From CHRO to CEO


Researchers find that the HR executive role provides the best preparation for becoming a CEO

According to an article published by the Harvard Business Review, there is a strong case for why Chief Human Resources Officers make great CEOs. The role of HR executive has evolved from one that is mainly administrative, and widely perceived as somewhat inferior compared to other c-suite positions

Ellie Filler, a senior client partner in the Swiss office of the executive recruiting firm Korn Ferry, worked with Dave Ulrich, a University of Michigan professor and a leading consultant on organization and talent issues, and they did a study looking at several sets of data, they found surprising evidence of the increasing responsibility and potential of CHRO

First, in order to understand the importance of the CHRO relative to other C-suite positions, looked at salaries and found that CHROs were the next highest-paid executives after CEOs.

“Great CHROs are very highly paid because they’re very hard to find,” Ulrich says.

The researchers also studied proprietary assessments based on various aspects of leadership, and ultimately found that more companies should consider CHROs when looking to fill the CEO position. Because, in the modern economy, attracting the right talent, creating the right organisational structure, and building the right culture is essential for driving strategy—and experience as a CHRO makes a leader more likely to succeed at those tasks.


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