WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME AN HR LEADER?
There are few careers in the corporate
world that get as wide a
workplace perspective as a vice
president of human resources.
From working directly with C-suite executives
to speaking with frontline workers,
VPs of HR see all aspects of the business,
from many angles and perspectives.
Getting to that point in an HR leader’s career
is no easy feat and takes years of hard
work, along with skills and knowledge
(and patience) to get there.
In summer 2014, Hays Canada, a global
recruitment firm, conducted a survey that
focused on the “DNA of a VP of Human
Resources” and interviewed more than
100 HR leaders with a title of VP or higher.
Rather than a single path or direction
taken by HR leaders, what emerged from
the data is that getting to the highest levels
of HR leadership takes varied approaches,
routes, educational backgrounds and
experiences, with no one approach being
correct or incorrect.
One theme to come from the report, and
this may be true for all HR professionals
but especially at high levels, is the importance
of building strategic partnerships.
HR leaders must form partnerships
with other executives within their organizations.
Rowan O’Grady, president of
Hays Canada, says that companies like to
promote a “people first” approach to doing
business, but don’t always make HR
the main part of that function within the
By Joel Kranc
24 ❚ FEBRUARY 2015 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL