If 2024 is going to shape up to be anything, it will, perhaps, be the year of the anti-narrative.

If Q1 and Q2 were proof points for the optimist, Q3 was a splash of cold water.

Now, though, with two weeks to go, we’ve looked at Thrive’s dataset to give you an early read on the leadership hiring market. And Q4 is looking like a rebound from Q3’s near-bottom results.

Opened Searches by Quarter

While we don’t yet have a sense as to which market segments are driving this development, Q4’s lift was buoyed by an exceptional level of opened searches in October.

Since 2020, when we began tracking leadership hiring data, October is always a strong month, especially when compared to September. November and December trail off, linearly dropping in activity levels. And while we’ve seen the same this year (with December halfway over), the magnitude of those month-over-month changes is far greater in 2023 than any other year.

Q4 Month-over-Month Change in Opened Searches

What to make of it?

Q4, it seems, is a microcosm of 2023, where narratives to make sense of it all aren’t as easy to find.