Heidrick & Struggles: Board effectiveness focus: Why directors with HR expertise help boards do better

Having individuals with HR experience on the board is particularly useful in certain cases, including for companies that are about to go public; companies looking at acquisitions or divestitures; those going through large-scale transformation; and start-up companies or any company that is about to experience explosive growth. “The majority asset spend for those companies is talent, employees. That is where someone with human capital management expertise should be,” said one director. Relatedly, directors mentioned the importance of having HR professionals on the board at retail companies, given the large number of employees, and in union environments.

In this article, Heidrick & Struggles conducted interviews and concluded that there are three specific ways HR expertise can help boards carry out their responsibilities today:

  1. Playing a leading role in CEO succession planning
  2. Navigating talent and culture issues that are becoming more challenging and important
  3. Enhancing internal HR teams with an enterprise-wide mindset and a road map to value creation

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Dorothy Badie, Laryssa Topolnytsky
Thought leadership category