Get to know us


Get to know us

Founded in 2000 by Xavier Mansard, Doctor of Pharmacy, A.ASTON was taken over in 2022 by Séta Mestoudjian, former Associate Director. A.ASTON is proud to be one of the best-known recruitment agencies in the health sector year after year.

Séta Mestoudjian
Managing Director

Interview with Séta Mestoudjian

My mother was a pharmacist and my father a management consultant, and I took something of each along my own career path. After obtaining a degree in Social Psychology and Human Resources, I spent almost 20 years in various HR positions with major international laboratories like GSK, L’Oréal R&D, and UCB, specialising in recruitment and development. I was very much a “business partner” before that approach turned mainstream and also very focused on “employee experience”, before that became a driver of HR strategy. I wanted to go into consultancy from early on, but good sense dictated that I should gain experience before taking the plunge. Since 2015, I’ve focused on recruitment and the related aspects of HR. It keeps you very open-minded; my perspective on the world is continuously enriched by the new companies and people I meet every day.

In 2000. I was a young HR employee at the SmithKline Beecham laboratory. I met some extraordinary people there, who became the very basis of my network. My then manager introduced me to A.ASTON’s founder, Xavier Mansard, who told me that he had met my mother many years before, at Roussel Uclaf, which is the laboratory where I did my first internship. It was more than mere chance! Xavier had just established the company and I was pleased to do some recruiting for him. Doing so showed me the unique qualities of a business built on a human scale that really knows how to personalise its client relationships. So, in 2015, I took the plunge and joined A.ASTON as Senior Consultant, then Associate Director, finally taking over from Xavier on his departure in late 2021.

It might seem obvious, but it’s fundamentally important to enjoy recruitment, more than any other HR activity. I believe that should be our priority because it’s the prerequisite for collective success in business. A.ASTON’s slogan wasn’t chosen at random: ‘talent scout’ includes the English ‘scout’, which means a ‘finder’, and the word ‘scout’ is derived from the Old French ‘escouter’, which means ‘to listen’. Being a good talent scout requires active listening, inspiring confidence, being able to maintain a flow of communication throughout the recruitment process, having powers of persuasion, and persevering without ever forgetting that what comes first in our profession is people.
You should also have some tools at your disposal; I have the MBTI, SOSIE and Assessfirst qualifications.