5 Strategies HR Executives can use to Skyrocket to the C-Suite
HR Executives can, at times, feel like they are “stuck in the middle of nowhere” with job prospects. While there are plenty of CMOs, CIOs, and CFOs at the C-level of an organization, there are very few CHROS (Chief Human Resources Officer). Wait you didn’t even know there was such a thing? That’s exactly my point!
An HR executive’s purpose is sometimes considered – “non-critical”. However, there is good news. According to Ellie Filler statement mentioned in the Harvard Business Review, CHROs are gaining more importance than they were before.
“This role is gaining importance like never before,” Filler says. “It’s moved away from a support or administrative function to become much more of a game changer and the person who enables the business strategy.”
There are also Chief People Officers, Chief Personnel Officers, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, and Senior Vice President of Human Resources.
So what will it take to show the high-profile C-Suite that you also have what it takes? You CAN also be at the heart of the company to drive business strategies and make decisions.
Here’s a guide on how you can make it to the top.
- First, do what you do best: If you are lacking in your current job, then you need to stop fantasizing about upper levels. The C-Suite isn’t your road to a better and more fulfilling job just because it is a top-level post. You’ll only be able to win the hearts of the C-Suite and stand out if you show them you are amazing at what you do. Yes, that means your tasks in the HR department! Start with the basics, and start mastering strategies in your own domain (i.e. contract negotiation, organizational performance conducting, external relations, etc).
- Sparkle and Shine: To get to the top, you need to first get noticed. Don’t just do your job well, but be the best! Communicate with your co-workers as well as your superiors and make yourself visible. Solve issues of anyone you can and earn a reputation (a good one!). Use personal one-to-one communication or the social media to communicate what you think about key topics that the C-Suite would be interested in.
- Get Qualified: It’s no secret that in order to go up the ladder in an organization, you need to build up on the qualifications. If you are lacking in that department, aim to increase your knowledge and further your education. You can go for a part-time degree or certifications related to business. Keep in mind that the knowledge and skills you gain should be sufficient and adequate for contributing in large-scale decisions.
- Think Practical and Less Theory: HR Executives are often consumed with theoretical concepts that are considered “make-believe” or too “bookish”. To disprove thissupposition, you need to open your mind to much wider perspectives.Develop knowledge outside of your own department and get to know your organization inside out. Once you have that birds-eye view of the organization, the C-Suite is likely to consider the HR as a fundamental part of the organization.
- Prove How the HR department Can Achieve Business Goals: When it comes to HR personnel and promotion, the problem often lies in showing how the HR can contribute to the business goals. Unfortunately, in the past, and even now in some organizations, the HR is considered a back-office individual responsible for routine tasks. Look into how you can change this view through your own leadership and strategy making techniques. By showing how your leadership skills and strategic efforts turned the tables for the organization and directly affected business goals, you can prove yourself to be a worthy C-Suite candidate.
In the end, if you still feel that your current organization is less likely to consider you for a C-level HR executive, you might have to walk away. Search for forward-thinking companies where an HR personnel’s work is valued more.
“A good bellwether of the state of HR will be the function’s ability to produce candidates from within its own ranks to take on senior roles at companies.”—executive recruiter (Harvard Business Review)
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