With the unemployment rate down to 3.6% in February 2023, the war for talent rages on. The talent pool is now more like a puddle, and on top of that, looming economic uncertainty has caused many individuals to hesitate when considering changing positions or careers.

However, in a world of evolving employee expectations, aggressive competition, and frequent disruptions, hiring the right talent for mission-critical positions is more important than ever. Mid-market and enterprise-level organizations must implement effective recruitment and retention strategies to attract and retain high-level talent.

To develop these strategies, organizations must keep up with talent acquisition trends. In this article, we’ll look at five of the most prevalent talent acquisition and executive search trends for 2023 and why they’re critical to your organization’s recruitment strategy.

Five Trends in Talent Acquisition & Executive Search to Consider

1. Emphasize agility and adaptability regarding compensation

Compensation has seen massive disruption throughout 2022, driven by skyrocketing inflation rates. Adjusting pay rates, creating new pay models, and investing in new benefits are some ways business leaders try to keep up. To further complicate things, employees are six times more impacted by pay equity than by the amount they earn. So giving everyone raises isn’t enough—in 2023, pay equity and adaptability need to be the focus.

Organizations need leaders who can stay agile regarding compensation, especially as they continue to hire and promote new employees. With each new hire or promotion, pay rates must be examined, and pay structures may need to be remodeled. Thus, adaptability and agility are vital in any executive candidate.

2. Balance employee expectations with business needs

Thanks to the pandemic and the Great Resignation, employees have higher expectations than ever when it comes to their jobs. They want greater flexibility, more recognition, and more robust mental health support—in short, they want a healthier work-life balance and expect employers to provide it.

Organizations need top-level leaders who know how to balance what employees expect and what the business needs. They need the capacity, skills, and human capital to meet evolving expectations while creating a healthy employee-employer relationship. Fostering a culture of value-driven work, recognition, and motivation isn’t easy—but the best talent can satisfy employee needs while motivating them to excel.

3. Focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion

Research shows that companies with gender diversity in executive roles financially outperform companies without such diversity. Furthermore, companies with ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to be more profitable than those without them.

Despite these benefits, only 25% of executive roles (and only 6% of CEO spots) are held by women. And only 17% of C-suite positions are held by people of color. In 2023, organizations need to focus on diverse recruiting to close these gaps.

Don’t let diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives be an afterthought in your recruiting efforts. A concerted effort to recruit women, cultural minorities, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ population, especially in high-level roles, can widen your talent pool, broaden your C-suite skill set, and enhance your organization’s profitability.

4. Focus on soft skills

One of the talent trends steadily growing in importance is focusing on soft skills. For C-suite positions, technical know-how is a must and always will be. However, in 2023, organizations need to hone in on candidates with soft skills.

Executives handle high-profile responsibilities such as creating and refining company culture, communicating with stakeholders, and training managers and teams. Without soft skills like leadership, communication, listening, and empathy, these high-level executives simply won’t perform as they need to.

To balance work responsibilities, workplace requirements, and workforce needs, high-level employees must have the requisite soft skills—which is why they must be central to recruiting strategies.

5. Shift recruitment from HR

The HR department is full of skilled, people-oriented individuals. However, they are not your ideal avenue for talent acquisition, especially for high-level talent. Instead, outsourcing your acquisition efforts is the best way to save time, effort, and headaches while getting the best candidates for executive positions. Here are some benefits:

  • Executive search firms handle all the work. You don’t have to waste any time or money trying to source, review, or interview candidates yourself—a team of professionals handles that for you while you can focus on your work.
  • Executive search firms have a large pool of candidates. A listing on a job board website will only reach a fraction of potential candidates. Professional recruiting firms have access to a much larger pool of candidates, including diverse and passive candidates, so that the right people will know about your open position.
  • Executive search firms provide the best of the best. Sifting through dozens or even hundreds of applicants can waste days, especially when most applicants you meet won’t be right for you. That wasted time is painful and stressful for overwhelmed HR departments, especially when a high-level position is open. Professional recruiters provide quality talent to fill your mission-critical roles in less time and more successfully without causing a bottleneck in your organization’s operation.

Level Up Your Recruitment Strategy with CRG

While these talent acquisition trends may sound intimidating, they don’t have to be. Even with a dwindling talent pool, there are ways to attract those who suit all your needs. One of the best methods is to use an executive search firm like CRG Search.

CRG Search offers executive search, professional search, and staffing services to ensure you get the talent you need when you need it. We use several tested and proven tools to make recruitment as easy and effective as possible, including:

  • The 30-step process, which is our method of streamlining recruitment to efficiently find candidates who fit your character, competency, culture, and compensation needs.
  • The Predictive Index©, which helps you make data-driven decisions by testing candidates’ cognitive abilities, behavioral tendencies, and personalities.
  • CompAnalyst© Market Data, which ensures you meet the most competitive compensation expectations.

CRG Search has the tools and expertise you need to recruit and retain top-level talent for mission-critical positions. Contact us today to start hiring for organizational success.