The Indispensable Skills Executive Recruiters Will Look For In 2021
Executive recruitment is no stranger to change. The ability to adapt has always been a prerequisite to success, especially in an industry notorious for following today’s trends.
2020 saw that change shift up a gear or two, setting a pace that was undeniably difficult for all manner of businesses and industries to keep up with. The global impact of the coronavirus pandemic set the stage for unprecedented economic uncertainty, making executive search all the more difficult.
Success then – in such a volatile landscape – required no small amount of innovation, vast doses of creative thinking, and constant adaptation to improve efficiency in an increasingly restricted world. These are just some of the indispensable skills recruiters will be looking for in the year ahead.
Unfortunately, the restrictions we are all now familiar with will affect all manner of search-related stakeholders, from business leaders to consultants, candidates to the consumer. Adapting to maintain productivity, keep a competitive edge and manifest success during the ‘new normal’ was essential, and will remain so in the months ahead.
How 2020 has shaped the year to come
Invenias released its annual executive search trends report back in February of last year, in which 400 executive search professionals were asked to forecast the year ahead.
Whilst it’s important to remember that February was before the pandemic had truly set in on a global scale, the report’s findings were mostly positive – with 72% of respondents expecting revenue to increase generally and 23% expecting revenue to rise by 25% or more. In a similarly optimistic tone, this 2019 study by Statista found that 30 percent of business leaders expected their use of executive search firms would increase over the next five years.
Had the research for both studies taken place after the second quarter of 2020, those statistics may have been a little less optimistic.
However, 77% of those involved in the Invenias report cited candidate acquisition during the current talent shortage as their top hiring challenge, with 58% listing the largest operations hurdle to be faced being digital transformation.
Pandemic or not, talent acquisition has, and always will be priority number one from a recruiter’s perspective. How 2020 shaped the skills that executive search specialists will be looking for in prospective candidates is a different matter, a topic we’ll explore momentarily.
As for digital transformation? This is an inescapable trend in every sector worldwide. While certain elements may have been magnified by COVID-19 and it’s related hurdles, embracing the burgeoning technologies we recruit into is the only way to stay ahead of the curve.
The skills recruiters are looking for in 2021
Many skills that recruiters and business leaders are on the lookout for are relatively timeless, as there are vital characteristics present in all c-suite candidates that are both indispensable and a prerequisite to making the grade.
That said, the past 12 months has changed the face of business generally and with dramatic effect, simultaneously shifting the skills that companies will require in 2021. As corporations globally embrace a more online-focused and technological way of working, what features should job seekers propagate to present themselves as the right candidate for the world or remote-working?
Ten professionals from the Forbes Human Resource Council shared their thoughts at the end of last year, on the skills they would be looking for in potential hires in the coming months. The key takeaways reflect what the team here at G&E partners experienced in 2020 and expect to see in 2021.
Resilience, dedication, initiative and flexibility
The desire to survive and succeed despite knockbacks, exhibiting grit and resilience will be more critical than ever. Whilst those contenders who can display dedication – especially when working remotely, where shirking responsibilities would be easy – will be looked upon favourably.
The ability to learn continuously will be placed in high regard, as candidates without the capacity to hone new skills will struggle to adapt in rapidly evolving workplaces. Being comfortable with ambiguity within your role and demonstrating the versatility required from c-suite level positions will also be an essential characteristic.
Innovation, adaptability, empathy and a willingness to learn
Displaying critical thinking will be crucial in a post-coronavirus world, as businesses will need their teams to be pragmatic and innovative in solving the ever-evolving challenges they face, while candidates who exhibit a collaborative and empathetic spirit, or a coaching mindset, will likely be awarded executive positions.
Business leaders will also be on the lookout for a growth mindset. The propensity for curiosity and the drive to learn will be more important than possessing all of the technical skills, but none of the ability to adapt.
Though perhaps the most relevant of all traits sought after in 2021, is the ability to thrive in a virtual environment, whether that be how to stay visible in an increasingly-populated virtual world or the ability to embrace tech at every opportunity.
How G&E Partners search for executive-level skills
Our unique approach to talent management has enabled us to consistently place mid-management to c-suite level candidates in market-leading corporations the world over. We take the time to ascertain what skills the candidate can demonstrate, as their ability, experience and knowledge are ultimately why they will be hired.
By applying our comprehensive and meticulous talent management system, we maintain our hard-earned reputation for success and retention. We start from the very beginning, with a carefully tailored interview stage – where the right questions are asked to ensure the perfect fit for the opportunity.
Paying close attention to company culture, we guarantee that candidates align with your company holistically, as well as professionally. We then help to hone a laser-focused portfolio to accurately communicate their skill set to potential employers.
By adhering to our carefully crafted approach, G&E Partners can confidently offer individuals and businesses alike, an effective and lasting solution to your executive search.
Whether you’re searching for the right candidate or hunting for your next career opportunity – get in touch with our executive recruitment specialists today for a discussion about how we can help you thrive in 2021.