Inside the CHRO Agenda: 4 Critical Areas Shaping the HR Landscape

Feb 9, 2024

Seth Harris, partner at ON Partners, summarizes four main HR trends from leading CHROs

In the dynamic landscape of workforce and HR strategies, companies continually face the intersection of innovation and tradition, where pivotal decisions shape their future trajectories.

At ON Partners, we consistently engage with top Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) and Chief People Officers (CPOs) across a variety of organizations, learning their core business objectives and challenges to help drive talent management solutions.

In this article, Seth Harris, partner at ON Partners, summarizes four pivotal trends dominating the minds of CHROs today that are shaping the HR management landscape. From managing the hybrid workforce to CHRO burnout to merit pay, HR leaders face a variety of workplace opportunities and challenges to solve in 2024.

01: Navigating the Hybrid Horizon: Balancing Flexibility and Culture

Adopting a hybrid workforce isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s a nuanced business decision demanding careful consideration of benefits and hurdles. The allure of wider talent pools, happier employees, and boosted productivity is undeniable, and building a strong company culture, overcoming collaboration and communication challenges, and ensuring robust security all pose questions that should be contemplated. By taking a deliberate look at your company’s unique needs, objectively weighing the pros and cons, understanding how technology can enable connectivity, and embracing an open-minded approach, you can unlock the hybrid model’s true potential for your organization while prioritizing flexibility.


02: DE&I in the Wake of Change: Charting a Path to Inclusive Excellence

In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling on Affirmative Action, companies are reevaluating their DE&I initiatives. One thing remains clear: fostering equal opportunities and building an inclusive environment for all employees is fundamental. CHROs prioritize holistic talent reviews, robust mentorship programs, and data-driven approaches to identify and address inequalities. By focusing on creative and sustainable strategies, CHROs can still achieve their DE&I goals, ensuring a fair and just work environment for everyone.


03: Merit Pay: Rewarding Performance, Righting the Balance

Implementing merit pay systems can be complex, and fraught with potential subjectivity and bias. However, clear performance criteria, rigorous evaluation processes, and careful planning can effectively motivate performance and foster a rewarding work environment. Over 90% of companies utilize some form of merit pay, often through annual raises and performance-based bonuses. The key to success lies in meticulous planning, transparent communication, and continuous improvement, ensuring a merit system that incentivizes excellence while remaining fair and equitable.

{Related Article: 2023 Variance Report: Executive Hiring Trends Reshaping 2024}


04: Combating CHRO Burnout: Re-energizing the Guardians of Human Capital

CHROs are facing higher levels of burnout due to the ever-expanding scope of HR, relentless expectations, and the persistent struggle to maintain work-life balance, often exacerbated by limited support and resources.

ON Partners data indicates that CHRO tenure is declining across organizations year over year. Our data illustrates that 25% of CHROs will stay in their role for 1-2 years and the average duration of CHRO tenure in 2023 was 2.5 years.

Recognizing and proactively addressing this challenge is crucial. Strategies like building strong support networks, openly discussing challenges and workload concerns, and investing in leadership development can equip CHROs with the tools and resources they need to combat burnout and thrive in demanding roles.

Seth Harris is a partner at ON Partners, a pure-play retained executive search firm building C-level and board leadership teams for leading private equity funds and portfolios.

Seth Harris has over 20 years of experience building leadership teams for late-stage VC-backed, mid-cap, growth / private equity to global multinational organizations in the Technology sector including SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, Managed Services, and IoT.

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Since 2006, ON Partners is the only pure-play executive search firm building diverse C-level and board leadership teams. We rebuilt the institution of executive search for the way you work. Our approach includes present partners who engage with their clients from the first brief to the final decision, individually crafted solutions that are unique to each client, and an easier experience all around. Named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms and to the Inc. 500/5000 Lists nine times, ON Partners is consistently ranked among the top 20 retained executive search firms in the U.S.

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