Wednesday, 30 September 2009

How to be one of the UK's top HR Directors

(Click chart to enlarge)

This week has seen the publication of Personnel Today's Top 40 Power Players list which aims to recognise HR's most prominent and influential professionals, those who have "played a part in bringing people issues to the top of the business agenda and been a shining light for the HR profession"

The shining lights include the HR Directors of many household names: HSBC, B&Q, Microsoft UK, KPMG and Vodafone to name but a few.

The nominations list includes a brief snapshot of which activities have been keeping each of them busy over the last 12 months. The HR Case Studies Statistical Analysis Team has been working tirelessly to unravel if there are any common themes in the listing, to give aspiring HRDs a clue as to where they should be concentrating their efforts in order to become next year's top HRD.

In pole position is Developing People Capability, including Leadership Development, which has caused 11 out of the 40 to burn the midnight oil.

Next on the grid is Reshaping the HR Function, which has kept nine of the top HRDs busy over recent months.

And taking the third spot on the podium is Managing Redundancies. It's hardly surprising that at this time of recession, eight of the 40 have been involved in headcount reductions of some shape or form.

So, HRDs of the future: Develop, Reshape and Reduce if you want to be on Personnel Today's list in 2010


  1. Here’s a thought: if the most prominent and influential HRDs of 2009 have burnt the midnight oil reshaping the HR function – and this is then top of the list in 2010 – what does it say about the decisions made by the current shining lights?


  2. Interesting post and analysis of what the advisory board regards as HR Power Players.
    Some impressive achievements say a lot about the economy over the last 12 months, hopefully Develop and Reshape continue to be key in the next 12 months with much less Reduce. In what makes a Power Player, "a business person first, an HR practitioner second" is supported by many of the achievements.

  3. Andy: thanks for the comment. It's interesting to note which of the nominations appear each year too. I have a sneaking suspicion that "Transforming the HR Function" almost becomes an eternal activity that is never completed!

  4. Like the painting of the Forth Bridge it can seem like a never ending job. In my experience organisations that set-up a specific programmes with defined outcomes and end-points tend to get best results. ADP/HROA do a HR Transformation survey every year ( see link for pdf report ) 60% of those surveyed said it took longer than 3 years, but these will include large ERP and Shared Services implementations.