Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are the most in-demand hire in 2023 (37%), according to the Growth Characteristics report*. Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) (36%) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) (31%) are also the top roles companies are looking to fill in the next five years – while over 1 in 4 (28%) leaders are looking of a Chief Sustainability Officer.
Ash Patel, Head of Cyber at ECI Partners says:
“The pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine – as well as the increased vulnerability of hybrid working models – have raised the cyber security threat level for businesses. It is not surprising that hiring a good CISO is on most leaders’ to do lists for 2023. The right CISO will be expected to bridge the gap between the overall business strategy and cyber security risk management.”
Additionally, the Growth Characteristics report has revealed that delivering digital transformation is one of biggest strategic challenges UK leaders are facing (17%), which is a vital player in effectively tackling cyber risks.
The report also reveals that company size plays a key role in terms of the type of roles needed. Smaller businesses are more likely to need more finance-focused senior roles – 43% want a CFO and 39% want to hire a Chief Revenue Officer to support their growth strategies. By contrast, the largest businesses are prioritising roles such as Chief Revenue Officers (42%), CISOs (40%), Chief Data Officers (33%) and CTOs (30%).
Ash Patel, Head of Cyber at ECI Partners says: “High-profile cyber breaches this year have made it clear that security threats are becoming ever-more sophisticated – and as a result, more challenging for businesses to tackle. All companies are recognising the need for appropriate procedures and policies to protect the business from both internal and external risks. It is an area that investors are enhancing their capability in as well, with private equity firms hiring Heads of Cyber to support their portfolios with their cyber resilience.”
Growth Characteristics methodology
ECI surveyed 513 UK CEOs, Founders and Managing Directors of fast-growing SME businesses across automotive and transport, education, financial services, healthcare/pharmaceuticals, HR, training and recruitment, law and legal services, professional services, retail and consumer goods, technology and travel sectors. Respondents were surveyed in Autumn 2022 regarding their views on the skills and traits needed in a leadership team, the importance of social purpose, ESG and D&I, the challenges facing them today and their future plans for their business.
*Report from ECI Partners