Why HR Leaders Will Be As Important as CFOs

Your Human Resource leader needs to have a seat at the “C” Level table

HR at the C TableIn the book The War for Talent by Ed Michaels, there is an intriguing excerpt titled “Why HR Leaders Will Be As Important as CFOs.” It’s a fascinating read, and I highly recommend the entire book. In that excerpt, Michaels makes the following statement:

Attracting, developing and retaining talented people is the stuff of competitive advantage, more so than financing strategies, tax tactics, budgeting and even some acquisitions. Hence, the HR leader has a much more strategic role to play in the years ahead, perhaps one equal to that of the CFO.

Michaels goes on to argue that today’s leaders should have much higher expectations for their HR managers, and that divisions and major locations should have a “superb HR generalist who is strategic, impact-oriented, direct, tough-minded and effective at influencing peers and senior managers.” He says that HR leaders could assume a number of new roles, including:

  • Helping to forge the link between business strategy and talent
  • Serving as the thought leader in understanding what it takes to attract great talent
  • Facilitating the talent review and action plans
  • Becoming the architect of the development strategy for the top 50 to 100 managers

This is a fantastic way for companies to approach the HR position going forward. There are few things more frustrating for companies than to bring in some excellent talent, only to watch them leave for something better a few years later. Having HR leaders taking on these types of new roles is a great way to ensure that companies will be able to attract, develop and keep their top talent in-house.

In fact, this issue is one of the biggest reasons I pursued my CERS designation last year. I work hard to make sure that my clients are able to hold on to their best talent, and a big part of accomplishing that is looking at the way HR leaders and management lead. If you show people you care about keeping them around, and if you develop strategies to prove that, then you’ll find that the amount of people leaving your company for something else will decrease.


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