Chief Human Resources Officer Turnover Expected to Be 50% in 2015

HR grew up in throws of process, compliance and risk aversion. We were not promoted to be bold, brazen or assertive. We were hired, promoted and trained to be administrative. This is the fundamental challenge in the future of HR. We are not bold. Either we step up to the challenge or the future HR leaders we not be from HR at all. They will be operations and finance who are looking at the bigger impact of the organization. They don’t need to care about FMLA.

HR Needs to Be Bold

It’s not that they don’t care about FMLA, the OFCCP or the DOL. They know they should but these new interloopers to HR know they can hire you into the role. They entice you to take the opportunity to build a compliance program or HR shared services team. And unless we fight back and be bold and brazen, HR will be not be strategic. We will lose the opportunity to put our footprint on companies.


Why CHRO Turnover Could Reach 50% in 2015

This battle isn’t new. Last year in an improving job market but not like we are seeing at present, Chief Human Resources Officer turnover stood at 39%. We as in HR has been vying for the seat at the table for some time, but this year is the first year that Boomers are retiring in large numbers. Starting in 2015, almost 33 percent of our workforce including 48 percent of our supervisors will be eligible to retire. HR Xers and older Millenials your time is now to be bold. I am predicting that Chief Human Resources Officer turnover will be much higher than 2014’s 39%. I think that it will reach well above 50% in 2015.

While HR’s organizational performance as pictured above is on the upswing, it’s not in sync with the improving economy. Especially when you consider that some experts predict unemployment to continue declining until 2017 where it flattens between 2.5 to 3.0%. CEOs are worried sick about this prospect. That’s why talent is the top of mind for them in 2015.

Millenial and  Xer human resources leaders who don’t yet hold the title of Chief Human Resources Officer but are interested should be bold and insert yourself into board room meetings. Tell your CEO (and your board of directors) that you want the CHRO role and outline your path to get there. Now is also the time to look for new roles and build new partnerships as the mass exodus begins. Build relationships with the COO and other executives. Don’t ask permission but come armed with data, forecasts earnings and information to back up the program you threw the switch on without the board’s approval. Otherwise, those interloopers are gaining ground and quickly or the CHRO role you’ve hedge your bet on aren’t happening.

In 2007, my boss was promoted. He was the Regional Director of Operations. He became the VP of HR. I wondered how he could possibly be qualified for a job like that. He had no HR experience aside from some uncomfortable employee conversations and likely a few sexual harassment investigation statements. I’m pretty sure he had never set foot in an HRIS or ATS nor did his new senior HR job require him to be.

He had no idea the pride and love that HR practitioners feel for their industry. He was just some guy who got a promotion who was selected over someone else. It made me mad, but I respected the company for their decision. Like a good little HR lady I didn’t question. This is the opposite of what we and my now present self should be doing. HR needs to be bold, make alliances and talk the language of your CEO. Quit waiting for them to offer you that promotion. Demand it because now is the opportunity.


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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