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Although not always recognised, the goveance function has been consistently crucial to the success of businesses across a variety of industries. However, the sector has made big strides and gained traction over the past decade with boards, leading to the sector growing in recognition and as a firm career choice for young, talented individuals.

The importance of CoSec teams has been magnified during the pandemic cementing their importance. Although hit by blanket recruitment bans early on, the market remained buoyant throughout the early stages with minimal redundancies and has since experienced an extreme hiring surge throughout the first quarter of 2021.

The budget sign offs in November and December skyrocketed the market, with CoSec hires being confirmed alongside finance and legal. With this, our market retued to above average levels of recruitment. This hiring boost is promising however, not unexpected. Teams were going to need to plug the gaps eventually. What is unexpected however, is the speed at which these hires are taking place. During 2018/19, the average entire placement process took 4-7 weeks however, we are now seeing this pace quickening to 2-5 weeks, in most cases.

Some of this can be explained through increased urgency due to lack of manpower and teams being spread too thin at the end of 2020 during the hiring freeze, however the biggest factor in play is the increase in virtual recruitment, interviewing and improved onboarding processes.

Being able to hold interviews online offers far more flexibility to both candidates and clients and working from home means that more candidates are more flexible to attend interviews sooner to fit in with the client’s availability. Candidates no longer have to take 3 hours off work to factor in travelling to and from an interview They can simply close their work laptop, open their personal and within an hour, be back at work. This difference can shed 2-3 weeks off a process with interviews consistently happening the same week they are called.

Interviewing online offers candidates who are not actively looking or those who are content in the role they are in the space to interview without major disruption, in an interview that feels less formal and offers more of a conversational overview of the company and position. This area of the market is the hardest to break into, and often includes the highest quality candidates. The logistical ease and reduced formality to 1st stage online interviews offers unprecedented access to those that under normal circumstances would not have considered an exploratory conversation.

The timelines have been staggering with teams saving time in recruitment and on-boarding with no negative outcomes of candidate quality. Throughout the year of online interviews, there has been no evidence that online interviews are any less viable than traditional face to face ones. We have encountered no instances of dissatisfaction of candidate ability or suitability once they have started in role, we have equally not found candidates to be dissatisfied with their new position in any way.  In fact, all data suggests that hiring processes held online creates no differences in client and candidate satisfaction but does create a more streamlined, efficient process allowing access to wider candidate pools

We recommend maintaining all first stages interviews, at all levels, online and remote, post-pandemic. Everyone misses the interaction of interviewing face to face and seeing offices/teams, and we agree and understand the importance of these interactions. After talking with large clients and a multitude of candidates, holding the final stage face-to-face, in the offices once the pandemic is over is the most efficient and positive way to interview. The idea is to invest less time and inconvenience during the early stages online and cementing relationships face-to-face before making final decisions.

I’d be delighted to talk through my findings with anyone interested and to discuss the positives of efficiency, virtual meetings and their associated quality. My email is and my direct dial is 020 3058 8005. 


Posted 13/04/2021 By Poppy Taylor


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