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Leadership recruitment in a post-pandemic world

Dr Rohan Carr | Oct. 18, 2022

The identification and attraction of leadership talent are fundamental to the success of any and all organizations; never more so than in times of change and uncertainty. The pandemic has impacted so much of our personal and professional lives and although the fundamentals of leadership recruitment remain, key aspects of the candidate experience require refinement.

If the pandemic taught us anything it taught us the need to be flexible - the same with a search process. Yes, there must be a structure, but candidates and clients alike appreciate flexibility now more than ever. In a tight labour market, a lack of flexibility can cause candidates to become disengaged.

The impact of the pandemic will doubtlessly be long-lasting. Patience is an underrated but vital part of the search. Sometimes it takes more than one approach to engage with a candidate. People’s lives are still evolving and factors that impact their ability to consider an opportunity can change.

Transparency is vital during any search process, enabling the building of trust. An organization that demonstrates transparency and is upfront about the challenges that exist attracts better employees and leaders; and candidates look for indicators of this in the recruitment process.

Be particularly attentive to the personal side of candidate conversations. Individuals’ priorities have changed over the past couple of years, leading to a continual re-evaluation of career goals, and professional interests. Exploration with candidates can reveal important insights resulting in more successful appointments.

Zoom and Skype are great but humans were made for face-to-face communication. While online engagement enabled recruitment to continue during the pandemic, in-person interaction is important to build relationships and reduce the risk of poor candidate fit. While online might be convenient, make the effort to meet in person.

Refinements to the search process and candidate approach are needed to take account of the way society, organizations, and candidate psychology have changed as a result of the pandemic. In a world where the labour market is tight and leaders who are flexible, resilient, and innovative are in demand, an adaptive and insightful approach to leadership recruitment is essential for success.