HR credibility needs a big data boost in the boardroom

Some might say that the HR profession is in crisis – crisis of credibility. For years now, HR has been trying to get a seat in the boardroom as a respected and true strategic partner to the business, just like finance, sales and technology. But, a recent study by the Center for Effective organizations shows that HR has failed to become a respected business partner and lacks credibility in the boardroom, and has made ‘little or no movement toward becoming a strategic partner.’

This is a very worrying state of affairs particularly as studies show that HR is already under attack. Yes, this study by the Oxford Martin School has revealed that most HR admin roles and many mid-tier HR roles will become obsolete in the next 10 to 20 years, as these jobs will be performed by robots or software programs.

And with so many of the HR roles under threat, HR needs to work harder and smarter to raise the credibility of the profession to protect those higher levels roles and create more job opportunities at the more strategic end of the HR profession, otherwise the entire HR profession from top to bottom could be in severe crisis in 10 to 20 years.

And so why is HR credibility suffering? It would appear that HR is viewed by business leaders as a slightly backward profession in the sense that decisions and insights that HR provide to managers and the board are based on gut instinct and not based on hard statistical data and evidence, in a time when big data is king.

This lack of credibility is holding HR back, and we know this to be the case thanks to this KMPG study which showed that 85 per cent of C-Suite executives believe their HR teams, “fail to provide insightful analytics,” leading to distrust and uncertainty. Also, this Forbes study shows that HR professionals who provide data-backed insights and decisions are four times more likely to be respected by business leaders.

So, it seems clear that HR does lack credibility in the boardroom and the lack of grasp of big data-based technology and reporting is what is holding them back. If HR wants to both stabilize and advance the profession and increase credibility in the eyes of the board, they will need to become innovating, early adopters and be making use of all the latest, enabling HR data-based technologies.

If you’re looking to get that seat in the boardroom, you’ll need to back yourself up with some hard data.

Roz Bahrami
Roz Bahrami
Roz Bahrami is a blogger for SkyPrep, an online training software for companies to train employees and measure results. Roz is a regular contributor to blogs related to corporate training, L&D, and HR technology. Visit my personal blog at

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