HR should play a pivotal role in business strategy, particularly in organisations that consider their people a key asset. But the way to the CEO’s heart involves engaging with other business functions, talking their language and overcoming some intrinsic barriers.  Featuring material and recommendations from CRF’s research report, ‘Developing a Strategic HR Approach’; this article explores what it really takes for HR to be truly strategic. 

The article originally appeared in HR Magazine’s July 2013 edition. 

In today's rapidly changing business environment, it's more important than ever for HR to be commercial, close to the business, and clearly aligned to business strategy. However, the reality for many organisations is that HR is often disconnected from business priorities, and HR's contribution to critical strategic and commercial objectives is not always clear.

CRF’s new research report considers the current state of the HR function, and looks at the role HR should play in helping develop and execute strategy, and how HR can become more business-relevant. This executive summary examines the key findings from the research. Full research report is available to CRF members only. To find out more about CRF membership, please contact Harry Cloke on Alternatively, please call our offices on +44 (0) 2074707104.

Workforce analytics has become a hot topic in organisations over recent years, with significant claims of potential business benefits. And yet only a quarter (27%) of respondents to a recent CRF survey find that their organisation's workforce analytics capability allows them to identify opportunities to make decisions that lead to better business outcomes frequently or consistently. This executive summary offers an overview of the findings and some practical recommendations for successfully implementing workforce analytics projects.

Full report is accessible to all CRF members here. To enquire about the research please contact Harry Cloke, Senior Business Development Executive at 

At a roundtable event in March 2017, Corporate Research Forum members had an opportunity to share experiences of implementing HR analytics. This note summarises the discussions and provides a glimpse into the areas HR professionals most often struggle with when it comes to implementation of HR Analytics. It also provides recommendations for other HR professionals and asks questions around the effectiveness of people analytics. 

This infographic from IBM’s research report “My Data or Your Data?” showcases the concerns individual employees in US have when it comes to storage and use of their personal data collected by organisations. While people’s views on data privacy vary greatly, it is important for organisations to understand these views and employ effective communication strategies about privacy to all employees.  The infographic contains a link to the full report. 

Analytically curious HR professionals wanting to join conversations about analysis might find learning all of the jargon and complexity daunting. However, this paper presents a view of research design and analysis that will enable informed participation in workforce analytics discussions. Note: Content is adapted from “The Power of People: How Successful Organizations Use Workforce Analytics to Improve Business Performance”. Pearson FT Press

This article from Corporate Research Forum’s fourth edition of Progress e-magazine discusses the future for today's "digital worker". Written by Dr. Carsten Sørensen from the London School of Economics and Political Science, this article touches on the issue of measurement and digitalisation. Download it here. 

Compiled from desk research, a CRF survey and many interviews with HR leaders, experts and academics, this report examines in depth what evidence-based HR (EBHR) is – and is not, and how evidence-based practice can benefit HR departments. The report explores what is meant by evidence, along with how EBHR connects to measurement evaluation and diagnosis in HR.

Full report is accessible to all CRF members here. To enquire about the research please contact Harry Cloke, Senior Business Development Executive at

For most CEOs, “talent” is at or near the top of their priority list. Yet in the survey of over 230 organisations that accompanied this research, only 17% of respondents rated their organisation as effective in predicting and planning future talent needs. This research report draws upon international good practice and provides practical recommendations and methodologies for improvement.

Here you can download and view the report's executive summary. 


Analytics is emerging as the next big trend for the HR function and is seeing a lot of interest.  However, is all this hype justified and can HR analytics propel the function forward and add value to the organisation? Listen to CRF's webinar to learn what analytics can really deliver for HR and to learn more about the current trend. 

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    Karen Ward CRF Associate
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    Dr. Nigel Guenole Senior Lecturer & Consultant, Goldsmiths University
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    Sathi Banerjee Leadership Assessment Lead , Shell
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    Georg Lange Global HR Consultant, Syngenta
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    Gillian Pillans Research Director, Corporate Research Forum
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