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

      When to Consider Hiring an Interim CHRO

      As a business owner or executive, you want to ensure you have the right talent available to support company needs. While you may have a human resources manager or similar person to assist you with your hiring needs, at times, it may be best to bring on an interim CHRO.

      An interim CHRO can take your organization to the next level, especially during periods of significant change or when there is a lot of extra work to be done in the HR department. Let’s walk through the typical responsibilities of an interim CHRO and when it makes sense to hire one.

      Essential Responsibilities of an Interim CHRO

      An interim CHRO will handle the same responsibilities that a full-time CHRO would. However, an interim CHRO won’t hold the position over the long term. Instead, they’ll stay as long as you need them, which may be a few months or several years. 

      Some of the typical responsibilities of an interim CHRO include the following:

      Talent Acquisition

      Interim CHROs can step in to help with the talent acquisition process. If you plan to expand your business or revamp your hiring procedures significantly, an interim CHRO can lend their expertise to support your goals. 

      An interim CHRO may redesign the talent acquisition process from end to end. Organizations that don’t have strict procedures in place for hiring will find their help extremely beneficial. 

      For instance, an interim CHRO may design and implement a talent strategy for the short and long term. In some cases, they may leverage tools and technology to identify the most qualified candidates.

      Interim CHROs can also suggest ways to streamline the interviewing process for better hiring decisions and reduce potential bias. 

      New Hire Onboarding

      Organizations should regularly evaluate their new hire onboarding process for both onsite and remote employees. New hires need to be set up for success, and an interim CHRO can overhaul or develop an onboarding process with the employee experience in mind.

      With the right tools in place, new employees will receive the instructions to enroll in benefits, fill in paperwork, and establish their system access to company computers. Human resource and hiring managers won’t need to give repeated guidance to each new employee; a handbook, PowerPoint, or video can provide the requisite assistance. 

      Talent Retention

      Talent retention continues to be an issue, even in the current economic climate. Employees continue to seek opportunities that are challenging and offer professional growth. However, an interim CHRO can identify turnover trends and develop creative ways to retain your talent.

      Interim CHROs are also experts in employee engagement. If you’re concerned that your workers don’t feel satisfied in their jobs or aren’t performing like they once did, an interim CHRO can suggest ways to re-engage your employees and improve productivity.

      Performance Management

      An interim CHRO can also empower leaders to have difficult performance conversations. One of the key responsibilities of the HR team is performance management. A performance management system tracks your employees’ actions on the job, allowing managers to reward employees who perform well and identify others with room for improvement.

      Typically, companies use their performance management system to select workers for promotion or determine whether an employee is ready for a raise or bonus. Organizations that don’t have a performance management system will benefit from the work of an interim CHRO.

      Compensation and Benefits

      Companies that haven’t had a full assessment of their compensation and benefits plans could use the help of an interim CHRO. Interim CHROs can review current salaries to ensure they are competitive with other organizations in your region. 

      For example, an interim CHRO can partner with your chief financial officer to evaluate costs and vendors.

      Company Culture

      Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives remain a priority for companies. To this end, an interim CHRO can recommend areas that may need improvement and work with leaders to design and implement strategies. They can also create an environment for safe and authentic conversations.

      When to Hire an Interim CHRO

      Since an interim CHRO is a short-term fix for HR problems, there are certain times when hiring one makes sense. 

      If you had a previous CHRO or similar executive, finding the right person to fill the role can take time. An interim CHRO can fill in while you perform an executive search for the right candidate. 

      Organizations that haven’t had a CHRO in the past but are growing significantly might benefit from an interim CHRO. Business owners can evaluate whether the CHRO position adds value to the organization without taking on a long-term obligation.

      Companies with an immediate urgency for HR leadership due to specific circumstances, such as a seasonal business need or another employee’s temporary leave, might consider hiring an interim CHRO.

      Finally, organizations that need help for specific situations, like hiring for a new location, going through a merger or acquisition, layoffs, or downsizing, can benefit from hiring an interim CHRO.

      Interim CHROs Can Fill in the Gaps 

      Executives who see the need for high-level leadership in the HR department might find an interim CHRO a significant asset. Experienced interim CHROs have all the necessary skills and experience that a full-time CHRO has, but they fill the role for a short period. 

      If you see gaps in your HR department that could benefit from the capable hands of an interim CHRO, it’s worth bringing someone on who can take the reins and revamp the department.   

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