Episode 279: The Role of the CHRO and Strategic Talent

This podcast is part of a series on the Workology Podcast focused on the role and responsibilities of the Chief Human Resources Officer, or CHRO. The CHRO is an executive or C-level role that deals with managing human resources, as well as with organizational development and implementing policies of change to improve the overall efficiency of the company. The CHRO Podcast series on Workology is powered by Daily Pay. One of the reasons I wanted to do this series is because there is a lot of mystery around the CHRO role. I want aspiring CHRO’s to know what type of skills and experiences they need to promote into a future CHRO role along with hearing from senior HR leadership how they are partnering and collaborating with their executive peers. 

Episode 279: The Role of the CHRO and Strategic Talent With Marisa Peters (@MarisaPeters)

How do CHRO’s handle change management within a global organization? In this interview I dive into the subject of how the CHRO role can impact change management and communication for employees in countries around the world. I talked with Marisa Peters, Chief People Officer at VideoAmp where she is responsible for creating strategic talent plans to support the candidate process and employee lifecycle.

Marisa has been in the HR field since 2009, starting her career working in the people space from a program management point of view. “When Sony Pictures was reenvisioning the way they thought about people and talent at their organization, I went through that change management process…and moved into the talent acquisition space. I was able to hire people at various points in their careers and oversaw talent acquisition for a number of years.”

“We focused a lot on talent mobility as it relates to business strategies, and it’s where I learned about strategic talent planning, succession, skills gaps…it was special for me to see other people looking within the organization to grow talent. When I moved into a business partnership role at Amazon, I got to oversee the end to end experience through the lens of the business – their digital and entertainment media businesses.” Marisa left Amazon and worked for smaller, rapidly growing companies. “It was a more rapid pace than you’d find at larger organizations.” 

“We pride ourselves on being a people first organization that drives business results, and it’s not a one size fits all experience.” - Marisa Peters #WorkologyPodcast #CHRO #StrategicTalent Click To Tweet

Marisa joined VideoAmp in November of 2019 and saw some scaling back during the pandemic, but the business is in growth mode now at just around 200 employees. “I think we learned to adapt and adjust to everyone being at home and displaced. I also joined the company when I was seven months pregnant, so I had a newborn as our workforce shifted to a remote work model. It was a unique experience to go through and we put a real emphasis on listening to our employees and what they needed.”

As far as skills required to be in a CHRO role, Marisa said that “being innately curious and passionate about what the business is and does, the problem that it solves for customers, should be at the forefront. Business understanding is critical, as is using data to help you form strategies and processes, setting up infrastructure that allows data about your people to come to the forefront, whether collected one on one or in person, or hard data from HR metrics.”

The CHRO Role in Strategic Talent Management

Marisa said that VideoAmp invests a lot in what’s best for the individual, and when we get it right, the business wins as a result. For us, this has taken form in performance development. Rather than top down management, this is an opportunity to grow and develop. We call it ‘Project Accelerate,’ It begins with the reflection, during which we ask individuals to make some space, think about what their leaders can do to support them, what are the opportunities they want to create. We ask their direct manager to do the same thing and that prompts a conversation that allows us to move into career growth planning.”

What Project Accelerate does for strategic talent management and individual career growth planning, said Marisa, “it allows us to establish specific and time-bound plans that include things like on the job experiences, increased exposure and visibility to other stakeholders, assigning a mentor, and educational experiences.”

“Our intention is that it works like a flywheel; the framework is used to create near term interactions to further a culture where people share perspectives and ideas…how do we help individuals and teams rise and grow with transparency.”

Transparency around people data is important for employees to feel included and invested in what they’re working on. Marisa said that her team runs “a semiannual survey that we call the People, Culture and Climate survey. As we look at the results of the survey, we openly share where we stand, what we’re doing well and where we have more work to do to create a culture where people feel they belong and that their voices are heard.”

It’s interesting to delve into how a role like CHRO whose experience more closely connects them to the strategy and operations of the overall business works with the rest of a company leadership team. The CHRO doesn’t just lead HR within a company, the role is also key to structuring the leadership for a company’s executive team. 

Listen to the full podcast for more, including how Marisa works with her team to create and showcase people data, what it means to be on Best Places to Work lists, and how these awards can impact employer brand and retention. I appreciate Marisa taking the time to share her experience with us!

Connect with Marisa Peters.



Marisa Peters on LinkedIn

VideoAmp in Twitter

CHRO Job Description

List of Company Culture Awards and Recognition 

Episode 276: The Role of the CHRO and DEI

Recruitment Research for Unearthing Hidden Talent

Episode Transcript


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.


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