Where effective CHROs focus
Highly effective chief human resources officers (CHRO) drive impact and business results by:
- Building a strategy for the HR function and adapting it as the business changes
- Spearheading business strategy development
- Positioning the HR function (operating model, structure and staffing) to meet business needs
- Optimizing the HR function’s budget
The best CHROs also know how to distribute HR leadership among their direct reports to balance efficiency and control of key projects and create a future-focused, financially disciplined function.
Model of a World-Class CHRO
The Gartner Model of the World-Class CHRO provides a roadmap for greater personal effectiveness and leadership, based on the best demonstrated qualities of HR leaders in five core roles:
- Board’s leader of human capital
- Creator of talent strategy
- Enterprise change leader
- Driver of culture and purpose
- Trusted advisor and coach
To be most effective, CHROs must discuss with their CEOs which of these roles to prioritize, based on the imperatives facing senior leadership and the strategic position and direction of the business. (CHROs should never ignore any of these roles, despite prioritizing some over others at times.)
In their increasingly strategic position, CHROs are also having more interactions with the board, yet many still struggle to influence board decisions. Gartner defines success in board interactions as ensuring the board is best-positioned to have discussions and make decisions that help the CEO, C-suite and organization achieve their goals.
CHROs can drive greater success by ensuring the board composition and culture are designed to encourage openness, trust, inclusivity and respect, and that executives and nonexecutive directors understand the role of each member and commit to continuous improvement.
CHRO’s critical role as creator of talent strategy
Notably, while the pandemic and hybrid work environments have not changed the Model of a World-Class CHRO, the CHRO’s role as creator of talent strategy — and associated strategic workforce planning — have shot to the fore. (Also explore “What Is HR Strategy?”)
Devising a people strategy that maps to business needs requires CHROs to identify strategic priorities, analyze emerging trends, translate priorities and trends into workforce capability needs, and prioritize those capabilities.
Gartner research shows that headed into 2022, building critical skills and competencies was a priority for 59% of HR leaders — but the challenge is complex. Gartner TalentNeuron™ data reveals that the total number of skills required for a single job is increasing 6.3% annually. Many of today’s new and emerging skills are also difficult to obtain.
World-class CHROs will leverage labor market intelligence (see Gartner TalentNeuron™) and talent analytics (also known as HR analytics, workforce analytics and people analytics) to forecast the future workforce and create long- and short-term sourcing plans with deep knowledge of the competitive landscape for critical skills. This enables them to be effective human capital leaders for the board.