CEOs Say HR Must Know Workforce Analytics

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By Martin Berman-Gorvine

July 8 — Nine in 10 executives think HR professionals who work for them should be proficient in workforce analytics, and 35 percent deem it “absolutely essential,” Chicago-based job search website said in a July 7 press release announcing the results of a survey it commissioned.

But on the bright side, that coveted HR “seat at the table” is increasingly a reality, with 73 percent of the 88 executives at U.S. companies with revenue of at least $50 million that Harris Poll surveyed for CareerBuilder saying “that their HR leader has provided data that they have incorporated into their business strategy,” CareerBuilder said. Moreover, it said, “65 percent agree that post-recession, HR opinions carry greater weight with senior management.”

HR problems weighed on the executives surveyed, with 60 percent saying “their companies have not been able to reach their full potential because they cannot find enough qualified candidates,” CareerBuilder said. Nearly half of the executives said their company didn't have enough skilled candidates and that their companies had suffered financially because of inadequate recruiting efforts, it said.

HR can gain even more influence, according to more than nine in 10 of the executives. More than half cited the following ways HR can do so:

• “providing actionable talent data and other research to help devise strategies to meet larger business goals”;

• “showing ways to increase efficiencies or cut costs by better using the company's human capital”;

• “knowing what the company does, but also how everything works”; and

• “proactively working with other leaders to help solve business problems.”


“I’d say it’s not necessarily that HR professionals haven’t succeeded in taking steps to gain greater influence,” Mary Lorenz, corporate communications manager for CareerBuilder, said in a July 8 e-mail to Bloomberg BNA. “It’s more so that their relationships with CEOs—as well as the expectations CEOs have of them—have evolved over time. This study highlights the opportunities available to HR professionals now.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Martin Berman-Gorvine in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at

A press release on the survey results is available at

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