How COVID-19 has brought changes to executive recruitment

September 9th 2021 | Posted by Dave

How COVID-19 has brought changes to executive recruitment

How COVID-19 has brought changes to executive recruitment

The global pandemic has been a challenge throughout every industry. Even those businesses that have remained open have had to adapt and become more flexible in order to survive and optimise their position in the current climate.

Executives are often at the forefront of these challenges.  Businesses are doing all they can to retain or secure the services of an executive team to optimise their survival and growth potential as the country opens and begins to recover. The unique circumstances have led to the emergence of several trends in executive recruitment.

Hybrid candidate search is the way forward

During the restrictions of the pandemic, executive recruitment was forced into the virtual environment. Organisations recognised the benefits of this including the removal of costs associated with face-to-face recruitment.

Now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased, there is an option to return to traditional methods including in-person interviews. However, both recruiters and candidates realise that some of the advantages of distance recruitment can still be advantageous.

So, hybrid search processes have emerged. This involves using virtual solutions for initial interviews and progressing to in-person interviews during later stages of the process.  Taking this approach means that the cost efficiency of the process is balanced with the importance that organisations and candidates place on meeting face-to-face.

Executives have more opportunities to lead from afar

While restrictions were in place, organisations began to realise that there was potential for executives to make decisions remotely, depending on the role and the nature of the business.

This shift is set to continue as the pandemic subsides. Recruiters will often open up opportunities to candidates in a wider geographical area who are able to work remotely. This will give executives the chance to determine how best to perform in the most effective manner. For many this will involve a hybrid mix of making decisions remotely and within the business environment.

Organisations are looking to COVID-19 as a capability gauge

Rightly or wrongly, many recruiters are using a candidate’s performance during the pandemic as a means of gauging their ability. This is perhaps understandable given that the situation was a major challenge. The thought process is that if a professional can show leadership, creativity, and resourcefulness during such a difficult time they should be a good choice for the organisation going forward.

After all, there are distinct advantages to hiring someone who you know you can perform during a crisis. Although, organisations do risk missing out on talented individuals who may have faltered when faced with an especially complex situation resulting from COVID-19 but still have plenty to offer.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a significant effect on executive recruitment in the UK. As the situation continues to evolve, hopefully in a positive way, it remains to be seen whether emerging trends continue as they are. It seems likely that hybrid hiring and roles offering flexibility of location will be an ongoing feature of executive recruitment but only time will tell.

If you are a senior executive looking for a new role, register with us. If you are an employer looking to hire into your leadership team, contact us.