Frequently Asked Questions

View some of our frequently asked questions for more information.

World class Chief HR Officers (sometimes titled Chief People officers) have strong business acumen, a change management orientation, and are inherently data driven and technology focused/enabled. These traits, coupled with strong emotional intelligence, especially around self-awareness and empathy, differentiate average Chief HR Officers from great ones.

Having a strong Chief HR Officer who is attuned to evolving market trends and talent needs will help position the organization’s most valuable asset — its people — to be engaged and successful. Not only will a progressive Chief HR Officer provide strategic guidance and direction on people matters, this leader will also partner with the Executive Leadership Team on the operational parts of the business, providing a more holistic view of the organization as well as the drivers necessary to achieve business objectives.

In an era of unprecedented change, all people leaders are being asked to better understand and solve increasingly complicated and nuanced problems. Good people leaders are, as always, approaching problems with curiosity, empathy and creativity.

The truly best-in-class HR leaders are those who can then take those insights and turn them into sophisticated strategies that they are able to execute. These leaders rely on a strong data orientation and often approach the process like a scientist by exploring the problem, ideating solutions, testing a solution, examining the results and retesting until they’re able to make a measurable and notable impact.

Human Resources Business Partners (HRBPs) are critical in achieving strategic goals and driving transformations. They are critical to bridging the gap between the business and the people strategies. A strong, well-led HRBP team can implement and operationalize a strategy and create a true identity within the functions and teams they support. HRBPs can be the glue that holds a people culture together!

Traditionally, Talent Functions within organizations include Talent Management, Learning and Development, Leadership Development, Succession Planning, Organizational Development and Organizational Effectiveness, and, in some organizations, Change Management.  More recently, organizations have been including talent acquisition/recruiting in their talent function in order to provide an end-to-end, more holistic perspective of the talent lifecycle. This can also be referred to as “the employee experience.”

Talent Acquisition, or recruiting, is the art and science of attracting and hiring talent into an organization. Front end pieces of talent acquisition can include workforce planning, recruitment marketing and branding, passive pipelining, and sourcing effort, whereas the latter half can include interviewing, executive assessment, offer negotiation and onboarding.

Talent Management encompasses all the activities associated with retaining and developing employees within an organization. This can include learning and development, hi-potential identification and development, management training, coaching, leadership development, and succession planning.


Total Rewards is a combination of all incentives – monetary and nonmonetary – that collectively define an organization’s strategy to attract, motivate, retain and engage employees. While typically centered around compensation and benefits, a sophisticated and modern Total Rewards approach can also include personal growth components like recognition, performance management and talent development. Having the right Total Rewards leadership to develop strategic and thoughtful methodologies and initiatives can be a true differentiator in how an organization attracts and retains top talent. Increasingly, the best companies are breaking down silos within the HR function and seeking creative Total Rewards leaders who can collaborate closely with the broader talent strategy to define a world-class employee value proposition and experience.

Fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within organizations is more than just the right ethical decision, it is one of the best business decisions a company can make. Studies have shown that companies with diverse and inclusive teams tend to outperform their competitors. Hiring a Diversity & Inclusion leader can help ensure the company is actively creating and reinforcing a work culture where all employees are accepted and valued, allowing them to feel more productive, respected, and safe in their work environments. Part of building strong, diverse hiring teams means asking yourself: “Who is my company culture going to attract – and how will it engage people who are here?”  A truly inclusive and diverse environment can boost employee morale, stimulate engagement, lower employee turnover, and improve the company’s overall brand, resulting in increased individual and company performance. Finding the right DE&I leader who can drive change and champion DE&I efforts but who can also meet the organization where they are in their DE&I journey is often the key to success.

The most progressive DE&I leaders are also futurists, leaders who seek to understand structural barriers both internally and externally. These leaders are also continuous leaners, constantly seeking out new ways of thinking about and embedding DE&I across their organization. They connect the organization’s DE&I journey with broader, macro trends and provide tangible solutions and ways of engaging at all levels of the organization.

HR Operations typically encompasses the strategic and functional services provided by HR and can include HR Technology or Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), People Analytics, and HR infrastructure/shared services.  HR operations also includes coordination of systems and processes across various Centers of Excellence (CoE) as well as administrative services, such as the HR hotline for employee questions and increasingly, leveraging technology and AI to better support employees and their questions.

While Hanold Associates focuses primarily on the HR function, we have had great success beyond HR recruiting. Our vast network of connections spans industries and functions, which puts us in a unique position to understand a company’s requirements outside of the HR organization. We have successfully placed many Board Members and other C-Suite Executives and enjoy the challenges of recruiting at these levels.