4 Tips to Prepare for the CHRO Role

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Alice Koehn Benson

Founder & CEO

If you’re an aspiring CHRO, then commit to forging a path that prepares you to handle the multiple facets of the job. How do you need to boost your skills and competencies in order to strengthen your candidacy?  Here are four fundamentals.

Seek a diversity of HR roles

Within HR, the Business Partner position is a critical one since it’s a foundational experience linking business and people strategies.  Even if that’s the role where you’re happiest, seek out roles HR Centers of Excellence, such as Talent Management, Compensation & Benefits or Shared Services.  Experience in these other areas broadens your view and gives you much deeper insight into all of the levers that drive and reinforce the human capital strategies. 

Boost your quantitative and technology skills

For HR to be considered an integral partner in the C-suite, the CHRO (and the HR leadership team) must be competent with the quantitative measurements of the business, including financial metrics. Equally important, CHROs must embrace technology, not only to automate HR systems but also to understand the impact of technology on the success of the business as a whole.  All strong HR leaders, whether aspiring to the role of CHRO or not, should understand how data insights help predict future trends. The HR leader should then adjust strategies and approaches to course correct, based on these insights.

Relentlessly stay on top of best practices

The CEO needs to depend on the CHRO to bring state-of-the-art Human Resources strategies, policies, technologies, and programs that best suit the changing needs of the company. All senior executives (and aspiring ones, as well) must embrace a growth mindset to lead effectively. Cultivate continuous improvement in yourself and your organization. Network, read, join associations, seek out learning opportunities…and network some more!

Model the desired company culture

Cultivate flexibility, stamina, equilibrium, grit, respect, transparency, curiosity. These are the qualities required to thrive in the high-demand functional of HR and to inspire other employees to thrive as well. How the CHRO operates is equally important to what the CHRO accomplishes. Demonstrate that you exemplify the qualities your company values.

What will it take to give you the confidence to step into the CHRO role?  Plot a path to deliberately build your skills and competencies to add value and achieve your career goals.

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