Strategic Career Roadmap to Attain the Role of Chief Human Resource Officer

Role of Chief Human Resource Officer

Chief Human Resource Officers, or CHROs, wield significant influence in moulding an organisation's culture, strategy, and overall success. Regardless of industry nuances, CHROs are consistently entrusted with overseeing an organisation's most precious asset – its people.

That being acknowledged, there's no guaranteed path to ascend to this top-tier role. The journey involves navigating through diverse job roles and acquiring a range of essential skills and knowledge before attaining the coveted position in the C-suite.

Wondering what those are? In this article, we will explore the common trajectory of CHROs, highlighting the journey from HR coordinator to the esteemed position of Chief Human Resource Officer.

How to Become a CHRO?

Mentioned below are some of the key steps that you must fulfil before you can become a Chief Human Resource Officer. 

  • Get the Education You Need

Embarking on the path to becoming a successful Chief Human Resources Officer often begins with earning a bachelor’s degree, serving as a solid foundation. However, augmenting your educational qualifications can significantly enhance your prospects.

For instance, pursuing a master’s degree in HR management course online or obtaining an MBA can further enrich your knowledge and elevate your qualifications, providing a valuable competitive advantage.

  • Develop Leadership Skills

As mentioned earlier, CHRO is a high-level executive position. This means that you will often have to guide your fellow team members or junior executives in their day-to-day operations. In such cases, possessing essential leadership skills becomes extremely crucial. This includes relationship-building abilities and agility that take businesses to greater heights. 

  • Acquire Business Acumen

Gaining a profound comprehension of your organisation's industry, market dynamics, and business model is integral to evolving into a CHRO. To accomplish this, you might explore interactions with leaders across diverse departments, delving into their challenges and objectives. Additionally, fostering cross-functional collaboration can underscore your capacity to contribute beyond conventional HR functions.

Step-by-step Guide on CHRO Career Path

The average experience required to become a CHRO is typically 8-10 years, although this might vary depending on the organisation, you will be working for. Nonetheless, here is a step-by-step guide to attain the role of a Chief Human Resource Officer.

  • Entry-level Positions

Initiate your HR career by obtaining entry-level positions, which may encompass roles like HR coordinator, HR assistant, or HR intern. These positions offer practical experience and exposure to diverse HR functions.

  • HR Specialist/Generalist

Progress to roles with more specialised responsibilities, such as HR specialist or generalist. In addition to the responsibility of interviewing applicants and recruiting the right employees, you might be responsible for guiding individuals through human resources procedures and administering benefits or processing payrolls. 

The average salary for an HR specialist in India is currently estimated at INR 6,50,000 annually.

  • HR Managerial Roles

Once you have acquired enough experience in areas like recruitment and employee relations, you are ready to transition to the role of an HR manager.

As an HR manager, you will be required to oversee specialised HR functions, manage teams, and ensure the efficient operation of all HR processes. The average salary of an HR manager is currently INR 9,50,000 per annum.

  • Senior HR Manager/Director

As you navigate the path of HR roles, you will slowly advance to more senior positions, such as senior HR manager or director. In these roles, you will be involved in strategic decision-making, organisational planning, and overseeing the entire HR function within a business unit or region. Currently, HR directors in India are paid an annual average salary of INR 37,80,000.

  • CHRO/Chief HR Officer

Finally, when the opportunity arises, apply for CHRO or Chief HR Officer positions. Do not forget to showcase your extensive experience, leadership skills, and strategic mindset during the application and interview process. Chief HR Officer strategy broadly includes implementing employee-friendly HR strategies across all organs of the company and making sure those are being taken care of under their leadership. 

As of 2024, the average annual salary of a CHRO in India is INR 48,26,137.


As apparent, the CHRO career path is not always easy. However, that being said, it does come alongside its own unique set of benefits and opportunities. While gaining experience by pursuing these above-mentioned roles is important, you must also not forget to develop your skills and knowledge simultaneously. To help you with the same, there are multiple HR management courses available online. 

One such HR Manager course includes IIM-Lucknow Global Senior Leadership Programme Specialisation: Chief Human Resource Officer, offered in collaboration with Imarticus Learning. This is a 6-month programme that is specially designed to help candidates navigate the vibrant terrain of CHRO. Additionally, it poses several benefits, such as executive alumni status, masterclasses by CXOs, and networking with industry leaders.

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