Mid-Year Talent Trends and Implications for Europe


As a firm, we are starting to experience the shift from a candidate market to more of a balance between employers and prospective employees. Disruptions as a result of the volatility in the global economy have slowed the decision to hire new leadership or make needed leadership changes. When decisions are made to move forward, candidates are still showing little compromise when it comes to compensation or workplace flexibility.

The shifting work model as Mercer defines in their 2022-2023 Global Talent Trends study, is what we are experiencing as we work with clients and top leadership candidates. More than ever before, candidates are seeking a sustainable future of work and building a more equitable partnership with their employer.


In the thousands of conversations we’ve had with prospective candidates this year around the globe, several common themes have been identified but none dominate quite like the hybrid work environment and the continued need for workplace flexibility.

  • The market is clearly shifting away from blanket remote work policies to a level of presence suitable for both the role, the organisation and the individual.
  • Not every role has remote work capabilities but we’re seeing roles that were predominantly in-office (such as accounting, finance and human resources) evolve into partially- or fully-remote.
  • Managing remote teams requires different leadership skills but it presents an opportunity to retain and develop leaders who thrive in this new paradigm.
  • Mercer noted that one in three employees were willing to forego a raise for more control over their schedule and this is even higher in the technology sector at 43%.


We recruit leaders for organisations that feed the world and keep it healthy. Some of the best leaders we place bring their diversity of experience from outside the food-ag value chain. While diversity can be defined in numerous ways, the end result is the same: different backgrounds and experiences equals unique perspectives and ways of thinking. And that is what organisations need to develop creative solutions and innovative products that drive growth.

Research has long shown the correlation between diverse, inclusive  leadership and profitability, with highly-diverse companies reporting “innovation revenue” significantly higher than those with below-average leadership diversity. In our own research, surveyed food & ag industry executives indicated that critical leadership characteristics include diversity, equity and inclusion.

One way for organisations to become more diverse is by looking outside the industry for talent. Because the skills and characteristics that make a good leader are transferable, an impactful leader is an impactful leader no matter what the industry. The foundation of a strong leader includes transferable attributes like:


It’s no secret the food-ag value chain has a leadership deficit. Cross-sector recruitment can help offset this and bring diversity of experience to any organisation. To do this successfully you need a search partner that not only understands the role, but also has the ability to passionately sell the industry and positively position the opportunity.

Successful organisations are accepting the realities of the market and are taking time to invest in succession planning, employee development, including executive coaching, and developing different strategies to attract and retain talent.

Even as we see a shift to a more balanced employer/candidate market, we are advising clients to expect compensation packages to stay increased by approximately 20% for CEO roles, with similar increases for other functions. If you are planning for a new leader to start in Q1 of 2024, now is the time to start that search as we are seeing it take 30% longer to get new leaders in place. And finally, to keep top talent interested and engaged, we are asking clients to make decisions 50% faster or they risk losing out on highly-qualified leadership.