Jan 27, 2022

The last two years have had a profound impact on every sector of society, with people reevaluating their lives and leaving their jobs in record numbers. The pandemic fallout has triggered intense competition for talent – and completely changed the game in executive search.

“There are more great opportunities than great candidates, especially with the pace of fundraising in the PE markets,” noted partner Tindall Sewell. “Offer letter and candidate demands for rich compensation packages are higher than ever. Great talent will not only have multiple offers, but counter offers as well.”

The pandemic continues to impact how search work is conducted, with hybrid work environments now non-starters. More than ever, candidates appreciate the flexibility to work remotely, and video interviews have stepped up the pace of a typical interview timeline. Given the remote culture, the discipline of an office environment is missing, so they need to be self-starters of the highest degree.

“We expect that our clients will put an increasing value on executive leaders who bring demonstrated success in driving change through digital and data innovation,” according to partner Lynda Robey. “With the ever-increasing pace of change, our clients see these as foundation elements to business, from driving scale to optimizing costs. Given the likelihood that the recent trends of remote work and distributed teams will continue to evolve, we find that clients are placing a high value on an executives’ communication skills and presence, as this is more critical than ever in motivating and retaining teams.”

Positions that are currently in high demand include head of revenue or sales operations. As the team is more remote and companies continue to grow, the data and organization needs to be there to keep go-to-market teams headed in the right direction.

Operating partners are continuing to be a trend for PE firms, whether they’re focused on helping with expertise such as marketing, sales, or technology, or adding operational horsepower (former CEOs).

Search firms are more important than ever for organizations looking for top talent. Existing relationships are the key to cutting through the amount of LinkedIn notes and emails that candidates receive, and a quick text or phone call from an executive search consultant to a known candidate goes a long way in this busy market.

For more insights into evolving work trends and the executive talent demand, check out our partners’ insights featured in Hunt Scanlon’s recent article, “Entering the New Frontier in Executive Search.”


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Since 2006, ON Partners is the only pure-play executive search firm building diverse C-level and board leadership teams. We rebuilt the institution of executive search for the way you work. Our approach includes present partners who engage with their clients from the first brief to the final decision, individually crafted solutions that are unique to each client, and an easier experience all around. Named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms and to the Inc. 500/5000 Lists nine times, ON Partners is consistently ranked among the top 20 retained executive search firms in the U.S.

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