The Chief HR Officer Role & Responsibilities
The role of the Chief Human Resources Officer, also known as CHRO, and often titled Chief People Officer or Senior Vice President of Human Resources, has shifted from responding to employee needs and setting policies to the more strategic. The CHRO’s objectives now more commonly include helping organizations build their capabilities in response to customers and increasing confidence from investors. In this new capacity, the Chief HR Officer develops a strategic human capital plan that ensures that executive compensation, professional development, executive recruitment, employee engagement and retention are all aligned with the company's strategic objectives and goals. CHROs are also responsible for integrating HR policies into the company; coordinating succession planning; building effective internal cultures, and developing a positive employer brand.
The Chief HR Officer, or SVP of HR, is the point person for the talent review process, which is central to the firm's strategic planning. CHROs must know their talent; understand their collective bench strength, and have the ability to move talent across lines to meet business needs.
5 Capabilities Hiring Organizations and Executive Search Firms Look for in a Chief Human Resources Officer
- Executive search consultants, colloquially referred to as headhunters, and hiring organizations look for senior executives who are fluent in the language of business; cross-culturally competent; and capable of influencing top decision-makers.
- Aspiring Senior Vice Presidents of HR or CHROs must be strategic problem solvers who are capable of dealing with ambiguity and leading change.
- Executives interested in HR management positions must have knowledge of how human capital drives business goals, as well as the ability to develop and execute a progressive talent strategy.
- CHROs must be able to analyze key financial documents and establish metrics that measure the business performance of HR initiatives. An executive recruiter or headhunter will also look for executives who are assertive and have the courage to speak their mind on critical and contentious issues.
- The Chief HR Officer must have unassailable judgment; expertise in management, compensation and benefits, executive recruiting, and learning and development; and the confidence and credibility necessary to develop and maintain productive CEO and Board relationships.
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