Chief Human Resources Officer Definition

The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) is the top executive responsible for overseeing all aspects of a company's workforce, from hiring and employee relations to talent development and organizational culture.

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Most people that know about the structure of corporations know about the role of a chief executive officer, otherwise known as a CEO. However, one of the least talked about positions is a chief human resources officer. 

The definition of a chief human resources officer is a high-level business executive. The chief human resources officer is another C-level executive or C-suite executive that works under the direction of the business’s chief executive officer in a business or organization. They’re primarily responsible for all human relations in a business including hiring, firing, and training.

Other Names for Chief Human Resources Officer

Another name for a chief human resources officer is CHRO. Some other names include:

  • Chief people officer (CPO)
  • Chief personnel officer
  • Executive vice president of human resources 
  • Senior vice president of human resources

Regardless of the title, the person carrying it is responsible for the same job and duties. 

Chief Human Resources Officer Examples

If you’re searching for a good chief human resources officer for your organization, ideally they will have certain characteristics and qualifications including:

  • HR certifications
  • Prior experience successfully managing HR departments
  • Knowledge of the applicable employment law for your state
  • Good communication skills
  • A strong level of cultural awareness
  • A proven track record of fostering company growth through talent acquisition and retention

Some of the nation’s top chief human resources officers received their titles after years of training and working their way up the corporate ladder. Not only do these CHROs possess the characteristics and qualifications above, but they do so while simultaneously heading a department filled with hundreds or even thousands of employees. Some popular CHROs have even made waves with their fun company practices and out-of-the-box thinking for talent management. 

Chief Human Resources Officer Benefits

The process of hiring and firing is one of the most important functions a business can have. If your business is at the point where it needs to scale, you may wonder about the benefits of a chief human resources officer. Benefits of having a chief human resources officer for your business include having a designated executive to:

  • Delegate all tasks regarding a business’s human relations
  • Develop a strategy for talent acquisition, training, and management within the company
  • Oversee salary and payroll structures
  • Establish and guide the company’s corporate structure 

A CHRO’s role is often crucial to the success of a small business’s growth. Enlisting the help of a CHRO can take your company to the next level. 

Chief Human Resources Officer Considerations

A CHRO can be a great addition to an already established business. Most companies start off solely with a chief executive officer and then slowly scale in size to eventually include a chief human resources officer. The chief human resources officer often acts at the direction of the business’s CEO and chief operating officer. 


A chief human resources officer, by definition, is a high-level business executive who is in charge of the human resources department of an organization. Obtaining a trained chief human resources officer for a business can help scale and expand it. 

We can help

Every small business needs methods in place to keep it running as efficiently as possible. That’s why we have a Business Documents Templates Library for businesses like yours. This service affords businesses comprehensive access to business documents that are necessary to run a business. Some of these documents may be used by a CHRO, including employment offer letters, employment termination letters, and employment compensation letters. 

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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