Understanding the Role of a CHRO in the 21st Century

HR Executives are seeing a huge change in the part they play in each company. The Chief Human Resources Officer, or CHRO, is a position that is rapidly redefining itself. Just as the Chief Financial Officer is responsible for more than accounting, but financial planning, strategic marketing and overall guidance, the role of the CHRO is expanding as well.

There are some CEOs who might say their CHROs are busy in administrative tasks and don’t play an active role in leadership. By forging a stronger bond between the top executives of the company, each plays a vital part in building a strong future for the business. It is important, if a CHRO is going to be successful, that they understand the facets of the business. An HR officer should be included in various meetings to get an overall idea of how each sector functions or even come with experience from outside the human resources department.

Today’s CHRO realizes the impact he or she has on the company and has the ability to make a difference.


The CEO of each business frequently considers the CFO one’s “right hand” in business dealings since success in the business world is often measured in profits. It is time for the Chief Human Resources Officers to be seen as an equally strategic partner. Top executive positions are not passive positions. In order to create an equalized, three-person system at the top of each company it is important to be an active member. CHROs are in charge of more than simply benefits and compensation but managing the company’s human capital.

It is important that all parts of the executive team recognize each member and the importance of their roles. We could say that this is for the CEO to define, yet it is as important that the CHRO be ready and willing to equally participate in the institution.


It is important that a CHRO executive understand the importance of identifying trouble areas and creating viable solutions to handle them. By taking a thorough look at the business and how it runs, the Human Resources team anticipates future success or failures. In recognizing these opportunities a CHRO takes action. Many times this takes place from the first moment an employee comes on the scene. It is up to the CHRO to use one’s experience and intuition to properly asses each applicant to ensure each is the perfect fit for the position. Consider all applicants’ skill sets and talents. How well will they fit within the company, if they are suitable to the position, and how can they develop in the future? It is also the duty of the CHRO to constantly manage the progress of each employee to ensure he or she is continuously learning and improving according to company standards and ideals. A successful CHRO must be able to constantly manage a changing environment.

Data and analytics are also playing an important role in business world success. While analyzing data alone won’t give any answers, it can be valuable. It is key for a manager or executive team leader to understand how to use analytics as an outside observation of business progress and a tool for continued improvement. Using a combination of data and personal insight can help identify areas of strength and weakness among departments or even on an individual level.


Through regular meetings with the top-executive team, the CEO, CFO and CHRO need to equally participate in the development of the business. Each branch is responsible for one’s respective department but together they are responsible for the continuous evolution as a whole. By combining services and centers of excellence across the board each will play their part in a successful outcome.

Now is also the time for the Chief Human Resource Officers to step up and take their claim on the executive team. Develop new, solid ideas and maybe even plans for restructure. Today’s successful CHRO focuses on what matter and makes deliberate choices to drive the company forward.

This is also the time to truly integrate HR technology resources to redefine expectations and motivation in the workplace. Technology in the HR world is adding great value to organizations through performance and workforce analytics, training opportunities, cloud capabilities and even peer coaching.

Companies often feel the need to create their own distinct culture but in today’s global human resource market it is also important to recognize the value diversity brings into the workplace. It’s time for Human Resource Officers to step forward and make some big moves. Finding the right talent for your company and leading it into a bright future is a serious strategic function. The CHRO of the 21st century is seated right next to the CEO driving the company into the future.