January 25, 2022 – January is always a great time to reflect and to look ahead. Among the many problems faced over the last 12 months, top-level search strategies have had to adapt to change. “2021 has posed many challenges for organizations: continued restrictions, persisting uncertainty, managing hybrid workforces and closed borders,” said a new report from the International Executive Search Federation (IESF).
In its latest report, IESF discussed seven market trends that can be expected for the search industry in the coming months.
1. Candidate Driven Market
“The biggest and most significant change that we’ve seen in the world of recruitment is the shift to a candidate-driven market,” the IESF report said. “For the first time in a generation, there are more available jobs than there are candidates, and therefore the applicants hold more power than ever before. This means that recruiters will have to work harder to stand out and attract top talent. In 2022, we can expect to see a more creative range of recruitment strategies, whether it’s searching tactics, data-driven recruitment marketing or improved employer brand communications.”
2. Remote Recruitment
It’s quickly become evident that remote recruitment is here to stay. “Candidates are expecting remote work and remote interviews, at least at the first stage,” the report said. “In 2022 recruitment partners need to find ways to embrace the remote recruitment process. IESF partners focus more on developing new advanced tools, to improve effectiveness of the remote process and help clients cope with this challenge.”
3. Reaching Passive Candidates
In the last year many companies competed for the same candidates and skill-set. According to executive recruiters, passive candidates can often make better hires. Instead of being desperate to leave their current employer they’re excited by a company, the challenging job description, and its employer brand, they often say. “The opportunity makes them consider leaving the safety of their current employer, whether it’s the opportunity to learn, the thought of a new challenge or the chance to work for a company that aligns with their values,” the IESF report noted. “This is a trend that won’t go away any time soon. At IESF we see a rise in digital attraction strategies and reaching out to passive candidates directly from a researching perspective.”
4. Longer Notice Periods
Long notice periods for senior hires have always been a standard in executive search, according to the IESF report. In a candidate-driven market where employers are desperate to hold on to employees, we can expect this to continue into 2022. IESF noted that its partners are focused on keeping warm strategies for candidates in 2022 to maintain excitement and enthusiasm through the duration of a notice period.
5. Talent Mapping
Many organizations focus on workforce mapping to understand their internal strengths and weaknesses, aligning skills with current and future organizational plans. However, according to the IESF, in a highly competitive market with significant employee movement, it helps to regularly map skill-sets externally as well, in order to understand who has the skills you require, what they’re looking for in a career and employer, and the salaries they’re earning. “This knowledge can be very powerful in strategically shaping recruitment, training and retention programs to realistically meet the needs of the business,” the report said.
You may be thinking this isn’t the right time to bring on a new hire. With budgets, the economy and quarantine policies in flux, you may not be ready to make a commitment, not only to a new employee, but also to the time and money that a recruitment and onboarding process will take. “While it may not be the ideal landscape for expanding your team, it’s always a good time to invest in talent mapping,” said Gillian Tessis, founder and managing partner of Gillian Tessis Executive Search, in a new report.
What is talent mapping? This exercise is typically conducted by an executive search partner, or an HR professional. “It’s a process of researching the talent landscape, determining who’s out there, what skills they possess, what their compensation expectations are, and what their interest/availability is to make a move,” said Ms. Tessis. “With talent mapping, you get a broad view of the talent pool. So not only are you ready with qualified candidates when the time is right, but you’ll also have a higher likelihood of closing the deal as you’ve essentially warmed up leads and have a better understanding of what they’re looking for.”
6. International Hiring
ISEF noted that if there is one thing the pandemic taught us it’s that managers and directors are also able to manage their companies from their home offices. “An expert doesn’t have to live in the same area or even same country to be successful in his job,” the search network said. “That means that you can search all over the world for the right expertise. And there are some countries famous for certain industries or business developments, so why not see if they can be of an added value for your local company?”
IESF often works on several international searches simultaneously to find the best solution for both the client and the candidate, which leads to two opportunities: First, companies can find and recruit experts regardless of their location. And secondly, with COVID restrictions and travel limitations, organizations that normally attract expatriates for their subsidiaries can shift their recruitment focus to a preferred hire of local managers instead.
7. Investing in Existing Talent
With organizations struggling to hire new talent, holding onto the employees you already have – who already understand your organization’s processes, products, and systems – is vital, according to IESF. “Organizations should consider building tailored retention and training strategies based on the current demands and values of the workforce,” the study said.
Growing Search Network
Founded in 2002, the International Executive Search Federation identifies talent and leadership from 50 offices and 22 countries. The IESF offers a fully customized, local approach to search projects, based on culture, regional economics, and the local candidate marketplace.
The organization recently named Gertjan van de Groep of IESF The Netherlands (Van de Groep & Olsthoorn Executive Search) as its new president. He took over from Victor Carulla from IESF Spain (Headway Executive Search) who stepped down after completing three years as president. “I’m looking forward to serving as president. IESF’s success is built on a strong foundation of trust across cultures and dedicated member firms driven to deliver leaders across the globe for their clients,” he said. “My goal as the new president is to retain and expand our partner network. Also, I want to showcase our thought leadership and create engagement and added value for our partners, candidates and clients.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media