Why HR execs are the UK's most in-demand C-suite roles

By Kate Birch
CHROs and CPOs among the fastest-growing C-suite roles, as pandemic highlights importance of HR executive decision-making

The role of Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) has witnessed the largest growth of all C-suite hires in the last 12 months in the UK, according to LinkedIn research. 

The data revealed an incredible 56% growth in CHRO hires between September 2020 and August 2021.

Demand for another HR exec role, the newer titled Chief People Officer, was almost as high with 45% growth in hires of CPOs, ranking the role the third most in-demand in the UK. 

HR's influence has grown during pandemic crisis

As businesses navigated the COVID-19 crisis, managing furlough, implementing hybrid working systems, advising on wellbeing, and planning future work processes, demand for HR leaders rose significantly compared to that of other executive roles.

According to LinkedIn’s senior director, Becky Schnauffer, this heightened demand for human resource execs “highlights how business priorities are changing” as a result of the pandemic.

“CHROs and Chief People Officers have demonstrated the highly strategic role they play in businesses over the past 19 months, and their impact has been clear,” says Schnauffer.

It’s positive to see them elevated to the top of this list as companies bolster hiring of these leaders to help their businesses introduce new ways of working, and transform culture and behaviours as they define what the future of work looks like.” 

Other growing C-suite roles post pandemic

C-suite roles of chief revenue officer and chief growth officer have also witnessed significant growth, ranking at #2 and #5, respectively, with the former seeing 48% growth and the latter 33% growth.

Such increased demand for executives who can maximise cashflow, think strategically and achieve sustained revenue growth further reflect the changing needs of business in light of the pandemic.

Other in-demand C-suite roles included chief communications officer with 35% growth, chief innovation officer (33%), chief product officer (29%), chief sales officer (29%) and chief compliance officer (28%).

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