Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) faces a lot of pressure these days at their workplaces. Companies have started recognizing the human capital as the only source of competitive advantage. The human capital is no longer considered as just “employees” instead they are now known as “the talent”. All this has led to a raised expectations and importance of the CHROs in the future success of any organization.
The CHROs of today have more on their plates than ever before. From the new laws and regulations, to an evolving international labor supply, the challenges of HR management seem to multiply and become more and more complex with each passing day. A CHRO, today, has a much bigger role than employment strategies alone. They need to have a very deep understanding of business strategies and need to be helping in making strategic decisions that shape the company’s direction. To fulfill this strategic role, the CHRO must possess a broad range of business knowledge and leadership skills.
Hence the CHRO is integral to all business meetings and occupies an important chair next to CFO, CMO and CEO of the company.
- The ability to scan external environments and anticipate business and talent threats and opportunities that enable proper strategizing.
- Strategic thinking skills to be able to work with the CEO and executive team seamlessly to set the direction of business plans
- Understanding cross-functional business with a proper profit and loss orientation.
- The courage and decisiveness and management skills, to be able to prioritize, to succeed – or to fail fast and move forward.
- The ability to meet tomorrow’s demographic challenges by strategically shaping the organization using conceptual skills.
- Having the financial acumen to balance resources and understanding the financial implications and tradeoffs of investments in every aspect of the business, including talent.
- Being tech savvy enough to be able to drive efficiencies and engage the workforce through the constant innovations of new technology solutions.
- A perspective that excels at risk management with regard to talent.
- Team management skills that convey the importance of talent at all levels with utmost fairness.
- Enough legal literacy that ensures that a culture of compliance and integrity is maintained.
- Today is a world of a world where the expectations of the employee population are a fast-moving and changing entity, so the CHRO needs to have the ability to ensure that the transactional aspects of HR are well executed.
The evolution of new technology – from mobile platforms to immense computing power (big data) – has engulfed companies and their employees. Changing demographics have created a multi-generational workforce (Gen Y, Millennials, Gen Z), each of which have different expectations and motivations. Ongoing globalization has brought to companies unprecedented cultural challenges and diversity – both in their markets as well as in their talent needs. The HR function, like any function, requires of its leader the smooth management of day-to-day activity. The CHROs in the face of these new trends can add the greatest value to their organizations.
- Leveraging HR technology – New HR tools like talent management software, performance analytics, workforce analytics, virtual training, cloud computing, web-based hiring networks, performance management and peer coaching, etc. have flooded the digital space. From this dizzying array of solutions, CHROs need to be able to leverage their transformative potential and then adapt them to the needs of the organization, and continue to evolve them.
- Employer branding – Employer branding has become a key factor in attracting, engaging, and retaining talent these days. Today’s talent, especially millennials, have a much higher expectations of their employers than ever, and hardly a month passes without a widely publicized list of the best places to work surfacing somewhere or the other. The brand build-up needs to be great of course, but unless the designation “great” identifies a genuine state of affairs inside the organization, such rankings don’t mean much.
- Innovation in employee engagement and retention – Though many companies are ready to pay for top talent, the most promising executives are more likely to choose attractive perks and good office culture. The key to successful employee engagement and retention is a mix of various components like challenging work and competitive compensation, exciting development opportunities, accomplishment recognition, and work/life balance. Innovative CHROs are forever finding new ways to transform what it means to be connected to a company.
- Leadership development – Companies are now, finally, turning their attention towards leadership development. With the diminishing talent pool for top positions investment in developing new types of leaders has become critical.
- Continuous cultural renewal – Culture, like strategy, is something that doesn’t stand still. Cultures that were once thought timeless can become ineffective over time especially in the face of the changing environment and competitive conditions. Even the strongest of cultures must be vigilantly maintained and continually renewed if they are to remain viable.
Like outstanding CEOs, CHROs too must be able to envision management in a world where companies have to adapt to the ever evolving markets, to keep at par with their competition.