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What to Look for in Your Executive Recruiter: Empathy and Compassion

April 27, 2020

By: Ranju Shergill  


As we come up to our second month of living virtually, we are all finding new ways of keeping busy, whether it’s work, staying connected to our personal and professional networks, housework, cooking, learning or staying active. At Pekarsky & Co., we are trying to stay as productive as possible through this time and prepare for our return to normalcy, whenever that might be, no matter what that may look like.


One of the activities keeping me busy and feeling productive through this period is my volunteer work with the Board of the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association (CIWA).


At a time when most businesses are facing a decline of work and staff, there are organizations such as CIWA where the demand for their services is increasing yet their ability to resource those needs is decreasing. Through this difficult period, CIWA continues to support their immigrant clients facing issues including a lack of income, reduced programs due to funding cuts, how to navigate through home-schooling and government programs, increased levels of domestic violence, and in a heightened demand on food banks and shelters.


As a Board member, and a professional recruiter, it’s been personally gratifying to lead CIWA’s Board recruitment and succession planning initiatives. It’s a small way of doing what I can to support an organization helping so many new Calgarians through tough times. I should add that it’s also wonderful to work with a Board that allows our fantastic CEO, Beba Svigir, to focus entirely on operating the business through significantly challenging times.


On behalf of fellow Board members, I am proud to announce our new Board committee members for 2020/21 and warmly welcome Kaylynn Litton, Nola Heale, Aaron Wang, Bonnie Wong, Cheryl Oishi, Sandy O’Connor, Susan Veres, and Lori Craig.


As with CIWA, it was a great privilege to also work with our client, Calgary TELUS Convention Center (CTCC). Recently appointed CEO and friend of the firm, Kurby Court, took the steps to provide support in partnership with Calgary Drop-In Centre, the City of Calgary, Community and Social Services, Alberta Health Services and community partners in working together to create a safe space at CTCC for vulnerable Calgarians in their greatest time of need. While in the midst of this unprecedented crisis, CTCC continues to plan for the future and remain focused on providing world-class convention facilities and personalized services to clients once the pandemic has passed.


Assisting CTCC with their Vice President, Finance search through the first intense month of the pandemic felt again, like helping a great organization succeed. Placing a superb candidate, the amazing Carol McQuade,who has not only the technical skills and experience needed for this role, but also the optimism, heart and passion to join an organization that is going through challenging business conditions, yet doing so much more for people in need, is a particularly rewarding undertaking. While a pandemic may deter candidates into making a change in times of uncertainty, it brings out the best in individuals who want to be more, do more and believe in using their expertise in building a better tomorrow.


Tough times show your true colours. At Pekarsky & Co., ours are empathy and compassion. By constantly reverting back to core values as your North Star, you’ll never get lost, no matter how bad the storm is. Everyone is impacted by this crisis, some more than others. A belief in strong leadership is what got most of us into the executive search market, and it’s strong leadership that will get many companies through the pandemic and economic fallout of this crisis. We’re in this together and finding ways to apply our expertise in meaningful ways, particularly to our clients who have been so brutally impacted.