HR Leaders Overlooked for Leadership Development Opportunities

June 2, 2015 – Korn Ferry has posted results of a global executive study that paints a less than glowing picture of leadership development opportunities for those in the human resources field. The survey of more than 700 executives found that nearly half of respondents (47 percent) say their organizations do not offer leadership development programs specifically for members of the HR function. For those who do offer programs to HR professionals, a full two-thirds (66 percent) say the development is not as rigorous as it is for other functions within their organizations.

More than half (58 percent) do not believe their senior HR leaders receive relevant development opportunities to perform optimally in their roles.

“This is the perennial problem of the cobbler’s children having no shoes,” said Korn Ferry senior client partner Arvinder Dhesi. “As the HR function continues to become more complex and entrenched in the strategic aspects of the business, it is critical that HR leaders are offered key development opportunities to help them succeed.” To date, those development roles are clearly lacking and in many cases being completely ignored.

“In our experiences working with clients, the organizations that have consistently produced strong business results have also consistently invested in the development of their HR talent,” said Korn Ferry senior partner Ronald Porter.

Alarmingly, the survey found that nearly half of respondents (48 percent) say members of the HR function are not considered for high-potential programs and 58 percent say there is no succession plan for the CHRO.

“Progressive organizations realize that HR leaders are core to the success of the business and offer them tailored development programs to help them expand their capabilities,” said Ellie Filler, Korn Ferry senior client partner & managing partner of the firm’s human resources practice. “We find that a mix of ongoing development offerings, such as business simulation assessments, development programs and 1:1 coaching, help prepare HR professionals for challenges they face now and into the future.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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Ric Comins
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These findings may contribute, in part, to two realities: (1) Few CHROs are truly full, equal partners with a seat at the table, even if they report directly to the CEO, and (2) why even in the face of all the HR-related challenges that must be dealt with by Boards of Directors why so very few Boards have members whose functional background was Human Resources. Both of these challenges will need to be met to maximize enterprise success.

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