September 11, 2017 – Executive recruiters are in hot pursuit of chief human resource officers (CHRO) and other senior-level HR leaders across the nation. Why such pent-up demand for top flight HR experts?
According to executive recruiters, corporate leaders want HR leaders who are sophisticated, proactive and strategic-minded, with strong business savvy to drive their people capabilities like they would a P&L. CEOs, in particular, want their HR leaders to proactively recommend a host of forward-thinking initiatives that will provide a competitive advantage.
Recently, WinterWyman Executive Search placed former Nortek executive Liam Weston as CHRO at Hollingsworth & Vose, a global manufacturer of advanced materials for filtration, battery and industrial applications. Senior vice president and partner Beverly Morgan led the search.
As Hollingsworth’s CHRO, Mr. Weston will be the thought leader for the organization. His role will be to influence change, advance ideas and inspire trust, according to the company. He also will play a key part in coaching the executive leadership team on all things talent – from developing and managing a high-performance culture that aligns to strategy, to building an agile organization and challenging the traditional path to success. In addition, he is charged with driving organizational design, facilitating team effectiveness and overseeing training.
A CHRO View on Building Great Teams, From Inside and Out
Managing a large workforce at any company is no easy task. But when that workforce is 32,000 strong, it requires the steady hand of a top human resource leader who will keep everyone motivated, engaged, intact and forward thinking. And that’s across 160 countries encompassing every cultural nuance imaginable.
Before joining H&V, Mr. Weston was CHRO for Nortek, a billion-dollar manufacturer of diversified systems and equipment. Previously, he was CHRO at Invensys (now Schneider Electric) where he also held several U.S. and U.K.-based positions, including SVP of HR for the operations management business unit; SVP of HR for Invensys Rail; SVP of talent, HR strategy & corporate groups; and HR director for its process systems division. Mr. Weston also held several HR management positions with the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, now a subsidiary of Mars.
Hollingsworth & Vose is a privately-held global leader in the supply of advanced materials for filtration, battery separator and industrial applications. The company operates manufacturing sites and research centers in the Americas, Asia, Europe and India and is headquartered in Massachusetts.
WinterWyman has been advising an expanding client base for more than four decades. The firm supports leading organizations, from start-ups to some of the most recognized global brands.
Ms. Morgan has been a resource for top human resources and leadership talent for over 20 years. She has established herself as an advisor and business partner to CEOs, CHROs and VPs who rely on her to help interpret cultural fit as well as for her understanding of how HR evolves within different industries. She has completed more than 500 searches for clients such as NetScout, Anaqua, Monster, NewStar Financial, Brightcove, Osram Sylvania and others, from start-ups to multi-national corporations.
Ms. Morgan recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss the search and finding top HR leaders.
Beverly, what type of leader was Hollingsworth & Vose seeking?
They were seeking an HR expert who could drive initiatives in talent management, cultural change and organizational development across a complex, global organization undergoing systemic change. They were also seeking a valued partner for fellow C-level executives who was also able to empower the employee population to embrace and drive change and help the organization reach new heights while maintaining its place as an industry leader across their business lines.
What made Liam the right fit for this role?
Liam has significant global HR leadership experience that spanned over 60 countries and has led an employee population of 12,000. He has a strong ability to assess organizational capabilities and design management processes to sustain growth and drive a high level of performance across global organizations.
What is the best type of experience for these top HR roles?
“The best type of experience for CHROs is global leadership roles with a proven track-record of developing and implementing progressive and innovative programs around organizational effectiveness, talent management, total rewards and employee relations.”
What traits and characteristics are found in an ideal CHRO?
The ability to work collaboratively with others, strong business acumen, a trusted advisor, international operations & strategy expertise and sound decision-making qualities.
How important is it for a CEO to have a top-notch CHRO?
This hire was crucial to the CEO and the entire leadership team. The organization is a privately held and needed a strong, vocal and guiding HR executive who can be a trusted advisor and key influencer across the organization.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media