If you know that you’re going to be filling an executive position in your company in 2018, your best bet is to invest in an executive recruiting firm or partner with an executive search consultant. Despite all the automated job-posting platforms, the prevalence of social networks, and the many referral-based programs, partnering with the right executive search team is still the most effective means of obtaining the best executive talent. It doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.

LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report revealed a few interesting facts about the current state of recruiting. If this year is any indication, it looks like executive recruiters are going to be even more necessary come 2018. Here are three statistics that illustrate why:

1. 57 Percent of Companies Say ‘Competition for Talent’ Is the Biggest Recruiting Challenge They Face

Ours is a candidate-driven market. You can’t expect your ideal executive hire to come waltzing in your front door. In this competitive climate, the only way to get an edge over other organizations is to partner with a third-party recruiting team that can effectively communicate your offerings — both the role and your employer brand — to potential hires. It’s important to be seen as a leading and enviable place to work.

Employer branding, which includes the company culture and employee experience, is a major draw for executive talent. However, even a great culture won’t help you much if it isn’t advertised effectively. Executive recruiters have the insight, the experience, and the professional networks necessary to get your message out there.

2. 56 Percent of Corporate Talent Acquisition Leaders Expect Their Teams’ Hiring Volumes to Increase

With hiring volume increasing across the board, the aforementioned competition for talent will only grow fiercer.

Today’s job market is already quite crowded. According to LinkedIn’s “Ultimate List of Hiring Statistics,” only 30 percent of workers worldwide are actively looking for a new job, but 87 percent of all candidates — active or passive — are open to new opportunities. The challenge, then, is not only to make great executive hires, but also to retain each hire you make.

Sourcing, hiring, and retaining talented candidates, especially for executive positions, is a ton of work. Unless your organization has a particularly well-staffed HR department, you will undoubtedly need assistance. This is where executive recruiters can step in.

3. 89 Percent of Talent Will Accept a Job Offer Faster If They Are Contacted by a Recruiter

This is just one example of how much sway recruiters have with talent. Especially among the most talented executive candidates, the expectation is that working with a recruiter comes with the territory when you’re being considered for a high-level role. A tap on the shoulder from a recruiter signifies to a candidate that they are being seriously considered.

This statistic is also evidence of the fact that recruiters are good at their jobs. They help expedite the hiring process, filling positions and increasing productivity faster than in-house recruiters often can.

It is likely that the competitive candidate-driven market will remain a fixture of corporate recruiting in 2018. As more and more organizations vie for candidates and compete to retain employees, partnering with an executive search team is often the best way to guarantee your next executive hire will stand the test of time.

Robert Hoyt is a social media and outreach specialist for Herd Freed Hartz. Follow Herd Freed Hartz on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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