Much like all other hiring and recruiting practices, executive search has changed. The inability to meet face to face can have a big impact on an organization’s ability to effectively assess the quality of executive candidates.

With offices closed, more people working remotely than ever before, and with a constantly changing landscape, how you look for executive talent is changing.

Here we outline some of the ways executive search has changed amid COVID-19:

How executive search has changed as offices remain closed

Put On Hold

Some organizations have made the difficult decision to put their executive search on hold temporarily. With so much changing, including company culture and what operations will look like in the future, your criteria with executive talent is shifting. The type of candidate who may have been a good fit only a few short months ago may no longer be an ideal candidate today. Some companies are holding off to hire until they have a better grasp of what the economy and new way of operating looks like.

Even though you may have put hiring on hold, it’s important to remain active in your search. Continue to network, work with executive recruiters, and look for candidates who fit your new ideal candidate profile.

The Shift to Virtual Recruiting

Like almost everything else today, executive search recruiting has made the shift online. Recruiting, interviewing, candidate selection, and onboarding is all happening online. Video recruitment has quickly become the primary interviewing tool. While you cannot interview in person, you can easily interview candidates from virtually anywhere.

Skills Assessment

Given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the type of person wanted in an executive role is changing. More credence is given to candidates with experience managing remote employees and those with technology skills. You also need people who are compassionate, are agile and have exceptional change management skills. You can expect things to continue to change for the foreseeable future. You need people at the top of your company who can handle the evolving landscape.

More Internal Candidates

You may also see companies start to look internally more frequently to fill executive roles. Hiring is challenging anytime, but COVID-19 has added another dimension. The inability to meet in person and with companies in the process of updating their hiring practices presents a lot of hurdles. Internal candidates, a familiar face, and someone who knows the company may be a viable option right now. As things normalize, expect companies to start looking outside the company as they did before.

More Executive Search Advice

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Searching for an Executive Position? 4 Things You MUST Include on Your Resume


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Rhys Metler Sales Recruiter

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a VP, Client Services of IQ PARTNERS‘ Sales practice and leads the SalesForce Search recruitment team. He specializes in prospecting new business relationships, client retention and renewals, and building top performing Sales teams in even the most challenging environments.

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