Challenges in CXO hiring: Competition, Young leaders bring change, Skills gap, Diversity and Location

Recruitment for CXO levels is notoriously difficult. The search for leaders who are going to be sitting at the highest level cannot be taken lightly. The demands in these positions are very high and it is important to find people who are qualified, skilled, experienced and who will fit into the team and culture effortlessly. 

Table of Contents

  • Competition
  • Young leaders bring change
  • Skills gap
  • Diversity
  • Location

Additionally, because of the nature of the job, challenges crop up for people in these leadership roles very often. CEOs also no longer need to grow with the brands they are managing and so they do not have to have grown with the brands throughout their careers. 

There are many challenges in this candidate-led market. Let us examine some of them.

1. Competition

Executives know that they are in demand and have the power to pick and choose between job offers and hold great advantage during negotiations. It is therefore important that as a company recruiting for leadership, you must have a good idea of what a competitive salary package for a person in the C-suite must look like, come up with a reasonable offer as well as other benefits. Coming up with a flexible role and helping them achieve optimal work-life balance will also be very important to them. With millennials and Gen Z rising in the ranks, it is important to understand their needs and wants and create remuneration packages that would put you ahead of your competition. Your work environment must rival that of your competitor’s and so you must cultivate a strong employer brand that makes talent want to work with you. Do you have strong values that your company lives and breathes? Do you have an amazing company work culture that makes people want to work with you?

2. Young leaders bring change

With several millennials and Gen Z getting into leadership roles, they bring big changes in companies and the way they work. These generations are less dictatorial than their predecessors and are stepping away from traditional top-down structures into more flatter management structures that are more collaborative and transparent. Bringing in younger talent with differing attitudes towards management, communication and work-life balance can bring in   wholescale change within the company. You must be ready to embrace their new views, changes to infrastructure and traditional ways of working. It is important to examine whether you are ready for this.

3. Skills gap

When older people retire, it’s time to get new people to fill those roles. The problem is that many younger people are not trained or prepared to make this transition. The top talent pools are small and continue to shrink. It is important for companies to create a talent pool within the workforce and develop their skills to generate the leaders of tomorrow. While looking to fill these leadership roles with people from outside, you need to look for skills, experience and personality to succeed within your company. 

4. Diversity

Diversity, equality and inclusion are not just important topics but something that customers, shareholders and employees want to see in an organization. Many countries have laws and regulations surrounding these and these include gender equality as well. It has been researched and proven that diversity of leadership teams leads to better innovation and improved financial performance. It is often a challenge to get past unconscious biases that exist while recruiting for C-suite positions. Companies must undertake training and research to understand the benefits of a diverse leadership team and the positive effect it has on the performance and productivity of the company. 

5. Location

Location is a key factor that influences attracting the top talent to a CXO position. If you are located in a lesser-known location, then it may be difficult to sell the opportunity to candidates who are used to a more bustling location and are therefore unsure of moving to a smaller town. Talent that is relocating will have to consider a lot of factors such as adjustment of lifestyle, spouses and children into account. The general quality of life in the city in which you are located as well as the availability of good schools, colleges and a good quality of life will be important. Several other factors like affordability, housing, visas, work permits and necessary work permits also come into consideration depending on where the candidates are from. Ensure that you have all the information on hand before you approach candidates. 


CXO recruitment presents its own set of challenges. However, the time, effort and expense to recruit the right person can lead your company to future success. It needs strategy and creativity to find the right person who can fulfill the role as well as relocate to your location. Many times, people in C-suite roles hesitate to take up new opportunities. Hence the recruiter must be creative in their sourcing and outreach efforts. They may need to tap into their personal networks to reach potential candidates and offer competitive compensation packages and perks.

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