In recent years, HR leaders face growing demands spanning DEI, pandemic response, and AI. With these mounting pressures, we found that the HR leaders in our network were looking for community so they didn't have to navigate these uncharted waters alone.
The CHRO Compass was created to empower HR executives and rising leaders through community and insights during a tumultuous period for the profession. Dean Carter, in his role as Chief People and Purpose Officer at Guild, envisioned this initiative to respond to the increased and varied responsibilities shouldered by HR professionals over the last four years. We chose the compass because it points in many directions and pathways, but always has a true north star.
The CHRO Compass strives to elevate the impact of the strategic HR role and encourage leaders of people teams to keep purpose at the center of their approach. The initiative also aims to keep individuals informed and engaged through emails, blog posts, and social media posts — creating an ecosystem for community. Individuals receive updates on content, community, and events curated by Guild and other HR innovators.
Starting in March 2023, the team set out to produce a free monthly email newsletter, blog post, and LinkedIn post from Dean on a given theme — with a call to the subscriber community and Dean’s LinkedIn followers to respond to a set of questions and learn from one another. We sought to maintain an email open rate above industry standards as a proxy for interest and quality.
To bring the idea to life, Dean authored an exclusive article in HR Director that shared the vision of the CHRO Compass and 10 predictions about work and leadership in 2023, calling readers to join the community and drawing attention to some of the initial themes that eventually were used for the monthly newsletters and blog posts.
Following the article's publishing, an internal and external promotion plan was launched to bring awareness to the newsletter and encourage any interested parties in Guild’s extended networks to sign up. This included an integrated social media campaign across executive leadership at Guild and invitations to Guild’s advisors.
Over the past year, 11 newsletters were shared with topics stretching across AI, pay transparency, the importance of community, coaching, employee productivity, trust, HR technology, and more. Each newsletter — rooted in Dean's insights, predictions, and experiences — was guided by the ever-evolving workforce landscape. Each newsletter was shared on LinkedIn and the resource blog page of Guild’s website.
We ultimately settled on the following elements for each monthly edition of the CHRO Compass:
One of the early challenges we faced was a roughly 35 percentage point drop in the email open rate from our first month to our second (March 2023 to April 2023). After analyzing our content strategy, we decided to make the following adjustments:
Throughout the year, we continually brainstormed timely topics and themes with HR leaders and with various market-facing teams at Guild to ensure the subjects would resonate most with HR leaders and execs.
The newsletter's performance was evaluated across multiple metrics, including open rates, subscribers, and social media impressions. Notably, there was a substantial 85% increase in subscribers from the launch to the end of December 2023. Additionally, the average open rate during this period stood impressively at 44%.
The integrated social media campaign generated over 83K impressions on LinkedIn. A notable achievement of the campaign was the inclusion of September 2023’s edition in CBS Moneywatch and Fast Company. These articles spotlighted September’s theme of First Jobs (https://www.guild.com/latest-insights/path-for-skills-and-career-growth/), where Dean shared the importance of including early work experience in resumes and how they serve as the foundation in one's professional journey. This success was a direct outcome of the strategic social media approach around each newsletter.
The CHRO Compass has proven to be a clear success, leading to its expansion in 2024 into Compass by Guild—a dynamic publication and thought leadership program focused on helping forward-thinking leaders navigate what’s next. Compass explores innovative ideas from thought leaders across Guild and the ever-changing human resources landscape and provides an owned destination for Guild’s research, insights, and perspectives. It’s also the latest addition to a growing suite of offerings Guild is launching to connect and build a thriving community of purpose-driven people leaders and change makers.