Highlights from Totum’s latest research into business services leadership placements, incorporating figures for 2021/22. What do our latest figures tell us about senior level recruitment trends across the sector?

The professional services sector is opening its doors to a broader pool of business services leadership talent than ever before. And at Totum we are delighted to be at the heart of this shift, with our latest data on our leadership placements showing that we are sourcing and placing a greater number of candidates into the most senior roles and they are coming from more diverse sector backgrounds than ever before.

To see all the details, download our full PDF report, Rising to the challenge: Leadership trends 2016-22‘, which includes all data and analysis of leadership placements covering number, types of roles, sector backgrounds and gender mix.

Key findings

  • Since 2016, Totum has undertaken considerably more leadership placements, with the number of projects at Chief, Director, Head of and, to a lesser extent, Manager level, increasing from April 2016 to March 2022 by over 200%. This year – 2021/22 – broke our year-on-year record as we worked on 40% more leadership projects compared to our previous peak year of 2018/19.
  • Growth in leadership placements are only paralleled by the breadth of the talent pool now opening up to firms. In 2021/22, 49% of our successful placements were made with candidates who came from outside of law, a rise from 45% in 2020/21 and 25% in 2019/21. The data not only shows a consistent upward trend here, but also a massive shift from 2015 when 95% of our candidates came from a law firm background.
  • In 2021/22, we are working on a similar split of leadership roles as previous years: 49% of our leadership projects were Director roles, compared to an average of 42% over the previous four years, while Chief roles continue to make up around a quarter of our leadership work (23% in 2021/22 compared to 24% in 2019/20 and 27% in 2020/21).
  • In figures that represent a significant step forwards for gender equality, our findings show that overall from 2016 to 2022, we have placed an average of 51% men to 49% women into leadership roles.

Business services leadership roles clearly remain a priority across the professional services sector with strong and sustained investment into the most senior roles across all business services functions.

We are pleased to see the data support our more personal experiences, in which firms across the sector seem to be more willing than ever to think creatively to secure all the skills they need to meet the myriad challenges of the future.

To find out more, download our full PDF report, detailing all our findings on leadership placements from 2016 to 2022.

For more information on Totum Research and the projects we have planned for the rest of the year, contact [email protected]