With unemployment at record lows, combined with baby boomers retiring at an all-time high, companies are competing for the best talent, especially at the executive level. Today’s hiring process indicates companies are relying on artificial intelligence and algorithms as part of the mix to choose the next hire.


  1. Evolving technology is having a growing effect on the employment landscape and is impacting all industries. To stay competitive, companies are hiring executive leaders with the skills and insights to drive their organization with new technology. “Technology has impacted every aspect of search especially in finding top talent and assessment. Current assessment techniques are more sophisticated with a suite of technology-based tools combined with in-depth interviewing, role-playing, case studies and situational responses evaluated by seasoned experts,” says Joe Chappell, managing director, global marketing and communications at Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants. executive hiring trends
  2. The headhunting process has changed from merely sifting through resumes and researching executives on career websites. Recruiters are using more social media (LinkedIn is still a major one) to gain access to candidates.
  3. Many companies are using “predictive analytics” in their recruiting process for executive candidates. These analytics monitor drive, productivity, retention, and profitability of new hires, which helps them evaluate a candidate’s ROI and contribution to the bottom-line. Instead of conducting hours of grueling research or hire based on gut feeling, hiring managers are now using tools to help them make evidence-based, data-driven hiring decisions.  
  4. Future trends are also leaning towards more on-demand executive talent. While this has existed in past years with positions such as interim CEO, part-time C-suite leaders will be utilized more. According to Forbes Communication Council, “2018 will mean that more recruiters will find themselves hiring independent contractors instead of full-time employees. This will bring about great changes in how they approach sourcing and hiring this talent. A recent study indicates that a “whopping 94 percent of applicants are interested in potentially being freelance or independent contractors.”
  5. Companies are also concerned with how they can future-proof a potential employee and determine the best way to transition that person into future roles within their organization.

Executive Job Search Strategy Tips:

For an executive jobseeker to address these trends in their job search and be successful, the following tips will be helpful.

  • Be prepared to interface with artificial intelligence and automation.  In the last two years, there has been an explosion of streamlined screening efforts by companies and include scheduling interviews from auto responders and taking automated assessments when necessary. These may be necessary before engaging a conversation with a human.
  • Employee referral, social media connection or personal contact is more important than ever for getting the human touch early in the hiring process. For those wondering—or hoping—networking will not go away. Networking remains one of the best ways to get past some of the automation and interact with people.
  • Master the skill set to communicate with bot automation. No matter how you try to circumvent the bot, it’s going to be used at some stage in the hiring process. Be sure you have sharp and effective communication skills that translate over phone, direct mail, fax, email, and video.
  • Slash cover letters to eNotes. At least half, if not more recruiters (search firms), do not read cover letters. Reconstruct the cover letter to an eNote to be a short, to-the-point, keyword-laden communication that is scrollable, easy to read by humans or scannable by bots.
  • Keep achievements relevant in resumes, CVs and LinkedIn profiles. Positioning relevant successes in context will generate more interest than long overly verbose information. When writing achievements put yourself in the head of the recruiter and try to answer these questions: “Where is the proof of your accomplishment?” and “Show me you can do what I need done.” Bots can also pick up these relevant terms faster.


Bottom line: As an executive, you must know and stay ahead of the hiring trends to land the role you want and continue to advance in your career. Embrace these trends proactively to move ahead and enhance your success in finding the position you want.


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