Discover how to form strategic partnerships with executives.To be included in key executive conversations, HR professionals must use their employee-focused insight to help the organization be more productive, efficient and profitable. Discover how to differentiate HR as a trusted advisor by developing five key executive partnerships.  


Want to Shine in the C-Suite? Partner with 5 Key Execs

While HR was historically known for its backend administrative work of hiring, paying and managing employees, this perception has changed over the past decade. Organizations’ focus on finding and keeping the right talent has put HR’s talent management expertise in the spotlight. Company leaders are turning to HR for insight into how to connect employee behavior to the organization’s strategic initiatives.

To be included in key executive conversations, you must demonstrate your ability to apply your “people knowledge” to current business issues. Specifically, executives are looking for employee-focused insight into how the organization can be more productive, efficient and profitable. To be most effective, this advice shouldn’t be offered without context. Instead, your consult should be a component of strategic, ongoing relationships with members of the C-suite.

“One of the biggest misconceptions about human resources is that it only focuses on the ‘softer’ side of the business. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. HR metrics provide insight into employee effectiveness, productivity and engagement – all of which have a direct impact on organizational success. Through strategic partnerships with leaders in the C-suite, HR professionals play a vital role in helping the organization optimize its talent,” said Sara Hill, chief human resources officer at Ceridian.


Discover how HR can create strategic partnerships in the C-suite.

How to build stronger partnerships in the C-suite

The secret to any successful C-suite partnership is demonstrating how your strategic efforts align with the initiatives of each key functional area. By learning to consider strategic challenges from different business perspectives, you’ll distinguish HR as a trusted advisor and partner.

CEO – Supporting the organization’s direction
Help your CEO make informed business decisions by providing meaningful employee metrics and workforce insights. Connect this data to current business initiatives and demonstrate the impact various decisions have on employee and corporate engagement. Partner with your CEO to help them effectively nurture the corporate culture and skillfully navigate organizational changes.

COO – Maximizing people efficiencies
Your partnership with the COO should focus on maximizing efficiencies related to employees. Use HR data to strengthen operations’ efforts to align staff with company goals and provide them regular insight into human capital management issues on the horizon. Include them in employee engagement discussions and seek their input on recruiting, retention and career development initiatives.

CFO –Quantifying employees’ value
HR’s relationship with the CFO should focus on evaluating and managing the cost of building an effective workforce. In addition to providing data on cost-related metrics like retention and turnover, be sure to discuss often overlooked employee-related expenses like human capitol ROI, time-to-fill and absenteeism. Also, closely collaborate with the finance department on initiatives related to compensation, stock option plans, health care costs and severance packages.

CIO – Streamlining HR processes with technology
It is essential that HR and the CIO work together to ensure that technology solutions bolster the organization’s human capital management (HCM) initiatives. Support efforts to create a single source of truth in your HCM solution by providing accurate data that will help business leaders make better decisions. Your partnership should also focus on developing processes for automating and simplifying the organization’s HR compliance requirements.

CMO – Delivering the corporate brand
Strong collaboration with marketing will help ensure the organization’s brand promise is consistently delivered both internally and externally. Work closely with your CMO to verify that external marketing messages complement HR corporate culture initiatives. Tap into marketing’s expertise to assist your HR department in developing engaging and relevant employee communications that help your organization recruit and keep top performers.


Strategic HR leaders don’t operate in a vacuum but are involved in the key functional areas of the business. By demonstrating the relevancy of your strategic efforts, you will not only be invited to key executive meetings, but you will also help the organization protect its most valuable asset – your employees.

For more information:

  • Download Ceridian’s HR Strategy Workbook
  • View Ceridian’s HR Toolkit
  • Learn about Dayforce HCM