“Savvy clients with strong balance sheets are realizing that this is a profound opportunity for talent arbitrage,” per Jenna Fisher, Managing Director of Russell Reynolds, the global executive search firm. Strong executives with companies that were Covid-vulnerable will realize they have better opportunities with another stronger player which is more Covid-resistant. Companies in weak positions may have to let these talented leaders go.
Battle-Tested Executives in Demand
Per Fisher, “Companies will look for more turnaround talent and favor more internal promotions or battle-tested candidates.” Leaders who had been an executive in the 2008 crisis or have experience in crisis in similar companies/industries will be more in demand. This is an opportunity for retired executives to reenter the workforce. Executives who have experience in the same industry and even in the same company would have a shorter-learning curve. Therefore, boards are expected to favor experienced candidates and internal candidates. In some cases, boards who were considering changing their CFO or CEO, may choose to keep her or him in place to have continuity in crisis.