Since April 2020 we have seen a significant trend of firms in the search business revising their strategic plans, adjusting their revenue forecasts, reducing operating budgets, laying off of staff (temporary or permanent), and reviewing their office space lease and overall real estate commitments.
With active search mandates put on hold, and net new projects at decline levels that most of us have not seen since 2008, this is an adjustment in the market that may not see a recovery well into 2021. To all our colleagues, partners, clients, and candidates…remain vigilant as all is not lost and we have a number of positives we should recognize.
The transition of utilizing video platforms as a business tool, such as Zoom and GoToMeeting, has brought more efficiencies to the interview process. Admittedly, in-person interviews are ideal, however video platforms are not new to the industry and have now evolved as a great secondary option.
There are a number of industry sectors (traditional and emerging) that are expanding and exceeding market expectations during this current Covid-19 and resulting economic downturn.
Although business development initiatives may be challenging, and sales processes much longer, there are opportunities to be had…you just need to actually work for them a bit more!
Business Pivot – Be Disruptive
One of the most overlooked positives has been the need for firms to be more thorough and diligent with their sourcing and qualification process with candidates. Never has there been a better time for firms to provide more value to their client and spend the required time to learn more about the backgrounds and careers of the candidates they are representing.
Time to Reflect – Do you have what it takes?
It’s times like this where we all need to take some time to reflect. It’s a time that will see those who are committed to the search business as their passion and career, and not just a job in between their next gig.
As owner of Elevate Search Group, we have 20+ years of experience in the market and have seen several significant market changes over the years. Firms need to refrain from being comfortable…firms need to pivot better and adapt to whatever market is being thrown at them.
Three years ago, and after years of resistance from me, we restructured our firm. We reduced our office space by 80%, developed a strategy on how to implement a more streamlined, data driven, and candidate analytic based business offering for clients and candidates, and adopted Zoom as one of our primary interface and qualifying processes in order to complement our in-person interview and selection procedures.
It was disruptive, a calculated and educated-risk based on our experience in the industry, and an adjustment for the entire team. We have not looked back and we are very grateful for the business advice and coaching we received from a close group of business advisors and mentors who assisted us with this transition.
These series of decisions are something that we should have done 10 years ago! We initially resisted making this decision simply because we were too comfortable with what was considered “normal and traditional” within the recruitment and executive search business model. Essentially, we tossed the “recruitment rules book” and found a much more efficient and effective way of taking a traditional business model and transforming it into something that was more flexible and conducive to a new economy.
Elevate Search Group collaborates and partners with companies to identify, recruit, and retain top-tiered professionals within all levels of leadership and non-leadership careers within business development, sales, marketing, operations, human resource, and supply chain management. Our client profiles range from local, regional, national, and global organizations.