‘How to Hire a Great Chief Risk Officer’ addressed by all-new IRM guidance

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has released new guidance on hiring for the most senior risk positions. The organisation also remarks on a shortage of candidates for senior level positions and calls on organisations to ensure that their professional development schemes and succession plans nurture sufficient talent for the future.

In addition, the IRM is introducing a new advisory service to provide candidate assessment support for organisations around the world seeking to make top level risk appointments.

The new guidance was officially launched at the IRM’s annual Risk Leaders Conference where a panel of experts discussed recruiting and career development issues for the profession as a whole.

The guidance is based on the IRM’s professional standards and is aimed at organisations of all types seeking to recruit a Chief Risk Officer (CRO), perhaps their first, or to make other senior risk appointments. By CRO is meant the most senior executive in the organisation with responsibility and accountability for risk management, whatever their actual job title.

Stipulated by regulation

In some sectors, particularly financial services, the role of the CRO is stipulated by regulation. Other organisations have come to see the merits of such an appointment as part of a process of maturing their risk management posture, ensuring that it adds value to the business.

The document affords guidance on understanding the context of the CRO appointment, identifying key skills and attributes, the recruitment process itself and how to assess candidates.

IRM has worked with recruitment experts to combine an understanding of risk management expertise with guidance on how to go about a modern recruitment process.

Effective risk leadership

Socrates Coudounaris CFIRM, chair of the IRM, explained: “Effective risk leadership is an essential component of a healthy risk culture. Corporate governance codes around the world have underlined that you must have the right people and resources in place. Organisations face new risks and opportunities associated with digital disruption, geo-political and economic volatility, environmental responsibilities and social change. Ultimately, the responsibility for risk management rests with the Board, but that Board needs to have confidence that its delegating day-to-day responsibility to a suitably competent person who’ll also be responsible for giving the highest quality advice to support risk-based decision-making.”

Coudounaris added: “Risk management is changing fast and CROs must be up to the challenge. We’re delighted to be able to offer practical guidance and advice that will aid in the recruitment process, and especially so given the overriding importance of this role.”

Recruitment expert Ulrich Seega, the main report author, commented: “The aim of this guidance is to bring together today’s Best Practice in recruitment with the specialist technical knowledge about risk management offered by the IRM. Organisations are looking for CROs who display not only technical expertise at the highest level, but also the appropriate behavioural characteristics relating to matters like change and leadership. This guidance will help organisations define what they need and how to go about finding it.”

*Download the document in full here: https://irmcomms.wufoo.com/forms/ma742vz0dia4ef/

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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