New Study Details C-Level Perceptions of Human Resources Executives in Western
Economist Intelligence Unit Survey Indicates CEOs and CFOs Value
Relationship With HR Leaders but Look for Better Understanding of
Business, More Strategic Alignment
READING, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 02/11/13 -- Oracle
-- A recent study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and
co-sponsored by Oracle and IBM looks at the perceptions C-level
executives in Western Europe have of their HR leaders and helps
identify areas of opportunity for HR leaders to help their
organizations meet their strategic goals.
-- The EIU surveyed 235 C-level executives, 95 of whom were based in
Western Europe, including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland
and the UK. Fifty-seven percent of all 235 respondents identified
themselves as CEOs or the equivalent and 43 percent identified
themselves as CFOs or the equivalent.
-- The executive summary, "C-level perspectives of the HR function in
Western Europe," determined that many CEOs and CFOs in the region
believe that the HR function's expertise and experience in people
issues can help companies make difficult but crucial staffing
decisions in challenging economic times.
-- The study also determined that executives in Western Europe value
their relationship with senior HR leaders, with 69 percent of
respondents saying that their relationship is "close and trustful" and
63 percent saying their relationship with the head of HR is "highly
-- However, there is room for HR to play a more strategic role in
organizations. Only 38 percent of Western European executive
respondents believe their head of HR is a key player in strategic
planning, and only one in ten believe the role is extremely key.
How HR Leaders in Western Europe Can Better Position Themselves for
-- The majority of respondents expressed concern with the head of HR's
understanding of the overall business. Forty-two percent believe the
head of HR is too focused on process and is not a "big picture"
person, while 36 percent say he or she doesn't understand the business
-- The executive report deduces that heads of HR who share views similar
to those of the CEO and CFO are likely to be more influential.
Eighty-one percent of respondents who strongly agree with the head of
HR on the organisation's people strategy also feel that their HR
executive is a key strategic player.
-- C-level executives at the largest companies and organizations are more
concerned with HR issues that may cause a drought in leadership. More
than two-thirds of respondents at companies with more than 1,500
employees worry that insufficient leadership talent will harm their
organisation financially within the next 12 months, compared with only
49 percent at smaller companies.
-- Finally, executives at the largest companies surveyed (annual revenues
of more than US$10 billion) discuss their talent management concerns
more frequently with heads of HR. Forty-two percent of respondents at
the largest companies often discuss executive performance and
development, compared with 24 percent in all smaller companies.
-- As such, there appears to be a greater opportunity for heads of HR to
wield influence on the strategic direction of their company when they:
-- Work at a larger company or organization;
-- Showcase strategic thought, particularly where senior-level talent
development is concerned, and;
-- Share similar ideas with the CEO and CFO on the HR strategy.
-- "It's not surprising to see that the greatest concern of executives at
large organizations is leadership talent development and strategy,"
said Gretchen Alarcon, vice president, Oracle HCM Strategy. "HR
leaders can show value to CEOs and CFOs by focusing on strategies to
further cultivate senior talent and to keep the valued leaders their
organization already has."
IBM is a Diamond level member in Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN).
-- EIU Report: C-level perspectives of the HR function in Western Europe
-- EIU Report: CEO perspectives: How HR can take on a bigger role in
-- EIU Report: CFO perspectives: How HR can take on a bigger role in
-- Oracle Webcast: Essential Partnerships for HR
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