The Christopher Group Selected by Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters to Find Chief People Officer

The search firm’s founder, Tom Christopher, and Tobin Anselmi are leading this important search on behalf of Virginia’s only freestanding children’s hospital. The client wants a leader to oversee the strategic development, implementation, and administration of its HR programs and services, and to manage the day-to-day human resource operations. Let’s go inside the search.

March 16, 2022 – Talent acquisition strategies at many large companies have become as complex as their balance sheets. And while chief human resource officers play a vital role in overseeing an organization’s broad-based workforce, it is the chief people officer who typically goes beyond overseeing its people policies. The focus instead is on building talent as a key competitive advantage, with more emphasis put on culture, which includes values, ethics, and mission.

Today, the chief people officer position is still a relatively new title within the HR function. It first appeared about a decade ago. But now, as companies look to build internal brand awareness and set their sights more on establishing and driving their own unique cultures, CPOs are coming more into vogue. The Christopher Group (TCG), a boutique HR executive search and business solutions recruiting firm, was recently retained to find a new chief people officer for Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD), a children’s hospital in southeastern Virginia and the only freestanding children’s hospital in the state. The search is being led by founder and CEO Tom Christopher and managing director Tobin Anselmi.

“We are tremendously excited to have been selected to once again assist Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters fill a critically important HR leadership role,” said Mr. Christopher. “Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters is one of the leading children’s hospitals in the nation and helping them place a new chief people officer to lead their HR function is a great honor.”

The chief people officer will report to the COO and oversee the strategic development, implementation, and administration of human resources programs and services to support the mission, vision, and values of CHKD and its team members. Through the HR leadership team, this executive will manage the day-to-day operations of the human resources department, keeping senior leadership apprised of non-routine developments. The hospital’s chief people officer serves as a strategic partner and consultant to the board, senior leadership, physicians, management, and employees on people-related matters. While a high level of independence in performance of the role and/or solution of problems is expected, demonstrated teamwork and collaboration is equally essential for successful functioning.

Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters offers a network of comprehensive pediatric services for children from birth to age 21 in more than 40 locations that stretch from Williamsburg, VA to Elizabeth City, NC, with special units for neonatal and pediatric intensive care, cancer care, acute inpatient rehabilitation, medical and surgical care, and transitional care. As a freestanding, full-service children’s hospital, the entire facility and all members of the medical team are devoted exclusively to the needs of young people, and the patients benefit from the full range of pediatric specialists and support services available only at freestanding children’s hospitals.

Veteran Recruiters

Founded in 1998 by Tom and Paula Christopher (former HR executives with GE, Pepsi, Progressive Insurance and Citigroup), The Christopher Group is a leading boutique HR executive search and staffing solutions firms. The firm is staffed by former HR professionals and trained search practitioners who use proprietary, scientific, and industry-leading systems, tools, and processes. The firm has offices in Willoughby, OH; Sarasota, FL; and Kansas City, MO.

Mr. Christopher has a personal practice focused primarily at the VP, SVP and CHRO levels. He has completed executive HR searches, with a diverse set of clients, across multiple industry verticals including but not limited to Pepsi, Honeywell, Capital One, BP, Kraft, US Foods, Raytheon, Ingersoll-Rand, Vanderbilt University, Delaware North, CDW, Medco, Citigroup, Johns Hopkins University, Eastman Chemical, Comcast, and many others. With over 30 years of experience in human resources and executive search, his deep understanding of business strategy, organizational structures, and talent acquisition/ assessment/ development have allowed him to become an invaluable search and business partner to senior executives at a list of Fortune 500 organizations.

Related: Allen Institute Taps Christopher Group for Top HR Search

For more than 30 years, Dr. Anselmi has served as a consultant to organizational leadership on human capital management issues such as talent selection, performance management, development, and movement, organizational effectiveness, change management, and leadership development. Dr. Anselmi has held a variety of leadership roles with companies such as Aon Consulting, Frito-Lay, Dell, Microsoft and Materion. Most recently he was vice president, global talent management at Diebold Nixdorf, where he led the talent acquisition, learning and development, and talent management teams.

The Christopher Group recently recruited Case McGee as chief people officer of Clayton Homes Building Group (CHGB), the largest builder of manufactured housing and modular homes in the U.S. and a Berkshire Hathaway company. “This was one of the more difficult and rewarding searches that we have completed in recent memory,” said Nat Schiffer, managing director. “Clayton Homes has such an incredibly successful and defined culture. They are a legendary employment brand in the region and beyond. They do not often recruit from the outside, especially for C-suite roles, and therefore finding the right fit was 80 percent-plus of the challenge in executing the search. Dr. Anselmi and I interviewed scores of candidates that were technically capable of doing the job – but finding the right chemical profile to successfully assimilate into the Clayton professional family was the real trick. This is another example of our ability to meet the needs of the most discerning clients where the stakes of a failed hire could not be greater,” he added.

Chief People Officer Recruiting

Executive search firms have been stepping up their efforts to assist companies across the nation to find new chief people officers. Here is a look at few recent searches from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Daversa Partners, which helps build leadership teams for growth and venture-backed companies, has assisted in the recruitment of Meghan Lapides as the new chief people officer of SmartAsset, an online destination for financial information and advice and a national marketplace connecting consumers to financial advisors. Associate director Emma Sullivan and director Samantha Pernice led the assignment. Joining the company’s executive leadership team and reporting to co-founder and CEO Michael Carvin, Ms. Lapides will oversee and scale a fully integrated people discipline that will help drive aggressive growth and expansion. In this new role, she will be responsible for all aspects of SmartAsset’s human resources department and strategy, including talent acquisition and management, onboarding, leadership development, compensation and benefits, culture and engagement, diversity and inclusion, and employee relations.

Lindauer has helped to place Shari Stier as the new chief people officer for Fenway Health, a Boston-based healthcare, research and advocacy organization that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. She will assume the role on April 4. Faith Eutsay led the assignment for the search firm. Ms. Stier brings over 20 years of experience, including a track record of building successful staffing recruitment, management and retention strategies grounded in organizational values, transparent communication, and collaborative decision-making. Most recently, she served as senior associate vice president and chief human resources officer at Emerson College.

Global HR search firm Frederickson Partners was recently selected to find a new chief people officer for GRAIL, a healthcare company focused on saving lives and improving health by pioneering new technologies for early cancer detection. The company’s human resources executive will be based in Menlo Park, CA, and will report to the company’s CEO. The new HR leader will be responsible for developing, guiding and growing a forward-thinking function that impacts GRAIL through their next phase of rapid growth and expansion. Founded in 1995, Frederickson Partners has completed over 2,500 HR executive searches and HR consulting engagements, according to the firm, maintaining relationships with more than 10,000 rising and established HR executives worldwide.

San Diego, CA-headquartered executive search firm Bespoke Partners recently placed Kerry Unflat as chief people officer of Zipari, a modern consumer experience solution. Alex Bossetta led the assignment. “In this moment of continued growth and expansion, it’s more important than ever that we ensure our employees have what they need to succeed, inside and outside the office,” said Mark Nathan, CEO of Zipari. “With over 20 years of human resources and talent management experience – much of it with a fast-growing software company – Kerry is the perfect person for the job. We’re delighted to welcome her to the team.”

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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