经济学人 | 公司为什么要不断设立各种“首席XX官”?

经济学人 | 公司为什么要不断设立各种“首席XX官”? 缩略图 - www.englishdock.cn

背景介绍:

我们都知道,首席执行官是一个公司里负责日常事务的最高行政官员。除了首席执行官外,一些公司里还设有许多以“首席XX官”为名的高管职位,常见的有首席运营官、首席财务官、首席人事官和首席信息官等。而如今,各大公司正在设立越来越多的“首席XX官”。

The pandemic is ushering in new C-suite roles

一场疫情迎来了新的高管职位

Not all corporate titles will stick

但并不是所有这些职位都能保留

When meeting big new challenges, chief executive officers often resort to a convenient tool: creating fresh executive roles. This helps channel resources to pressing problems and attract talent. It signals to staff and the wider world that bosses understand what really matters (and care about it).

每当遇到新的重大挑战时,首席执行官们往往会拿起一个方便的工具:创造新的高管职位。这有助于引导资源去解决一些紧迫的问题,并且还能吸引人才。这是在向员工和外界释放信号,即老板明白什么才是真正重要的事情(并对其十分关切)。

Sometimes, it ends up looking farcical—remember the proliferation of “chief listening officers” a decade ago, as companies sought to react to social-media chatter?

有时,它最终看起来很荒谬——还记得十年前许多公司为了应对社交媒体上的各种议论而纷纷增设“首席倾听官”一职吗?

But certain newfangled C-suite roles do catch on; no self-respecting corporation can do without a chief sustainability officer these days. A few corporate positions that have gained prominence during a particularly tumultuous 2020 are almost certainly here to stay.

但一些新奇的高管职位确实很流行;如今,任何一家体面的公司都不会缺少“首席可持续发展官”一职。在尤为动荡的2020年,一些高管职位的重要作用得以显现,这些职位几乎可以肯定会继续存在的。

The most obvious example is “chief medical officer”. Long common in industries where safety is an abiding concern (mining, say), health supremos are now being recruited more widely, says Tony Lee of the Society for Human Resource Management, a trade association. The pandemic is far from over, red tape around sick leave is becoming more tangled as a result of it, and mental-health problems among employees are likely to outlive the plague.

最明显的例子是“首席医务官”。行业组织人力资源管理协会的托尼·李说,医务高管在安全问题长期受到关注的行业(比如采矿业)很常见,而如今,越来越多的企业都在招聘医务高管。目前,疫情远未结束,病假的审批程序也因此变得更加繁杂,即便是在疫情结束后,员工们很可能会长期存在心理健康问题。

Another emerging role is that of “chief remote officer”, responsible for designing policies and disseminating best practices for home-working. Succeeding could therefore mean making oneself redundant. Mr Lee thinks this role will eventually disappear, especially at smaller companies (though it may hang around at bigger ones with more complicated and dispersed workforces).

另一个新的高管职位是“首席远程官”,其主要负责在家办公政策制定和推广的最佳方式。因此,当首席远程官的工作完成之时,他也就成了一个多余的人。托尼·李认为,这一职位最终会消失,尤其是在小公司(当然,在人员更为复杂和分散的大公司,这一职位可能会继续保留)。

As Bhushan Sethi of PwC, a consultancy, points out, something similar happened to chief digital officers, whom firms have recruited with gusto over the past decades. Digital honchos’ ranks are beginning to thin now that digital technology has become part of most companies’ bread and butter.

正如咨询公司普华永道的布尚·塞提所指出的那样,各大公司在过去几十年里纷纷招聘的“首席数字官”也面临着同样的境地。由于数字技术已经成为大多数公司的主要收入来源,数字高管的数量也在缩减。

Indeed, recruitment trends show that it is bread and butter that continues to preoccupy bosses. Hiring of “chief revenue officers” and “chief growth officers”, charged with co-ordinating firms’ sales-generating activities, has accelerated as pandemic lockdowns simultaneously restrict economies’ supply and demand sides, according to a survey by LinkedIn, a professional social network. Their share of C-suite hires is now, respectively, twice and nearly three times what it was in 2017.

事实上,招聘趋势表明,营收仍然是老板们关注的焦点。职业社交网站领英的一项调查显示,由于疫情封锁对经济体供需双方造成了限制,各大公司正在飞速招聘负责协调公司销售活动的“首席营收官”和“首席增长官”。目前,这两个职位在高管人员招聘中的比例分别是2017年时的两倍和近三倍。

However, last year’s hottest executive recruits had nothing to do with covid-19. As protests against racial injustice rocked America last summer, companies rushed to enlist chief diversity officers, who ensure their workforce is representative of society at large.

然而,去年最热门的高管职位与新冠肺炎疫情毫无关系。去年夏天,随着种族歧视的抗议活动席卷美国,各大公司争相招募“首席多元化官”,以确保其员工结构能体现整个社会的多元化。

One risk to diversity chiefs’ future job security is that most of them have not been invited to sit at the corporate top table. Most lack a direct line to the CEO. At worst, the post becomes “a ceremonial role”, with no authority, resources or structure, warns Michael Hyter of Korn Ferry, a consultancy. At best, like other modish corporate roles, it may eventually become redundant.

首席多元化官在未来的职业保障中面临着一个风险,他们中的大多数人在董事会中都没有一席之地,也不会直接向首席执行官汇报。咨询公司光辉国际的迈克尔·海特警告称,在最坏的情况下,这个职位将成为一个不具权力、资源和结构的“花瓶职位”。即便是最好的情况,这一职位可能也会向其他一时流行的高管职位一样,最终变得多余。

经济学人 | 公司为什么要不断设立各种“首席XX官”? 插图  - www.englishdock.cn