Recruitment of top executives has a record in the 1st semester, research shows

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The market for recruiting top executives ended the first half of the year in a turmoil and with consultancies specialized in prospecting these professionals reaching a record volume of work.

It’s just that the musical chairs in the highest ranks of corporations intensified with the cooling of the pandemic and the return of face-to-face activities.

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Most of the increase in movements at the highest level is due to changes in staff postponed by Covid-19 and projects interrupted and now resumed.

But a portion of the increase in hiring is also due to the end of the “honeymoon” between companies and executives – in the case of those who changed jobs at the height of the pandemic and, without knowing the teams, were unable to lead them remotely.

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A survey by the American consultancy Signium, which specializes in high-level hiring (the so-called C-Level, in market jargon), showed a 62% growth in the number of admissions in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2021.

The contracts were made by multinationals and large national companies.

Of the total admissions, 80% were motivated by substitutions and, of these, 32% concern movements of professionals who had changed jobs in the pandemic and did not work out.

“It’s a considerable number”, says Eduardo Drummond, a partner at Signium.

He points out that, for these positions, the main requirement is the ability to influence and manage people. And, if the executive cannot do this from a distance, it is difficult to keep him in the company.

“Some executives changed in the pandemic and realized that the new job was not what they expected. Now, they are making a new move”, says Tiago Salomão, senior partner at Korn Ferry, another important consultancy.


In addition to the resumption of projects – the main factor – Salomão says that mergers between companies have led to changes in governance and required new hires.

Between February and April, for example, Korn Ferry had a 22% growth in global revenue from recruiting services for executives, presidents and board members compared to the same months in 2021.

“It was the best quarter in history globally, regionally and locally.”

Page Executive, which specializes in senior management, also increased its revenue in the country by 135% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2021.

“It seems an absurd number, but it’s historic, it’s real”, says Paulo Dias, a partner at Page.

The most demanded positions were financial director, president, commercial director, business director, operations director and directors.

Search for results and difficulty in adapting lead to changes in companies

More than half (60%) of the changes of executives in high-ranking positions registered in the first half of this year – regardless of the reasons for the change – occurred on the initiative of companies, which saw the results not being achieved, according to a survey by the American consultancy Signium, specialized in the recruitment of these professionals.

On the executives’ side, among the main reasons for wanting to change jobs, there was the difficulty of cultural adaptation, enhanced by the fact that teams are working remotely during the pandemic, points out Eduardo Drummond, a partner at the consultancy.

Another reason was the divergence in the work model desired by the executive (on-site or remote) and that offered by the company, in addition to the professional’s intention to seek companies that increasingly have values ​​that he considers aligned with his life purposes — another reason. trend that was accentuated by the pandemic.

These reasons were confirmed in a recent survey carried out by the consultancy with hired executives. The survey showed that 43% of them indicated the difficulty of adapting to the company’s culture as the reason for the change, followed by the hybrid work model or home office (26%), scope of work (17%) and remuneration (13% ).

“People aren’t leaving one company to go to another because of salary,” says Drummond. The moment of forced stop caused by the pandemic made the leaders start to reflect on the cultural identity with the company in which they work and if the purposes are coincident, if they have the same “footprint”, says the consultant.


This was the case of Eduardo Roveri, 40 years old, graduated in business administration, with an MBA in people management from FGV, and who has been working in high positions in the human resources area in large companies for 20 years.

After 15 years in the beverage industry, in 2019 he went to work at an American multinational forklift trucks. There, he stayed until June of this year, when he returned to his origins. Roveri says he was happy at the previous company but was drawn to the new one by purpose. “I connected with the company proposal.”

The European multinational has been in Brazil for ten years and is now planning a factory in the country. It will be the first production facility outside Europe, and Roveri says the company’s purpose is to be the best-loved brand, not the best-selling.

“It caught my attention and made me want to be a part of this story.”

The executive says that he was approached by a headhunter and that he accepted to go through several stages of selection even before receiving the salary proposal, a little higher than he earned at the old company.

However, this information was only known to him at the final stage of the negotiations. “What weighed more was the purpose of building a brand that values ​​quality, with a factory that uses a lot of technology and focused on sustainability.”

For two months, the executive has been at the forefront of this new challenge of building the multinational’s human resources area in Brazil from scratch. He is number one in the area in the country and reports to the company’s president in Brazil and Europe.

Roveri is an example of the changes in behavior of high-ranking professionals that have occurred in the pandemic. “The pandemic made us reflect more on ourselves, and many of these reflections led people to change their lives and work.”

In practice, he has watched this transformation in search of purpose not only personally, but also among the professionals he has hired. “That’s the trend for upper- and middle-ranking positions.”

The information is from the newspaper. The State of São Paulo.

Source: CNN Brasil

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