Changes to leadership in executive search during COVID-19
Any business leader or executive will probably tell you that the last few months have been the most difficult of their careers to date.
With the global economy practically halting to a standstill for so long, job security has dived, and business continuity has become increasingly difficult to maintain. For leaders, responsibilities now go far beyond overseeing operations and managing employees.
In essence, the definition of ‘leadership’ has been flipped on its head in 2020. What it means to be a leader and what it entails is now much more focused on making incredibly difficult decisions, prioritising health and safety and trying to survive in a challenging post-COVID landscape.
At G&E, we’ve begun to see significant changes in what leadership candidates are looking for in particular roles, as well as a shift in what companies need from their executives as they look to recruit in the current global market.
Below are two key components of leadership that we’ve encountered when carrying out executive search campaigns in the last few months:
Embracing the age of remote working
For some of our market sectors (Life Sciences, Medical Devices), there is an immediate need for employees to be on-site and working on the frontline, especially as these sectors undergo a hiring boom as a result of the crisis.
For many other sectors, however, plans are regularly being put in place to accommodate remote working, including employees who have recently joined.
This is, of course, a two-way process. Some companies are actively stating that they need candidates to be prepared to begin their role at home as they prepare for a safe return to work, and some candidates are specifying that they would like to temporarily work from home for a number of reasons including safety and convenience.
Where leadership is concerned, it becomes inherently more difficult to manage a team or project in a remote setting. Communication and engagement is a must, and finding candidates who possess these skills is something that companies need to consider in their recruitment efforts as remote working becomes part of the typical working landscape for the foreseeable future.
Finding quality rather than rushing the recruitment process
It is only natural that regular business operations are continuing to be disrupted in light of COVID-19. For some sectors, there will be a significant need for businesses to hire talented individuals quickly.
Far too many businesses will fall into the trap of recruiting quickly to fill skills gaps as part of their business recovery plan. This can potentially be more harmful, especially when it comes to hiring and retaining leaders.
With so many critical hires paused during the pandemic, there is no doubting the fact that talented candidates are available. It is up to the businesses who want to create the strongest possible recruitment process to secure them.
Taking the time to adapt a recruitment process to the specific needs of the business, both now and in the long run, will provide a more defined pool of talent to choose from, and ultimately lead to better hires.
The G&E approach to executive recruitment during COVID-19
We are delighted to be back in the office, breaking records in our first month back. We have adapted our approach to executive search and c-suite recruitment to accommodate virtual communication and remote working.
After ramping up their recruitment efforts, our clients are now working with us to accommodate their needs, from critical hires to talent management and succession planning strategies.
While the market conditions surrounding our campaigns have changed, our approach to leadership has not. We source talented leaders in untapped corners of the market worldwide to deliver the highest calibre candidates for our clients.
If you are looking for an executive search company to meet your global needs, please contact us today.