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What holds HR professionals back from striving for the top spot? We find out

Research from Dave Ulrich and Korn Ferry’s Ellie Filler in 2014 found that, except for the COO, the executive whose traits are most similar to those of the CEO is the CHRO.

The researchers studied proprietary assessments administered by Korn Ferry to C-suite candidates over more than a decade, examining scores on 14 aspects of leadership grouped into three categories: leadership style, thinking style, and emotional competency. The researchers then assessed the prevalence of these traits among the different types of executives and compared the results, finding high prevalence of CEO characteristics in CHROs.

This will no doubt surprise many. While the finance director, marketing director and chief technology officer often get the top gig, it’s still extremely rare – despite the many benefits this could bring – for HRDs to progress to CEO.

So why, despite the fact that many of the priority issues boards are grappling with today (exec pay, diversity, corporate governance...), and the fact that many organisations differentiate themselves through people and talent, are HR professionals still not making the grade?

As an upcoming piece in HR magazine will explore, the reasons are many and varied. Some in HR simply don't want the top job and would rather remain the voice of challenge and represent the wider workforce at board level. But others are perhaps held back by perceptions of HR among senior individuals, and lack of confidence and experience on the finance and operational side of things.

To delve into this debate further we're running a survey. Please take our short survey to help us shed some light on this interesting and important topic.

Our findings will be published in HR magazine and at hrmagazine.co.uk.

Click here to complete the survey.

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