What is a chief human resources officer (CHRO)?

December 13, 2022 · 3 min read · By ASU Online
The chief human resources officer is key to the growth and success of many organizations. A CHRO oversees HR departments and develops strategies and policies that promote sustainable growth. Learn about the skills and education needed for this important role. 

A chief human resources officer (CHRO) oversees an organization’s HR operations. They help companies to achieve compliance, strategically plan, manage company culture and create compensation plans. Perhaps most importantly, they oversee and develop how their company attracts, hires, trains and retains talent. Depending on the size of a company’s HR department, a CHRO may delegate tasks to other human resources officers or handle the majority of these tasks themselves.

Aspiring chief human resources officers will first need to complete a relevant undergraduate degree program. To further your career, a master’s in human resources and human law can be a valuable asset for those looking to hold this important C-suite executive role.


What skills does a chief human resources officer need to have?

Chief human resources officers should possess a variety of skills. Whether you’re communicating with employees or implementing compliance policies, you’ll depend on your HR knowledge and soft skills.

  • Communication.

Efficiently communicate with all members of the HR department, in addition to company employees and executives.

  • Compliance.

Strong knowledge of human resources laws to audit policies and to identify and remedy any legal issues in their operations.

  • Employee management.

Effectively manage a company’s employees, including their workplace roles, benefits, job satisfaction and opportunities for advancement.

  • Public speaking.

Be able to confidently address groups of people, including new hires and existing employees.

  • Staffing.

Attract, recruit, hire, retain and downsize employees to create a coordinated workforce.


Chief human resources officer salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for human resources managers was $126,230 in 2021. The BLS estimates 7% growth in the number of human resources managers from 2021 to 2031; a total increase of 174,200.


What is a chief people officer?

Compared to a chief human resources officer, a chief people officer (CPO) is primarily focused on talent management and cultivating a strong company culture. The chief people officer is emerging as an important role for both start-up companies and large organizations. The CPO plays a vital role in creating innovative and motivational programs that build culture, increase productivity, attract talent and maximize employee retention.

While companies may have either a CPO or CHRO on staff, the roles could be similar regardless of title. Others may have both a CPO and CHRO, with each focusing on different HR responsibilities.


Earn your Master of Human Resources and Employment Law online at Arizona State University

To become a chief human resources officer, you’ll likely need an advanced degree. ASU Online offers a Master of Human Resources and Employment Law degree that prepares both entry-level and established professionals working in human resources, recruitment and operations.

This human resources and employment law degree is a non-Juris Doctor graduate program taught through the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. In this program, you’ll learn about the legal and regulatory framework that governs recruiting, hiring, maintaining, promoting and dismissal of employees and independent contractors in the public and private sectors. You’ll also gain an understanding of U.S. law, legal structures and legal reasoning when making informed decisions regarding complex human resource problems.

Earn your graduate degree while working full-time

With the right strategy and support, you can strike a balance between your educational goals and busy life. Learn more about the time management and strategic planning it takes for working professionals to earn their online master's degree.


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