October 1, 2012 – The current economic crisis in the eurozone is driving major changes in the type of senior executives companies in the region are recruiting, according to IIC Partners EMEA board director Myriam Walgraef, a partner at Brussels-based executive search firm Hoffman & Associates. “Before the current eurozone volatility, many firms were looking to hire C-level executives and senior managers with proven functional experience in the same industry, for example, a pharmaceutical company wanted someone with strong pharma experience,” said Ms. Walgraef. “Now we are seeing a huge demand for three main competencies that our client companies require of their leadership – innovation ability, creativity and change potential. They want executives who will be impactful, challenge the status quo, really drive the organization and win people over.” Ms. Walgraef, who has worked in executive search for 16 years, says she has also observed marked changes in the way companies are running their businesses due to the crisis with “a lot of executive movement in the context of reorganization, optimization and lean programs. There is still tremendous opportunity in Europe – it is one of the strongest global economies despite the financial challenges. But entrepreneurship and investment are key to the eurozone recovery in combination as well as the planned austerity measures.” Ms. Walgraef says a number of her clients and corporate contacts are not at all optimistic about the future of their businesses within the eurozone if taxes continue to increase and fiscal measures stifle entrepreneurship.
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