DSML Policies and Practices, Industry Experience

Executive Search Recruitment Interview with Jihane Ouzane

Executive search recruitment in major cities like Chicago, Boston, and New York City, requires a wealth of industry experience, especially for European subsidiaries expanding to the US. This is why DSML Executive Search, part of Alexander Hughes, is committing to hiring executive recruiters with rich cultural backgrounds.

One of these individuals is Jihane Ouzane, our newest Executive Recruitment professional. We sat down for an interview to discuss her role and experience, then asked her thoughts on the future of executive recruitment for European subsidiaries.

Getting to Know Jihane and Her Journey into Executive Search Recruitment


Q: Tell us about your professional background and experience. How did you get into executive recruitment?

I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Concordia University in Montreal. From there, I launched into technical recruiting in 2018. I have been hooked on the industry ever since.

I’ve worked on technical, corporate, and executive recruitment projects for more than five years now. I also worked for a non-profit — the French American Chamber of Commerce of New York — where I served as a Senior Associate.

I love finding the perfect candidate for executive roles — the relationship-building, the chase, and the finishing of projects is very exciting to me. I enjoy the diverse nature of projects as well: every search is different, and you get to meet new people with every project.

Q: How did you come to DSML?

While working for the FACC in New York, I found myself engaging with members of previous recruitment jobs. A lot of them were hiring, and I missed the recruitment profession. I didn’t have an outlet for my passion because recruitment wasn’t part of my job at the time.

Myriam Le Cannellier, Co-Founder and Director of DSML Executive Search, reached out to me about an executive recruitment role. I had just been promoted in my existing role, but I was excited to hear more about Alexander Hughes — I wanted to be part of its global footprint.

It didn’t take me long to realize this was the perfect career opportunity for me. I joined the company in April 2024 and never looked back.

Q: What is your current role at DSML?

I was hired as an executive search recruiter, so my role is split between recruiting and business development in the New York City metro. My daily tasks include sourcing, screening, and assisting target companies, including European subsidiaries expanding to the US.

Q: What languages do you speak? And how do you feel that benefits your role now at DSML?

I currently speak French, Arabic, English, and Spanish.

Because I work with people from all over the world, speaking multiple languages helps me understand their needs better. There are always cultural differences between different continents, so it really does help me understand our clients and candidates better.

Our clients need executive recruiters with cross-cultural experiences, especially if they’re expanding and looking for someone who can manage different regions. That said, the ability to speak multiple languages isn’t everything in executive recruitment. But it certainly is a plus to understand different cultures and languages.

Q: What is your area of recruiting expertise?

I specialize primarily in brand growth recruitment, which includes anything marketing-related or in the HR space. This especially includes recruitment for roles such as Chief Marketing Officers and Chief People Officers, both of which I have recruited pre and post-pandemic.

That said, I’m more of a generalist in the recruitment space and have worked in many different industries. Fintech, tech, and telecommunications are some of my favorites. I have a love for innovative spaces and enjoy cutting my teeth on new projects and undertakings.

Q: What advantages do you have with prior executive recruiting experience?

Having prior experience with executive recruiting has given me the opportunity to excel in my role.

For example, I set up an agenda right away, which has allowed me to be more organized in calls and interviews.

I also have experience asking candidates tough questions and collecting the data I need from candidates. That comes with hands-on experience — because while entry-level recruiters have amazing interviews, they usually miss out on key opportunities to gather data.

Having worked on dozens of projects at this point, I’ve learned a lot about different personalities, how to work with them, and how to provide effective solutions. Some people are visual learners, some people are aural learners, and some people need reports to feel confident in the recruitment process.

My previous experience sets me up to work with international clients and help them find good US candidates for their roles. I look forward to continuing to enhance my skills and offer the best possible services to European subsidiaries expanding to the US.

Q: What are the core values of DSML?

Honesty is the first value I would like to highlight. In my short time with this team, I can say that they have a very honest and transparent way of communicating with candidates and clients.

I really like that, because in the recruiting world, there are a lot of things that could fall through the cracks. But at DSML, the team is very honest and organized. It’s a great differentiator and really sets us apart in the industry.

The second value I’ll discuss is openness. The team is very open about receiving feedback and working together to accomplish a greater goal.

We have such diverse perspectives, and I really like that. I might have missed something that someone else noticed, for example, and together we can speak up and share our points of view.

The last core value is collaboration. Our team collaborates quite a lot, and it’s great to come together in terms of searches and bring different perspectives to the table. It also speaks to Myriam’s abilities as a leader and her desire to provide the best possible services to our clients.

Q: Over the past few years, have you seen any major changes in the executive search industry? Are there any changes that you think will stay for the long term to be permanent changes?

One of the first changes I experienced was the Great Resignation, where many executives were switching jobs because the market was doing so well. It was a very interesting time — when companies extended offers, people would accept and change jobs within a matter of months.

The Pandemic also gave rise to the idea of flexibility in work. Hybrid and remote work is now core to the candidate experience, and many executive candidates will not consider roles without a candid conversation.

AI will continue to cause disruption. There will be smaller teams, new roles (such as the Chief AI Compliance Officer), and lots of mergers and acquisitions. Some companies will disappear, and others will rise. This is an ongoing revolution, so companies need to advance and become more relevant to survive.

The most recent trend is ‘Return to Office,’ or RTO. Offices in New York are filling up to 50% capacity, which is a pretty big deal for New York City. Time will tell how the debate shakes out, and whether or not this push to return is successful.

DSML Executive Search, acquired by Alexander Hughes, is a Chicago and Boston-based executive search firm serving European subsidiaries expanding to the US. We value Jihane’s character, experience, and insights for the future, and are honored to have her as part of our team in New York.

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