25 September, 2018
US Spain Executives
Begoña González-Blanch, Miami Managing Partner: “The two most important skills that I look for in candidates are common sense and passion”
US Spain Executives (USEC) holds an exclusive interview with Begoña González-Blanch, Miami Managing Partner at Ackermann International, to discuss her experience in international executive search, as well as the challenges faced and lessons learned in the US.
She has been asked about the key skills that clients are looking for in recent years: “I believe it is important for a candidate to possess integrity, honesty, and flexibility in order to work in our modern-day marketplace, which is constantly changing. The two most important skills that I look for in candidates are common sense and passion, as these are skills possessed by individuals who are driven because they genuinely love what they do and are internally motivated”.
Another question has been the main differences between executives trained in the US vs. Spain: “The most notable difference to me between executives trained in the US and those trained in Spain is that in the US people are trained to be entrepreneurs, with their final employment goal to ultimately create their own company. In Spain, this training is still very classic. Although this also depends greatly on the university the individual attends, every day I am impressed by the caliber of the candidates that come from Spanish universities.
And asked about the main obstacles that prevent a wide representation of women on boards and what can be expected in future years, she answers: “I think the main obstacles that prevent a wide representation of women is that as women, we are very good communicators and responsible employees, but paradoxically, we are not good at negotiating benefits for ourselves or asking for promotions. Much of the time, women assume these rewards will be a natural consequence of performing a good job. Another big obstacle that women face is that we do not network as much as men do, therefore we are less visible to opportunities offered by headhunters and other companies. In my personal experience, when I recommend a woman for a certain executive position it is a commonly asked question if she is adequately prepared to take on the job or good enough for the position while this question never arises in the case of male candidates. There is still a lot of work to do in order to bridge this gap. This is an issue that is very important to me, as I am one of the founding partners of EJECON, an organization that promotes the presence of women in the positions of Senior Management and Boards of Directors, at the moment we are currently planning to launch it in the U.S”.