Revealed: the ‘must-have skills’ for CHROs

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In a recent survey of CHROs from leading global organisations based in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Aon Hewitt sought to find out whether the days of career HR professionals are gone.

The results of the survey revealed what it takes to gain entry to the top HR positions, and the likely skills that will be required for upcoming HR professionals who aspire to these roles.

A recurring theme emerged from Aon Hewitt’s findings: the days of HR people being considered ‘just HR people’ are fading.

CHROs have become critical stakeholders in defining the strategy of a firm.

“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,” said Madeline Avedon, associate partner in HR effectiveness at Aon Hewitt.

Must-have skills

When participants were asked about some of the emerging capabilities that future CHROs will need to be successful, six key themes emerged:

1. Data analytics-based decision making

Rather than worrying about giving the right answers, HR professionals need to be ensuring that they are asking the right questions.

2. Playing the role of an internal and external talent scout

HR needs to build the critical ability of spotting pools of talent, using a mix of intuition and data assessment backed insight.

3. Proactively mapping organisation capability needs to be the future strategy of the company

Examine the gap between existing capabilities and ones needed in the future.

4. Understanding the impact of technology

Be cognizant of the rapid progress in HR technology, particularly SaaS solutions, to improve HR processes and analytic capabilities.

5. Asking organisation-specific questions rather than following the herd

HR professionals need to realise how different practices can be best applied to their own organisational contexts.

6. Being an architect and assessor of shifts in organisational culture

HR must make sure their company’s culture is moving in the right direction by ensuring leaders’ styles align with the cultural goals.


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