Recruitment: Better Promote the "Soft Skills" of Junior Executives
Career AdviceLeadershipHuman ResourcesExecutive Search
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November 27, 2020
Career AdviceLeadershipHuman ResourcesExecutive Search
The last few years have been characterized by increased dynamism in certain promising sectors for young graduates.

Les Echos

The Les Echos article, “Recruitment: Better Promote the "Soft Skills" of Junior Executives,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Xavier d’Aumale​ on the importance for recruiters to endorse the soft skills of junior executive candidates in today’s challenging employment market. The article is excerpted below.​ 

Marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 is a dark year for younger employees. In junior executive positions, candidates struggle to get stable contracts. For recruiters who work with these profiles, efforts to better promote the skills of young talents are necessary. 

The health crisis has had a devastating impact on junior employment, at all job levels. Forecasts for 2020 expected around 300,000 executive recruitments. In the first months of the crisis, this volume shrank massively. 


Dynamism of certain sectors 

The last few years have been characterized by increased dynamism in certain promising sectors for young graduates. These sectors have found themselves strengthened by the Covid crisis. Thus, professions linked to new technologies and artificial intelligence remain particularly attractive and in need of young talent.  

While recruitment opportunities therefore exist for young executives, issues around guidance and training persist. “We see that there is a real issue around the guidance of young people. Even among those who are in a strong position, they have a reduced vision of possibilities. There is real familiarization work to be done regarding the scope of the professional field, which can be one of the roles of recruiters because we have the chance to work on a great diversity of roles and to have a solid idea of the sectors which are recruiting, ”explains Xavier d'Aumale, Executive Search Consultant at Russell Reynolds. 

Agility and teamwork 

For recruiters, the challenge is therefore to promote other skills in young graduates, and in particular their "soft skills." Agility, versatility, the ability to work in a team and to plan for a long-term position are all important skills that are particularly in demand. “There are a lot more expectations on soft skills for young professionals, especially since they sometimes have less to contribute in technical skills and experience. Companies are particularly demanding skills related to agility and the ability to use a wide range of IT tools. There are also more expectations on the presentation and communication part. Our customers are looking for young people capable of fully articulating their thoughts,” sums up Xavier d'Aumale. 

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