A recent survey report from the AESC offers interesting insights into the future of Executive Search, but one section in particular caught my eye: "Adapting to the new executive search technology" is listed as the greatest trend for the next five years.The report goes on to say that the firms that choose the right technology, not just “technology du jour”, will be able to better serve their clients. So how does one go about selecting the right technology? I am hoping that these 5 brief points will help focus your mind on the right questions to ask before investing in technology for your Executive Search firm.Cloud or Internal Hosting

The vast majority of Search firms choose Cloud. In fact, Verizon’s Enterprise Cloud Report 2016 finds that 94% of companies expect more than a quarter of their workloads to be in the cloud within two years. However, both cloud and internal hosting have their pros and cons. If you do decide to go cloud, understand the difference between true cloud and “cloud hosted” or “cloud based”. True cloud systems are primarily delivered via a browser meaning processing is done in the cloud. It means you can work from anywhere and you don’t need to invest in expensive computers and constant hardware upgrades. “Cloud hosted” or “cloud-based” in most cases mean a traditional desktop application which needs to be installed – only your data is hosted in the cloud. Be sure to ask vendors to clarify this.

Universal access

The average person in the search industry uses at least two devices, be it a desktop computer, laptop, mobile, home computer, tablet etc. Some use Windows, others are Macs lovers. Phones or tablets may be iOS, Android or Windows. Whatever devices your team will be using, you need to be sure your chosen solution will work across all of these platforms. Also, keep in mind that the platforms used today may be different tomorrow. Is the technology you are looking at really future-proof?

User requirements

Unless you are a sole trader, the likelihood is that your team members will have slightly different requirements. One colleague may be considered a “power user”, others less so. One might use only Outlook, others may prefer mobile devices. Focus on the needs of all your team, and ask vendors to demonstrate how each user’s requirements are being met. One size rarely fits all.

Functionality that matters

If you spend all of your time sourcing candidates on LinkedIn or any other online source, then focus on integrated online research features. If accessing your client and candidates data directly from emails matters to you, look hard at Outlook integration. If both are key, look at both – but don’t be diverted by bells and whistles that you will never use.

Vendor credentials

Changing systems can be a significant task, and you don’t want to be in a situation where your vendor lets you down. Be sure to look into vendor’s history, financial performance, ownership structure (unless you are happy to have your data hosted by a competitor!), hosting facilities and locations and so on.

Dillistone Systems has been developing specific technology for the executive search industry for more than 30 years. We are an independent company, profitable and debt free. Our market-leading FileFinder technology is currently used by more than 1,600 executive search firms in 70 countries, and more AESC members than other providers, making us the largest supplier to the industry. We know the search industry inside out and are always investing in R&D to bring better technology to our clients. For instance, our newest release FileFinder Anywhere Essentials is the first true browser-based executive search system, which works on any device, is entirely customizable to meet various user needs and fully integrates with all versions of Outlook, with powerful online research capabilities. In short, we tick all the boxes above – and our clients agree!