Press release

Boyden Survey Finds Top HR Executives’ Influence on the Rise in C-Suites and Boards

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Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Chief Human Resources Officers and HR
executives say the CHRO will increasingly take on strategic roles, while
75% believe CHROs will take on key strategic roles as counselors to the
CEO, C-Suite and board, according to a new
released today by Boyden,
a premier talent and leadership advisory firm.

Part 2 of the report, Boyden
Senior Executive Survey: The CHRO and the Future Organization
titled The CHRO Role in the C-Suite and Board, looks at the
global changes and opportunities connected to tech, including people
strategy, approaches to the board and management, global workforce
alignment, hiring and training.

“A good CEO is, in many ways, dependent on a good CHRO,” said Jörg
, Chairman of Boyden and a Managing Partner of Boyden Germany.
“The role of HR has shifted. We’re not just talking about people; we’re
talking about new technology, diversity and other important elements of
the workplace.”

“The impact and influence of the CHRO on strategic decision-making
depends on their individual personality and skill portfolio,” said Jeff
, a Managing Partner of Boyden United States. “Acceptance by
both team members and upper management are key.”

The survey included a global panel of 310 CHROs, senior HR executives
and other HR decision makers across all industries in the United States,
Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Australia.
Additional key findings related to the impact of the CHRO role include:

Influence of CHRO

  • Globally, almost all (95%) of those surveyed find the CHRO to be
    influential, with 54% finding the CHRO very influential.
  • 90% of those surveyed in Latin America believe the CHRO is evolving in
    a more strategic direction in terms of C-Suite and board influence,
    while those in North America (71%), the UK (68%) and Germany (62%)
    believe the CHRO has growing impact, albeit to a lesser degree.

“The long economic crisis in Brazil has forced organizations to design
and implement strategic plans that comprised many significant change
management efforts and other organizational actions, many of which have
been led by HR executives,” explained Aurea
, a Managing Partner of Boyden Brazil.

“The increasing global battle for talent will also help ensure that the
role of the HR professional is likely to gain importance in the medium
term,” said Dr. Michael Pütz, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Harting
. “In my own experience, hardly any board meeting is conducted
without HR topics being discussed. This is different than 10 years ago.”

CHRO as Path to CEO

  • Most (89%) HR executives agree that the CHRO role will become a
    stepping stone to executive leadership positions such as CEO, with 42%
    in strong agreement.
  • HR executives in professional services (91%) and education (92%) are
    more likely to view the CHRO as a stepping stone to the CEO role than
    those in industrials and financial services (79%).

“When a business’s main asset is people,” remarked Anna Mitchell,
Business, Change and Communications Consultant and former Managing
Director, Global Online Business, Coats, “it absolutely makes sense to
see the CHRO as a potential path to CEO.”

“The CHRO has influence and plays a significant role in organizational
strategy,” said Birger
, Managing Partner, Boyden Norway and EMEA Leader, Human
Resources Practice. “This influence will continue to increase over the
next few years and puts tremendous pressure on the CHRO to deliver.”

The Boyden report’s third and final installment, Diversity of People
and Thought
, will be released next month.

About Boyden

Boyden is a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than
65 offices in over 40 countries. Our global reach enables us to serve
client needs anywhere they conduct business. We connect great companies
with great leaders through executive search, interim management and
leadership consulting solutions. For further information, visit