Beyond imagination: How AI is revolutionizing human resources

At the 2023 HR summit in Frankfurt, Xellento’s managing partner Till Schöppe-Fries summarized the company-sponsored forum as follows: “In the coming years artificial intelligence will revolutionize companies and industry sectors. This applies to all departments concerned, ranging from research & development to IT, from HR to communications. It is a matter of utmost importance regardless of business sector”. In the panel discussion with Covestro’s Dr. Walter Grüner, Global Head of IT & Digitalization, and Dr. Roscoe Araujo, Senior Project Manager Transformation, the following became evident: The problem is not the technology; rather, it is the employees’ acceptance, which could curb the development. Read the follow-up report in the magazine Personalwirtschaft.

Key HR people moves in 2023

The magazine Personalwirtschaft asked 22 executive search consultants for their key HR people moves in 2023. Xellento’s managing partner Dr. Matthias Kestler included Ruth Werhahn in his listing who took the position of chief human resources officer at Vonovia in October of this year. Read the ranking and find out why the distinguished lawyer is ideally suited to the newly created positon.

Xellento’s partner Peter Alexander Rapp among the 22 most important executive search consultants in the media industry

The magazine “Kress pro” (issue 2023/#09) investigated who awards top-tier positions and which executive search consultants should know the key players in the media industry. Among the latter: Xellento partner Peter Alexander Rapp. Due to his longstanding expertise in the media business, he has a sound grasp of the demands of leading management positions.
The editorial department talked to numerous publishers, general managers and decision makers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They inquired about names, experiences and the managers’ judgment on executive search consultants.

These were the TOP HR job changes in 2022

Human resources management asked 20 head-hunters about the most fascinating HR management position changes in 2022. Xellento Managing Partner Dr Matthias Kestler named Anja Seng among others, President of the association Fidar (Women on Supervisory Boards) since October 2022. Click on Ranking to find out what makes this new role so important.

People Analytics: Less hype, more substance

“We want you, as the HR community, to be able to raise questions that HR would not have been expected to ask at all, and possibly provide answers to them,” said Xellento Managing Partner Peter Alexander Rapp at the 2022 HR Summit in Frankfurt. He and Dr Chris Kaibel from Roche discussed how People Analytics can transform HR as a discipline. Human resources management provides a follow-up report.

Supervisory board search firm Board Xperts repositions itself

Grünwald and Frankfurt am Main, 25 November 2022. Board Xperts GmbH, the leading supervisory and advisory board search firm in Germany, will be restructuring at the beginning of 2023. Dr Klaus Weigel, who co-founded Board Xperts in 2006, is handing over sole management to Dr Matthias Kestler. Dr Weigel will continue to provide Board Xperts support in his role of external consultant in the context of staffing projects for supervisory boards and advisory boards, and thus also continue to contribute his many years of experience as well as the network he has built up over the years. Dr Matthias Kestler, who is also a founding partner of Xellento Executive Search, has already worked together with Dr Weigel as the second managing partner for Board Xperts for the past three years. Board Xperts will be relocating its headquarters from Frankfurt am Main to Grünwald in the course of the repositioning. Board Xperts and Xellento will continue to operate as independent companies.

Since 2006, Dr Klaus Weigel has established Board Xperts as the leading qualified supervisory and advisory board search firm for family-owned businesses and financial investors in Germany. In 2020, Board Xperts and Xellento Executive Search joined forces to collaborate in the areas of supervisory and advisory board placement as well as recruitment consulting for top positions. Their alliance allows the two companies to recruit individuals for operational and non-operational top management positions in an even more targeted manner. Board Xperts’ network of more than 1,800 executives with leadership experience covers most industries and specialist departments and thus constitutes a pool for the placement of highly qualified supervisory and advisory board members.

‘The cooperation with Xellento has become established. We prepared the repositioning together and see the current moment as optimal,’ explains Dr Klaus Weigel. Dr Matthias Kestler adds: ‘We look forward to further expanding our activities in the field of supervisory and advisory board recruitment, including with the help of Dr Weigel. Our customers stand to benefit from this alliance.’

A portrait of Dr Klaus Weigel in brand eins

‘A good judge of character’ – this is how journalist David Selbach describes Dr Klaus Weigel, the Managing Director of our partner company Board Xperts GmbH. For the brand eins/thema magazine on the best management consultants of 2022, Selbach visited Klaus Weigel and Matthias Kestler and had a chat with them at the office in Frankfurt.

Read the full article here (german only)

Cooperation of Xellento und Board Xperts

Grünwald and Frankfurt/Main, 10th of February 2020. Board Xperts GmbH and Xellento Executive Search are joining forces with regard to the placement of supervisory and advisory board members as well as top-tier management positions. This cooperation will enable both companies to further strengthen their capabilities of filling high-level management positions. Moreover, when seeking a highly skilled supervisory or advisory board member, they can draw on a pool of 1,800 personalities with leadership expertise across nearly all industries and functional areas.

Dr. Klaus Weigel, Managing Partner of Board Xperts GmbH notes that ‘with regard to the placement of supervisory and advisory board members we have been working with a broad range of clients, especially larger privately held companies as well as financial investment firms, since many years. Now we are able to expand our network even further and develop new market potential by additionally focusing on our clients’ top-tier management needs.’ Dr. Matthias Kestler, Partner at Xellento Executive Search adds that ‘our clients will profit from this cooperation and its broader reach.’

Board Xperts GmbH, located in Frankfurt/Main since 2006, is a leader in the placement of experienced supervisory board members, qualified advisory board members and industry experts. Dr. Klaus Weigel is a founding board member of the association Aufsichtsräte Mittelstand in Deutschland e. V. (ArMiD) with currently more than three hundred members. ArMiD’s aim is to offer practically relevant assistance to its members with regard to their work and networking opportunities.

The executive search consultancy Xellento Executive Search is based in Grünwald by Munich. The company is specialized in the placement of top-tier and C-suite management positions across international corporations and SMEs. In 2019, Xellento Executive Search was nominated for the Headhunter of the Year award. Furthermore, in the most recent headhunter ranking in the business magazine WirtschaftsWoche Xellento Executive Search was voted among the best across the fields of consulting/professional services as well as consumer goods and retail.

Xellento partner Peter Alexander Rapp in ZEIT

While working from home is becoming increasingly more popular, Germany is lagging behind the home office trend. Christian Schultz, editor at dpa, notes that organizational questions remain partially unanswered and that a change of mind is especially necessary among SMEs:

The Munich based headhunter Peter Alexander Rapp chose a more rigorous wording. «Germany is trailing far behind with regard to the concept of Smart Work.» The problem is rooted in a company landscape which is often characterized by SMEs. Especially in SMEs not located in the vicinity of large cities a change of mind is necessary; nowadays, job candidates request such work options. It requires manifold incentives to win the sought professionals. In some companies there is disagreement between HR officers and more traditionally thinking company bosses. The latter frequently judge employees to work less and pursue other tasks when at home.

Read the full article

Xellento-Partner Dr. Matthias Kestler in the Handelsblatt

The economic boom is slowing; however, SMEs are continuing to seek high achievers. What to do? Handelsblatt editor Anja Müller, team leader SMEs and family-owned businesses, describes the situation as follows:

Matthias Kestler notes “that there is no trivial solution”. Currently, he has been focussing on the difficulty to attract top talents to rural locations – a problem faced by many SMEs. The headhunter indicates that the demands of the sought managers have grown over time and “an economic downturn will not lower the expectations”. Hereby, the remuneration is not a decisive factor: “Relocation is not dependent on a higher compensation; the realm of responsibility is the decisive factor. This holds true for 98 percent of my candidates.” There are more important things to life than a €5k increase. This said, one should keep in mind that the individuals Kestler seeks are already on a very high income. However, he adds, there is a further crucial factor: Interesting concepts matter. Kestler says that “more than half of candidates would immediately sign a contract if it entailed a home office day on Friday.”

Read the full article


Handelsblatt TOP Personnel Service Provider 2024

This award really fills us with pride: XELLENTO Executive Search is one of Germany’s 40 best personnel consultants in 2024, as determined by the Handelsblatt Research Institute. This means that we are once again among the top 40 of around 2500 German recruitment consultants.

FOCUS TOP Personnel Service Provider 2024

Xellento has been awarded the TOP Personnel Service Provider 2024 in the ‘Executive Search’ category by Focus Business magazine for the fifth time in a row. The prize is awarded on the basis of a study conducted last year by the market research company Statista for the news magazine Focus Business.

Handelsblatt TOP Personnel Service Provider 2023

This is the accolade! In the Handelsblatt ranking of German HR consultancies, XELLENTO asserts itself in the top 40 for the year 2023 and thus takes a top group placement among the 443 participants.

FOCUS TOP Personnel Service Provider 2023

For the fourth time, Xellento is ranked among the TOP Personnel Service Providers 2023 in the category “Executive Search”. This is the conclusion of a study conducted last year by the market research company Statista for the news magazine, Focus Business.

WirtschaftsWoche Headhunter Index 2022

For the third time, Xellento was able to score points in the WirtschaftsWoche Ranking and can once again count itself amongst Germany’s best recruitment consultants. In three different categories, we were rated as one of the headhunters people would most prefer to hire. The Ranking is based on a questionnaire developed by Professor Christel Gade. Between October 2021 and September 2022, 2,300 personnel decision-makers provided details on how satisfied they were with the performance of the headhunters they had employed.


FOCUS TOP personnel service provider 2022

XELLENTO scored highly in the “Executive Search” category in 2022 as well and ranks among the TOP personnel service providers in Germany.

WirtschaftsWoche Personalberater Index 2021

Xellento is also one of the best recruitment agencies in Germany in 2021. In the Headhunter Ranking of the WirtschaftsWoche our customers have rated us in the best possible way. The ranking “Germany’s best recruitment consultants” is based on a questionnaire developed by Christel Gade, Professor at IU International University of Applied Sciences. About 3,000 personnel decision-makers were interviewed between July and October. Thanks to everyone who took the time to mention our commitment in an appreciative way.


FOCUS TOP personnel service provider 2021

XELLENTO is among the TOP personnel service providers in the “Executive Search” category in 2021 as well. This is according to a study carried out by the market research company Statista for the news magazine Focus Business. This means that XELLENTO is once again one of the top 75 personnel service providers in the important “Executive Search” category.


FOCUS Leading Personnel Service Provider 2020

Germany’s companies have voted: Xellento is a leading personnel service provider 2020 in the category ‘Executive Search’. Last year, the market research company Statista conducted a questionnaire-based study on behalf of the news magazine Focus Business in which executive search clients especially rated the candidate profile quality, assignment speed, the means and manner of communication as well as service provision.
In the core category ‘Executive Search’ Xellento is among the leading 75 companies in Germany.

WirtschaftsWoche Executive Search Consultants Index 2019

Xellento is among the leading search firms in Germany. The headhunter ranking of the WirtschaftsWoche resulted in our clients bestowing us a five-star rating in two fields of business.
For the fourth consecutive time the magazine WirtschaftsWoche collaborated with Professor Christel Gade from the IUBH (Internationale Hochschule Bad Honnef) in its analysis of the executive search consultants market. In the period of July to September 2019, 2,500 HR decision makers judged 885 executive search consultancies by questionnaire. The result: Xellento is a leader in the fields of Consulting/Professional Services as well as FMCG and Retail.

„Headhunter-of-the-year-Award“ 2019

Xellento was nominated for the „Headhunter-of-the-year-Award“ 2019 in the category „Executive Search“. The award is hosted by the career service provider Experteer. The aim is to acknowledge executive search firms of high quality and professionalism as well as highlighting pioneers and promoting industry innovations.


Trends pertaining to supervisory and advisory board placements

Companies, management as well as their supervisory and advisory boards have always had to face up to new challenges. The concomitant prevalence of extremely demanding topics, however, represents an especially pronounced accumulation: geopolitical crises and their impact on markets and supply chains, rapid developments regarding the application of AI, an exploding shortage of skilled workers and the upheaval rooted in the transition of energy sources. On the 31st Munich Management Colloquium, XELLENTO’s partner Kai Horten elucidated to which extent these ‘poly-crises’ signify changes in the cooperation between operational management and the supervisory/advisory board.

Beyond imagination: How AI is revolutionizing human resources

The expectations of the capabilities of AI are enormous – we are not yet able to fathom the entirety of possibilities. In the upcoming years, AI will not only revolutionize HR but also entire companies and industry sectors.

In the company sponsored forum at the 14th Human Resources summit Xellento’s Managing Partner Till Schöppe-Fries in cooperation with Covestro Germany’s Dr. Roscoe Araujo, Senior Project Manager Transformation, and Dr. Walter Grüner, Head of IT of Digitalization, presented how the chemical company very actively pursues AI. Even today, AI already is an opportunity for alleviating the shortage of skilled specialists while concomitantly also rekindling the same.

© Copyright F.A.Z. Business Media GmbH/Dirk Beichert BusinessPhoto

People Analytics as a game-changer? How HR is successfully transforming itself – and using smart data management to answer the questions of tomorrow

The level of expectation regarding data-driven HR management is extremely high. But the success of this kind of transformation cannot be taken for granted. Can HR use data to answer the questions of tomorrow? Peter Alexander Rapp, Managing Partner at Xellento, and Chris Kaibel, Organizational Scientist EMEA, Roche, came together on Xellento’s topical discussion panel at the 13th German Human Resources Summit to address ways in which the use of People Analytics is guaranteed to result in failure and what it takes to successfully transform HR work.

© Copyright

Attracting new employees beyond metropolitan areas

How do employers, especially SMEs, attract high achievers to the rural locations? Today, employees set out the working conditions, thus companies are the ones vying for the candidates. Apart from compensation and company car there is a further factor of importance: the location. The SME which is “located at the end of the world” is faced with a fierce fight for talent.

The above was presented and discussed by the Xellento partners Dr. Matthias Kestler

on the 10th of July 2019 at the Pioneers Club in Bielefeld

and Peter Alexander Rapp

on the 10th of October 2019 at the FAZ Conference “Recruiting & Führungskräftebindung im Mittelstand“ by KLAFS GmbH & Co. KG in Schwäbisch Hall

Dr Klaus Weigel, Of Counsel Board Xperts GmbH, at the 30th Munich Management Colloquium

The challenges are broad: from energy costs and supply bottlenecks to ESG and skills shortages. What they mean for the composition and work of supervisory boards was explained by Dr Klaus Weigel, of counsel of our company Board Xperts GmbH, in a lecture at the 30th Munich Management Colloquium.

Nomination of supervisory boards: What are the mistakes that must be avoided?

During the 14-day livestream podcast by the Directors Academy, Dr Klaus Weigel spoke with Rudolf Ruter on 7 April 2022. The topic of the conversation: the “correct” make-up of supervisory bodies in both capital market and un-listed family-owned companies and the mistakes to be avoided.

You can listen to the full conversation again here:

Dr Klaus Wiegel, Managing Partner of our partner company Board Xperts GmbH, at the 29th Münchner Management Kolloquium

Business leaders in all industries are facing the huge task of transformation. Investment needs to be made in new technologies and business models which, right now, are not yet certain to succeed.

Dr Klaus Weigel, Managing Partner of our partner company Board Xperts GmbH, explains what all this means for the composition of supervisory boards in a talk at the 29th Münchner Management Kolloquium.

Dr. Klaus Weigel on the requirements of the composition of advisory boards

The digitalization of business processes as well as the internationalization of customer relationships require a revised definition of the role of supervisory boards. What such a change may look like and what it might entail for the composition of supervisory boards will be the topic of Dr. Weigel’s lecture at the 28th Munich Management Colloquium.


Insights by Dr. Matthias Kestler and Peter Alexander Rapp

Fremde Köpfe – neue Lösungen

Was ist bei Top-Besetzungen wichtiger: Branchenwissen oder Funktionsstärke? – Beides natürlich. Aber wenn ein neuer Chef gesucht wird, muss man manchmal neue Wege gehen. Heißt hier: es muss nicht zwingend ein Branchenfachmann sein.  weiter…

Mission Impossible oder: sieben der beliebtesten Irrtümer bei der Zusammenarbeit mit Personalberatern

Wer einen Personalberater mit der Neubesetzung einer Spitzenposition beauftragt, kann erstaunlich viel falsch machen. Die Berater der Münchner Berater-Boutique Xellento Executive Search schildern hier einige der meist gesehenen Erfolgsbremsen bei der Kandidatensuche.  weiter…

Headhunters Alptraum oder: Der Teufel steckt immer im Detail

Die besten Jäger sind nicht die mit der größten Feuerkraft, sondern jene, die es verstehen, sich dem Wild im richtigen Augenblick in der richtigen Weise zu nähern. Womit ein Qualitätsmerkmal guter Headhunter schon beschrieben wäre. Auftraggeber, die das Wissen der „Jäger“ über Timing und Details nicht nutzen, verprellen die besten Kandidaten durch manchmal sehr banale Fehler. Hier ein paar besonders fatale:  weiter…



Headhunter, companies and the tricky search for ideal candidates, plus eBook inside

Author: Dr. Matthias Kestler

ISBN: 978-3-5935-0872-6

2018, 254 pages, hardcover € 34,95


Are you ready for a leap to the top?
The dos and don’ts of how to climb the social ladder! An illustration by style, language and etiquette expert Doris Märtin for success-oriented readers. For her book Mrs. Märtin interviewed Dr. Matthias Kestler.

Author: Doris Märtin

ISBN: 978-3-5935-0983-9

2019, 320 pages, hardcover € 22,95

Trade publications of the former Rat.Haus Personnel Consulting Ltd and Otto • Henning & Company can be ordered here.

HR Benchmarking Report 2010/11 Rat.Haus Personnel Consulting and Otto • Henning & Company present the HR Benchmarking Report 2010/11 – Schwerpunkt “Talent Management”

Authors: Dr. Michael Henning; Dr. Matthias Kestler

ISBN: 978-3-7664-9718-5

2010, 192 pages, softcover € 495

Rechtsabteilung Report 2009 Otto • Henning &  Company presents the study “Organisation und Strategie der Rechtsabteilung im Fokus von Qualität und Effizienz”

Author: Dr. Michael Henning

ISBN: 978-3-8005-1541-7

2011, 204 pages, softcover € 499

Distressed Debt Investments

Over the last few years the number of ailing loans, also known as distressed debt or non-performing loans, has risen substantially. Buying up and dealing with such loans can be used as a measure of reorganization.

Authors: Dr. Matthias Kestler, Dr. Andreas Striegel, Dr. Thomas A. Jesch

ISBN: 978-3-8145-0343-1

2006, 156 pages, hardcover € 38