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Industry Insiders: Allison Dwyer on Executive Search

Summit Search Group

Allison Dwyer


Allison Dwyer


Great leadership is essential to any company’s success. At Summit Search Group, we’re proud to offer experienced executive search to meet your team’s goals.

In a global workplace that has been turned upside down in just a few months, feeling uncertain about company culture is a common problem. Teams look to their executive management for strength, inspiration, and motivation, especially for those who’ve recently found themselves in the ranks of a remote or distributed workforce. Those looking to hire new leadership have challenging demands in a tough market, and we’re here to help.

Industry Challenges in Executive Search

Executive search is among the most intense hiring challenges. Our in-house recruitment expert and executive search specialist Allison Dwyer is personally familiar with the industry’s intricacies — and its recent changes.

“Today’s executive search industry is highly competitive,” Allison notes. “Executives in a variety of functional areas are in demand, and the competition is serious. Things have evolved dramatically in this area – candidates tend to have more choice when assessing new opportunities. But while COVID-19 has slowed hiring in certain areas, executive roles will continue to exist. Our world has changed, but great positions are still out there.”

Executive Search and COVID-19

COVID-19 has shattered routines and sparked new ways of thinking about work. We’re reassessing ideas about the modern office space, the pros and cons of commutes, and how we connect with each other.

“COVID-19 has in many ways forced organizations to re-evaluate the types of leadership profiles that are needed to succeed,” Allison adds. “If the onset of the pandemic in Canada forced very traditional office environments to quickly adapt to remote work arrangements, it also brought the issue of remote leadership and how to engage, motivate and retain team members remotely to the forefront. It has clearly become a priority in the executive search space.

The ability to excel within a highly ambiguous work environment and economy is also very important, and sets candidates apart in most industries across the board right now.”

Executive Search and the Future

In today’s market, Allison points to another hot topic: diversity and inclusion. D&I roles specifically have skyrocketed, with research from ZoomInfo indicating that the number of roles has grown by 113% in just five years. That said, candidates vying for those specific jobs aren’t the only ones concerned with the subject.

“This conversation is continually evolving. What’s clear is that hiring organizations and executive recruitment firms alike need to fully understand the importance of these programs, both from a recruitment and talent attraction perspective as well as being able to articulate how the hiring organization incorporates D&I into its company culture,” she adds.

Tips for Finding Top Executive Talent

“In the executive search business, much is based on relationships and networks,” Allison emphasizes. “But today, information about hiring organizations is also more readily available online, and networks are broad and wide.”

This is another way that she sees the industry shifting in the wake of COVID — person-to-person interaction is more limited, and the normal coffee meeting or casual lunch has been replaced by the video interview. It’s hard to predict how this part of executive search networks will evolve, and what a standard interview will look and feel like in the future.

Nimbleness and ability to thrive, even in an uncertain economy, join key strengths like clear language and conciseness in helping exceptional executive talent stand out. “Prior experience in areas like crisis management is important,” adds Allison. “Presence is also a critical factor, no matter the executive role we’re recruiting for.”

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Industry Insiders: Allison Dwyer on Executive Search

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