Chief Human Resources Officer

Insights and Tools for Optimizing
CHRO Performance

The HR
Leadership Challenge

Talent is one of the biggest differentiators of organizational performance. This makes Human Resources a critical strategic function—and the head of HR one of the most high-profile C-suite roles.

New Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) face an overwhelming number of tasks during their first few months in seat. When making the leap to a new position, almost half (46%) of executives across functions—HR included—stumble and underperform.

The amount of time we spend on issues related to exec comp and governance has ballooned. It’s crowding out time we used to spend on critical talent issues.

Professional Services

The Keys to CHRO Success

To excel in their rapidly evolving role, new and current CHROs must master four key processes:

  1. Transition into the Role: HR leaders rarely move into a position under normal business conditions.
  2. Work with the Board: Talent-focused conversations with the Board are critical to CHROs' personal success.
  3. Manage the HR Leadership Team: Align the priorities and investments of the HR leadership team to business priorities.
  4. Partner with C-Suite Peers: The best CHROs are not just peers to other CXOs, but also coaches.
More Time on Business Challenges Requires CHROs to Become Enterprise Leaders
71% of heads of HR are spending more time on business issues not related to HR or Talent.
70% of heads of HR are spending more time participating in business projects in a leadership capacity.

Transition into the

New Chief Human Resources Officers face an overwhelming number of tasks during their first few months in seat. CHROs that effectively plan and execute their transitions reach full productivity nine months before their peers.

New CHROs can accelerate their effectiveness by mastering nine defining moments that truly define a transition, including solidifying their working relationships with the CEO, and making a good first impression with Board members.

Work with the Board

Boards at top-performing companies are twice as likely to have a deep understanding of talent issues as boards at lower-performing competitors. CHROs must push the Board to expand talent conversations beyond executive leadership and compensation, to include:

  • Engagement capital
  • Employee value proposition
  • Workforce planning
  • Executive performance evaluation
  • CEO Succession

Manage the HR
Leadership Team

CHROs should focus their HR leadership team on activities mapped to the top business priorities. The best CHROs also create succession plans to develop rising leaders and spread HR leadership responsibilities among their direct reports.

To assess HR's progress in key areas, conduct a CEB Ignition™ diagnostic, and create detailed action plans for taking HR to the next level of business impact. Take our sample diagnostic to benchmark where you are today.

Partner with C-Suite Peers

Talent is one of the biggest differentiators of organizational performance, reshaping the head of HR’s role into one of the most high-profile C-suite positions. With 63% of CEO’s concerned about the availability of key skills nearly half of all CHRO’s are spending more time discussing organizational strategy with the board than they did just two years ago.

Learn how the role of the CHRO is evolving and the key trends which will differentiate the best CHRO’s in the coming years.

It’s not about just running the HR department. Uppermost in my mind is the fact that I’m part of the leadership team that works together collectively to achieve the desired outcomes for the business.

Aileen Tan
Group CHRO

Advice from Leading CHROs

What should a CHRO do before their first board meeting?


What role do you seek to play amongst your peers?


How do you begin the CEO succession planning process?


The Product

CEB Corporate
Leadership Council™

Innovative CHROs use CEB Corporate Leadership Council™ to optimize the performance of their HR function and business. Our research and insights address HR leaders' day-to-day challenges as well as longer-term strategic initiatives, including improving executive performance, building succession strategies, upskilling the board on talent issues at the organization, managing leadership transitions, and improving overall HR-business alignment.

Meet the Experts

Meet the team behind our Chief Human Resource Officer expertise.

Jean Martin

Talent Solutions Architect

Read Biography

Brian Kropp

Practice Leader, Human Resources Practice

Read Biography

Aaron McEwan

Principal Advisor, Human Resources Practice

Read Biography

Decision Making Tools


HR Strategy on a Page

A customizable template and step-by-step guide to documenting and communicating the key components of HR's strategic objectives and resource requirements.


Global Talent Monitor

Quarterly analysis of the latest global and country-level talent attraction, engagement, and retention trends, sourced from over 20,000 employees in 40 countries.


CHRO Quarterly

Insights  and  implications  for  heads of HR  on  leading  their  organization and HR  function,  featuring  personal stories from leading HR executives.

Unlock These
Resources Now

Contact Information

Professional Information

We value your privacy, and will not share your information without your consent.

Contact Information

Contact Information

Areas of Interest

We appreciate your interest in CEB. If necessary our team will be in touch soon.

Thank you,


Featured Press

The global political landscape has divided society. How can leaders reunite fractured workforces?

Seismic political events and a slow global economy challenge multinational firms operating across the globe. 

A panel of experts discusses how best to attract and retain the best people in a fast-changing world.

Recent Blog Posts