The New Era of Executive Search

The outbreak of COVID-19 has disrupted the workplace and the way executives are hired. The resultant restrictions have effectively ripped up the executive search rulebook. That might not be a bad thing. While technological advancements in the last decade have propelled the recruitment industry, executive search has generally not evolved and instead stayed truer to its roots – depending on extensive networks, specialized industry knowledge and building relationships face to face.

All that looks set to change – finally – as the pandemic forced the focus for many organizations away from the slow speed, high cost and lack of transparency and control of the traditional executive search model. With businesses commonly spending as much or more on executive search as on the rest of recruitment, procurement operations must reduce costs and cultivate a higher ROI. To achieve this, the HR or Talent Acquisition (TA) team should get full control of the process.

One area where internal TA teams will need outside help is data. We see a trend towards organizations seeking research and insight services to gain visibility to the senior talent landscape. Unfortunately, traditional search firms do not provide this type of research support without bundling it together with more services like the shortlisting of candidates and hiring for an end-to-end service. Meanwhile, the methodologies of pure-play research companies lack sophistication and often use outdated data. Organizations want these types of services unbundled to focus on upfront research and insight to map talent, build pipelines and inform business decisions.

To reach the desired ROI, organizations and search firms need to make senior placements quicker. The process should offer the same benefits of recruitment process outsourcing, including ownership with flexibility, control and data provision. It means search firms will need to rethink their value proposition or become obsolete. The outsourcing model is a more attractive proposition as we navigate the changes caused by the pandemic. An executive search partner with RPO experience can offer the type of services and capabilities to deliver the results businesses need.

Confluence Consulting combines valued experience and objective insight to provide search services that keep our clients ahead of the curve. From assessment and planning to market analysis and recruitment, we work extensively with our clients to develop deep, sustaining relationships and create customized solutions that deliver long-term results.