2021 has been a good year, but boy, we’ve had to work for it.

After a challenging 2020, when hiring demand for corporate affairs leaders (and almost everyone else) took a nosedive, we’ve seen a strong bounce-back. Employers recognised the crucial role of corporate affairs in a crisis, and looked to strengthen their teams further. This trend is reflected in latest data in the KPMG REC UK job survey, and in our own business performance too; November 2021 was our third best month in three years.

I am cautiously optimistic that this momentum will lead to 2022 being the busiest year for corporate affairs leadership appointments since 2019.

The big theme for 2021 has been diversity – diversity of thought, diversity of experience, as well as diversity in terms of race, ethnicity and gender. We launched our equality, diversity and inclusion programme just over a year ago to understand better the challenges and opportunities and learn from others. It has given us some valuable insights, which my colleague Lauren Tarbit will share in the new year (and for those of you who can’t wait until then, our progress report can be found here). I believe it is a hugely important exercise that will help us to support the corporate affairs world to embrace the diversity challenge and accelerate change.

Our leadership research paper, If Only I’d Known That Then, Lessons from Corporate Affairs Leaders, has continued to be a popular download as more current and aspiring corporate affairs leaders look to understand the six themes identified as being critical to succeeding in the role. And I recently joined Matt Young and Andrew Brown of Apella Advisors for an episode of their excellent Little Questions podcast series to discuss what we learnt and share some of the anecdotes we had to leave out – Matt calls it the director’s cut! You can listen to the podcast here.

So, to everyone who supported us this year, thank you. Here’s to an exciting 2022.

Wayne Reynolds, Founder and Managing Director

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14th December 2021

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