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The HR Leadership Revolution — Will You Thrive?

The sought-after Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) is a data-driven, strategic leader who demonstrates business savvy, creativity, and innovation. But new survey results reveal where the majority of executives expect to find top CHRO talent — and it’s not in Human Resources.

A study — conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Visier — surveyed 301 corporate executives at companies with revenue of $1 billion or more across America and asked their views on the changing role of HR leadership. The results reveal the key traits of HR leaders who are perceived as integral to business success.

Successful CHROs are:


80% of executives say their company cannot succeed without an assertive, data-driven CHRO, who takes a strong stance on talent issues and uses relevant facts to deliver an informed point of view.


81% of executives say that when hiring new senior HR talent they value business acumen more than technical HR skills.


78% of executives say that their company cannot succeed without a CHRO who takes on responsibility for contributing directly to business performance.

Click here to download the full survey report.

Assertive and Data Driven CHROs

Many executives believe the best CHROs do not come from the talent function:

63% of all executives say the most effective CHROs come from non-HR backgrounds (in areas such as finance, operations, or legal).

C-level executives agree more with this statement than those with less senior titles:

79% of executives who have a C-level, president, or chairman job title say the best CHROs come from non-HR backgrounds, compared to 57% of executives with a VP title, and 42% of executives with other titles (such as director and managing director).

HR’s Opportunity or Threat? – “The workforce in the developed world and China is rapidly aging. New, first-time workers are barely replacing workers who are retiring. In the upcoming 20 years or longer, there will be a grave shortage of skilled workforce everywhere. The world’s economic center of gravity is moving east. Labor costs in emerging economies are increasing. Now more than ever business leaders need strategic insight and the ability to model future outcomes quickly and accurately,” says John Schwarz, CEO and Founder, Visier.

“CEOs want to think of the CHRO the way they think of the CFO. They want a strategic advisor who can speak the language of the business with hard data. But a solid understanding of people dynamics is also key: talent magnets — companies with strong talent management capabilities — increase revenues and profits faster,” adds Schwarz.

With Visier’s Workforce Intelligence solutions, CHROs and the teams they lead can maximize their business outcomes through their people. With Visier, world-leading companies are able to:

Shape their workforce to meet business priorities
Hire, develop, and retain more top performers for critical roles
Connect talent and financial requirements
See, predict, and optimize all their workforce costs

Survey Methodology – Harris Poll conducted the survey online on behalf of Visier within the United States from February 6-25, 2015, among a total of 301 corporate executives at companies with revenue of $1 billion or more. Figures for company revenue and number of employees were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the larger universe of companies with revenue of $1 billion or more. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact sarah(dot)grant(at)visier(dot)com.

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