NPAworldwide’s Business Barometer Survey Reveals Optimism Despite Global Talent Slowdowns

August 31st, 2023 by Veronica Blatt

NPAworldwide, the leading global recruitment network, has released the findings of its latest Business Barometer Survey. The survey, conducted in August 2023, gathers insights from independent recruitment firm owners within the NPAworldwide network. These members specialize in executive, professional, and contract positions on a global scale.

In recent months, there has been a slowdown in the global demand for talent. While fewer job openings are available, recruiters with expertise and connections still have ample opportunities to thrive. According to NPAworldwide president Dave Nerz, 59% of respondents reported similar or improved business outcomes compared to the previous 180-day period.

However, these results show an 11% decline since February 2023, indicating a cooling trend. Despite this, a majority of respondents remain optimistic about the next six months, with 83.5% expecting similar or better results ahead. The competition for top talent remains fierce.

pie chart of survey respondents business results over the past 180 days


pie chart of survey respondents' business expectations over the next 180 days


bar graph of strong vertical markets

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • 38% of respondents are based outside of North America.
  • The largest respondent group is from North America (62%), followed by Australia/New Zealand (15%).
  • The remaining respondents represent various regions such as Asia, EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa), and Latin America.
  • At present, 73% of respondents foresee positive or stable conditions in the next six months compared to the preceding six months. This marks a 3% improvement since February 2023. While the pace may have slowed down overall, there is still optimism surrounding year-end and early 2024.

“The accounting/finance, manufacturing, and technology sectors continue to show strength,” noted Nerz. “Recruitment firms specializing in contingent and retained placements are experiencing robust demand for talent. Top candidates are receiving multiple offers and counteroffers from their current employers. In this competitive landscape, speed and attractive compensation packages remain essential for successfully securing top talent. Retaining talent will become increasingly challenging but crucial. Despite efforts to cool the economy, confidence is growing, and the job market remains surprisingly stable.”

With valuable insights from recruitment experts across the globe, NPAworldwide’s Business Barometer Survey paints a comprehensive picture of the recruitment industry’s current landscape and future prospects.

About NPAworldwide. NPAworldwide is a global recruitment network facilitating placements between its member firms. The recruitment network has more than 550 member offices across 6 continents. For more information about NPAworldwide membership, please visit or


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