Whos running the show? Why is HR hiring the C-Suite?

Who's the BossI must admit I am completely baffled. Baffled you say? Yes baffled. I am unable to connect the logic that I see being used these days as it relates to hiring in the C-Suite. Those proverbial dots from point A to point B are being hijacked.

We re talking now about changes in the interpretation of how the going concern principle is being inculcated. The going concern principle is defined as a business will stay in business.  This is similar to Newton’s first law of physics.

Who’s the Boss?

How does a business stay in business? By hiring the best management, who then in turns creates the business.  Management creates products or services and then hires the supporting employees.  These people implement the strategies and plans to make success a reality.

But there has been a constant erosion of responsibility in the hallowed halls of both the Board Room and with the CEO and President. The erosion is real life and it s extremely dangerous.  Dangerous to the life; not “human being life” dangerous, but the life of the going concern.

It is an abrogation of authority by the Board and CEO/President; a demurring to a constituency that claims knowledge.  Knowledge in areas that they have absolutely no basis and can provide no validation besides self-serving certifications.  Certifications issued by associations that use these same certifications as profit centers.

Then, these same individuals, in order to raise the bar to their alleged knowledge use the old flim-flam. Purposely gumming the works, giving many the bum rap.  They have the nerve to say not only does their plan work, but they know best.

What is the issue?

The Board, the CEO or the President are allowing the HR departments to set the requirements for C-Level individuals.  HR is interviewing and select those they think are qualified? We’re not talking about the executive recruitment industry (they have their own issues). We’re only and specifically talking HR here. boss

Let’s be clear, I am not anti-HR. HR is an important aspect to any business, but HR needs split into a tripartite organization.

  1. Administrative (handles all those pesky Federal/State/Local issues which keep growing logarithmic-ally year in and year out).
  2. Benefits and compensation – they advise on salary ranges for banding of like-kind jobs as well as handling the mind numbing paperwork involved in the benefit programs.
  3. Human Asset Strategy – this is a very small unit which does not create job specs or actually do the acquisition, they assist and provide consultation to the individual hiring managers, again with consultation with the Benefits and Compensation division as well as the Finance department (budget), and help the acquisition process along. The manager of the X department should have a clear cut idea about what type of person is needed and what the job spec should be; how can the traditional HR practitioner know what is really needed, especially since many never worked outside that department or haven t worked in many years outside that department and most certainly probably never did that job.

On the other hand, the hiring manager either did work at that level or is working day to day with those employees to know what is and isn’t needed.

Call to Action

Talk with C-level professionals and other senior management and you ll likely hear similar complaints about talent acquisition. You’ll probably hear more complaints from accounting and finance departments due to turf battles having to do with payroll, but the talent acquisition issue seems to broad based.

If so, why is the Board and CEO delegating such important decisions away and down the chain? Could it be plausible deniability so when the C-Suite occupants fail or turnover is high they can say it was HR? What advantage in the long term does that serve?

If you have a point of view, even if it s contrary to mine, I d like to open a dialogue.