Top 6 Emerging Skills for CHROs to lead HR 2020

September 14, 20158:32 am799 views

With five generations all in one workplace, the workforce of the future will look much different than it does today. More than half of participating CHROs in Aon Hewitt’s recent study revealed they are not career HR professionals. Of these, approximately one third had no background in HR prior to assuming their current CHRO position.

The study capturing insights from 45 CHROs at leading global organizations shows that HR leaders are preparing in diverse ways to assume this challenging role. The evolving needs of the business, the volatile economic environment, and the changing face of talent are shaping the selection of CHROs, with diversity in experience a key factor.

“CHROs have become critical stakeholders in defining the strategy of a firm, and they are expected to tackle the HR challenges and evolving expectations of a dynamic workplace environment that will consist of constant change, calculated risk taking and evolving expectations from top stakeholders,” said Neil Shastri, leader, Global Insights & Innovation, Aon Hewitt.

According to Aon, a change in industry leads to an increase in the velocity with which a CHRO aspirant progresses in their career. For example:  Those who have never changed their industry had an average work experience of 27.5 years, and an average tenure of just four years as CHRO. However, those who have changed their industry more than three times had the highest average tenure as a CHRO, with seven years, and the lowest average work experience (23.3 years).

Shastri further added: “Those well-equipped to achieve the greatest success will have diverse skill sets, be adaptable and agile, and gain hands-on learning from working through real life situations and acquiring knowledge across disciplines and industries.”

See: What It Takes to be a Chief Human Resources Officer

Key findings from the study are:

  • 73 percent of the CHROs had changed their industry at least once in their career span
  • 66 percent of study participants indicated they had prior Board exposure
  • 84 percent highlighted executive compensation experience as a key requirement
  • 24 percent took a rotation or assignment in a line role (outside of HR) to build their business and commercial acumen
  • 67 percent have worked and lived abroad, and/or led global teams and initiatives
  • 65 percent indicated “business knowledge” as a key competency they required, but it was also among the competencies for which they felt least prepared

Emerging Skills for CHROs to lead HR 2020

Some of the emerging capabilities that future CHROs will need to be successful include six major changes, they are:

  1. Data and analytics-based decision making. Do not focus on giving the right answers, but on asking the right questions.
  2. Being the architect and assessor of shifts in organizational culture. Make sure a company’s culture is moving in the right direction by ensuring leaders’ styles align with the cultural goals.
  3. Proactively mapping organization capability needs to the future strategy of the firm. Examine the gap between existing capabilities and the ones needed in the future.
  4. Playing the role of an internal and external talent scout. CHROs of tomorrow need to build the critical ability of spotting talent pool, using a mix of intuition and data and assessment backed insight to lead HR in 2020.
  5. Understanding the Impact of technology. Be cognizant of the rapid progress in HR technology, particularly SaaS solutions, to improve HR processes and analytic capabilities.
  6. Asking organization-specific questions rather than following the herd. Realize how different practices can be best applied to their own organizational contexts.

Dave Kompare, partner, Aon Strategic Advisors & Transaction Solutions said, “To build a strong bench for the future, HR professionals must work on creating an environment conductive to the growth of future CHROs from both within and outside the function. It must also look for ways to help CHROs of the future pick up critical experiences that matter in the CHRO position.”

Also read: How to bridge the ‘skills gap’ in war for talent?