Women dominate the human resources profession. Three out of four HR professionals are women, a ratio that holds true at every level until you get to the most senior management position. Until recently, women didn’t hold even a majority of the executive HR jobs at the largest public companies..

The good news today is that women now hold two-thirds of the CHRO roles at the Fortune 200.

study by The Talent Strategy Group says that in just the last year, the percent of women holding the top HR job at these companies grew from 60% to 67.3%. Only a few short years ago, the HR trade group SHRM reported only 49% of HR executives at the top 100 companies were women.

More women CHROs were appointed in 2019 than in the previous three years, the study found. 78% of the CHROs hired last year were women. Of the 36 new CHROs, 43% of them replaced a man. In only 7% of the hires did a man replace a female CHRO.

The report also offers strong evidence that CHROs are being valued as business partners. Of the departing CHROs, 31% assumed larger responsibilities within the organization “most notably,” the report says, “a Chief Administration Officer role or Advisor to the CEO role.”

Overall, the report identifies 7 “CHRO Trends.” In addition to the increase in female leaders and the move into other senior internal positions, the report says:

  • HR experience dominates – 83% of the new CHROs have “significant” HR experience.
  • Advanced degrees are prevalent – 65% have a master’s or law degree.
  • Internal promotion declines – “In 2017, 70% of CHROs were internal successors compared to 61% in 2018 and 53% in 2019.”
  • CHRO turnover is linked to CEO turnover – ” Of the 35 new CEOs who came into the role in 2019, 40% replaced their CHRO.”
  • CHRO turnover increased in 2019 – 19% of the Fortune 200 CHROs turned over, with those in the financial and health care sectors 3.5 times more likely to turnover than those in other industries.


HR’s Jobs of the Future Are Already Here

What will the human resources profession be like 10 years from now. How about in just five years?

In many ways, it will still be recognizable to a practitioner today. There will still be recruiters and benefits managers and compensation specialists, though they’ll be aided in the heavy lifting by artificial intelligence. HR generalists will still be around, especially at smaller companies, but with automation handling much of the rote work, they’ll take on higher value work.

What will be different will be the multitude of new HR jobs, some already here, many just beginning to emerge and others like “genetic diversity officer” and “distraction prevention coach” sounding like something out of sci-fi.

The Harvard Business Review recently published the results of a project by The Cognizant Center for Future of Work and Future Workplace predicting what the future of HR will be like in the next few years. The 100 HR executives they brought together brainstormed the possibility of 60 new HR jobs by 2030. The HBR article focused on 21 with the most organizational impact.

It’s a list that leans heavily toward the techno-capable.

“All jobs will utilize innovative technologies,” write the authors, Jeanne C. Meister and Robert H. Brown, who go on to add, “but only the most tech-centric will actually require a grounding in computer science.”

That any HR role should require a tech background is a remarkable development for a profession traditionally dominated by liberal arts and psychology majors. Yet at many companies, this is already happening. What the HR think tank dubbed HR Data Detective is a job that already exists in many of the largest – and some smaller – companies where it’s called simply analytics or workforce analytics or more commonly, people analytics.

“People analytics,” explains the HR analytics technology firm Visier, “Is the practice of collecting and transforming HR data and organizational data into actionable insights that improve the way you do business.”

Speaking to the HBR authors, Chase Rowbotham, who heads people analytics at Genentech, says, “As remote work becomes the new normal, we are able to gather insights from our HR information systems to develop a number of new HR practices such as training managers of remote workers on successful strategies for leading a remote global team to ensure both productivity and continued employee engagement.”

That job of developing and training for remote work and building their engagement will be the domain of the Work from Home Facilitator.

Whether that’s the actual title, the job, according to the think tank, will “ensure that the organization’s processes, policies, and technologies are optimal for remote workers. A key metric of success for this role would be to build remote workers’ strong sense of belonging within the organization, ensuring that they know their purpose and feel deeply cared for.”

Such a job might not have been thought of a scant 6 months ago. But as the authors point out, the coronavirus pandemic has changed much. The work from home movement was well underway before COVID-19, but when the pandemic sent everyone home, it provided workers could be as productive – or more — working remotely.

“The advent of Covid-19 compressed time like an accordion, resulting in a handful of these roles becoming ‘jobs of the now,’” say the authors of the HBR article.

That compression is continuing and is illustrated in the timeline for these new HR jobs. Two-thirds are predicted to emerge in the next five years; several will be a fact in just two or three.

The authors conclude their overview of the new jobs with this advice, “Change is coming, and it’s best to get a head start. Companies that can anticipate their organization’s future HR roles are not only in a position to outperform competitors, they are also squarely positioning HR as a strategic business driver.”

Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash


Jun 6, 2023

HR’s Most Critical Role Is Reskilling The Workforce For A Post COVID World

As preoccupied as human resources professionals may be with planning the reopening of offices and factories, they can’t afford to ignore the need to retrain and reskill workers says the CEO of one of the world’s largest HR organizations.

“Every HR officer should look at their talent needs and become a chief reskilling officer,” says WorldatWork CEO Scott Cawood.

In a commentary for HRDive, Cawood said the need to retrain the nation’s workforce for the digital economy was clear long ago, yet businesses were slow to take action. “We tripped, and stumbled, and then a global pandemic pulled the rug out from under us. We need to get back up, and fast.”

The COVID-19 crisis only accelerated the computerization and automation that was replacing rote work and changing the nature of millions of jobs, he says. Now, as workplaces begin to reopen, many returning workers will find them a very different place transformed not just by hygiene considerations, but “by the sweeping changes that were already in play and now accelerated.”

“Post COVID-19, every organization and role will feel a bit different and multiple roles will need to be tweaked,” Cawood says, making resilience and reskilling “critical competencies” for companies to be successful.

Sending workers to occasional training classes isn’t enough anymore. “We must bring the reskilling inside our workplaces,” he says, insisting reskilling must be made “the new normal every 6 to 12 months.”

The responsibility is HR’s. “HR leaders will need to steer companies right into the face of disruption without hesitation or remorse,” Cawood declares. “Instead of focusing on job descriptions, performance reviews and annual incentives, HR leaders can take the time right now and build new thinking, new capabilities, and new strategies, and plan to invest in reskilling now.”

Acknowledging the important role HR has in reopening workplaces, Cawood says “’t has an even bigger role to play in the massive reskilling of workers.

“Perhaps,” he says in closing, “This is a unique opportunity for HR to have its truest and most significant moment and do both?”

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash