Welcome to

Welcome to

Top Women in business home



Top Women is a trusted network of gender-empowered companies and…

TW Publication

The authority on gender empowerment in business for nearly 20 years.




Stay up to date with the latest news in Women Empowerment


Top Women Podcasts

Welcome to Top Women Business Unusual Podcast

Top Women Masterclasses

Welcome to Top Women in Business Masterclasses

TW Conference

Join the world’s fastest growing platform for women who lead!
You need to consider becoming a certified women-owned business

Top Women Certified Companies

TW Awards

Are you ready to showcase your gender empowerment?




Contact us

Want to get in touch? We’d love to hear from you.


Visit our office

The authority on gender empowerment in business for nearly 20 years.

Skilled Talent Alert: The impact of the pandemic on Executive Search

Skilled Talent Alert: The impact of the pandemic on Executive Search

Written by Staff Writer

November 29, 2021

By Vanessa Rogers 


The early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic held many things worth forgetting – stock-piling toilet paper in a never-ending heap, hoping the black market would continue to supply booze and ciggies indefinitely, and standing at one’s gate crying over the social freedoms we all used to know.

The hiring and executive search market also saw many shifts: from formerly gunning for a senior executive who, for example, had “simply mastered the fundamentals of accounting; treasury; and operations” to desiring one who had “ideas about building virtual ties; stellar cash management abilities; was tech-savvy; and could orchestrate a virtual financial close”. No mean feat, we must add, for the candidates involved.

So: what are the executive search trends in this vibrant post-pandemic period, and what are the changes we’re likely to see as more companies look beyond recovery, and onwards towards growth – and prosperity – in 2022 and beyond?


Virtual assessment for the win

 In the absence of social assessment opportunities, skilled recruiters have told the researchers at Deloitte, who put together the recent CFO Insights report, that they are “increasingly turning to cultural compatibility and psychometric assessment tools delivered digitally or online”, along with “simulation-based virtual interviews”, where candidates unpack – in detail – how they would deal with a work challenge via a platform such as Zoom.


Boards give input

If boards used to take a back foot in the hiring process, they’ve changed their tune post-pandemic and are making sure they’re involved; right from early on. What they want is candidates who can “strengthen balance sheets, develop policies to protect employees, and safeguard shareholder interests”. These inputs are all the more important when the economy is precariously placed.


Patience for internal applicants

Being in-house at a firm, in a junior role, no longer means you’ll be up for promotion any time soon. A senior, skilled external candidate is likely to be more appealing to a company that’s made it through the pandemic unscathed, than a junior from within their own ranks who has been relatively sheltered.


People skills trump all

Can you communicate well and collaborate effectively with your team and other staff members? Yes, please. These “softer traits” – empathy, compassion, reflection, openness, and communication, say researchers, are likely to put an executive ahead in the future; even more than the traditional “dominance, risk-taking, and assertive take-charge style”. This is because staff members work well when they’re understood and heard; it’s a positive thing that the pandemic has left us with.


According to Jeremy Bossenger, director at BossJansen Executive Search: “We look for CFOs and other senior executives who are curious, energetic and keen to learn. There are many ways to do this, which certainly come out in interviews – investigating what other firms and nations are doing; listening to shareholders and stakeholders; analysing and sharing an opinion on data. It’s not easy to be a senior manager – you need to manage remotely, with both empathy and strategy. And then there’s the need for a senior staff member, such as your new CFO, to be more tech savvy than any up-and-coming junior. We’re here to put your firm ahead by eeking out these characteristics up front,” he enthuses.



*For more, check out our bumper 16th edition of the Standard Bank Top Women Leaders publication on Issuu – Digital Publishing Platform – here

*Stay up to date with all the latest on Top Women in SA, by signing up to the Standard Bank Top Women newsletter – here

Follow Us On Facebook

Follow Us On

Standard bank top women

empowering women in africa

You May Also Like…

Achieving excellence: Discipline and commitment

Achieving excellence: Discipline and commitment

In a recent interview, Katherine Persson, Head of SOLA Assets in South Africa, offers a glimpse into her extraordinary journey as a leader in renewable energy and open water swimming. She discusses the principles of discipline, hard work, and unwavering commitment that have moulded her diverse career, reflecting on her path to top-tier success.

Women leading the charge in South Africa’s circular economy

Women leading the charge in South Africa’s circular economy

“Women are still not equally represented in the waste industry – especially at higher leadership – but this is changing as industries and corporations at large learn the power of having more diverse teams,” said Preola Adam, PETCO board member.