What Does a Chief Human Resources Officer Do?
A Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) is responsible for managing the human resources needs of an organization. They closely collaborate with other senior leaders to develop a strategy that will help grow the company and maintain its competitiveness by optimizing employee engagement, retention, and recruitment practices.
The CHRO reports directly to the CEO and oversees all aspects regarding human resources within the organization, such as compliance and governance regulation, workplace strategies, and executive compensation. This role is crucial since CHROs are responsible for taking executive HR decisions while advising senior committees and stakeholders like the board of directors.
HR is one of the most important departments within a company. The chief human resources officers must understand how important every person is within an organization, from the chief executive officer to the last person. However, they have to focus on the company's best interests too. Since they have some of the most crucial HR responsibilities within an organization, and there are multiple details involved, it is worth taking a closer look into the role.
This article dives into the chief human resources officer role, the importance of such an executive position, and what are the vital aspects they focus on.
If you're interested in visually learning more about the CHRO role, watch the video below. Otherwise, skip ahead.
The Chief HR Officer Role
Human capital is the most challenging area for senior executives in organizations. However, dedicating the HR responsibilities to a senior position such as the CHRO has multiple benefits. First, such an executive is the HR leader and a fellow strategic decision-maker. Additionally, selecting the right CHRO means ensuring a robust HR leadership that helps achieve long-term success for the organization in the modern era.
For bigger organizations with more complex human resources needs and complicated structures, HR suffers without the presence of a CHRO. After all, chief human resource officers provide the momentum such organizations need to stay in sync with their business goals along with cultural aims.
Effective talent acquisition and maintaining a robust hiring pipeline of talented candidates is where CHROs need to be the most effective. They also guide human resources managers with talent management, help with training and development programs, and advise other HR leadership roles.
Some of the primary organizational and executive duties a chief human resources office oversees are given below:
- Serve as a critical advisor to top management on all human resource issues, including formulating HR strategy and policies.
- Plan for future staffing needs so organizations can meet their business goals and that quality talent is available at the right time while respecting budget constraints.
- Monitor employees' progress toward specific career paths or job designations. They also establish outlines junior HR executives need to make competitive compensation packages.
CHROs need to have multiple technical and interpersonal skills with such diverse duties. You should check out our top-quality human resources certifications at HR university to learn such diverse skills crucial for you to become a successful senior HR executive.
Responsibilities of the Chief Human Resources Officer
The CHRO is responsible for all HR functions in an organization, including hiring new talent, reviewing employee performance evaluations, and providing guidance to the CEO on human resources matters. In addition, they are responsible for a healthy workforce that helps maximize organizational efficiency.
Some responsibilities which common among CHRO job descriptions across different industries are given below:
- Lead the employee relations division by overseeing staff benefits administration, labor relations activities (e.g., collective bargaining), and other related duties
- Coordinate between staff and management and resolve conflicts that arise in the workplace.
- Ensure compliance with employment laws HR function while remaining updated on new developments through research and strategic planning.
- Oversee recruitment efforts and help devise robust talent acquisition strategies to find the best potential candidates for vacancies throughout the enterprise.
- Bring out the best in staff by providing training and development space to help them grow professionally.
- Monitor company policies and the HR department functions to ensure they comply with government regulations and public policy.
The CHRO must have significant professional experience and be well-versed in business management to effectively fulfill such responsibilities. Such a required background becomes more obvious when you learn about these duties in detail, as described below.
Ensure Effective Talent Management
The capabilities of a CHRO come in handy significantly when they have to satisfy the organization's human capital needs by planning relevant job opportunities. The human resources chief sits with the CFO to see if the key performance indicators and budget specifications are enough to achieve the desired human resources outcomes. If not, they should set new metrics accordingly.
Ideal CHROs have a keen eye for captivating new technologies and identifying loopholes within the hiring system. As they are senior human resources executives, chief human resource officers are critical decision-makers when hiring for higher-level executive positions.
Contribute to Executive Decision-Making
Once the CEO restructures the new role of the CHRO along with the likes of CFOs, it puts them in the decision-making seat. Therefore, CHROs must raise the right questions at the right time and inform their decisions with plenty of factual information. They ask these questions to align their knowledge with the organization's business goals and increase its chances of growth.
One of the most common responsibilities of CHROs is to align human resources functions with company goals so the department can execute tasks efficiently. In addition, it's their responsibility to make sure that every member of the department has access to what they need to do their job well.
Help Organization Stay Competitive
One of the critical responsibilities of a CHRO includes speculating competitors' moves. They have to inquire about how other decision-makers and executives contribute to their respective organizations compared to the same set of people in CHRO's organization.
The CHRO also must ensure its own department's policies are effective and competitive. By keeping an eye on incentives, employee engagement, turnover rates, talent acquisitions, and overall human resources, they have to predict what areas need improvement and strategize accordingly.
The CHRO needs to know what the solution should prescribe if there are any problems or issues with their company's employment processes.
Formulate Plans for Organizational Improvements
Such a responsibility requires a certain skill and expertise from the chief human resources officer to be effective since it involves technique and problem-solving. CHROs have to look into crucial questions like:
- What is the way to dismantle a particular situation in favor of the business?
- Why isn't the organization achieving its goals?
- Are the processes optimal or causing delays?
Instead of turning to consultants, the CEO turns to CHRO for input. As an executive vice president, you have to gather insights and investigate them in detail. HR executives need to have a deep understanding of business objectives. They can see which jobs need filling, how the organization will hire for them, and when opportunities should arise for new talent - all before it becomes an issue that affects the company's bottom line or reputation.
You now understand the essential capabilities of CHROs and how human resources could lead the way towards a breakthrough in the market for employers. Besides their conventional responsibilities, chief human resources officers should function alongside CEOs as business partners and push their company's growth.
Being a CHRO is not as easy as it seems since many responsibilities come with this role. However, it can be a career fit for those who love challenges and wish to occupy a senior human resources role. After all, human resources are where business operations feel most vulnerable because talent acquisition and management are easier said than done. With a CHRO by their side, they can address their human resources challenges.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into a CHRO role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft an excellent HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that lands you a sought-after Chief Human Resources Officer job.
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He’s a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.