Key Emerging Talent Acquisition Trends Making an Impact on Executive Search in 2022

Last updated Feb 3, 2022
  • Hiring the right executive for a particular leadership role is crucial for the success of an organization and its employees.
  • As global economies start to recover, companies need to constantly innovate by having the best executive leaders take the helm and optimize the corporate workforce.
  • Talent acquisition professionals understand the significance of hiring the best executives in this increasingly competitive and unpredictable talent market.
  • With various pandemic-driven disruptions coupled with furlough schemes and budget freezes over the past two years, executive search will be essential for hiring managers and vital for organizations this 2022.


The last 24 months have really changed the future of work as we know it. Now, as the dust settles, organizations are pacing themselves to recover.

But as this happens, employees are still choosing to leave their jobs and search for greener pastures. As a result, the competition to attract talented executives that will spearhead organizational recovery is becoming fiercer than ever.

The wake of 2021’s Great Resignation poses an existential threat to companies around the globe.

The fact is, an organization is only as good as the executives it employs. And for those organizations that want to survive and thrive in 2022, they need a new game plan for talent acquisition.

2022 will continue to be full of opportunities and challenges. Amidst all the pandemic-driven disruptions over the past two years, 2022 is bound to become the year where all the organization’s unplanned agile strategies become more intentional and permanent.   

Here are several key talent acquisition trends that will impact the search for executive candidates in 2022:

TREND 1: The Great Resignation is bound to continue.

Companies had always struggled with a shrinking talent pool even before the pandemic. However, the global outbreak has only exacerbated the talent shortage to an abnormal degree that no one could have imagined. It’s bound to get worse this 2022. A study by management consulting company Korn Ferry showed that 55% of talent acquisition professionals believe that employee turnover rates will increase this 2022.

TREND 2: New approaches to onboarding are the new norm.

In the age of remote and hybrid work arrangements, an executive’s first day on the job might be a little different than before. Organizations have already upgraded and refined their onboarding process to make it more friendly to remote workers. This means that some newly-hired top executives are already engaged and introduced to several company members to make them feel like they are already part of the management team.

TREND 3: New candidate incentives are here to stay.

Organizations are set to pull out all the stops in 2022 by creating new methods to incentivize candidates and encourage current employees to stay. To have a competitive edge in the tight labor market this year, organizations offer more long-term incentives and benefits to the best candidates. Besides the salary increase, companies are willing to have sign-on bonuses even for entry-level hires. Even offers of permanent hybrid work arrangements are increasing as part of the benefit-driven incentives for employees.

TREND 4: Representation matters when it comes to the search for talent.

An inclusive organizational culture is a testament to a company’s commitment to providing a more equitable working environment. Organizations have started to strengthen their employer value proposition (EVP) by ensuring that their commitment to DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) is genuinely upheld. 

As such, more and more companies are looking for non-traditional places to cast a wider net to find the people they need. Today, organizations are more receptive to easing up on job qualifications like four-year degrees and set years of experience. Some talent acquisition professionals are even looking within the retired workforce and overlooking resume gaps to case a wider talent net.

TREND 5: Candidate experience matters the most.  

Due to the talent shortage and high employee turnover over the past few years, organizations are now looking inwards and taking a step back to analyze why people are leaving their companies. They are now taking accountability by making strategic decisions in order to address the pain points of their recruitment process. It brings into focus the importance of candidate experience and engagement instead of just focusing on getting more talented candidates into interviews. 

As a result, companies provide a more streamlined and empathetic candidate experience today. With technology, companies are creating a one-stop-shop recruitment process that can move across the hiring continuum. Recruiters are now more focused on providing a good and lasting impression to the candidates regardless of whether they get hired or not.


2022 Executive Search Trends to Watch For 

Companies are ramping up and adapting new business operation models to entice the best niche and hard-to-find talent like executives. With various pandemic-driven disruptions coupled with furlough schemes and budget freezes over the past two years, executive search has been essential for hiring managers and vital for organizations.

Talent acquisition professionals understand the significance of hiring the best executives in this increasingly competitive and unpredictable talent market. Here are some key trends and predictions for executive search trends this 2022:

TREND 1: Increased work flexibility

Flexible work arrangements have already been a buzzword before the pandemic, but now, it is at the forefront of every executive recruiter’s mind. Remote work is now seen as a necessary work benefit as the nature of work becomes less structured and more flexible in 2022. As a result, this New Normal is now getting increasingly remote and more digital, which in turn gives executive search firms more opportunities to look for top talent beyond geographical borders.

TREND 2: More emphasis on diversity and inclusion

Some organizations may consider diversity a mere lip service without concrete action to back it up. This 2022, demand for diverse talent will be greater than ever. Research from consulting firm McKinsey & Company noted that “Diversity is probably a competitive differentiator that shifts market share toward more diverse companies over time.”

More and more organizations are getting serious in their DEI plan this year. As such, organizations will actively look for diverse hiring strategies that will improve their hiring practices. A concrete DEI agenda is now a strategic priority for businesses. This year, executive search recruiters need a scalable approach to deliver more diverse talent efficiently.

TREND 3: Access to the best talent pipelines with executive search agencies

This year is going to be another year of the candidate-driven market. Building the best talent pools for recruitment prospects is essential, especially for those in-demand executive skillsets. As competitions to find the best executive talent become more intense, organizations are looking for the best executive search firms to source the best-fit executive talent. Partnering with experienced executive search agencies like CDA can give companies direct access to some of the best talent pipelines in their industry.

TREND 4: Leveraging on technology and data

Technology and data have been the lifeblood of the executive search industry over the past few years. One of the most popular trends in the executive search market is the growing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) to support the expertise of executive search recruiters. AI technologies have not just enabled consultants to interpret data easily; it also helped them make informed hiring decisions by assisting them to remove human bias from the decision-making process.   

TREND 5: Recruiting on social

Social recruiting will remain one of the most popular hiring trends that will continue to dominate in 2022. It’s also becoming one of the central aspects of an organization’s recruitment strategy. By tapping into social channels like LinkedIn, executive search recruiters have the opportunity to expand their network and even have a more personal engagement with potential candidates.


What Recruiters Need: Plan Ahead and Get Ready for the Trends

Hiring the right executive for a particular leadership role is crucial for the success of an organization and its employees. As global economies start to recover, companies need to constantly innovate by having the best executive leaders take the helm and optimize the corporate workforce.

Companies are looking for executive search firms with experienced recruiters that will find the best executive talent, especially in today’s candidate-driven market, where top talent becomes a substantial competitive advantage. Here’s what executive recruiters need to do to plan and get ahead of the trends this 2022:

Recruiters need to provide an omnichannel experience.

Cross-platform recruitment has increased over the past few years, and recruiters need to align their strategies to be able to deliver an omnichannel experience that will reach those hard-to-find executive candidates. Recruiters need to engage potential candidates across all relevant touchpoints. Whether online or offline, executive search recruiters need to deliver a seamless recruitment experience by optimizing the hiring process of the channel that the candidates prefer.

Employer branding will make a difference in a very candidate-driven market.

To boost talent acquisition in 2022, organizations need to refine their brand identity along with the overall candidate recruitment experience. While recruiters may have little to say about the company’s employer branding itself, they can create a good dissemination strategy to help portray their clients in a positive light. Creating a compelling narrative that will entice top executive talent to consider the company and deliver a great first impression is incredibly important in 2022.

Recruiters need to have a perfect remote recruitment process.

The pandemic has sped up the transition to remote work, and this current work model is bound to remain prevalent this year. It’s about time for recruiters to create a long-term remote recruitment strategy that will align the hiring processes with the needs of the remote workforce and improve the overall candidate experience. Companies are bound to hire more remote workers, and recruiters need to facilitate a seamless remote talent acquisition process for 2022 and beyond.

Proactive recruiters are increasing, and everyone should follow suit.

Proactive recruiters are set to dominate the talent acquisition industry over the next few years. With the help of digital channels and modern recruitment technologies, recruiters are more well-informed and equipped with their talent sourcing process. Recruiters need to have a more proactive approach to talent acquisition to stay on top of the trends this 2022.


CDA is here to help you hire the best executive talent and streamline your 2022 C-Suite talent acquisition strategy.

Curran Daly & Associates is a specialized executive search firm that values specialization above all. We have dedicated recruiters who are subject matter experts in their field.

Our holistic and targeted approach for executive search service will help you find industry-leading candidates. Get started with your 2022 talent acquisition!

Partner with us and tell us more about your recruitment needs.


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Nieves, M. (2021). Recruitment in 2022 – 5 Trends to Help You Plan Ahead – Recruitment Juice. Retrieved 26 January 2022, from


By: Curran Daly + Associates


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