Allen Institute Taps Christopher Group for Top HR Search

As one of the top open science research organizations, the Allen Institute is seeking an executive director to serve as the executive partner and thought leader on people-related strategic initiatives and planning, organizational design, DE&I, and change management. Spearheading the search are Tom Christopher, founder and CEO, and director Jim May. Let’s head inside the search.

April 26, 2021 – The Christopher Group, a boutique HR executive search and business solutions firm, has been called in by the Allen Institute to lead its search for an executive director of human resources. Tom Christopher, founder and CEO, and Jim May, director, are leading the search. Reporting to the chief operations officer, the executive director will be the executive partner and thought leader on all people-related strategic initiatives and planning, organizational design, diversity, equity and inclusion, and change management throughout the organization. “This position is critical to build and advance their people in support of their institutional priorities and to develop a talent pipeline across the Allen Institute’s diverse teams,” said The Christopher Group.

In addition, the executive director will lead and oversee all aspects of human resources management, practices and operations to meet the needs of their growing and evolving institute including, yet not limited to, workforce planning, employee engagement, employee relations, training and development, performance management, compensation, benefits and systems. “The role will build upon current people, programs and service delivery strategies, lead organizational decision-making and talent strategy to secure growth while preserving core culture,” the search firm said. “Leading a talented group of human resources professionals, this role is accountable and responsible for all aspects of the employee experience and human resources services for a growing team of over 500 employees.”

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This is the second search that the Allen Institute has turned to The Christopher Group for help with in recent months. The search firm recently placed Crystal Stanfield as director of talent acquisition for the organization. Ms. Stanfield is a results-driven talent acquisition leader with 15 years of management experience in sales, customer service, operations and talent acquisition at global, multi-billion-dollar companies. She has been trusted by executives to create, implement and lead strategic talent initiatives that resulted in continuous sourced hires growth, brought down cost associated with agency usage and contributed to more equitably representative employee populations.

Previously, Ms. Stanfield served as global senior manager, talent acquisition, Americas for Advanced Sterilization Products. In this role she created and implemented sourcing strategy keeping business imperatives, cost effectiveness, time to fill and diversity of candidate slate top of mind in USCAN and LATAM with dotted line leadership support of EMEA and APAC recruitment initiatives. Before that, Ms. Stanfield was a talent acquisition manager at Enterprise Holdings.

Founded in 2003 by philanthropist, visionary, and co-founder of Microsoft, Paul G. Allen, the Allen Institute is a recognized leader in largescale, open science research. Its research institutes include the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Allen Institute for Cell Science, Allen Institute for Immunology and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group. Headquartered in Seattle, the Allen Institute’s commitment to share knowledge openly with the world has allowed the organization to solve some of the greatest mysteries of the human mind and body.

Founded in 1998 by Tom and Paula Christopher (former HR executives with GE, PepsiCo, Progressive Insurance and Citigroup), The Christopher Group is a boutique HR executive search and staffing solutions firms. It is a highly specialized organization, staffed by former HR professionals and trained search practitioners who use proprietary, scientific, and industry-leading systems, tools and processes. The firm has offices in Willoughby, OH; Sarasota, FL; and Kansas City, MO.

Diversity & Inclusion 

“Diversity and inclusion lead to innovation, creativity, and change,” said Mr. Christopher in a previously published interview with Hunt Scanlon Media. “When you bring together individuals from different backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, orientations, religions, socio-economic, disabilities, and so on they create an environment of exploration. Ultimately, a diverse organization leads to new ways of working, building organizations to solve and create better technology, solutions and ideas.”

The Christopher Group Launches Consulting Services Division, Adds Leaders
The Christopher Group, a boutique HR executive search and business solutions firm, has launched an HR consulting services division. The firm named Pam Noble as president of the new unit as well as practice leader for the firm’s expanding diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement practice, which will now be part of the consulting services division. In addition, Tobin Anselmi joins the firm as the unit’s talent management practice leader.

The new service offering was designed to help institutions with systems, tools and processes to deliver effective human capital solutions and leadership enabling them to retain, motivate, engage, develop and compensate the highest performing professionals, said the search firm. The new unit will work with leaders and teams to transform their organization enabling greater efficiencies, lower costs, improved agility, expanded innovation, and significantly improved individual and collective performance. “The reality is that we have been providing these services in a demand-pull capacity to our clients for many years and it was time to formalize the offering and practice,” said Tom Christopher, founder and CEO. “The big consulting houses are all excellent firms but when we spoke to our clients there has been a longstanding frustration with the quality of the consultants actually doing the work, the never-ending cost escalations, poor responsiveness, and ‘one-shoe-fits-all’ approach.”

The Christopher Group recently helped recruit diversity and inclusion executives for Corning Community College, dosist, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kraft Heinz and Life Technologies, among others. According to Mr. Christopher, top drawer diversity and inclusion executives bring many new perspectives and empathy to organizations. “They work with the leadership team to integrate the DEI strategy into high-level business strategy. They are intentional about the development of their culture from onboarding to retirement. Diversity and inclusion executives are there to create an environment of belonging – creating an organization that values the differences – looking at the behaviors and cultural nuances that make it a place where people want to work – bringing their authentic self to the office.”

Related: The Christopher Group Places CHRO for American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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