Get on (the) Board

A survey by recruitment company Hays found that HR practitioners were more ambitious than other employees. In fact, 83% of HR practitioner respondents described themselves as ambitious compared to 78%of the general workforce. Adding to this, HR professionals were significantly more likely than their counterparts to seek senior management positions: 49% compared to 38%.

These figures are intriguing. Despite the motivation of those in the profession, gaining a topflight position in a business is by no means taken as read. Indeed, there are some arguments to be had as to whether HR should be there in the first place. In May 2022, research found that just three of the FTSE 100 boards in the UK included an HR director or chief people officer. So, if HR can’t grapple its way to the top of an organisation through sheer willpower, this issue of HRO Today EMEA indicates how it can do so through impressing the right people in the right way. The contribution of HR to organisations is unquestionable, especially in recent years, but one of the most important facets which HR directors must demonstrate and then shout from the rooftops is that they’re not just “looking after” people; they are doing something dynamic, positive, and proactive. They are moving the business forward, innovating, and improving, which can be proved through data and results.

Perhaps the recent external challenges brought to bear on businesses and mainly managed by HR have ultimately birthed the appearance of just “looking after” the status quo. But the movement to hybrid workforces, agile working, DE&I initiatives, and more has all had a direct impact on organisational performance. It’s time for HR to make this argument clear. It’s time to take the spotlight.

Simon Kent

Tags: Editor's Note, EMEA July August 2023

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