The search must go on
The search must go on
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, I have been speaking with many Board Chairs and CEOs to share best practices and insights regarding recruitment practices during these unprecedented times. Some wonder about how to maximize our new virtual work world and how to ensure important hires are still made while much of the country is under lockdown.
Many leaders have asked me if they should launch a new search or continue with an existing search in their organization. The questions have caused me to pause and reflect on our current situation and what’s at stake. After additional investigation to learn more from CEO’s and their Executive Teams, I concluded that in almost every case, the search must go on.
If you are currently recruiting a key leadership position, no matter where in your organization today, consider these three lenses before you make the decision to delay recruiting.
The first centres on where we find ourselves on the current crisis curve. We are through the initial confrontation and shock of what COVID-19 means to our families, organizations and our world. Our lives have changed, how we work has changed. How we see the world has changed.
We are beginning to put the pieces together of what this new world might look like. With daily updates, very loose timelines are starting to form in minds. As Dr. Anthony Fauci, lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force recently said, “the virus makes the timeline, not us”. Ever changing contexts mean we need a consistent flow of information that drives sense making in our organizations. We need more hands on deck, not less, to help inform and assess the effects of decision-making.
This leads to the second lens – The need for leadership teams to embark on detailed and purposeful preparation. Now is the time to ensure knowledge transfer, to conduct virtual on-boarding and to develop short, medium- and long-term strategies. Having key positions absent from your table means crucial information, insight, experience will be lost.
The third lens is the north star we all have our sights set on: human capital rejuvenation. We know employees are suffering. We need to nurture a culture of strong support, led by leaders who are trusted and empathic. As I speak with leaders, they’ve shared that the leadership attributes they once contemplated for key positions have now changed as a result of this crisis. Using these three lenses may be helpful as you as contemplate the new forms of leadership your organization will urgently require in the coming months. The road ahead for all us will mean rebuilding our organizations, innovating services and tailoring processes to meet any number of scenarios ahead.
The Phelps team is working on innovative approaches in all of these areas right now. We are here for you to virtually facilitate all types of strategizing from bringing new people in to fill crucial talent gaps (Interim or Executive Search) through to equipping your leaders with the tools and skills to emerge through the current crisis. We will do whatever it takes to support you as you reignite your leadership.