What Does a CHRO Do? A Comprehensive Career Guide for Leaders

What Does a CHRO Do? A Comprehensive Career Guide for Leaders | Leadership | Emeritus

People are considered the most pivotal asset in any organization. As a result, there is a leadership role that functions with a focus to manage them. That position is called a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). So what does a CHRO do? The individual in this job plays an invaluable role in an organization by leading the Human Resources (HR) function and ensuring effective management of the organization’s human capital. This guide helps you understand a CHRO’s role better—their skills, duties, salaries, differences from other senior-level roles—and the roadmap to reach this C-suite position.  

What Does a CHRO Do

What Skills Does a CHRO Need?

A CHRO is one of the most senior managers in an organization. They’re responsible for leading the human resource managers and indirectly managing all the employees within the organization. Some of the primary responsibilities of a CHRO are designing and implementing human resource strategies, aligning human resources functions with business goals, hiring and retaining employees, and managing company culture. Simply put, a CHRO needs a wide range of skills to succeed in this role. These include:

  • Excellent leadership and supervisory skills 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills 
  • Sharp problem-solving and analytical skills 
  • Significant conflict resolution and interpersonal skills 
  • Relationship management and cultural awareness
  • Forecasting and financial planning  
  • Sound understanding of market and talent acquisition   
  • Keen attention to detail and emotional intelligence 

Chief Human Resources Officer Job Description: What Does a CHRO Do?

Chief Human Resources Officer Job Description: What Does a CHRO Do?

In order to gain a better understanding of what does a CHRO do, here are some of the essential duties and responsibilities of a CHRO: 

  • Advising top management on HR-related issues and developing HR policies  
  • Leading recruitment efforts, promoting workplace inclusion, and hiring quality talent to meet an organization’s business goals 
  • Coordinating with staff and management and efficiently resolving workplace conflicts  
  • Creating, monitoring, and evaluating employees’ training and development programs
  • Evaluating, analyzing, and updating existing policies with the help of executives and employees 
  • Contributing to a healthy corporate culture to improve productivity, employee retention, and overall workflow  
  • Staying up-to-date with government regulations and public policies, and ensuring compliance with employment laws
  • Ensuring HR plans align with the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives 

Difference between a CHRO and HR Director

Both CHRO and HR Director are senior-level positions within an organization’s human resource management. However, they have different responsibilities. A CHRO is responsible for developing HR strategies and management of human resources. The HR director, on the other hand, is responsible for day-to-day HR operational matters such as recruitment, salary, and employee relations. The HR director usually reports to the CHRO or a senior HR executive, and ensures the effectiveness of human resource programs, while a CHRO reports directly to the CEO and oversees broader objectives.

How to Become a CHRO

Now that you know what does a CHRO do and the skills required for the role, here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a CHRO: 

Step 1: Get the Education You Need

The first step to becoming a CHRO is to gain foundational knowledge of the field by obtaining the appropriate education. A typical educational background for CHRO is a bachelor’s degree in human resource management, industrial/organizational psychology, or a related field—and, later, a master’s degree in business administration, strategic management, human resources, or a related field. 

Step 2: Gain the Necessary Experience

Along with qualifications, experience in the field is a must for a CHRO as it is a senior-level role. Typically, a CHRO requires approximately eight to 10 years of relevant experience as an HR specialist or manager.  

Step 3: Consider Online Courses

Mastering your skills is essential for excelling in the role of a CHRO and becoming a great leader. Consider taking up online courses to enhance your skills and stay updated with the latest developments in the field. Online courses are time-effective, flexible, intensive, and taught by experts that can help you obtain and master the necessary credentials. Consider the Emeritus’ portfolio of online human resources courses here.

Step 4: Develop Your Executive Presence

Executive presence is all about inspiring confidence in others to follow your leadership and showcase your capabilities. A strong executive presence can boost your career and prepare you for this senior-level role. To develop your executive presence, you’ll need to define your leadership style, invest in learning tools, and have a positive, focused mindset. To help with that, explore Emeritus’ online leadership courses.

ALSO READ: What is Executive Presence and Why Every Leader Needs it?  

Step 5: Master Human Resources and Team Management Skills

CHROs are not only responsible for human resource managers; they also indirectly manage employees under those managers. Therefore it is essential for professionals looking to become a CHRO to master their people skills in order to motivate and inspire their team and resolve conflicts as they emerge. 

Step 6: Meet with Other Leaders

Communicating with industry leaders is a valuable and enriching activity. Networking is a great way to enhance knowledge, resolve queries, and seek insights and advice from the best. 

What is a CHRO’s Salary?

What is a CHRO’s Salary?

CHROs are highly compensated across the world. Take a look at the average annual salary of a CHRO, based on location, according to Payscale

Location Average Annual Salary 
U.S. $153,430
U.K.  $149,926
Canada $115,121
Australia  $108,362

Is CHRO a Good Career?

We have now understood what does a CHRO do, so it is clear that it makes for an exceptional career opportunity for any HR professional. It is one of the most important roles in any organization. A CHRO enjoys excellent salary benefits and is also among the senior-most executives in an organization. As a CHRO, you get an opportunity to develop policies, create value, and provide inclusive opportunities for others. Considering the criticality of the position, a CHRO’s role is challenging and demanding and requires strong leadership. At the same time, it also provides opportunities for professional growth and advancement, and the ability to impact the organization.

Is CHRO Higher Than the CEO?

A CHRO is a senior executive role, while the CEO is the highest-ranking executive in the company. A CHRO reports directly to the CEO and is considered part of the senior leadership team. Both positions have different responsibilities within an organization. A CHRO is responsible for managing and developing the company’s human resources, while a CEO is in charge of the overall direction and performance of the organization. 

Is the VP of HR the Same as CHRO?

The Vice President (VP) of HR and CHRO roles are similar but not the same. Both positions are senior-level roles within an organization’s human resources management. In some organizations, the VP of HR may report to the CHRO, while in others, the two roles may be equivalent. A CHRO is typically considered a high-ranking human resources executive in an organization and is responsible for the overall direction and management of human resources management. A VP of HR is also a senior management role but may not have the same level of responsibility or authority as a CHRO. They provide strategic direction, develop and implement effective HR policies, and manage HR operations. 

Now that you know what does a CHRO do, how it differs from other roles, and how you can become a CHRO, here’s one of the best ways to start preparing for this dream position today: Explore these leadership courses offered by Emeritus to keep learning and upskilling as leaders are lifelong learners.   

By Krati Joshi

Write to us at content@emeritus.org

What Does a CHRO Do

About the Author

Emeritus brings you the latest learning trends, in-demand skills, and research across the most sought-after professions. Discover the benefits of lifelong learning with us.
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