Executive recruitment: the new rules of the game

by Jul 25, 2021Best Practices, News, Sourcing & Recruitment

As many specialist recruitment companies can attest, the rules of the game have changed when it comes to hiring expert executives. Focus on this new situation, with an analysis by Damien Créquer, co-founder and director of Paris-based recruitment consultancy Taste.

A transformation of the job market


As we noted in our previous article, the rise of freelancing is one of the symptoms of the changing face of work. In fact, the independent market is currently growing by a staggering 150%.

For their part, the employees themselves are helping to liberate a hitherto highly padlocked salaried workforce: “Some CFOs today prefer to monetize their strong skills and fragment their working hours rather than accept a traditional salaried model,” points out Damien Créquer, for example.

Relationships of subordination are changing, and hierarchies are breaking down. On this point, Damien Créquer makes the same observation as Denis Pennel[1]: ” [Les structures]are moving away from their pyramidal model to rely on operational forces and seek innovation as close to the field as possible”.

Concept of work-life balance: man prefers life to work.

More demanding candidates


In this article on the transformation of management, we spoke of the intensification of the war for talent, which is increasing on certain profiles and now extending to others, which are very different. This trend, already evident in the executive market, is spreading to experts in an ever wider range of sectors. Faced with this explosion in demand, candidates can afford to be selective. For example, in 2017 at Taste, up to 30% of candidates turned down an offer made to them.

As far as the notion of experience is concerned, this has evolved considerably: “Today, three years spent in a company is perceived as consolidated experience, whereas two years ago it took five”, according to Damien Créquer. The acceleration in job rotation is certainly a factor.

Salary expectations have also risen sharply. The influence of the FAANGs[1]at this level is undeniable (increased recruitment, high salaries), but the recent Brexit, which signals the return of London financiers, also contributes to this inflation.

The specifics of 2.0 recruitment


The financial crisis has done much to change people’s minds. Companies now tend to focus less on experience and more on skills.

In addition, they are particularly sensitive to the fact that a candidate knows what is at stake in the organization for which he or she is applying, and is able to understand the context that underpins its activity.

As for social networks, their influence continues to grow. Like Taste, many companies take the time to create content on the web to attract an audience that is not necessarily in an active job search phase. The concept of “employer brand” is shifting towards that of “conversational brand”.

To meet the challenges posed by the explosion in the volume of digital data – the so-called “Big Data” – it’s obvious that new tools are essential.

By making the positioning of employees and candidates in relation to targeted positions immediately visible, skillspot technology goes much further than simply sorting data. All in all, Skillspotting enables you to deploy a truly forward-looking skills-based management approach by analyzing the impact of business transformation: What skills will you need tomorrow? How can we support each individual on his or her development path? Our tool enables each individual to take charge of his or her own career, thanks to fine-tuned management of employability.

Sources :

– Géraldine Dauvergne, “Cadres experts : les nouvelles règles du recrutement, Les Echos Executives, 05/02/2018,” https://business.lesechos.fr/directions-ressources-humaines/ressources-humaines/recrutement/0301227363955-cadres-experts-les-nouvelles-regles-du-recrutement-318373.php?kyBoeIPE850tSLXh.99

– Géraldine Dauvergne, “Recrutement des managers : un marché très disputé,” Les Echos Executives, 13/11/2017, https://business.lesechos.fr/directions-ressources-humaines/ressources-humaines/recrutement/030851875345-recrutement-de-managers-un-marche-tres-dispute-315604.php

– Presse-France.info, “What are the new rules for executive recruitment?”, 28/02/2018, http://presse-france.info/quelles-sont-les-nouvelles-regles-pour-le-recrutement-de-cadres-2/

[1]Managing Director of the World Employment Confederation, lecturer and author of several books and numerous articles on the labor market.

[1]Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google