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Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Report Reveals Gap Between What Executives Want and Get From HR Leaders

May 12, 2015

78 percent say CHROs should talk about human capital in business terms, but 33 per cent say they actually do, reveals Visier-sponsored report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services


VANCOUVER, BC and SAN JOSE, CA — The ideal Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) can chart business-linked talent strategies based on fact-based insights. But is this what the majority of senior executives think they are getting?

New survey data released by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services on behalf of Visier reveals that the perceived reality does not match the vision. According to the poll of 362 executives, including CEOs and CHROs, the majority of respondents say CHROs are not meeting demands for cost-driven, business-focused, and fact-based HR leadership.

Download the full report: The Changing Role of the CHRO.

Executives say effective CHROs need to:

Use an accurate and complete view of workforce costs

  • 70 percent say CHROs should use an accurate and complete view of workforce costs to make accurate decisions, but 34 percent say CHROs actually do

Talk about human capital in business terms

  • 78 percent say CHROs should talk about human capital in business terms, but 33 percent of CHROs actually do

Make fact-based decisions

  • 69 percent say CHROs should use data and analytics to help make workforce decisions, but 31 percent of CHROs actually do

HBR Analytics Services - The Changing Role of the CHRO

Research shows that executives believe HR leaders who make decisions based on evidence are crucial to business success: A recent Harris Poll survey conducted for Visier reveals that 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.

“With the workforce comprising as much as 60-70 percent of a company’s expenses, executives want HR to contribute strategically to the business. But a lack of analytical skills is holding HR back, and is proving to be the biggest obstacle to using data for strategic decision-making. At stake is a company’s ability to thrive in a hyper-competitive, constantly evolving market for talent,” says Alex Clemente, Managing Director, Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.

While most executives say they want strategic, data-driven, and analytical HR, 34 percent of respondents to the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services poll say their companies have done nothing to help HR get better at it, and no more than 30 percent have taken any positive steps.

Despite this, there is an increasing number of HR professionals who are becoming strategic advisors using fact-based, cost-driven workforce strategies. With Visier’s Workforce Intelligence solutions, CHROs and their teams are able to analyze data from multiple HRIS systems to:

  • Create measurable business impact, by identifying and focusing on the most urgent workforce priorities.
  • Connect with the business, with a complete view and understanding of workforce costs.
  • Arm HR to act strategically, playing a key proactive role.

For more survey results and information on how forward-looking HR leaders are demonstrating value to senior executives, read this blog post: The Best Way to Prove the Worth of the Talent Function.

Follow #BoldNewHR on Twitter for more survey stats.

About Visier

A leading innovator in Applied Big Data cloud technology, Visier provides Workforce Intelligence solutions that are enabling a rapidly growing number of the world’s best brands to maximize their business outcomes through their people.

Visier’s solutions let organizations understand and plan — with precision — how to best and most cost-effectively recruit, retain, and develop their workforce. With Visier, senior leaders, HR, and people managers alike can answer key workforce questions, align on goals and strategies, and act on decisions and plans to drive improved business outcomes. Visier does this by providing complete pre-built solutions in the cloud as a service that leverage Visier’s innovative multi-dimensional, in memory technology to provide capabilities otherwise not possible.

Founded by business intelligence experts—including former Business Objects chief executive officer, John Schwarz—the company’s leadership team has a proven track record of technical, operational, and strategic management success with companies such as IBM, SAP, and Oracle. With millions of customer employee records in the cloud, Visier is experiencing significant growth.

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Media Contact:
Sarah Grant