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HR Most Influential 2015 rankings unveiled

The results of the 2015 HR Most Influential rankings have been revealed

Last night, HR magazine unveiled the 2015 HR Most Influential rankings at an exclusive networking event in Claridge's.

The HR Most Influential ranking, which is supported by Ceridian and Open University Business School, recognises the HR practitioners and thinkers pushing the field of people strategy forward. This year is the 10th anniversary of the annual ranking.

Shell chief HR and corporate officer Hugh Mitchell was named the most influential HR practitioner of the decade, with Penguin Random House’s Neil Morrison and the BBC’s Valerie Hughes D’Aeth coming second and third respectively.

Cary Cooper, professor of organizational psychology at Manchester Business School, came top of the thinkers list, with Bath University’s Rob Briner and University College London’s Adrian Furnham completing the top three.

The top 10 most influential practitioners are:

1. Hugh Mitchell, chief HR and corporate officer, Royal Dutch Shell

2. Neil Morrison, group HR director, UK and international companies, Penguin Random House

3. Valerie Hughes D’Aeth, director of HR, BBC

4. Louise Smalley, group HR director, Whitbread

5. Sandy Begbie, group operations officer, Standard Life

6. Natalie Bickford, HR director Europe, Sodexo

7. Jabbar Sardar, director of HR and organisational development, Cafcass

8. Claire Thomas, senior VP HR, GlaxoSmithKline

9. Eugenio Pirri, VP people and organisational development, Dorchester Collection

10. Andrew Dodman, director of HR, University of Sheffield

The top 10 most influential thinkers are:

1. Cary Cooper, professor of organizational psychology & health, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester

2. Rob Briner, professor of organisational psychology, School of Management, University of Bath

3. Adrian Furnham, professor of psychology, University College London

4. Steve Peters, undergraduate dean of Sheffield Medical School and CEO of Chimp Management

5. Veronica Hope-Hailey, dean and head of school, University of Bath

6. Herminia Ibarra, Cora Chaired professor of leadership and learning and professor of organisational behaviour, INSEAD

7. Jeffrey Pfeffer, Thomas D Dee II professor of organizational behavior Stanford Business School

8. Stephen Bungay, director, Ashridge Strategic Management Centre

9. Wendy Hirsh, independent researcher

10. Patrick Wright, Thomas C Vandiver Bicentennial Chair, Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina

Neil Morrison told HR magazine that over the last decade perceptions of HR have changed. “HR is more involved in business decisions, it is closer to the centre of the organisation, and that’s something to be prized and cherished,” he said.

He also said the changing labour market will be a major challenge for HR over the next 10 years. “Without doubt, in the next 10 years we are going to see a separation between two different labour markets; a low-skilled labour market with lower wages and a high-skilled market with higher salaries,” he said. “How we manage that is going to be a critical change in what we do.”

Rob Briner called on HR to move away from fads and fashions. “Things like engagement and talent management can cause quite narrow ways of thinking about what HR is for," he said. "In the next 10 years my hope is that people will think a lot more about what HR can really deliver, and use that idea in an evidence-based way.”