How About a Seat at the Spreadsheet?

data point tuesday_500

HR professionals worry a lot about whether their CEO thinks they are strategic business leaders. Turns out it isn’t the CEO that HR professionals need to worry about. It’s the CFO.

This is according to global survey data collected from three Oracle/IBM sponsored research reports produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit in April and May 2012. CEOs made up 57% and CFOs made up 43% of the 235 respondents.

The resulting infographic is one of the more readable and useful ones of its type that I’ve seen. Among the data points:

  • 80% of CEOs and CFOs want the head of HR to be key in their company’s strategy planning
  • Only 38% of those CEOs and CFOS say that is currently the case
  • Only 10% say the head of HR is “extremely” key in strategic planning right now
  • Only 37% of CEOs and CFOs say their relationship with the head of HR is “close and trustful”
  • Just 28% of CEOs and CFOs say their relationship with the head of HR is among their “most valued” professional relationships

But here are the real zingers:

Oracle Driving HR Forward Infographic March 2013


But here’s the real irony:  CFOs are more confident about HR’s understanding the needs of the business than they are about the business of HR! Low confidence by CFOs that HR can lead the HR function, can evaluate employee performance or can identify and recruit key talent.

That’s not good news – especially since CFOs spend significantly more time with CEOs than CHROs do. I wonder what the CFO and CEO are talking about with regard to HR? Is the CFO supporting the CHRO? Given this survey data, I wonder.

Maybe CEOs aren’t HR’s biggest challenge after all. Maybe CFOs are the ones toward whom HR professionals should be aiming their strategic attention. Maybe instead of pining after furniture HR should be pining after spreadsheets!



Filed under C-suite, CEOs, China Gorman, CHROs, Data Point Tuesday, IBM, Oracle

4 responses to “How About a Seat at the Spreadsheet?

  1. Pingback: How About a Seat at the Spreadsheet? | coachdirt

  2. Pingback: Best of the HR Blogs August 2013: The HR bloggers' choice! | XpertHR - Employment Intelligence

  3. I think there is a forgotten section of HR that isn’t counted in reports such as the ones referenced in this post. That section is the HR-Department-of-One (HRDo1). I also think it would be a safe bet to say that the seat at the table doesn’t even exists as it would in a larger company. Why? The HRDo1 spends too much time working on the day-to-day that there isn’t time left to even sit down at the table – they are off to bed!

  4. Great food for thought on where the real conversation needs to happen. This is not a huge departure from what we’ve been talking about in the industry for some time now. In order to get the resources and support critical to success, HR needs to prove with data the returns the business will see from HR investment. That understanding of the financial impact will have pivotal sway over the CFO and get HR in on the discussion.

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