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How to prepare for a corporate restructure

Corporate restructures are when a company makes significant changes to its financial or operational structure, in order to improve efficiency, become more profitable or enhance the customer’s experience.

As an employee looking down the barrel of a corporate restructure, the uncertainty can be nerve-wracking. However, in many instances, restructures also present opportunities for growth, promotions and sideways moves. 

Executive Interview Coaching founder Richard Elstone explains why it’s important to give people the skills and confidence they need to apply for a promotion when a corporate restructure is on the cards, and how coaching can help.

Why do companies have restructures?

Typically once a year or so, large corporations will do a restructure. There are many reasons for this.

The restructure may be about giving certain executives more power, or it could be about getting fresh talent through the door and new people into roles. 

In some instances, the purpose of a restructure can be to decentralise functions to the regions, or to centralise the region’s functions to head office.

It could be that there’s a focus for the organisation on a particular product set or the organisation may have a restructure around customer segments or sectors. 

“Companies are always looking for ways to dial the knobs to improve efficiencies, enhance the customer experience and reduce costs,” says Richard.

“When all of those three things come together, that inevitably involves at some point, an organisational restructure. 

“If handled well, an organisational restructure can enhance the company’s reputation. If handled badly, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll be part of the barbecue conversation for a few weeks.”

What restructures mean for employees

“In these types of situations, a number of executives and senior executives can get caught up in the restructure,” says Richard.

“Sometimes they have to apply for their old job back or maybe their old job doesn’t exist anymore and they need to apply for a new role.

“In other instances, it can be an opportunity for some executives to learn new skills in a new area at the same level. Or it could be that people are going for a promotion.”

Richard says if a company feels it doesn’t have the skills they need internally, they will usually supplement their hiring process by getting an external search consultant on board or have their internal recruitment teams source candidates from external sources.

Seizing opportunities when they arise

In addition to running Executive Interview Coaching, Richard works as a search consultant. 

He says in that line of work, he’s seen firsthand how organisations are using restructures to give their people the nudge they need to take the next step in their career.

“We’re finding that a number of clients are using this as an opportunity to give their internal staff the skills and the confidence they need to apply for internal opportunities,” he says.

“HR leaders are increasingly giving internal candidates the support they need to create a resume that stacks up against external competition and the interviewing skills to help them interview at their best, so that they have a real opportunity to apply for a sideways step or promotion.”

At the end of the day, companies often prefer to hold on existing staff, when it makes sense to do so, according to Richard.

“When people leave an organisation, a lot of talent and intellectual property walks out the door,” he says.

“Sometimes clients will also walk out that door at the same time the executives do. Clients follow people, not companies.

“If you can hold on to the good people in a restructure situation, it’s a risk mitigation strategy.”

How to prepare for a corporate restructure

Whether you’re an aspiring executive planning to take the next step in your career or an HR manager looking for ways to support your people through a corporate restructure, Executive Interview Coaching can assist.

We offer our Corporate Restructure Ready Program to help HR leaders give their company’s executives the tools they need to succeed in an internal restructure. It’s a four-month program that includes comprehensive support to enable executives to enhance their digital profile, refine their resume, and polish their interview skills. 

To find out more, get in touch today.


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