- Chief human resources officers have the shortest shelf life in the C-suite, according an article at Financial Post, part of a Canadian news site.
- "Forty-two percent stay less than two years in the role," says Bill Conaty, co-author of The Talent Masters: Why smart leaders put people before numbers. "That's an indictment of a role that's supposed to expert in succession planning."
- According to Conaty, the reason for the high turnover is that many CHROs oddly enough don't have a background in HR, and the reason many CHROs don't have a background in HR is the common misconception that anybody can do HR.
Conaty looked to change that perception during his time at General Electric, where he served as senior vice president of HR under controversial CEO Jack Welch. In the beginning, Welch had little respect for HR, referring to the department's leadership program as the "picnics and benefits crowd."
Conaty changed GE HR's leadership program to include three eight-month assignments in different business units and functions—including one rotation with corporate audit. That move "bred internal credibility," he said. It also eventually changed Welch's opinion about HR. He went on to regard it as GE's most important department for the role it plays in anticipating business needs, attracting and developing talent and building a leadership pipeline for long-term success, according to the article.
One of Conaty's bits of advice to CHROs today? He says to "have the courage and confidence to push back when you see things being done that run counter to the organization's—and your own—values."