The Most Successful HR Professionals: Ranking the Achievements

Choose the professionals you think is the most successful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 15, 2024 06:17
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate platform for voicing your opinions and discovering the world's top choices! We've got an exciting new ranking in store for you - "What are the most successful HR professionals?" With thousands of polls and rankings on various topics, StrawPoll is the perfect place to cast your vote and express your admiration for the finest HR experts. Dive into the dynamic world of Human Resources as we showcase the trailblazers who have revolutionized the industry with their exceptional leadership, strategic thinking, and innovative approaches. Unleash your passion and vote for your favorite HR professional or suggest a missing option that deserves recognition. This is your chance to take part in a thrilling journey of discovery and celebrate the game-changers in HR. So, why wait? Join the conversation and make your voice heard today!

What Are the Most Successful HR Professionals?

  1. 1

    Dave Ulrich

    Dave Ulrich
    A renowned HR thought leader, professor, speaker, and author, who has pioneered the concept of HR business partnering and HR shared services.
    The Dave Ulrich model is a widely recognized framework in the field of Human Resources (HR) that was developed by Dave Ulrich, an American professor, author, and consultant known for his work in HR and leadership.
    • Focus: The model emphasizes the importance of aligning HR activities with the overall business strategy.
    • Roles: It defines four key roles of HR professionals: strategic partner, administrative expert, employee champion, and change agent.
    • HR Competencies: The model identifies six essential competencies for HR professionals: strategic positioner, credible activist, capability builder, change champion, HR innovator and integrator.
    • HR Architecture: It highlights the design and structure of HR practices, processes, and policies based on the organization's needs and goals.
    • Shared Services: The model suggests that some HR functions can be consolidated into shared services to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  2. 2
    Mary Barra
    US Government · Public domain

    Mary Barra

    General Motors
    CEO of General Motors, who started her career as an HR professional and is known for her people-focused leadership style.
    Mary Barra is one of the most successful HR professionals, known for her leadership and achievements at General Motors (GM).
    • Position: Chairman and CEO
    • Company: General Motors
    • Years of service: Joined GM in 1980
    • Employs: Over 173,000 people worldwide
    • Recognition: Ranked among Fortune's Most Powerful Women
    Mary Barra in other rankings
  3. 3

    Laszlo Bock

    Laszlo Bock
    Former SVP of People Operations at Google, who revolutionized the company's HR practices and made it one of the most desirable places to work.
    Laszlo Bock is a highly successful HR professional who is renowned for his contributions in talent management and human resource strategies.
    • Leadership: Known for his leadership skills and ability to create high-performing teams.
    • Google: Former Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google.
    • Work Rules!: Authored the book 'Work Rules!' which focuses on creating a culture of high performance and employee engagement.
    • Data-Driven Approach: Advocates for data-driven decision making to optimize HR functions.
    • People Analytics: Instrumental in developing Google's approach to People Analytics, using data insights for talent acquisition and retention.
  4. 4
    SVP of HR at General Electric, who has led the company's HR transformation and is known for her innovative approaches to talent management.
    Susan Peters is a fictional character created by HR experts to represent the most successful HR professional. She is known for her exceptional skills and achievements in the field of human resources.
    • Experience: Over 15 years of experience in HR management
    • Education: Master's degree in Human Resources
    • Leadership: Proven ability to lead and inspire teams
    • Strategic Thinking: Strong strategic thinking and decision-making skills
    • Communication: Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  5. 5

    Josh Bersin

    Josh Bersin
    Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, a leading research and advisory firm in HR and talent management, who has influenced the industry with his insights and thought leadership.
    Josh Bersin is a highly regarded HR professional with extensive experience in the field. He is a renowned author, speaker, and industry analyst who specializes in HR, talent management, and corporate learning. With a career spanning over two decades, Bersin has become a thought leader in HR practices and has guided numerous organizations in their HR strategies.
    • Authorship: Has authored several books and articles on HR practices.
    • Speaking: Frequently delivers keynote speeches and presentations at industry conferences.
    • Thought Leadership: Recognized as a leading authority on HR practices and trends.
    • Industry Analysis: Provides in-depth analysis and insights into the HR industry and its evolving landscape.
    • Talent Management: Expertise in developing effective talent management strategies.
  6. 6
    Former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, who developed the company's unique culture and HR practices that have been widely emulated.
    The Patty McCord is a hypothetical HR professional, inspired by the real-life Patty McCord who was the Chief Talent Officer at Netflix. It represents a modern and innovative approach to human resources management.
    • Strategic mindset: Ability to align HR initiatives with the overall business strategy.
    • Data-driven approach: Uses analytics and insights to make informed HR decisions.
    • Focus on culture: Recognizes the role of culture in driving organizational success.
    • Agile and adaptable: Quickly adjusts HR practices to address changing business needs.
    • Embrace of technology: Utilizes HR technology tools for streamlined processes and improved efficiency.
  7. 7
    Johnny C. Taylor Jr.
    Kevin-tmcf · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Johnny C. Taylor Jr.

    Johnny C. Taylor Jr.
    CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), who is driving the organization's mission to elevate the HR profession and advocate for the workforce.
    Johnny C. Taylor Jr. is the name of a recognized and influential HR professional who has made significant contributions to the field. With his extensive experience and expertise, he has become a symbol of success and excellence in the HR industry.
    • Years of Experience: Over 20 years
    • Education: Juris Doctorate (JD)
    • Accomplishments: Served as President and CEO of SHRM
    • Leadership: Chair of the President's Advisory Board on HBCUs
    • Recognition: Named by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in business
  8. 8

    Stacia Sherman Garr

    Stacia Sherman Garr
    Co-founder and Principal Analyst at RedThread Research, a leading HR research and advisory firm, who is known for her expertise in talent acquisition, development, and engagement.
    Stacia Sherman Garr is a highly regarded HR professional known for her expertise in talent management and workforce strategy. She has made significant contributions to the field through her research, consulting, and thought leadership.
    • Experience: Over 20 years of experience in HR and talent management
    • Education: Holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree
    • Expertise: Specializes in talent management and workforce strategy
    • Research: Has conducted extensive research on the future of work
    • Consulting: Provides consulting services to organizations on HR and talent management practices
  9. 9

    Tony Hsieh

    Tony Hsieh
    Former CEO of Zappos, who built a customer-centric and employee-focused culture that made the company a model for HR innovation.
    Tony Hsieh is a highly successful HR professional known for his innovative approach to company culture and employee engagement. He revolutionized the online retail industry as the CEO of Zappos, an e-commerce company known for its exceptional customer service and employee-centric culture.
    • Entrepreneurial success: Tony Hsieh built and sold his first company, LinkExchange, for $265 million.
    • CEO of Zappos: Tony Hsieh joined Zappos in 1999 and served as CEO until his retirement in 2020.
    • Employee engagement: Hsieh prioritized creating a positive work environment and encouraged employees to bring their authentic selves to work.
    • Holacracy: Hsieh implemented holacracy, a non-hierarchical organizational structure, at Zappos to promote autonomy and decision-making from within.
    • Las Vegas Downtown Project: Hsieh invested $350 million to revitalize downtown Las Vegas, focusing on education, small businesses, and tech startups.
    Tony Hsieh in other rankings
  10. 10

    Mimi Brooks

    Brooks Software Inc.
    CEO of Logical Design Solutions, a consulting firm that helps organizations transform their business and digital strategies, who is recognized for her leadership in HR technology and innovation.
    Mimi Brooks is a comprehensive human resources management software designed to streamline HR processes and enhance productivity. It provides various modules for talent acquisition, employee management, payroll processing, and performance evaluation.
    • Cloud-based Solution: Allows easy access from anywhere with internet connection
    • Talent Acquisition Module: Enables efficient recruitment and onboarding processes
    • Employee Management Module: Centralizes employee data and automates HR workflows
    • Payroll Processing Module: Simplifies payroll calculations and ensures accurate payment
    • Performance Evaluation Module: Facilitates performance reviews and goal setting

Missing your favorite professionals?


Ranking factors for successful professionals

  1. Leadership and strategic thinking
    Successful HR professionals should be effective leaders who can create and execute strategic plans that align with the company's overall goals. This includes being able to inspire and motivate employees, as well as making critical decisions to drive the organization forward.
  2. Communication skills
    Strong communication skills are essential for HR professionals to be able to effectively convey information, manage conflicts, and negotiate with various stakeholders, such as employees, managers, and clients.
  3. Relationship-building
    HR professionals should have the ability to forge strong relationships with colleagues and business partners, as well as maintaining a strong network of connections within the industry.
  4. Knowledge of HR policies and best practices
    Successful HR professionals should have a deep understanding of employment laws, HR policies, and best practices, which they can then apply to create fair, compliant, and effective HR systems and programs.
  5. Talent management
    Effective talent management is crucial for the success of an organization. HR professionals should demonstrate the ability to attract, recruit, retain, and develop top talent to support the company's goals.
  6. Employee engagement and satisfaction
    HR professionals must be able to develop and implement initiatives that foster a positive and engaging work environment for employees, leading to higher levels of satisfaction, productivity, and retention.
  7. Analytical and problem-solving skills
    Successful HR professionals should have strong analytical and critical thinking skills to identify, assess, and address various organizational challenges and opportunities.
  8. Adaptability and innovation
    HR professionals should be adaptable and open to change, always looking for ways to improve and streamline processes, stay current with industry trends, and leverage new technology solutions to enhance the organization's efficiency and effectiveness.
  9. Ethics and integrity
    A successful HR professional should adhere to a strong ethical framework and ensure their decisions and actions are in line with the company's values and ethical standards.
  10. Measurable results
    Lastly, it's important to evaluate the success of HR professionals based on the measurable results they achieve. This can include improvements in key HR metrics (e.g., turnover, time to fill positions, etc.), cost savings, and the overall impact of HR initiatives on the company's performance.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most successful HR professionals. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Professional is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 196 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Professional once every 24 hours. The rank of each Professional is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most successful hr professionals

Human resources (HR) professionals play a vital role in the success of any organization. These individuals are responsible for managing and developing the workforce, ensuring compliance with employment laws and regulations, and fostering a positive and productive work environment. Successful HR professionals possess a unique combination of skills, including strong communication, problem-solving, and leadership abilities. They must also stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in HR management to effectively support the needs of their organizations. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the most successful HR professionals and the qualities that set them apart in their field.

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