Recruiting company secretaries and governance professionals during COVID-19

Despite the slight ease of lockdown measures, the return to the office and face-to-face interview processes still seems distant. Although many sectors are struggling and have put recruitment on hold altogether, there is still recruitment activity in the governance market both for permanent and interim positions. If anything, secretariats are busier than ever with an increased number of board meetings around business continuity and crisis management.

Recruitment practices have completely shifted, as now interviews are taking place online, via various platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or bespoke software used by employers. While some are hesitant to progress to offers based on virtual interviews alone, many employers hiring - especially for business-critical or replacement roles - have taken the plunge and even onboarded new team members remotely, with the help of their IT and HR departments.

There are a few things employers can implement for their peace of mind when hiring during the lockdown:

  • Use competency-based scenario questions during the interview; this type of questions will give you an insight into a candidate’s past performance and personality traits, which are a good indicator of future performance.
  • Use tests to assess specific skills, such as minuting capabilities, numerical and verbal reasoning tests to determine general ability or psychometric tests to evaluate whether a candidate will be a good cultural fit.
  • Introduce additional interview stages for the candidate to meet more team-members or key stakeholders.
  • Use a trusted recruiter; they will be able to carry out an initial screening to make sure you only interview the best candidates available for the position. At The Core Partnership, we will have met all of our candidates (either face-to-face or now ‘virtually’) and developed these relationships over many years, so our clients can feel confident about the candidates we shortlist.

Despite the disadvantages of a virtual recruitment process, there are also some advantages. With people working remotely, it is a lot easier to schedule video-calls, which in turn speeds-up the recruitment process. Also, there are minimal associated costs as neither party has to travel to get to the interview. Lastly, if following this period, you are happy to consider permanent remote workers, the candidate pool available will be a lot wider.

If you are still reluctant to commit to a permanent hire, but the workload is pressing, hiring a contractor or temporary worker is your next best option! It is a great way of accessing skilled resource quickly and for the time that you need it.

Mariza Dimaki is a Recruitment Partner at The Core Partnership, who are specialists in the recruitment of Company Secretaries, Governance and Compliance people. The team provides market advice on relevant qualifications and experience, conducts salary and benchmarking exercises and works throughout the UK and overseas recruiting at all levels to this specific discipline.

If you need advice on staff retention, benchmarking, permanent or interim hiring or would like to have a confidential discussion about your job search, then please reach out to a member of the team on 020 3589 0333.

www.core-partnership.co.uk

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