7 Executive Search Trends to Watch

May 3, 2023 – As 2023 progresses, the landscape of executive search is evolving rapidly. Executive head hunters and C-level recruiting firms continue to look for innovative ways to attract and retain top talent. In a recent report, the recruiting team of KTRIAN Solutions identified seven key trends to improve your C-level recruitment strengths and shape for the remainder of 2023.

Here’s a closer look at what those trends entail:

1. Soft Skills

In addition to technical skills, companies desire C-level candidates with strong soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, leadership abilities, and a collaborative mindset. KTRIAN notes that companies and recruiters should prioritize soft skills in their hiring process.

2. Technology-Driven Recruitment

The report says that artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, and other emerging technologies will be increasingly important in identifying and attracting top talent at the C level. “Executive search firms must stay on top of the latest technological trends to remain competitive,” KTRIAN said.

3. Remote and Hybrid Work

The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards remote work, and in 2023, a hybrid workforce is the new normal at all levels, according to KTRIAN. “C-level candidates will need to be able to manage and lead teams that are distributed across different locations and time zones, and to create a culture of collaboration and productivity in a virtual environment,” the search firm said.

Related: Hiring Top Talent in Unprecedented Times

4. Inclusion and Diversity

Inclusion and diversity will continue to be a top priority for C-level recruitment firms this year. “Companies will be looking for candidates who can foster a culture of inclusion and belonging, and who can attract and retain diverse talent,” KTRIAN said. “We recommend that companies and recruiters ensure that the candidate pool is diverse and that the recruitment process is free from gender bias.”

5. Agility and Adaptability

KTRIAN notes that C-level executives will need to be able to adapt quickly to changes in the market, the industry, and their organization. “They will need to make strategic decisions in a fast-paced and unpredictable environment and have the agility to pivot when necessary,” said the search firm. “KTRIAN recognizes the importance of agility and adaptability and recommends that companies and recruiters prioritize these qualities in their hiring process.”

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6. Next-Generation Leadership

“The future of leadership is changing, and companies will be looking for C-level candidates who can drive disruptive innovation, challenge the status quo, and think outside the box to create new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition,” KTRIAN said. “We stress the importance of next-generation leadership and recommends that companies and recruiters to identify and nurture these qualities in their candidates.”

7. Strategic Decision-Making:

KTRIAN recommends that C-level candidates employ data to make strategic decisions. “This includes the ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data to identify trends, make predictions, and measure the success of business initiatives,” the search firm said. “Companies and recruiters should prioritize candidates who can demonstrate a track record of strategic decision-making.”


As 2023 progresses, executive search firms and C-level recruiting firms will be required to stay on top of the latest trends to attract and retain top leaders for their esteemed clients. “The key trends to watch are soft skills, technology-driven recruitment, remote and hybrid work, inclusion and diversity, agility and adaptability, next-generation leadership, and strategic decision-making,” KTRIAN said. “By incorporating these trends into your hiring process, companies and recruiters can stay competitive and find the best candidates for C-level positions and offer excellent executive search services. KTRIAN recognizes the importance of these trends and can help staffing and recruiting firms to navigate this ever-changing landscape of executive search.”

Related: Creating a New Paradigm for the Work World

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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