In stark contrast from historic highs in 2021, the new reality for leadership hiring looks rough as public and private market conditions worsened in 2022. Newly opened executive roles were down 36% In Q3 2022 from a peak in Q1 2022. Volume has not been this low since Q4 2020. 

Download Thrive’s Executive Search Report for Q3 2022

Our latest Executive Search report focuses on Q3 2022, where we analyzed more than 25,000 executive search records and set out to provide executive recruiters and talent leaders with data-backed insights to help them both gain a better understanding of the industry, market, and environment they operate in.

In this next section, we’ll review leadership hiring highs and lows.

Peak to Plummet

Nearly all metrics in our Q3 2022 analysis were around two year lows. These numbers mirror major stock exchanges as well as VC deal flow:

  • S&P 500 Index was down 25% from its peak in Q3 2021
  • US VC Deal Value was down 54% from its peak in Q4 2021

While leadership hiring was down 36% across the board, venture capital-backed companies have been impacted the most. 

Leadership hiring at early and late-stage VC-backed companies was down 45% from their peaks in Q4 ‘21 and Q1 ‘22 respectively. 

As times get tough, most companies are transitioning from focusing on growth at all costs to cost cutting. As a result, growth-oriented roles like HR, Marketing, and Product have been impacted the most.

As companies are cutting roles in order to prolong runway—especially those in high-growth tech — it doesn’t address longer-term decisions that need to be made in order to ensure growth.

What’s ahead for leadership hiring? The outlook looks rocky, both because as many investors and economists are predicting a significant recession in 2023 and because the impact persists a bit longer for leadership hiring. Download our Q3 2022 Exec Search Report to data tracking the relationship between leadership hiring and public and private market fluctuations.