Rachel Davis

Co-Managing Director

Peter Howarth

Co-Managing Director

Welcome to the latest edition of the Armstrong Craven Review.

2020 marks Armstrong Craven’s 30th birthday, and never in our history have we had to support clients as they deal with such a period of disruption and rapid change. The range of reactions from clients has been unprecedented, with some postponing hiring activity and reducing the size of their talent teams, hunkering down to weather the storm, while others have seized the chance to look to the future, investing in identifying the talent that will give them a competitive edge when we return to the ‘new normal’. These reactions we know, are driven by a mixture of market or investor sentiment, cash reserves and of course, the impact of COVID-19 itself on their sector.

What is common is that as businesses start to look to the future, there are several themes that have appeared in how they are planning their talent acquisition strategies. We summarised these in our Talent Storm series, along with a recording of the webinar we ran with three leading industry experts giving their ‘views from the front line’.

We are already seeing the talent landscape changing, with new trends including:

  • Moving to a hybrid talent model with smaller in-house teams supported by external partners who offer more flexible and cost-effective models than the RPOs or traditional recruitment companies currently offer
  • Traditional executive search is under the spotlight as companies demand better value for money in their leadership hiring, and have to move fast to reduce costs themselves
  • Leadership talent pipelining has become more important as organisations look to reshape their executive teams and think about the future skills needed in the Boardroom, whilst the need to mitigate leadership risk is more urgent than ever
  • Diversity in all its forms has been brought into sharp focus in recent months, and companies are working harder than ever to understand how they can improve all types of diversity in their workforce to give themselves a competitive advantage
  • Embracing the virtual workforce - Understanding where people with rare skills are located in the world and how to bring them into an organisation virtually and manage them fully remotely to take advantage of the increased demand for home working.

Every organisation has had to change like never before. The 1,000-seat call centre where remote working was deemed impractical has gone to fully remote working within a matter of days, retailers have converted high street stores into warehouses, and some Boards have replaced functional experts with expert leaders. Whether it’s finding their future leaders, understanding their rapidly changing competitive landscape, improving the diversity of their workforce or answering any number of other talent problems, Armstrong Craven is proud to be able to help our clients manage their talent better through these turbulent times.

Closer to home, we were delighted to announce that on 8th July, Armstrong Craven became a majority employee-owned business. We have long believed that the well-known benefits of employee ownership, when combined with our extremely dedicated team, will be a recipe for success. We expect to see our business go from strength to strength under our new co-ownership structure.

We wish you the very best during these transformational times and look forward to the opportunity to support you in the coming months.