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HR Over-Estimates Its Power

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A new survey has uncovered a widespread misconception about the influence that human resources departments exert on the board.
The poll, by skills management company InfoBasis, showed that 85% of HR professionals believe that they are represented at board level in their organisation. This is in stark contrast to workers outside HR, of whom just 55% believe that HR is represented at the boardroom table.

According to DLA's 2005 HR Performance Indicator Survey, however, the correct figure for HR representation at board level across UK companies is closer to the non-HR estimate: just 60%.

"It's encouraging to see that HR professionals have become aware of the importance of being at the forefront of corporate policy creation," said Ashley Wheaton, CEO of InfoBasis. "What is frustrating is that so many appear to consider this mountain already climbed, when there is a still a huge amount of work to be done."

Wheaton added: "With 60% of an organisation's costs directly tied up in its people, every business should be delighted to welcome an obligatory HR representative onto the board. However, we should be wary of believing that this has already happened."

This survey was conducted of 318 delegates at the recent CIPD conference.

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