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80% of Execs Say Their Company Cannot Succeed Without an Assertive, Data-Driven CHRO

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New Visier Survey Data Reveals Executive Expectations for Today’s Chief Human Resources Officer

The sought-after Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) is a data-driven, strategic leader who demonstrates business savvy, creativity, and innovation. But new Visier survey results reveal where the majority of executives expect to find top CHRO talent -- and it’s not in Human Resources. A February 2015 study -- conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Visier -- surveyed 301 corporate executives at companies with revenue of $1 billion or more across America and asked their views on the changing role of HR leadership. The results reveal the key traits of HR leaders who are perceived as integral to business success. Successful CHROs are: Data-Driven

  • 80% of executives say their company cannot succeed without an assertive, data-driven CHRO, who takes a strong stance on talent issues and uses relevant facts to deliver an informed point of view.


  • 81% of executives say that when hiring new senior HR talent they value business acumen more than technical HR skills.


  • 78% of executives say that their company cannot succeed without a CHRO who takes on responsibility for contributing directly to business performance.

Click here to download the full survey report. Many executives believe the best CHROs do not come from the talent function:

  • 63% of all executives say the most effective CHROs come from non-HR backgrounds (in areas such as finance, operations, or legal).

C-level executives agree more with this statement than those with less senior titles:

  • 79% of executives who have a C-level, president, or chairman job title say the best CHROs come from non-HR backgrounds, compared to 57% of executives with a VP title, and 42% of executives with other titles (such as director and managing director).

HR’s Opportunity or Threat?

“The workforce in the developed world and China is rapidly aging. New, first-time workers are barely replacing workers who are retiring. In the upcoming 20 years or longer, there will be a grave shortage of skilled workforce everywhere. The world’s economic center of gravity is moving east. Labor costs in emerging economies are increasing. Now more than ever business leaders need strategic insight and the ability to model future outcomes quickly and accurately,” says John Schwarz, CEO and Founder, Visier. “CEOs want to think of the CHRO the way they think of the CFO. They want a strategic advisor who can speak the language of the business with hard data. But a solid understanding of people dynamics is also key: talent magnets -- companies with strong talent management capabilities -- increase revenues and profits faster,” adds Schwarz. With Visier's Workforce Intelligence solutions, CHROs and the teams they lead can maximize their business outcomes through their people. With Visier, world-leading companies are able to:

  • Shape their workforce to meet business priorities

  • Hire, develop, and retain more top performers for critical roles

  • Connect talent and financial requirements

  • See, predict, and optimize all their workforce costs

For more survey results and information on how business trends are driving HR to get the business skills executives want, read this blog post: The HR Leadership Revolution -- Will You Thrive? Follow #BoldNewHR on Twitter for more survey stats.

Survey Methodology

Harris Poll conducted the survey online on behalf of Visier within the United States from February 6-25, 2015, among a total of 301 corporate executives at companies with revenue of $1 billion or more. Figures for company revenue and number of employees were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the larger universe of companies with revenue of $1 billion or more. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact sarah(dot)grant(at)visier(dot)com. About Visier Visier’s purpose is to help people see the truth and create a better future—now. Visier was founded to focus on what matters to business people: answering the right questions, even the ones a person might not know to ask. Questions that shape business strategy, provide the impetus for taking action, and drive better business results. Visier delivers fast, clear people insight by using all the available people data—regardless of source. With best-practice expertise built-in, decision-makers can confidently take action. Thanks to our amazing customers, Visier is the market leader in Workforce Analytics with 5,000 customers in 75 countries around the world. For more information, visit http://www.visier.com. Media Contact: Sarah Grant Visier 514-436-5100 sarah(dot)grant(at)visier(dot)com