January 25, 2024

Navigating the Silver Tsunami with a Modern Approach to Executive Recruitment 

By: sanjay sathe

U.S. businesses are facing an unprecedented wave of retirements. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau by 2030, all Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, will be age 65 or older. This will mark the first time in history that the U.S. population over age 65 will outnumber the population under age 18.

As of now, more than 11,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age each day and more than 4.1 million Americans are expected to retire each year through 2027.

This population shift presents many challenges for the labor market, with the uptick in retirements being referred to by some as the “Silver Tsunami.” Among these challenges, businesses are expected to see an increase in open executive positions as more senior leaders retire. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an average of 311,600 openings for top executives each year through 2032.

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Benefits of taking a modern approach to executive recruitment

Given the ongoing shortage of qualified executives and the competitive labor market, now is the time for organizations to rethink executive recruitment. Forward-thinking companies understand the importance of moving away from traditional executive search and embracing a modern approach to executive recruitment that includes a combination of technology and human expertise.

Traditional executive search is transactional, exclusionary, clubby, time-consuming, and exorbitantly expensive. Additionally, as businesses across industries increasingly embrace artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies, the executive search industry continues to operate almost entirely offline and has seen a lack of innovation and technology adoption over the past 50 years.

On the other hand, a modern executive recruitment solution makes the entire process faster, better—in terms of the experience for both hiring managers and candidates—more affordable, and inclusive. Below, we’ve outlined specific benefits of organizations embracing a modern approach to executive to address challenges related to the Silver Tsunami. 

Improve talent sourcing

Traditional executive search primarily focuses on serving organizations—not executives. Firms often wait for executives to reach out to them and qualified executives have to break into exclusionary networks or apply to open positions, only to realize their application has been lost in the shuffle.

In many cases, the same executives are often passed around between companies, leading to a limited talent pool. As an increasing number of executives retire, traditional search firms’ candidate networks and rolodexes are drying up. 

To improve talent sourcing across all roles, organizations are increasingly embracing AI-powered candidate matching. According to research from SmartRecruiters and Talent Board, while only 24% of companies surveyed use this technology now, 24% plan to implement AI-powered candidate matching in the next 12 months. 

With a modern executive talent search platform like SucceedSmart, a unique double-sided platform benefits hiring managers and executives. Executive candidates can be scouted by companies because SucceedSmart brings exciting opportunities directly from hiring managers at Fortune 500 corporations and fast-paced startups. Executive profiles are confidential and each executive maintains complete control over access to their profile, choosing which corporations gain access to personal information like their name, profile photo, and professional details.

The platform’s proprietary, patent-pending accomplishment-based algorithm matche­s qualified executives to ope­n positions, saving over 50% of the time typically spe­nt on candidate sourcing, enabling recruiting te­ams to invest time in building meaningful connections with candidates.

Support an engaging candidate experience

In the digital-first age, an engaging candidate experience is critical to successful executive recruitment. As more Baby Boomers retire, younger generations of workers expect a more modern and technology-driven candidate experience. Research from Bullhorn found that 85% of Generation Z, the youngest generation of workers, believe the entire job search and placement process is outdated.  

In today’s competitive hiring market, qualified executives have many options for their next position and won’t hesitate to look elsewhere if they have to chase down executive recruiters or get strung along in a lengthy hiring process. 

Executive recruitment technology enhances the overall experience for candidates by matching individuals to the best-fit positions and providing streamlined communication, personalized interactions, and efficient feedback mechanisms. This not only helps attract top-tier talent for executive positions and roles across the organization, but also contributes to a positive perception of the organization in the broader talent market.

Mitigate bias in hiring

Traditional executive searchTraditional executive search is exclusive in nature, which can often lead to biased hiring. Modern executive recruitment technology can help promote diversity and inclusion in leadership roles. 

While diversity in executive recruitment is always essential to driving business success, it’s  even more important as the broader workforce becomes increasingly diverse. Data published by MarketingCharts shows that while 72.2% of Baby Boomers in the U.S. identify as non-hispanic white, less than half of Millennials and Generation Z identify the same. Despite this, only seven CEOs among the top 50 Fortune 500 companies in 2023 were racially diverse. 

Leveraging a modern executive recruitment solution that includes accomplishment-based matching can help organizations eliminate conscious and unconscious biases by focusing on specific achievements and potential, rather than demographic or other personally-identifiable information. 

Harness technology for succession planning

In addition to helping organizations recruit externally, executive recruitment technology can also address challenges related to the Silver Tsunami by supporting succession planning, enabling organizations to identify and nurture internal talent while simultaneously scouting for external candidates. 

A modern executive talent searchplatform like SucceedSmart can support the urgent need to fill executive roles as Baby Boomers retire en masse, by enabling corporations to build diverse pipelines of qualified executives and reduce total hiring time to a matter of weeks, compared to four to six months with traditional executive search firms. 

By leveraging advanced algorithms and data analytics, the right tools can also assess the accomplishments, competencies, and potential of existing employees, facilitating a proactive approach to succession planning. This ensures a smooth transition of leadership and minimizes disruptions to business operations—especially as an increasing number of leaders reach retirement age.  

Drive success among new executive hires 

When seasoned executives leave your organization—whether due to retirement or other factors—institutional knowledge walks out the door and it may take some time to get new executive hires fully up to speed. Beyond learning about the overall business strategy, possessing the right soft skills can help new executives quickly and successfully acclimate to your organization.

With a modern executive recruitment solution like SucceedSmart, newly hired executives receive six month of complimentary executive coaching to improve their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and communication skills and learn to lead with empathy. This enables new executives to make a more immediate impact on the business. 

Keep your executive team afloat amid the Silver Tsunami

As the Silver Tsunami reshapes the workforce landscape, organizations that proactively embrace executive recruitment technology can build a new generation of leaders ready to guide them into the future amid an uptick in retirements. 

By embracing a powerful blend of advanced AI-powered technology and human expertise, you can expand your talent pool, streamline sourcing processes, improve the candidate experience, minimize biases, and set new executive hires up for success. As a result, not only will you weather the storm of the Silver Tsunami, but your business will emerge stronger. 

Connect with a member of our team directly to learn more about how SucceedSmart’s disruptive platform can transform your executive recruitment strategy: https://succeedsmart.com/request-a-demo

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