Big Data and Executive Search Best Practices
The executive search industry has witnessed a dramatic shift in how board and senior-level executives are recruited. But what has not yet changed is how traditional retained search firms recruit.
In fact, executive search “best practices” have stayed pretty much the same since they were first developed a half-century ago. And since that was a long time before data became big, you know there is a problem.
Executive Search with Big Data
The average executive search firm lacks the data expertise to harness the power of Big Data. That deficit is what causes executive searches to fail. There is now a treasure trove of data available on candidates. However, in most cases, it is not current, it is not complete, and increasingly it is not structured. Machine learning and artificial intelligence require data from which to learn and that data must be coherent.
Recruiters Lack Data Expertise
Moreover, so much information is available that recruiters are suffering from information overload. Increasingly, they are missing top talent, not because the candidates are hard to find, but because they cannot see the forest for the trees.
Executive search “best practices” were never designed to deal with Big Data. In other words, the so-called “best practices” are no longer the best.
Harness the Power of Data
Additionally, traditional retained search firms haven’t yet harnessed the power of data. That’s because they haven’t yet invested in the serious research expertise needed to gather information, analyze it, and extract actionable intelligence.
Wrangling all that information takes deep investigative and big data analytics skills — expertise you typically do not find in the world of recruiting. It represents both a threat to traditional search firms and an opportunity for those of us who believe in harnessing the power of information.
(Of course, our retained search practice is wrapped around our robust research division Intellerati.)
We welcome your thoughts and comments on recent trends you’ve witnessed.