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June 2017

Silicon Overload

Summer Escape From the Valley

Work-life balance has cemented itself as the #1 job factor behind compensation, and it’s really no surprise. Years of burning the midnight oil night-after-night and missing countless school plays and recitals can wreak havoc on both health and family dynamics. Add to this the cash reserves that many Silicon Valley business leaders have been hoarding since the recovery began, and you get executives who are comfortable taking the summer off and spending time with their families. Not long ago, executive vacations often involved working from a hotel room while friends and family played by the pool. Not this year. More executives are finally pulling the plug and taking a well-earned, legitimate vacation. After all, they’ve worked hard, their companies are doing well, and if their CEO or the Board doesn’t like it, the job market is hot. What’s to lose? And as a guarantee that they won’t habitually check their work email, more executives are going to off-the beaten path locations - be it Kilimanjaro, Iceland, or Cuba.

Keeping these extended vacations in mind, those in the market for a high-profile executive may need to plan accordingly:

  • Allow longer runways for new hire start dates. Don’t expect new executives to be willing to start tomorrow. We’re seeing start dates negotiated out weeks or even months. Plan for not only the customary 2-3 weeks’ notice to their current employers but also an additional 2-3 weeks of pre-planned vacation.
  • Factor in time for searches to potentially drag into fall. Between your in-house executives who have been traveling all spring for business and are now playing summer holiday musical chairs, and the candidate’s own vacation calendar, scheduling can become a mess.
  • Consider alternative stop-gaps. Rather than juggling calendars and having executives dial-in for interviews while on vacation, many companies are now pausing their C-suite searches and putting in consultants who can fill the void until everyone’s back in the office. Most of our always-on, always-available consultants are now fully engaged well past Labor Day.
  • If you need to close them before they get away, make it work. For the absolutely perfect candidate, it’s not about the money, and you can’t afford to let them get snapped up by a competitor. Lock them in and get creative in the interim by bringing on an acting head to hold down the fort until your candidate returns, or trading off their summer vacation with a longer winter holiday once they’re onboarded.

And, with that, bon voyage!