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Interim CHRO – When and How to Best Use Them


September 22, 2022

By: Kyle Johnson

An interim CHRO can be a great solution for businesses. If your business is going through a period of transition or an increased workload, a temporary CHRO can be a great way to maintain stability and continuity while bringing a dose of leadership to the team. Some of the most common situations we see these strategic resources deployed include:

  • The departure of the previous human resources leader.
  • The business needs have grown and they are looking to make their first executive-level hire in this function.
  • There is an influx of work. This could be caused by business seasonality, temporary team departures (think, maternity leave), or a project-specific need.
  • Specific expertise is needed to handle a particular situation. This could include going through a merger/acquisition, workforce reduction, or expansion into a new market.

Interim CHRO responsibilities

An interim CHRO can step in and help with many of the responsibilities that would fall onto a full-time CHRO’s plate. Those responsibilities include:

  • Talent acquisition: An interim CHRO can help with both the active and passive search for top talent. This includes sourcing, screening, and managing the process of interviewing candidates (we discussed hiring talent at one of our recent Human Capital Forums – check out the recap here).
  • New hire onboarding: A smooth onboarding experience is a key to retaining top talent. An interim CHRO can help develop an onboarding program that sets new hires up for success.
  • Talent retention: An interim CHRO can help develop strategies to keep your top talent engaged and reduce turnover. This can include employee training programs and fostering professional development.
  • Performance management: Performance management is a key part of any CHRO’s role. An interim CHRO can help develop and implement systems and processes to ensure your team is meeting its goals. Having these processes in place will empower your leadership team to objectively measure the performance of the team. Armed with this information, you can reward top performers and coach those that have the most room to grow.
  • Compensation and benefits: An interim HR leader can review your current compensation and benefits programs and make recommendations for improvements. They can also help with the implementation of new programs.
  • Company culture: An interim CHRO can help foster a positive company culture that leads to employee satisfaction and engagement. This can include developing employee recognition programs and working with leadership on employee communications.
  • Management of the human resources team: An interim chief human resource officer can provide leadership and guidance to the HR team. They can help with goal setting, performance management, and career development for HR team members.

What to consider when hiring an interim HR leader

If you’re considering hiring an interim CHRO, it’s important to choose someone with the right skills, past experiences, and are a good cultural fit to be successful in the role. They should have a proven track record in human resources and be able to hit the ground running.

How to hire an interim CHRO

If you need an interim CHRO to step into your business, BluWave has a deep bench of pre-vetted, private equity-grade interim resources ready to step in and support your needs. We have worked with countless private equity firms and business builders to match them with this critical need.