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Data reveals the top desired skills for leaders as uncertainty prevails, with ‘rebels’ in demand

With tough times ahead for businesses, c-suite leaders are increasingly being required to demonstrate the ‘Three Cs’; crisis management, creativity and communication. That’s according to a report from specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half.

According to the firm’s Boardroom Navigator 2023, 38% of Private Equity firms are looking for communication skills in the leaders of their portfolio businesses. A further 30% want c-suite professionals who demonstrate the ‘ability to rebel’ and be creative, while 64% of PEs are looking to make changes to their c-suite and bring in leadership with crisis management experience and skills.

As Philip Hendrickx, Managing Director at Robert Half Executive Search, highlighted, emerging crises are driving changes in leadership requirements, and this latest insight suggests leaders need to be prepared to adjust:

“We’re witnessing a new era of leadership, driven by economic, environmental, geopolitical and technical challenges that are really putting the c-suite to the test. As profound change ripples through the commercial world, what happens next will define executive leadership for decades to come.

“In this climate, what Private Equity firms need in their portfolio businesses is changing. Those leaders who can demonstrate the ‘Three C’s’ of management will be in significantly high demand. While elements such as communication and the ability to manage a crisis may already be engrained in many leaders, the ability to be a rebel and be creative is much more difficult to both develop and demonstrate. Those that do, though, will be the ones that will navigate businesses through the uncertainty that still lies ahead.”


Press contact

Vickie Collinge

01582 790 700

Executive Search with Robert Half

Robert Half’s Executive Search practice is one of world’s leading advisories for board or directors and supervisory boards. Our bespoke advisory model stands-out with combining a hands-on boutique approach with our global strength and versatility.

Through our years of experience and in-depth knowledge of the industries, we act in a dual function for our clients, as market barometer and trustworthy ambassador. Today we can demonstrate with pride a track record of filling mission-critical executive positions for our clients – in particular for SMEs and mid-sized companies, whether they are listed, private-, family-, or private equity owned.

We advise and accompany our clients beyond the mere search assignment – both the company and the candidate – because we are convinced that finding the right candidate is just the beginning of building a future-oriented and sustainable company management and leadership approach.

Robert Half’s Executive Search has been listed recently by Forbes among America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms, for the fifth consecutive year.

About Robert Half

Robert Half (NYSE: RHI) is the world's first and largest specialized talent solutions firm that connects opportunities at great companies with highly skilled job seekers. Offering contract and permanent placement solutions in the fields of finance and accounting, technology, administrative and customer support, legal, and marketing and creative, Robert Half has more than 300 locations worldwide, including nearly 100 locations in 18 countries outside the United States. Robert Half is the parent company of Protiviti®, a global consulting firm that provides internal audit, risk, business and technology consulting solutions. Robert Half, including Protiviti, has been named to the Fortune® Most Admired Companies™ list and is a Forbes Best Employer for Diversity. Explore our comprehensive solutions, research and insights at and

About Protiviti

Protiviti ( is a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach, and unparalleled collaboration to help leaders confidently face the future. Protiviti and its independent and locally owned Member Firms provide clients with consulting and managed solutions in finance, technology, operations, data, digital, legal, governance, risk and internal audit through its network of more than 85 offices in over 25 countries. Named by Great Place to Work® and Fortune to the Best Workplaces for Women™ list, Protiviti has served more than 80 percent of Fortune 100 and nearly 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE: RHI).Robert Half understands that it takes time and effort to evaluate the best talent strategy for different businesses. For further independent advice to assist with your recruitment and workforce planning efforts, visit

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