In my 22 years as an executive recruiter I have never encountered a more unusual executive labour market, but after two simply remarkable years that have tested the world, 2022 surely presents a chance for us all to reset and reflect.
With Adelaide now fully recognised as one of the best cities globally in which to live and work, we have every opportunity to step boldly forward and make the most of our good fortune. Make no mistake, challenges still present from living with COVID to chronic shortages and surpluses of certain professional skill sets to massive disruption in many industry settings, but overall the conditions are there for growth and success.
Sustained low interest rates, a residential housing boom that has increased personal wealth for many and a renewed sense of pride in our great state should carry us forward and build more opportunities for executives wanting to progress or change their careers… or even go it alone.
The Great Resignation is not a myth.
We are clearly seeing a trend towards people searching to come to or stay in Adelaide for more meaningful professional pathways, often choosing lower-paid positions to regain a sense of purpose and better balance.
A major force behind this trend is also the way people ‘feel’ at work, and this trend to change the workplace stems from leadership and culture.
The importance of constructive leadership behaviours has never been higher than it is right now and will be throughout the year as, hopefully, the pandemic moves into a less dangerous phase.
People are looking for humility, grace, warmth, vulnerability, flexibility, integrity, kindness and self-awareness in their leaders. These are a few of the key attributes we as recruiters look for in executives when matching them with companies and industries.
The businesses we work with are all seeking leaders who can disagree without being disagreeable, keep their egos in check and call out bad behaviour.
On top of these important social skills, leaders of today also need to be able to forge and articulate a vision. And, as we have seen countless times in the past year, declare their conflicts of interest.
Most of all, companies of all sizes, from the top of the ASX to startups and not-for-profits, should seek authenticity, alacrity and positivity.
My advice for anyone looking to move between jobs or careers is to treat every interaction as though the person is a potential referee and look for chances every day to do something without immediate personal gain.
As you climb up, down or across the South Australian corporate ladder this year, I encourage every professional to tread carefully and respectfully.
Lead as if everyone is watching you.
Let’s all raise the tone of leadership in this brilliant city we call home. Onwards to a bright 2022!
Hender Consulting provides the latest executive positions in Corporate Ladder each week, beginning again at the end of January.