WittKieffer Report Finds Coronavirus Pandemic Ushered in New Era of Executive Recruiting

WittKieffer has released a new survey report that sheds light on how, and to what extent, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the outlook of executives towards their jobs and careers. For the report “Executive Mobility and Hiring in a Pandemic”, the firm surveyed more than 1,250 executives and nearly 180 clients in the healthcare and education industries to learn more about their priorities, actions and decision-making during the pandemic, which could shape the executive search, recruiting and leadership landscape moving forward.

The report outlines nine specific changes taking place in executive careers and hiring. Key takeaways include:

  • Executive roles have changed due to the pandemic, some of which may have lasting impact. Of the executives who responded to the survey, more than half said that their roles had changed due to the pandemic. Some 30 percent said their jobs have changed permanently.
  • Executives are motivated to find new work. Some 95 percent of executives said they’re open to a job change. Nearly 30 percent are “actively” looking.
  • Executives are open to relocating. Nearly 90 percent of executives surveyed are open to relocation with a new employer.
  • Executive search has changed, primarily due to video technology. The survey reveals that video is used in all phases of recruiting and that hiring executives “sight unseen” without in-person visits in now a consideration for organizations looking to hire.
  • Workers, and leaders, are going remote. Roughly 60 percent of client respondents noted that they are open to hiring an executive who would lead remotely rather than relocating to their offices or facilities.

“There’s been a tremendous acceleration to the trends we were seeing in executive search prior to the pandemic,” said Andrew P. Chastain, WittKieffer president and CEO. “Namely, video technology is prevalent in all phases of an executive recruitment, even to the point that some organizations are making hires without having met the preferred candidate in person. This is a major shift.”

“The pandemic has really prompted executives to rethink their careers, what really matters to them, and to be open to job changes,” said Elizabeth Frye, M.D., WittKieffer Chief of Operations and a Physician Executive Consultant with the firm. “Instead of being conservative about their careers during the crisis, executives really seem open to moving jobs and location if it means finding work that is fulfilling to them.”

Read the full report here.