The rise of the CHRO, & the future skills needed

The rise of the CHRO, & the future skills needed

“The days of begging for a place at the top table are over,” according to Tim Payne, Head of People & Change at KPMG.

Why is this? Well, KPMG has analysed the position of Chief HR Officer (CHRO) at FTSE 100-listed companies over a five-year period, from September 2011 to September 2016.

They found that: the proportion of FTSE 100 CHROs with a professional HR background has shot up 69% in the last five years; 82% of these have worked in more than one sector (up from 70% in 2011); the majority (56%, up from 50% in 2011) of CHROs were recruited externally, instead of promoted internally; and the amount of female CHROs has risen from 44% to 56%.   

Payne continued: “The fact we are increasingly seeing CHROs recruited externally, with a higher proportion having multi-sector experience, supports anecdotal evidence that those at the top of the profession are increasingly viewed as a catalyst for change.”

The increase in female CHROs, Payne added, is “unsurprising”. However, this comes with a caveat: “We would have expected to see a higher percentage increase over the five-year period, given the strong pool of female talent in the HR profession.”

KPMG also identified the key skills that the CHRO of the future will need. They can be found on the next page. 


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