- Chief human resource officers (CHROs) at U.S. private companies don't fare very well when compared to other C-suite executives, according to a survey from the Chief Executive Group (CEG), SHRM reports.
- For 2016, the CEG survey found that CHROs are projected to earn a median salary (sans bonus) of $117,000, a 6.4% increase over 2015. But when you look at total compensation (salary plus bonus) in 2015, CHROs averaged $122,000, below chief technology officers ($147,500) and dead last among nine C-suite peers included in the survey.
- Gender bias could help explain the rankings, as SHRM's HR Magazine has published research showing that 42% of high-performing CHROs are female, a significantly higher percentage than that of other senior executive positions.
There are many factors to consider when asking why CHROs trail the pack when it comes to compensation rankings among private companies. While no one expects HR leaders to be on par with the CEO, presidents or COOs pay-wise, perhaps the most surprising aspect of the CEG report is the gap between the eighth spot (CTOs) and CHROs – a difference of $25,000 or so annually on average. It doesn't say much about the value employers put on the professionals entrusted with the critical job of managing talent.
HR industry observers have heard the mantra "getting a seat at the table" constantly within the past decade, but it seems that this salary survey indicates that HR on balance still has a way to go on that front - at least in terms of compensation as an indicator of reaching that objective. Most of all, the telling data point is the fact that close to half of high-performing CHROs are women, which underscores how the gender pay gap is alive and well for HR leaders. Though this pay gap is, by some measurements, closing slightly in 2016, HR industry observers would od well to follow this issue given its place in this year's especially contentious election cycle.