Executive Search: Find top managers in times of crisis in the USA…
Executive Search: Find top managers in times of crisis? What is the impact on executive recruitment? Is there a decrease in searches?
Is there an impact of the Corona crisis on personnel consulting?
After interviewing dozens of executives from HR consultancies, the management consultancy HSC Personalmanagement finds itself in an industry that faces the innumerable challenges in the current crisis, but copes admirably in many ways. “Simply put, it’s war, but no bombs are falling,” says Harald K. Sabin, founder and managing director of management consultancy HSC Personalmanagement ..
A crisis develops your own dynamic…
The corona pandemic affects all areas of the company, including executive recruitment, and costs companies billions of euros in lost revenue. The effects can be felt not only in Europe but all over the world. Goldman Sachs estimates that global economic growth will be zero in 2020 thanks to the virus. This is certainly not a surprise, but worrying facts. Even that seems too underestimated to many. However, the corona virus does much more than just financial damage. Many areas of the economy are restricted. Executives strive to secure supplies, try to motivate anxious employees to work, and in some cases maintain bold strategic plans that have not fallen apart for years. But it can be observed that investments in many future-oriented projects are being reduced.
The personnel placement & recruitment industry sees significant effects on executive search. Talents feel great insecurity and the top managers “stick” to their chairs. “The will to change in the crisis is not very pronounced at the moment.” says the managing director of the management consultancy HSC Personalmanagement Harald K. Sabin.
1. Whether you like it or not, it’s wartime
While many executives in HR consulting are optimistic that the crisis will be short-lived, almost everyone agrees that the severity will be high. “Companies hope for the best, but prepare for the worst – they revise their plans and forecasts, reduce their budgets and revise their cash flow plans,” said Harald K. Sabin. “Simply put, it’s war, but no bombs are falling.” But aren’t these processes that can always be observed in a crisis? So far, every crisis has seen an upswing. The only question is when will the upswing begin and how quickly will the economy grow again? Some experts assume that there will be a five-year period before the pre-crisis level is reached again.
2. Recruiting will feel the effects earlier and recover later
In the past few weeks, executive search personnel consultants have found the following: Many companies have experienced a significant decline in new search queries. “Many active searches are now suspended and waiting for the dust to settle,” said Harald K. Sabin. “Late-stage searches are also stuck because face-to-face meetings and travel restrictions make personal meetings impossible. We also see that top candidates are unwilling to leave their current positions while their companies are in a crisis. ”But there is definitely a positive trend. Headhunters are increasingly looking for a conversation via video conferences and are using the new digitization techniques. This changes the cost structure of personnel consultancy, particularly in the area of travel expenses.
Executive Search is a sensitive market …
On a positive note, the number of search queries among companies has not yet increased dramatically. And recruiter activity appears to be average or near average. “We will see how these indicators change in the coming weeks,” said Harald K. Sabin. “At the moment, companies seem to be preparing for the worst while trying to stay as productive as possible.”
3. Social distance does not have the expected effects
Mr Sabin said that when speaking to recruiters, he found that companies of all sizes were pleasantly surprised that the transition from teams to remote work was easier than expected. In fact, many companies report that team communication and collaboration has increased. The new form of cooperation is well received and there is a high level of acceptance among specialists and managers. If the implementation of digitalization has long been shaped, the appeal now seems to have been received.
4. Business development is difficult, but not impossible
As previously mentioned, new searches are currently difficult to find. Many executives at recruitment agencies are unsure of how aggressive business development should be and where to start. “It is a difficult time for people around the world and it looks like it will be more difficult,” said Sabin. “Unemployment rates are likely to skyrocket. Owners and managers of search companies must keep the lights on and create a safe and fair working environment. And the need for strong leaders inside and outside their company has never been so high. For these reasons, many companies are actively pursuing new businesses from new and existing customers. ”
Managers are needed now and in the future ..
“In my view, belief in the power of strong leadership has brought most of us into the executive search market, and that strong leadership will lead many companies through the economic consequences of this crisis,” said Sabin. “In times like these, managers put companies on their backs. They inspire employees and build new managers. In the end, these executives and companies will emerge stronger than before. For this reason, personnel consulting will always be important and relevant. “
It doesn’t work without a guide and even in uncertain times the headhunters recognize the best of the best. Managers who keep a cool head and lead the company through the crisis with clear guidelines in their management style. Executive Search has the task of accompanying these top managers and, if necessary, placing them in the right positions.