From the Desk of Brad Smart: For HR to Earn More CEO Respect, Here’s a Proven Method

This blog features the #1 most important step HR managers can take to increase the respect of their CEO. If you’re in HR, you know all too well that HR, for decades, has been widely perceived to be the least respected business function. It does not have to be that way.

Before continuing, let me say, of course there are plenty of exceptions, we’ve worked with hundreds of HR managers who are highly respected, and compensated accordingly. But year-after-year articles like How HR Can Earn the CEO’s Trust – SHRM list reasons highlighting why HR is not respected.

HR leaders have heard it all before: CEOs don’t think they are strategic thinkers, and that’s why HR doesn’t deserve a seat at the table with other executives.

For example, CEOs report that their top HR professionals aren’t able to use analytics to forecast the company’s employment needs, that they can’t effectively identify new talent pipelines … A meager 11% rate their HR team’s skills in these areas as good, down from 20% three years ago, according to a research report from Development Dimensions International (DDI), The Conference Board and EY.

A Conference Board survey of global CEOs, just prior to the pandemic, cited talent (bad hires) as the # 1 chronic challenge.

Sure, because the pandemic created new HR issues which have become crises, companies are having to hire more HR professionals. And HR salaries are rising! But our connections tell us that, bottom line, HR has been slow to produce solutions to The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, whether to permit remote working or not, and Zoom meetings that fail to stimulate creativity or produce real collaboration. Meanwhile, HR has always failed to significantly improve Quality of Hire but with Help Wanted signs everywhere, HR has resorted too much to hiring “the next warm body.”

So, ironically, HR finally has that coveted “seat at the table,” but C-suite frustration with HR has increased, not decreased. None of the other C-suite execs are figuring out how to retain employees who can walk across the street and get $10 more. And no one else is figuring out how to create real collaboration and creativity in Zoom meetings. But these are “HR issues,” so, HR gets blamed.

What can HR managers do to earn more respect?

Keep going to HR meetings, face the problems and, at least, learn how some companies are finding solutions. Dr. Dave Ulrich, a U. of Michigan Professor, has written extensively about why HR lacks respect – HR is not connected to the strategy of the business, so his publications advise HR to get connected to strategy. Dozens of high-powered CHROs have attained MBA degrees, attended strategy conferences, and learned to engage their internal clients, GMs and CEOs by learning their business first and then meshing best HR practices accordingly.

Poor Quality of Hire magnifies all of the above pandemic issues. And, ironically, it’s absolutely key to solving said issues.

The most proven way to Improve Quality of Hire is to embrace Topgrading:

  • Our research, acquired over decades, show CEOs and CHROs want to hire HIGH performers, but in fact hire only hire 25% high performers.
  • Topgrading is the only hiring method that has doubled and tripled the percent of high performers hired … for the past 50 years (view our Client Results).
  • To enjoy a more successful career HR managers can initiate Topgrading immediately. Getting an MBA can also be useful but takes longer. John Hoffmeister was head of HR at Shell, Topgraded, and rose to CEO. His wife Karen became an outsourced Topgrading professional, by the way.
  • HR managers in Topgrading companies are highly respected and highly paid. Topgrading CEOs see their profits soar, in part, because of the influx of high performers. Their pay increases and they show respect for the HR managers who launched and implemented a new hiring method that packed the company with increasingly high performers.

To learn more, download our free eGuide or attend our next Topgrading Webinar. Our webinar explains the most effective recruitment methods, how to immediately identify the most honest, high performing applicants, and how to (finally!) verify what candidates tell you (since reference calls are usually worthless).

Contact us to learn more.

Improve your hiring success with Topgrading. Our proven hiring process will transform your selection methodology so that you get better hiring results across all industries, including hiring HR professionals.  Our leadership and candidate assessment tools will help you assess, hire, retain, and grow outstanding team members. Contact us to learn more!

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