This year (2020) has seen a mass exodus out of offices as companies fight to keep their employees safe and comfortable amidst a global pandemic. The rise in remote work isn’t a fad, though—it’s something that’s likely to stick around. For many businesses, this means facing new challenges and overcoming uncertain obstacles.
Leadership is more important than ever during this transition to telecommuting. For companies seeking executive leadership, the demand for an engaged C-suite is high and many are scrambling to fill vacant positions with qualified candidates. The good news is, COVID-19 has actually made executive search easier.
A flood of talent to the marketplace
One of the most polarizing subjects to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic has been pay for CEOs and other executives. According to a Reuters article published in July, “nearly a third of more than 40 large companies seeking U.S. bankruptcy protection during the coronavirus pandemic awarded bonuses to executives.”
Why are companies spending more on their executives while they batten down the hatches and shore up their coffers? Because they’re afraid of losing leadership. While most mid-level managers and general employees cling to their jobs during times of uncertainty, upper management sees it as an opportunity. More executives leave themselves open to new positions and entertain job offers when they might not otherwise. They know companies are willing to pay for stable, reliable, experienced leadership when the going gets tough.
If your company has the budget, there are plenty of C-level executive leaders amenable to listening to a job pitch during the pandemic.
Opportunities for first-time executives
There are plenty of candidates out there who may not have an executive title now, but are ready to step into the shoes of a C-level position given the opportunity. Now’s the time to tap these people.
New executives have something to prove and they’re driven to validate themselves by succeeding in the position they’re appointed to. Poaching an Operations Manager of 10 years from one company and making them your Executive Director of Operations means getting a qualified, experienced candidate that’s ready to help your company excel in its pandemic-related initiatives.
There’s special opportunity to attract this type of talent now, while there’s still uncertainty stemming from the pandemic. Many first-time executives are already groomed for the position at a different company, but the time isn’t right for them there. Finding these individuals and onboarding them at your company means getting someone who’s trained, familiar and attuned to the expectations of C-level leadership in all but title.
How long was your onboarding process before the pandemic? When it comes to C-level positions, onboarding happens over the course of weeks. Scheduled meetings, structured seminars, paperwork and more all take time, and it’s often weeks or a month before an executive really steps into their role. Today, that’s not the case.
Companies hiring executive leadership during the pandemic are fast-tracking the process in an attempt to bring stability to their operations as quickly as possible. Since everything happens behind a computer screen, weeks of onboarding become days. They can sign digital documents in seconds, Zoom calls are shorter and more succinct, and there’s quicker immersion into the actual role.
Expedited onboarding is also an opportunity for new executive leaders to get familiar with your company’s culture and values. According to an article by noted research firm McKinsey, “the uptake in virtual delivery also provides learning leaders with an opportunity to enhance the digital experience of employee learners.” In other words, executives onboarded through the digital process are more adept to understanding the needs of their remote employees and addressing them appropriately.
Leave it to an executive search firm
The pandemic has given many companies the excuse they need to work with an executive match firm. While they’re busy balancing in-house resources to support distributed teams, companies can confidently hand off the arduous task of executive search to a firm that specializes in it, like M&A Executive Search. The result is an expedited solution to filling leadership roles.
Not only will an executive search firm streamline the process of identifying and onboarding vital leadership, they’ll do it with access to a talent pool that far exceeds any traditional job board or LinkedIn hiring campaign.
Whether for a permanent seat at your corporate round table or an interim executive hiring to assist with your transition to remote work, working with an executive match firm during the pandemic is the most efficient, targeted way to bring talent to your business at a time when it needs it most.
Now’s the time for leadership
In times of economic uncertainty and social upheaval, companies rely on their leaders for good governance and stewardship. If there are empty seats at the head of your table, it’s time to fill them. With more executives looking for opportunity, quicker onboarding demands and qualified professionals chomping at the bit to prove themselves at a pivotal time, the search for a qualified executive is easier than ever.