Position Description

Chief People Officer
Location Chicago
Job Code 409
# of Openings 1
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About Chicago Public Media 

As  one of the largest and most respected public media organizations in the country , Chicago Public Media is home  to  WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news  source,  and a wide range  of popular  and  award-winning  podcasts   WBEZ reaches more than 500,000 listeners a week across radio and digital streaming platforms , and more than a million people  engage with our content on digital platforms. Chicago Public  Media  is  supported by 86,000  members,  and hundreds of  corporate sponsors and major donors who believe in our  mission : “ To nourish the public conversation by telling the stories that matter—stories that provoke thought, entertain, capture emotion and inspire action .” 

Chicago Public Media believes independent journalism is essential to a well-functioning democracy and access to fact-based, objective news and information  is  a right of every citizen.  They serve the public interest by creating diverse, compelling content that informs, inspires and enriches.  They connect diverse audiences and help them make a difference in the community, the region and the world.  They employ many who are inspired by their mission and who want to belong to an organization that inspires, supports, and challenges. 

In addition to  bringing  nationally syndicated public radio  news and talk  shows to a Chicagoland audience, WBEZ’s award - winning newsroom  desks  cover education, criminal justice,  politics  and government,  and race, class and communities The  newsroom  also  collaborates  with our content development studio to  create engaging  and educational  audio programs and podcasts such as  Making Obama , Making  Beyonce, Making  Oprah, Motive; 16 Shots Public Official A Curious City  and  Nerdette  and has a proud legacy as the  birthplace of iconic  nationally syndicated  programs such as  This American Life, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me… ,  and the ground-breaking podcast,  Serial. 

Chief People Officer  Job  Description 

Reporting to the President and CEO, the  Chief  People  Officer  will play a crucial role in building the human capital strategies  Chicago Public Media  needs to achieve its goals.   CPM’s  senior business leaders are committed to developing a long-term human capital plan that ensures the organization is building a diverse and inclusive workforce and one that is reflective of the community it serves.   The CPO  will  bring  vision and pragmat ism  to a role  that requires  strategic thinking  to achieve organizational goals as well as  the  tactical  skills necessary for the  implementation of HR initiatives .  

The  CPO  will serve as a trusted advisor, coach and colleague to the CEO and the executive leadership  team and  will  be a  proactive partner and collaborator  to  support  senior  executive s  in their ability to effectively recruit, deploy, grow and lead talent throughout the organization.   In collaboration with the CEO,  the CPO w ill  advise the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors  on compensation and benefit plans, including providing and discussing competitive analyses. 

In this role,  the CPO  will provide leadership, vision, development, and overall management of all HR activities and staff  including  the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives ;  learning and talent development efforts ;  and reinforcement of  the organization’s culture, values, and mission through the design and delivery of exceptional programs and services.  These programs and services should facilitate the professional development and continuous learning of team members, particularly executives, front-line managers and emerging leaders.   

The  CPO  will be a hands-on leader,  who will facilitate the  acquisition  and  retention of  the most qualified talent available ;  act as a catalyst and motivator for the continued development of a strong, open, community-centric culture ;  advise executive leadership in the development of long-range goals and initiatives ;  reprioritize  existing resources to support strategic initiatives; and accurately and clearly communicate performance expectations, opportunities, and issues to support the business lines.  

Key Responsibilities 

  • Advisor to CEO & Executive Leadership:Provide strategic thinking on  the hiring process , organizational effectiveness, performance management, talent development and change management. Engage with the CEO and Executive Leadership team to support the organization’s mission, vision, values, goals, and key metrics by developing  short- and long-range  HR  plans, strategies, and policies .  Understand  CPM ’s strategic business goals and develop  robust  HR strategies  and tactics, including training and development programs that support and align with these goals 

  • Human Capital Plan:   Create an HR strategic plan that aligns with that of the  organization. 

  • Culture Development:    Develop practices that foster an accountable, engaged  and  high-performing workforce that  reflects  the  mission,  values  and culture  of  CPM . 

  • Diversity , Equity  & Inclusion:   Create and implement the overarching company strategy for  DEI  as it relates to the mission, values and culture of  the organization. 

  • Learning & Development:   Establish the learning strategy and oversee training and development curricula to ensure program goals align with  CPM’s  mission values  and vision . 

  • Talent Acquisition: Develop a compelling employment brand and recruitment process for attracting, hiring and retaining  the best  talent. 

  • Talent Review & Management:   Create a talent review process that engages all managers in assessing and developing talent. 

  • Performance Management:    Implement a performance management program that emphasizes performance, collaboration and integrity, as well as  CPM ’s  values, and  empower s  employees to manage their own development and career trajectory. 

  • Develop and Coach HR Team:  Build internal consulting competencies  so  that the HR team  functions as  credible business partners, culture & change  agents ,  capable talent managers, organizational consultants, strategic thinkers, impactful coaches  and responsive solution providers . 

  • Compensation Strategy:  Create a  competitive,  structured  compensation  plan  that attracts ,  motivates ,  and retains talented staff , based on an  assessment  of current  market  conditions  and  aligned  a goal of  maintaining  and enhancing a  competitive position.   Ensure  immediate and long - term  compensation plans  are aligned with the strategic plan  of  the  organization . 

  • Stay Current:   Proactively see k  knowledge  and  expertise in the HR field, as well as stay abreast of general business trends and practices. 


The  CPO  will  be a strategic leader with a strong business acumen  and with  proven experience in building collaborative teams and relationships across all levels of the organization.    Specifically: 

  • You will have experience implementing best-in-class  HR practices, ideally in a non-profit and/or union environment . 

  • You  will have  expertise in talent review, talent management, change management and developing high performance work cultures . 

  • You  have  developed  competitive compensation plans  with specific emphasis on developing short- and long-term incentive plans aligned with the company s strategic focus and objectives . 

  • You have driven, measured, and delivered  results by establishing key HR performance indicators . 

  • You  have  played a significant role in  leading  initiatives  around  company  culture,  diversity & inclusion, learning & development ,  within  organizations  experiencing  change .  

  • You have  managed  employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.  

  • Bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or related field. An MBA or  Master’s  degree and SPHR certification is preferred. A combination of education and professional experience will be considered. 



The essential functions described above are not all-inclusive and may change periodically to meet the needs of Chicago Public Media (CPM).  The information contained in this job description is not intended to create any contractual or other legal commitment.  Chicago Public Media may change the content or format of this job at any time in its sole and exclusive discretion without notice.

Due to current COVID restrictions, you must be able to work remotely at your own designated location with internet access and also must be willing and able to work at our Navy Pier offices, if needed. As of present, the majority of our workforce is working remotely.


Working at Chicago Public Media
Our associates are in service of our mission. Our full-time employee population hovers around 150 people, and approximately half of our team is represented by SAG-AFTRA.  We work at our newly renovated open and collaborative space at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL.  We know it is imperative that our workplace reflects our community so we can, in turn, provide content that connects people.  We are committed to having a workplace that thrives by creating a place of belonging where everyone can contribute their talents.  If you share our passion for public service news and information, join us!  Check out our LinkedIn page for further details:  https://www.linkedin.com/company/chicago-public-radio/?viewAsMember=true


Chicago Public Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we actively seek and welcome people from all backgrounds, orientations and life experiences to join our team.

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