July 7, 2022 – CHROs have become critical stakeholders in defining the strategy of a company. Their job description calls for them to tackle the HR challenges and evolving expectations of a dynamic workplace environment that will consist of constant change, calculated risk-taking, and evolving expectations from top stakeholders. Those well-equipped to achieve the greatest success will have diverse skill-sets, be adaptable and agile, and gain hands-on learning from working through real life situations and acquiring knowledge across disciplines and industries. Canadian healthcare provider Covenant Health recently retained Toronto-based Pender & Howe Executive Search to lead in its search for a new chief human resources officer. The search is being spearheaded by managing principal Glenn Lesko.
The CHRO provides strategic leadership to the human resources and communications portfolio. This role is accountable for the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of the people strategy and communications and community engagement plan, as well as a comprehensive range of human resources and communications programs and services.
Candidates should have a minimum of 10 years of senior human resource experience in a large, complex, unionized healthcare environment. They should also have generalist experience in all aspects of core human resources specialties, with extensive experience in labor relations. The position requires having the vision to identify emerging trends in healthcare and human resources and to participate in activities related to leading-edge human resource practices.
In addition, candidates should be willing to keep abreast of developing issues and challenges that have an impact upon the healthcare and social services environments. They must have a strong customer focus, commitment to continuous quality improvement, and a results-oriented management style.
With a focus on serving the most vulnerable and marginalized in society, Catholic healthcare provider Covenant Health provides high quality care across the full range of healthcare services in 12 communities across Alberta, Canada. Its workforce numbers about 11,000 staff, 730 volunteers, and 2,410 physicians. Covenant Health is committed to diversity and inclusion, serving, employing, and celebrating people of all faiths, cultures, and backgrounds.
Pender & Howe Executive Search is a boutique executive search firm with offices in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Edmonton, Vancouver, and San Francisco. The firm has more than 30 years of combined experience in leadership advisory and executive search. Pender & Howe focuses on collaborating with governing boards and CEOs in identifying world-class executive leaders. It provides leadership solutions that encompass venture capital firms, private equity, new technologies, emerging sectors, as well as board advisory positions. Its clients range from pre-seed start-ups and VC-backed disrupters to global public companies. Specialties include executive search, CEO search, leadership strategy, succession planning, executive assessment, talent management, executive recruiting, culture transformation, board services, and digital transformation.
Finding HR Leaders and Diversity Chiefs Remains Hot Spot for Executive Recruiters
More and more, chief executive officers have recognized the strategic role that the human resources function plays in the core strategic issues their companies face, including growth strategy, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, increased board oversight, and evolving governance and reporting. HR can also ensure that clear changes are made to recruitment and capability-building processes by determining the characteristics of a “purpose driven” employee and embedding these attributes within recruitment, development, and succession planning.
“In my 30-plus years of working with HR executives, this has been one of the most critical times I have seen for a company to have a highly capable HR function with strong leadership,” said Alan Berger, vice president, human resources search at StevenDouglas. “Setting and implementing a strategy of how to make sure the workforce stays engaged and highly productive in an onsite, hybrid or remote setting, with the headwinds of a labor shortage and unprecedented resignations, is incredibly challenging. In the end, the work has to get done and deciding on how that can be accomplished and under ever changing COVID rules and mandates falls squarely on HR leadership’s plate.”
Pender & Howe recently joined Kestria, formerly known as IRC Global Executive Search Partners. “We are thrilled to represent Kestria in Canada and the USA, and we are committed to fulfilling the alliance’s mission of providing first-class executive search services wherever you are in the world, with our efforts in Canada and the USA,” said Travis Hann, managing partner of Pender & Howe. “We are confident this will be a mutually beneficial partnership for many years to come.:
Mr. Lesko co-leads Pender & Howe’s North American operations. Previously, he built and led the education, life sciences, and consumer goods practice for Lock Search Group, Pender & Howe’s sister firm in Western Canada.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media