White Paper: 2023 Top Trends in Executive Search Technology

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How Artificial Intelligence Can Be Applied To Executive Talent Acquisition

Instances of artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning are being used around the world today to make data-based decisions that are helping companies make important choices that essentially drive profit, altering business results. This is the perfect time to think about how artificial intelligence (AI) will impact your business as well as what you can do to ensure you maintain your recruitment team’s high standards and values in this revolutionary digital age.

Today, you can bet a good number of enterprises are using AI in some capacity. Some of the most common use cases for AI implementation are detecting security breaches, resolving user technology issues, automating administrative tasks and gauging internal compliance. In general, AI is allowing brands to serve their customers better in more customized ways.

In fact, a Hong Kong venture capital firm recently appointed an AI algorithm to its board of directors. The company credits AI with pulling the firm back from the brink of bankruptcy. Executives at Deep Knowledge Ventures noticed the firm was funding way too many “overhyped projects,” and AI solved this problem by helping the firm make more logical fact-based decisions.

This was not the first company to use AI as a decision making tool for risk analysis. Many financial institutions started doing so much earlier, without making the decision as public.

Have a sub-par genetic makeup? Researchers around the world are using AI to improve the accuracy of gene editing with CRISPR. CRISPR is a gene-editing technology that’s transforming industries from health care to agriculture. It’s designed to extract and alter DNA at a specific point in a specific gene.

These are just a few examples of how organizations are utilizing AI to change the world.

What does this mean for your recruitment process?

There is a large possibility that certain roles could become less frequent or obsolete in the future. On the bright side, this also opens the door to more executive and technical hiring opportunities within a whole new digital practice area.

Being in the recruitment software industry at The Cluen Corporation, our clients typically use our software to setup various automated workflows that help them reduce their time to shortlist and ultimately reduce their time to hire. Other AI tools commonly used by our clients include scheduling assistants, assessment tools and in-meeting assistants. Ultimately, this artificial intelligence helps our clients save time by more accurately parsing data and avoiding duplication.

However, it’s important to understand that artificial intelligence is unlikely to ever replace the abilities to:

  • Build relationships with candidates
  • See a candidate’s potential beyond credentials
  • Determine a “culture add” or “culture fit”
  • Gauge candidates’ interpersonal skills
  • Persuade candidates to accept offers

Firms must build data to enable AI to reduce time to hire.

Building a real database with integrity should be a top priority for your firm if you want to leverage the current and future AI tools. Your rich data will become a game changer when AI is fully integrated into executive search. What if you could automatically get insights into hiring needs and trends faster? How amazing would it be if you could take all your rich, valuable data and anticipate hiring needs and trends in each sector?

Here’s where I see AI changing the executive search process:

Pipeline Candidates Based On Hiring Trends And Succession Data:

If you are diligent about capturing your data, you should be able to anticipate hiring needs based on data you already have. For example, say a chief financial officer in the finance sector usually stays at their job for an average of three years. What could you do with that information? You could use it for business development. Start a marketing campaign to the potential candidate with new CFO opportunities once they hit 2.5 years at their company. Alternatively, executive search firms can contact the hiring manager and market their services to them for a new search. Today, this is a manual process, but that may change in the future with AI.

Predict/Suggest Most Qualified Fit:

Today, database queries should show the most relevant candidates, but we see this process getting even easier and more accurate with AI. For example, when it comes to biotech, what if you could aggregate and assess candidates associated with research papers in health sciences libraries. Wouldn’t it be nice if the AI technology could push the most relevant scientists to the top of your long list based on what they have published, their relative rank on the paper and how many times they are referenced throughout time?

Predict/Suggest Compensation Data:

How much is this position worth based on all the valuable data you currently have in addition to salary trends within the market? If you are persistent about tracking compensation data and deal package information, it will make it much easier to discourage hiring managers from setting low salaries for their candidates. And it could drastically decrease the time it takes to go back and forth with a candidate when it comes to salary negotiations.

The world of AI is rapidly evolving, and the common theme we see within the executive search process is the fact that your data will be vital when it comes to a successful AI implementation. If your firm wants to be able to leverage these technological advances and tools to help make intelligent, fact-based business decisions, it’s imperative you make your firm’s proprietary data a priority today.


Cluen has decades of recruitment database development and implementation experience spanning six continents. Our technology helps organizations nurture important relationships, track historical data, and win new business. Cluen's cloud-based solution, Encore, is used by executive recruiters, legal recruiters, in-house talent acquisition teams, government entities, universities, and venture capital/private equity firms all over the world. Our experts are here to share their expertise in relationship-driven recruiting and data management, regardless of which software you use.

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