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Jan 20, 2023

Smooch gives her take on 2022 and what’s to come for the IR profession

Last year was a ‘roller coaster,’ says executive search consultant

IROs changed jobs in huge numbers during the pandemic, playing their part in what became known as the Great Resignation.

But did hiring activity maintain this pace in 2022? And with recession fears peaking, what will management teams look for in IR leaders this year?

To find out, IR Magazine caught up with executive search consultant Smooch Repovich Rosenberg. The last 12 months were a ‘roller coaster,’ she says.

‘While there was a steadiness for a while, we ended the year with the financial markets behaving in a rather helter-skelter manner. It left us all feeling it was good to close the year, not sure we’re on steady footing starting 2023, but always nice to hit the refresh button.’

Asked about hiring activity in 2022, Repovich Rosenberg says: ‘There’s never a slowing in talent acquisition at the leadership levels of companies.

‘Management teams recognize that having high-octane top talent is always important. During the pandemic, there was a significant increase in hiring IROs. And I think there was a recognition that having a great IRO was simply non-negotiable.’

Turning to 2023, many market watchers expect a recession. A recent Wall Street Journal poll of economists put the chance of a US recession at 61 percent over the next 12 months. In this environment, what will companies prioritize when searching for IROs?

Repovich Rosenberg, who believes the US economy is already in contraction, highlights leadership skills, broad knowledge and being a trusted adviser as key to success. IROs should aim to be ‘collaborators within the organization on all topics,’ she says.