HR Execs Get More Respect Throughout EMEA

June 26, 2003 ( - The majority of European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) companies view their human resource (HR) organizations as strategic partners that add significant value to their business strategy, according to a new study.

Surveyed executives highlighted perceived challenges that face HR organizations today:

  • compensation, recruiting & hiring
  • benefits
  • changing employee population
  • retention & loyalty
  • change management
  • workforce development and technology.

The executives were polled as part of a joint study between software firm Oracle Corp. and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Inc, The Value of HR in the Corporation – EMEA. The study found that although EMEA HR organizations still face challenges in being perceived in the corporation as more than an administrative function, the majority are already seen as strategic partners to line management:

  • 48% of surveyed EMEA executives view HR as a staff function, compared to 65% of US executives
  • 60% of surveyed EMEA executives perceive HR as a customer-focused strategic partner, compared to 40% of US executives
  • 48% of EMEA companies have strategies in place for managing global employees, compared to 30% of US companies.

The study also found a direct correlation between companies that view their HR organizations as staff functions and use disparate, home-grown systems to run their HR operations (62% in EMEA, 75% in the US). Similarly, study results found executives believe HR organizations can increase their value to the corporation by using technology to improve collaboration between key stakeholders.

The study surveyed more than 230 executives at both large and mid-sized companies based in EMEA, across 20 different industries.