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Business & Leadership

An Optimistic Outlook for Search Firm Leadership in 2022

January 20, 2022 ──── Bert Miller
Employment Trends, Leadership, Talent Access

An Optimistic Outlook for Search Firm Leadership in 2022

For nearly two years, search firms and businesses around the world have risen to the challenges of the COVID-19 economy. Issues that were first considered temporary disruptions have lasted much longer than anticipated but have proven surmountable as leaders now shift their focus from recovery to growth.

Within the search industry, recruiting firm owners and leaders are reimagining and renewing their firms. They are standing up to the challenges of the pandemic, showing remarkable resilience, and taking advantage of tremendous growth potential within the talent access industry.

Entrepreneurship & Recruiting Are on the Rise

In 2020, 4.4 million new businesses opened in the United States, up 24% from the previous year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 1.4 million business applications were filed in the third quarter of 2021 alone, setting a new record. 

With more than 10 million jobs open in the U.S. alone, it’s an unprecedented time for recruiting and for entrepreneurship. The war for talent, combined with many professionals’ desire to change careers or open their own businesses, has many people looking to recruiting as the next chapter in their careers. Within MRINetwork, we’re seeing not just a return to pre-pandemic levels of profitability, but a notable increase in revenue and business opportunities. MRI recruitment firms are becoming more selective about the assignments they take on. With the talent shortage and ever-increasing skills gap, there is significant need for specialized recruiting expertise and services. MRI firms are meeting this global need, and offering new, innovative strategies and solutions to their candidates.

Lessons for Leaders: Engaging & Retaining Top Talent

As business leaders set their sights on growth, they’re recognizing the need to develop leadership practices that reflect the needs — and the demands — of their teams. It is incumbent on them to prioritize their people and create stronger connections with the people who work with them if they want to engage and retain them.

Companies are working to create environments that support employee well-being and career goals, in addition to increasing compensation and benefits. They’re working to help employees align their personal, professional, and financial goals, to achieve satisfaction and fulfillment.

So how do leaders achieve this?

By reexamining what it means to lead. This may require leaders to leave their comfort zone and dramatically alter their long-held perceptions of leadership. Increasingly, leaders need to take a step back from the day-to-day, and reassess what their business is trying to achieve, and how they want to achieve it. The opportunity to create a better future for their organizations — and their people — exists only if leaders concentrate on strategies that reflect the new reality, rather than try to revert back to how things used to be. 

By taking responsibility for openness and honesty as foundations of a supportive culture. When a culture is clearly defined and understood by team members, the end result is peak employee and organizational performance. It can be very informative for leaders to examine how their culture has changed over the past two years — and just as informative if it hasn’t changed at all.

By embracing change, adaptability, and agility. If we look back to March 2020, we see that the companies that pivoted their products and processes to virtual and flexible solutions survived and succeeded. Change is a constant, and leaders need to use their position to provide the support and the tools their employees need to manage change effectively. Effective change management starts with leaders becoming more agile and open to change themselves.

Realizing Business Goals in 2022. 2022 is a time for leaders to take stock, and make real, sustainable progress to benefit their businesses, their people, and society as a whole. The pandemic ushered in new expectations and priorities surrounding the World of Work and our daily lives. If entrepreneurs and leaders continue to harness business ingenuity, agility, and flexibility, they can reinvent themselves and shape a new World of Work: one focused on fulfillment, optimism, and a more rewarding future.