10 Key Trends to Watch in Talent Acquisition

March 20, 2023 – Managing partners from across New York City-based IIC Partners’ global offices recently came together to discuss the state of talent acquisition in the firm’s markets. The result was the new “Global Talent Acquisition Trends 2023” report, in which the firm identified 10 key shifts to heed in the months ahead.

1.A global recession could reduce hiring, but the picture is mixed.

Skilled roles will still be in high demand, and fast-growing regions will continue to face talent shortages. “The number of open positions could reduce if a global recession hits, but the shortage of workers will become more acute for many skilled roles,” said IIC Partners.

“In addition, fast-growing metropolitan areas will continue to experience a shortage of executive talent, showing that geography is still a crucial variable in talent availability,” said the study. “And while these areas are not recession-proof, their growth trajectory leaves them more insulated than other cities and states.”

2. There are higher expectations for candidate skill-sets.

Digitization and other triggers for transformation have led to more complex skill-set requirements, and candidates are expected to have a large intersection of technological and people management skills. “In addition, with concerns of economic instability, the power balance has shifted slightly away from candidates towards employers,” said IIC Partners. “Many of our clients are less willing to compromise on target profiles than when talent competition was at feverous levels over the last few years.”

3. Experience of budget control and restructuring have a high value in today’s market.

With the global economic situation continuing to concern employers, they are completing in-depth internal assessments to evaluate their existing talent for the skills, experience, and mindset required to lead through uncertainty. “The process allows them to identify gaps and hire leaders to fill them,” said the IIC report. “For at least the next two years, turnaround executives will be in high demand, and budget control, cost-cutting, and restructuring are the new key qualifications on a leader’s resume.”

4. There is an increase in chief commercial officer roles and positions which drive revenue.

Budget control is just one side of the coin. “The other is ensuring revenue streams are protected, and business strategies correctly target growth areas,” said IIC Partners. “Our clients are requesting business development, sales, or commercial leaders to bring in more revenue and a strong CFO to manage the budget.”

5. A focus on diverse hiring practices continues to grow, and employers are investing more in DEI programs to improve the entire employee experience.

Clients are continuing to push for more diversity at the executive level, said the report. As a result, they require more diverse candidate pipelines and seek partnerships with external experts (such as executive search consultants) to make that happen. “In addition, employers are taking a holistic view of diversity, equity, and inclusion by investing further in developing truly inclusive programs, policies, and models,” said IIC Partners. “It is not just about attracting diverse candidates but also evaluating and improving the entire employee experience.”

6. Employers are investing more in career coaching and leadership development.

Demand for career coaching services to maximize individual and team performance continues to increase, including for employees below the top management level, says the study. This trend also extends to the employment of leadership development solutions to help prepare executives to face this moment of the economy.

Related: Fostering Relationships in Recruitment

7. Demand for interim management is on the rise.

“Organizations are hiring for more project-related positions, offering time-limited contracts, and interim management is in high demand,” said IIC Partners. “There is an increasing understanding of how interim executives can ensure business continuity during leadership transitions.”

8. Succession planning is high on the agenda.

C-Suite retirement is continuing to increase, and many executives are opting for alternative career arrangements such as consulting or interim roles, resulting in the need for proactive succession planning.

9. Candidate priorities have changed: Mass layoffs have eroded loyalty, and they are looking to recession-proof their careers.

“Organizations like Twitter, Google, and Meta publicized the idea of identity careers (e.g., employees calling themselves Googlers) by offering comfort benefits and building a sense of ‘family,’” said the report. “Yet stories of being suddenly locked out of work accounts have skewed this vision and candidates are going back to the basics: requesting good pay, core benefits, and work/life balance.”

Executive Hiring Predictions for 2023
ON Partners recently asked its consultants to offer predictions and insights about the executive jobs they expect to be in demand in 2023. The past few years have seen one of the most volatile business environments in memory. Political, social, economic, health, and regulatory factors combined to form the perfect storm, creating a turbulent path for boards and those in the C-suite to navigate. According to ON consultants, embracing transformation in an uncertain landscape, continued digital transformation efforts, and building strong financial organizations are among the key factors expected to drive executive hiring in the coming year.

“Companies should be investing in roles that support transformation and forward thinking in to 2023,” said Lynda Robey, partner. “We’ve learned from other market dips that companies that didn’t simply brace for the changes but actually leaned into transformation during changes came out winners. Readiness for what may come as well as the knowledge that the organization will be stronger for it coming out of any macro impact should be the focus.”

In addition, many candidates are looking for employers that can offer security if the economic situation worsens. “Even happily employed executives are exploring options to create a viable Plan B,” said the report. “As a result, the employer brand needs to convey sustainability and resilience through challenging times to attract and retain top executives.”

10. Family-owned organizations are increasingly using board search and assessment services to support new governance models.

Family-owned companies and groups of different sizes and maturity levels are creating new corporate governance structures to drive growth, manage risk, and be more prepared to face a variety of scenarios. “As a result, there is an increase in the hiring of board members through
qualified search processes, as well as conducting board assessments to ensure they have the required competencies and experiences,” said IIC Partners.

Related: Top Insights and Trends in Executive Search for 2023  

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media


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