Career and Talent During COVID-19

Page Up executive search members Alexis Gorman, consultant at Spencer Stuart, Jessamyn Katz, President of Heyman Associates, Peter McDermott, Senior Client Partner of Korn Ferry International and T.R. Straub, consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates joined us for an informal panel discussion about career and talent in corporate affairs and communications through a COVID lens. 

Communications Perspective 

The executive search firms have found that COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of the communications function. Senior communication leaders have been essential in handling the response to the pandemic and companies are re-evaluating who else they need to add to the team to ensure they are well-equipped to handle the crisis. 

Diversity & Inclusion 

D&I has always been a topic of conversation for executive search firms but now more than ever, it is crucial that they present a diverse slate of candidates. Part of their role is also to ask clients what organizational initiatives they have in place. Tokenism is a major issue right now. Diverse senior leaders that are de-facto in managing D&I initiatives. Predict a reckoning over the next three to six months when we see if organizations are living up to the statements they are releasing. 

Remote Work

Remote work has proven to be successful for a number of companies but it also comes with its challenges. Executive search firms have found that clients recognize that they need to be flexible with remote work but are nervous about having such a geographically diverse workforce. The pandemic has allowed organizations to experiment and hire senior leaders that they have never met in person but many organizations are still trying to navigate how to develop a virtual onboarding strategy. 


  • The search process is much quicker
  • More candidates are getting counter offers
  • A rise of activity in investor relations, healthcare pharma, financial services and technology
  • More conversations around internal talent assessments
  • Moved from a candidate-market to a hiring manager-market