Spencer Stuart Places CEO at SHRM

June 6, 2017 – After an extensive search, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has named Johnny C. Taylor as president and CEO. The organization enlisted Spencer Stuart to find its new leader. Since 2010, SHRM has been led by Henry G. Jackson, who announced his retirement this past January. Mr. Taylor is the second attorney to lead the organization and the second African-American after Mr. Jackson to take the job.

Mr. Taylor was president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) for the past seven years and is credited with raising the organization’s stature and funding. He has a diverse background in leadership and people strategies across various global organizations and industries. Before joining the TMCF, he was responsible for the global HR function at IAC, a portfolio of publicly traded media and internet businesses, later assuming the CEO role for one of IAC’s operating companies.

Mr. Taylor also served in the dual role of general counsel and senior vice president of HR for Paramount Parks & Live Entertainment, as well as vice president of HR at Blockbuster Entertainment. In addition, he was a labor and employment partner at the McGuireWoods LLP law firm and served as the president of the firm’s human resource consulting firm. He has served on multiple for-profit and mission-driven boards, with human resource management as one of his top priorities. Mr. Taylor has been a longtime member of SHRM and served as chair of its board in 2005 and 2006.

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Executives continue to say that their organizations cannot succeed without assertive HR leaders who can take a strong stance on talent issues and use relevant facts, including data analytics, to deliver an informed point of view.

Visionary Leader

“Johnny Taylor is a visionary leader and accomplished HR strategist who is committed to the continued advancement of the profession, and the board of directors looks forward to working with him,” said Coretha M. Rushing, board chair of SHRM. “Johnny has such a breadth of experience: HR, legal, operational, strategic, for profit, not for profit, etc. He brings to SHRM a vision for the organization and an even larger vision for the profession.”

Mr. Taylor brings strong feelings about human resources management to the job. “I strongly believe that we need more aggressive leadership in the HR profession,” he said. “We need more of those courageous leaders who step up and take responsibility and show that HR has an important leadership role in today’s workplace.”

SHRM is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, it has been a provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of the field.

Spencer Stuart’s CEO practice, for its part, has conducted nearly 1,500 CEO search and succession assignments over the past five years. Veteran recruiter Jim Citrin leads the firm’s North American CEO sector group. During his 20-plus years with the firm, Mr. Citrin has worked with clients on more than 600 CEO, board director, CFO and other top management searches and CEO succession assignments.

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In partnership with CEOs, chief human resource officers (CHROs) are playing increasingly critical roles to ensure companies win the war for talent and maximize employee motivation across the globe, according to the ‘Executive Monitor’ report.

HR’s Influence

The importance of the human resource community cannot be underestimated. The CHRO role, of course, has always been essential. But changing times have helped to bring the position to new heights. According to Alan Guarino, vice chairman in the CEO and board services practice for Korn Ferry, there’s a bit of a revolution underway in the world of HR.

“Paying attention to the talent part of the business is critical to success,” he said. “Total human capital costs can account for as much as 70 percent of operating expenses, including for Fortune 500 companies. To get the most from this investment, organizations need to align their talent strategies and their business objectives.”

“Historically, HR has been very proud of its programs. The focus has been the programs and their component parts and not how they actually drove the successful execution of the business strategy. But today, it’s not about the programs. It’s about workstreams that align talent to the mission. This alignment puts CHROs in a very strategic position and in partnership with the CEO, CFO, chief marketing officers and other C-level leaders.”

The role of CHROs and their direct reports continues to evolve in terms of complexity and impact,” said Kimberly Shanahan, founding president and CEO of HR executive search and management consulting firm accelHRate. “These leaders are at the heart of linking business strategy with talent strategy and have an enormous amount of levers to work with these days. A strong HR organization is optimizing data/analytics, systems, talent development & management, talent acquisition, change management, workforce planning, M&A due diligence & integration, risk, succession planning, and total rewards, among other areas.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Chase Barbe, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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