HR Leadership Stall Points - Developing the Next-Gen HR Leader

About This Research Project: 

As the Asia-Pacific/Southeast Asian regional HR function readies itself to support businesses as they expand operations in ASEAN or broader Asia, there is a paucity of local in-country HR talent that can step up and take on regional/global roles.

The team at the Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) set out on this study with two objectives: 1) To understand key professional competencies and personal attributes that make HR leaders successful and, 2) To understand how organisations and incumbent leaders are developing the required skills in the next generation HR leaders.

The HR Leadership Stall Points study findings are based on (a) qualitative interviews with regional heads of HR (referred to as incumbent, regional CHRO, APAC head of HR); (b) collection of datasets to support qualitative inputs from the interviews; and (c) compilation of career histories of senior regional HR leaders. More details on study methodology are available in the full report below.

The study found that in order to succeed in the face of key disruptions and challenges such as increasing workforce diversity, widespread use of technology, newer business models and macroeconomic shifts, HR leaders must have five key skills – influence, collaboration, business acumen, intercultural agility and resilience. However, senior incumbent regional heads of HR inform us that successors to regional head of HR roles are at least two to three years away from being ready to step into the shoes of a CHRO.

Key challenges that stall the development of HR leaders in the region include lack of self-confidence, lack of “new age” HR and professional/personality skills, inadequate top talent joining the front lines, mobility concerns and HR not being valued as a strategic business partner.

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1) Why aren't more women becoming HR Leaders?

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