What does it take to become a CHRO?

What does it take to become a CHRO?

CHROs are head of the human resources department. It’s the apex position that is responsible for all human capital related decisions.

For anyone who has been working in human resources, becoming a CHRO is the ultimate goal. However, there’s zero to little comprehensive information on what it takes to become a CHRO. Many thought leaders suggest that CHRO is an impactful position and can be highly influential in an organization.

Forbes suggests that to excel as a CHRO, the incumbent should be willing to take risks, champion change, and innovate with the business. While others suggest that HR leaders should focus on financial literacy, compliance and risk, talent acquisition, management training, and total rewards.

What does it really take to become a CHRO?

Modern businesses are drastically different from traditional businesses. So the current CHROs are expected to do more and take very different responsibilities than earlier. Let’s begin with what the CHRO role is not about.

  1. CHRO is not just higher-level management

The conventional approach to becoming a CHRO is developing expertise in various disciplines within HR – recruiting, compensation, employee relations, learning and development, total rewards – and occupy a managerial position.

This approach tends to focus on building the managerial ability of the aspirant and sends the signal that the HR leader position is about the management of various HR functions, which is contrary to the role of a modern HR leader. The responsibility of CHROs was to aid other leaders, reduce unemployment, keep costs down, increase productivity and efficiency. However, in the current scenario, this is farther than the truth.

  1. The role is harder than you think

According to several reports, C-level executives don’t feel qualified for the role of CHRO. In one report, nearly 50% of C-level officers feel the role is very different than expected.

CEOs and other top leaders expect CHRO to focus on talent, development of leaders, aligning workplace culture with business strategy, and driving business transformation.

Furthermore, CHROs still face a reputation problem in many organizations. They are tasked with the job to influence thinking, change the behavior of leaders and employees who don’t recognize the leaders’ voice, acknowledge their expertise, or believe in your message.

 What should you learn to become a modern HR leader?

  1. Be a business –first person

The role of CHRO demands a high –level of emotional intelligence. Empathy, resilience, and interpersonal skills are essential traits to work effectively for CHROs, but outstanding CHROs know where to draw the line when it comes to delivering business results. They dig deep into business results and chart an effective course to become champion of customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

  1. Insightful communicator

Modern CHROs substantiate their claims with data and other insights. They are as much driven by data as any other C-level executive. They push leaders to become better and work creatively to endorse the best solution for employees.

  1. Be an architect of employer brand and employee experience

You are not content with small improvements. You will embrace every opportunity to highlight your work and work towards making it the go-to place for great talent. Modern HR leader embraces changes to keep up with time to deliver the best possible experience for employees. They will take every opportunity for their employees’ learning, development, and growth.

  1. Champion of innovation and agility

Modern HR leader does everything in their purview to take their business ahead. You will be the first person to think about reskilling the workforce, leverage technology, and improve career opportunities for underrepresented employees.

Now ask yourself, “Is this what I want to do one day?” If the answer is no, then the role of CHRO is probably not for you. At the end of the day, we all want to be happy with what we do.

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