2020: A year in executive search
There isn’t a single industry that hasn’t had to adapt to the challenges brought on during 2020 – the executive recruitment sector being no exception to that rule. With COVID-19 impacting the economic landscape dramatically, the pressure has been on for all recruitment specialists to set themselves above the rest.
Locating high-quality potential candidates during such a tumultuous time has required ingenuity, dedication and adaptability. Each of which has been essential in aiding our clients, to successfully traverse what has undoubtedly been a challenging yet productive year.
2020 began with a boom for G&E Partners, with the incredible success story of Callum Collins’ meteoric rise through the company setting the scene for what was forecast to be a fantastic year. As we moved through the first quarter, and COVID-19 began to prove just how severe it really was, we responded to the demand in sectors being directly – and indirectly – impacted by the pandemic.
The impact of COVID-19 on executive search
Amongst all of the core market sectors that we work within, the Life Sciences industry was perhaps the most affected by the challenges brought on during the coronavirus pandemic.
As pressures to isolate and develop a vaccine for the virus swiftly mounted, it was inevitable that the industry would receive significant investment from public and private sectors. The impact of which meant that companies would need to source and retain the very best candidates in their field, across the seniority spectrum.
As expectations of the medical sector rose across the first half of the year, so did pressures on the industry. Much like the challenges faced by all businesses, working round the need to remain socially distant and implement remote working procedures proved difficult, given the need to be physically in a laboratory during the development of a coronavirus cure.
However, the increase in workload during this process saw the Life Sciences and Biotech industries see significant growth. Whether SME level or multinational corporations – there was a palpable shift, as companies of all sizes moved to source the strongest candidates, enabling them to contribute to the global vaccine effort.
Despite the inherent connections to the health industry, this growth in demand was by no means exclusive to the Life Sciences and Medical Devices sectors that we recruit into on a retained basis. As a wide variety of businesses have been faced with previously unexperienced scenarios, they too have had to adapt to thrive.
Flexibility and promoting an agile workforce
Embracing remote working has been a fundamental factor for those leaders aiming to develop a workforce equipped to prevail in the long term. Initially, working from home was purely reactive, responding to the immediate need to keep their existing staff safe for their eventual return to work.
Though as the year progressed, it became increasingly apparent that remote working was here to stay, as did the need to onboard candidates who possessed the qualities that are required to work from home efficiently.
As an increasing number of businesses had to rapidly adapt to the current landscape, the flexibility and convenience that home working brings facilitated a shift in candidates’ expectations. So, as well as supporting businesses in recruiting senior and c-suite level staff who could demonstrate strong engagement and communication skills, we also looked to find opportunities for leadership candidates that included the benefits that walk hand-in-hand with working remotely.
Those businesses who were quick to adopt remote working strategies and develop an agile workforce are now reaping the rewards of their own foresight. According to a new report by the Capgemini Research Institute titled, ‘The future of work: from remote to hybrid’, “employee productivity grew at 63% for organizations during the third quarter of 2020 thanks to less commuting time, flexible work schedules and the adoption of effective virtual collaboration tools”.
The organizations that took part in the report also projected a 17% rise in overall productivity over the next two to three years, whilst almost 70% of those involved believed that businesses would maintain the gains in productivity made through remote working after the pandemic has ended.
How G&E have adapted to the challenges of 2020
Much like our clients and candidates, we too made adjustments to our working practices to clear the hurdles set before us over the past twelve months. After a short time working remotely – where we implemented virtual communications between staff members, clients and candidates – the team were then back in the office by August, leaving no interruption to our quality of service.
As the year progressed, the demand for new hires in burgeoning industries like life sciences and data center construction also dramatically increased, and our clients began to expand their recruitment efforts in response. By continuing to utilise the strategies we put in place earlier in the year, alongside our tried and tested approach to talent management – we were well placed to meet our client’s needs.
Suffice it to say that, whilst 2020 has placed many obstacles in our way, significantly changing the marketplace around us – the G&E method and results have remained the same; quality leadership candidates who are aligned to the hiring needs of our global clients.
Our dedication and determination has seen us continually break records throughout this year, so as we look ahead to 2021 – we’re very optimistic about the next year in executive search.
If you have plans for expansion in 2021 and require assistance sourcing top talent from across the seniority spectrum, please contact G&E partners today.