Careers survey: sector experience no barrier to IROs

Apr 28, 2015
<p>Three in five external IRO hires have prior experience in the role, finds survey</p>

As we explored in last week’s article, and according to the latest IR Magazine research, one in three of those working as an IRO moved to the role from another department at the same company.

This is true for 35 percent of the 1,700 respondents to the careers survey, which was carried out in partnership with communications recruitment firm Taylor Bennett. Others have different origins, having worked at a different company in the same industry (15 percent), in a different sector (23 percent), on the sell side (10 percent), on the buy side (3 percent) or with a service provider (8 percent).

When splitting respondents by geographic location, some interesting trends emerge. European IROs are the least likely (7 percent) to have moved into their current IR job from another company in the same industry, though a higher-than-average proportion (15 percent) of them arrive from the sell side. US respondents, meanwhile, are more likely than their overseas peers to have moved from an industry competitor, with 20 percent reporting they were previously at a different company in the same industry.

Those respondents who moved to their current position from another company – around 65 percent of the survey base – more often than not have been an IRO before: 59 percent previously worked in IR, and just under a quarter (23 percent) worked in finance. A further 7 percent worked in marketing or communications roles, with the same proportion listing their profession as ‘other’.

Chart of 'how did you find your current role'
Source: IR Magazine

Fittingly, IR heads are more likely than average to have come from an IR background than their colleagues, with 70 percent having previously worked in the same profession. Exactly a quarter of IR team leaders reportedly come from ‘other’ roles, reflecting the range of skills required and desired in such hires. Meanwhile, a slightly higher-than-average proportion of junior IROs (12 percent) are likely to have come from a communications or marketing job.

Small-cap respondents are the most likely to have come from a communications background, with just over a quarter (26 percent) of those hired from another company having worked in such a role previously. Only 14 percent of mid-cap respondents and 12 percent of large and mega-cap IROs surveyed can say the same.

We also asked IROs how they found their current job. Overall, 27 percent were selected by a recruitment consultant, while 15 percent responded to a job advert. Personal connections can count, too: 22 percent of respondents say they were approached by a company based on a personal recommendation, while just under a quarter (24 percent) know their current CEO or CFO from a previous company.

Mega-cap IROs are more likely than average to have responded to a job ad, with 26 percent having found their current job in this manner. Small-cap respondents, however, are more likely than average to have capitalized on knowing someone in the C-suite from a previous job, with 31 percent reporting that such a relationship led to their current role.

For the purposes of this study, small-cap companies are defined as those with a market cap of less than $1 bn, mid-cap as those with between $1 bn and $5 bn, large-cap as those with $5 bn to $30 bn and mega-cap as those with a market cap of more than $30 bn.

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