Executive Search Trends

by Barbara Ulman in — September 2019
Executive search has always been the supreme discipline of recruiting. A discrete recruiting process, a candidate centered approach and the use of intelligent sourcing tactics describe the routine of an executive search consultant. But how does the future of executive search lool alike, what are the challenges and trends that will executive search consultants face in the upcoming months and years? We have researched the executive search trends of 2019.

1. International Executive Search – finding leaders beyond borders

Due to skill shortage executive search needs to reach beyond borders. Recruiters not only need to link within their country borders but also need to search for human capital and know how from beyond their country borders.

Due to globalization and digitalization there is a special need for global leaders. Companies need more than ever experienced people that know how to deal with cultural differences, building international teams and integrating foreign work force into a running system.

2. Cultural Fit as an important matching factor

Job profiles, as we know them today, will disappear. Why? In the processes of change and demographics, the " all-in-one device " will be hard to find. Much more important: Teams will influence success more than lone fighters. And in the future this will be much more about putting together the right project teams and their onboarding: Executives become coaches.

3. Millenials as a new target group for headhunters

In the near future, three to four generations will work together. It has always been that way, but the last two generations have grown up very differently. The so called millennials have different needs, different attitudes, different priorities.

Discipline, obedience and sense of duty were replaced by individuality, flexibility and fun. They no longer drive money, status and power, but meaningful action, social relevance and sustainability.

The principle "Now" and "Wow" and the "Life-Work-Balance" will change a lot.

4. Candidate experience matters

Candidate experience is the buzz word of 2019 when it comes to improving the executive search process. The development of a candidate journey is the most structured path for turning applicants into fans. During the whole process you should offer an impeccable candidate experience including discretion, a highly personalized approach and the willingness to go the extra mile.

5. Diversity in leadership positions

Most research shows that mixed teams are the most successful. Increasing the diversity among executives strengthens the innovative power of a company. However, diversity is usually seen shortened. It is much more comprehensive than "women in management". And nothing will happen without the migration of highly qualified people. The question should not be: "Who do we let in?", But: "Who are we bringing in purposefully?"

6. Search & selection with industry knowledge

In the future, executive search will be more than ever about industry knowledge, the recognition of trends, knowledge of industry standards and the implementation of HR strategies. Setting up the right search methodology and above all recognizing the fits between customers and candidates are the core topics. Trying to get your head around the digital industry? Visit our digital channel and learn more.

7. Data-Driven Recruiting

Modern technology - from chatbots to matching algorithms - brings more efficiency into recruiting. The so-called Data Driven Recruiting offers many opportunities for large companies with a high number of applicants. There is a good chance that these developments will also affacet executive search strategies substantially.

8. Extension of the product / service portfolio

The executive search business is more cyclical than any other industry. Not least the financial crisis and the break-up of entire industries have shown this. Therefore, it seems indispensable to offer innovative topics that are close to C-Suite, such as career services including leadership training, executive coaching, career planning, personal branding and salary developments as well as HR consulting including employer branding, onboarding support, ect.

9. Talent management becomes essential

The right talent to proactively support, find, develop and sustain companies in their change process will become the core competency of all successful organizations. There will be a clear shift from know-how and experience to potential and attitude. We can only try to anticipate the challenges in ten years' time. This will also significantly change the development programs of all companies.

All of these changes and trends will significantly change the future collaboration between organizations and executive search consultants. The challenges are getting bigger for everyone. But the biggest challenge will be to meet the increasingly different expectations of customers and candidates.