HR executive searches have been in high demand by organizations worldwide. Boyden’s Leadership Series recently interviewed Catherine Gray, Principal of Boyden Chicago, to discuss the current hiring trends for Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) and what qualities are most sought after by top executive search firms hiring CHROs. The full interview, and a feature on Dean Carter, Chief Human Resources Officer of Sears Holdings, is available at
As they have moved into the C-suite, what experience and track records today are clients most often looking for in Chief Human Resources Officers?
“Must-haves” for best in class CHROs are business leaders with a commercial mindset, a strategic focus and global experience. Additionally, they are collaborative, and experienced in business transformation and global talent management.
In what area is there often a dearth of experience in the HR executive landscape?
There is a small pool of CHRO talent that truly has global experience. They have lived as an expat or spent significant time in a region, particularly in an emerging market. These CHROs are highly sought-after.
Are internal candidates or external candidate selections increasing compared to a few years ago? And why?
With the number of changes in executive leadership at the top of organizations, there has been an increased demand for external candidates. Most often, the new leader wants to select his or her own HR partner.
Has there been an increase in review of “cross-border” candidates, as many companies plan to continue aggressive expansion globally?
Yes. Candidates who have global experience have a competitive advantage over those without. Assessing a candidate’s ability to work in overseas markets is becoming an important part of the evaluation process.
In what industry sectors is recruitment for HR executives most competitive on the client side?
Great HR talent is in demand across all sectors.
The lean model is now the permanent “new normal.” How does this change the approach and priorities of HR leaders?
More than ever the role, the approach and aspects of leadership of HR leaders have changed. Responsibilities have expanded, requiring new areas of expertise. Their priorities include talent management, collaborating with the leaders on the corporate strategy and as an advisor to the board around corporate governance and compensation issues.


About, AESC Member, Boyden World Corporation
Boyden is a global leader in the executive search industry with more than 65 offices in over 40 countries. Founded in 1946, Boyden specialises in high level executive search, interim management and human capital consulting across a broad spectrum of industries. For further information, visit the firm’s website at

About the Association of Executive Search Consultants
The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional association for the retained executive search and leadership consulting industry. The AESC promotes the highest professional standards in retained executive search and leadership consulting through its industry recognized Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines. The AESC also serves to broaden public understanding of the retained executive search and leadership consulting process and acts as an advocate for the interests of its member firms.

About BlueSteps
BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 8,000 executive search professionals in more than 75 countries, including China. Be visible, and be considered for up to 75,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at


Copyright © 2013-present BlueSteps, Inc. All rights reserved. The Executive Job Search Engine for Professionals | Bluesteps