Talent and the labor shortage are top of mind for business leaders across the nation. Demand for talent has held steady, while companies struggle to fill the openings. Unemployment is at its lowest level in decades, and even mass layoffs by the largest tech companies haven’t seemed to loosen the labor market.
Amid all the challenges with hiring, at least there is alignment in the C-Suite. When polled earlier this month, 49 percent of CEOs said that they plan to increase hiring over the coming year, with one-third saying it will be an increase of up to 10 percent. In a different poll earlier this month, 55 percent of CHROs said they will increase hiring—with 32 percent planning an increase of up to 10 percent.
“With hiring of talent, full time or contractors, we realized we needed to have more discipline to govern in times of ‘growth vs. maintain’ to avoid the ‘yo-yo’ extreme of adding and reducing the workforce,” says the HR COE leader of a large credit company.
Similar proportions of CHROs and CEOs also say they plan to decrease hiring over the coming year, at 12 and 14 percent, respectively.
When it comes to prioritizing the customer experience (CX) or the employee experience (EX), CEOs and CHROs are aligned, again. Seventy-three percent of CEOs say that the customer experience is as important as the employee experience, while 72 percent of CHROs say the same.
“Yes, the customer experience is our primary driver but we believe a great employee experience enables it so they go hand in hand,” says the CHRO of a large insurance company, echoing the almost three-quarters of respondents who agree that customer experience is just as important as employee experience.
When it comes to prioritizing one over the other, CEOs are slightly more likely to prioritize the customer experience, at 17 percent, vs. only 14 percent of CHROs.
“We have an internal promotion rate of 63 percent; are recognized by Gallup for having an engaged employee score in the Top 2 percent worldwide; and we reduced our turnover in 2021 and 2022 while others saw double-digit growth,” says, Rhonda Hall, VP of Human Resources & Organizational Development at University Federal Credit Union.
She is one of the 14 percent of CHROs who prioritize employee experience over the customer experience and was able to reverse the increasing turnover trend that many businesses are fighting. She shares, “I’m proud of the work I’m able to lead my Exec Team and HR Team through!”
Additionally, there is a resounding amount of alignment between CHROs and CEOs when it comes to their attitude toward various statements about labor, hiring and costs. For example, 87 percent of CEOs and 86 percent of CHROs agree with the statement, “We promote internal hiring/mobility and favor it to external recruitment.” A slightly higher percentage of CEOs strongly agree with internal hiring over external recruitment at 32 percent vs. 28 percent of CHROs who also strongly agree.
Another statement where CEOs and CHROs are almost entirely aligned in their agreement is, “We typically start the recruiting process immediately when a new position opens up,” which 76 percent of CEOs and 77 percent of CHROs agree. However, 28 percent of CHROs strongly agree, while only 18 percent of CEOs feel the same.
“Regarding recruiting, we are proactively recruiting prior to a position opening. Our goal is to find the best talent available for our budget and build a bench of potential hires,” says J. D. Ewing, CEO & chairman of COE Distributing, who strongly disagrees that recruitment begins when the position opens.
CHROs and CEOs also share agreement with the statement, “Finding an employee who is a right fit for our culture is more important than the skills they bring to the organization,” with which 81 percent of CEOs and 76 percent of CHROs agreed.
Rita Vanvranken, CHRO of Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans, recognizes the importance of cultivating culture and says, “We strongly support creating a talent management strategic roadmap and creating a culture of learning and development to attract, develop, engage and retain top talent.”
The largest gap between CEOs and CHROs exists when discussing their attitude toward the statement, “We prefer to hire from the outside to bring in new ideas and ‘shake things up.’” Only 21 percent of CEOs agree—to any extent—while 37 percent of CHROs do, highlighting CHROs’ willingness to ‘shake things up’ and why almost one-third of CEOs prefer hiring internally.
About the CEO Confidence Index
The CEO Confidence Index is America’s largest monthly survey of chief executives. Each month, Chief Executive surveys CEOs across America, at organizations of all types and sizes, to compile our CEO Confidence Index data. The Index tracks confidence in current and future business environments, based on CEOs’ observations of various economic and business components. For additional information about the Index and prior months’ data, visit ChiefExecutive.net/category/CEO-Confidence-Index/
About the CHRO Confidence Index
The CHRO Confidence Index is a pulse survey of U.S.-based CHROs and HR executives at organizations of all types and sizes on their perspective of the economy and how policies and current events are affecting their companies and strategies. Every quarter, StrategicCHRO360 asks participating CHROs about their top issues and challenges for the months ahead. The results are published on StrategicCHRO360.com and a report is distributed to participants.