With the world changing as rapidly as it is, each year will always be different. Luckily, there are some trends you can be aware of to help you keep up. Many of the current trends in the retail executive search industry are responses to challenges search firms face, while others reflect what companies are looking for in their new executives in 2019. 

To keep up with the market and see growth in 2019 and beyond, you’ll want to learn how to incorporate artificial intelligence into your firm’s workload, improve your interview process, keep your eye on the data and have a culture of diversity and inclusion.

The Use of Al 

Artificial Intelligence may sound intimidating, but it can become a powerful workhorse in your executive search firm that saves you a great deal of time and money. 

Thirty-five percent of executive recruiters say that Al is the most significant change affecting the way they hire. It takes over repetitive aspects of recruitment, such as automating candidate searches and finding prospects through advanced search algorithms. 

Also, Al chatbots can respond to questions your firm gets, which is another big save. With Al doing a lot of the grunt work, executive recruiters can focus on engaging their prospects and interviewing candidates in 2019 and beyond.

Reinventing the interview process 

There’s a lot of talk in the industry about improving upon the traditional candidate interview process to account for inevitable human biases and traits of a candidate that can’t be seen by having a chat. 

One trend is using online assessment tools to evaluate soft skills early on in the process. Some companies are hosting paid job auditions for candidates to do real work so that they can fully observe their skills and performance. Others are trying virtual reality (VR) to simulate their work environment for candidates. While acing an interview is essential, the traditional sit-down interview is becoming less relevant to employers, and prospects need to be able to show they can be a useful part of the team and work harmoniously.


In 2018, many companies were served lawsuits for discrimination and harassment, which is one reason there’s more urgency for employers to promote diversity and inclusion in the coming years. However, variety isn’t about checking off a box or avoiding lawsuits, but about improving company culture and performance. Growing research suggests that diverse teams are more engaged, productive and innovative. 

Despite the benefits of diversity, most companies fail to achieve their goals in that respect because they aren’t casting a net for candidates of different backgrounds. That is where executive search firms come in – by looking in the right places and finding a variety of prospects for companies that need them.