The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped every aspect of our society. The aftermath will include numerous lives lost and lasting economic damage, but also permanent social changes.
If you are an executive still building your team or someone who is now looking at new job opportunities, you might be asking yourself: “With all this negative news inundating the talent acquisition market, is there anything positive going on?”
As a Client Partner at SPMB Executive Search, one of the largest retained executive search firms in North America focused on technology and innovation, I have a front-row seat to the latest trends in talent acquisition due to the Coronavirus shutdown.
Here are some of the positive transformations in hiring and team-building that I have already witnessed first-hand with my clients:
- Companies are gaining a fresh perspective on hiring remote / non-local candidates.
- As employees demonstrate their productivity and find new ways to collaborate while working from home, some leaders are forming a new opinion that dispersed teams can be advantageous to the business.
- You can hire from lower-cost areas of the country.
- With more WFH flexibility, you can minimize turnover from employees who end up leaving after the commute becomes too much.
- Companies are still hiring right now and the assessment process is evolving!
- Some companies have embraced the need to be agile in the interview process and have moved forward with offers without ever physically meeting the candidate in-person.
- As an executive recruiter, I partner with my clients to consult them on the ways to assess talent and build comfort in the hiring process. When an in-person meeting isn’t possible, I perform extra due diligence during the reference stage.
- In-depth referencing can enable companies to better onboard, ramp, motivate and retain top-notch talent.
- I see referencing as a powerful tool for clients to get to know the candidate on a much deeper level before they even start. In fact, detailed references can uncover insights learned over years of working closely with your new hire.
- The roles that are active in the market are business-critical.
- In an upmarket, companies are more likely to experiment with edge roles and new functions.
- If you are currently interviewing for a new role during this crisis, the hiring organization likely has a strong business model, along with healthy financials, and the role has probably been deemed an essential hire.
- The attention and interest of best-in-class leadership talent.
- This crisis will structurally change the dynamics of certain industries—some for better, others for worse. Because of this, many executives are assessing the long term tailwinds in their industries and the strength of their companies to weather the economic storm ahead to decide whether it makes sense for them to transition to a new organization or industry.
- While some executives believe it’s too risky to make a jump to a new company at this time, others fear that their own companies and roles are in jeopardy and are therefore motivated to transition and transition quickly.
- Executives working from home have more time and privacy for phone calls from headhunters like me.
- There has been a shift in the talent landscape — ‘A player’ executives who historically won’t return phone calls are now picking up on the first ring.
- With the mandate of working from home, it’s now much easier for these executives to take a recruiting call.
- Companies including Z Scaler and Google Cloud are taking this time to go after A players. Instead of scaling back their hiring, they are doubling down their efforts to get in front of star recruits.
With all the uncertainty in today’s world, reflecting on the constructive and optimistic shifts in talent acquisition is necessary for job seekers and companies alike. The way we recruit, hire, and build teams will forever be changed by this pandemic, including changes that will have lasting positive effects.
Sneak peek: For my next blog post, I’m speaking with Laurent Parmentier, Managing Director and Head of Portfolio Operations at SignalFire, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that uses actionable data to invest in seed and breakout stage startups. In this interview, I’ll ask Laurent to share the talent-related and hiring insights he’s seeing across SignalFire’s portfolio companies during this difficult period. In addition, I’ll ask him for his top tips for effective hiring, firing and employee retention, while achieving revenue growth. These interview highlights will be shared with you in a forthcoming post.
If you’re interested in learning more about SPMB or how we approach building teams at the executive level, please contact us at spmb.com or contact the author, Natalie Ryan, directly.