Two thirds of HR Leaders feel undervalued by their CEO, reports Harvey Nash HR Survey 2016

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Two thirds of HR Leaders feel undervalued by their CEO, reports Harvey Nash HR Survey 2016

London – January 13, 2016 – Despite boards consistently ranking human capital as a top priority, two thirds of HR professionals believe the chief HR leader is undervalued by the CEO, and almost half believe the HR leader is considered less important to the board than the top financial leader such as the CFO. This is according to the sixth annual Harvey Nash Human Resources Survey, representing the views of 1,253 HR leaders from over thirty countries.

When assessing how HR is seen by the wider business, beyond the board, two-thirds of HR leaders are happy with the image and reputation of their function, suggesting that whilst operationally HR is performing well, its strategic value is not being fully seen by the top tier of the organisation.

The survey reveals differences in approaches between the HR leaders who feel valued and undervalued by the board, with the valued leaders being more likely to:

Interestingly, despite the majority of HR leaders rating data / management information as an important tool within the HR function, HR leaders who felt valued by the board were less likely to believe this (59% vs 53%) suggesting that gaining board buy in isn’t solely about presenting KPIs and metrics.

Robert Grimsey, director, Harvey Nash Group said: “There is no doubt that boards see the people agenda as a key priority, however many CEOs are making important human capital decisions without the involvement of HR, because it is seen as an ‘engine room’ function. Things are changing though and over the five years we have conducted the Harvey Nash HR Survey the HR function has become increasingly influential.”

Elsewhere in the Harvey Nash Human Resources Survey 2016:

About the Survey

The Harvey Nash HR Survey 2016 collected data between 9th July and 6th November 2015 and represents the views of 1,253 HR employees from more than 30 countries. Of the respondents, 8% identified themselves as Chief HR Officer, 15% as VP/Director of HR, 20% as Head of HRs and another 20% as Senior Manager HR, and the remaining 37% were spread between a broad range of roles including HR Business Partner and Talent Manager.

For more information about the survey including and to request a full copy of the results, please visit or email

About Harvey Nash

Harvey Nash has helped over half the world’s leading companies recruit, source and manage the highly skilled talent they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive, global and technology driven world. With over 7,000 experts in more than 40 offices across Europe, Asia and the USA, we have the reach and resources of a global organisation, whilst fostering a culture of innovation and agility that empowers our people across the world to respond to constantly changing client needs. We work with clients, both large and small, to deliver a portfolio of services: executive search, professional recruitment and IT outsourcing.

To learn more, please visit

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