How Executive Search Continues to Evolve With the Times

      As the business world continues to shift, so must the recruiting tactics of top companies and the executive search firms that assist them in finding top talent. In a recent survey, more than half of companies reported that they are making changes to their talent-sourcing strategy to close skills gaps and meet changing demands. 

      Learn what executive search firms are doing to ensure their clients find the talent they need in a challenging recruiting landscape.

      Gaining an Edge With Technology

      Businesses, including executive search firms, have used ATS systems for years. Additionally, search firms have been able to use asynchronous video interview platforms to allow candidates in any jurisdiction to participate in the interview process.

      However, advances in technology have allowed executive search firms to take things much further. With AI on the horizon, those conducting searches can use technology in many new ways.

      Come Up With Better Interview Questions

      Generative AI tools like Chat GPT have come a long way. Because AI tools draw on big datasets that are likely to include common job descriptions and qualifications, you can have these tools write a series of in-depth interview questions based on the specific set of skills you’re looking for in a candidate.

      Contact a Larger Pool of Candidates

      As recruiting becomes more competitive and finding qualified candidates becomes more difficult, it’s even more important for executive search teams to widen their candidate pool. AI tools can scrape the internet for candidate-related data such as job titles, location, skills, and specific keywords. This can help recruiters find passive candidates and those with a narrow set of qualifications that are well-matched to the open position.

      Identify Patterns From Previous Searches

      AI tools do an excellent job of analyzing historical data and patterns and pulling out trends in that data. For example, they can identify patterns in the types of candidates a company has hired before and the success rates of those types of candidates to help the company make better, more data-driven decisions in the future.

      With the right AI tools, your team can comb through your job descriptions and written communications to find language that may encourage or discourage certain applicants from applying or responding to your messages. Identifying and addressing cultural or gender-based biases can help companies better meet their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and create authentic workplaces where people feel they truly belong. 

      Predict Which Candidates Are Best and Rank Them

      AI software can analyze candidate data and select the best ones based on how well their qualifications match your job description or stated expectations. In some cases, AI tools can even help HR professionals rank possible candidates for the position. Using technology like this can result in higher success rates for executive search firms.

      Putting Soft Skills Front and Center

      There’s no doubt that hard skills are critical for executives. For example, it’s important that a chief financial officer understands the technical aspects of handling corporate finances, from analyzing all sides of an M&A transaction to overseeing all FP&A activities. 

      However, soft skills cannot be denied in terms of their relationship to workplace and business success.

      According to SHRM’s State of the Workplace study, 77% of HR professionals believe that improving employee’s soft skills plays a key role in shaping the future of the organization. Leaders who display these important stills are often better able to motivate employees, foster a sense of camaraderie among teams, and make decisions that balance the needs of the business with those of their customers and employees.

      The soft skills that have been shown to be particularly helpful for executive candidates include:

      • Effective Communication: Poor communication leads to stress, project failure, decreases in performance and innovation, and low morale among employees
      • Emotional Intelligence: This skill helps leaders better manage relationships, facilitate and manage change, and influence the people around them
      • Teamwork: More than 70% of organizations that prioritize teamwork report better customer service, increased employee productivity, and better profitability
      • Conflict Resolution: Managing difficult conversations is a key skill that helps executives get things done under pressure and cultivate positivity in the office
      • Flexibility: This trait helps leaders more quickly adapt to changing circumstances so they don’t lose momentum 
      • Decision-Making: Even in the face of mounting challenges, leaders must be able to make good decisions that balance risks and opportunities in order to achieve the desired outcome

      These soft skills can not only create day-to-day success for a candidate but also contribute significantly to their chances of longevity in the position.

      Maintaining a Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

      When it comes to successful recruiting, DEI is more than just a buzzword. A commitment to fostering belonging in the workplace for people of all genders and cultural backgrounds helps the company not only attract and retain top talent but also stand out from the competition

      Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 25% more likely to have higher-than-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. There are similar findings for companies with greater ethnic diversity in leadership. 

      As many of today’s top enterprises seek to diversify their leadership teams and boardrooms, executive search firms have no choice but to follow suit if they want to help their clients achieve maximum success. 

      Changing Values Mean Changing Search Tactics

      The sole mission of an executive search firm is to source and recruit qualified candidates for leadership roles. As company sentiments and values change, so must the tactics used to find and hire top talent. 

      Search firms and their clients are now placing more of an emphasis on soft skills. Though technical expertise still reigns supreme, having the right soft skills in place helps leaders manage employees, projects, and processes in a healthier, more productive way that leads to expected outcomes. Additionally, diversity is becoming more of a priority, as having leaders from varied backgrounds increases innovation, productivity, and profitability.

      Because finding candidates with this specific combination of qualifications takes a pipeline with more breadth and depth, executive search firms are now using advanced technology to better target their search for the best candidates. With the help of artificial intelligence, search firms are better able to compete for top talent and help their clients meet their strategic goals.

      National Executive Search Firm | Cowen Partners

      Top CEO Search Firm - CEO Recruitment - Cowen Partners
      NATIONAL SEARCH FIRM

      Our hands-on 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 over a billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEOChief Operating OfficerChief Financial Officer, and include vice presidentgeneral counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.

      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 servicesprivate equity, and more.

      Learn how we deliver top talent, no matter the need, with our industry-leading research and resources. Discover the strategy behind so many glowing Cowen Partners’ reviews — and that’s made us a top retained executive search firm in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and beyond.

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