Article written by Roger Ruane – CFR Global Executive Search UK.
Many thanks to everyone for the congratulations messages you sent following my 30-years work anniversary. I know 30 years with the same company is unusual and whilst all jobs have their frustrations, these are more than outweighed by the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped clients to recruit some exceptionally talented people, as well as seeing placed candidates prosper and forge successful careers with their new employers.
There have been some enormous changes in the Search & Selection industry since 1990 but the increasing use of technology, particularly so since the Covid-19 crisis, has transformed the way we work. We have always been proud of and been commended for a service which means we would invariably meet the client at his/her premises for a full briefing at the start of an assignment, normally having a full tour of the premises and always meeting a number of the key stakeholders. The vast majority of interviews would have been on a face to face basis and only at the beginning of the year, I secured a new assignment based on the fact that the client liked the fact that we would meet prospective candidates in person, rather than simply Skype or telephone interviews.
How times have changed!! In mid-April, I was reflecting on the fact that I had just recruited a Director of IT without a face to face meeting with any of the 10 longlisted candidates. Similarly, the 4 shortlisted candidates went through a 2-stage client interview process, including presentations, all undertaken by video-conference. The candidate who accepted the role hadn’t seen her office and 3 months into the role, is still working from home.
Since April, that scenario, which at the time seemed so abnormal, has now become the norm. Meeting clients or candidates in person, for now and the foreseeable future, is a thing of the past. Whilst we all miss the interactions which were a regular part of the role, we all have to adapt to new ways of working and embrace the changes rather than resisting them. Let’s also focus on the positives – a better work life balance and the fact that less cars on the road, less flights and train journeys is better for the environment. At the same time, however, there are people for whom working remotely is more challenging so please don’t forget to send them a quick message or make a quick call and let them know they are still an important part of your team.