The rise of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO)

In recruiting, staffing and professional services.

Nowadays, we see that more and more recruiting & staffing and professional services companies, including our customers like TMC, Manpower, Otto Workforce and Randstad, invest heavily in new sales, marketing and recruitment technology. 

Given this investment, managing the digital transformation requires people with vision, experience and knowledge. Therefore, an increasing number of customers have defined a new role of Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to guide the digital transformation.


We would like to share some of our thoughts about key skills of a successful CDO or a comparable role in your organization:

  • Make digital an integral part of the strategy: digital is a new way of doing things and has to be part of your strategy.
  • Focus on talent and customer journeys: with technology and customer habits changing so quickly, it is essential to develop a deep and detailed view of customer and talent behaviour, across all channels. In addition, using customer-focused technology, like Salesforce, gives unique opportunities.
  • Build agility, speed, and data: for example, by setting up “digital factories,” which are cross-functional groups that focus on developing one product or process using a different technology from the rest of the company. Embedding these factories in business units has the advantage of spreading the new culture and making the digital-factory approach the norm. Also, focus on using big data to create full insight in your most valuable talent and customers and then act on it.
  • Getting things done: delivering digital transformation on all organisational levels.
  • Networking: successful CDO’s are keenly aware of trends. They build networks of people, technologies, and ideas far outside of their company. Furthermore, they constantly scan the small-business landscape to identify possible acquisitions or partners that can provide complementary capabilities. 


Technology is one of the key drivers in changing the entire staffing & recruiting business, as well as creating a competitive advantage. Even though, the digital transformation already started, the current economic climate is causing companies to invest more into optimizing their talent journey and customer journey. Some of these investment methods are implementing solutions for marketing, sales, recruiting, talent management, document management, onboarding, etc.


Want to discuss why and how this role of CDO can be relevant for your staffing and recruiting or professionals services company? Talent Peaks is a niche consultancy firm with deep business expertise in staffing and recruiting and professionals services and helps our customers including their CDO’s to excel in managing digital transformation. 

Joram Timmerman

Joram Timmerman

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