Global research shows Industry 5.0 gathering pace as European business leaders excel in leveraging digital capabilities through human ingenuity

Frankfurt / London / Madrid, 21 NOVEMBER, 2022 – Boyden, a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 75 offices in over 45 countries, reports on its annual global executive talent research. Findings show European respondents focusing on key elements of Industry 5.0, striving for growth through (i) innovation, (ii) digital transformation and (iii) human capital.

The global study, Strengthening the human-centric core of Industry 5.01 How can organisations thrive in a complex world of risk? explores perspectives on risk among CEOs, boards and other senior leaders, alongside executive talent trends, priorities and investment.

“Despite economic and geopolitical concerns, European business leaders are pressing ahead with an integrated strategy of growth through innovation and digital advances combined with human ingenuity,” comments Kathleen Dunton, Boyden board member, Managing Partner Germany and EMEA Regional Practice Leader, Private Equity & Venture Capital. “Investment in talent is spread across leadership development, hiring new leaders, retraining and interim management. In this tough environment, leaders are resilient, leveraging their most valuable soft skills identified by our respondents as driving change, inspiring teams and showing empathy.”

Findings that show how European organisations are well positioned for Industry 5.0:

Mark Soden, Managing Partner at Boyden UK and member of the global technology practice adds, “Despite the economic and geopolitical headwinds, it is no surprise that the technology sector continues to remain confident; customer demand is strong and there is still plenty of investor appetite. While some areas of technology may face a challenging 2023 there will be pockets of the sector that continue to thrive.”

An increase in senior-level recruitment is expected through 2023, up from 35 percent of respondents in the 2021 study to 52 percent in 2022, correlating with human capital as the third top driver of growth. Recruitment challenges are expected by 64 percent compared with 48 percent in 2021, with an expected increase in the use of interim managers; 36 percent of respondents are extremely likely/likely to bring in interim executives in Europe, up from 22 percent in 2021. Financial services is the sector most likely to increase engagement of interims.

Lourdes Lopez, Partner at Boyden Spain shares senior recruitment advice, “Top talent in the technology and tech-driven sectors will be attracted to human-centric companies offering innovation, creativity and a strong strategy for facing new challenges. This is a key moment for reinforcing leadership teams. Top executives are more open to disruptive projects and will do proper due-diligence before joining. So transparent and clear communication from the early stages is essential, as well as a good understanding of candidates’ main motivations.”

Findings on how organisations are approaching ESG show that for 60 percent of respondents ESG-sustainability is ‘part of most business discussions’ or ‘deeply embedded in organisational culture’; and for 51 percent of respondents ESG-DE&I is ‘part of most business discussions’ or ‘deeply embedded in organisational culture’.

ESG is very much a focus and priority at board level. Exploring skills most in need of strengthening on the board shows (i) 60 percent of respondents identify ESG-DE&I; (ii) 50 percent ESG-sustainability; and (iii) 47 percent innovation/business transformation.

Read the full report: Europe Regional Analysis: Strengthening the human-centric core of Industry 5.0

1 The Fifth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 5.0, is a new phase of industrialisation, whereby humans work alongside advanced technologies and AI-powered robots to enhance processes within the workplace. Source: The Manufacturer. Source:

About the research

This research was conducted in Q2 2022 among senior executives worldwide from publicly-quoted, private/independent, private/family owned, social enterprise and PE-backed oganisations. A total of 640 complete responses include 33 percent from Europe, where respondents are 31 percent board/president/CEOs; 21 percent SVP, division or country heads; and 40 percent functional leaders.

About Boyden

Boyden is a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 75 offices in over 45 countries. Our global reach enables us to serve client needs anywhere they conduct business. We connect great companies with great leaders through executive search, interim management and leadership consulting solutions. For further information, visit


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