What executive recruitment trends show about what employees want – Richard Triggs

Richard Triggs, Managing Partner of executive recruitment firm Arete Executive, shares valuable insights on recruitment and leadership in the modern workplace. 

With a unique journey from musician to recruitment leader, Richard discusses the resilience of the recruitment industry, its adaptation to crises like the Global Financial Crisis and COVID-19, and the shift towards remote work. 

Richard highlights the flexibility of employers in response to these changes, such as a Tasmanian company hiring nationally without requiring relocation. He addresses the challenges and strategies of remote work, emphasising the need for maintaining team unity and productivity. 

In his book ‘Winning the War for Talent’, he advises on effective hiring and retention, and points out that opaque recruitment practices work against employers. He debunks the ‘Great Resignation’ narrative, pointing to consistent job change trends and advocating for diversity in the workplace, especially encouraging women to apply for leadership roles.

His leadership philosophy centres on intuition, decisive hiring, and balancing accountability with employee satisfaction. Richard also notes the global expansion of his services, facilitated by virtual platforms during COVID, reflecting a trend towards global connectivity in recruitment.

Overall, Richard’s insights blend practical advice with forward-thinking strategies, focusing on the evolving workplace dynamics and their implications for employers and employees.


“Now, executives are saying, unless I’m working from home three days a week, I’m not interested. So [flexibility] has massively impacted employers ability to attract and retain good people because now people are used to having that ability.” Richard Triggs

Key moments

00:01:06 – Richard Triggs introduces Arete Executive, his executive search firm, providing headhunting services across various industries and roles.

00:02:58 – Triggs reflects on the resilience of the recruitment industry through various crises, including the GFC and pandemic, noting the consistent strength of the market.

00:04:47 – He notes a significant post-COVID shift towards remote work, changing recruitment dynamics and candidate expectations.

00:06:29 – Richard highlights a Tasmanian company’s willingness to hire nationally without relocation, exemplifying increased employer flexibility and a wider talent pool.

00:07:26 – Advising clients, he stresses the reduced talent pool when demanding in-office presence, advocating for adaptability in hiring.

00:12:26 – Discussing the trade-offs of remote working, Richard talks about strategies to maintain team unity and productivity in such settings.

00:17:33 – Introduces his book ‘Winning the War for Talent’, focusing on educating employers about effective hiring and retention.

00:19:20 – Criticises recruitment practices like omitting contact details in job ads, which can negatively impact employer branding and talent attraction.

00:21:24 – Debunks the ‘Great Resignation’ narrative, attributing it to a bottleneck of job changes during COVID.

00:23:21 – Talks about consistent tenure trends in the workforce, with 30-35% of people changing jobs annually over the years.

00:27:05 – Encourages women to apply for roles even if not fully qualified, highlighting employers’ support for gender diversity in leadership.

00:30:03 – Richard discusses his leadership philosophy, emphasising trust in intuition and the importance of swift decision-making in hiring.

00:33:14 – Talks about balancing love and accountability in leadership to support employee productivity and satisfaction.

00:38:27 – Highlights the expansion of his recruitment services globally, facilitated by virtual communication platforms during COVID.

Resources & contact details

Winning the War for Talent
The Arete Podcast
Richard on LinkedIn

Workplace Makers – the podcast about people building workplaces that attract a crowd

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