White Paper: 2023 Top Trends in Executive Search Technology

What do experts do to get ahead of the competition?

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White Paper: 2022 Top Trends in Executive Search Technology

What are Expert executive Search Professionals Doing to Get Ahead of the Competition?

What tech tools are your peers using? How are they able to win more business, research and develop candidates, collect and leverage data, and accelerate the whole process? In this white paper, you will uncover the upcoming technology trends in the executive search space based on Cluen’s 2022 industry surveys. 

The executive search industry is adapting to the changing market. At the start of the pandemic, many search professionals had to adjust their tactics with virtually no notice. With more firms adopting a remote or hybrid work environment, it has become increasingly important to streamline processes and leverage new technologies to succeed in the ‘new normal’. 

Technology goes beyond simple time savings, to nurture important relationships, track historical data, and win new business. Automating key administrative steps in the search process allows for long-term achievement of these key business goals. Cluen’s research brings a deep understanding of the latest industry trends and enables us to better innovate for the future. Don’t try to force every new trend into your process – if you can take away just one or two ideas from our research that can be incorporated into your workflow, then we’ve succeeded.



Process Automation: Increase Productivity to Reduce Costs and Cycle Time

Many search teams are deploying automation of their process using technology. Any manual process that is repeated across the team and over time is a good target for review. Even if a rules-based automation will not be 100% perfect, the trade-off of saved minutes and hours of effort (which may also have human error anyway) is worth carefully considering. It is especially compelling for those tasks that are simply not getting done today, due to lack of available time. As you read on, you will uncover the solutions to considerably cut time.

"I can do more searches and do them in less time"

Top systems like Cluen’s Encore Max, with proper configuration to your exact processes minimize time wasted and allow for automation of data entry, client reporting, email outreach and more so you can win and close more searches effectively. 


Here are 3 Automation Techniques We are Seeing Evolve Rapidly

email blastEmail Marketing

Cluen is the pioneering developer of executive search-specific email campaigns specifically designed for personalized text and one-click feedback to search statuses. Cluen’s solution, Encore Max, introduced a 
Blast tool with direct candidate and referral source status interactivity. ‘Email Blast’ integrates with your Microsoft or Google mailbox to track blast statistics natively – with real-time insight to which contacts are interacting with your messages at any moment. This in turn enables your team to better connect with those who are most likely to be receptive at the right time. Add newly found contacts to existing messaging campaigns and create sequences of templates to send to those of the applicable status.

"Syncbench is a gamechanger"

Status Reporting

By setting automation rules and pre-set templates, you can create branded, fully customized client status report templates in one click – or rely on rules-based automation for real-time web reporting portal(s) with zero clicks. 

Data Entry

Harness the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) rules-based data collection to do the heavy lifting for you. Through data integrations with your other key tools (email, calendar, document storage, web research, etc.) the investment in creating the technical linkage pays off quickly. By automatically connecting the dots between data from tools like LinkedIn with your team’s email communications, search execution efforts, and documents all in one hub, you leverage more insight with less effort.


Self-Service Data Collection

Have you ever had a unique set of questions you’d love to ask as either an initial screening or to develop more depth on candidates’ profiles to provide your client? Cluen’s new data collection ‘Survey’ tool allows users to send out unique question set links, channeling results directly into the database without costly collection and data entry. Trends are showing the growing need for D&I strategies in all situations, and Cluen has led efforts to support search teams around the world in their data work around diversity and inclusion, enabling its customers to lead by example. survey mobile for blog

"Encore is so helpful, I now experience more joy in recruiting"

Seamless Entries

Collecting hard-to-find data quickly and easily has also been a trend. Everyone has the names and data found on LinkedIn, but the next level is valuable proprietary knowledge. Cluen has a new partnership integration that allows you to quickly augment the base information with contact detail that is harder to attain, allowing for engagement on further ‘human intelligence’ through the interactive survey tools.


Collecting Diversity and Inclusion data from candidates and contacts presents multiple challenges. Historically, when it came to DEI data, you would have to either directly ask the person, guess, or use other ways that present multiple challenges. Cluen sees this as an opportunity to create more transparency between candidates and clients for collection of data in a simple consensual way. For DEI, you can position this in a way to allow them to offer their own Ethnicity/-Gender information, to ensure you collect the specific data you are looking for, without making any mistakes. With our state-of-the-art data security, you can also be confident the information will only be shared between you and your chosen recipient(s). 


Business Development

Building and nurturing relationships takes interpersonal skills and insights from all of the information gleaned throughout the process of executing searches. Having that data for reference at your fingertips is critical in finding and winning new deals. Mastering an integrated Business Development tool, like Encore’s “BD System”, allows for measurement of progress and forecasting the future. 

Over 30% of respondents are not managing their new Business Development (BD) relationships in their executive search database. Without an integrated system, all of the hard work of relationship building during the execution of your searches is not able to be leveraged when developing new leads, nurturing key relationships and pitching new business. 


"By far the most thoughtfully designed system suited to executive search firms"


Encore's BD Overview Screen provides a clean dashboard that allows you to:

Encore BD for blog
  • View a pipeline of potential business
  • Forecast revenues, by consultant, practice or whole team
  • Support your internal business development reporting and team meetings
  • Focus on the most important prospects


Trending Technology Tools

Candidate Assessment

candidate assessment

It is almost no surprise that the overwhelming personal preference is to work from home. But 
what technology have firms implemented in this new day and age to help search professionals increase productivity? More than half of the survey respondents said their number of complete searches stayed about the same since working either remotely or from a hybrid schedule. 21% said they completed at least 25% more searches. 3% said they completed at least 50% searches and 16% doubled their productivity.


Third Party Research

third party research

Whether operating fully remotely or from a hybrid environment of their specification, survey findings showed that the many of companies leveraged typical IT tools, but did not implement any new technology specifically to help its executive search professionals win more searches. Search professionals are using diverse tools to conduct assessments of candidates, including those for specific skill sets.


Streamline Your Internal and External Process

Document Storage

doc storage

Our survey revealed more people moving to SharePoint than OneDrive. SharePoint is a better tool for sharing documents with members of your team, whereas OneDrive seems to be slightly better suited for individuals. Both are still secure and protected ways to store files, but in a team environment such as a boutique executive search firm, SharePoint is certainly the better choice and it seems most firms are agreeing.





Teams seems to be surpassing Zoom as the internal communication tool of choice not only in Executive Search, but for many types of businesses. Mostly since in remote environments, having an internal chat feature is important, and the UI on Teams seems to be more intuitive. Both are strong tools for video conferencing.





Now that you’ve gotten familiar with the insightful industry trends, we hope you will feel confident 
implementing at least one new idea to move your business forward. By identifying the technology and tools innovators like yourself are implementing in their process, you can rest assured you have 
positioned yourself and your firm ahead of the curve. The need to stay on top of the most recent technology amidst a rapidly-changing market becomes more crucial as new trends emerge in the space for executive search. Now, you can ensure that you are employing the best resources and the most useful tools to get ahead of your peers. Search firms that leverage technology to move faster will win the battle for the future. 

Click to read this White Paper in PDF

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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