Strategist & Steward: The Evolving Role of the Chief Human Resources Officer
A comprehensive look at the challenges and responsibilities facing CHROs today
Human Resources (HR) has the potential to be a critical differentiator in today’s increasingly competitive markets. In fact, human capital-related issues already grab many of today’s business headlines. Work force demographics and global talent trends. Corporate scandals and intensifying regulatory challenges. Technology innovations that enable new ways of working. Increasing globalization. Proliferation of outsourcing and offshoring options. And, of course, endless pressures to boost the profitability and performance of the work force.
Standing at the center of these challenges is today’s chief human resources officer (CHRO). There might have been a time when managing the transactions of a personnel department while keeping costs below the radar was good enough. But, today, expectations for a CHRO are much, much higher.
Today’s CHROs are increasingly required to act as both strategist and steward: a leader who not only manages the HR function and operations team but also collaborates with the chief executive officer and board of directors on a range of strategic issues. They are expected to play a central role in building and shaping — not just “staffing” — enterprise strategy. They help the executive team to embrace and leverage global talent trends as viable opportunities. The board calls on them to work on corporate governance and succession issues — even to help the board itself operate more effectively. They lead the charge toward discovering and adopting new ways of working — such as telecommuting and virtual workplaces. They face HR and business regulations, as well as broader questions of risk management, compliance, ethics and integrity.
The role of the CHRO as an enterprise business leader is still evolving — but it’s never been more timely or relevant. In this booklet, we take an expansive look at a range of challenges facing today’s CHROs and offer some thoughts on what it takes to succeed.
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