Executives influence every aspect of a company, from direction to culture, objectives to processes. That’s why it’s vital that your organisation finds executives who can exert a positive influence, taking the company forward and closer towards achieving its goals.
Yet the last couple of years have seen huge upheavals in the world of work, affecting the way we work and even where we work. Executives need new skills to thrive in this new world – and help their organisations to thrive.
This all means that executive search itself is changing and adapting to new working practices.
Digital skills are more important than ever
The Covid-19 pandemic brought every aspect of business online, at least temporarily. Much of it will stay that way, with companies often enjoying greater efficiency and higher levels of employee satisfaction. At the very least, most companies will now have some employees occasionally working remotely.
Consequently, executives must now be digitally savvy. It’s not optional. They have to be able to influence and guide employees from afar, as well as collaborate effectively using digital tools.
Nowadays, any executive search has to prioritise candidates’ digital skills.
Flexible practices are non-negotiable
For employees at every level, flexible working is now a basic need, rather than a nice perk. Executives are no different.
While they’ll be mindful of the need for meetings and introductions taking place in person at least occasionally, they’ll also expect some flexibility in working hours and a hybrid working policy.
If you don’t offer flexibility, you risk losing top executives to those companies who do offer it. With vacancies across sectors at historic highs, you can’t afford to deter candidates or, indeed, gain a reputation for not moving with the times.
Companies can cast their nets wider
With greater flexibility comes the opportunity to hire from further afield. Companies no longer have to restrict themselves to those candidates within a commutable distance of the office. They now have a much wider pool of talent to choose from, even hiring candidates based overseas in some cases.
Having a broader range of people gives organisations different experiences and perspectives, which will enrich the knowledge base of any company. And their bottom line might also benefit if they can hire from regions with lower pay expectations.
There’s no time to waste
With many interviews now taking place online, the pace of hiring has quickened. And the pressure is on companies to make speedy decisions. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the global talent shortage stood at 40 million in 2020 and economies around the world have more vacancies than candidates.
In this candidates’ market, companies cannot afford to hesitate or have a drawn-out hiring process. This is even more true at the executive level, where there are fewer candidates.
Executive referencing is a must
With hiring happening faster, firms might worry that they’re rushing into a decision on candidates. One way to counter this is through exhaustive executive referencing.
To make certain you get the right executive for the role, you need specialised referencing that goes far beyond speaking to their former colleagues. An executive search provider will examine a candidate’s profile in forensic detail. Their due diligence will reveal an executive’s values, objectives and leadership abilities. They can even employ psychometric testing to understand if a candidate is a good fit for an organisation.
We’ve specialised in retail executive search for more than 30 years, closely monitoring industry trends the whole way. To better understand how the market is working right now and to find out how we can help, contact us today.