Executive Recruiters See Shrinking New York Market as Opportunity for Talent Growth


Hunt Scanlon Media | October 29, 2020


The Hunt Scanlon Media article, “Executive Recruiters See Shrinking New York Market as Opportunity for Talent Growth," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Justin Cerilli on how businesses and New Yorkers alike are adapting to the new environment in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The article is excerpted below.​

No matter how much business activity is taking place in London, Hong Kong or Dubai, New York City rules as the world center of commerce and deal making. From Wall Street and its stock exchanges to the bustling world of retail, fashion and high tech, millions of people and billions of dollars come in and out of the City every day.

To be sure, the stalwarts of industry and commerce dominate here still: AIG, Colgate-Palmolive, Verizon, Avon, and Pfizer are just a few of the scores of Fortune 500 giants that call the Big Apple home. In recent years, New York City also has become a destination for top technology players. Four companies — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google — have established big offices along the Hudson River, from Midtown to Lower Manhattan. With their expansion, comes fresh hiring. Or at least that was the plan until the pandemic struck seven months ago.

Businesses, and Leaders, are Adapting

“What sets New York City apart from other large cities is its energy; there's something about the hustle and bustle of New York that you can't find anywhere else," said Justin Cerilli, leader of the New York City and Stamford, Conn., offices at Russell Reynolds Associates. “While some of that energy is missing as locals and tourists have left altogether or gone virtual, the energy is still there, along with the 'we are in this together' spirit. Whether walking down the street or strolling through Central Park, the comradery is there as we recognize that everyone is going through this challenging time and, as New Yorkers, we need to band together."

The smartest businesses with the best leaders are realizing that they can no longer wait for COVID-19 to be over. “Businesses are adapting, leaders are adapting, and they are moving forwar​d on key roles across industries in New York City," Mr. Cerilli noted. “Organizations are also assessing whether they have the right leadership and culture to not only get them through this crisis, but shape how the company will work moving forward. An opportunity that has come from this situation is that remote working has proven itself to be a more sustainable and flexible method of work. Clients and candidates are now fully adjusted to working remotely, resulting in more flexibility as people have shown that remote work indeed works. The challenge for leaders is to determine how this will impact their culture as we adapt to the new normal through and after COVID-19."

“For us at Russell Reynolds, the shift to video calls has really humanized our relationships with our clients – we see their lives, their kids, their pets," he observed. “It adds a whole new dimension to these people we typically see in a very corporate light. Being even more flexible is another big adjustment that we as a firm have embraced. We recognize that everyone is adjusting and playing it by ear, so sometimes we have to respond to client needs in new ways, like organizing socially-distanced meetings in backyards."

To read the full article, click here.

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Executive Recruiters See Shrinking New York Market as Opportunity for Talent Growth