Executive Search Trends to Monitor in 2022 | Executive Recruiters | Best Executive Search Firm

      Executive Search Trends to Monitor in 2022

      The executive search industry is undergoing a transformation, and executive headhunters will find more success if they understand the trends that shape the future. The 2020s are shaping up to be a critical decade for the recruiting industry, with many factors contributing to changes in what it means to find the best executive talent.

      The Shifting Role of Executive Recruiters

      The role of executive recruiters is shifting. In 2022, many companies are using their recruiting talent for succession planning. A recruiter’s job is no longer solely about finding someone to fill an empty seat; it’s about helping companies understand what skills they need in their leaders moving forward.

      Let’s take a look at the trends facing recruiters in 2022 and learn how adaptations in their approach to finding talent can pay dividends in the form of long-term, revolutionary executive leadership. 

      Executive Search Trend #1: The Market Is Becoming More Candidate-Driven

      One of the biggest trends for executive search in 2022 is adapting your strategy and process to the candidate-driven market. As finding new talent becomes competitive, it’s important that you align your strategies accordingly. 

      Today’s market for executive talent is fierce. Your candidates have options, and offering an ideal employment opportunity is the only way to attract the most skillful and experienced people to fill your role. 

      Make your company one that talented individuals will want to lead. Create an organization that executives will be excited to represent, then develop a hiring package that reflects fair value for your newly onboarded leaders. 

      Executive Search Trend #2: Focus Is Shifting to Passive Candidates

      In 2022, executive recruiting firms are changing their focus from simply posting job openings to building relationships with passive candidates and engaging them with content that resonates across their career journey.

      The days of relying solely on active job seekers are over. In fact, according to a recent survey, 38 percent of professionals said they may consider leaving the organization they currently work for if another company made them a compelling offer. 

      What does this mean for executive search firms and recruiters? They must get creative to find qualified candidates for open positions who are not actively looking for work.

      Executive Search Trend #3: Internal Development Is on the Rise

      More than ever, companies are investing in leadership development programs, coaching, and mentoring that help employees discover their strengths and weaknesses. They’re also investing in training opportunities to help them grow their skill sets. 

      As a result of these investments, organizations will have a wealth of internal candidates who may be suitable for open positions on their teams — many of whom have not been considered in the past because they lacked experience.

      Developing effective internal development and training programs takes time (and money). However, when done correctly, these investments pay off by saving money on recruiting costs and training expenses in the future.

      Executive Search Trend #4: Employer Branding Will Continue to Matter More than Ever

      In today’s tight labor market, employers and executive recruiting firms need to do everything possible to attract top talent — including developing an employer brand that highlights the:

      • Company culture
      • Values
      • Products or services

      This branding involves publishing content on social media channels (such as LinkedIn) and blogging regularly. 

      Executive Search Trend #5: Incentives for New Candidates Will Remain Popular

      One of the most important trends we’ve seen over the past year is a continued focus on incentivizing new candidates. The use of stock options, restricted stock units (RSUs), and other incentive-based compensation plans has increased significantly over the past five years. This trend will continue into 2022 as companies seek to attract top talent. 

      Executive Search Trend #6: Recruiters Place Increased Priority on External Talent Mapping

      The next generation of candidates is being born into a world of rapid technological change and disruption, where ideas spread like wildfire and traditional hierarchies are being torn down. They don’t want to work for companies or brands; they want to work for causes that matter to them. 

      Because candidates are looking for companies that share their values and purpose, employers need to be more open about their mission, how they operate, and why all of that matters.

      This shift in mindset may lead to a rise in external talent mapping (ETM). ETM allows employers to:

      • Identify new sources of talent
      • Learn more about potential candidates
      • Make better-informed decisions when filling executive roles within their company

      Executive Search Trend #7: Remote Interviews & Onboarding Are Becoming More Commonplace

      Employers need to adapt their recruiting strategies to ensure they’re not missing out on top talent because they don’t have the right tools in place. The changing nature of work is causing a shift in how employers approach recruitment. 

      Many interviews are held remotely today, and new staff can do their onboarding training and documentation from home.

      Employers should also consider how they can use video as a tool during the interview process. Video interviews are not new, but many companies still aren’t leveraging this technology effectively. 

      Video interviewing allows candidates to showcase their communication skills while also allowing employers to assess their personality and demeanor through body language and expressions.

      By using remote recruiting tools, your organization can reach talent that is not in your immediate location, creating an opportunity for them to determine whether they are willing to relocate as a permanent part of their career. 

      Understand the Changing Landscape of Executive Hiring in 2022

      The world of executive search is changing. The demand for talent is growing as companies look to compete in a global economy and stay ahead of the curve.

      The rise of digital technology has changed the way companies hire talent. With more candidates seeking remote work and flexibility, there’s a growing need for executives who can work from home or travel extensively. Companies will continue to prioritize candidates who are digitally savvy and able to thrive in a remote environment. 

      Future trends suggest the need for the continued expansion of non-traditional search channels and for the development of new talent assessment tools. 

      This is good news for high-level professionals looking to transition into new leadership positions, business leaders seeking additions to their executive team, and recruiters who want to make a strong impression on the top talent in their fields.

      National Executive Search Firm | How We Help


      Our experienced and top-rated executive recruiters have experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEOChief Operating OfficerChief Financial Officer, and include vice presidentgeneral counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.

      Cowen Partners delivers 3X more qualified candidates than the competition. Through our proven retained executive search process, we find, vet, and deliver the top 1% of candidates for positions across the C-suite. Our process works for all industries, including technologyhealthcaremanufacturingretailreal estatefinancial serviceprivate equity, and more.

      Learn how we deliver top talent, no matter the need, with our industry-leading research and resources. Discover the strategy that made Cowen Partners the top retained executive search firm in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond.

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