It has been vouched for time and again that HR plays a very crucial role in any organization, The HR department is solely reasonable for bringing in the best and most suited workforce to any organization. However, it is also a known fact that being on the top seat of the CEO is not an easy task and some of the most intelligent and experience minds are recruited for this prestigious position. Though, one would come across people from varied fields and backgrounds holding this top position. A vital observation is that one does not see a HR manager growing into CEO. The decision maker’s seat is most often occupied by people who belong to either finance or someone with a sound marketing background. Therefore the million dollar question is, why don’t we witness HR managers shouldering responsibilities of Chief Executive Officer? Are they just meant to act as mediators between the employee and the employer? Or are they really capable and well equipped to run an entire organization?
Being at the top is never easy. To be a successful CEO, the person must be an all rounder with hands-on experience, the right exposure and good team management skills as integral traits of his/her personality. Experts say that any experienced professional manger can perform the role of a CEO as long as he/she has the relevant exposure, skill and vision. However, they say that in reality, usually CEOs emerge from marketing, finance or operational departments and not from the HR vertical. Industry experts say that one of the main reasons behind HR managers not turning into CEOs is probably because, HR even today is perceived as a department that deals with people only and is misconstrued as someone who does not venture into other functions. HR is indeed the core of a company, but organizations usually prefer to have CEOs from other departments. Though other departments, are individualistic in nature we see that most companies CEOs out of professionals from other verticals and not HR.
So, do HR managers lack relevant experience and exposure required to be the CEO of their respective companies? The only issue that experts voice out is that the responsibility of the CEO is four fold one is taking care of the investor’s perspective, another is to manage internal activities from a holistic point of view, then thee is also the responsibility to monitor all the external activities and the last being growth and innovation. The HR function, on the other hand, is considered to be only people-centric and cynics feel that they won’t perform other functions to perfection.
An organization is made up by its people and dealing with people and taking care of them is the ultimate responsibility of the HR department They need to monitor whether these people management practices are aligned to the organizational objectives and also advice the CEO on matters regarding employees and their best interests But then when it comes to grabbing the top seat, experts feel that is role reversal would not be a suitable choice people should do what they are best at. Every designation has a prescribed role and this is decided by HR.
To be successful CEO, one needs to have knowledge about all nitty-gritty of the company. There is no doubt that HR is highly qualified and can hold a key position the functionality of an organization. In recent times, the practice of giving this opportunity to HR professionals is slowly catching up and there are quite a few instances where the HR manager of particular company has reached to the top. There are a lot of HR managers who can make it to the driver’s seat, but are not inducted in the main stream activities. This issue has been discussed time and again in conferences across the globe. In some of the companies, this trend has now started and many top notch organizations will see a lot of CEOs from the HR background soon. Experts feel that though more and more companies will be forthcoming towards this idea of hiring capable HR managers for the position is translated to reality.
That HR people cannot sit on the top seat of an organization is slowly proving to be a myth amongst many organizations as they are going ahead and pick CEOs out of their HR department. It hence proves that being at the top is all about being the best and having the right attitude and qualities no matter from which field one is coming from.
With ample skills and relevant experience, and HR professional can certainly take up the daunting task of a CEO and perform it with utmost dedication and perfection. Experts say that they have seen the growth of HR from a peripheral job function to an indispensable part of an organization.