July 22, 2019 – Executive recruiters continue to be in hot pursuit of senior-level HR leaders across the nation. West Hartford CT-based Academic Career & Executive Search was recently tapped by the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) to help find its next chief human resources officer. Jennifer Muller, co-founder and managing partner, is leading the assignment.
The Dallas County Community College District wants a highly accomplished, collaborative leader and change agent with a successful track record in the areas of talent acquisition, development, succession planning, support and management. “This is a critical role carrying full responsibility for the vision, leadership and administration of system-wide human resources, leadership development and employee relations programs,” said the search firm.
This highly visible position reports directly to the chancellor and serves as a senior-level administrator and member of the chancellor’s cabinet.
Principal duties and responsibilities include transforming the human resources operation into a strategic talent-focused and systemic service-oriented function, said Academic Career & Executive Search. The new CHRO must have the ability to assess and organize networked resources in a positive manner, whether through direct supervision or indirect influence. He or she will be responsible for promoting an organizational culture of inclusivity and appreciation for the diversity represented in the county, the student body, and the employee population to be served.
The new CHRO will be expected to build a comprehensive strategy to align recruitment and development activities to satisfy network needs driven from the board strategic initiatives, through strong internal alliances and strategic external partnerships, said the search firm. The individual must also develop and maintain a system of total compensation which attracts quality applicants, rewards outstanding work and results, and encourages longevity in return for productivity, among other responsibilities.
The successful candidate should have familiarity and experience working with and leveraging technology in all aspects of the recruitment, acquisition, onboarding, retention and management of talent including utilizing smart technology, validated AI and algorithms, AI chatbots and social media, said Academic Career & Executive Search.
The role also calls for the ability to assess, implement and best deploy strategies for efficient and productive delivery of human resources and talent services across a system in a centralized or decentralized manner, said the search firm. Strategic understanding of the process, tools and systems available to support dynamic decision-making is essential. As is the ability to assess organizational structure options that are available to the district to support a student-centric network with an expanded strategic role for human resources.
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Also required is an interest in, and a successful record of, strategic risk-taking and change management, requiring the identification and elimination of barriers to the delivery of the required result within a culture that is responsive, nimble, innovative, effective and results oriented.
Candidates should possess vision and organizational strengths to assess and identify requirements needed to move from the current structure to a new structure, as applicable, said Academic Career & Executive Search. Also needed is the ability to identify new competencies/ skills/ capabilities needed initially and ongoing in a new structure as well as ability to develop a reasonable plan to either re-train current staff or hire new staff.
A master’s degree is required, said the recruitment firm. Candidates should also have five to eight years of upper-level administrative experience in a comparable position and five years of supervisory experience. Human resource leadership in a complex, multi-million dollar organization is also necessary. Advanced certification in human resources is preferred.
The DCCCD is one of the largest community college systems in Texas and among the largest in the U.S. Since 1965, the district has served more than three million people. The seven independently accredited colleges of DCCCD are Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland.
Academic Career & Executive Search focuses on executive search services, career planning and candidate coaching. Specializing in challenging faculty to senior administrative positions, the firm offers six a la carte services spanning full search, candidate generation, interim, multi-hire and contingency (pay after hire) search. Candidate support services include webinars, career planning and candidate coaching. Its team has served in virtually every capacity in higher education including president, vice president, provost, dean, chief human research officer and faculty members across all types and sizes of institutions.
Ms. Muller has more than 20 years’ research and development experience in higher education and Fortune 500 companies. She has successfully led over 70 higher education searches both domestically and internationally spanning presidents, vice presidents, associate chancellors, deans, directors, chairs and faculty level positions. Ms. Muller speaks globally on issues relating to higher education recruitment. She is former vice chair of the American Council on Education (ACE) Executive Search Roundtable and serves as an advisor in the numerous ACE leadership development forums.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media