April 26, 2021 – Coming out of the COVID-19 crisis, everyone knows the world of work will change. Greenwich Harbor Partners has been talking with business leaders across the country about what our new world order of work might be like. Based on these conversations, the search firm brings us inside some changes that we can expect to see in the months ahead.
“The coming year will continue to be a tale of two economies,” said Carrie Pryor, managing director of Greenwich Harbor Partners, following in-depth discussions with clients. “Businesses with strong online capabilities or who serve the home or home offices will continue to do well. So will businesses that offer ‘safe’ outdoor activities like golf, boating and gardening. Home repair, home renovation and residential real estate will do well. Businesses which depend on large in-person gatherings such as bars, restaurants, retail, concerts, movies, sports and travel will struggle.”
“However, there is likely to be significant rebound growth in some safe sectors,” said Ted Pryor, managing director. “Consumers are craving travel and entertainment and there is likely to be some big growth numbers as vaccinations kick in and COVID-19 retreats. However, this may be favor safe travel and entertainment. U.S. destinations are likely to be favored over international. U.K. and Western Europe is likely be favored over more adventurous international destinations. Outdoor sports and entertainment will be preferred over crowded indoor activities.”
Work is a State of Mind, Not a Location
“Companies will have to adjust to the new reality that many people like working from home, and many job functions allow for a high degree of autonomous remote work,” Ms. Pryor said. “In the future, those who can work from home, probably will work from home, changing the nature of work, office design and recruiting.”
The trend toward remote work expands the geographic footprint for recruiting. “Employees can live further from the office, and this expands the pool of people an employer can consider,” said Mr. Pryor. “This also means employees will be able to shop a larger list of potential employers. Companies are being built from the ground up to allow 100 percent remote work to take advantage of this trend. This was a trend prior to COVID-19 which has accelerated dramatically. This will be a long-term challenge for big cities and a benefit to livable secondary cities.”
Millennials on the Move
The Millennial generation, which is roughly ages 18 to 34, has been statistically slow to marry, buy houses and have children, but during COVID-19 they have started making these permanent choices in large numbers. “This population demographic, which is as big as the baby boom generation, will drive trends in housing, lifestyle and consumer demand for the next decade and it is likely to involve more traditional choices,” Ms. Pryor said. That will impact everything as we know it, given the sheer size of the group.
In addition Greenwich Harbor Partners found that brand image needs to include customer service and reliability of delivery. COVID-19 shortages, lack of selection, failed deliveries have affected brand image and CMOs are recognizing that the entire customer journey is critical to the brand. “Strong CMOs will demand a larger say in operations effecting customer experience along the entire customer journey,” said Mr. Pryor.
Technology adoption has jumped up across all demographics, whether children pursuing remote learning or elderly using online systems to order home delivery of groceries, according to the search firm. “Contact-less shopping and wide spread adoption of curbside pick-up or try-it-at home services are popular and likely to be part of the shopping fabric going forward, accelerating 1:1 marketing, E-commerce, and technology investments,” Ms. Pryor said. “CMOs are hiring direct-to-consumer expertise, tech stack leaders, data management and analytics; hiring freezes are being lifted.”
Mr. Pryor notes that the national re-commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion will continue. “There will be stepped-up diversity recruiting at all levels, fresh thinking around training, mentor-ship, promotions and retention, and renewed investment in community relations,” he said. “Companies are recognizing the diversity of the board and the C-suite should reflect their customer base.”
2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recruiting Report:
Building a Balanced and Diverse Workforce
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Ms. Pryor also noted that the recruiting wars are going to heat up. “Remote work capabilities accelerate the priority to conduct national searches to find senior executives for critical leadership positions, especially for digital connectivity positions that drive revenue growth,” she said. “Successful candidates will be creative, agile and tech-savvy. Candidates may be more willing than ever to move to locations based on quality of life and cost-of-living.”
Greenwich Harbor Partners’ principals, Carrie and Ted Pryor, have worked in industry as general managers and investors and have direct professional experience with the types of issues that face their clients. The firm’s client roster includes IBM Cloud Services, Media General, Marlin Equity Partners, DIRECTV, SpinMedia, ReelzChannel TV and Keurig Green Mountain, among others.
Ms. Pryor has over 20 years of senior executive search experience. She has recruited board directors, CEOs, and their direct reports, as well as partners for private equity firms. In addition to her board seat with the New York Pops, she serves as an advisory board member for Constellation Ventures. A veteran of the internet space since the early ’90s, she has deep experience in digital media, entertainment and private equity.
Mr. Pryor focuses on senior-level assignments for general management, sales, marketing, and digital transformation. He specializes in recruiting executives using his four years as CFO and CEO of a venture-backed start-up, 10 years at General Electric Capital and 20 years in international finance and investment banking. Mr. Pryor has served on public, private and non-profit boards and chaired the audit committee for the Boston Celtics. In executive recruiting, he has focused on business services, digital marketing, E-commerce, ad sales, place-based advertising, communications and customer service for growth companies and large national brands.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media