10 most in-demand executive jobs: digital, data and Asian insights top priorities
Technological advances will drive demand for executive talent in the new financial year, with IT, marketing and ecommerce talent at the top of Australian business’ wish lists. Board members with knowledge of China are also in high demand in firms planning to do business there.
On the eve of the 2014-15 financial year, a new executive recruitment forecast has named digital and China the two major knowledge areas that Australian companies will prioritise in new executive positions.
CTPartners managing partner, Asia Pacific, Jason Johnson identified 10 of the most wanted executive jobs in the region for the next 12 months on the basis of recent demand from clients.
Other executive search priorities for the new financial year include succession planning and implementing diversity initiatives among senior management.
The top 10 most wanted executive jobs for 2014-15
- Chief information officer: CIOs are earning a place in the boardroom as data, mobile, digital and analytics drive corporate performance.
- Chief marketing officer: CMOs and marketing executives who can use analytics to demonstrate how marketing is driving revenue are in high demand.
- Chief risk officer: Cyber security is one of the top corporate priorities, so protecting digital assets has never been so crucial.
- Head of mobile commerce: As customers use their smartphones and tablets to work and play, executives who understand mobile user behaviour are hot property.
- Board director, digital: Boards need leaders with in-depth digital experience, operational understanding and strategic business insights.
- Board director, China: Companies wanting to expand into Asia are seeking board members with in-depth knowledge of Asian market.
- Head of compliance: The increased regulatory burden post-GFC means an expanded role for compliance executives.
- Chief procurement officer: With increased pressure to reduce costs and efficiency in the energy and resources sector, improving the supply chain can have a material effect on the bottom line.
- Chief operating officer: Experienced leaders in operations are critical at any time but especially when commodity prices are so volatile.
- Chief HR officer: CEOs realise they need more from their people to gain a competitive advantage, which is where a CHRO can help.
“Technological literacy is one of the most desired attributes in today’s executive search market,” Johnson says. “Big data has never been so important, as companies race to collect and make money from information about their customers.”
With consumers conducting more of their lives via smartphones and tablet computers, executives with knowledge of mobile commerce will be in demand in boardrooms around Australia. Cyber security is another key factor behind the executive talent forecast, with the security of customer and corporate information critical to organisations’ performance and reputation.
CTPartners also identified a growing demand for executives with in-depth knowledge of Asian markets as Australian companies seek to expand their business interests in Asia.
“Cracking the bamboo ceiling is a high priority for companies looking to take advantage of Asia’s continuing solid growth rates,” Johnson says. “This means more opportunities for executives of Asian descent and those who have spent time working in target regions, as companies reflect their strategic priorities in their board appointments.”
The jobs forecast comes as the Australian executive search industry experiences modest growth, with companies more confident to initiate new business ventures post-election.
“While companies are generally not increasing head count, one common theme has been to upgrade talent by attracting high-calibre candidates with experience in data analytics, cyber security and mobile commerce,” Johnson says.