How to Hire a Chief People Officer

When you’re on the hunt for the perfect chief people officer for your company, the task can seem daunting. Hiring a CPO means that you are ready for a strategic shift within your company. The CPO of your organization will help carry the culture of your team. It’s a big task that should be handled by someone equipped for the challenge. The challenge can leave you wondering how to hire a chief people officer.

Before interviewing a wide range of candidates, simplify the process with these tips on how to hire a chief people officer for your company.

3 Actions to Hire a Chief People Officer

Define Your Standards

The first step to hiring a CPO for your company is deciding what you are looking for in a CPO. What are the skills and attributes that you are looking for in a CPO? Define your standards. Develop a rounded and specific list of skills and attributes that you need for your company. Your CPO should align with your company culture. After all, they will be the key player in establishing and maintaining the culture norms. In your interview process, get a feel for what’s important to them in the workplace and why they want to join your company.

Additionally, a CPO should be equipped to handle your business’ cultural hierarchy: the people who work for you, the value of the business, and maximum capacity. Take a look at the mission and culture that your company embodies and establish the non-negotiables.

The CPO should be experienced in HR management, coaching, and development, and understand the importance of organizational health. If you do not have experience in filling high-level positions, seek advice from professionals in your industry. Gathering insight and mentorship from others can help create a set of standards and skills needed when hiring a CPO. This can also

Create a Plan of Action

Throwing someone into a CPO position without any preparation can create an unnecessary burden for your new CPO and your team. It can be hard to adjust to a shift in leadership. For this reason, create a plan of action with the executive team of your business to ensure a smooth shift from one leader to another.

A plan of action helps your new CPO settle into their new position and allows your employees to prepare for the change. Talk amongst your staff to decide how the new CPO should be introduced into their position. Is there time for your new CPO to learn the ropes, or do you need an immediate immersion into the workplace? Creating a plan of action before hiring CPO can be beneficial for both the CPO and your company’s employees.

Use an Executive Search Firm

If the task of hiring a CPO for your company seems challenging, hire an executive search firm. Recruiters at executive search firms are professionals in their field. Let the recruiters handle the entire process while you continue growing your business and developing your brand.

Recruiters can find experienced candidates that possess the skills your company is looking for in a CPO. Due to their experience in this field, many executive search firms have a wide range of contacts that can aid in the search. Thus, the expertise of an executive search firm can be a major resource when hiring a CPO.


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.

What’s Your Why? Click here if you’re an employer and want to learn more about how to hire a chief people officer. Click here if you want to make a difference in a new role.

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