How to Choose A Chief Learning Officer

Hiring a perfect chief learning officer for your company can seem like a difficult task. Choosing a chief learning officer means that you are ready for a learning culture shift within your company. The CLO of your organization is in charge of overseeing corporate or personal training. It’s a challenging task that should be handled by someone equipped for the journey. The search for the perfect CLO can leave you wondering how to choose a chief learning officer.

Before interviewing numerous candidates, simplify the process with these tips on hiring a chief learning officer for your company.

1. Determine Your Standards

The first step to choosing a CLO for your company is determining the traits you are looking for in a CLO. What is the skillset and personality you are looking for in a CLO? Determine these qualities. Develop a specific and well-rounded list of skills and attributes that you need for your company. More specifically, a CLO should have a background in learning management. They should be able to educate a new team on the culture and the going-on of the company. Take a look at the mission and culture that your company embodies and establish the non-negotiables.

The CLO should be experienced in corporate training, learning management and possess strong interpersonal leadership skills. If you do not have experience in filling high-level positions, seek advice from professionals within your industry. Gathering insight and mentorship from others can help create a set of standards and skills needed when hiring a CLO.

2. Use an Executive Search Firm

If the task of hiring a CLO for your company seems difficult, hire an executive search firm. Recruiters at executive search firms are professionals in their field. The recruiters will manage the entire process while you continue developing your business and growing your clientele. Recruiters can find experienced candidates that possess the skills your company is looking for in a CLO. Due to their experience in this field, many executive search firms have a wide range of contacts to assist the search. Therefore, the expertise of an executive search firm can be a major resource when hiring a CLO.

3. Establish a Solid Transition Plan

Especially with a position as critical as a CLO, it is important your new hire smoothly transitions into your company culture. It can be difficult to adjust to new leadership. Therefore, establish a solid transition plan with your business’s executive team to ensure a smooth changeover from one leader to the next. A plan of action helps your new CLO settle into their new position and allows your employees to prepare for the transition. Talk with your staff to determine how the new CLO should be introduced into their position. Is there adequate time for your new CLO to learn your company’s ways, or do you need immediate workplace immersion? Establishing a solid transition plan before hiring CLO will be beneficial for both the CLO and company employees.

4. Know What to Pay a Chief Learning Officer

As in any position, a candidate’s salary should reflect their skills and experience in the field. A person’s skill set and experiences are assets to your company and must be treated as such. In addition, candidates with a variety of experiences in the field provide value to your company. A chief learning officer is responsible for your company’s learning and development. Determine the value that management, human resources, and development hold in your company and create a salary that aligns with these assets’ value. A candidate with a generous educational background should be paid accordingly. Thus, a chief learning officer with advanced knowledge about your industry provides value to your company. The more education your CLO has, the more insight he or she can contribute to your company.


Y Scouts is a purpose-based, performance-proven leadership search and development firm focused on transforming how people and organizations connect to work that matters. When you’re ready to hire a new leader, contact Y Scouts. If you are looking for your next leadership role within a purpose-driven, performance-focused organization, please join the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

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Chief Learning Officer

How to Choose A Chief Learning Officer

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