Episode 361: CHRO Series – What Skills and Experience Do You Believe Are Absolute Requirements for a CHRO Role?

I think for me, in order to be an effective CHRO, people need to have a really strong understanding of the businesses that they’re working for and a point of view on it. They need to have a seat at the table and to be able to offer their perspective in a way that it’s received well by the other leadership that they’re working with. I think they need to have the ability to produce business results across the organization through strategically aligning all of the HR drivers like development, total rewards, engagement. And I think they also really need to be able to help develop and refine a company culture. And of course, a huge part of that is being able to influence and leverage leadership to shape that culture as well.

– Nikki Salenetri

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 (often called Chief People Officer or VP of Talent). 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 sponsored by Upskill HR. This episode of the Workology podcast is sponsored by HRBenchmarkSurvey.com

Episode 361: CHRO Series – What Skills and Experience Do You Believe Are Absolute Requirements for a CHRO Role?


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 CHROs to know what type of skills and experiences they need to promote into a future CHRO role. Throughout the CHRO podcast series, we asked each guest about how they began their careers and grew into their CHRO roles – and their answers were really varied and interesting.

In this podcast episode, listen to excerpts from some of the best interviews on the Workology Podcast with CHROs, VPs of HR and Chief People Officers on how some of the most successful professionals in the industry started their careers with an eye on a leadership position.

This episode features (in order):


Deb Hill, Vice President of HR for FM:Systems

Nicole Roberts, Vice President of People and Culture with MVAH Partners

Paul LaLonde, Vice President of People and Culture for CEDA (Community Economic Development Association)

Nikki Salentri, Vice President of People at Gympass

The full podcasts are linked to each guest above.

It’s so 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. Hearing the stories about how these HR leaders got their start in HR and how it led them to a CHRO role, there are so many ways to grow your HR career. I’m inspired by these stories and hope you are too!



– CHRO Job Description

– Deb Hill on LinkedIn

– Nicole Roberts on LinkedIn

– Paul LaLonde on LinkedIn

– Nikki Salenetri on LinkedIn

– Episode 297: CHRO Series – How Did You Start Your Career in HR?

– Episode 327: CHRO Series – How is HR Structured Within Your Organization?

– Episode 309: CHRO Series – How Did You Start Your Career in HR? Part 2

– Episode transcript 

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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