For any modern business, digital is a channel that can’t be ignored. Executive search firms need to ensure that they have a strong digital profile to compliment and spotlight the quality of their service to both candidates and clients.
A good digital footprint for your brand and consultants will be increasingly important for your business. Ignoring the need to be digitally progressive simply allows competitors to edge you out of the market as the transformation into a largely digital-first industry unfolds. Read on to find out more:
The internet of things
The day of the black book is over. Client and candidate information is more readily available than it was a decade ago and the tools to use it are now easily accessible to even the lesser-digitally-abled amongst us. Even more disturbing is the speed with which information that is not maintained becomes inaccurate, with 30% or more of B2B contact information companies hold changing annually. Establishing, developing and maintaining a strong digital profile is essential, as it will allow you to both find and be found, opening the door for the relationship building that your team has excelled at previously.
The temptation of going direct to market
Platforms like LinkedIn make it extremely tempting for companies to take posts direct to market. 31% of HR heads have used LinkedIn to actively headhunt for key people.1 This disintermediation has all kinds of implications for quality of hire, size of prospect pools and overall success of an appointment. It’s essential that the strengths of your specialist consultants and the quality of your service aren’t hidden from those exploring the direct to market option.
The need for diversity and independence
There is an increasing need for new board posts to be filled from outside of the network of existing board members – traditionally the preferred recruitment channel. The drive for high-calibre candidates from outside of the existing spheres of influence of the board means that the use of search firms is projected to at least double in the next three years.2 A significant amount of this growth is likely to be driven by exposure in digital channels.
The executive level is increasingly on the move and on mobile
Executives are extremely busy people, with little time to invest behind a computer. Because of this, the mobile phone has become the go-to business tool for those looking to do business on the move. This vastly increasing use of mobile devices by the executive level is changing the way business is being conducted. Research has projected that 70% of B2B queries will be made on smartphone by 2020.3 This won’t just be calls but emails, web searches and social media interactions. The increased use of mobile technology means that search firms must make themselves visible in this channel to get the very best results and whilst an impressive website is a powerful tool, being mobile-friendly is absolutely essential.
The executive leaders of tomorrow are already digital natives
Digital profile isn’t only an important part of your business today, it is a cornerstone of your ability to develop a robust and diverse pipeline for future talent. The executive level of tomorrow is going to be fluent and comfortable with digital products, tools and services. Investing in your digital profile now will stand you in good stead for the future as it will help to build recognition and respect with your clients and candidates of the future. And being progressive in your utilisation of technology isn't just futureproofing; as your workforce shifts, younger candidates will automatically be attracted to companies that value significant investment in digital culture. This means being dominant on social media platforms, as well as in professional spaces.
Next steps - How to enhance your digital profile
Don't wait until it's too late; the time to start investing in your digital footprint is today. Start the process by looking for opportunities to give your firm and team exposure via key partners in the digital space. Initially, search for organisations that have an established audience in your target market, work with them as a platform to raise your profile. There several approaches for this that can work, building links back to your own website via directory listings, providing direct contact links for your consultants or distributing content that helps inform potential clients and reinforces your expertise.
This guide has been created by Executive Grapevine, based on our experience helping executive and interim search firms develop brand recognition and expand their presence online. If you'd like to find out how we can help you click here or click the button below:
1 Executive Recruitment and LinkedIn (https://www.norriejohnstonrecruitment.com/linkedin-and-executive-recruitment/)
2 Board Network/Intersearch Global Board Survey 2019 (https://www.boardnetwork.dk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Global-Board-Survey-2019-The-Report.pdf)
3 Forbes – The Connected Executive: Mobilizing the Path to Purchase (http://ssl.gstatic.com/think/docs/connected-executive-report_research-studies.pdf)