Remote Leadership and Global Talent in 2024

Insights from Luminita Potorac-Roman, Managing Partner IMSA Search Global Partners Romania and Hatwit Executive Search

According to Pew Research Center, “41% of people with jobs that can be done remotely are working a hybrid schedule.” Most people prefer to work 2-3 days a week from home. Work from home makes people happier, allows them more flexibility, and leads to an improved work/life balance. And research supports their increased productivity. With hybrid as the new normal, more employees are moving to different cities, and even different countries, and working from remote locations.

Without geographic barriers, companies are able to build virtual and global teams where members join electronically to work together, combining functional expertise with in-depth local market knowledge. Global teams mean different perspectives and enhanced cultural awareness. They also enable 24/7 customer service. According to EY 2023 Mobility Reimagined Survey, “88% of employers believe mobility can help address global talent shortages and 90% plan to sustain or increase the organization’s scope of mobility over the next three years.”

Two of the most important trends in 2024 for global organizations are: 1) the rise of Digital Leadership, and 2) the increased need for Remote Leadership and a Global Talent Pool.

 Digital Leadership, Digital Awareness – Open to Opportunities Abroad

Most executives today are digitally savvy. They understand the imperative for digital transformation especially if their companies are to remain agile and competitive in the fast paced, constantly evolving tech and social media environment. Placing a higher value than ever before on work/life balance and company culture, they understand the benefits of a remote work option for their workforce and themselves. For their own careers, they are often more interested in flexible work arrangements and are likely to consider alongside a company’s social and environmental impact.

For example, in the CEE region (Central and Eastern Europe), we have seen economic growth and the expansion of multinational companies, making the competition for talent very intense. Candidates tend to have a more dynamic career trajectory and higher expectations; and most executives have a global outlook and international experience, so they are more open to considering career opportunities abroad. 

Recruiting Global Executives

When recruiting globally, strategic due diligence in the executive search mandate and in-depth leadership assessment are essential. Among the key elements for a successful placement are: Global mindset and international exposure, cultural fit and adaptability, mix of leadership skills and future succession potential, technical expertise, foreign languages, regulatory and legal implications, compensation packages (including relocation/Visa sponsorships, local taxes, schools, travel and commute), and strategic on-boarding and integration plans.

To Effectively Lead a Global Remote Team:

– Assess Current Technology and Invest in the Right Upgrades for Your Organization

To ensure that remote employees can collaborate with ease, start with the right tools. From Microsoft Office 365 to Google Apps, to Zoom, Slack, Monday, Dropbox, Trello, and others, remote apps and software are essential. Survey your teams about what works and what needs improvement and then consider adding useful tools.

– Reinforce Connection to Your Organization

According to a Q2 2023 Gallup survey of 15,000 U.S. hybrid and remote employees who can do their work remotely, there is a weakening connection to company purpose. Create programs and communications to bolster employee understanding of and engagement with company mission, as this understanding is what drives employees to perform at their best.

– Increase Communication – Check in regularly to build trust and connection. Remote workers do not experience the random hallway chats, spontaneous lunches, and the associated access to real-time coaching. Encounters need to be planned and implemented in a thoughtful manner. Check-ins are particularly essential in a remote work environment to create a sense of shared identity. Most employees consider their immediate supervisors as the most important association they have with their entire organization.

– Embrace Asynchronous Communication – Asynchronous interaction gives employees control over where and when they work. However, the structure and process for this communication needs to be planned and clearly explained and acknowledged. Consider experimenting with different scenarios until you find the one that works best for your team.

Create Wellness and Recognition Programs – According to Gallup’s recent State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report, worker stress has remained at record high levels since the pandemic. What mental health and wellness programs and stress outlets are you providing for your team? Assess your teams to be sure your employees feel supported. Start with simply extending appreciation for a job well done. In 2024, positive reinforcement is essential, and recognition should be the first building block in the employee wellness program.

About IMSA Search Global Partners: With 50+ offices in 25+ countries on 6 continents, our 300+ Executive Search experts span the globe to identify the right candidates to successfully lead teams and organizations locally, regionally, and globally.