What is the future of executive recruitment? Will you be ready?

Supporting diverse clients in diverse industries internationally has given Gerard Daniels a front row seat to observe many market shifts and changes over time. This insight, gained from more than 30 years of industry experience, knowledge and networks, has allowed Gerard Daniels to lead by example and to adapt quickly. It also helps us to support clients and candidates in working differently and embracing important market changes as well.


“Gerard Daniels has a unique position in executive search to be able to look at and scan across a range of industries and to see all of the changes that are happening,” explains Gerard Daniels Co-Founder and Director, Lloyd Smith.

Embracing change

In recent times Lloyd and other Gerard Daniels leaders have observed some notable changes around

  1. The experience businesses are looking for on boards and executive leadership teams
  2. The types of roles that businesses are recruiting for
  3. The technology that clients (and Gerard Daniels) rely on
  4. The paradigm for determining strategic priorities
  5. The market factors that are affecting and influencing clients
  6. And the way that many businesses are leading and supporting their people.

To keep up with changing client needs and market conditions, Gerard Daniels – like its clients – has had to adapt. “It’s very easy to get left behind when changes like these happen,” says Gerard Daniels Co-Founder and Director Michael McAnearney. “But particularly in the last two years through COVID I think Gerard Daniels has adapted well and supported the way organisations themselves had to flex, through our technology, through the way our people think and in how we will serve organisations into the future. The world has changed forever in terms of working hours and days and of course teams and zoom have become ubiquitous.”

Changing market influences

ESG (or environmental, social and governance) is a significant market factor affecting businesses today. It’s driving change and transformation in the way businesses plan, how we operate and in what we value. As ESG issues gain strategic significance there is also a growing focus among clients to recruit experienced senior leaders that can help businesses to deliver on these issues.

“As clients respond to changing markets some of the key themes we are now discussing with them are around ESG, technology, remote working, and hybrid working models,” explains Raj Rajesh, Gerard Daniels Managing Partner for EMEA. “More importantly we are discussing the collaboration between boards and management teams, particularly the Chair and the CEO.”

COVID is another important market-wide factor that has changed how we work, how we do business, and continues to challenge what is important to us as leaders and as individuals. Having entered and remained in the spotlight to support the global response to COVID, the healthcare sector continues also to experience considerable challenges and change.

“We’re seeing clients looking at lots of ways to work smarter and to bring technology into place,” says Jennifer Grove, a Partner at Gerard Daniels. “But despite the focus on technology and innovation, the basic premise is still people in dealing with people and their capacity to build relationships.”

New skills, new focus, new accountability

As the issues that drive and shape businesses continue to change and evolve, the types of roles and the kind of experience represented at executive and board level is changing too. Businesses need new skills, new thinking and new experience to support their decision making – a change that is having ripple effects across all sectors, commercial, government and for purpose organisations.

“Right now, all of our board members and CEOs are having to acquire a new education – and fast,” says Lloyd. “If it wasn’t challenging enough thinking about the digital economy, we’re now well past that.”

With new skills and new focus, comes new accountability too. “Today there is constant and growing accountability demanded of directors of public listed companies and other similar enterprises,” says Michael. “I don’t think there’s ever been a period in which outside examination of boards and directors has been more intense.”

The only way for businesses to keep up with change is to anticipate and embrace it. “As a board member if you’re innately curious, and at ease with self-reflection and looking at how things can be done differently, then you will position yourself well into the future,” Jen concludes.

After 35 years Gerard Daniels continues to grow and evolve alongside our valued clients and candidates. Reach out for support and advice on future proofing your business today.

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