Search Industry Predictions . . .

May 29, 2018 – Executive Search Review is now in its 27th year. We invite you to take a look at our latest issue and check out these predictions from leading recruiters. Six executive recruiting luminaries share their predictions on where the search industry is heading – from fees and growth to cybersecurity talent needs, the rise of artificial intelligence, new talent innovations and what sectors have the strongest growth potential in the next five years.

Rick DeRose, Founder and Managing Partner — Acertitude

Nearly all organizations are being disrupted by digital, analytics, artificial intelligence, automation and robotics. AI is particularly changing how companies manage talent. What is your view and where do you think workforce analytics and AI will be in the next five years?

“Digital transformation has been – and continues to be – a hot topic. It presents one of the biggest opportunities for businesses to reimagine how they organize, recruit, develop, manage, engage, and retain talent. Leveraging big data to compute descriptive, predictive, or prescriptive analytics helps leaders better understand their companies and make competitive moves. We’re seeing an explosion of recruitment technology capabilities built on these algorithms, from identifying people based on specific requirements to determining how open someone is to a career change to using video to analyze honesty and character. Companies that can quickly incorporate analytics and AI to empower their people, shape their culture, and fulfill their purpose will no doubt create a competitive edge – and be the drivers of exciting change in the world. Workforce analytics and AI are providing a platform and road map to help companies accelerate this process.”

Matt Comyns, Managing Partner — Caldwell

How will cyber security talent needs change in the next five years?”

“The cyber security demand explosion started less than five years ago with the Target retail breach. So, if we look at how dramatically the market has changed in that period of time, we can certainly expect a lot of change over the next five years. With new cyber technology advances, there will be an emphasis on higher value work and analysis to leverage that technology. Commodity work will go away or be outsourced. Therefore, talent must always be reinvesting in themselves to stay relevant. The U.S. market is the most developed commercial market at this point. As the rest of the world invests in cyber risk management, American workers will have great opportunities abroad. For those willing to move, they will have significant opportunities over the next five years.”

Matt Shore, President — StevenDouglas

Where do you see the biggest areas of growth for executive search firms in the next five years?

“Based on what we are seeing in the market and hearing from our clients, the technology, life sciences, and healthcare sectors seem to be the most robust industries for executive search over the next five years. We also see a tremendous amount of opportunity being driven by the proliferation of private equity firms playing in the middle market, which is creating extremely high demand for PE-ready executives across the C-suite in mid-sized emerging businesses.”

Tim Connolly, Founding Partner — ALC Executive

What types of trends do you see in the area of new talent innovations?

“There are many players entering the market with new innovations across talent acquisition, technology, software, assessment, engagement, social media, marketing, process, integration and more. Many of these are ‘point’ solutions, increasing the fragmentation of the industry. I predict a period of consolidation will follow, but not yet. These innovations are leading to increased capability: i.e. talent acquisition can now work much more effectively internationally and even globally. Talent acquisition today can reach far more candidates more quickly and it can use tools to help assess candidates and move them through the process more efficiently. I think there are limitations in being a single ‘point’ provider (i.e. one tool). The better opportunity ahead is to offer more integrated points.”

Tomilee Tilley Gill, Founder and President — Executives Unlimited

How have recent advancements in technology affected traditional recruitment?

“Technology has improved the ability to research and identify possible candidates. The information you can gain from LinkedIn or just simple internet searching can help you develop a short list of prospects much faster than ever before. Additionally, technology helps to get the word out about a job opening. Websites like Indeed make it easy for a candidate to find job openings without going to multiple sites. Thus, visibility has increased greatly, both on the recruiter and candidate side. While these aspects of improved technology are positive, there are negatives as well. While the volume of responses has increased, the number of respondents who meet the stated job requirements has not. A potential candidate can click a button and apply to dozens of jobs in just one minute. Even if a job description states that qualified applicants must be commutable or must have demonstrated experience in a certain industry, people will apply anyway. This has always happened, but now it’s happening at an increased rate.”

Andrew P. Chastain, President and CEO — Witt/Kieffer

What sectors have the strongest growth potential leading into the next five years?

“Actually, we see healthcare, higher education and life sciences as strong global markets for different reasons. Healthcare brands in the U.S. are partnering with global organizations, sharing best practices both in clinical and operational leadership. The expansion of the middle class and healthcare economies worldwide present opportunities for our U.S. healthcare clients to expand. Higher education institutions have long partnered internationally but the rate is increasing and talent is moving globally. Life sciences has always been a global talent market.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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