• Leadership hiring is down 36% across the board
  • Volume has not been this low since Q4 2020
  • HR, Marketing, and Product roles have been impacted the most
  • Executive compensation isn’t moving much

Download Thrive’s Executive Search Report for Q3 2022

The road ahead for leadership hiring looks rocky. For a second consecutive quarter, leadership hiring decreased in Q3 2022 as public and private market conditions worsened. 

In our latest Executive Search Report that focuses on Q3 2022, 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 and make more informed decisions. 

Key Finding #1

There’s a one quarter lag between public & private market fluctuations and leadership hiring

Last quarter, newly opened executive roles were down 36% from a peak in Q1 2022. Volume has not been this low since Q4 2020.

Tracking the relationship between hiring and market trendlines, we see about a one quarter lag between public and private market fluctuations and leadership hiring. 

The data points are showing us that the road looks rocky for two reasons; many investors and economists are predicting a significant recession in 2023 and the impact persists a bit longer for leadership hiring. 

As we’ve called out in previous reports, there are multiple dynamics impacting leadership hiring. The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, along with headwinds created by U.S. central bank’s interest rate hikes are pushing public and private markets into bear territory and stunting private market deal flow.

Key Finding #2

HR, Product, and Marketing Roles Have Been Impacted the Most

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. Leadership hiring at early and late-stage VC-backed companies was down 45%.

In comparison with last quarter’s mid-year Q2 ‘22 report, there was more of a mix of roles being impacted, including CEO roles among Late-stage VCs and PE firms. Late-stage VCs saw CEO, HR, and Finance roles impacted most—down 75%, 60%, and 59% respectively in Q2 compared to the trailing 12-month average. Early-stage VCs saw Engineering, HR, and Product roles impacted the most — down 27%, 25%, and 16% respectively. On the PE side, Product took the biggest hit (-60% TTM), followed by CEO roles down 34% and HR roles down 29%.

Key Finding #3

Executive Compensation Isn’t Moving too Much (And When it Does, it’s Minor)

Not surprisingly, there hasn’t been a significant shift in executive compensation. Even at the height of last year’s boom, median compensation was up only single digits.  Compensation lags everything and is seemingly less elastic or volatile.

While early stage VCs and public companies seeing the teeniest dips,  PE, on the other hand, is seeing a +20% increase in base and +35% in OTE in Q3 2022 vs Q3 2021. 

Our latest report, the Executive Search Report Q3 2022, we dive into these compensation benchmarks and provide up-to-date numbers on:

  • Search volume by asset class
  • Search velocity metrics

Get access to all of our benchmark data and the full overview of Q3 2022 by downloading our free report.