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A.I. Can Deliver Greater Precision For Pitching And Winning Searches

Thaddeus Andres - July 1, 2024

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Generative AI (ChatGPT) and Automation over the past year have evolved at a rapid pace. To gain a deeper understanding and the future evolution of AI’s role in the executive search process, Clockwork surveyed 179 executive search firms across the globe over a 6 week period at the end of 2023. The purpose of the survey was to identify key areas of opportunity for AI to support the search process, and gather insights around market demand for future growth for AI. This is an excerpt below on A.I.'s impact on pitching and winning new searches within the executive search process.

  • 48.4% of search firms are somewhat interested in AI scoring prospects based on BANT or similar inputs.
  • 43.0% of search firms are somewhat interested in AI automatically estimating a likelihood-to-close based on similarity to past searches.

When it comes to pitching and engaging new search clients, search firms clearly have mastered the presentation of their own skill sets, strengths and values they bring to a client. However, they struggle with the qualification process of pursuing new business and searches in Stage 2 (Win Work). With the majority of search firms (58.1%) failing to properly evaluate potential leads based upon metrics around budget, authority, need and time (BANT), the length and effort put into the pitch process results in lost resources. 43.0% of search firms reported being somewhat interested in leveraging AI and automation to better gauge, qualify and forecast the likelihood of close for winning a search. Here there is an opportunity for AI and automation to enable search firms to hyper-focus and pay closer attention to pursuing the best leads, shortening the time spent in Stage 2 (Win Work), and advancing a search into Stage 3 (Strategy).

AI Can Reduce Time Spent On A Pitch And Deliver A Richer Client Experience Earlier.

  • 38.7% of search firms are very interested in AI generating a pitch deck with relevant past placements.
  • Only 9.7% of search firms leverage their executive search software in their pitch presentation.

Most search firms use a standard pitch deck that they customize based upon client needs, branding, etc. This includes manually updating all relevant information around recent searches, client details, past work, team details and adding any key metrics like Days To Placement (DTP) and Placement Rate (PR). It is a time consuming part of Stage 2 (Win Work), and 38.7% of search firms said they were very interested in AI and automation generating this on their behalf.

Here there is not only demand for AI to support this part of Stage 2 (Win Work), but an opportunity to take AI’s involvement one step further. With 90.3% of search firms not using or leveraging their search software in their pitch process, AI can solve for this by curating a sample pitch project aligned with the pitch deck and search requirements. With AI’s involvement in building out the pitch deck and a sample pitch project, search firms can more quickly demonstrate their high touch process and deliver a more meaningful pitch, resulting in a better client experience. Through AI’s support in Stage 2 (Win Work) search firms can not only reduce the time spent in this stage, but more clearly define and set client expectations prior to engaging in a search.

Download and read the full report here, "A.I. & Its Impact On Executive Search".

Topics: Executive Search- The Eight Stages of Successful Retained Search- Best Practices- Business Development

Thaddeus Andres

Thaddeus Andres

With nearly 13 years of experience within executive search and recruitment, Thaddeus has held several marketing roles at various industry associations, networks and companies where he was responsible for implementing, leading and driving key marketing strategies and initiatives.

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