Emerging Roles for Execs Influenced by Big Data, Analytics

By SHRM Online Staff Nov 19, 2014
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New searches for executives have grown 4 percent this year compared to the same period in 2013, with the industrial and life science sectors showing the most action globally, according to a new hiring trends forecast.

“Overall, the market remains highly competitive for top talent right now, with nearly three-quarters of our partners describing today’s environment as ‘fierce,’ ” said Brian Sullivan, CEO of CTPartners, an executive search firm. The firm released is 20th annual Hot Jobs: Forecast of Top Executive Jobs 2015 in early November.

“Analytical roles such as head of personalization and head of people analytics, alongside risk and cybersecurity positions, are the new ‘in-demand’ roles that will be key to maintaining a company’s competitive advantage in 2015,” Sullivan said.

CTPartners predicts the following to be key executive hiring trends for 2015:

  • Big data and digital innovation will be major influencers in driving new roles at the executive level.
  • There will beincreased but healthy tension between the role of the chief digital officer (CDO) and chief marketing officer (CMO).
  • Growth and strong financial management will drive new executive leadership roles, especially with new initial public offerings disrupting the marketplace.
  • New roles will need to better represent more diverse customer and employee bases at the C-suite level.

    Big data plays an influential role in executive roles, Sullivan noted.

    “We are seeing a proliferation of executive-level roles” because of that influence. “Businesses are looking for leaders who can not only understand the massive amounts of information available to them but also identify the threats and opportunities” that result.

    Hot Jobs by Industry
  • Human resources: Chief human resource officer and head of people analytics. For chief human resource officers, CEOs are looking for “a trusted strategic partner and confidant who can support the CEO by debating and challenging business decisions and priorities,” according to the report.
The head of people analytics would be expected to provide “deeper and more meaningful information” on human capital.

  • Digital and marketing: CMO, digital marketing/chief creative officer and CDO. The CDO would be responsible for formulating strategies for mobile and digital platforms; this includes life sciences and health care companies looking for cost-efficient ways to connect with patients, providers and payers, and all businesses looking to upgrade their business-to-business or employee digital user experience.
  • Retail: analytics practice leader, chief growth officer (CGO) and head of personalization. The CGO would identify opportunities for growing the company across digital media and technology and borrow ideas from the startup world.

    The head of personalization would need to be an expert “at integrating the knowledge gained from customer behavior analytics into highly-targeted engagement and marketing strategies,” said CTPartners in its report.
  • Cybersecurity and risk: chief information security officer (CISO), digital risk officer (DRO) and conduct risk officer. The CISO will have direct access to the CEO and board of directors, the report noted, with best-in-class cybersecurity leaders likely having a defense sector or federal government background.
The DRO would report to the chief risk officer or chief digital officer, according to the report.

CTPartners predicts a global adoption of the conduct risk officer role. In Australia, this role has become a priority for boards and executive teams, according to the report.

  • Life sciences and health care industry: head of customer engagement, chief patient officer (CPO), head of population health management and chief innovation officer. The CPO’s responsibilities would include developing and leading patient-centric outreach and organizational strategies.

    The head of population health management would have a sophisticated understanding of the data and analytic tools and business priorities for both health care providers and payers.
  • Financial sector: private equity chief financial officer. The person in this role should be familiar with the dashboard of private equity investors; those most sought after for this position would have initial public offering experience.
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