There is also some worry that multiple people within the same division could be sick for weeks. A CFO and her three top lieutenants, for instance, may have all been exposed to the coronavirus at the same time. “If the depth chart isn’t strong enough, the organization’s public accounting firm may need to provide an ‘interim’ CFO,” said Alan Guarino, vice chair of Korn Ferry’s board and CEO services practice. That relationship brings its own wrinkle, he said, since the corporation, assuming it is public, has an obligation to be audited by an independent accountant. The company may need to hire a different accounting firm to ensure that independence.
Most executives believe that labor shortages are cyclical instead of systemic: 66% agree there will be a deficit of highly skilled talent by 2020, but only 52% predict there will be a shortage by 2030. “Right now, companies are feeling the pain,” says Alan Guarino, vice-chairman of Korn Ferry’s CEO, “but they don’t feel it with the level of intensity that they should. Many CEOs are sleepwalking their way into a crisis.”