Rachel Davis


Peter Howarth


Welcome to the latest edition of the Armstrong Craven Review.

Over the last few months, as Co-CEOs we have been lucky enough to travel to see our teams and clients all around the world. We have taken some time out to celebrate with our wonderful colleagues and enjoy the fact that, as we have continued to grow and develop our service offerings to support our clients, we have, at the same time, retained our culture that we all hold so dear. We have also met many of our clients and asked them what they expect in 2023 and beyond.

Wherever we have been in the world – Singapore, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Budapest, Milan, Zurich or the UK, the messages have been remarkably consistent, talent shortages remain. The most in-demand talent is still in demand, and although the red- hot market in some sectors has cooled, there are still more jobs than people. There is a general acceptance that this is how things will continue for the foreseeable future.

Economic turbulence is here in many countries as the war in Ukraine rages on, inflation is still very present, and governments do strange and unpredictable things! But regardless of that, the fact many over 50’s chose to leave the workplace during or soon after the pandemic means that our HR and TA partners worldwide are facing the same three underlying challenges to attract and retain the talented people their businesses need to thrive:

  • The cost-of-living crisis
  • Meeting the increasing demands of ESG
  • Developing a leadership team fit for the future

Responses to the cost-of-living crisis have had to vary according to country, sector and a company’s financial security. Still, one theme is consistent - there’s always someone out there with deeper pockets than you! This has led many of our clients to focus on developing their employee value proposition (EVP) in a way that is attractive enough to help them hire the right people and be financially sustainable. Our ability to research the behaviours and motivations of talent has been invaluable in helping our clients compete for talent by tapping into drivers and pull factors beyond remuneration. Taking this broader approach to talent attraction also links closely to the actions clients can take to develop meaningful strategies to improve representation in their businesses and devise responsible and long-term corporate strategies on social and environmental issues. Investor activism and the continuing transparency of company culture through networking groups and social platforms means only those companies with genuine ESG agendas will thrive, whilst those paying lip service will continue to be publicly called out.

Leadership risk and understanding if a leadership team can deliver the corporate strategy have also come under intense scrutiny since the ‘forced changes’ of the pandemic. The autocrat has finally had his (or occasionally her) day, and authentic leadership and high EQ are being appropriately valued. This, and the need for new skills such as digital transformation, has led many companies to fundamentally rethink what they need from their leaders in the future.

At Armstrong Craven, we are working closely with many of our clients to identify exactly where leadership risk exists or where the calibre of leaders in strategically critical roles needs improving. Applying an analytical and data-led approach to the relationship between a leadership team and its ability to deliver company strategy is already helping our clients to future-proof their businesses in a robust way.

Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about our cutting-edge work in this field or would like more information about any of our services designed to help solve your talent challenges.