Isn’t it boring to have to make the case over and over for HR on the board?
The latest research from Andersen Human Capital (News, p1) shows that the FTSE
100 companies with HR directors on the board are twice as profitable as those
without. Of course they are. We should thank Andersen for taking the trouble,
but isn’t it about time boardrooms accepted this as a given?
It all boils down to whether chief executives see HR as a backroom service
running boring but mandatory HR transactions or whether they see the capability
of the company’s people as an important strategic business issue.
Our special report shows that organisations are developing a range of new
director-level roles to make sure they deal with their human capital
strategically. Put simply, a lot of CEOs are waking up to the fact that if they
don’t take human capital seriously they will see a lot of their best people
walk out of the door and head straight for a competitor. We may even see human
capital find its way into company reports as a criterion of shareholder value,
and the people director given as much boardroom space as the analyst.
This is good news, except for one thing – too often boards are not
recruiting from among the ranks of the HR profession for these new roles. This
is wrong. There are plenty of talented and ambitious people in HR who are up to
the job but they need to get crucial business experience as early in their
careers as possible.
In the week of the CIPD annual conference, it is a good time to demand that
the leaders of the HR profession – including the CIPD itself – seize the
initiative. This could be the moment the profession has been waiting for, so
let’s not waste it.