What Are the Top Priorities for CHROs in 2017?

Erick Barnes

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Training or talent acquisition? As a head of human resources, choosing your investment priorities can be quite challenging. Our industry is ripe for disruption and there seems to be new solutions popping up around every corner.

In what areas are the country’s best CHROs looking to invest the most this year? We surveyed senior-level HR executives and these are the results!

CHRO 2017 Priorities Infographic

1) Talent Management

In order to be competitive, an organization’s talent is going to be a driving factor. Thanks to a growing talent gap, savvy HR leaders are focusing on talent mobility, identifying high leadership potential and leadership development.

There’s a significant shortage of quality leadership in most organizations around the country. This problem can only be solved by taking a more focused and strategic approach to how we are developing our talent and future leaders.

According to our survey:

  • 57% of CHROs expressed that succession planning is a top priority 
  • 49% want to find better solutions for leadership training and development 
  • 46% consider big data and analytics to be a trending investment area

2) Recruiting and Talent Acquisition

Organizations are looking for better ways to identify the type of talent that will take them to the next level. This spans their external recruitment efforts and internal leadership development.

This growing demand has led to the development of many new solutions in the recruitment space. Unfortunately, all of these options can make selecting the right one for your organization and recruitment cycle quite challenging.

Here’s a breakdown of the type of solutions that senior-level HR executives are looking for:

  • 29% recruiting/talent acquisition technologies
  • 29% assessments
  • 26% branding and communications

3) Training & Development

This is a key function in any effective HR team, so it should come as no surprise that training and development was a top priority for CHROs in 2017. Here are the key takeaways from our survey:

  • 26% of HR executives said they were currently looking to expand solutions for eLearning. 
  • 23% are concerned about behavioral/interpersonal skills training and want to see improvements in their organizations.
  • 17% are seeking better approaches to learning management systems.

4) Employee Relations and PR

Our survey showed that employee engagement is a top priority this year for CHROs. According to the results:

  • 34% of CHROs are interested in total rewards and incentives. Research shows that a solutions awards program can lead to a better employee experience and encourage more participation in your culture surveys.
  • 26% of HR heads are looking to conduct more employee satisfaction surveys in 2017. Research shows that this can benefit the organization by increasing employee motivation, uncovering significant issues, and increasing overall productivity.


For this survey, 55 percent of the respondents held the position of Head of Human Resources at their respective organizations. The rest were CHROs, SVPs, VPs or AVPs.

We were also able to survey respondents from a diverse variety of industries, including:

  • Apparel/Fashion
  • Automotive
  • Computer Software
  • Electric Manufacturing
  • Financial Services
  • Food and Beverage
  • Health Care
  • Marketing/Advertising
  • Oil/Gas/Energy
  • Real Estate
  • Restaurants
  • Security and Investigations
  • Wholesale
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