The road to the top

HR professionals need more than the basics to reach C-suite
By Gary Mearns
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/10/2012

The path to a senior human resources position — be it CHRO or vice-president of HR — is not a clear one, or an easy one.

In the past, technical experience in a few of the traditional functional areas of HR would often suffice. Managing a recruitment or staffing department, heading up a compensation and benefits function and possibly gaining some labour relations exposure at the bargaining table all contributed significantly to the expertise needed for a senior HR role.

But that was 20 years ago. The complexity of most large organizations today is such that additional experience, education and competencies play a much greater role in determining suitability for candidates for the executive suite.