Leading Through Uncertainty: Guidance for Business Leaders in the Wake of Brexit
Below you will find a summary of our findings or you can read the full report.
What is the current landscape?
How the UK’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union will impact the business environment, not only in the UK and throughout Europe, but globally, is still unfolding. The Brexit process will be lengthy and as the political environment evolves, a clearer picture of the economic effects will come into focus. Following the vote however, it is clear that a mood of uncertainty has penetrated across sectors, from Financial Services to Industrial. Organizational leaders are being influenced by the current climate and it is having an impact on decision making.
Sectors at a Glance
The majority (59%) of executive search and leadership consultants participating in AESC’s survey expected Finance/ Banking to be most impacted, anticipating negative growth within the sector in the wake of Brexit. When surveying those based in the UK, the percentage rose to 86% expecting negative growth for the sector. The Industrial sector was also expected to experience a slowdown, with 46% of those surveyed expecting negative growth (rising to 57% when surveying those based in the UK). On a positive note, most other sectors were not expected to experience any negative change in their growth rates for the foreseeable future, and more than a third (39%) of survey respondents expected Business & Professional Services to grow, indicating optimism within the sector as businesses focus on issues related to Legal and Compliance post-Brexit vote and seek outside expertise and counsel.
What can organizational leaders do now?
In AESC’s survey, executive search and leadership consultants across Europe provided insights to business leaders on what they can do now to be best prepared in the post-Brexit environment. Recommendations include:
• DEVELOP A CLEAR TALENT ATTRACTION STRATEGY.
Consider how to attract top talent equipped to handle volatile business conditions; Develop attractive compensation packages that will attract cross-border talent when required.
• ENSURE A TALENT RETENTION PLAN IS IN PLACE.
Organizations don’t want to lose top talent they already have or experience organizational brain drain; Have a plan for retaining foreign nationals.
• CONTINUE TO DEVELOP CURRENT TALENT.
Home-grown talent becomes even more critical in times of uncertainty; Failing to develop current talent can make organizations more risk-prone and unprepared to deal with volatility.
• LEAD WITH AGILITY.
The current climate will require leaders who can lead through ambiguity; Ensure your executive team is properly coached in adaptable leadership and able to respond and change directions quickly based on market conditions.
• MAP TALENT FOR THE FUTURE.
Don’t delay having a strategic plan in place that maps the talent required for the future of your organization; A talent map is a competitive business advantage that prepares you to act opportunistically when situations arise and allows you to seize talent required to propel your business forward.
What can executive-level candidates do now?
• BE PREPARED FOR CHANGE.
Make sure your career documents are not only up-to-date, but impactful enough to stand out from other executives in this competitive environment. This includes reworking your resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter and executive bio.
• BE PROACTIVE AT NETWORKING.
Executives should build and develop their networks throughout their careers, both offline and online. Your LinkedIn profile should be fully-optimized with industry-specific keywords to attract new opportunities, and position you as an industry thought leader.
• BE STRATEGIC.
During times of uncertainty, it can be good practice to take a step back and assess the bigger picture. What do you need to do now to ensure you have a career management plan in place? If you need help or advice on how to tackle these bigger questions and create a more advanced strategy, career coaching may be a good option.
How Can AESC Members Help?
AESC members provide companies with a competitive advantage—the ability to find, attract and develop the best talent in the world and ensure that executives are successfully integrated. By virtue of selecting an AESC member, clients can be secure in their choice of consulting firm, and can reap the benefits that only a trusted advisor can deliver. To learn more about AESC and to view a list of AESC members, visit www.aesc.org. To learn more about AESC’s career service for executive-level candidates, visit www.bluesteps.com.