How HR professionals should show their commercial value

To take the next step in your HR career, organisations today are expecting you to present an HR CV that shows how your work directly influences a company’s bottom line, productivity rates, commercial objectives and strategic planning – using tangible metrics.

No longer a “softer” space in the business where people skills are the most important attribute, human resources is now a business unit that needs to be accountable for its existence the way other areas of the business have always been measured and liable.

This is especially true in the measurement of employee engagement, for example. A recent Deloitte report found that data-driven employee engagement practices, managed by the HR function, is now considered critical to business success. Alongside this, the evolution of technology to allow for increasingly personalised employee experience is having a huge impact on the way HR departments and practices operate.

However, many professionals in the sector are still catching up to these expectations. But your ability to communicate your value in terms of dollars, percentages and numbers will create inroads and opportunities – and put you ahead of the competition.

How do I show my commercial value? 

Use metrics in your HR CV. You need to back up your contribution with tangible figures, so consider addressing questions like:

  • Did I meet or exceed targets?
  • How did my actions affect revenue?
  • By how much did a new process reduce spend and save on budget?
  • How can I evaluate and measure the output of my activities, whether through a business-as-usual initiative or special project?
  • What dollar value is my work worth?
  • How is the business actually benefiting from my role?
  • What are my real deliverables?

An understanding and commitment to HR best practice is still valuable and highly sought after, but consider adding more tangibility, analytics, transparency and thoughtfulness to the actual value of your work, to show your “commerciality” in a HR CV.

How has HR changed? 

Business has changed its momentum, pace and measurability, which has changed the face of the HR function.

While HR has traditionally played a supportive and administrative role to business, changes in business practices, employee expectation and economic climates have now raised the bar for HR performance. Rapid growth through globalisation, advancements in technology and large-scale acquisitions have put HR at the heart of a company’s overall strategic planning.

Although the expectations and demands on the HR team will vary between organisations, the role of HR is now identified as being a core contributor to the performance of a business – and your HR CV should reflect that.

What should my HR CV say? 

Your HR resume should sell your commercial nous. This includes:

  • Making sure your past achievements and activities are accompanied by tangible figures that show how you saved on budget, increased productivity, decreased wait times or reached any other commercial objective in a quantifiable way
  • Aligning your experience with the overall performance and goals of the organisation, which could cover how your HR activities fit into the bigger picture, what involvement you had in strategic planning, or how you made a genuine impact on business output
  • Providing examples from across your work history and not just your latest role, accompanied by the ability and confidence to talk about actual scenarios in which you – or you and your team – made a genuine impact on business returns

It’s worth compiling a record of the results you’re delivering in your current role, which is easier to record and evaluate at the time it’s happening, rather than down the track when you’re thinking to switch to a new role. This will also frame your mindset as you work to consider the commercial aspects of your job.


If you’re looking to take the next step in your HR career, speak to one of our specialist consultants today.


HR has been identified as a critical business partnering function in recent years, and HR professionals are now required to analyse and report on their activities. For HR professionals to communicate their value to both their current and future employers, they need to offer:

  • Employee engagement, productivity and retention statistics
  • Technical skills in software packages

Impact on revenue

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