Chief People Officer pathways report - International Edition 2024

A global perspective: Navigating the dynamic landscape of Chief People Officer career paths

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In an era marked by unprecedented global change, the role of the Chief People Officer (CPO) has emerged as a crucial force in steering organisational success. As businesses recognise the pivotal role of their workforce in achieving strategic goals, the CPO is at the forefront of shaping progressive working cultures and aligning human capital with business objectives.

The past 12 months have witnessed significant global change and uncertainty, and 2024 is poised to host historic levels of electoral activity worldwide. Against this backdrop, employees increasingly view their workplace as a safe space for debate and a primary source of community, according to a 2022 Special Report by Edelman. Coupled with challenging trading conditions, this has transformed the role of HR, requiring it to evolve beyond a support function into something more emotionally connected to the broad landscape of peoples’ lives beyond the workplace.

The UK, in particular, continues to grapple with a difficult industrial relations landscape, compounded by record-low consumer confidence at the end of 2023. As organisations adapt to these challenges, the CPO navigates a complex intersection of people, performance, society, organisational growth, sustainability, and profitability.

Eton Bridge Partners’ HR Practice has been a stalwart in identifying and appointing CPOs and their teams for nearly 15 years. In response to growing interest in CPO career paths, the organisation expanded its analysis globally, evaluating over 7,500 appointments to understand market dynamics, trends, and quantitative data behind CPO appointments.

We answer key questions in the report and highlight crucial insights for both aspiring and established Chief People Officers and companies seeking to hire or develop a pipeline for the position.

  • Is gender a significant factor in Chief People Officer appointments, and what are the notable regional variations?
  • How does geographical location impact Chief People Officer hiring trends, particularly in terms of significant regional variations in age, gender, and sector prevalence?
  • Have opportunities for Chief People Officer roles diminished?
  • How significant is the impact of internal networks in Chief People Officer appointments?
  • Are generalist skills considered vital in the Chief People Officer role, with a continued emphasis on generalist knowledge and a growing focus on talent and learning agendas?
  • How significant is the impact of ownership models on Chief People Officer prospects?

The report underscores the importance of these findings for decision-makers, offering valuable insights for those aspiring to the role or companies looking to fill it. In a landscape of evolving challenges, understanding the global dynamics of CPO career paths is key to driving organisational success.


Download our 2024 edition of the Chief People Officer Pathways report to find out more.


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