Leaders Infected With Stress Resilience // Pandemic Created Demand for New Leaders in the Labor Market

According to a number of recruiting agencies, there is a growing demand in the Russian labor market for new types of managers who are able to manage stress, uncertainty and potential opportunities, as well as who are ready to inspire subordinates and build “green” communications. The update to the request from employers reflects the difficulties that businesses faced during the coronavirus pandemic: a shortage of certain personnel and the need to manage remote teams of workers.

The coronavirus pandemic and a number of labor market changes caused by it forced employers to adjust the requirements for job seekers for leadership positions. This conclusion can be drawn from a study by the Russian recruiting agency UTEAM. It is partially confirmed by labor market data collected by analysts from Kontakt InterSearch Russia and Kelly Services.

Recall that in 2020, several important changes took place in the Russian labor market – for example, the unemployment rate for the first time in several years exceeded 6%. At the same time, certain industries – primarily the construction industry – faced a shortage of personnel. A significant part of the employees was forced to work remotely – at the peak their number in the Russian Federation reached 3 million (for more details, see Kommersant, May 14).

New trends in the labor market, according to UTEAM estimates, have changed the demand for executives from companies. If before the pandemic, employers most often looked for candidates who demonstrated the potential to manage themselves, tasks and people, now these requirements are gradually being supplemented, and often replaced by several new ones. So, now employers are looking for managers who can manage stress. As noted in UTEAM, employers increasingly want to see in top positions those who know how to interact with the team and clients “through the positive” and do not lose their composure in any situation. Maintaining stability in a period of uncertainty, as well as the ability to guide people through it, is an indicator of managerial efficiency for 65% of employers. 55% of the respondents identified change management and the ability to see new opportunities among the competencies necessary for a leader. The same number of respondents named the ability to inspire and support the team as a significant leadership skill. 49% of respondents indicated the importance of a manager’s ability to build “green” communications, both with clients and with the team.

“The ability not only to save, but also to support, inspire people, including by personal example, turned out to be worth its weight in gold during the pandemic: you need to understand your employees, see their growth points, delve into values,” says Irina Antonenko, head of the department for recruiting UTEAM personnel. Kontakt InterSearch Russia is evaluating the new requirements for managers in a similar way. Most of the time, male leaders lack emotional intelligence, teamwork and innovative thinking, according to a survey of employers conducted by the agency. Female leaders, on the other hand, often lack strategic vision, emotional intelligence, and leadership skills. As Olga Kopylova, head of Kelly Services recruitment departments, notes, without these competencies, it will indeed be extremely difficult for a business to survive in a post-like economy. “Against the background of the increased volume of work and the transition of employees to remote work, the business needs to keep current and hire new employees, and only competent managers can do this,” she notes.

Anastasia Manuilova

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