What to Look for When Hiring a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) | HR Executive Recruiters

      What to Look for When Hiring a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

      Does a chief human resources officer (CHRO) belong in your executive team? Many CEOs discover the strategic value of having a CHRO on their board.

      This strategic role can help you manage your organization’s most important asset: your employees. In an age where business leaders struggle against talent shortages and employee turnover, a CHRO can help you align your corporate culture with the needs of your staff. 

      How do you go about hiring a CHRO?

      What skills should you look for?

      This guide will help you learn more about the executive hiring process for a chief human resources officer and what to expect during your search.

      When to Hire a CHRO

      First, it’s important that you and your executive board agree that a C-level HR officer is even necessary. A CHRO can be beneficial at any stage of your organization’s growth, but they can serve a strategic role when:

      • Your company is seeking to strategically increase its headcount
      • You struggle to attract new job applicants
      • You’re facing a high employee turnover rate
      • Your company operates in multiple locations or internationally
      • You’re seeking to better manage a remote/hybrid workforce

      A CHRO can help guide you through strategic change and provide more support in managing your existing HR processes.

      Job Responsibilities of a CHRO

      When seeking to hire a CHRO, you’ll want to identify candidates with the professional skills to serve your organization well. What sorts of responsibilities should a CHRO be expected to handle? 

      Strategic Leadership and Planning

      CHROs are responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to align human resources needs with the company’s broader goals and objectives. The CHRO will not only guide the strategic vision for human resources but also advise the leadership board on how the company’s decisions impact the workforce.

      Talent Management

      A company’s CHRO will give shape to the recruitment process and develop strategies to improve engagement among current staff members. In an era when companies are facing talent shortages, this role can prove invaluable in preventing employee turnover, and CHROs can aid in managing the employee experience from onboarding through retirement.

      Developing Compensation Strategies

      Naturally, compensation and benefits relate directly to your ability to manage your employees and attract new hires. CHROs work to ensure that your compensation strategy aligns with market/industry trends. They also make sure to comply with laws regarding pay equity. 

      To that same end, CHROs must stay up to date on compensation trends to ensure that the company offers fair compensation that conforms to evolving regulations.

      Exploring Non-Traditional Benefits

      In an effort to keep employees engaged, many companies are pivoting to non-monetary benefits. These can include flexible work hours, hybrid options, and professional development opportunities that enhance the employee’s experience at the company. CHROs can play a role in shaping and implementing these programs as well as aiding other HR leaders in administering these benefits across the organization.

      Implementing New Technologies

      American companies are pivoting to a variety of automated tools and AI-powered platforms to manage their administrative functions. HR departments are no different — they rely on advanced systems to manage employees, run payroll, and analyze employee data. 

      A CHRO must display basic competence in using these tools. They must also develop strategies to track and use HR data to provide your executive team with end-to-end visibility over all your core processes.

      Complying With Regulatory Issues

      Businesses face significant regulatory challenges when it comes to managing personnel. CHROs can ensure that your organization stays on top of legal requirements and implements industry best practices. This kind of administrative oversight can prevent you from violating local or federal employment guidelines and can also prepare you for the future by staying abreast of changing regulatory concerns.

      Workforce Structuring

      Your workforce will be most effective when team members and departments are properly staffed and structured.

      Having a CHRO can ensure just that. By optimizing your workforce, you can achieve better efficiency across departments. And CHROs can also pinpoint areas for improvement in future hiring decisions, keeping your organization running like a well-oiled machine.

      Engaging Stakeholders

      With the rise of ESG criteria, it’s important for companies to properly communicate what specific policies they have in place. This is particularly true for the “social” element — a factor that HR departments uniquely deal with. 

      CHROs can shape a company’s messaging, helping stakeholders understand exactly how the company seeks to maintain ESG adherence through hiring policies and by creating a more equitable workforce.

      How to Search for a CHRO

      When you’re ready to hire a CHRO, you have two main options. Your first option is to conduct a search yourself. But that’s not always easy to do, and it can steal focus from your other core business responsibilities.

      Instead, many companies choose to partner with an executive search team. Partnering with an outside firm offers many distinct advantages, including:

      • Access to a wider network of potential candidates
      • Industry experience and specialization
      • Objective and unbiased screening processes
      • Confidentiality and discretion when conducting a search
      • Time savings by handling the details of the search
      • Sharing your commitment to diversity and inclusion

      Today’s best executive search teams will work hard to determine your company’s needs and then find candidates who best fit those needs. More importantly, an executive search firm can also ensure that you connect with candidates who match your company culture — sharing the values and leadership qualities that will make them a good fit in your executive team.

      Staying Fresh by Hiring a CHRO

      Hiring a CHRO can add considerable strategic value to your organization and can bring a significant voice to your executive board. By collaborating with an HR specialist, your other C-level executives will learn more about how company decisions impact your workforce and how your workplace structure impacts your company’s goals and bottom line. 

      As your company moves forward into the future, a CHRO can provide the means to scale your organization while staying relevant to today’s trends and changing regulatory environment.

      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.

      We also invite you to continue exploring more executive recruiting insights from our team:

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