As a senior executive, finding and landing the perfect job traditionally takes a whole lot of time and effort. With businesses freezing or even reducing headcount in view of the coming economic downturn, executive job search is now harder than ever before — and the majority of the senior executives who attended the Page Executive webinar on 17 September 2020 agreed with the sentiment. 

Titled ‘The Executive Search: New Opportunities for Asia’s Senior Leaders’, nearly 250 senior executives from across the Asia-Pacific region attended the exclusive event, which brought together a panel of talent acquisition leaders to share best practices and potential pitfalls regarding executive job search. 

In case you missed the webinar, here are some of the key takeaways from the session. 

Clockwise from top left: Steve Parkes, Senior Partner at Page Executive Hong Kong; Jennifer Xu, Regional Human Resources Director, Asia Pacific at Survitec Group; Mabel Tang, the Head of Talent Acquisition, Asia Pacific at Moët Hennessy; Anne-Marie McCaughan, Greater China Recruitment Head at GlaxoSmithKline; Ash Mishra, Head of Talent Management, Asia Pacific, Ericsson; Jon Goldstein, Senior Partner, Page Executive 

The changing face of hiring

The webinar began with a question posed by Steve Parkes, Senior Partner at Page Executive Hong Kong and host of the event: What is the greatest challenge you face during an executive job search? According to the results, 65% of attendees said that they received ‘limited or no response’ from prospective employers. ‘Difficulty to reach appropriate contacts’ and ‘the inability for search firms to find appropriate openings’ also received 54% apiece. 

These results did not come as a surprise for Shauna Bull, Regional Account Director, Search & Staffing Asia Pacific at LinkedIn. One reason, according to Bull, is the fact that many senior executives either under utilise their LinkedIn accounts or have neglected them altogether. This despite the fact that more than 80% of attendees said that online profiles were ‘absolutely essential’ when it comes to searching for a job. 

One quick fix is to share recommended articles, unique insights and relevant industry news. According to Bull, this alone will boost your LinkedIn account’s impressions and engagements by 11.6 and 16.5 times respectively. Bull also recommended senior executives to interact authentically with their audience, use video to increase engagement, as well as to focus on topics other industry leaders care for. “Make sure that your profile is built out as much as possible,” Bull suggested. “Recruiters are filtering by skill and employment history, so the more filled out your LinkedIn profile is, the more likely you will be seen.” 

Speaking of the changing landscape of hiring, Anne-Marie McCaughan, Greater China Recruitment Head at GlaxoSmithKline, also shared her thoughts on the rise of virtual interviews. “It’s a positive change for everybody. It cuts out extra layers of work. Smart recruiting process is shortening the hiring process, and video is a step in a simpler direction. It’s not a grim reality that people make it out to be,” she said. “The technology is now more sophisticated. We are improving the quality of assessment. Hiring platforms now allow us to filter people and take out some of the inherent biases.” 

This is an abridged version of the full article. For the full version, visit the Page Executive blog here.