7 Executive Search Trends for 2018 and Beyond

The search for executive talent is a unique part of the human resources world. Recruiting for these C-suite positions is very different than looking for front-line workers, and success here requires a particular kind of talent and plenty of real-world experience.

As you move into 2018 and beyond, you should be aware of the current trends in executive recruiting. Some of these executive hiring trends are ongoing, while others are relatively new. What they all have in common is that they will drive executive search going forward. Here are seven things you can expect as you search for executive talent.

  1. Increased reliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning — AI is getting better at identifying the top candidates, so expect more executive recruitment firms to utilize machine learning algorithms going forward.
  2. The use of deep analytics and big data — The use of big data has been growing in recent years, and that trend is likely to consider into 2018 and beyond. Data mining and the use of deep analytics will increasingly make the difference in executive recruitment, and its use will become a real competitive advantage.
  3. A growing trend toward consultants and freelancers — The gig economy is alive and well, even in the executive suite. Expect to see more consultants and free agents in the top jobs, as they are likely to become an increasing focus of executive recruitment firms.
  4. Commitment to employee development — Expect more businesses to look within for the executive talent they need. A commitment to employee development will be used to reduce recruiting costs and drive results.
  5. A focus on younger talent — The executive workforce is aging fast, creating real challenges for big business. Expect executive recruiters to increasingly focus on the development of young talent, i.e., men and women who can look forward to decades guiding their employers forward.
  6. The search for the passive job seeker — Not everyone is actively looking for a change, but that does not mean they are not open to new opportunities. Expect an increasing focus on passive job seekers through social media and other outlets.
  7. Companies using their brands — Branding is important, not only to sell products but to attract the best executive candidates as well. Executive recruitment firms will increasingly use branding to find the best C-suite talent as they move into 2018 and beyond.

The search for executive talent is never-ending, and it is never easy. From entrepreneurs looking for the best talent for their startups to old-line businesses looking for replacements for retiring baby boomers, there will be plenty of competition for the best C-suite residents. If you are ready to staff executive positions in your company, it helps to understand the current trends in this unique talent marketplace.