Is Hiring on Hold? Not According to Some Recruiters

Pandemic-led disruption is creating uncertainty in every company’s workforce. Regardless of whether you’ve been hiring because of market demand or making up for employee losses, this is not a time to take a break — in recruiting and in long-term and on-going projects and priorities, according to a new report by Comhar Partners.

April 2, 2020 – Market uncertainty and disruption is going to create uncertainty and disruption in your workforce. This is especially true if you are in an industry that is being heavily impacted by coronavirus disease (COVID-19), like the airline industry, energy sector and hospitality market, where the impact is most volatile. Conversely, in healthcare, life sciences, private equity, supply chain/distribution, crisis response, cleaning and community response, job needs are surging.

Rather than step back, companies actually need to work harder and continue to look ahead at what the impact will be once the dust settles, says a new report by Comhar Partners, a provider of executive search, professional recruiting and talent advisory services.


Get Our Latest Report! Find Out How Top Talent Enriches Returns

For private equity firms, nothing impacts an investment return more than talent. Why? Institutional investors increasingly see portfolio company talent management as a crucial lever for value creation, risk mitigation and growth. But there is a fundamental shift underway at PE firms. They are moving beyond traditional views of human resources to something more transformative – with a heavy emphasis on talent management & development, culture and engagement. According to this latest landmark research report from Hunt Scanlon, it all has to do with unleashing higher levels of leadership performance to boost results. And that has required a hard look at value creation and how top talent enriches returns. 

This year, Hunt Scanlon interviewed private equity leaders and their chief talent officers as well as leading executive recruiters from across the sector. Expertise was shared from leaders at Russell Reynolds Associates; Bain & Company; The Carlyle Group; Notch Partners; Francisco Partners; TPG; Frederickson Partners; Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; Coulter Partners; Hogan Assessments; Summit Partners; Apollo Global Management; Audax Group; Summit Leadership Partners; Slayton Search Partners; PierceGray; Caldwell; Acertitude; Blackstone; Ares Management; Solomon Page;; JM Search; Diversified Search; HREquity; Invenias; FMG Leading; Innova International; Wilton & Bain; Bowdoin Group; Charles Aris; Kingsley Gate Partners; StevenDouglas​ and others from across the PE spectrum.

If you are a PE managing director, operating partner, talent professional or recruiter, this report is designed specifically for you. Insert an ad in our report, reserve your copy today and find out how you should adapt your business in these uncertain times. 

The firm was launched last year by veteran Stanton Chase recruiters Bernard Layton and J. James O’Malley to provide independent recruiting expertise in partnership with the firm’s clients to help solve their full spectrum talent management challenges. Comhar Partners focuses on providing recruiting solutions in consumer products and services, education and non-profit, financial services, healthcare and life science, industrial, private equity, professional services and technology industries.

“The market will rebound from this event,” said the Chicago-based firm. “That recovery will come just as hard and fast as we saw with the last downturn, making it critical that you are ready to leverage the strength of rising markets.”

Related: Crisis Management: Leading in Times of Great Uncertainty

The question is: How do you continue moving forward while maintaining stability in business operations and hiring? Comhar Partners offered a few approaches to keep the future as your focus:

Leverage Technology

There’s no reason to slow down with employees working from home. Thanks to technology and telecommunications, everything can remain on schedule, said the search firm. While this unplanned disruption requires you to re-think processes, you can shift and rely on the many solutions available to you, including:

  • Digital meetings via phone or video allow you to continue connecting and innovating, regardless of location.
  • Real-time chat tools make quick conversations and text-based collaboration easy.
  • Shared drives or digital asset management tools (DAM) make it easy for everyone to have access to docs, videos, images and more without having to request access or get on a call.

Leverage the Gig Economy

The gig economy allows you to tap into a growing pool of talent that’s available nationwide, with 57 million Americans taking on freelance work, as of 2020. If you’ve lost employees and need someone to pick up the pieces fast, or are looking for quick support, freelancers and contract workers can step in, without extensive onboarding or the paperwork necessary for full-time hiring, said Comhar Partners.

Pandemic Crisis Leads Saenger Associates to Cut Recruiting Cycle Time to 30 Days
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the nation, executive search experts at Saenger Associates have created a special program for clients who have an immediate need to fill executive or senior management positions.

The firm’s new “Virtual Fast-Tracked 30-Day Retained Executive Search” offer, which is focused on the aerospace & defense and industrial products industries, essentially puts Saenger Associates’ well-known search strategies on steroids. The new plan is designed to immediately fill a vacancy in a critical position due to health issues, a resignation, or an incumbent who couldn’t perform to acceptable standards or the hiring away of a key executive by a competitor.

What’s more, freelancers are used to working from home and connecting online, making the transition even easier for you during an already hectic time.

You can find freelancers through your current network of professionals and business owners, or online. Freelancing sites like UpWork provide a large network of freelancers to choose from. Simply search for what you need and sort through to find the best potential candidates.

You Can Maintain Stability During Uncertainty

Don’t let coronavirus disease scare you into losing a step—you’ll be at a further disadvantage once the economy bounces back if you lose sight of long-term goals now, said Comhar Partners. The legacy problems you’ve been working to solve will remain once this passes. So keep moving forward, leveraging technology, the gig economy and the hiring experts you’ll need to bounce back stronger than before.

Related: Unemployment Claims Surge as COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis Deepens

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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