The CHRO Playbook: Start Your CHRO Journey on the Right Foot | HR Executive Recruiters

      The CHRO Playbook: Start Your CHRO Journey on the Right Foot 

      Thomas Paik, Leading HR & DEI Executive Recruiter at Cowen Partners

      By Executive Recruiter Thomas Paik — Top HR & DEI Executive Recruiter Thomas Paik has extensive experience supporting global brands undergoing transformational change. As a leading executive recruiter at Cowen Partners, Thomas Paik heads up human resources and DEI executive searches while focusing on change management.

      New CHROs tend to get excited about their roles because they have the opportunity to revamp an organization’s human resource function, implement new benefits solutions, and bring new life to a company. Some CHROs fill an existing position, while others join the organization in a completely new role.

      Whether you’re the newest member of an existing C-Suite or joining a team that will drive the company from the ground up, you’ll want to make sure that you set yourself up for success. It’s essential to create a strategy so you can settle in quickly and implement your ideas. 

      Our CHRO playbook offers essential tips for managing your transition and ensuring buy-in from employees and colleagues.

      CHRO Tip #1: Develop a Starting Plan

      While you may picture yourself basking in the glow of a new job while spending time with family and friends in the days before you start, it’s essential to begin your preparation early. 

      You likely spoke with various managers and leaders in the organization before being hired. Examine your notes from your discussions and list common objectives they spoke about. Make a list of questions concerning the goals and other points in your talks. You can discuss them further in your first days as CHRO.

      Understand that employees look to executives for direction and guidance. You’ll want to ensure that your communication and collaboration skills are up to speed. Sometimes, working with a career advisor or mentor can help you polish your skills during your first few months as CHRO.

      You should be in top mental and physical shape for your position. Cut back on bad habits and get into a regular sleep schedule. Spend some time exercising each day. Having a clear mind will prepare you for any challenges in the days ahead. 

      CHRO Tip #2: Have a Comprehensive Conversation with Your Boss

      Often, new executives are in a hurry to implement changes and processes. However, before you do, you’ll want to consider your boss’s expectations for your role. They likely have specific goals they would like you to meet in the early days of your employment. 

      Try to block out time for a thorough talk with your boss during your first week with the company. You should discuss your boss’s concerns and bring up ideas for resolving them. While you’re still new to the organization and don’t understand its intricacies, sometimes a fresh set of eyes can identify opportunities for improvement.

      You’ll also want to make sure that your ideas align with the boss’s expectations. Misalignment can result in missed opportunities for solidifying your relationships with colleagues, including your boss. 

      CHRO Tip #3: Decide How You’ll Meet Your Team

      Often, new CHROs start by getting to know their organization’s leaders. Meeting other executives and senior leadership can help you understand their concerns as they relate to HR. You should attend each meeting to learn what the current problems are in the HR department, as well as within the organization.

      When you meet with other executives, don’t immediately dive into the organization’s processes and vision. Start by getting to know them personally. Find out how long they’ve worked for the company, their hobbies and interests, and why they like working for the organization. 

      Your relationship with your colleagues shouldn’t only concern work activities; you should also seek to develop positive personal relationships.

      Once you’ve met with other organizational leadership, you’ll want to meet your team. Start with a group meeting and introduce yourself. You should clarify boundaries and establish your role as a leader in your first meeting, but also make sure that your team sees you as a person. 

      After your group meeting, you can schedule individual one-on-one meetings with key employees in your team. Seek to get an understanding of their responsibilities and how they handle them. You should also ask about their concerns for the department and where they see opportunities for improvement.

      CHRO Tip #4: Develop an Understanding of Your Team’s Capabilities

      Sometimes, you’ll find out that your employees aren’t using their full capabilities in their current roles. New CHROs may need to realign team members’ responsibilities or hire new people for other positions.

      As you learn more about your team, you’ll begin to develop an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Keep note of them, and try to assign tasks to workers with the most significant potential for achieving results. 

      Find out what motivates your employees. You can ask questions during your one-on-one meetings to determine what makes them excited about their work and what they find routine. 

      While you can’t make everyone’s job stimulating, you can assign work that interests them. Keep your top employees happy so they don’t decide to leave for greener pastures.

      CHRO Tip #5: Define Your Strategy

      After a few months in your role, you should have enough information about the organization to make changes. It’s important to:

      1. Not to change too much too soon. People tend to be set in their ways, and they may be resistant to change. You can ease their minds by starting slowly. 
      2. Try to implement changes that are most likely to result in early wins. People who see positive results quickly are more likely to get on board with additional organizational changes. 
      3. Incorporate your team’s suggestions into your plan. Employees who feel they are part of the decision-making process will likely be more supportive of organizational transformations.

      Of course, you should keep other senior managers and colleagues in the C-suite apprised of your results. And make sure that your changes don’t negatively impact other departments. There’s no quicker way to ruin a working relationship than by making someone else’s job harder.

      With Time, You’ll See Positive Results in Your CHRO Role

      Starting a new role in an executive position isn’t easy. You’ll need to consider your boss’s expectations carefully when making changes to HR processes. You’ll also want to get buy-in from other executives, senior managers, and your team. With time, you’ll solidify yourself as a CHRO who brings value to the organization.

      Cowen Partners Executive Search | National Executive Search Firm

      At Cowen Partners, our executive recruiters are exceptionally skilled at delivering in-demand candidates, no matter the need and across all industries. Backed by a proven executive recruiting process, we have been the partner of choice for startups, corporations, small businesses, non-profits, and more, meeting unique and critical recruitment needs across the entire C-suite, including CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, CIOs, CTOs, CHROs, VPs, directors, and several other leadership roles. 

      With our executive recruiters, you get senior partner-led searches, due diligence-run networking, meticulous candidate vetting, and so much more, all geared towards one goal — placing the very best talent as soon as possible, all while ensuring a seamless fit with your company culture, your big-picture objectives, and other factors. Plus, we have one of the highest candidate retention rates in the industry while consistently delivering world-class talent faster than the competition. 

      That’s how Cowen Partners has become a leading executive search firm nationwide, and it’s why our executive recruiters have a reputation for excellence and success.

      Contact us to see why we are continually ranked as one of the best executive search firms around and why we have so many repeat and long-term clients, as well as referrals.

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