With the rise of Web 2.0, social media, and other digital tools and trends over the past decade transforming recruitment in the digital age, the task of finding and bringing the best executive talent into your organization seems both easier and harder than ever before.
The rise of remote work has turned what was once a local or regional talent pool into a global talent pool, and online networks have made it easier than ever to find and connect with candidates, making finding the right one more daunting than ever—even as new recruitment tools making use of big data, analytics, and automation have streamlined recruitment and made it easier to separate the wheat from the chaff.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the changing digital talent landscape and introduce you to innovative recruiting strategies that help you tackle today’s biggest executive recruitment challenges.
Mapping the Changing Landscape of Executive Recruitment in the Digital Age
Recruitment in the digital age changes by the day as new technologies come into their own and platforms rise and fall. The recruitment process has changed a lot since the pre-internet era. Let’s take a look at how, tracing the future of recruitment from yesteryear to now.
From Print Media to Social Media: The Evolution of Executive Recruitment
Before the dot-com boom, the best way to recruit top executive talent was through personal networks and referrals—trusting the recommendations of personal or professional contacts within one’s industry. Print media, such as trade magazines and industry publications, was a common avenue for advertising open executive positions. Executive search firms provided specialty headhunting services to identify and recruit top talent.
With the arrival of the Internet in the late 90s and the dot-com boom of the early 00s, online job boards began to replace print media. Candidates gained the ability to submit their resumes and apply for executive positions directly on company websites.
The rise of social media through the late 00s and 10s allowed recruiters to proactively search for talent on LinkedIn. At the same time, other platforms like Facebook and Twitter offered organizations new opportunities to promote themselves and their culture and values to potential executive candidates.
To the present day, applicant tracking systems, advanced data analytics and AI platforms, and other recruitment tools have streamlined hiring on both sides of the recruitment equation, making it easier to apply for jobs and easier to sift through growing applicant pools—just in time for those applicant pools to grow exponentially with the explosion of remote work and work-from-anywhere practices!
It’s been a long journey—and today, the latest technologies and tools play an essential role in sourcing, evaluating, and engaging executive candidates. Innovative recruiting strategies are paramount to making the most of these tools to explore and succeed in the modern recruitment landscape.
How to Conquer Today’s Executive Recruitment Challenges
The modern recruiter has a host of challenges to overcome when finding just the right candidate to fill an executive role.
Overcoming the Talent Shortage
Today, many industries find themselves facing a shortage of highly skilled executives, particularly in specialized fields. Because of high demand, competition is intense, and companies across various industries struggle to present the best employment opportunities and compensation packages to attract top talent. However, globalization and remote work have made it easier for organizations to access a global talent pool.
Organizations can overcome these issues in finding and competing for top talent by:
- Using proactive talent pipelining to build relationships with potential executive candidates early—especially within your industry. Data analytics platforms can enable you to identify rising stars in your industry and start a rapport with them long before you start posting an open position.
- Expanding your talent search with remote recruitment platforms, including video interview platforms and remote assessments, to evaluate talented candidates from across the globe.
- Attracting top talent not just through compensation but by enhancing your organization’s branding and showcasing values, culture, and growth opportunities that could make you stand out among your peers.
- Tapping existing executives and employees for referrals, taking advantage of their own connections—while a tried-and-true tactic from the pre-internet age, the modern twist of social media makes it part of an effective set of alternative recruitment methods in the digital age! Thanks to LinkedIn and other social media platforms, people have bigger social and professional networks today than ever.
Balancing Technical Skills with Soft Skills
Especially if you’re in a specialized industry, your executive team needs a solid foundation of technical knowledge and expertise in your field to understand your processes and know best how to guide your business—but focus too much on technical experience, and you might overlook important interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, and other soft skills essential for great leadership.
It can be tough to ensure candidates are the right culture fit for your organization—you don’t want to go through the hard work of hiring a new leader only to discover that their values don’t align with the culture the rest of your team wants to shape!
Innovative recruiting strategies to solve the technical vs. soft skills dilemma include:
- Conducting structured behavioral interviews to gauge soft skills such as leadership, adaptability, and teamwork that can’t be so easily listed on a resume. Building a list of behavioral questions based on a deep analysis of your organization’s culture and values helps determine how aligned executive candidates’ values are with yours.
- Creating simulation exercises to evaluate both problem-solving and interpersonal skills and technical knowledge in real-world scenarios to gain a more comprehensive view of their capabilities.
- Using 360-degree feedback, using potential future team members, peers, and subordinates in addition to interviewers to evaluate executive candidates. These comprehensive interviews help you spot valuable interpersonal skills, leadership aptitude, and ability to collaborate well with your workforce.
Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion
Today, more and more organizations recognize that building diverse executive teams and working to include more historically underrepresented demographics in their boardroom is important to driving more innovation in leadership, but diversity and inclusion efforts are often easier said than done, due to long-standing historical biases and systemic barriers.
You can build a diverse leadership team with alternative recruitment methods and other strategies such as:
Using partnerships with diversity-focused organizations to actively source executive candidates from diverse backgrounds, opening up a new pool of underserved talent to draw from.
- Eliminating unconscious bias from the candidate selection process by making sure to include people from various backgrounds and levels within your organization on your interview panels.
- Setting and measuring clear diversity goals and metrics and holding recruiters and hiring managers responsible for targeting them.
- Using inclusive language and avoiding exclusive terms in job postings and descriptions to avoid deterring diverse candidates.
- Promoting awareness and education on diversity and inclusion issues in your recruitment team to help them recognize and address unconscious or conscious bias.
JBN & Associates – Finding the Missing Pieces in Your Workforce Puzzle
The rules of business feel constantly in flux in the modern digital world. If you want to remain competitive, you need to know the best ways to attract, assess, and retain top talent—especially leaders who can stand at the top of your corporate hierarchy and drive your organization forward to growth and success.
At JBN & Associates, we’re experts in navigating the hiring and recruiting landscape and helping organizations across a wide range of industries—from agribusiness and construction to consumer goods, financial services, and tech—overcome modern recruiting challenges with tried-and-true and non-traditional recruitment strategies alike. Our unique flat fee structure ensures transparency in our recruitment efforts and eliminates surprises.
Ready to find the missing pieces your executive team needs to complete your organization’s leadership puzzle? Reach out to us today to connect with our extensive candidate networks and use our 20+ years of expertise in innovative recruiting strategies to find new executive leadership.