Executives are on the move

Written by James Greed, Principal EMEA


Post-pandemic job fatigue sets in

As the world continues to battle the pandemic, more people are re-evaluating their entire lives; from what’s important to them day-to-day, to where they want to live and indeed work. 

“We are in the era of the Great Reshuffle – a time of global change when everyone is rethinking everything.”  Ryan Roslans, CEO, LinkedIn

Priorities have changed, and for those feeling the fatigue of being in the same job throughout the pandemic, a career move is on the cards. 

Workers across the globe are taking their experience and skills to new roles at an accelerated pace. According to LinkedIn, the share of their members changing roles globally is up 25% compared to pre-pandemic figures and a study by CV Library found that three in four workers are considering leaving their jobs in 2022. 

Indeed, from the second half of 2021 and into 2022, we have seen enormous levels of growth across all levels of hiring. There can be no doubt that the jobs market has well and truly bounced back and ‘The Great Resignation’ is underway.

Senior leaders weigh up their career options 

And this job-switching intent has been just as evident at the Executive level. 

A review of C-suite LinkedIn profiles by Orgshakers found a staggering rate of increase in the number of Executives updating their LinkedIn profiles. This was a sure sign of an increased appetite for senior talent to start looking elsewhere in 2021.

At Acuity we’ve seen firsthand that companies are increasingly looking to hire new leaders. There’s been a shift in attitude though as to who makes the cut. Interestingly, there have been examples where previously successful leaders have underperformed against the backdrop of the pandemic, whereas other emerging leaders, have really stepped up and delivered. 

Employers should not forget however, that worker expectations have evolved. Employees want flexibility and choice in where and how they work, and this is no less true at the Executive level. 

As an Executive Search Consultant, one of the most frequently asked questions of me is, ‘How many days per week will I be expected to be in the office.’

I have heard of some companies wanting their employees to return to the office for the majority of the week. This could be incredibly short-sighted. The data could not be clearer; employees want flexible remote options to and employers who don’t offer hybrid working in a post-pandemic workplace will be sure to miss out on top talent. 

Alarm bells for Boards

Clearly, the retention of talented leaders needs to be at the top of a Board’s priority list in 2022. 

CEO’s and Boards should act now to develop a strong and compelling Executive Employee Value Proposition. An offering which clearly articulates the ‘why’ and resonates with the leaders they want to attract and retain. 

When it comes to looking after the rest of your board / your senior leadership team, ask yourself: 

  • Does the team feel recognised and appreciated? 
  • Do you have effective feedback loops in place? 
  • When is the last time your CEO gave unsolicited praise?
  • Do you empower your leaders to work flexibility?
  • What are you doing to combat digital exhaustion and promote wellbeing at this level?
  • What are you doing to rebuild social capital with this group? 
  • Are your total reward and compensation strategies for your leaders up to scratch? 
  • Do you place enough value on long-term incentives?
  • Is your succession plan realistic – do you have one!?

It’s time to take action now – otherwise your best leaders may well seize a new opportunity imminently!