Ready for some good news about the executive job market? The uncertainty that weighed down hiring in 2012 is letting up.
FORTUNE — It’s no surprise that demand for leaders with sophisticated tech know-how keeps soaring, but a new study says demand is on the rise for other skills as well.
Ready for some good news about the executive job market? The economic and political uncertainty that weighed down hiring in 2012 is letting up, according to Brian Sullivan, CEO of global headhunting firm CTPartners (formerly Christian & Timbers). “With the U.S. presidential election behind us and signs of an improving economy, CEOs now have more clarity, if not exactly enthusiasm” for the year ahead, Sullivan says.
“We don’t expect major capital investment, but even cautious companies recognize that they have businesses to run,” he adds. “They’re better positioned to make strategic investments, now that they know what the rules are.” That’s particularly true in health care, where Sullivan says “health care reform is driving Big Pharma, medical device, and diagnostic companies to new levels of efficiency” — and where he foresees lots of hiring in 2013.
Sullivan’s predictions are based on CTPartners’ 18th annual survey of companies’ most pressing management talent searches. The study pinpointed 10 of the hottest management jobs now.
In health care:
1. Chief operations and integration officer. “Hospitals cannot continue to operate in ‘business-as-usual mode. They need to create new partnerships and alliances,” notes Sullivan. The COIO’s main job: coming up with new strategies for shifting business models.
2. Chief business officer. “As the crossover increases among health care hardware, software, and informatics, managers who can handle the new regulatory, medical, and economic challenges are highly sought after,” the study says.
3. Vice president of market access. “Market access is the hot topic in biotech, pharma, device, and diagnostic companies, as they are behind the curve in addressing ever-changing routes to market,” notes the report, adding that many new-product introductions need “a complete rethink.”
In financial services:
4. Compliance manager. Heavier regulation means companies need compliance teams that are well-versed in complex laws, including Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Protection Act.
5. Chief risk officer. “A critical role since the upheaval caused by the 2008 financial crisis, CROs are responsible for managing all types of risk, from enterprise risk to market credit and operational risk,” the report says.
6. Emerging payments officer. These days, how people pay for goods and services “contains a treasure trove of big data that will lead a decade’s worth of consumer strategy,” the study says. Banks in particular “Have extraordinary access to knowledge of consumer behavior so, for payments executives who can leverage it, the sky’s the limit.”
In information technology:
7. Vice president of digital marketing. With the seemingly endless expansion of media channels, companies need “executives with the ability to create strategic marketing programs that span multiple platforms, from social media to mobile to digital signage,” the study says.
8. Consumer Internet chief. In charge of a company’s overall online presence, this person “develops an internet strategy that encompasses … internal and external promotion, content creation, design, and online partnership building.”
9. Head of analytics, Big Data. As the amount of data generated within companies keeps growing, “having someone in place who can effectively make sense of it all” is critical, the study says, adding that these folks are “essentially data scientists who can find nuggets of insight like needles in a haystack.”
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10. Vice president, cloud services. Wanted: Tech managers who can develop the next generation of software and services delivered over the Internet via remote data servers, especially if they have “worked in a cloud business that managed to make money.”
Of course, top tech talent has been hot for a while now. According to the study, CTPartners’ clients’ hiring of IT managers jumped 255% between 2009 and 2012, and the firm expects “a double-digit increase in digital hiring” this year.