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How Savvy CEOs Are Turning the Talent Crisis into a Talent Opportunity

December 7, 2021

As we inch through the final weeks of 2021, the two-year mark of “pandemic working” is quickly approaching, and we’re starting to see some trends and patterns settle into place of this new norm.

From an employment perspective, there’s been no year quite like this one. More than 4.4 million people quit their jobs this September, representing a net total of 67.7 million quits cumulatively from September 2020 through September of this year.

Often referred to as The Great Resignation, there’s another emergent trend of prioritizing freedom and flexibility at work in a way never seen before. Coined The Great Reconsideration, this new employment norm seems to be shaking up workers in the tech industry, with 40% of quitters prioritizing flexibility and 41% looking for benefits beyond financial security in their next role.

The only question is – as a CEO, how should you think about team-building and talent strategy in 2022?

Converting the Talent Crisis into a Talent Opportunity

While many company leaders may perceive this talent shortage as a crisis, savvy CEOs are using this trend as a strategic advantage and explicitly leaning into flexible-first cultures, including at the most senior levels of leadership.

Through our on-demand talent marketplace at Bolster, we have a unique lens through which to view this trend. In collaboration with our partner, Silicon Valley Bank, we analyzed nearly 450 candidate slates that CEOs built on Bolster to understand what type of on-demand work is most sought-after today at the executive level.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Fractional work (or, part-time work on a regular, long-term basis) is the most sought-after among CEOs today, representing 37% of searches on Bolster
  • The most common executive function sought after for on-demand work is CMO, which represented 20% of all searches on our platform. Other top functions for on-demand work included CFO, CTO, CEO, and COO.
  • CEOs (or former CEOs), CMOs, and Chief Business Development Officers are the most likely executives to seek out on-demand work.

For a deeper look at the impact of quit rates on talent in the tech sector, read Silicon Valley Bank’s State of the Market report for Q4 2021 here.

Developing a Senior Talent Strategy that Scales

There’s a big paradigm shift that company leaders will need to overcome as this trend toward flexible-first roles continues in 2022 and beyond. As a starting point, we’re encouraging our Bolster clients (and all CEOs) to think about talent in a new way.

Rather than look to full-time workers for every gap, consider alternative talent types: Interim, fractional, coaching or advising, and even project-based work. Each of these permutations brings different benefits to the organization and may help provide stopgaps, supplemental leadership, or access to 10x executive talent at 10% of the cost.

Below is a go-to guide we’ve prepared to help you think through your approach to senior team-building between now and the end of the year.

And if you’re ready to get started with on-demand, executive talent today, we encourage you to sign up as a client on Bolster here.

-Bethany Crystal, December 7, 2021