What does the C-suite at large corporations look like today? How do these leaders’ inner circles change year after year?
Every year, LinkedIn looks at least 100,000 decisions about hiring people with the word “chief” in their job titles in the United States.
Chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer continue to be the positions that receive the greatest recruiting.
However, the C-suite continues expanding, with much activity in the 51 (yes, 51!) more C-suite jobs we studied.
- Chief diversity and inclusion officers (or slightly modified versions of that title) have been the target of the most aggressive recruiting drive over the last two years.
- High-profile businesses, including Citi, UnitedHealth, and private equity behemoth KKR have all made similar announcements in recent months.
- Academic schools like Carnegie Mellon and the University of North Texas have done the same.
- The most recent statistics from LinkedIn will be intriguing if you’ve ever fantasized about holding a prestigious C-suite job.
- The professional networking platform has spent years researching the recruiting practices for 500,000 C-suite roles that will be available between 2019 and the end of 2022.
- It was discovered that recruiting for several C-suite positions has increased dramatically throughout those years.
Despite the absence of the coveted chief executive officer position from the list, businesses are aggressively looking to fill other C-suite positions.
The top 10 C-suite roles for hiring growth since 2019 are shown below:
- Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer: 168.9%
- Chief Delivery Officer: 165.6%
- Chief People Officer: 144.3%
- Chief Growth Officer: 117.5%
- Chief Revenue Officer: 76.3%
- Chief Legal Officer: 72.0%
- Chief Program Officer: 60.3%
- Chief Commercial Officer: 59.6%
- Chief Underwriting Officer: 53.2%
- Chief Human Resources Officer: 50.1%
The Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer role is on the list of C-suite positions that greatly encourage me.
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LinkedIn Points on C-suite Position
However, LinkedIn points out that even while that specific position topped the group with the fastest increase over the last four years—at 168.9%—the number of hiring for Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers decreased by 4.5% in 2022, the final year of its review. (The list’s other C-suite positions all saw increases.)
The cause? According to research by Essence magazine into the reduction cited by LinkedIn, “many have discreetly withdrawn from promises to diversity and inclusion” as a result of businesses looking more closely at their bottom lines due to recessionary anxieties.
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, “much was promised, but little was accomplished,” according to a Harvard Business Review report on corporate diversity initiatives.
- The C-suite positions with the highest hiring increase, according to LinkedIn, “tend to manage areas where corporations want to become better quickly.”
- Only C-suite positions with at least 50 hiring in 2022 were included in the platform’s analysis of 500,000 C-suite hires in the US.
- These rankings are more than simply a guide for aspirational individuals hoping to rise quickly to leadership positions.
- They also provide hints about the shifting objectives of businesses.
- In the industry, it’s customary for companies to announce their intentions by appointing a C-suite executive when they want to resolve issues or seize new chances quickly.
- The increasing importance of diversity titles in the C-suite is a prime example.
Before a generation ago, diversity jobs were often found lower down in the corporation and were primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with federal laws. No more.
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According To Data & Study:
The recent Harvard Business Review article “The Killing of George Floyd in May 2020 was a Clarifying Catalyst That Helped Business Leaders See the Huge Inequities That Have Always Existed” by leadership strategists Gena Cox and David Lancefield states this.
Newly appointed C-suite diversity executives, like Erica Irish Brown at Citi, are receiving broad mandates to promote change.
- Largely, organizational cultures, recruiting procedures, and pay scales are being reexamined with equality in mind.
- Will single hiring have a significant impact? Not all by themselves, particularly “in the face of institutional criticism,” as Bloomberg writer Jeff Green observed last spring.
- However, chief diversity and inclusion officers could have more support from the C-suite than ever.
- Chief people officers and talent officers are a few in-demand job titles that made the Top 10 list.
- These two names show how the previous personnel office, or even the human relations division, has changed over the years into something more strategic.
- When topics like global growth and acquisitions are being discussed, chief people officers have a prominent place at the table.
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It has been particularly true during the last 19 months, as businesses have struggled with the difficulties of work-from-home, hybrid work, and other fundamental readjustments brought on by the COVID-19 epidemic and its constraints.
- Chief people officers: are exercising unprecedented authority by presiding over strategy meetings, including both the legal and real estate departments.
- Chief legal and accounting officers: have witnessed an uptick in recruiting, indicating that C-suite designations relevant to the challenges of running successful firms are also on the rise.
- Chief Revenue, Customer, & Growth Officer: Notable is also the rise in prominence of positions with names like chief revenue officer, chief customer officer, and chief growth officer.
It often represents innovative thinking on how to link external-facing operations like sales and marketing with the organization’s overarching strategic objectives.
These more recent, grander-sounding designations aim to increase cross-departmental cooperation in one manner or another.
- Chief data officer: is a term that is intriguingly growing in popularity. Nearly 20 years ago, it made some initial appearances in banking, but it’s now relatively widespread at online consumer-facing businesses like Intuit and GoDaddy.
The scope of responsibilities might range from business analytics to data governance.
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Building a solid pipeline of applicants for any C-suite position in high demand takes time and effort. The growth of internal talent needs to catch up.
Therefore, businesses looking for a new leader quickly are more inclined to look outside, with the following possible knock-on effects:
- Frequently, larger firms invade smaller ones and remove a C-suite executive with the same position. (For example, Erica Irish Brown, now the top diversity officer at Citi, was formerly the chief diversity officer at Goldman Sachs.)
- This results in a close second or even third-order recruiting demand.
- In other cases, highly acclaimed managers at elite companies receive the opportunity to ascend to the C-suite in a different setting.
- Danetta Bland, a crucial member of Deloitte’s diversity team, experienced this when she was chosen to serve as the system’s chief diversity officer.
Overall, individuals working in industries with high C-suite demand have several career options.
However, the constant recruiting searches may put pressure on consistency.
That makes it much more difficult for influential leaders to remain in place long enough to develop radical ideas into permanent changes.