How The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Changing The Game In Latin America

July 28, 2020

AN INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK FOR THE COMING MONTHS

July 28, 2020 – Despite COVID-19 cases continuing to emerge in Latin America, each country has their own lockdown and economy policies. According to Focus- Economics.com, the global recession will pummel latin american economies through various channels including lower trade, commodity prices, tourism activity, remittances and domestic demand.

There’s no doubt the following months will be crucial for different industries and roles along the region.

“We are living in a moment of great uncertainty about what will happen”, said Alejandro Bagnato, Managing Partner of Glasford International Argentina. “Although it is risky to make precise projections, taking into account the global economic effects of COVID-19, Argentine businessmen are pessimistic about the evolution of the economy for the remainder of the year. Many specialists assure that we will see worse indicators than those of the crisis that Argentina went through in 2001”.

Meanwhile, there is more activity in the eCommerce, Logistics, Mass Consumption and Technology industry mainly. Consequently, there are new “players” in the market, such as Developers, Project Managers, Plannig, Data Analytics, Scrum Masters and Agile Coachs. “The war for talent is increasingly competitive”.

“Even with the pandemic, the increase in infections and deaths still punishes the country, the situation seems a little more promising for Brazilians, thanks to the gradual reopening of different sectors of society”, said Maria Reggini, from Glasford Interntional Brazil. “Although at the beginning of the pandemic some specialists talked about a fall in GDP by 2020 (around 9%), today these forecasts have been revised and it is believed that this fall will be approximately 6%. Our Minister of Economy, in his speech to the Nation in early July, reported that Brazil will surprise the world in the next 60 days. He declared that ‘the vital signs of the economy are preserved’ and that it will unlock investments in sanitation, cabotage, concessions, etc. In this context, companies will need C Level Executives and other professionals to participate in these mega opportunities and we, as Headhunters, will be highly mobilized”.

Reggiani also comments that they’re awating for new contracts. “We have already seen an improvement in demand in the months of June and July and, as surveys point to an increase in the consumer confidence index, we believe we will have more work in the coming months”.

“Being today in total lock-down in the capital of Chile, Santiago, except for the companies considered essential by the government, it is expected that in the next few months a large number of companies will resume their activity. By now, they will be able to start making adaptation decisions or change that had been suspended” said Pablo Massu, from Glasford International Chile.

Massu points out that the crisis caused by the pandemic will also have repercussions in several bankruptcies and layoffs of ompanies that have not been able to financially support this tough pandemic period. “In Chile, a pending issue must be resolved, a change of constitution, which would once again provoke a certain state of calm for business movements, a situation that should be defined in October 2020.”

“The perspective for the coming months is to continue managing the impact that COVID-19 generated at a global and comprehensive level of the labor market”, said Paola de Leonardis, Managing Partner of Glasford International Uruguay. “This means managing the consequences that have come and will come from such a profound change. This means leaving the state of shock or denial, to continue building new scenarios, these are products and services, in a new environment, even more dynamic and, also, of great uncertainty”.

De Leonardis also assures that we must continue to accompany clients to cope with the crisis situation, listening and advising in the construction of their new business model, their new way of working and managing. “And in turn, identify potential clients, offering them adequate responses, based on their new reality and the new needs they face. The labor market has had a strong impact, but it is recovering. The important thing is to be there, helping to cope with the crisis and to identify opportunities, which also exist”.

PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FROM OUR EXPERTS

Considering the current situation, is it advisable to postpone a selection process? Why?

Despite the difficulties that companies are going through, it is an ideal scenario to hire. There are excellent candidates available, both professionals who have been disassociated and those who are interested in making a change in their career, or simply move to another area.

Dialoguing with each of them and continuing with the selection processes, not only allows the organization to remain relevant in the market, but also to have a broad advantage over the competition.

And in COVID-19 times, the world of Human Resources is changing completely. The impossibility of organizing face- to-face interviews has had a great impact on the capacity of each organization to meet and evaluate candidates. – Alejandro Bagnato  (Glasford International Argentina)

What are the best strategies to attract key talent in the midst of a crisis?

Despite the difficulties that companies are going through, it is an ideal scena. To attract talent and also clients, we have adopted, with the advice of a communications company, a constant presence in professional (LinkedIn) and social media (Instagram and Facebook), with the reinforcement of our brand and the dissemination of positive and attractive content. One of the modalities is the “RH – Convida” live. In June, we invited a specialist in Corporate Governance to develop, with the help of our Operations Manager, the topic: Impacts of the pandemic: collective and dynamic awareness of Corporate Governance in Organization Management. The next topic should deal with 5.0 society. -A proposal for a model of social organization in which technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) are used to create solutions focused on human needs. With the pandemic, this modality gains strength, bringing significant changes in the management style of organizations.

In addition, we take widespread action from our consultants to connect with more professionals, through a ‘virtual coffe’ to discuss the reality of the market. These types of activities turned out to be very effective in strengthening and maintaining relationships and building trust.  – María Reggiani (Glasford International Brazil)

What are the tools and skills that the HR professional should learn?

In a new post-pandemic period, human resources executives and professionals, and professionals in general, will have to adapt to new technologies and remote working modalities, since teleworking and electronic commerce will be more relevant for future subsistence. – Pablo Massu (Glasford International Chile)

What leadership style do organizations need for the New Normal? How to evaluate it in a search process?

This new normality requires increasingly flexible, adaptable and resilient leaders, that could manage to overcome the obstacles they face, learning from them, to capitalize on adversity and it strengthens them, their teams, and the organization itself. Leaders who like teamwork, who like to develop their people, to delegate and teach them how to work with each other, who are supportive. Agile in thought, with a bit for change and challenges, organized, but not rigid.

With enough plasticity to redo and redo, to start again, without getting frustrated, that is, with tolerance for ambiguity and frustration. Creatives, who manage to think of different ways of doing things, who are passionate about challenges and changes, since this will be more and more our constant.

We evaluate this leaders through an adequate evaluation of the psycho- occupational profile, using specific techniques that investigate each of these competences, while conducting a good interview by competencies. – Paola de Leonardis (Glasford International Uruguay)

READY FOR A NEW REALITY

Considering Latin America the current epicenter of COVID-19, there’s no doubt the following months will be crucial for each country.

Choosing an Executive Search firm is a very big decision.

That is why it is good to remember the added value of the service: The knowledge of the consultants, the knowledge of each industry, the resources used in each process, a solid data base of executives ready to take over these challenges, and the ability to adapt to this New Normality. And Glasford International partners provides all those characteristics.

About Glasford International

Glasford International is a global (retained) executive search firm with offices throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North and South Americas. Established in 1998, we support clients in executive search and selection, leadership and personality assessments at an international, cross-border and local level.

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