Top 5 Most Popular Articles Of 2020 From ON

Dec 23, 2020

Read the top 5 most popular executive search insights in 2020 from ON Partners


A Year In Review 2020 – While we’re all excited to welcome the new year, at ON Partners, we think it’s important to look back at the lessons learned in 2020. Below are the most popular experience-driven executive search insights and tools created for the ON community over the course of the year.

And, we want to thank all the organizations and leaders we collaborate with who have taken extraordinary measures in 2020 to support others. Join us here to celebrate our values-driven clients who made a difference this year and created a better experience for those in need.

Thank you for being part of the ON community and we look forward to collaborating with you in 2021.


From a leadership and hiring standpoint, transforming businesses and driving change is no easy task. To accomplish the kind of sweeping, transformative change organizations often require, a transformational or “turnaround” CEO is necessary.

The ideal turnaround CEO candidate possesses a unique set of attributes that make him or her the right choice for organizations in distress. We’re inevitably moving into a period in which companies are becoming financially unstable and will need someone to lead them through a difficult period onto a path of profitability.

Following are the top characteristics to seek out in a CEO who is capable of leading a company out of crisis. But first a word of caution to the board that must define the leadership mission and make a successful selection. All leaders have areas of greater and lesser strengths, and turnaround leadership is no different. The board must first come to terms with what matters most in the specific situation the board believes it has at hand, and apply that focus in selection.


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What I’ve Learned as a First-Time Board Member



With over 30 years of executive leadership experience, Bruce Grooms understands how to build, transform, and manage complex organizations. As a highly decorated career submarine officer who retired in 2015 as a Navy vice admiral, Grooms is a performance-focused, technically savvy nuclear and aerospace engineer with decades of success at operations, training, leadership development, maintenance, and budgets.

Leveraging his military background, Grooms brought his strategic and operational planning expertise to Raytheon, where he served as vice president of Navy and Marine Corps Programs. There, he was responsible for customer relations, strategy, engagement, and business opportunities for all of the defense contractor’s U.S. Navy and USMC programs.

Last year, Grooms joined the board of EMCORE Corporation, his first experience serving on a corporate board. After searching for advice for first-time board members, Grooms found only what he calls “paragraphs of platitudes.” A year into his tenure, he spoke with ON Partners managing partner Tim Conti, who helped secure Grooms’ EMCORE board director role, to share his experiences, observations, and advice for those joining a board for the first time. Here are his top learnings as a first-time board member:


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While ON Partners, an experience-driven retained executive search firm, typically issues an annual list of the top executive jobs expected to be in demand in the coming year, with COVID-19 having upended the business landscape, we surveyed our consultants about the positions that will be critical to helping organizations survive and thrive as the nation moves past the pandemic.

Following are the top positions ON consultants anticipate will be in high demand in 2021 as companies work to mitigate the impact of the virus and move into recovery mode.


Discover Top 10 Roles In Demand


C-Level Job Demand Surges in Second Half 2020 – ON Partners Analysis


Private Equity

During the first half of 2020, the private equity market – like nearly every other – suffered from the impact of the global pandemic, resulting in a significant slowdown in hiring at all levels, from the C-suite down.

But beginning in the second half of the year, industry and proprietary data from ON Partners point to a significant increase in executive-level hiring activity, including among several C-level positions such as CEO, CRO, CFO, and CTO.

According to Jeff Hocking, a partner with ON Partners with more than 20 years of search experience who serves private equity and major software companies, “While there’s no question that the pandemic has taken its toll on the executive hiring market, our work with private equity clients during the second half of the year has increased dramatically. We’ve been predicting that PE firms are well-positioned to take advantage of the market post-COVID, and the steady rise in hiring certainly supports that.”

A number of data points support this shifting tide in executive hiring. ON Partners experienced a 71% increase in opened executive-level search roles from Q2 and Q3 2020. Based on current projections, the firm expects an even higher level of increased activity through the full fourth quarter of the year.


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How to Build Diverse Leadership Teams – A Strategic Guide


Diverse Leadership Executive Search

At ON Partners, our executive search consultants believe a better experience starts with a more diverse experience. In the executive search industry, we have the responsibility to ensure that there are more diverse voices and experiences in leadership positions.  And, we work with companies on a daily basis that understand the importance of attracting and maintaining a diverse set of perspectives on the leadership team.

Research has repeatedly shown that diversity, inclusion, and business performance go hand in hand.  According to a recent McKinsey report, diverse companies are more likely than ever to outperform less diverse competitors.

But what makes an organization truly diverse, and how do you attract and retain a diverse pool of leadership talent?  From defining diversity to reevaluating key candidate qualifications to recognizing that diversity breeds diversity, the following is a strategic guide of six key considerations when evaluating your own organization’s diversity practices and how to work toward a more diverse and inclusive labor pool.




See our successful work with these extraordinary clients here.

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About ON Partners

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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