Labour shortages and DEI: solutions in executive recruitment

Talent competition has gone global. Companies of all sizes are stepping over each other to secure qualified candidates. Since these candidates are few in number and high in demand, their geographical location has become less important, especially now that technology provides the option to collaborate remotely with no loss to productivity. When diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) need to be considered, the candidate pool has a tendency to shrink.

How can you overcome DEI issues and labour shortages without compromising on leader quality? PIXCELL offers some food for thought and possible solutions.

1. Rethink your barriers

Not so long ago, a physical place could constitute a barrier. These days, an executive can contribute just as successfully from Quebec City, Paris or Casablanca. Similarly, the idea that there are jobs that are “typically male or female” is also long gone. It is all a question of openness, adaptation and flexibility.

That said, beyond the job’s hiring criteria, what barriers have you identified? These days, are the barriers still relevant? Or are they simply feeding into certain privileges due to unconscious biases?

2. Remove the barriers 

Here are some examples of barriers and how they can be overcome:

  • Language: Would a unilingual Anglophone candidate be open to learning French? You can add this to the performance evaluation criteria.
  • Culture: Customs can vary from one country or continent to another. However, if a candidate from abroad has the experience and competencies required for the job, it would be an excellent opportunity to see things differently and open horizons. Particularly if your company has international targets.
  • Time zone: Schedule meetings early in the morning or at the end of the day to ensure hours of productivity align around the world.

3. Think globally

If competition is worldwide, your recruitment search should be too. Rather than fighting over a slice of cake, why not set your sights on the whole dessert table?

Your headhunter will likely suggest expanding your executive search to increase your chances of attracting high-quality candidates. When recruiting, keep an open mind and go outside of your comfort zone. 

In short, if you do not want to compromise on the objectives of your future leader’s role, you will need to be flexible on the rest. Your recruitment capacity and the loyalty of your next manager are at stake. A Chinese proverb says it well: “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.”

Article written by François Piché-Roy, CFR Global Executive Search Canada

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