Demand for Chief HR Officers Is Rising At American Companies

September 16, 2015 – The American Diabetes Association has retained Diversified Search to lead its search for a chief human resources officer (CHRO).

Demand for C-level HR executives is rising, according to recruiters specializing in the function, as upbeat U.S. hiring forecasts point to a growing sense of urgency within the HR community to prepare and plan for potential talent shortages.

“Chief human resource officers are one of the most in-demand executive positions this year,” said Hunt Scanlon founding chairman Scott A. Scanlon. “We have been tracking developments in this role and our findings suggest that CHROs are gaining in influence — moving from a support function to one much more focused on business strategy and operational effectiveness.” If anything, said Mr. Scanlon, “the rise of the CHRO speaks volumes about the importance companies are placing on talent strategies and leadership planning.”

The American Diabetes Association search is being led by Andrew C. Wheeler, managing director and practice leader for Diversified Search’s education and not-for-profit search practice, and Judy M. Boreham, managing director and human resources practice leader. The position will be located in Alexandria, VA.

“We are pleased to be selected by the American Diabetes Association for this critical assignment and will utilize our extensive experience working with not-for-profit organizations and our national human resources platform to recruit an exemplary leader,” said Mr. Wheeler.

“The chief human resources officer position for the American Diabetes Association will require an individual with a passion for the mission as well as a strong track record in leading change and contributing to the next phase of the Association’s development,” said Ms. Boreham.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, the American Diabetes Association leads the battle against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fights for those affected by it by funding research to prevent, cure and manage the disease, delivering services to hundreds of communities and providing objective and credible information.

Diversified Search has worked with more than 300 educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations to recruit talent. Its not-for-profit search practice serves associations, foundations, arts and culture organizations, religious organizations, workforce development organizations as well as professional and social service organizations.

Over the past year, Diversified Search has recruited Milton Anderson as CHRO at Barnabas Health, and Clyde Stutts to lead the human capital efforts for Cortland Partners — of one of the largest real estate multi-family developers in the U.S. Those companies join of chorus of leading multinationals, mid-cap and emerging companies across industries that are seeking or have recently found CHROs: Video Equipment Rentals, NYC Outward Bound Schools, CPI Card Group, Patagonia, Outward Bound, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), Opera Solutions, Asbury Automotive Group Inc., PAE, Carson Tahoe Health and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“Chief HR officers are specifically called upon to provide strategic, high level staffing advice,” said Mr. Scanlon. “But the role has developed and matured in recent years to include providing guidance in CEO succession planning, executive compensation, diversity initiatives, and organizational development. Building high performance senior leadership teams allows companies to achieve great outcomes — CHROs are on the front lines to effect that success.”

Recent hiring trends show that a full one-third of companies polled said their organizations were hiring for HR positions, including CHRO. This number is up from 20 percent just 18 months ago. According to a just released survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, the need for HR expertise increases dramatically with company size. Just one percent of small companies (those with one to 99 employees) are recruiting for HR positions, according to the summer 2015 survey results. On the other end of the spectrum, nearly two thirds (65 percent) of employers with 25,000 or more workers are now hiring for HR jobs.

This research concurs with findings from Hunt Scanlon CHRO surveys which indicate that as large companies bring their more significant executive recruiting work in-house, there is a developing need for top-flight CHROs who can oversee the entire corporate personnel spectrum, from top to bottom. “While search firms might be losing business to these in-house recruiting departments,” said Mr. Scanlon, “the smart ones are gaining some of that business back by taking on the task of finding the next great CHRO.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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