Totum Research

Recruitment insights to inspire better decision-making

For over twenty years, the experts at Totum have specialised in business services recruitment in the professional services sector. We know our industry, the firms, individuals, history and trends that have shaped and modernised the sector, making it fit for business in the 21st century.

Over that time, we have conducted numerous pieces of research alongside our daily conversations and interactions with the market. We know we have invaluable recruitment insights to share, and we are prepared to go the extra mile to deliver the market analysis that can drive profitable decision making and inform organisational development.

Our research division enables you to access our specialist knowledge like never before and covers primary and secondary research, market mapping, data analysis, competitor analysis, case studies and profiles, surveys, desk research and market sentiment reviews including:

Bespoke research
We can produce reports tailored to the needs of individual firms. We work with business services leaders to find the answers to challenging market questions. We help inform decision making while also freeing up time for leaders to get on with their day job.

Quantitative Research 
We can ask the questions you want and / or need answered. We collect, review and analyse data to develop recruitment insights and inform strategic decisions for your team, department, firm or Board.

Qualitative Research / Focus Groups / Case Studies
As a business constantly engaged in the day-to-day business of recruitment, supporting firms in their organisational development, we are ideally placed to engage with the market, via one-to-one interviews, focus groups, networking meetings and events.

Clients enjoy working with us

Totum Research is dedicated to developing tailored analysis and data insights into business services functions across the professional services sector.

Nobody knows this market like we do. We have seen first-hand the ways in which business services functions – including marketing and business development (BD), HR, finance, knowledge, technology, general management, change and transformation – have impacted professional services firms for the better. We have seen how influential business leaders have become in these firms and the ways in which well-structured teams, underpinned by the right skills and capabilities, can make a profound difference to a firm’s profitability and sustained growth. In good and tough times for the broader economy, we have been at the forefront of advising our clients and candidates on market shifts and likely developments.

Totum Research covers all aspects of business services in professional services firms – examples of recent themes include: returning to the office; hybrid working; employee benefits; bonus structures; developments in the pricing function; trends in the BD and marketing team, and analysis of business services leadership roles. We are also more than happy to discuss bespoke research projects with firms that might wish to gain recruitment insights pertaining to a particular team or function.

Why Totum Research?

  • Insightful, timely and data-driven thought leadership and opinion pieces, inspired by real-world business interactions in the recruitment market
  • Highly relevant market intelligence to deliver informed arguments in Board meetings
  • Information on trends to support investment decisions and strategic thinking
  • Tools for building knowledge and learning
  • Data to benchmark your performance and organisational approach with that of your peers
  • Solutions to address fast-changing business challenges
  • Bespoke research projects, engineered to meet the unique needs of individual firms
  • End-to-end project management that firms can rely on
  • Qualitative and quantitative insights delivered from the frontline of day-to-day business interactions

Examples of our products

At Totum Research we provide primary and secondary research, market mapping, data analysis, competitor analysis, case studies and profiles, surveys, desk research and market sentiment reviews.

  • Annual survey / report: Chief and Director Compensation and Employee Benefits Survey
  • Function specific reports – for example, ‘What’s in a job title? The roles that define the marketing and BD function’; ‘Excellence in business services leadership’; and ‘Future finance: Developments in the legal finance function’
  • Bi-Annual – ‘Return to the office’ survey, plus hybrid working market sentiment reports
  • Comprehensive ‘How to Guides’ to assist firms in their search for critical leadership roles. It includes compelling content to attract your ideal candidate including an example job description
  • Latest trends in professional services  and cross-sector expertise (covering law firms and barristers chambers, accountancy firms, management consulting Firms, patent firms, real estate firms, and other professional services firms and suppliers to professional services)

The Totum Research Difference


Industry experts, able to handle any research project end to end, providing hard-copy reports, live datasets, one-to-one interviews, podcasts and focus group insights.

We bridge the gap when business information is needed but internal resource is limited. We provide one-off research reports, regular market trackers and more sustained campaign material.


Totum Research is led by Sarah Broad and Caroline Poynton, both of whom have considerable experience in market research and over 20 years in the professional services sector.

Sarah is CIPD qualified, and has led high quality and cost-effective people operations functions across national teams, working in HR for two of the top five accountancy firms. Caroline has worked as a publisher, editor and writer.


We offer highly skilled services, taking a consultative approach with clients and offering both market-wide and bespoke solutions. We produce one-off reports on leading market trends, and can also work with individual or groups of firms on bespoke research projects. Tapping into our extensive industry-wide network, we can produce the recruitment insights needed to inform business decision making.

Contact our Expert Consultants

Sarah Broad

Head of Marketing & Projects

Caroline Poynton

Communications Manager

Knowledge Hub