I must first of all admit that I haven't yet heard of a non HR professional taking up the role of CHRO with any of our clients, however, the ideas in this article make a robust argument for it to happen.
One of the complaints I do hear about HR is that they are distant from customers, don't really understand the sharp end and are merely employed to minimise risk, align the business to modern HR policies and practices and that they are a back office function.
I already hear the HR professionals reading this shouting at me but it is true in a lot of businesses that I have met.
I really like the idea in this article that a CHRO should be someone who has successfully led other parts of the business and gained a good understanding of the external environment the business is operating in, how the company is delivering its strategy and what the people and the customers think of it.
I like the idea that HR should not be a back office function and should instead be an integral, forward thinking, strategic part of the business that shapes the organisation to deliver its sought outcomes.
It is a really exciting role if you think about it. What Leader wouldn't want to lead on shaping their organisation to deliver success?
If you’re a business leader looking for an opportunity to have real impact on your company — and position yourself for the top job — which career path is best? CFO? COO? CMO? What if we told you that the CHRO role might be the best job you could ever have, with real opportunity for reshaping an organization? That the CHRO role, although at first it may look career limiting, can have more impact than any other position reporting to the CEO? That’s precisely what we found. We interviewed search professionals, CEOs, and CHROs with nontraditional backgrounds to find out what happens when business leaders outside of HR move into the role.