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Does it ever get easier? 2022 began with a promise of relief from the pandemic and a return to some state of normalcy (whatever that is) in our professional and personal lives. That may have lasted for all of five minutes before the reality of continuing high inflation, pullbacks in the public markets, and global geopolitical crises showed us that 2022 would be anything but normal.

The impact of the above challenges was immense on our friends, colleagues, and clients, but it again showed the resiliency of our stakeholders and what seems like a never-ending ability to summon the energy to meet those challenges in a positive way and survive, if not thrive, through them.

This resiliency was underscored by increased investments in talent at all levels within our clients’ organizations. And the desire to expand capabilities and increase people capacity was a prominent theme for the organizations we support, regardless of their size, industry, or geography.

As a firm, 2022 brought heightened client partnerships focused on enhancing success through the strategic hiring and development of senior executive talent. While we hold all of our placements in high regard, here are a few highlights you may have missed—Cynthia Figueroa was placed as the CEO of JEVS Human Services, Jean Clabaugh joined the team at Aramark Corporation as Vice President of Talent Acquisition, and Shelley Dinehart was hired as the new Chief HR & Culture Officer at Longwood Gardens.

While we have never been busier, it has not impacted our ability to develop close relationships with our clients and deliver high-quality results on our engagements. As we solicit feedback from our clients and candidates, they tell us that our strong focus on communication and our attention to detail sets us apart from other retained search firms. 100% of the clients we worked with in the past year told us that they would work with us again, and over 98% of the candidates with whom we engaged were very satisfied with their experience in our process.

These results only come from investing in our own people and in the positive environment we create at SSG. We had the pleasure of adding to our team this year with the hire of Kate Kauffmann as our Director of Research. Based in the Chicago metro area, Kate brings over 15 years of research experience in the search industry and has already made an impact on our ability to find and engage diverse, high-potential candidate pools.

Additionally, by enhancing our data and technology capabilities, we continue to flourish in a remote work setting, providing both flexibility and opportunities to actively engage with all of our colleagues at the companies of MPI (SSGNuBrick Partners, and Furst Group) around the country on a consistent and personal basis.

2022 Trends


Continued and significant upward pressure on compensation at the executive level.

Candidate expectations are at an all-time high regarding the potential compensation increase a new role and organization may present.

Work Models

Location flexibility continues to be a top deciding factor on whether a candidate may engage in a search process.

Clients offering the greatest flexibility in hybrid and remote work arrangements possess a significant advantage in accessing talent versus companies with more rigid on-premise expectations.

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion, gratefully, continue to be important factors in our clients’ decision-making process. Not only have we seen increases in diverse slate requirements, but we have also seen meaningful increases in the selection of diverse executives.

As a firm, we presented diverse slates on 100% of our engagements in 2022.

As a firm and as individuals, we continued to play an important role in serving our communities through both our foundation and our commitments, including:

  • Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, whose mission is to enhance the career potential of black and brown HR practitioners through professional development and network expansion.
  • Social Venture Partners (SVP) is an organization that invests in non-profits fighting intergenerational poverty. Through SVP, we have gotten to know an amazing group of organizations doing impactful work in our communities, such as the Center for Black Educator Development, the Women’s Community Revitalization Project, and Why Not Prosper.

Founded on our belief that we as a firm can be successful only when all our friends and neighbors see the same, we anticipate our commitment to the non-profit community will only increase in 2023.

Your faith and support are crucial to our success, and we take our responsibility as your talent brand ambassadors very seriously. This mutual investment is what energizes us and pushes us to deliver outstanding client and candidate experiences through even the most uncertain of times. Together we will persevere through whatever challenges and obstacles 2023 brings our way.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in 2022! We look forward to working with you again.

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