As companies continue to embrace new norms and move towards digitalization, the need for HR’s expertise and leadership keeps increasing like before. In the past, HR was seen rather as a department coping with administrative tasks. However, 2020 provided a great showcase of how HR function can redefine itself and get to the forefront in ensuring employee responsiveness that positively impacts company performance, engagement, and morale.
In this blog post we’ve taken a closer look at what shapes an HR leader possessing the role of CHRO (Chief Human Resource Officer). What are the key areas of the CHRO responsibilities? What are the main functions they are expected to perform? Which skills should the CHRO of the future bring to the table? Read on for the answers and a downloadable comprehensive job profile for this role.
The CHRO role overview
According to our analysis based on the global job postings of the last two years, the top most demanded skills for an CHRO are: business acumen, strategic and innovative thinking, change management, people analytics management, and transdisciplinary thinking.
In a nutshell, these areas of expertise shape the core of the HR leader – and the CHRO role, in particular. Based on our market insights, the CHRO is seen as a highly specialized and versatile leader who provides the steady coaching and leadership required to oversee numerous HR functions: recruiting, hiring, developing, and supporting a diverse workforce with integrity, empathy, and expertise. This professional should have a wide range of knowledge in human resources practices, be highly in-depth in their area of expertise, and ensure an organization that they lead is staffed by a skilled and motivated workforce.
Other than that, the CHRO often drives the organizational culture by cultivating and championing it. The CHRO adopts a global, forward-thinking perspective and effectively integrates various considerations to arrive at wise decisions. The person possessing this role is an influential and inspiring leader who effectively builds relationships and engages with all kinds of stakeholders within and beyond the organization.
What are the functions of CHRO?
The essential aspects the companies are expecting from the CHRO leaders, include:
- Bringing strategic insights and future outlook. The CHRO acts as a strategical partner and consultant guiding the company’s steps towards its vision and future-oriented goals, suggesting possible future work scenarios, and implementing solutions to address the challenges on the way. Using knowledge of key business drivers and essential company data to make informed decisions that will bring the company closer to its vision and goals.
- Driving HR business partnering. The CHRO partners with C-suite executives to position the HR function as a key business enabler to achieving organizational goals.
- Steering organizational culture and change. The leader in this position drives the change in corporate strategies, policies, structure, and culture by providing robust leadership.
What are duties and responsibilities of CHRO?
Considering the key functions, the CHRO is expected to address, let’s take a closer look at responsibilities that fall within the enlisted functions.
Bringing strategic insights and future outlook
- Formulate and drive the company’s business strategy and risk management in collaboration with senior executives and stakeholders by providing insight and input into the business and HR agendas
- Define the impact of ongoing market dynamics and future industry trends on the company’s HR strategy and initiatives
- Provide industry trends and strategic insights to enable executives and stakeholders to make decisions that help the business be future-ready
- Identify and evaluate an organization’s current and future core skills required to execute its business strategy in a competitive business environment and under changing economic conditions
- Promote the adoption of workforce analytics (HR metrics and data analytics) as a business intelligence tool that enables informed decision making related to HR and workforce management
- Provide strategic guidance to the HR function and initiatives based on insights derived from business performance metrics, HR key performance indicators, and industry benchmarking data
- Understand and interpret business and financial performance KPIs from an HR perspective to discover key business challenges and root causes, and advise on strategic solutions to address workforce performance
- Keep up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in HR concepts, tools, techniques, technologies, and innovative solutions to gain insights that increase the value of HR to organizations
Driving HR business partnering
- Act as a business partner and advisor to the business leaders who demonstrate an in-depth understanding of business and industry knowledge and bring forward-thinking HR practices to tackle business and operational issues and challenges
- Evaluate the talent marketplace dynamics and future industry trends and hence oversee the ways how these trends, best practices, and innovations can align with HR strategy and the organization’s strategic goals
- Oversee the development and implementation of HR strategy and initiatives and ensure alignment of HR policies with the company’s strategic objectives and business needs
- Solve complex problems, get to the root cause, and design and rapidly implement solutions that cut across multiple disciplines
Steering organizational culture and change
- Act as a role model of the company values and culture, as well as clearly communicate desired key behaviors and cultural traits to guide employees on how to embrace the values and desired culture
- Develop and increase organizational agility and drive high-performance culture in the workplace
- Lead HR transformation programs aimed at optimizing the workforce, HR technology, and operational excellence in HR service delivery
- Communicate the impact of changes to employees and provide visible support in all communications initiatives to foster employee engagement
- Articulate the learning and development strategy introducing an approach of structured and unstructured learning, coaching, mentoring, and on-the-job training to foster a culture of lifelong learning, resilience, and change agility
Which skills should a CHRO have?
We’ll take a look at the blend of core hard and soft skills.
Some hard skills company executives would like to see in the CHRO are:
- HR management
- Development of HR strategies
- Financial and business acumen
- Strategic workforce planning
- Evaluation of HR-related KPIs
- Knowledge of labor constitutional law
- Strategic skill management
- Learning and development strategy
- Diversity and inclusion management
- Change management
- Knowledge of people analytics
Essential soft skills, the CHRO is expected to have include:
- Strategic thinking
- Leadership skills
- Communication & moderation skills
- Networking skills
- Global & long-term mindset
- Decision making
- Analytical thinking
- Innovative thinking
- Conflict management
CHRO job profile template
Creating job profiles (or as we also call it Future job profiles) is a service we provide within our Market Intelligence product. Based on the extensive internal database and advanced analysis of the job descriptions, latest market trends, and technologies across the domains and regions, we develop comprehensive and future-oriented job profiles. Using this very approach and global data, we prepared the CHRO job profile template. Get your copy here.
With such future job profiles, organizations can recruit the latest jobs and associated skills and prepare for the future challenges and achievements by getting answers to such questions as:
- How will specific job roles and skill profiles evolve in the short-, mid- and long-term future?
- How does a best-practice job description for a specific job look like?
- How are skill requirements impacted by new technologies and trends?
- What are the specific duties, hard skills, and soft skills needed to perform a job in the future?
- How can I optimize talent development, training, and recruiting according to future job requirements?
- Which skills are the leading companies in my industry looking for, and how do they formulate their job postings?