Andcor blog: Executive recruiting in the time of COVID

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As the pandemic wears on, it’s clear that hiring, job seeking and networking have changed, at least for the foreseeable future. It’s true for both companies that need to hire for their C-suite, and for those C-level executives who are seeking a new position.

For executives, none of the old rules apply in this new age of COVID. Gone are the days when you could meet a colleague for a discreet drink or lunch and talk about “hypothetical” opportunities, who might be hiring, who might be leaving their jobs. Networking events have gone by the wayside as well.

For companies needing to hire for their C-suite: How do you connect with people when networking events aren’t happening anymore? How do you cast your net discreetly when half your contacts may be unavailable or uninterested? How do you interview when you can’t sit down for coffee or in the office? How do you get them interested when they can’t come into the office because your office is closed?

That’s why an executive recruiter is an invaluable partner in filling your C-suite vacancies. They do all the initial groundwork in finding the best fits for your company. Now more than ever, it’s crucial. Here are some tips for hiring executives during the time of COVID.

Network like you mean it. Finding the right executive for your vacancy is exponentially more difficult now. Cast your virtual net as widely as you can within your own network. In the old days, discretion was of paramount importance for both you and your potential new hire. But today, that’s changed. We’re not telling you to throw it out the window, but you can be a little freer with the information that you may be hiring. It’s a brave, new, uncertain world out there and the news that you have a C-suite vacancy isn’t going to carry any sort of negative weight. In fact, it may help you in the hiring process. If you’re using a recruiter (and we hope you do) instruct them not to beat around the bush — they’ll need to reach far and wide into their network, and let interested parties know you’re hiring.

Brush up on your videoconferencing skills. You’re not going to have the luxury of body language, a firm handshake and an in-person connection with your potential new hire. Instead, you’ll need to master Zoom, Skype or whatever videoconferencing method you choose. You’ve likely been communicating with your staff using these methods, but you’ll need to up your game a bit. Take note of the background your interviewee will see, brush up on your spiel about the job and the company, and have your “elevator pitch” about why you want them to take the helm in your C-suite down pat. An easy way to practice all of this is to record yourself on your iPhone and play it back in three ways: Just audio, just video and both audio and video. This gives you a great perspective on what you sound like, what you look like and how both intersect.

Be prepared to wait … Hiring now is a longer road than it was before, especially if we’re talking about C-suite vacancies. The viability of companies is at issue in this economy, and no exec is going to want to make a change without the knowledge that your company is going to survive these economic times.

… but have your best compensation package ready. Now is not the time to skimp on salary or benefits. Roll out your red carpet right away. You might consider work-at-home options, childcare benefits, a stellar healthcare plan and other benefits designed to deal with COVID-specific concerns.

At Andcor, we’re passionate about helping companies find the best executives for their C-Suite vacancies. We’ll help you build the right team so you can grow now, and in the future. Call us today to talk about how we can help.

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