Salesperson and Storyteller
The most effective Chief People Officers we’ve worked with have a skillset that’s more often associated with sales talent than with traditional human resources roles. They are strong communicators with a deep understanding of your product and an ability to authentically articulate the value proposition of your business. On the talent acquisition front, the CPO is selling an incredibly sophisticated product – a career transition – to a highly discerning audience, and increasingly doing so without the benefit of in-person interaction or visits to physical offices. CPOs must have the ability to internalize your company’s story and convey it in a way that excites and motivates candidates to join in your growth journey. In effectively telling these stories, CPOs are better positioned to access and attract passive candidates – individuals who are successful and happy in their current roles and are not actively looking to make a change. Top CPOs thrive in building these relationships and expanding networks – they are constantly working to fill the talent funnel.
Establishing a strong culture and maintaining that culture as your organization grows is a key part of any successful talent strategy and takes on an even greater importance as teams are increasingly remote. Your company is unique, and your Chief People Officer should play a central role in helping to articulate and reinforce that culture, both with prospective employees and current team members – and in reinforcing continuity of culture across geographies and remote settings when face-to-face interactions are limited. As uncertainties around world events abound, CPOs understand the importance of connecting the work of your team to the mission of your organization, enabling team members to recognize the importance of their contributions. Effective CPOs understand the powerful impact that strong employee relationships and a positive culture can have on the recruitment funnel and later, the employee experience. They recognize that when great employees do elect to leave, your culture and the positive experience it creates can result in a productive network of referral sources and, in best case scenarios, help drive the boomerang effect of bringing your strongest employees back to your team.
As a key member of the executive team, the Chief People Officer will have a comprehensive understanding of your company’s organizational goals. This perspective ensures that talent acquisition and talent management priorities are designed and executed in a strategically consistent way that works within the framework of today’s constantly evolving landscape. A skilled CPO creates scalable and repeatable processes at every step of the employee life cycle, from recruitment to exit. They recognize the strategic importance of an inclusive culture. They measure success with data and analytics, and they make decisions with business outcomes in mind. A great CPO will push back on existing ways of doing things and recommend new and creative approaches – all in the service of attracting, retaining and fully leveraging the talent that you need to execute on your growth agenda.