Major League Baseball Selects Hanold Associates to Find Chief HR and Diversity Officer

With the addition of this new role, professional baseball continues to up its game. Connectivity and the interplay between diversity & inclusion and HR is designed to help MLB deliver a more holistic talent strategy and perspective. Let’s go inside the search.

January 9, 2020 – With spring training just over a month away, Major League Baseball has turned to Chicago-based Hanold Associates to assist in recruiting a chief human resources and diversity officer. Jason Hanold, CEO and co-managing partner of the search firm, is leading the assignment along with partner Keri Gavin.

“The MLB has had a significant focus on diversity, most recently with Renee Tirado (recruited to Gucci) leading the effort, and Wendy Lewis before that (now at McDonald’s), but their HR efforts have had a strong labor relations focus,” said Mr. Hanold. “They are continuing to elevate the importance in the connectivity and interplay between diversity & inclusion efforts and HR evolving into a more holistic talent strategy and perspective.” MLB, he added, continues to make greater investments in its people, talent and diversity capabilities.

“The most critical nuance is that in stepping into a role that is fundamentally newly created, they will have to build immediate credibility across a multitude of stakeholders to effectively partner with Dan Halem (deputy commissioner), Rob Manfred (commissioner), and the broader MLB leadership team and club ownership,” Mr. Hanold said. He said his firm will conduct a national search, looking for candidates with the requisite depth of experience in HR leadership blended with rotations through diversity and inclusion leadership roles. “A CHRO could not ask for a better leader and partner than who they will find in Dan Halem,” he said.

Reporting to Mr. Halem, the chief HR and diversity officer will be the key leader for all human capital and diversity-related strategies and decisions within the league office through on-field talent. The incoming leader will lead a team of 40 employees in HR and diversity and inclusion to oversee and establish more rigor throughout all HR and diversity capabilities across the organization, including recruitment, training, leadership development, change management, compensation and benefits, diversity and inclusion and organizational design.

As one of the largest and most popular sports leagues in the world, MLB needs to recruit, develop and retain top talent to ensure that people around the world can continue to enjoy baseball, said the search firm. Along with the talent function, key initiatives for this leader stepping into the role will also include compensation and benefits design as well as championing a diverse, inclusive and healthy culture across the organization.

Hanold Associates Recruits Head of Diversity for Gucci
Hanold Associates has recruited Renée Tirado as the global head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Gucci. Hunt Scanlon Media first reported the onset of the search last March, as the hunt for diversity chiefs intensified.

“We had a very collaborative, determined and decisive client in Gucci,” said Mr. Hanold. “We were able to offer candidates the option of starting in either Milan or New York, and the opportunity for global impact was very attractive to a strong slate of contenders. Gucci’s leadership played a hands-on role in helping to drive the search through their transparency and authenticity.”

The ideal candidate will come from a customer-centric environment and possess a service-oriented focus and mindset. In addition, the individual should have a deep business acumen, strategic insight and hands-on approach. The leaders within MLB are very hands-on and pour long hours into their work, said Hanold Associates.

MLB wants someone with 15 years of progressive HR and diversity leadership experience in consumer-centric organizations, said the search firm. The baseball league seeks an individual with strong organizational development, coaching and facilitation skills with a track record of building successful training and development capabilities for an organization at all levels. Candidates should have knowledge of what makes a healthy culture in an organization as well as how to drive and establish those aspects.

Related: To Improve Diversity, Recruiting Sector Must Set a New Course

Experience creating and streamlining compensation programs across a company as well as selecting and administering compensation and benefits programs that help motivate and achieve desired behaviors that are aligned with the company’s strategy is also preferred. In addition, the winning candidate will have a marketing mindset with the ability to drive an agenda. Prospects should be confident without being arrogant, direct without being aggressive. They must also be ego-less in approach with a service-orientation and mentality.

Carrington & Carrington Recruits Chief Diversity Officer for McDonald’s
In arguably the most important global chief diversity officer searches to come along in years, executive search firm Carrington & Carrington has snared Major League Baseball‘s diversity head, Wendy Lewis, to serve as vice president and global chief diversity officer for McDonald’s. She replaces Patricia Harris who retired after 40 years of service. Willie E. Carrington led the search.

Major League Baseball is the organization that represents America’s pastime. With operations and teams located across the U.S. and Canada, MLB’s business operations are headquartered in midtown Manhattan. Between all front-office and on-field employees, including the 30 clubs, central office, MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network, the league’s total number of employees is about 12,000, 1,448 of whom are employees at the central headquarters.

HR Recruiting Veterans

Hanold Associates is a retained boutique executive search firm focused on HR and diversity & inclusion officers. Their client list is diverse across industries, geographies and business scenarios, and culture is at the core of everything they do. Their clients include the National Football League, Domino’s Pizza, Under Armour, Patagonia, Gucci, Kohler, REI, Live Nation Entertainment, Major League Baseball, Kellogg, Apollo, Blackstone, TPG, L Catterton, Northwestern University, Electronic Arts, Fiat-Chrysler, Kohler, SC Johnson, eBay, Great Place To Work, Fossil, Vail Resorts, Edward Jones, AbbVie, Carnival Corp., Google, Biogen, Allstate, Bridgestone, Wikimedia, CNA Insurance, Cummins, Tyson, ClubCorp, CDW, Nike and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, among others.

Ms. Gavin focuses 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. Ms. Prospero focuses on the recruitment of HR professionals across industries including learning and development, talent management, HRBP, total rewards, talent acquisition, organizational development, and diversity and inclusion.

Related: Tackling Gender Imbalance between Boards and Executive Teams

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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