Oracle/Taleo published a great PDF talking about survey results on the perceptions between CEOs, CFOs, and HR. It's a great info graphic to look at. Click here for "The Relationship Between C-Suite & HR".
Several years ago I spoke at a SHRM chapter event about HR vs HC and who should be in the C-suite. I'm so pleased to see this gaining traction now!
The PDF shows a few interesting trends, none of which are too surprising:
So none of these are a surprise, right? We have traditionally groomed HR people to be almost solely focused on transactions and process. These skills are inherently clear to any one who hires and works with heads of HR. In these times of regulation we need individuals who can focus on the transactions and process to keep companies compliant. So why would CEO's and CFO's, and other c-suite executives, look to the head of HR to be in the c-suite? It takes a totally different skill set to manage and balance the strategy of people and business.
Enter - the Chief People Officer
This is the individual that C-suite executives need to bring to the table, a new breed of individuals who understand business and its drivers but also understand the issues around people strategy, not just the process and procedures found in HR. The CPO works WITH the head of HR, but is a completely different function. The CPO, like their other c-suite executives, works cross functionally in an organization, looking at the macro people issues (HR being only one of those). The smart CPO is watching global industry trends, understands the business and its key drivers, works with leaders throughout the organization and is not "tied" to the HR organization alone. Some of the key responsibilities of the CPO include:
These key functions, along with other ones, should be the key focus on the Chief People Officer. Just like the emergence of the C-Technology-O, the C-Marketing-O, or any other relatively new "C" position, the Chief People Officer is not the Head of HR, but a new emerging position that the C-suite needs to consider.
Amy Riccardi is the Chief People Officer and Founder of HCM2020. She's a guest lecturer at Georgetown and George Washington Universities and works with executive teams and CEOs to help scale and grow their business.