Chief People Officer: Roles, Responsibilities, And Salary

Chief People Officer: Roles, Responsibilities, And Salary


Chief People Officer is a new, fast-growing field within the HR industry. The CPO role was created to bridge the gap between HR, the business side of an organization, and line management. Let us focus on some of the significant roles and responsibilities of the CPO.

Table of Contents:

What Is A Chief People Officer (CPO)?

The CPO is the head of the human resources at a company. The role can be filled by a small team, a part-time person, or a director/manager within the HR department. Essentially, the job of the CPO is to understand the needs, wants, and expectations of employees and then develop programs and systems to address them. 

However, this is a challenging task since the CPO needs to understand all departments that make up the company. In addition, the CPO must be able to interface with all parts of an organization and bring everyone into a cohesive unit.

What Are The Objectives Of The Chief Peoples Office?

Human capital is one of the most precious resources that organizations have. It is also the most challenging resource to obtain and maintain good human capital. 

The chief people officer's role is complex because it includes many individual responsibilities, several of which the CPO shares with other positions within the organization. The objective of the chief people officer is to maximize the effectiveness of human capital. 

It can include helping employees improve their skills, performance, and understanding of the organization's goals and values. It can also involve developing managers and leadership into

effective team-builders can then elevate those employees to become leaders within the organization. Furthermore, the CPO must focus on the needs of external resources to ensure that they are performing well and that the organization is getting a return on its investment in those resources. 

This role is vital in building internal cohesion within the organization and ensuring that all departments work together to achieve success.

What Are The Skills Required For A Chief People Officer?

The following are the main attributes that a good CPO should have.

  • Communication Skills

The CPO must be a good communicator, a skill that can be very difficult to master. The CPO must first know the right goal and message and then communicate those clearly and persuasively verbally and in writing. 

  • Leadership Skills

The CPO must be a good leader who can manage employees with different levels of responsibilities. It requires the ability to understand each person's strengths, weaknesses, skills, and attitudes. 

The CPO must then develop an effective working relationship that meets that person's needs and expectations.

  • Organizational Skills

The CPO must be an excellent organizer skilled at overseeing the HR department and implementing effective policies and systems.

  • Decision-Making Skills

The CPO must be a good decision-maker who can prioritize and make quick and appropriate choices when faced with critical issues. It is especially important when the CPO is in an environment where many different priorities competing for attention.

  • Analytical Skills

The CPO must be very analytical, especially in an environment where they can gather data quickly. The CPO must be able to evaluate the information available and then make the right decision.

  • Problem-Solving Skills

As in most problem-solving situations, the CPO must have the ability to gain enough information about a problem, identify all possible solutions, weigh each solution's advantages and disadvantages, and then choose the best one based on established criteria.

Thus, the CPO must have various skills that are commonly found in the most successful CEOs.

Chief People Officer's Role And Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the CPO vary from company to company and from industry to industry. Some companies solely handle employee relations. In others, they are responsible for all aspects of the human resource function. 

However, most senior-level CPOs are responsible for the following roles

Human Resource Strategy

The CPO is responsible for developing the company's HR strategy. It includes determining talent needs, talent acquisition strategies, talent retention strategies, and talent development strategies. 

As well, the CPO oversees the implementation of these strategies in the organization. Often, this requires working closely with top-level executives and external agencies and vendors.

Talent Development and Management

The CPO is responsible for the training, development, and coaching of employees. It includes succession planning, career pathing, management onboarding, off-boarding, organizational design (mergers/acquisitions), and executive coaching. 

It also includes making sure that the organization's management understands the need to develop their talent and the talent of their direct reports.

Employee Engagement and Employee Experience

The CPO is responsible for employee engagement and employee experience. It includes making sure that employees clearly understand how they can contribute to the organization's goals. 

In addition, the CPO is often responsible for creating a culture in which employees feel supported, rewarded, and valued. It may include providing opportunities to work on special projects (i.e., soft skills, certifications), training (i.e., leadership skills), or cross-training (i.e., functional cross-training). 

The CPO must also be very clear on what makes an employee feel "at home" and what makes them feel "stressed" and "unmotivated."

Acquisition and Integration of External Partnerships

The CPO ensures that the company is getting the best talent possible. It means that the CPO must be obvious on which talent recruiting strategies are the most cost-effective, the best way to handle executive searches, and which vendors can provide great talent at a great price.

Product vision development

The CPO is responsible for developing the product vision of the organization. It means they must understand the customer, the competition, and how they want to differ from their competitors. 

In addition, the CPO must make sure that internal employees have a clear understanding of the company's vision. Often this involves creating a vision document (i.e., "Vision for Tomorrow") which is used throughout all parts of the organization to help foster creativity and innovation in all aspects of business strategy.

How Does A Good CPO Benefit An Organization?

A good CPO can benefit their organizations by:

  • Having an increased understanding of the new organizational strategy.
  • Aligning the organization with the organizational objective.
  • Identifying gaps in the talent required to achieve the company's goals. 
  • Focusing on developing new talent to fill those gaps. 
  • Ensuring that all employees are on board with the organization's organizational vision, mission, and values. 
  • They have better talent due to their relationships with external parties (i.e., vendors and agencies).
  • Having more time to focus on business strategy development.
  • Having an increased ability to make crucial talent decisions in the future.
  • They are building a strong relationship with all corporate functions. When the CPO is no longer in an administrative role, they have a strong foundation to build upon when taking on new roles in other areas of the organization.

What Is The Salary Of The Chief People Officer?

The salary of the chief people officer depends on the level of experience, position, and location. The average salary of chief people officer is $124,822 per year, with the top ten percent earning more than $192,000 per year. 

The average base salary for chief officers is $72K; however, several factors can influence this number, including location and industry. It is a common misconception that 'high pay' equals 'best employer.' Remember to consider the certain factors like location, industry, etc. 


The chief people officer is one of the most complex roles within an organization. It is very important to remember that it does not always involve all of these responsibilities or even all at once. 

Being a good candidate for the position requires knowing the different skills and experiences needed for this role, as well as having an understanding of the company's business strategy, culture, and history.

However, when a company has hired a CPO, they can be an excellent asset who can help the organization reach new heights in its business areas.


What is the educational background of the Chief People Officer?

The educational background of a chief people officer depends on the individual's career path. They generally have a Bachelor's degree or Master's degree from a top-tier school emphasizing business administration or human resources. 

The coursework focuses on organizational leadership, building and maintaining great teams, and effective management techniques.

What are the career options of a Chief People Officer?

Chief people officers have a wide range of career opportunities. They can become general managers, executive vice presidents, job consultants, etc. 

Many chief people officers go into the human resources field because it directly applies to their skills and administrative experience. Others move into specific areas of industry or different sectors of business to take on a different perspective.

Chief People Officer has to report to whom?

The chief people officer reports to the highest-ranking member of the executive team. It could be a president, executive vice president, and general manager, CEO, or COO. The CPO isn't usually on the executive team but reports directly to it and can be part of administrative meetings and strategy sessions.

What is the working relationship between the Chief People Officer and the Chief Executive Officer?

The chief people officer and the CEO should have a very close relationship. The CPO must understand the organization's goals, strategic objectives, and cultural codes. 

The CPO should empathize with the CEO's needs and bring forth information they require to be successful while being an objective voice regarding human resources-related issues.

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