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26% of Fortune 100 Don’t Have Human Resources in the C-Suite

An Analysis of Fortune 100 and Inc. 100 Show How HR Leaders at the World’s Most Successful Companies Perform Today

LINDON, UtahJan. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — BambooHR, the industry’s leading cloud-hosted software platform for human resources, today released a new study that analyzes LinkedIn and other social media profiles of the HR leaders from the Fortune 100 and Inc. 100 to determine the state of HR leadership. The study shows that women dominate the top levels of HR at 70%, but still 1 in 4 Fortune 100 companies have no people leader in the C-suite. In addition, a human resources degree is surprisingly only the fifth most common degree among top HR leaders (7%), preceded by management (26%), psychology (10%), law (10%) and finance (8%).

“The diverse backgrounds and best practices we see in top HR professionals is evidence of the breadth of knowledge required to handle the complex issues organizations have faced recently—COVID lockdown, mental health in the workplace, labor disputes, and more,” said Brad Rencher, CEO of BambooHR. “As employee experience issues continue to be at the center of some of the most important business conversations of our day, HR leaders at growing companies can use these examples from the most successful enterprises and startups as a template for how to elevate the HR function in their organization.”

Career Status and Longevity

While only 65% of Inc. 100 companies have a dedicated HR leader, every single Fortune 100 organization has prioritized the position. What makes these leaders attractive to the most successful companies and how they position themselves varies by company size:

  • HR pros at the largest companies tend to stick with their organization longer than the average worker. 76% of HR leaders in the Fortune 100 have worked at their current company for three years or more and 48% have been with their organization for seven years or more. At Inc. 100 startups, 83% of HR leaders have been with their current employer for three years or less.
  • More than half (57%) of HR leaders at Fortune 100 and Inc. 100 companies have a master’s degree or higher.
  • Only 1 in 5 heads of HR at the top enterprise and startup companies have a professional industry certification.
Rebranding of Human Resources

It can be difficult to portray all the responsibilities of HR with a single title but we may be seeing a shift in how the new generation of companies are attempting to do it.

  • Startups are rebranding human resources with 39% of the Inc. 100 referring to HR with titles that include “People,” such as Chief People Officer, compared to just 21% of Fortune 100 companies.
  • Just 3% of the Inc. 100 have DE&I leadership, compared to 85% of the Fortune 100.
  • Other alternatives to Human Resources being used across top startups and enterprises include:
    • Chief Colleague Experience Officer
    • Head of Human Capital Management
    • VP of Talent
    • Chief of Staff
    • VP of Employee Success

“I think we all understand the need to focus on the human part of human resources—the humanity,” said Anita Grantham, Head of HR at BambooHR. “Because when the people who work for you feel that humanity is prioritized in your business, they won’t just treat others in your organization with more care—they’ll also do the same for your customers.”

Networking and Engagement

For those who make job finding, career progression and interacting with people their daily duty, social networking largely happens in one place: Linkedin.

  • Only 18% of HR leaders have a Twitter account and only 30% of those have actually posted in the last 2 months.
  • However, 95% of HR leaders at the top companies have a LinkedIn profile.
    • 8 in 10 HR leaders have 500+ connections on LinkedIn.
    • 65% of Fortune 100 and 57% of Inc. 100 HR pros have posted on Linkedin within the last two months.
    • A quarter of HR pros also add personal posts and shares to the social networking site as they make connections and pursue career growth opportunities.

To read more about HR leader’s career moves, academic background, and networking practices in “The State of Human Resource Leadership” report, visit:

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