Every executive search company needs to have a software tool that helps them to manage their projects. Executive search software products have changed significantly over the years. These software products are usually oriented around three key functions;
- Project Management – which helps the headhunting firm to manage their assignments, tracking the status of the candidates they are talking to over the course of each project. An executive search firm will likely manage their assignments and headhunting activities differently from a contingent recruiter and will therefore need a differently designed software product.
- Acting as a central repository for all their candidates – storing their contact details and enabling them to be easily found from previous executive search assignments
- A CRM tool – many executive search software products also aim to track the sales activities of the headhunting firm – so many of them can be used to track client as well as candidate interactions
It’s worth noting that the executive search industry has changed massively from a research perspective over the last 20 years. Back in the day, having a huge proprietary database of contacts was key for executive search firms. However with the rise of social media and tools like Linkedin, there is always much more information about candidates on the web than in any headhunting firm’s internal database. Given the importance of tools like Linkedin from a research perspective, executive search software products are rightly increasingly focusing on making it easier and easier to research candidates online as well as reducing the need for the manual administration of data when it comes to adding new candidates to a particular headhunting assignment.
Furthermore, executive search software – like most software products – are increasingly delivered in the cloud rather than on premise software.
Here are some of the leading and best known executive search software providers;
- FileFinder is one of the best known and most popular executive search software tools. The product has been around for over 20 years through various versions and updates and provides effective and heavyweight project management tools for executive search firms. It is perhaps weaker than some other tools when it comes to reducing administrative tasks associated with research.
- Invenias was originally developed as an in-house executive search software product by a headhunting firm and has been successfully spun out as a standalone product and business. With strong SaaS credentials, Invenias is extremely effective in reducing administrative tasks associated with research. It is perhaps weaker than FileFinder as a project management tool and it’s UI can be a little bland and confusing at times. It also can feel a little bloated.
- Talentis is a relatively new product from Dillistone Systems, the makers of FileFinder. With an emphasis on making it easy to find candidates online, as well as reducing administrative tasks it is one of the strongest products in the category.
- Encore is another well known executive search software product, made by developer Cluen. With a strong UI and easy mobile integration it is a product that is very easy to use. It can however be slow if you have a lot of users, and some users find the product a little more old fashioned than some of the other products in the market.
- Clockwork is a tool worth considering. The product is easy to use, intuitive and has a good UI. It isn’t bloated and provides extra useful functionality like giving access to a client portal for customers. The CRM functionality isn’t as strong as it could be, and the product has had some challenges with integration to Linkedin.
- The difference between contingent recruitment and retained executive search
- How executive search firms research candidates
- A collection of salary surveys across different functions