Human Capital Management Edition
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HR Executives Must Work to Establish Their Roles in the C-Suite

As senior HR executives take a seat in the C-suites of large enterprises, gaps remain in their ability to establish themselves as peers in the eyes of CEOs and CFOs. In fact, the performance of human resources (HR) managers is being viewed especially harshly by CFOs.

These findings come from a fascinating survey of C-level executives conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Oracle and IBM. Results of the survey are now available in reports targeted at the CEO and CFO audiences, and will be discussed in an upcoming Webcast titled Essential Partnerships for HR: How HR Can Take on a Bigger Role in Strategic Planning.

The survey looked at estimation of HR executives by CEOs and CFOs and found differences in how each group views the HR executive role and its ability to contribute to strategic business decisions. Although CEOs generally held HR peers in higher regard than CFOs, the survey found room for improving relations with both executive groups.

CFO Perspective on HR
While CFOs across all companies surveyed were restrained in their praise of HR, those from the largest companies polled were the most critical, according to the survey. A full 58 percent said their HR head is not of the same caliber as other C-level executives. The reason? Two-thirds of the CFOs said HR executives “don’t understand the business well enough.”

Other areas of friction were succession planning, where only a quarter of the CFOs said their head of HR does a good job, and global sourcing decisions, where just 14 percent of HR executives were given favorable assessments.

CEO and HR Rapport
CEOs were somewhat more upbeat. Twenty-two percent of CEOs say their head of HR is not of the same caliber as C-level peers, while 43 percent said their head of HR does a good job in succession planning, and 34 percent had favorable impressions of global sourcing decisions by HR leaders.

Demonstrating the Value of HR
The Economist Intelligence Unit reports offer a number of suggestions about how senior HR executives can raise their standing in the eyes of C-suite peers. One option is to do a better job of impressing other executives with new ideas on the people implications of HR and employee development for corporate strategy.

The reports also advise HR heads to devise metrics that demonstrate the contribution of HR to the business. If such metrics already exist, HR executives should aggressively market the benefits.

A detailed summary of the reports and insights into the findings will be presented in an upcoming Webcast featuring Oracle and IBM human capital management specialists. Together they will also provide guidance on how technology innovation can help align talent strategies with long term business goals.

Register for the Webcast today.
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