August 10, 2022 – The executive search field continues to be a welcoming landing pad for HR executives looking for a career change. Executive search consortium Signium recently appointed former HR executive Jim O’Brien as consulting partner in Dublin, Ireland. Mr. O’Brien is an accomplished HR veteran with 25 years of experience. He joins Signium from Aramark, where he was HR director for Aramark’s operations across Northern Europe. Mr. O’Brien has experience in both global multinationals including Diageo, Corus Group (now Tata), in addition to Aramark, plus major Irish companies including Bank of Ireland and DAA. He has worked internationally in the U.S. and the U.K. and performed a global leadership role with a multi-region footprint (Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific) while with Diageo. As HR director with Aramark, he was responsible for attracting, engaging and developing circa 16,000 employees in the U.K., Ireland, and wider EMEA across food services, facilities management, retail, and property management. Mr. O’Brien’s areas of HR subject matter expertise include talent management, organization effectiveness, leadership advisory, M&A, and reward.
Signium has 45 offices in 30 countries serving clients in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific regions. The firm delivers talent acquisition and management solutions for global companies across industry sectors, including consumer goods, financial services, technology, industrial, life sciences, and professional services.
HR Leaders Transition to Recruiters
For CHROs, chief talent officers, and other C-suite HR executives, the crossover 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:
Executive search firm Ducatus Partners has added decades of global human resources experience to its team with the addition of Gary McKinney as partner. “To support our clients at the very highest level, we pride ourselves on providing unparalleled insight,” said Allister Graham, managing partner at Ducatus. “Gary’s experience as an HR leader across multiple large energy organizations and private equity firms, as well as in solving complex talent challenges – both as a CHRO and as an advisor – perfectly equips him to do just that for our private equity and larger corporate clients. We are delighted to welcome him to our team and to our Houston (TX) office.”
London-headquartered executive search firm Hedley May has added former Houlihan Lokey CHRO Janine Cristiano as a partner in New York. “We are delighted to expand Hedley May’s market presence in the U.S. and enhance our franchise,” said Laura McPhail, U.S. partner. “Janine adds specialized expertise to our platform that will provide our clients with fresh insight as they seek to develop world class HR functions.” Ms. Cristiano previously served as chief human resources officer at Houlihan Lokey, Ares Management, and Smith Barney, and as head of human resources for corporate groups at Ernst & Young.
N2Growth, a Philadelphia-based management consulting and executive search firm, named former HR executive Jos van der Steen as partner, focusing on the firm’s European retail, financial services and digital transformation practices. “In his capacity as HR director, Jos has always been a vocal supporter and client of N2Growth,” said Jaco Erasmus, EMEAA partner and member of the N2Growth board. “Having made a career switch to executive search, we are honored to welcome him as partner within the executive search practice of N2Growth Benelux. Every HR director knows how crucial it is to get the right executives onboard at the right moment in time. Jos has been on the hiring side of the table for many years and offers a lot of experience and understanding with respect to clients’ executive search needs.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media