3. October 2023

Why is everyone talking about… the 'AI CEO'?

Personio Pulse: This Week in HR - 2

Welcome to Personio Pulse: This Week in HR, where each week we take a look at the latest trends in the world of work, what you need to know about them and what they mean for you as an HR professional. 

This week, we’re covering the ‘AI CEO’.

What you need to know

When you think of a CEO, is there a specific image that pops into your mind of what they may be like? One HR publication used AI to analyse the biographical data of CEOs of the FTSE 100 to uncover what the ‘average CEO’ looks like.

The results revealed a 55-year-old white man who studied economics at the University of Cambridge. He works in financial services and has an annual salary of £4,196,000 – about 127 times the median UK salary. Oh and his name is Andrew and he looks like this:

Personio Pulse the AI CEO
Credit: People Managing People

It’s a grim reminder of the lack of diversity at the C-suite level. In fact, there are more CEOs in the FTSE 100 named Andrew or Simon alone than there are women. 

What others are saying about it 

Adrian McDonagh, Co-Founder of Hireful, says it’s a common problem: “I train thousands of recruiters every year and the number one problem we hear is not attracting diversity.” 

He explains: “With CEOs, it can be difficult to judge overall performance. Targets can be aligned to short term objectives that don’t necessarily maximise long-term shareholder value. In this case, it will be ‘easier’ for the status quo to remain and a poor performer to continue as CEO, instead of hiring from a pool of more diverse candidates.”

What that means for you

“Unfortunately, the higher up the management tree you go the narrower the pool of diverse talent becomes”, shares Adrian. Because of that, you’ll need to endeavour to recruit diverse talent at every seniority level of your business. 

Diversity isn’t just important on a human level, it has a very positive impact on your business. Companies with a diverse workforce are 35% more likely to experience greater financial returns than their respective non-diverse counterparts. 

To foster it successfully, you’ll need to ensure that recruitment, career development and compensation are as equitable as possible across your organisation. There are many approaches you can take here:

  • Use Boolean search to source a more diverse pool of applicants

  • Create diversity mentorship programmes and networking opportunities

  • Build diversity training for all employees, especially leaders

  • When hiring leaders (particularly at an executive level), reach out to organisations such as The 30% Club and Diversifying Group to tap into their networks

What else should I read? 

That's all for this week's edition of Personio Pulse: This Week in HR. Check back next week as we continue to dissect the latest trends impacting the ways we work. 

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Hannah Popham

Hannah Popham

Hannah is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Personio. She loves writing about the ever-changing ways that we work and how they intersect with our lives outside work.

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