Monday, April 26, 2010

Who Gets The Top HR Job?

Who gets the top job?

Changes in the attributes of top HR leaders and implications for the future
The change in direction of the US economy associated with the Great Recession offers an opportunity to rethink where many aspects of business are headed. Perhaps no functional area has gone through more turmoil than human resources: From hiring and retention frenzies in the late 1990s to downsizing after 2001 back to hiring and retention issues combined with an intense focus on metrics/performance followed again by sharp downsizing in 2009.

The changes have been so rapid that it is difficult to track the broader, long-term trends in the competencies that are required in human resources. In this PwC-sponsored study, Dr. Peter Cappelli and Yang Yang of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Center for Human Resources discuss how the human resources function has and will change. In particular, they examine how the backgrounds of the individuals holding top HR roles have changed as an indicator of how the function itself is changing.

Interesting Factoids:

·         The average head of human resources in the Fortune 100 is a 53 year old man with Bachelor’s degree who spent 15 years with their current employer and about half their work life in HR roles.

·         SVP is their title, had been VP immediately before.

·         The most common HR experience to have had is time in the workforce development function.

·         One in five had an overseas assignment, and almost a third had jobs that could be described as directly involved in international operations.

·         Just under a third were hired into the top job from another company.

·         And in 2009, the most common companies to have passed through, what we might call the “Academy” companies, were Citibank, Hallmark, Dell, Pepsi and Pepsi Bottling Group, Morgan
·         Stanley, and Verizon, in that order.

·         GE, which is commonly thought to be the breeding ground for HR executives, had been the most common company in 2000.

·         Thirty-six percent of the heads came to the top HR job from a different functional area, virtually always from within the same company.

1 comment:

Tim Gardner said...

One interesting finding not summarized above is the growing importance of an MBA in the field of HR. In 1999, fewer than 1 in 10 top HR executives had an MBA. In 2009, nearly 1 in 5 held an MBA (see chart, page 13). I expect that number will double again over the next decade.