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HR sees the largest growth among C-suite hires

Chief HR officer roles have seen the biggest growth in hiring out of all C-suite jobs in the past year, according to LinkedIn.

The professional jobs and networking site witnessed a 56% growth in CHRO hires from September 2020 to August 2021.

Chief revenue officer was second, closely followed by hires of chief people officers, of which demand for the role had increased by 45%.

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Becky Schnauffer, senior director at LinkedIn said the list highlighted how business priorities were changing as a result of the pandemic.

She said: “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.

“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.” 

Speaking to HR magazine, Jon Dawson, group director of people development at Lore Gorup, said the data demonstrated the value of the HR profession was finally being realised.

He said: “With the impacts that COVID has had on many organisations I’m not surprised that CHRO and CPO positions were the first and third most popular C-suite hires in the last 12 months given the strong value that these roles have in organisations.

"COVID has certainly highlighted that HR has a central role to play in key business decisions at C Suite.”


The UK’s top 10 fastest growing C-suite roles

Ranking Job title Growth rate in past 12 months
1 Chief human resources officer 56%
2 Chief revenue officer 48%
3 Chief people officer 45%
4 Chief communications officer 35%
5 Chief growth officer 33%
6 Chief innovation officer 31%
7 Chief product officer 29%
8 Chief sales officer 29%
9 Chief compliance officer 28%
10 Chief marketing officer 22%

Speaking to HR magazine, Perry Timms, founder of consultancy PTHR, said the new HR hires will be expected to deliver large changes to their new organisations.

He said: "I've declared how good this feels to have recognition in this way, my sense is that with more complex challenges, those hires are needed to be focused, alert and leading responsive changes for some time.

"To continue much of the hard graft occurred in the COVID shockwave response and the more complex environment we're in now, requires more guile, sophisticated thinking and doing as our next stage actions emerging into new ways of working and supporting our people."

LinkedIn compared data from September 2020 to August 202 with the same period the year before to rank growth in the hiring proportion of each individual C-suite title.