Executive hiring continues to push its highest concentration of C-level work.

Since the market’s fall from peak hiring, opened searches have trended close to half the overall executive search market. The same is true for Q1 2024, which saw C-level roles comprise 46% of opened searches—and 47% of new placements.

That’s a fairly steady YoY comp (47% opened/44% placed in Q1 2023), but significantly different from the years prior:

  • 2022: 44% opened/39% placed
  • 2021: 36% opened/42% placed
  • 2020: 38% opened/41% placed

The gains are primarily being made from director-level roles, which have represented less than 20% of executive search work for three straight quarters now. We have not seen such a streak in our dataset previously.

The takeaway here? The bar for tapping executive search firms continues to get higher.