March 25, 2019 – Executive recruiters continue to be in hot pursuit of chief human resource officers and other senior-level HR leaders across the nation. Recently, Domino’s Pizza retained Hanold Associates to find its next CHRO. Jason Hanold, CEO and co-managing partner of the search firm, is leading the assignment. He is joined by partners Keri Gavin, Ashley Schiele and Sonia Nagra.
Reporting to the CEO, the CHRO will be a crucial member of the Domino’s executive leadership team leading all talent functions. This business-first HR executive will have subject matter expertise across all aspects of human resources, including recruiting, organization design/effectiveness, training and development, change management, compensation and benefits (including executive compensation), inclusion/diversity, employee relations and HR systems and processes.
Domino’s Pizza, based in Ann Arbor, MI, aspires to become a $25 billion global business by 2025, almost doubling where it ended 2018 ($13.5 billion). This follows a decade of industry leading growth where U.S. store volumes have doubled and its international business just completed 100 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth. Like any fast-growing company, its current people practices must be re-examined to ensure they support such aggressive enterprise goals.
“The new CHRO must be excited for this challenge and to partner with the Domino’s management team to enable the organization to achieve its vision through innovative and sustainable people practices,” Hanold Associates said.
Domino’s Pizza is the largest pizza seller in the world and the seventh largest global fast food chain with more 15,900 locations in 85 different international markets. Stores are mostly franchises (93 percent in the U.S., owned by more than 800 franchise owners), with Domino’s owning and operating about 400 stores.
Evolving CHRO Role
The CHRO role is important to not just Domino’s but all organizations. “A distinctive chief HR officer sets the tone, tempo and behaviors that define the culture, and then the strategies, methodologies and practices to attract, retain and develop the organization’s talent,” Mr. Hanold said. “This, in turn, either elevates or erodes the company’s results, community, brand and profitability. Besides the CEO, no other C-suite position has more opportunity and potential to broadly impact the entire organization.”
The CHRO role has evolved tremendously in recent years, which has caused companies to seek new qualities in their incoming HR leaders. “The expectations continue to heighten as boards and CEOs become more sophisticated in their appreciation and understanding of what ‘great HR’ looks like and can accomplish,” said Mr. Hanold. “Today’s contemporary HR officer must possess ever deeper business acumen, and credibly voice substantial perspectives on the business beyond just people practices.”
Unfortunately, he said, too many CEOs report that they simply want one who is “proactive” in their approach. “That is a pretty basic operational characteristic – it’s fundamental – and some still occupy that top role yet do not drive and own their results,” said Mr. Hanold.
Today, more companies see the CHRO as a potential successor C-suite executive role, including to that of the CEO, said Mr. Hanold. “More are being recruited to public company boards,” he said. “It’s more common to recruit CHROs who have had rotation into other areas of the business, and then coming back into HR. Fundamentally, we hear less about ‘new’ traits, and more about the lack of effective execution or a credible voice among other executive committee leaders. So the demand heightens for stronger leadership traits over different experiences.”
Veteran HR Recruiters
Hanold Associates is a boutique search firm specializing in HR officer assignments. Mr. Hanold founded the firm in 2010. In addition to the Domino’s, some of Hanold’s more recent CHRO searches include those for the National Football League, Patagonia, REI, UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), Gucci, Live Nation Entertainment, Northwestern University, Electronic Arts, Fiat-Chrysler, Kohler, TPG, Marvin Companies, SC Johnson, eBay, Great Place To Work, Heinz, Fossil, Vail Resorts, Edward Jones, AbbVie, Carnival Corporation, Google, Biogen, Allstate, Bridgestone, Silicon Valley Bank, T. Rowe Price, Wikimedia, Cargill, CNA Financial, Cummins, Tyson, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, ClubCorp, Foundation Medicine, Deckers Outdoors (Ugg and Teva), CDW, Oaktree Capital and Nike, among others.
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Mr. Hanold previously served as a managing director with Russell Reynolds Associates, where he led the firm’s global human resources officer practice and was a member of the board of directors and CEO practices.
Ms. Gavin is focused on recruiting HR leaders in talent acquisition, organizational development, talent management, operations and total rewards. Her signature strength is said to be her relationship-building skills. She was previously director of host relations and customized training for Ragan Communications. There, she fostered relationships with communications leaders at Fortune 500 companies to secure event partnerships.
With an advanced degree in organizational psychology, Ms. Schiele leverages both organizational dynamics and skill assessment to help identify and recruit key talent. Before joining Hanold Associates, she worked as an account manager/recruiter for Kappa Search, a small technical recruiting firm based in Chicago’s West Loop. In this role, she was a full life-cycle recruiter, developing and maintaining long-term relationships with candidates and clients. Ms. Schiele has recruited candidates across industries and functions including, but not limited to, manufacturing, supply chain, engineering, IT, sales and marketing.
Ms. Nagra focuses on recruiting HR talent across various functions and industries. She brings years of diverse experience leveraging her organizational and relationship building skills to help recruit premier HR leaders. Before joining Hanold Associates last year, Ms. Nagra was a senior HR and operations administrator for Axxiome Group, a financial services IT consulting firm based in Europe.
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