Don’t Get Passed Over for Another Promotion: 6 Career-Elevating Trends for HR Leaders

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The role of ‘Human Resources’ has become increasingly strategic in nature for companies of all sizes, and defining a growth strategy for an organisation without a Chief People Person at the leadership table is almost unthinkable. No longer reporting indirectly to the board or C-level, the Chief People Officer / Chief Human Resources Officer is now a core strategic contributor in an organisation.

With this in mind, today’s CHRO needs continue to evolve. There is an increasingly-demanding set of skills and capabilities expected of the role, with commercial and data orientation an essential part of the package.

Between shifts in employee expectations, rise in digitisation, and elevating workplace culture connectedness, keep reading to uncover the core requirements for HR Leaders of the NOW & FUTURE to succeed in the C-Suite.

1. INCREASE DATA, ANALYTICS & FINANCIAL ACUMEN

Given that, for many companies, their wage bill is the single largest line item on the P&L statement (approx. 60 – 80% of most operating budgets), the ability to work with financial and data analytics, utilising HR tech for insights, is non-negotiable. HR Leadership without strong commercial capability will no longer suffice, as the role itself graduates from ‘soft skills’ and ‘support services’ to a data-driven, business-centred function with a direct impact on bottom-line profitability.

Approximately 60 – 80% of most operating budgets is dedicated to wages.

2. CARETAKE ORGANISATIONAL WELL-BEING & MENTAL HEALTH

The impact of corporate culture, health, and wellness on individual levels of burnout, mental stress, and wellbeing is undeniable; and the onus (regardless of justification) to identify and attend to this at both cause and symptomatic levels are considered HR’s responsibility to manage. The CHRO will need to be equipped to take on strategic accountability for organisational mental health issues.

3. DEsign A MULTI-MODAL TALENT ATTRACTION STRATEGY

Just as the demographics of talent pools have changed radically, talent attraction strategies and tactics will need to follow suit. Determining the right mix of talent tech platforms, supplemented by highly skilled talent acquisition resources (both internal and 3rd party recruiters), and overlaid with strong employer brand messaging, employee referral programs, and proactive talent mapping and pipelining is both complex and costly.

All of these channels and modes need to be deployed, measured and constantly re-evaluated – with strategic decisions on the talent attraction lifecycle being made by the CHRO.

“Companies are the new colleges and universities.”

4. Establish THE ORGANISATION AS A LEARNING INSTITUTION

Employer-sponsored, role-specific training and upskilling will partially replace the standard undergraduate degree but, more importantly, enable companies to hire and train people who can do the jobs that most need filling in the short- to medium-term.

Workplace learning is a growing industry globally; the CHRO will need to elevate the former ‘L&D department’ to leverage the readily-available learning offerings and drive workforce upskilling.

5. Equip ALL MANAGERS FOR A HYBRID FUTURE

Almost all work environments will be hybrid, requiring all managers to become highly skilled at managing distributed teams. The quality of managers has a direct impact on team engagement – approximately 70% of the variance in team productivity and effectiveness is attributed to the team leader – and, in particular, low and mid-level managers will need much more training.

The CHRO will need to determine the framework, budget, and measures for hybrid management training.

70% of the variance in team productivity and effectiveness is attributed to the team leader

6. Increase capacity to oversee the ESG PORTFOLIO

Just when you thought the HR portfolio of responsibilities couldn’t get any bigger, ESG will likely continue (or become) another facet of the already over-stretched HR portfolio.

Whilst the skills and capabilities for driving policy and implementation may have some overlap with HR, the expertise to do this well is becoming increasingly specialised and will eventually require its own training and development lane.
For now, and into the short- to medium-term future, the CHRO will need to oversee and take accountability for this.

OK, But so what . . .

HR leaders have been demanding a seat and a voice at the strategic decision-making table for decades. The legacy of being seen as administrators, policymakers, and cost centres has held back the enabling function of HR for too long.

The moment is now for CHROs to supplement and uplevel their skills and team, so that they are recognised for the value they add to overall business growth, profitability and sustainability.

Do you need to make a critical hire, right now?

Executive search is what we do. Having placed 1000s of executives, we must be pretty good at it too. 😉

About Jack Hammer Global

Jack Hammer Global is rated a Top 5, female-led executive search firm in the US.
We help high growth companies build and diversify their sales and revenue leadership teams and boards.

We find leaders who build great workplaces – where people and ideas flourish. Our ethos is to dig deep and look beyond the obvious. That’s why we’re called Jack Hammer.

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