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What your CEO (really) wants

In Human Resources — by Recruiterbox

On the list of things that matter to burgeoning HR professionals, understanding where the CEO wants to take the organization is right at the top. The starting point to establishing any process or culture is to understand the expectations of the leaders. Knowing what is expected of you sounds common sense, but when those expectations aren’t clear, it can be tough. What can help is being purposeful and knowledgeable in a few macro areas and then building on the micro. Here’s what the CEO wants to see you handle:

Employer Branding

If you’ve been following the First in HR Series, you know we’re big fans of employer branding and chances are, so is your CEO. Employer branding is a rapidly increasing part of the HR and recruiting world, so much so that there has been a 10% increase in employer branding management job listings according to an EBI report, and 39% of companies plan to increase their investment in employer branding in 2013.

36% of companies investing in employer branding strategies rely solely on their HR department for this function. This means that Employer Branding Initiatives are something that can make you shine if you are the first one hiring. You don’t have to be straight off the cast of Mad Men but you should know the basics of how to brand your company or department (and how to do it for less!) You should know why building this particular brand is important, how to build it and then how to report your findings or ROI on it.


It is common practice for HR to play a major role in the communication between the CEO and the rest of the company and visa versa. But you can’t get away with simply being the messenger, it is up to you to make sure that everyone is communicating efficiently on both ends. Your business can be a one-room office and if proper communication isn’t used, everyone can be on a different page.

Poor communication sets everyone back, causes confusion and slows down virtually every other process. HR should facilitate good communication. Have or implement a consistent system for organizing meetings, create a streamlined form when passing along notes and assignments. The CEO doesn’t want to manage this, that is your job.

China Gorman recently asked employees if they agreed that the feedback they received from their managers was constructive and useful, 79% of CEOs believed that their employees would strongly agree or agree, while only 33% of HR professionals believed that their employees would strongly agree or agree.

“HR plays a critical role in sharing information up and down within the organization. They must share with the CEO what the employees and community are saying, and develop methods to spread the message of the CEO throughout the organization.” –

Cultivating and Articulating a Great Company Culture

As the HR or hiring manager, you are the backbone of a great company culture . After all, the candidate’s company culture experience should start at the first interaction with you, if not sooner.

You are cultivating the culture through the hiring and retaining of rock star employees while simultaneously using other tools to market your culture . The Management Blog came up with the top ten CEO/HR interactions, #2 on the list was a healthy company culture.

“Selling your company to the ‘talent population,’ in person, online, and via print and broadcast media. An HR leader should articulate the organization’s culture and story, not only for recruiting purposes but to fuel all of your activities with clients, vendors, media, and the business community.”

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