responsibility (82%). These three competencies show the leaders’ expectations regarding their roles and the importance of having good corporate governance.

The second key is to understand the increasingly higher mobility of current and future leaders. Before the 90’s the average Executive’s tenure with one company was in the region of 30 years. Today that figure has fallen to an average of 10 years and that average decreases to 5 when the Executive is younger than 35. This information leads companies to focus on becoming flexible, innovative and cultivating a propensity for change. The importance of positive employer branding and succession planning becomes essential in this environment.

This finding leads us to key number 3: the importance of attracting the right talent for your environment and robustly managing your talent against strategic objectives: Firstly, we should change our focus during our selection process; instead of focusing only on seeking the best candidates for the job, we must know our organisations first.  We should intimately understand their objectives and challenges in order to attract the right people to be successful in this environment. Then, with the right team, you must discover their hidden talents, as well as the keys which will unlock and motivate them. In order to do this, we need to increase interaction and therewith engagement of all the members of the organisation, as managing only is no longer enough. Having managers with closed minds who do not engage with the organisational strategy will decrease participation and will surely lead to failure.

Once your team’s integration is adjusted, and they are participating in the actions to execute the strategy of the company, managers should clearly define challenges and provide a safe context for their team members to cope with ambiguity. This will give them the confidence to develop their hidden talents which is the source of a true competitive advantage of an excellence team.

Finally, there is one last consideration that we cannot forget when managing talent and that is knowing how to identify and manage those who do not contribute to the achievements of the organisation. We must always continue training and developing people; however, it should not be confused with stubbornness.  Just like in sport, when a coach has to replace or change a player’s position  who does not contribute positively to the team and everyone praises his character and leadership, when we have an employee who does not contribute, we have to decisively performance manage this, otherwise it weakens the team and dilutes objectives.

In today’s complex world, companies cannot afford to lose sight of their strategic objectives and the behaviours that lead to successful execution of those goals.


Written by Sebastián Uriarte, Managing Partner AIMS International Chile and the AIMS International Marketing Team

Singapore the gateway to Asia

One of the truly great features of AIMS International is the diversity and professionalism you find when engaging with our partners around the world. In our three regions – AmericasEMEA and APAC – we have appointed Executive Vice Presidents as Regional Heads to ensure a high level of collaboration.

In Asia, AIMS International has offices in all of the important markets such as SingaporeAustraliaChinaIndiaJapanSouth Korea and Thailand. We are working on a strengthened presence with the establishment of new offices in these major markets. Another office is opening in China in the near future. This time in Shenzhen to support our customers in Southern China.

In this interview with the Regional Head for APAC, Jonathan Khoo from AIMS International Singapore. You will learn more about the business environment in Singapore as well as other parts of the APAC region.

What can you tell us about your professional background?

I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University here in Singapore (Nanyang). After graduating, I started working in various regional business development and sales roles. I have always had a strong desire to learn something new and to move myself further in business. Over the years, I have been blessed with many opportunities to work for various international conglomerates across Asia.

When did you start working with Executive Search?

In 2011, I was approached by a company in the Executive Search industry and it came to change my life. Without any experience, I started at one of Asia’s most renowned Executive Search companies being responsible for engineering, technology and MedTech. Step by step I built a strong track record by performing projects all over Asia and in the rest of the world

What is unique about Singapore?

Singapore is the gateway to Asia and serves as the regional headquarters in Asia for more than 4,000 global companies. It is a first choice for many companies and start-ups who want to invest in the region. Singapore is at the same time an island, a city and a state. The economy is highly developed, and the workforce well educated, which makes Singapore a very competitive choice for many companies.

Unemployment is only around 2 – 2.5% and this creates a wage situation that is much higher than in most Asian countries. The cost of living is also much higher. To compensate, the tax on wages and VAT is low. Tensions in China-US trade as well as the unrest in Hong Kong have prompted many companies to move from China to neutral and more open countries such as Singapore.

What are the most important tips for foreign companies wishing to establish or expand their presence in Singapore? 

Singapore, for the third year in a row, retained its second place in the World Bank Ranking of the easiest nation to do business in (New Zealand is number one) and ranks number three on the indicators easiness of starting a business and also to run a business in.

It is important to understand why you choose to be here. Singapore is still the city with the highest cost of living in the world, followed by Hong Kong and Zurich, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Everyone is trying to take advantage of Singapore’s strong relations in Asia in general and with the ASEAN countries in particular. The competition comes not only from local companies here but also from global brands with the same intention as you, when you want to do business here. You are competing for the same resources and it is mainly about skills and talents. It is therefore important to have a clear strategy if you wish to establish the organisation or increase your presence in Singapore.

What do you see as your main mission in the role of Executive Vice President of the Asia & Pacific (APAC) region? As such, you are also a member of the board of AIMS International.

I was honoured and surprised when I was nominated and elected. There are many more experienced partners at AIMS International, so I have taken on this role with humility. At the top of my agenda is to develop our APAC team. As well as to pay tribute to Asia for being so diverse with its numerous languages and cultures, I want to develop what brings us together into a common platform.

What kind of customers do you mainly work with?

Prior to 2017, just over 70% of our customers were high-tech American companies who wanted to expand in Asia. In recent years, we have also worked increasingly with European and local companies in many different industries. We work for large companies in recruiting all over Southeast Asia as far away as Maldives and Papua New Guinea. As consultants, we therefore have many years of experience working in Southeast Asia, from different industries and functions and all consultants speak at least two languages fluently – English and Chinese.

What is it like working with global customers in Singapore? 

Today, about 80% of our customers are global, which is fantastic! What normally begins as a project has often led to long-term cooperation. Most of the customers know that Singapore is one of the few Asian countries that “really” works by international standards. The fact that we are so international is partly due to our history. We were a British colony from the beginning of the 19th century until 1963 and then part of independent Malaysia for a period of 1965 to become an independent republic. As a small nation forced to support itself, we must quickly become “global” and establish relationships with economies such as the EU, the UK and the US. This, together with strengthening our historically strong ties with the economically growing China. Remember that over 75% of Singaporeans are of Chinese origin.

One must think globally but act locally. Most companies here use Singapore as their base in Asia. Many of the company’s CEOs and managers come from abroad. They are bringing with them a global experience and it creates a very international business environment. Understanding corporate intentions and values ​​is important. Foreign companies not only engage us as Executive Search consultants, but often also as business consultants. Very often, international companies have limited knowledge of Southeast Asia and therefore need guidance and advice.

How do you work in concrete terms to solve an assignment that comes through a partner within AIMS International?

Personally, I know many of my colleagues around the world. We meet regularly and with some I collaborate more or less regularly in various assignments. I am contacted by my colleagues at AIMS International from anywhere in the world. Often, colleagues have worked to solve the client’s recruitment needs in their home country and perhaps in other countries as well. Therefore, they usually have an established relationship with the customer. My colleagues in the company’s home country usually act as the Key Account Manager to the client for the assignment to be solved and turn to us in Singapore to get the recruitment done in practice. They have the knowledge of the customer and we have the knowledge of the local market. Together we form a team where we, here in Singapore, fulfil the projects just as we do with our local projects.


Written by Börje Hammarling, Senior Consultant AIMS International Sweden

AIMS International Expands to Estonia


At AIMS International we are always on the lookout for growing markets and to establish local AIMS International offices. Now the time has come to establish a permanent office in Estonia.

Estonia is one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. The indicators for ease of doing business, published by the World Bank Group, places Estonia in 16th place in the world in front of such countries as Canada, Switzerland and United States.

With a population of around 1,3 mio people and a geographic location centrally in the Baltics, Estonia offers opportunities for many businesses, locally, regionally and globally, to expand and grow their services and offerings. Estonia has been a member of the EU since 2004 and is an active member in a number of business related organisations such as The Nordic Investment Bank, OECD, WTO and the Council of The Baltic Sea States.

Our business in Estonia is led and operated by AIMS International Finland. AIMS International Finland is a leading Executive Search company in Finland with over 20 years of experience in Human Capital Consulting.

AIMS Finland already has an excellent track record of finding and growing leaders and professionals in various industries. Our consultants have the ability to find solutions supporting clients during significant changes, e.g. during corporate restructuring, business model transformation and internationalisation.

Business Services in the office in Estonia include: 

  • Executive Search 
  • Board Member Searches
  • Company Audits
  • Management and Board Audits
  • Assessment of Leaders and Professionals
  • Business Mentoring and Coaching

Internationally we are integrated with 50+ Partners through corporate offerings, methodologies and strong digital and personal co-operation platforms. At the same time the Partner companies are locally owned. This makes us firmly rooted in our domestic market. We provide services in local languages and understand the cultural specificities.

The contact person in the area is Ari Loppukaarre, Senior Consultant or Markku Krutsin, Managing Partner.


Written by Mikko Virta, Senior Consultant and Partner AIMS International Finland and the AIMS International Marketing Team

Become more productive by taking more breaks

Did you have a good vacation at the end of 2019? Or did you just keep on working? Studies show that taking a break will improve your overall health – read more about this here.

In 2013, Harvard Business Review partnered up with the founder and CEO of The Energy Project, Tony Schwartz, to conduct research where more than 12,000 consultants and managers participated. This research showed that the employees, regardless of the industry or company, are more satisfied and more productive when the company fulfils their “4 basic needs”:

  1. Physical needs: thorough opportunities to renew and regularly recharge their energy levels
  2. Emotional needs: to feel valued and appreciated for their contributions
  3. Psychological needs: to be able to focus on their most important tasks and define when and where they want to work
  4. Spiritual needs: doing more of what they enjoy the most and feeling connected to a deeper purpose

According to the results of this study, the more effectively leaders and organisations can support their employees in meeting these basic needs, the more likely they are to experience high levels of commitment, loyalty, satisfaction and positive energy at work and decrease stress levels. When at least one of the employees’ needs have been met, compared to none, all individual and organisational performance variables improve. The more needs that are met, the more positive the impact and the greater the performance.

The holidays are a great opportunity for organisations to boost and enhance the satisfaction of these four needs presented in the study.

One way to meet the employees’ physical need for energy recharge is by providing adequate resting opportunities. In fact, there are multiple studies that confirm the positive correlation between rest and productivity. This began with the labour policy promoted in the previous century by Henry Ford when he implemented a 40-hour work week at his car plants (the norm by then was 12 hours a day, 7 days a week). It was based on the results of an internal study that showed a notable increase in employee errors where they worked more than 40 hours a week.

More recent studies reinforce this correlation between productivity and rest. A 2011 study by the International Labor Organisation (ILO) found that, in OECD countries from 1950 until now, hours of work have increased, but productivity per hour has fallen. This factor is more complex and prevalent in Chile because we are one of the countries with the highest working hours and the worst productivity rates per hour worked. Moreover, the report shows that the more hours you work, the faster productivity falls.

There is also an analysis on the impact of vacation days on an employee’s health. Middle-aged men who presented some risk of developing coronary heart disease were investigated for more than nine years. This disease was chosen because of its high association with stress. The results show that mortality rates decrease statistically according to the frequency of annual vacations taken by these men.  A similar study by the University of Pittsburgh that lasted the duration of 12 years, a group of 12 000 men it was discovered that those participants who did not have the habit of taking a few days of vacation a year had 32% more risk of dying from a heart attack and 21% from dying of another illness than those who did take vacations.

Taken into an organisational context in 2006, Ernst & Young conducted a study with its own employees demonstrating that for every additional ten hours of vacation, annual employee performance evaluations improved by 8%, and those employees who took vacations regularly were more loyal to their work and stayed in the company for longer.

Returning to the original approach of employees’ four basic needs (physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual), it is possible to observe that vacations and rest satisfy each of the above mentioned needs. Vacations cover the physical needs of the employees, giving them the opportunity to rest, through extra hours of sleep, good eating habits, physical exercise, spending more time outdoors, etc. They also cover emotional needs, by providing the employee with the opportunity to share with family and friends and feel valued by this important group, fulfilling a different emotional need to the one that exists at the workplace through interaction. They would also cover psychological needs by focusing on performing important tasks defined by the individual and their interests spending time on their hobbies, what to eat, where to go, etc.  Looking after their spiritual needs, carrying out activities that they enjoy and that may be related to some of their life purposes, thus allowing vacations and rest, increasing the level of employee satisfaction and enhancing the commitment and productivity of people in organisations.

The relationship between productivity and rest is not surprising when looking at it through the eyes of neurosciences. The sciences studying the functioning of the brain maintain that most of our neurons are destined to maintain the proper functioning of the body and that the well-being of our body is related to emotional and mental well-being. Therefore, if we give the body the necessary rest, then the whole system will rest – and may work better as a result. Similarly, if employees take a mental and emotional break from their work, their bodies will also respond by resting, giving them more energy for future activities.

In retrospect and moving one step beyond the results of these studies, there are measures which organisations, their leaders and employees can take to ensure that rest has the greatest possible impact on productivity. Companies can influence the quality of rest by creating policies, spaces and work disconnection practices. Just as companies can contribute towards rest to increase productivity, employees also have the responsibility to take advantage of those moments of rest to disconnect physically, emotionally and mentally and enjoy the endless possibilities that vacations offer them. In this way we can “literally” charge ourselves with energy to face the challenges and complexities that the year will present to us.

What about you? When last did you take a break?


Written by Sebastián Uriarte, Managing Partner AIMS International Chile and the AIMS International Marketing Team

Local partnerships with a global outlook

The networking event attracted service providers to international manufacturers including law firms, accountants, bankers, schools, investors and also members of a variety of governmental organisations from not only the State of New Jersey, but also from other countries including the Philippines, Mexico and Israel. It was an excellent opportunity to meet many individuals involved in a wide range of disciplines relevant to international trade, an extremely effective alternative to using phone and email.

From AIMS International, US Partner Richard Schnaittacher attended this international networking meeting supporting the network in its global outlooking efforts.

CIANJ also sponsored a recent meeting with the Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing (yes, this was before the coronavirus became public). This meeting was geared towards current and would-be exporters and also afforded participants an opportunity to have brief face-to-face meetings with potential clients.

CIANJ was originally founded in 1927 as the Bergen County Chamber of Commerce with the goal of being an advocate for business and free enterprise. It was renamed the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey in 1983 to recognise its expansion into state-wide business advocacy.

The advocacy takes several forms.  Its Commerce magazine created in 1965 helped the organisation to reach senior level executives throughout New Jersey.  They created the Foundation for Free Enterprise in 1975 to provide educational programs to elementary and secondary school students.  The Private Enterprise Political Action Committee was created in 1979 to create support for supportive candidates in the New Jersey legislature.

Richard Schnaittacher recently joined AIMS International US as part of the organisation’s US expansion initiative to Find and Grow business leaders on all continents.

If you want to connect with Richard, you can do so via this link.


Written by Richard Schnaittacher, Partner AIMS International US and the AIMS International Marketing Team

Best performing CEO’s 2019

The December 2019 edition of the Harvard Business Journal published the annual list of the Top 100 best performing CEOs. CEOs are eligible for the list if:

  • they have been in the same position for more than 2 years
  • their contract ran up until 31st July 2019
  • the company was listed on the S&P Global 1200 list by the end of 2018.

This leaves us with 883 CEO’s at 876 firms from 29 countries.

The list was first published in 2010 and has been an annual event since.

In 2015 a new perspective was introduced rather than taking pure financial indicators into account. Environmental, social and governance indicators (ESG scores) were also taken into consideration when rating the CEO’s success. This ESG rating had a weighting of 20% between 2015-2018, in 2019 its significance was raised to 30%.

Why does this new perspective have to be considered at all?

Because investors and investment funds are now not only considering the financial aspects of their investments but are also taking these other “softer” factors into account.

This should not come as a surprise, as the new generations, which are an ever-increasing part of the human population, are putting a lot more emphasis on these ESG factors. A CEO cannot just deliver good numbers anymore, he/she:

  • has to support environmentally friendly behaviour,
  • has to take responsibility for the impact on society
  • has to ensure the well-being and safety of employees.

The statement of the Business Roundtable held by 181 US CEO’s on 19th. August 2019 supports this idea:

The goal of a company is not only to satisfy the shareholders, but to comply with 4 other stakeholder groups’ interests: the employees, the consumers, the vendors and the community.

Specific traits of the Top 100 best performing CEO’s based on the evaluation of the 883 participants:

  • 65 were part of the 2018 list as well,
  • they came into the role at the age of 45 and have been in the job for a minimum of 15 years,
  • the top 7 CEOs took up their position before 2010,
  • there are 4 women in the list of 2019 compared to 3 in 2018,
  • all 4 female leaders are in the Top 50,
  • the highest ranked women leader is at #16 – Nancy McKinstry – Wolters Kluwer, Netherlands, she has been the CEO since 2003,
  • 87 CEOs are insiders, unchanged from last year (out of the 100),
  • the Top performing CEO in 2019 was: When Jensen Huang (company: NVIDIA, founded in 1993, field: IT, HQ: United States of America), #2 in 2018 and #3 in 2017.

The methodology of the evaluation and the ranking itself brings a lot of thoughts and new perspectives to Executive Search Consultants.  On the other hand, the rapidly changing world requires new techniques and behaviour from every participant of the business world.

We will share our views about these complex issues in articles to follow.

Source: Harvard Business Journal 2019. November – December


Written by Judit Simonyi, Managing Partner AIMS International Hungary and the AIMS International Marketing Team

Special Announcement about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At AIMS International we are very aware of the possible impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on our  people, businesses and organisations. We take our responsibility to monitor the situation and deal with all eventualities in a conscientious manner, very seriously.

So many countries are now affected and so many people are sick and unfortunately also a big number of patients have lost their lives. This is a global health crisis.

Being a global organisation with offices in over 50 countries and clients all over the globe, we have a vast number of interactions daily between clients, candidates and consultants and partner offices. It is at times like these where we are again made acutely aware of the benefits of our virtual systems and progressive working style which we have actively developed over the last years in order to become a more sustainable global business. We continue to encourage virtual interactions and continue to monitor and adapt our physical interactions we have with our various stakeholders.

It is, however, still important to conduct some business and build relationships in person and certain events are held annually, including General Assemblies, regional and national conferences. We will remain cautious in the planning and execution of our meetings until such time as the World Health Organisation (WHO) tells us that the situation has been contained. With daily meetings being held with clients and candidates we now aim to keep our physical interactions to a minimum and strive to continue to host virtual meetings as far as possible.

Besides increasing general hygiene, all employees who can work from home and need not be on location will be required to do so. Fortunately many AIMS International Consultants are well equipped to work from home and employees can continue with business-as-usual avoiding all possible contact with the virus. Lastly, we will continue to make a concerted effort to keep all our employees and clients well informed on any developments regarding this outbreak ensuring that we make use of reliable sources provided to us by health and government departments.

The short term effect for all parties at AIMS International is relatively low, but we have however decided not to execute a regional meeting in our APAC region which was to be hosted in Shanghai, China. Our local offices in China have kept employees home for some days, shifting their work schedules in accordance with the suggestion from local authorities.

In our strive to stay digitally relevant, we have also recently developed an eVoting tool via our intranet platform, to ensure crucial decisions can still be made irrespective of such incidents.

It is heartbreaking to see so many critically ill people and that more than 3.000 people have already lost their lives due to the virus. Our hearts reach out to those affected and we hope that the combined efforts of WHO and the health services of the countries’ most severely affected will contain this outbreak soon.


Written by Bernardo EntchevPresident AIMS International and the AIMS International Marketing Team