Attention, HR pros — the C-suite is depending on you

Take a deep breath, HR professionals. You’re stepping up to the plate with the game on the line.  

In a complex post-recession job market with a growing talent gap, top executives are looking to HR leaders for innovative business strategies grounded in data, according to a recent CareerBuilder study.

A majority of CEOs (65%) agree that post-recession, HR opinions carry greater weight with senior management; nearly three fourths (73%) say that their HR leader has provided data that they have incorporated into their business strategy.

Shaping this new era is a post-recession landscape defined by increased competition for skilled talent in the face of shrinking labor pools and demands for higher salaries. Sixty percent of CEOs reported their companies have not been able to reach their full potential because they cannot find enough qualified candidates, and almost one fourth (23%) say the pressure to raise wages is among the issues that keep them up at night.

HR’s new mission

And nearly half of CEOs (48%) say their companies have lost money due to inefficient recruiting.

So who do CEOs expect to help them sleep better? HR pros. The survey said top execs expect:

  • HR teams will interpret data and ascertain the right talent mix. The overwhelming majority of CEOs (90%) say it is important that HR leaders be proficient in workforce analytics — and more than one in three executives (35%) say this is “absolutely essential.”
  • A more efficient recruitment process that provides for a better candidate experience.

The top three recruitment challenges CEOs identified for their organizations:

  • lack of skilled candidates – 49%
  • inefficient recruitment process – takes too long to fill jobs – 35%, and
  • candidate experience is not as good as it could be – 25%.

More than nine of 10 (92%) business leaders think HR executives can have broader influence by:

  • providing actionable talent data and other research to help devise strategies to meet larger business goals (57%)
  • showing ways to increase efficiencies or cut costs by better using the company’s human capital (57%)
  • knowing what the company does, but also how everything works (52%), and
  • working with other leaders to help solve business problems (51%).

“HR is the new frontier for data science applications in business,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “In our study, CEOs acknowledge that the recruitment landscape is changing and the need for their HR teams to come forward with data-driven, competitive approaches and efficient technologies is more critical than ever. HR leaders are becoming more influential members of the executive team.

“CEOs are looking for HR to be just as data-savvy and digitally-savvy as other areas of the company, and take quick, measurable actions that move the business towards its goals.”

The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 88 leaders at companies with revenue of at least $50 million.

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