How Poor Job Design Can Block CMOS From Succeeding In Their Roles.
Why is the average tenure of a C-suite executive a brief 5.3 years? And why do chief marketing and chief information officers last barely more than four years in the job, on average?
The answer may lie between the lines of the job specifications shopped around by executive recruiters. When I was approached to gauge interest in a CMO position and, as I reviewed the 12-page job spec, I realized that I couldn’t in good conscience recommend anyone for the role. Based on the responsibilities, expectations, and ideal candidate qualifications described in that document, the role was poorly designed. It was setting up the incoming CMO for failure.
Unfortunately, based on our experience and research, many C-level jobs are poorly designed — and the individuals interviewing for these jobs are unaware of it. We shared that CMO job spec with a group of senior-level marketers and asked how many would be interested in the role, assuming it offered competitive compensation and an attractive location. A large majority of the executives were interested: They had no idea how to assess how well aligned the responsibilities, performance expectations, and qualifications were — and whether the job design set them up to succeed or fail.
Companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to executive recruiting firms and may involve other C-suite executives, including the CEO, and potentially the board of directors, in defining and approving C-level roles. 80% of CEOs are disappointed in their CMOs. And most CMOs are dissatisfied with their roles and their ability to impact growth.
Read the full research from Kim Whitler that sheds light on the effect poorly defined job descriptions can have on performance and implores CMOs to take more active control over their job description, span of control and remit to make a bigger impact on revenue growth, firm value and financial performance. You can listen to Kim discuss her research about how the evolving nature of the CMO role and the inconsistent way that CMO roles are defined by recruiters is having a negative impact on CMO tenure, job satisfaction and success.