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Looking for the Right CHRO? Start With a High Performer’s Mindset

Looking for the Right CHRO? Start With a High Performer’s Mindset

August 2023


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Internal succession is a powerful and effective way to maintain efficiency and stability within an organization. 

Nevertheless, there are times when you need to bring in an outsider. This is true for the Human Resources (HR) department as much as anywhere else. 

There has been a trend in recent years to replace a growing number of CHROs (Chief Human Resource Officers) or CPOs (Chief People Officers) with external candidates. In 2019, major corporations replaced 53% of CHROs with internal hires. The remaining 47% came from outside the four walls of each company.  

In other words, businesses are looking anywhere and everywhere for the best talent they can find. 

As CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) consider whether to tap internal or external talent to lead their HR departments, there’s one key factor that they should keep in mind: every successful CHRO team is built on a high performer’s mindset. 

What Is a High Performer’s Mindset?

Performance is a major factor in the workplace. It is the primary benchmark of individual success, and its influence runs from the top to the bottom of the organizational chart.  

According to Flow Research Collective, a high-performance mindset “is the optimal mindset for unlocking your best self.” It unleashes long-term peak performance by unfettering the limited beliefs in what an individual thinks they can do. 

High performers tend to exhibit certain traits. For instance, they are aware of the fact that their work is measured against others. When you grade success on a curve, you can’t just reach certain benchmarks. You have to outperform others. 

This awareness of the competitive nature of performance drives those with a high-performance mentality to work harder. They invest in individual relationships, often work longer hours, and generally go the extra mile to get things done. 

This may sound a bit heartless, and in the cold corporate world, well, it is. But remember, we’re not talking about how to find work-life balance or achieve inner happiness here. This is just an analysis of how the workplace functions. The cold, hard truth of the matter is, in most cases, high performers tend to make greater sacrifices, and it leads to career pay-offs. 

In HR leadership, a high-performance mindset is a foundational element that any savvy CEO should be looking for when building their CHRO team. It’s this willingness to invest in an overachieving mindset that sets successful individuals apart from others — and the result is a trickle-down effect of superior talent recruitment for an entire organization. 

How to Find High-Performing CHROs

Understanding the importance of identifying high-performance individuals is just the first step. Successfully recruiting them is another challenge altogether. Whether you’re assessing internal talent or combing your industry for potential leaders willing to join your team, learning to recognize high-performance indicators takes time, experience, and a conscious effort. 

“Learning to recognize high-performance indicators takes time, experience, and a conscious effort.” 

Fortunately, there are a few things you can use to help you along the way. 

  • Consider a candidate’s track record: How has a candidate performed in the past? Remember, success measured against past performance is only one KPI. Also, consider how a candidate’s past achievements compare to their peers. 
  • Look for a growth mindset: As far as soft skills are concerned, one of the best indicators that someone thinks like a high performer is a growth mindset. Are they willing to adapt, learn, and stay flexible? Or is their “success formula” set in stone? 
  • Work with an executive search consultant: A team like Stanton Chase can reduce the time and margin of error when sourcing high-performing talent. Our talent network, recruitment tools, and experience help us quickly and effectively narrow the playing field and identify the traits that matter. 

There are many factors and qualities that you should look for in a CHRO. However, you should always prioritize top performers. When an HR officer has a high performer’s mindset, it has a positive effect on themselves, their team, and, ultimately, your entire company.  

At Stanton Chase, our Human Resources Practice Group takes pride in its ability to excel in placing highly qualified candidates across all industries. We have built a strong reputation for our exceptional expertise and a proven track record of success in identifying top-notch leaders who possess the skills and qualities needed to thrive within our clients’ organizations.  

We understand the critical nature of our clients’ business objectives and the importance of having the right people in key positions to drive success. With a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by organizations in various sectors, our executive search consultants are adept at navigating complexities with precision and dedication. Stanton Chase is committed to delivering outstanding results and partnering with our clients to ensure their continued growth and prosperity. 

About the Author

William Brewer, CCP, is a Director at Stanton Chase Los Angeles. He is also Stanton Chase’s Global Human Resources Practice Leader. Prior to moving into executive search, Bill had 25 years of experience in corporate human resources. In addition to his executive search career, Bill is an adjunct Professor at the University of Redlands. Bill also serves as a mentor for the MBA program at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and has been a mentor with the School of Business at the University of Redlands.   

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