The Search Must Go On
The Search Must Go On
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, I have been speaking with many Board Chairs and CEOs to share best practices and insights regarding recruitment practices during these unprecedented times. Some wonder about how to maximize our new virtual work world and how to ensure important hires are still made while much of the country is under lockdown.
Many leaders have asked me if they should launch a new search or continue with an existing search in their organization. The questions have caused me to pause and reflect on our current situation and what’s at stake. After additional investigation to learn more from CEO’s and their Executive Teams, I concluded that in almost every case, the search must go on.
If you are currently recruiting a key leadership position, no matter where in your organization today, consider these three lenses before you make the decision to delay recruiting.
The first centres on where we find ourselves on the current crisis curve. We are through the initial confrontation and shock of what COVID-19 means to our families, organizations and our world. Our lives have changed, how we work has changed. How we see the world has changed.
We are beginning to put the pieces together of what this new world might look like. With daily updates, very loose timelines are starting to form in minds. As Dr. Anthony Fauci, lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force recently said, “the virus makes the timeline, not us”. Ever changing contexts mean we need a consistent flow of information that drives sense making in our organizations. We need more hands on deck, not less, to help inform and assess the effects of decision-making.
This leads to the second lens – The need for leadership teams to embark on detailed and purposeful preparation. Now is the time to ensure knowledge transfer, to conduct virtual on-boarding and to develop short, medium- and long-term strategies. Having key positions absent from your table means crucial information, insight, experience will be lost.
The third lens is the north star we all have our sights set on: human capital rejuvenation. We know employees are suffering. We need to nurture a culture of strong support, led by leaders who are trusted and empathic. As I speak with leaders, they’ve shared that the leadership attributes they once contemplated for key positions have now changed as a result of this crisis. Using these three lenses may be helpful as you as contemplate the new forms of leadership your organization will urgently require in the coming months. The road ahead for all us will mean rebuilding our organizations, innovating services and tailoring processes to meet any number of scenarios ahead.
The Phelps team is working on innovative approaches in all of these areas right now. We are here for you to virtually facilitate all types of strategizing from bringing new people in to fill crucial talent gaps (Interim or Executive Search) through to equipping your leaders with the tools and skills to emerge through the current crisis. We will do whatever it takes to support you as you reignite your leadership.
The Phelps 101 Guide to Effective Remote Workplace
The Phelps 101 Guide to Effective Remote Workplace
As we’ve all pivoted quickly into remote workplace environments, we wanted to share some practices that have worked for our colleagues at Phelps so other teams could benefit from these accelerated learnings.
Jill Birch | National Director, Leadership and Strategy
Never stop learning about how your role and industry are changing in the face of COVID-19. It’s easy to fall into the trap of streaming COVID-19 news 24/7. While keeping up-to-date is important, it’s just as vital to scan for trends and news directly impacting your sector. Explore themes that rise to the top and ask yourself, how can I use this information to contribute to my organization? Join future “virtual water-coolers” at work and share what you have learned and hear what others are sharing. If we all do our part to keep current, it not only helps our own work but can provide innovative ways to respond to upcoming workplace challenges.
Jayson Phelps | Partner
Fluidity – as our professional lives blend with our personal lives more during this period of isolation, fluidity is an important consideration. Keep your patterns similar to going into the office every day, but take advantage of no commute or leaving to get a coffee during the day and integrate your schedules more openly. Look at your day as a fluid period between personal and professional. Work a few hours, take a bit of a break and spend some time with family and then work again for a few hours and take a break. The traditional work day of 9-5 can be flexed. Maybe it means working until mid-afternoon and taking a break for an hour or two (get outside and do some yard work or a walk) and then sit down again in the evening to work for another 1-2 hours.
Diana Rucchin | Research Coordinator
For me, keeping my home office in the same manner as when I’m working in the office really helps. I use 2 screens when working at the office, my laptop and my monitor. Bringing both of them home with me was a really good decision as it keeps me working at the same speed. As well, keeping my area free of distractions is important because it’s easy to get sidetracked when working from home by the news, chores or others who are at home with you. Overall, I think maintaining routine and best practices as if you were in the office including getting ready for work adhering to a dress code, being punctual and ensuring some breaks away from the computer throughout the day.
Margie Peskin | Senior Research Consultant
We have four people all working from home so we try to huddle in the morning to figure who needs quiet at what points of the day (exams, video calls, etc.) and then agree where that person will work undisturbed. We also are trying to stick to routines and plans for the day as much as possible.
Shanaya Dheda | Social Media Strategist
Not being in the physical space of my regular work environment that I am used to has been the biggest adjustment. I find there can be many distractions when working from home – sometimes it is even too quiet. Our new ritual of early morning huddles every day of the week are quite refreshing – they help us to all stay connected and on top of priorities. As a team, we outline our daily agenda identifying any areas we need cross-collaboration and additional expertise. Many times throughout the day, we will “video” call each other to discuss a project – again this is a great way for us to collaborate and share ideas.
Nayely Figueroa | Marketing and Operations Manager
Because working remotely is now the norm, being aware of phishing and other cyber security threats out there is essential. If something sounds fishy, it probably is. Check the validity of a suspicious request directly with your IT experts before opening a questionable link, running an unknown program or forwarding sensitive information to someone. Stay alert and keep your team’s and organization’s digital work space safe.
These are challenging times and our Phelps team are here for you. One of our core values is ‘Nimbleness’, and with our bespoke and virtual model of doing business, we are agile and able to pivot to meet your evolving human capital needs.
#PhelpsWhateverItTakes #PhelpsIgnitesLeadership #StayAlertStaySafe