Rachel Davis

Co-Managing Director

Peter Howarth

Co-Managing Director

Welcome to the latest edition of the Armstrong Craven Review.

Looking back on the last edition of the Armstrong Craven Review we are reminded, once again, that the world of talent has changed beyond all recognition in just a few short months. In the last edition, we outlined our hopes for 2021 as the vaccine rollout gave many of the major global trading nations hope to return to a more normal business environment, which has now been dubbed ‘the new normal’.

We had seen some tangible progress in tackling underrepresentation in the workplace, most notably in the US, as well as a surge in demand for tech talent and the early stages of the discussions around the ‘Future of Work’. It is heartening to see that the conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is still continuing and that so many companies are backing up words with actions. The real litmus test for DE&I in the workplace will be whether the raft of newly appointed Chief Diversity Officers actually get the budgets and authority to act that they need.

Over the last few months, organisations of all shapes and sizes have been looking at how, when and under what structure they return to the workplace. As part of our partnership with The People Space, we have been researching and comparing the various work patterns that companies are adopting, and importantly how these will impact underrepresented groups. As with so many things in business, there is no one size fits all, but the choices companies make today are very likely to impact their ability to hire and retain the best talent for years to come.

Throughout 2021 more companies have started to look to the future as restrictions have eased. It has created a huge demand for talent acquisition professionals worldwide, with online adverts for TA roles outstripping those for software developer jobs for the first time. At Armstrong Craven we are delighted that our global network of satisfied customers has been commissioning projects and recommending us to their peers. This has allowed us to grow our team from 50 to over 100 during the first half of 2021, with no signs of that growth slowing. So, a huge thank you from all of us to every client who has entrusted us to help deliver on their talent strategies so far this year.

2021 has seen many new themes emerging at an extraordinary pace as clients look for more efficient and cost-effective ways to secure and develop the best possible talent. These include:

  • Project-RPO – commissioning partners to help deliver multiple hires without a lengthy contract term;
  • Leadership risk and succession planning – the pandemic has shown that robust succession planning has never been more important, and companies are now looking to the whole talent market rather than just their internal cohort as they strive to find the best talent available, wherever they are;
  • ESG and sustainability – a huge concern for investors that is impacting remuneration and incentives for executive teams and creating another area of high demand for scarce skills
  • Deconstructed search – our model of offering only the elements of search that clients need is becoming ever more popular as companies look for better value and higher quality from their executive hiring partners

These four strategic talent imperatives often require support from a company that understands talent and can uncover not just the hard to find talent but its motivations, aspirations, and concerns. That is what we have been doing for over 30 years at Armstrong Craven, so please do contact us if you would like advice on any of these topics.