Executive Insight: Talent Acquisition
Q&A With John Warrack

With nearly 30 years in executive search and talent acquisition in our industry, John Warrack has seen recruiting trends come and go. We sat down with him to learn which recruiting strategies are currently gaining traction and gain insight into how employers are winning talent in a hyper-competitive job market.  

John is currently a Partner at JM Search, leading the firm's media and telecommunications retained search practice. Prior to joining JM Search, John spent 13 years as the Vice President and head of Talent Acquisition for Cablevision, where he started their specialized recruitment function, which at its peak, grew to a department of 70 filling 5,000 positions a year. Earlier in his career, John held the role of Director of Recruiting for Showtime Networks and Viacom and was a member of the global executive search team at Heidrick & Struggles 

  1. What is an emerging trend in recruiting that you expect will have staying power? The use of data analytics and cloud-based platforms to improve hiring strategies and processes.  Best-practice companies can use various data collected throughout the recruitment process to identify the best talent and maximize the chance of a successful hire.  They use technology effectively so that their recruiting and candidate assessment tools are tied in to their onboarding, training and development, performance management and overall HR systems throughout the employee’s tenure.  

  2. The low unemployment rate has intensified the war for talent. What are employers doing to stand out to help them compete and ultimately win candidates? While perks and other benefits will help employers attract and retain talent, their employment brand is critical. Candidates want to know what an employer stands for, what they strive to be and how teams are working together towards that goal.  People ultimately want their work to feel meaningful.  

  3. How will AI impact the recruiting process? The use of AI will allow employers to be way more proactive in their approach, identifying top talent well before the need arises.  It will also improve efficiencies, system integrations and collaboration between HR representatives and hiring managers.  By doing this all effectively, AI will allow everyone involved in the hiring process to spend more time interacting with candidates on the creative and human elements of the process.   

  4. There has been a lot of buzz about videos replacing resumes. Are you a believer? I do not believe videos will replace resumes.  Hiring managers are always searching for a quick but still comprehensive method of evaluating candidates, and a high volume of videos would be time consuming.  Over the short term, videos can be a supplement to the process to help identify finalists.  I can see a day, however, that resumes themselves will become obsolete as on-line profiles and AI will integrate with recruitment technology to identify and assess talent and deliver that screened and qualified talent to hiring teams to significantly streamline the process.  

  5. How will emerging technology impact the recruitment of leaders and the executive search industry? Will technology eliminate the need for search firms in the future? While technology has made the largest impact on high volume entry-level recruiting, employers will be able to utilize technology for recruiting at higher levels in much the same way.  Executive search firms, particularly mid-sized boutique firms who specialize in a specific industry or function, have used technology to level the playing field with the large global search firms.  Boutique search firms with a strong niche have access to the same talent as the largest firms and have built up a strong network as a result. For key leadership needs, there will always be specific business reasons that employers will turn to a trusted search partner for a more strategic and comprehensive search of all talent.

  6. If you could give job seekers just one piece of advice, what is it? Determine your own brand and how to market that to employers you desire.  Just as an employer’s brand is critical, candidates need to develop their own brand, understand what sets them apart and express clearly how their strengths and uniqueness will make a positive impact towards an employer’s business goals.


  7. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you? She never told me this directly, but I watched my mother achieve a high level of professional success through a life-long process of learning, sharing information and ideas and staying engaged by networking with peers and professionals in her field.  She is retired now but still engaged with others in this way.  I have always described her as the happiest and healthiest person I know, and I am convinced that this is a major reason.  As a result, I place a high value on my professional relationships and network. It’s what makes an organization like C2HR an extremely valuable part of an HR professional’s success.