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Navigating the North West Talent Landscape: Key Insights for Business Leaders

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The North West of England is a thriving business hub, and attracting and retaining top talent is crucial for success. But what does the current landscape actually look like? This blog post dives into key data points from our recent reports to help you navigate the talent landscape and build high-performing teams.

C-Suite: Prioritise Diversity and Agility

Unsurprisingly, the data shows a concerning lack of gender diversity in C-Suite roles, particularly for CEOs and CTOs. Here's a closer look:

  • CEO: High demand (4.8 years average tenure, 5% attrition) is coupled with a limited talent pool (2% growth) and a significant gender gap (25% female).

  • CFO: Similar challenges exist with high turnover (2.2 years average tenure, 18.5% attrition), a slower talent pool (5% growth), and a gender gap (23% female).

  • CMO: The marketing leadership landscape might be undergoing a structural shift, with some firms opting for alternative leadership structures (e.g., BD & Marketing Director). Regardless, high turnover (1.5 years average tenure, 17.2% attrition) and a gender gap (38% female) necessitate a focus on agility and attracting diverse marketing talent.

  • COO:While the COO role shows a more moderate attrition rate (10.6%), the talent pool remains limited (5% growth), and the gender gap persists (29% female). Prioritising diversity initiatives is crucial.

  • CTO:The North West's booming banking sector likely drives the high demand for CTOs (3 years average tenure, 9.9% attrition). However, the momentous gender gap (5% female) and stagnant talent pool (1% growth) pose significant challenges.

Growth Trend: The booming North West banking sector is driving demand for CTOs.

Talent Acquisition Challenge: Limited talent pool growth and significant gender gaps across most C-Suite roles require proactive diversity initiatives and a focus on agility.

HR: Building a Foundation for Talent Acquisition

Understanding your current workforce is crucial for developing effective talent acquisition strategies. Here's a glimpse into some key HR data trends:

  • HR Transformation & Tech Adoption: The significant growth in Chief People Officer (CPO) roles (20%) suggests a focus on HR transformation and technology adoption within North West businesses, particularly in the tech & media sector.

  • High Turnover in Support Roles: The high attrition rates for Head of Payroll (17%), Talent Acquisition Coordinators (28%), and Internal Comms Coordinators (28%) highlight the challenge of retaining talent in these crucial support functions. The biggest hiring sectors for these roles (Financial Services, Travel & Medical, and Education) suggest a competitive landscape across various industries.

  • Focus on Agility in HR Assistant Roles: The negative growth (-4%) in HR Assistant positions and relatively low average tenure (1.3 years) suggest a need for agility in these roles. While some organisations might prefer experienced professionals, others might prioritise adaptability and willingness to learn new technologies. The Banking sector remains the biggest hirer for HR Assistants.

Focus on:  This data suggests a need for HR departments to balance strategies on retaining talent in support roles, while simultaneously leveraging technology and attracting experienced professionals for strategic HR leadership positions.

Sales, Marketing & Digital: A Focus on Innovation and Customer Experience

The Marketing, Digital & Sales data reveals a growing emphasis on innovation and customer focus in the North West:

  • Client Services Director: Renowned for their loyalty (9% attrition rate), attracting these talented individuals can be challenging. Highlighting a strong company culture and focus on client success can be effective.

  • Chief Product Officer: The significant growth in the talent pool for CPOs (10% - second highest we've seen in this discipline) is encouraging. The North West retail sector's focus on product innovation likely drives the high demand (1.3 years average tenure, 8.5% attrition). Emphasise exciting product development opportunities to attract top talent.

  • Chief Information Officer: The North West construction industry seems to be undergoing a tech transformation, reflected in the high CIO demand (1.3 years average tenure, 12% attrition). However, attracting and retaining top talent remains challenging due to the gender gap (20% female) and stagnant talent pool growth (5%). Highlighting the impact of technology in construction projects could be an effective strategy for this sector.

Growth Trend:Significant growth in the CPO talent pool (10%) suggests a focus on product innovation across various industries.

Talent Acquisition Challenge: Attracting and retaining top CIO talent in the construction industry remains a challenge due to the gender gap and stagnant talent pool growth.

Professional Services: A High-Growth Sector with Specific Talent Needs

The professional services sector presents a dynamic talent landscape in the North West. Here are some key takeaways from the data:

  • Growth and Long Tenure in Senior Roles: The high growth rate (24%) for Bids/Proposals Directors coupled with long average tenure (9.1 years) suggests stability and a focus on retaining senior professionals within the professional services sector itself. That said, Director of Customer Relations has also experienced high growth (22%) but is a significantly more volatile market (1 year average tenure).

  • High Turnover in Support Roles: The high attrition rates for BD Assistants (30%) indicate a challenge in retaining talent in these crucial support functions. The legal and property sectors seem to be the most competitive in attracting BD Assistants at present.

  • Loyalty at Middle Management level: The current economic crisis sees many organisations investing in client acquisition. To remain competitive, businesses are investing in retaining their top talent in this field as reflect in the shockingly low attrition rate of Bids/Proposals Managers (4.7%)

Growth Trend: The significant growth across Bids/Proposals Director (24%) and Director of Client Relations (22%) roles suggests a thriving professional services sector in the North West.

Talent Acquisition Challenge:  Developing strategies to retain talent in Business Development and Bids/Proposal support roles is crucial for professional services firms.

Emerging Trends to Watch

Staying ahead of the curve is crucial. Here are some trending roles to watch across both C-Suite and all other functional areas:

  • Revenue Operations & Enablement: These roles focus on optimising the revenue lifecycle and empowering sales teams for improved performance.

  • Customer-Centric Roles: Customer experience (CX) specialists and Heads of Growth with a customer focus are becoming increasingly important.

  • Technology & Automation: Sales & Marketing Automation Specialists and AI & Marketing Specialists leverage technology to drive efficiency and effectiveness.

Building Your Winning Team

The North West talent landscape presents both challenges and opportunities. By understanding the current trends and focusing on diversity, agility, and a strong employer brand, you can develop a winning talent acquisition strategy.

Download our full reports ( for a deeper dive into the data and specific insights for each role.

Ready to discuss your unique talent acquisition challenges or explore how we can support your team building efforts?  Contact us today on 0161 359 3789.

Remember, a well-structured and diverse team is essential for navigating the competitive North West business landscape. By leveraging these insights and taking proactive steps, you can build a team that drives success for your organisation.

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