Senior executives are relying more on recruitment and HR leaders for innovative business strategies grounded in data, though room for improvement exists.

That’s the main takeaway from a new study by CareerBuilder, which polled 88 leaders in America at companies with revenue of at least $50 million.

The report found a majority of CEOs (65%) agree that post-recession, HR opinions carry greater weight with senior management.

In addition, nearly three fourths (73%) say that their HR leader has provided data that they have incorporated into their business strategy.

“HR is the new frontier for data science applications in business,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.

“HR leaders are becoming more influential members of the executive team. CEOs are looking for HR to be just as data-savvy and digitally-savvy as other areas of the company, and take quick, measurable actions that move the business towards its goals.”

He added that the need for their HR teams to come forward with data-driven, competitive approaches and efficient technologies is more critical than ever.

Indeed, the study found than an overwhelming majority of CEOs (90%) said it is important that HR leaders be proficient in workforce analytics, with 35% saying this is “absolutely essential.”

In fact, providing actionable talent data and other research to help devise strategies to meet larger business goals (57%) was cited as the top way for HR to gain more influence within the business.

This was tied along with showing ways to increase efficiencies or cut costs by better using the company’s human capital.

Bosses also stressed on the need for a more efficient recruitment process that provides for a better candidate experience.

This was especially because 60% of them reported their companies have not been able to reach their full potential because they cannot find enough qualified candidates.

Unsurprisingly, lack of skilled candidates was therefore identified as the top recruitment challenge currently being faced by CEOs (49%).

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