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Technology will continue to challenge the hiring of business leaders in 2018

03/01/18 Greg McHugh Head of Training & Acquisition

A new year is upon us, but the old one won’t let go. Competent executives and key personnel will be as hard as ever to find. Searching and obtaining exceptional leaders will be even harder as the business world increasingly demands more than just ‘qualified’. Digital technologies and platforms have reshaped not only how business is conducted, but the entire nature of business itself. Artificial intelligence is already replacing workforce tasks that are routine, and the sophistication of AI and machine learning will only evolve over the next few years. Software can predict our behaviour and anticipate our needs. With all this technological change, we must look at the changes that will affect todays and the future business leaders.

According to numerous studies in 2017, 40% of leaders fail within the first 18 months of being hired. It is imperative for boards of directors to weigh even more precisely what type of CEOs they desire and who best fits their organisations’ needs. Greg McHugh, Redline Executive Search Partner looks at the challenges the technology sector faces when hiring leaders for their businesses in 2018.

Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will continue to disrupt

Winning the war for top Machine Learning and AI talent is a trend that is not about to go away in 2018: Top technology companies will continue to go after big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning talent with practical corporate experience and a track record of successfully bringing their AI innovations to life in the real world. Tech giants are poaching machine learning talent from leading organisations, offering unmatched opportunities to create significantly impactful use cases and call the world’s leading technology hub, Silicon Valley, home.

Given the height of the competition, the short supply of qualified executive leaders who fall into the category of leading edge, and the difficulty in attracting top talent, hiring talent with expertise in big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will continue to be a challenge for employers in 2018.

Intellectual challenges will drive leaders – not compensation

Salary, benefits, stock options, and other benefits are still important to today’s executives. That’s no secret. But if today’s leaders are not provided intellectually challenging opportunities, the compensation package will not matter. Why? Today’s CIO, CMO, and executive leader is motivated to make a difference in their company and industry. In 2018, the trend will continue: Top executives will need to be intellectually challenged, and if they are not, they will find the company that provides new challenges to succeed – not just a strong compensation package.

Leaders want the ability to transform a category or business

In many organisations, the ability to be challenged intellectually starts with access to the latest and greatest technologies. This does not only apply for Silicon Valley employers anymore. It takes the right technology and tools to help transform a category or business, and if a company is not equipped with the right technology and tools to compete, leaders will not be intellectually challenged, and they will not be able to transform a category or business.

Employee engagement will drive recruiting and retention

Employee engagement is not just a buzzword. If employees are not engaged – there is an increased chance employees may quit and move on when a better opportunity comes. According to a report by Deloitte, 78% of today’s business leaders rate employee engagement as a top concern.

In the past, engaging employees meant sending out internal communications and company newsletters, but that’s far from enough heading into 2018. Employees want more connection than ever. They want to be a part of something bigger, something that makes a social impact or difference. Employee engagement does not happen overnight. It happens over time, and 2018 is the time to start focusing on employee engagement programs that make a difference, and keeps your top employees who may eventually become senior managers or take on executive jobs within the business.

Redline Executive are the industry-aligned key partner for C and D suite permanent and interim hiring assignments for the European Technology market. To find out more about our Executive Search Process you can download our Executive Search Brochure here.

To have a confidential discussion about our executive search services or broadly discuss assignments such as Technical Director jobs, please call Greg McHugh on +44 (0)1582 878853 or send an email to GMcHugh@RedlineExecutive.com