It takes a special breed to be Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) today. CHRO jobs are getting tougher and tougher because the demand for the men and women in these positions is ever increasing.
Steve Bates recently detailed for SHRM the unique skills of this new iteration of CHRO and the traits recruiters are looking for when searching for candidates. Today, the board and CEO expect more than ever from their CHRO but, beyond responsibilities and a growing task list, there’s a deep trust that’s required.
Bates was careful to point out that the CEO and CHRO work closely together to outline the direction for the organization.
“The CEO is the owner of the culture and HR work, and the CHRO is the architect who builds the blueprint, so there has to be mutual respect and influence.”
In fact, examining the requirements below, you can see how much of it sets the foundation for that trust, that respect, and authority.
Because trust is so fundamental with CHRO jobs, it’s not surprising, Bates noted, to see new CEOs bring their previous CHRO with them making finding a job as a CHRO candidate even more challenging.
So what do you need to get the top CHRO jobs out there? Bates included five important characteristics to keep in mind when gunning for that top spot.
A strong reputation
Not surprising, after learning how important trust is within the C-Suite, you can see why a strong name is at the top of the list.
Diversity of work experience
Bates advised that candidates don’t camp out in the HR department for their entire career.
“Gone are the days when HR expertise and seniority provided a clear path to that office. In fact, many boards and CEOs are hesitant to hire CHROs who have spent most or all of their careers in HR.”
A global economy requires that someone in the CHRO position be able to think outside the country once in awhile. Recruiters are looking for candidates with at least a little bit of international experience.
If you are unable to take an international job, don’t fret. Even managing an international team from a stateside position can make you more attractive.
The article admits this is a big one to overcome especially in large companies where boards don’t interact with the team much. From taking on special projects for the board to making yourself more available to members in major positions, like Chairman, hustle to get yourself known to the team at the table.
Experience in a major transformation
There are many candidates for CHRO jobs, so organizations look to trim the field allowing for a more refined search. That’s why experience in a business unit reorganization or experience with a merger or acquisition can make your resume stand out from the others.
Overall, diversity of experience is a running theme among top candidates. Whether it’s experience in a merger or it’s running an international team, organizations are looking for CHROs who have more than simple proficiency at the business of HR. They are looking more into the impact HR has on the organization’s overall goals and vision. That impact is what they are looking to hire for, not just the function of HR.
If you want to make the most impact on an organization as CHRO or, at the very least ensure your name comes up when people look to fill CHRO jobs, then these key characteristics are where you should spend your time.