Ceridian CHRO Sara Hill and Peers Share Insights on HR Leadership #HRTechConf
The job of leading human capital management is critical wherever you go, and in the HCM industry, chief human resource officers’ challenges and rewards are amplified. Theirs is a job with a high profile. They set the pace and the standard for CHROs everywhere. Last week, at HR Technology® Conference & Expo, Ceridian CHRO Sara Hill joined a panel, all women CHROs at technology companies, to discuss their role and the potential for female leaders in their industry.
From Support Staff to Business Partner
From the panel, a theme emerged: HR can be a leader within the organization. Key to this goal is for HR to see itself as a business partner, not just a department of support staff. It’s a mindset that must originate with the CHRO. From there, this shift in perspective can eventually permeate the organization. “See yourself as a business person, not a support person,” Hill said.
Employer Branding: Today’s Challenge
“Employer branding is the next big thing for CHROs,” said Hill. Given employer branding’s importance to an organization’s success, smart CHROs are making it a priority. Jobvite’s 2013 Social Recruiting Survey reveals that 94 percent of recruiters have used, or plan to use, social media. Whether in the hands of a recruiter or someone else, social media greatly amplifies an employer’s influence on existing employees, potential employees and other stakeholders. Depending on the attention an employer pays to employer branding, the impact can be for good or ill—and the benefits or consequences far-reaching.
It’s a CHRO’s World
Even for less technical roles, executive leadership at technology companies has long been the domain of men—with notable exceptions, of course. The panel trained its focus on how this needs to change—and on how it already is changing. Women leaders can perpetuate an evolution toward gender-blind leadership in the executive suite: “The behavior set is no longer that you have to act like a man to be successful,” said Hill. Effectiveness depends on a more nuanced set of variables. “Know your fundamentals, have your role models, and be emphatic on how HR impacts the business,” she said.
Praise for Hill and the Panel
Steve Boese, co-chair of HR Tech Conference, wrote at his blog, “This was a great group of HR executives,” noting that the panelists were “easy to work with, and reminded us all what true leadership looks and sounds like. I want HR Tech to be a place where we see and hear from the absolute best of the best in HR, and these panelists exemplify that completely.” Boese co-hosted the panel alongside Trish McFarlane, vice president of the HR Practice and principal analyst at Brandon Hall Group.
This blog post was written by Brent Skinner, a marketing manager at Ceridian. Quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Brent teaches business writing part-time at Boston University’s College of Communication. Prior to joining Ceridian, Brent co-founded #HRTechChat and was technology editor for HRO Today. Earlier, he was a contributing editor to Executive Recruiter News. Follow Brent on Twitter: @BrentSkinner