Talent Industry Predictions

May 10, 2019 – Six of the nation’s top recruiters share their predictions on where the search industry might be heading in 2019 and beyond. Among them: better partnerships between recruiters and talent teams; a further rise in the importance of AI on hiring; a growing appetite for digitally literate leaders; a focus on hiring internal high potentials; a stronger push for diversity & inclusion; and managing chronic uncertainty. Hunt Scanlon shares their insights.


Deb Taft, CEO – Lindauer

A profound need is rising for sophisticated leaders across every function. That is leading to better partnerships between recruiters and talent teams.

“Strong growth continues across the non-profit sector, with global talent needs burgeoning. In education, healthcare, arts and other mission-driven organizations, global recruiting firms are bringing decades of experience in search and talent to rapidly-developing charity sectors. This growth reflects the profound need for financial resources, meaning of course high demand for fundraisers and associated revenue-generating roles. But more than that, there is also a growing demand for sophisticated, effective leaders across every institutional function. The energy and desire for effective talent partnerships – not just search, but truly consultative partnerships that advance organizational effectiveness and talent retention – is palpable. And it’s important to note that terrific internal talent management teams have not obviated the need for external recruitment partners, but in fact strengthened our partnerships.”


Brad Stadler, Founder and Managing Partner

True Search There is a shift underway in how companies identify next generation leaders. Instead of searching externally, they are looking more internally for high potentials.

We see two areas of growth. First, tech disruption continues to permeate all industries. Artificial intelligence and robotics are driving new business models from food tech to transportation and everything in between. Firms that are connected to candidate pools with this expertise will continue to benefit. Second, we’re seeing a slight shift in how companies identify next generation leaders. Instead of searching externally, some companies are looking internally for high potentials and investing in their development. Firms that know the tech talent pool and have solutions that help identify high potential leaders are poised to take advantage of these growth areas.


Bianca Coulter, CEO – Coulter Partners

There is a growing appetite for ‘digitally literate leaders’ who can transform organizations and lead them into the future. Everyone is now competing harder than ever to attract top talent.

From our clients’ perspective we are seeing transformation across the entire drug development lifecycle. Technology has acted as the catalyst for such change and AI and machine learning are leading to a quicker, cheaper and more accurate cycle. Emerging technologies are also improving the quality and speed of decision making in R&D and business development. What is needed to ensure success is digitally literate leaders who can transform their organizations and lead them into the future. This has led to a huge demand for those who have the right mindset and firms are competing hard to attract top talent.


David Windley, President – IQTalent Partners

AI will continue to have even more dramatic and disruptive consequences for everyone involved in managing talent.

Over the next five years we will see more of the top of the funnel screening and filtering of candidates being done with the aid of artificial intelligence. This will correspond with a trend to have more in depth psychometric information being provided for final candidates, especially at the executive level.


Mike Karp, CEO – Options Group

Refreshing and updating talent pools will be enhanced as digitization takes hold. Managing chronic uncertainty will be the best pathway to the future.

Digitization will continue to take over the financial services recruiting industry and reshape it in many different dimensions. Technological changes to candidate screening have already led to improvements in ensuring accurate best ‘fits’ and employee engagement is now tracked and analyzed. AI will revolutionize how companies screen resumes and candidates in their databases, and is already replacing portions of the interviewing process itself. Digitization will require constant retraining of employees and the rapid transitioning of work models. It will lead to a continual rise of remote work. While many organizations will benefit and see advances of automation and artificial intelligence and experience a positive impact on their future, the unknowns will continue to cause stress and uncertainty on the financial services labor force itself. Companies will use digitization to shift to a continuous-learning model and offer employees pathways to professional and personal improvement, engaging them in the process of change. Digitization has and will continue to fundamentally change the outlook of companies on how their employees work together to ensure that the talent pool is constantly refreshed and updated. Those that who manage chronic uncertainty the best will be those that have the best digital strategies and implement them successfully.


Molly Brennan, Founding Partner – Koya Leadership Partners

The strategic benefits of diverse leadership and teams are demanding diverse candidate slates. Millennials are leading the push for inclusivity.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) will continue to grow in importance in the search and human capital sectors. As organizations – both non-profit and for-profit – become more aware of the financial and strategic benefits of diverse leadership and teams they will begin demanding diverse slates of candidates and focus more on strategies for attracting and retaining diverse staff members. The rising millennial generation will also deeply impact this increased focus on diversity, as they strongly prefer working in diverse environments and will push their employers to drive toward more inclusion.


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

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