My experience as a member of the ERA by Verity Shepley, MD of Jeva Executive Research
I joined the ERA back in 2013 and will remain a committed member for as long as I work in executive research. As an independent researcher, the benefits have been innumerable but for me, the stand-out benefit has been the opportunity to meet and network with other researchers. Getting to know like-minded fellow researchers has provided me with a community of ‘colleagues’, something I had missed since leaving the corporate world 12 years ago.
I have attended the annual Conference for the last 6 years which I have found immensely valuable. Opening with relevant and high quality guest speakers covering topics such as advanced Boolean search methods, the art of candidate engagement as well as industry perspectives from the recruitment sector and in-house recruitment teams, followed by break-out sessions which offer the opportunity to discuss current and topical points (such as GDPR) and finishing with a glass of wine and networking, the conferences have not only provided me with technical advice and support, but opened up the opportunity to share ideas and concerns of any nature. The collaborative nature of the ERA has been noteworthy with everyone very willing to share ideas and knowledge. I now have a reliable source of fellow researchers with whom I have been able to share thoughts on a wide variety of topics including client proposals, company terms and conditions, approach methods, technical points, how to handle tricky clients, as well as referring work and partnering with other researchers occasionally.
Winning Researcher of the Year Award in 2018 was an accolade I am truly proud of and I have put this to good use in my marketing materials and ensured all my clients are aware of the award – it is tricky to pinpoint whether this has helped me win new work but I am convinced it has raised my profile and contributed to repeat work and new client wins – I’ve certainly not been twiddling my thumbs much since winning. The project I entered for the award was a CEO role for the Paris office of a multinational media organisation. Initially the client thought they were only interested in digital candidates, however on review of these profiles they realised this was not what they wanted at all and I had to re-visit the market to identify more traditional media profiles. Persuading candidates at this level to engage with you, the researcher, is the biggest challenge with the more senior roles and one I feel the head-hunters often underestimate.
I would recommend anyone considering joining or renewing their membership to go ahead – it offers great value for money, excellent training and professional development opportunities and a great day out at Sadler’s Wells once a year.
Verity Shepley, MD of Jeva Executive Research