Key trends in executive search
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Personally, changes are not easy for me – I have been working in the same business for more than 20 years, living in the same city, happily married to my former classmate. But I believe that every crisis is a time of new opportunities, it is important to discern them as soon as possible and take a step towards them.
The year of 2020, of course, will be remembered by many: we are all faced with challenges never seen before. And thanks to this, the rate of change in many areas of our life has increased significantly. We jumped into a new world at once still not realizing the scale of what happened.
In recruitment and in labor relations in general, the changes cannot be overestimated.
It has been found that remote work is possible and even effective for a huge category of employees. It has become clear that we can hire new people to teams and even new leaders, adapt and teach them, without ever meeting face to face. Last year, all of my clients were extremely skeptical about the possibilities of online interviews.
I’ve heard the phrase “our CEO doesn’t do Skype interviews” a thousand times. And today the best companies conduct not only all stages of interviews, but also assessment centers online. And this does not surprise anyone.
The geography of searches is expanding. Previously, we almost always looked for candidates from Moscow for positions in Moscow. Sometimes clients agreed to candidates ready for relocation, but reluctantly and only when there were clearly not enough Moscow candidates, or it was necessary to save money. Still, there were so many additional difficulties: the candidate must come for an interview more than once, then, if successful, move him-/herself and move the family. This approach is so ingrained that even for a position that implies spending 90% of the time on business trips or relocation to the Amur Region after a year of work in Moscow, we still looked at Muscovites.
Today this has already changed, the blinkers have fallen, and the geography of search has expanded. And believe me, it is much easier to find a project manager among the residents of Tyumen (Siberia) who is ready to work in the capital for a year, and then another 2 years at the construction site of a major petrochemical enterprise than among Muscovites.
Another trend is part-time employment and fixed-term contracts. In a number of industries, due to the difficult economic situation, employees and managers were transferred not only to remote work, but also to part-time work in order to reduce costs. They have free time, and they have started to offer their expertise in the labor market. More and more often, I meet experienced professionals who, in response to a headhunter’s call, say that they are not ready to completely change jobs, but will be happy to complete a project for my client under a fixed-term part-time employment contract. The best of them are almost immediately ready to send a presentation with examples of completed projects and the team they are ready to involve.
In the future, such mosaic employment will continue, and employers will learn to formulate project objectives and positions more clearly in order to successfully attract professionals who are able to solve these local problems.
The HR brand and the quality of communication with potential candidates – candidate’s experience – are becoming even more important. Candidates no longer come to our office for interviews and do not have the opportunity to admire the monumentality or, on the contrary, the informality of our interiors. Ping-pong tables or silver spoons in a meeting room don’t impress anyone anymore. What is left? What shapes the candidates’ perception of the company?
First of all, the quality of communication at all stages of the interview. Timely information and quality of feedback. Our openness and directness. Transparency and clarity of wording.
The old model of communication with candidates in the style of “there are many of you, but only one me” no longer works. To attract strong candidates early in the interview, it is important to involve brand ambassadors – key company executives who can become a role model for candidates.
We all have yet to learn this, I see great opportunities for a breakthrough in this area.
By Olga Sabinina, Partner at Kontakt InterSearch Russia