The hidden value of HR on corporate boards

Viewed in Heidrick & Struggles

The significance of HR expertise on corporate boards cannot be overstated, especially during times of significant organizational change or growth.

Companies undergoing transformations, such as IPOs, acquisitions, or large-scale changes, greatly benefit from having individuals with HR experience on the board. Similarly, start-ups and rapidly expanding companies find valuable insights from HR professionals at the board level.

Performance, Risk and Culture

Boards play a pivotal role in overseeing performance, risk management, and CEO succession planning, which have grown increasingly complex.

Talent risks have become more significant than ever, with retention posing a major concern amid shifting workforce dynamics.

Moreover, recognizing the crucial link between performance, people, and culture is essential for organizational success.


CEO succession planning presents a challenge for many companies, where HR leaders often possess invaluable expertise in managing such transitions. They offer objectivity, experience, and insights into cultural impacts crucial for long-term success.


Additionally, HR expertise aids in navigating talent and culture issues, encompassing talent development, retention, and considerations regarding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.

Strengthening HR Expertise

Enhancing internal HR teams with an enterprise-wide mindset and a focus on value creation is another critical aspect where HR expertise proves invaluable. HR-focused directors contribute by posing relevant questions, offering strategic guidance, and ensuring alignment with business objectives.

Business and Analytics

Boards should seek HR professionals who are not only well-versed in HR functions but also possess strong business acumen and analytical skills. Effective onboarding processes should facilitate their seamless integration into board discussions and decision-making processes.


Incorporating HR expertise into corporate boards enhances decision-making, improves oversight of HR-related matters, and ultimately contributes to the long-term success of the organization.

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