How is COVID-19 Shaping the Executive Search Industry?
Recently, we at Horton International Russia, placed our 6th C-Level candidate for our clients in Food, Commodities & Retail sectors. These placements have all taken place during COVID-19, and we realised that several months ago, we had been concerned that the pandemic would mean we could not deliver all assignments in time.
However, people here in Russia have become highly resilient since today's crisis is not the first one we’ve lived through and is likely not the last one in Russia. Very few of the engaged candidates actually declined considering new career opportunities, despite uncertainty caused by the pandemic. And I am proud of the candidates' courage and happy for them that despite the many efforts to keep them by their employers, they were firm in their final decision (having our support) to accept a new career challenge during such an ambiguous time.
Still, there is a strong need to adapt to a new modus operandi for all of us involved in the Executive Search business including Consultants, Candidates and Clients. Hard to imagine for us before, but in fact, none of the 6 placed talents has met their future Employer in person – due to ‘New Normal’ circumstances. With the fully virtual communications stream, the significance of thorough reference checks and proper assessment tools has become more crucial than ever before.
Moreover, 2 out of the 6 talents hired in the COVID period were on international assignments – so, their first working day in Moscow started from abroad due to lockdown restrictions, awaiting the first plane to catch. Small technicalities like signing the hard copy of your labour contract or getting your corporate laptop suddenly became a very special case during lockdown.
In order to minimize the risks of failure due to non-standard onboarding, we are prompted to take a higher level of responsibility for our placed talents’ integration into the new company. Regular intensive post-placement communication plays a much bigger role nowadays when the candidate needs to adapt not only to a new business & environment but basically to a new everything!
Building TRUST with your Client and Candidates today is more essential than ever. Executive Search Consultants today take personal responsibility to both Clients and Candidates especially for the Offer negotiations influenced by the rapidly changing environment which may negatively affect “rules of the game” and basic ethics principles.
So, one thing is for sure. We all have to be close to each other. Is it business or just life