The Talent Competition Heating Up

CEO talent

As we head towards the year’s end and our screens fill with talent shows, the competition to secure the very best talent for organisations has continued to heat up. With stable employment rates, good talent is getting more scarce. Senior executives have become highly sought after in a candidates’ market fuelled by external factors.

CEO departures have risen rapidly in recent years, with Executive Grapevine reporting a 60% increase in C-level executives leaving their leadership positions at major US firms over the past year. A higher proportion of those CEOs left to join new companies, a sure sign that the talent marketplace is highly competitive. While we have seen a changing of the guard at several of the UK broadcasters and reorganisations, our industry is positioned well compared to others. The government, tech and financial sectors all saw higher CEO turnover rates than the media industry.

Plus, in this period of growth for the economy, many businesses are eyeing opportunities to grow and diversify their businesses. This diversification is driving the competition for leadership talent even further, with specific skillsets increasingly scarce.

All this has seen a rise in CEO pay to account for the lack of talent supply and an increasing demand. Over the past year, CEO pay for the FTSE100 businesses has increased 11% (Executive Grapevine), compared to an average rise of 2% for all employees at FTSE100 companies. This comparison will become public from 2020, when businesses in the UK with 250+ employees must publish the pay gaps between their CEO and workforce (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy). This is a follow up to reporting the gender pay gap and another step towards equality.

Identifying and securing the best talent has become more difficult for HR leaders across the globe. Sourcing the talent to fill gaps in their enterprises has always been a priority, however as the pool of senior executives open to new opportunities continues to shrink, it becomes a candidate market.