KBRS Expands HR Consulting Practice

August 19, 2020 – The executive search field continues to be a welcoming landing pad for HR and talent executives looking for a career change. Nova Scotia-headquartered executive search firm KBRS recently added Barbara Meens Thistle to its human resources consulting practice. She will work with organizations and leaders in Atlantic Canada as a senior strategic HR advisor, providing guidance on strategy to help navigate change and to create strong workplace cultures and strong teams.

“I am thrilled to welcome Barbara to our HR consulting practice,” said Jeff Forbes, managing partner leading the firm’s HR consulting practice. “She is an outstanding HR and business leader, and her extensive experience as a senior executive within large, complex organizations will be an asset to our clients as they work towards individual, team and organization wide leadership and talent strategy goals.”

For over 25 years, Ms. Meens Thistle was an HR and business leader and has provided strategic senior counsel to organizations across Canada including prominent Atlantic Canadian companies. She began her career in British Columbia holding progressive senior HR roles within the banking and energy sectors before relocating to Halifax as the national director of HR for Eastlink. She then joined Emera Inc. to become the general manager of human resources of Nova Scotia Power and later chief human resources officer for Emera Inc., with oversight of the HR, safety, and health and wellness functions across the entire Emera Group of Companies.

Ms. Meens Thistle returned to Vancouver in 2014 to work for the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC – a Crown Corporation) overseeing HR, strategic planning and procurement. Most recently, she was vice president of human resources at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver until early 2020. She has been actively involved with non-for-profit boards throughout her career and currently sits as a board member for Ocean Wise, a global ocean conservation organization.

“Having worked in partnership with KBRS in the past as an executive, I am pleased to be joining a team that I know is committed to supporting organizations as they develop and strengthen their most valuable asset – their people,” said Ms. Meens Thistle.

KBRS’ human resources consulting practice helps organizations optimize the performance of their teams through consulting services including leadership coaching and development programs; strategic HR advising; change management; compensation consulting; labor relations; talent assessment; succession planning and strategic planning.

“We understand that the evolving talent development and HR advisory needs of organizations often outpace internal capacity, and that organizations are continually looking for ways to augment and optimize the performance of their teams,” said Mr. Forbes. “That’s where our experienced team of consultants, like Barbara, are able to provide support and guidance.”

Founded in 1975, Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette has an extensive record of experience in executive search in Canada. The firm has a team of over 60 professionals located in offices in Halifax, Moncton, St. John’s, Edmonton and Toronto. The firm works in partnership with Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge’s 27 offices across Canada and Knightsbridge Amrop’s network of more than 80 offices in 50 countries, giving Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette both local presence and global reach.

HR Leaders Transition to Recruiters

For chief human resources officers, chief talent officers and other C-suite HR executives, the cross-over skills required in the search business are nearly identical, and Hunt Scanlon Media has recently tracked a number of successful transitions. We have taken note of the trend among top-ranking HR executives reestablishing themselves as executive recruiters. Here’s a look at some of the more prominent ones:

Greensboro, NC-based executive search firm Charles Aris recently expanded with the addition of talent management veteran Danielle Bowman as vice president of human capital and organizational development. Before joining Charles Aris, Ms. Bowman was senior director of talent management, human resources, for Primo Water Corp. in Winston-Salem, NC. 

Irvine, CA-based McDermott + Bull expanded with the addition of former HR executive Alisa Nagle as a managing director to drive the firm’s global industrial, automotive and mobility practice. Based in Detroit, she will also play a critical role in launching the firm’s office in the region. Ms. Nagle has spent over 25 years as a human capital leader and transformation business partner. As a former chief human resources officer and head of human resources, she excels in identifying and assessing top leadership talent to achieve game-changing transformation, growth, and success for her clients in the industrial sector. 

Protis Global has added Cheri Ehrlich Eisen as its SVP of business development. In her extensive 20-plus years of talent acquisition and HR leadership experience, she has partnered with major entities in the entertainment space, including Walt Disney Television and NBC Universal. Ms. Eisen currently serves as president of RAZR Recruiting + Consulting, which was launched in 2015 to help businesses find key talent for their organizations. Before that, she was senior director of human resources and talent acquisition for Fusion, an ABC – Univision joint venture.

Cognitive Talent Partners expanded with the addition of former CHRO Ajay Bakshi as senior client partner. Mr. Bakshi is a CEO /CXO-level executive coach, board-level human resources professional and strategic business advisor. With more than 25 years of experience, he has held senior-level HR and board-level positions as a chief human resources officer with Vodafone Global Services, Prudential Global Services and Sterlite Technologies & Power.

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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