by Chad Oakley
Chief Executive Officer at Charles Aris Inc.
To all Charles Aris clients and partners – I hope this message finds you in good health and a comfortable social distance from others as the world responds to this new coronavirus. I wanted to take a quick minute to share with you what Charles Aris is seeing in the marketplace, and how we’re responding to continue to serve you in finding the best talent in the world for your mission-critical needs:
First is how we’re working for you. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused organizations worldwide to alter their daily work processes, and when it comes to protecting our team members Charles Aris is no different. Like many of you, our team has transitioned to working from home. Executive search consultants are fortunate in that we can perform our day-to-day responsibilities virtually anywhere without experiencing any decline in productivity. One small silver lining is that we’ve found it easier to connect with prospective candidates, as many Americans are transitioning to a virtual workplace and are now more readily available for career discussions. I’m proud to announce that our recruiting efforts on your behalf have not slowed in the least.
Second is what we’re seeing in the marketplace. As many of you may know, executive search is a market-leading indicator. Our team members are often asked, “How’s business?”, knowing that as we go, so goes the future of business in America. So here‘s our facts: Two weeks ago, as COVID-19 began to take hold across the United States, Charles Aris was actively retained on 119 searches. Today I am thankful to report that we are actively retained on 115 searches. However, they are not all the same searches. Over the past two weeks, we’ve had eight searches placed on indefinite hold due specifically to the uncertainty caused by the virus; but we’ve also been pleased to initiate 5 new searches this week alone. Hopefully, this trend will continue for all parties involved.
Perhaps the biggest change we’re seeing is the manner in which companies interview candidates. The majority of our clients have now moved exclusively to virtual interviewing, with more heading in that direction every day. The biggest question they’re wrestling with is whether they’re comfortable extending an offer to a candidate they’ve yet to meet in person. Time will tell how this all plays out, but we’re seeing about half our clients committing to make offers without an on-site interview, and half deciding that they will only do so after meeting in person – even if that means a significant delay in their hiring process.
One creative way we’ve seen teams adjust to not hosting candidates on site is to record a short office tour on a smartphone. A simple hello and brief commentary as you walk through your workspace can enable candidates to see the location and envision working there with your team.
The net-net is that Charles Aris continues to forge ahead on all of your searches. As always, we are fully committed to delivering a world-class candidate slate for each of your projects, and we stand ready to adjust our processes and timelines to suit your needs in this challenging time.
To all of our clients, candidates and friends of the firm, we say “thank you” for continuing to be a valued member of our community and we hope you stay safe and secure in the coming weeks. Thank you.