Maddyness

Kristyna Smetanova explores the global recruitment landscape

Comments
Share :
Up
Previous part
1 — Working from home
Next part
Down
Maddyness
Up
Menu
Part 1
Down
1 — Working from home
2 — Industry challenges
3 — The situation today
4 — Recruitment by video?
5 — The future of HR
6 — About True Search
Technology

Kristyna Smetanova explores the global recruitment landscape

765 - trending  |  
Comments
By Kristyna Smetanova - 09 April 2020 / 07H30 - Updated 09 April 2020

In this interview, Kristyna Smetanova, partner at True Search, a talent management agency serving the global technology sector, shares her insight into the current situation in recruitment and explores the opportunities of the future.

Working from home

When did you start working from home and self-isolating at True Search?

We started working from home when the official lockdown announcement from the government was made in the UK. Thankfully we didn’t have any barriers to working from home as our business was built on the ideas of agility, collaboration and disruption. We have one global technology platform – Thrive – and teams have always had a flexible approach to working without comprising our outputs.

One of the several positive interactions that I have observed over the past weeks is that our founders and leadership have been highly visible & transparent via video. Overall this has created an even higher level of global connectivity across our business. There have been a variety of creative global and regional initiatives such as global ‘Happy Hour’ catch-ups, weekly round-ups across practices, podcasts on what we are hearing in the investment community as well as CEOs we are speaking with – and different Slack channels to keep the morale high and celebrate success & good news.

Industry challenges

What main changes have you noticed since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in recruitment and talent?

This is a big question! Given the range of businesses and sectors that we play in we are naturally hearing different reactions and behaviours in the market. The hardest-hit categories have clearly been both online and traditional travel/leisure/hospitality, as well as retail/wellness and beauty, and some enterprise software businesses. These businesses are doing what they can to preserve their companies, teams, customers and cultures. Some are in more stable situations than others of course, particularly if they have recently gone through funding rounds and/or have enough runway to get through the next 6 months.

In general, within the growth investor-backed space, some of the major themes we are seeing are the following:

  • Lots of coaching of leadership teams through what are truly unprecedented times for leaders of any organisation in living memory. This combined with ensuring that their own people are safe and well both professionally and personally where they can.
  • The focus is on staying connected, investing in technology and collaboration tools, and making video communication part of the new normal working life. For CEOs to massively up the communication – be visible, transparent, clear and focus on leadership.
  • Founders are building financial and operational plans for the short to medium term to survive or thrive in the current environment and take advantage of the opportunities as we emerge e.g. in many cases product roll-outs, expansion plans, and M&As are put on hold; staff are furloughed or, sadly, made redundant; and new markets for products or channels for reaching audiences are identified.
  • In spite of the heart-breaking impact that we all know the COVID-19 has had on people’s lives and the global economy, these times have also strengthened personal relationships amongst colleagues, team spirit and enabled true leadership to shine. It is difficult not to be touched by the care and concern so many of us have shown for our colleagues, clients and other professional connections. We find this HBR piece rather interesting and are sharing it with some.
  • We have seen cases of strategic hiring plans being abandoned, but some categories (DevOps, CloudTech, EdTech, Communication Tech etc) are in the position that allows them to be able to push ahead with critical appointments. This will shift the talent market to be more supply-side heavy without question. Talent who wouldn’t be available in normal circumstances and may come at a premium may now be available for the right opportunities without having multiple competing offers.

At True we do our best to share insights and examples of market developments and offer our own view on how firms can progress with strategic hires in spite of the climate, specifically how to recruit even with remote interviewing and onboarding. This is underpinned by our sister company, Synthesis, which has a suite of leadership assessment products that helps executives maximize their leadership potential and quickly get integrated into their new teams.

Read also

The situation today

Are there lots of people looking for a job at the moment?

This depends on what category/sector we’re talking about. Availability of talent has increased in the travel/hospitality/retail industries as they have been hit the hardest. We are aware of many companies who had to lay-off or furloughed up to 30% of their employees, with marketing, customer service, development (contract & FTE), talent acquisition functions being cut quite considerably in some cases.

However, in some category leaders in Online Marketplaces, Food Delivery, Fintech, CloudTech, Cloud Infrastructure & Storage, we are seeing spikes in some areas of these businesses as it relates to hiring.

Are companies recruiting now to anticipate the end of the crisis? Have you noticed any industries or companies that are booming/recruiting?

Any crisis drives innovation (and also opportunity) as we know from history and certain industries using more traditional approaches or methods of communication now realise that it’s time for evolution. This could be through collaboration or a focus on innovation in the consumer experience – in most cases, consumers will continue to spend during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, but the channel or frequency might change.

New consumer behaviour will drive the need to pivot around digital adoption for many businesses and the ones who innovate quickly enough to online will see  profound impact on how they look and what they do in future. Some of these changes will “stick” and create new models. Some businesses are “biting the bullet” to ride this out whilst others are increasing the velocity behind initiatives that have been in the pipeline for some time, and others are exiting current models and re-tooling the entire business plan.

We see that Edtech, Fintech, Food Delivery, digital health/well-being/mindfulness, digital lifestyle/home-living, cyber or AI-based technology companies are acquiring more customers than usual. From a hiring perspective our CEO/Board practice in particular has seen an increase in live discussions with investors as companies need to continue to recruit and benefit from specific skill sets of strategic advisors during these most challenging of times.

Recruitment by video?

With everyone self-isolating, what are the biggest changes in the recruitment processes that could be adopted or enhanced for good in the future? In particular, have you seen any evolution or boom in recruiting via video call?

As you can imagine, one of the biggest challenges right now is how companies continue with recruitment processes or kick-off new ones with remote interviewing and remote executive onboarding replacing face to face in the short to medium term. Of course, this is uncomfortable for many, although we think the silver-lining will be that interview processes will become much more efficient and effective, leaner and more thoughtful when it comes to connecting with leadership teams.

An example of this is a current CEO search where the board is looking to get closer to candidates after having several “interview type” sessions – they are scheduling a virtual dinner or drinks session to get to know the “personal” side and in some cases meet candidates families, pets, etc. and seeing them in their home environment. 

Other key areas to emphasise on are leaning significantly on video communication as much as you can, introducing the right steps into the recruitment process to allow clients and candidates build a relationship, both personal and professional, increase direct contact and have more frequent communication. Finally, stay open minded about recruitment.

Read also

The future of HR

What main observations do you have for the future of HR?

My colleague, Josefin Holmberg who leads our People practice in Europe believes that in the medium term we will see the following key trends emerging:

  • We’ve already seen the rise of distributed teams and our different flexible working set-ups. Post COVID-19, this will accelerate and become the norm in more industries than technology.
  • This new world order brings key People challenges around communication, connectivity and culture, analytics and performance management, as well as leadership skills needed to manage within this new construct.
  • Another key area of focus continues to be employee wellness – in particular mental health – and so there will be a greater focus on this area in this crisis and coming out on the other side.

I also believe that the new experiences and learnings such as transparency, empathy, thoughtfulness, clarity and setting up boundaries, and last but not least technology enablement  – and some which we are yet to experience – during the COVID-19 pandemic will benefit us in the long-term as our teams and leadership emerge stronger, and this will stay with us.

About True Search

At True Search, our ethos and our business is based on people in every way. We are a global executive search firm working with some of the most innovative brands and investors around the world.

We employ 350 people across 15 offices globally. We work with a variety of clients ranging from venture-backed early-stage tech startups to scale-ups, Private Equity and also a number of publicly traded companies which are going through technology-enabled transformation. Our own innovations in transparent and efficient search processes changed our industry.

Kristyna Smetanova is a Partner at True Search. She has over 10 years of experience in Executive Hiring in the Technology, Digital and Consumer space for a wide array of clients including Vestiaire Collective, Napster and Bauer Media.

Read also
By

Kristyna Smetanova

09 April 2020 / 07H30
Updated 09 April 2020
Business
Menu
Entrepreneurs
Menu
Finance
Menu
Innovation
Menu
Technology
Menu
Agenda
Calendar
MaddyEvent
MaddyEvent
MaddyStudio
MaddyStudio
Search
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Most viewed articles
Newsletter
About
Legal Information
Search
Our services
Categories
Maddynews
Hmm ... There's a problem :(
Maddyness

Comme vous le savez, Maddyness est à la pointe de l'innovation.
Malheureusement il semble que votre navigateur ne le soit pas encore...

Pour une bonne expérience de navigation
(et être au top de la modernité) pensez à passer sur :
Chrome
Chrome
Safari
Safari
Firefox
Firefox
Edge
Edge