Eurozone Crisis Drives Corporates to Seek Innovators, but Austerity Measures May See Execs Leave Region
The current economic crisis in the eurozone is driving major changes in the type of senior executives companies in the region are recruiting, according to IIC Partners EMEA Board Director Myriam Walgraef, a partner at Brussels-based executive search firm Hoffman & Associates.
"Before the current eurozone volatility, many firms were looking to hire c-level executives and senior managers with proven functional experience in the same industry, for example, a pharmaceutical company wanted someone with strong pharma experience," Mrs Walgraef says.
"Now we are seeing a huge demand for three main competencies that our client companies require of their leadership - innovation ability, creativity and change potential. They want executives who will be impactful, challenge the status quo, really drive the organization and win people over."
Mrs Walgraef, who has worked in executive search for 16 years, says she has also observed marked changes in the way companies are running their businesses due to the crisis with "a lot of executive movement in the context of reorganization, optimization and lean programs".
"There is still tremendous opportunity in Europe - it is one of the strongest global economies despite the financial challenges. But entrepreneurship and investment are key to the eurozone recovery in combination as well as the planned austerity measures."
Mrs Walgraef says a number of her clients and corporate contacts are not at all optimistic about the future of their businesses within the eurozone if taxes continue to increase and fiscal measures stifle entrepreneurship.
"And of course, there are discussions within a number of eurozone countries that executive pay packages in both the public and private sectors should be capped at 'reasonable' levels.
"But talented executives are motivated by how well they are rewarded and their contributions benefit not only their companies, but all those employed by those companies, their local economies and the eurozone as a whole.
"There is a real risk that we will lose top talent if the right steps are not taken to foster business within the region. If not, I see key players moving out of the eurozone, to growing economies such as Brazil and parts of Asia.
"So it is imperative a balance is struck between high regulation and the free economy to ensure key individuals stay within the eurozone at a time when we need the best leadership possible," Mrs Walgraef said.
IIC Partners is a world No. 10 retained executive search organization with 54 offices in 38 countries. Within the eurozone, IIC Partners has offices in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Its vision is to build on its 26 years of success as the retained executive search partnership of choice. Through global reach, industry expertise and local knowledge, IIC Partners is trusted to deliver the highest quality retained executive search services, enabling the continued success of its clients.
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