The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a significant shift in the way organizations and employees view work. For some companies, remote work has become the norm. This has presented a unique challenge for businesses looking to hire top executives, particularly those in the field of marketing. With the ability to work from anywhere, many executives are hesitant to relocate for a new job, making it more difficult for companies to find the right candidate for their marketing executive search.
As corporations face the difficult decision of if, when and how to bring their employees back to the office. This decision brings with it ramifications for productivity, culture and employee retention. While remote work has been a lifesaver for many companies, it has also highlighted the importance of culture, leadership, collaboration, innovation, and training within an organization. As such, many corporations are now looking to relocate talented executives as they move away from remote work and return to the traditional office environment.
The view from corporations’ perspective is currently very different from the candidate’s perspective, in over 25 years as a marketing executive search professional, getting candidates to relocate has never been more difficult. Many executives have grown comfortable with the flexibility and autonomy that remote work provides and are hesitant to give that up for a new job. This can make it difficult for companies to find the right person for the role, as the number willing to move for the opportunity of a better and / or bigger role is significantly less than pre-pandemic. Much of this is due to the corporations who have gone fully remote are seen as a better option for many talented executives over the pain of moving my family. Coupled with a renewed focus on family life and work-life balance that came out of the opportunity to work remote during the pandemic.
Depending on the type of talent you are looking for and your location, you may find hiring top marketing executive leadership more difficult than anticipated, as the pool of candidates willing to relocate has never been smaller. Everyday, we are finding innovative ways to overcome this challenge and it looks like this challenge will continue for the foreseeable future.
Should Marketing Executives Expect to Return to the Office in 2023?
To overcome this challenge, you need to make sure no stone is unturned from research to engagement and vetting of all top candidates. By turning to a top marketing executive search firm, who specialize in identifying, recruiting and vetting top talent. You can bring significantly more and better resources to the search process than you can managing the search internally or going with a generalist executive search firm. A marketing executive search firm has the resources, network and expertise to find the right candidate who will fit your role, your culture and your leadership team. This is only entry to the game; they also need to have the ability to engage with senior professionals in a honest way about the pros and cons of a potential move. Only by being focused on a long-term win for both client and candidate can we be successful, we are not simply putting a butt in a seat.
Ultimately, as we return to a more normalized work environment post-pandemic, you do have a few companies who will stay fully remote. We are predicting about twenty percent. A second group of companies will ending up in a permanently hybrid structure, this will allow for in-office interaction, collaboration and training, while giving employees the flexibility to work from home two or three days per week. We see this being about forty to forty-five percent. The remaining thirty-five to forty percent of companies are heading back to the office full-time as they feel this is an important part of their culture and what makes them unique.
This third group where companies are going back to the office full-time is trending up and is currently higher than I would have thought just six months ago. Which really highlights the disconnect between organizations expectations and candidates’ willingness to relocate.
Two or three years from now we see this being less of an issue. As of today, it is a significant challenge and one that dictates the need to partner with a best-in-class marketing executive search firm.