Movers and shakers autumn 2020: HR appointments at REC and Euro Car Parts

Personnel Today’s November update of recent appointments in the HR world include Sarah Thewlis becoming chair of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and a female HR director working in the male-dominated automotive industry.

Crucial component

Euro Car Parts, the UK’s biggest supplier of parts to the independent aftermarket has recently appointed a new HR director, Donna Fearnley – who’s had a rich and varied HR career working for the likes of Amazon, Tui and McVities. She’s now working to drive forward ECP’s new people strategy across its nationwide branch network.

Her focus for the next 12 months will be on implementing LKQ Euro Car Parts’ people strategy, that will see its values of embracing and driving change embedded at all levels throughout the almost 11,000-strong organisation, as part of its commitment to investing in people.

This will include coaching and developing managers from across its branch network to ensure best-practice leadership. Branch managers will be empowered to manage key people decisions locally, with the support of experienced HR business partners, leveraging specialist knowledge of their local markets to help deliver maximum benefit to their customers.

Fearnley’s appointment creates a 41-strong HR department, and follows a year of strong successes for the team. This includes the introduction of the new applicant tracking system for the brand’s corporate website, which is now playing a central role in empowering managers to personalise their local recruitment process.

Another key initiative is the introduction of LKQ Euro Car Parts’ wellbeing plan, which has seen the team create a mental health charter and dedicated employee assistance programme. Now, Fearnley will oversee training for line managers and the development of internal comms channels to promote the programme to staff.

Take your partner

Dr John McMullen has moved as an employment partner to international law firm Spencer West LLP.

Spencer West is a leading full-service international law firm advising businesses and individuals across the UK and globally. It provides strategic advice and support in respect of all issues concerning the workforce.

McMullen, a globally known TUPE and restructuring expert, will continue to serve his clients in Yorkshire and the North as well as UK and international clients.

Diverse commitments

Mercer, a global leader reshaping retirement and investment outcomes and a business of Marsh & McLennan has announced Achim Lüder as its new chief people officer. Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Lüder is responsible for driving Mercer’s global people strategy, including building a diverse workforce and inclusive environment for over 25,000 colleagues across 44 countries.

He reports to Carmen Fernandez, Marsh & McLennan’s incoming chief human resources officer and joins the Mercer executive leadership team led by Martine Ferland, president and CEO of Mercer and vice chair, Marsh & McLennan.

Most recently Mr Lüder was CEO of Mercer Germany; his previous roles include leader of the central and eastern Europe region. Starting his career as an auditor with KPMG in 1994, he also worked as a CFO at a start-up company and as a sales director for a venture capital firm prior to joining Mercer. Lüder has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Tübingen, Germany.

Confederation hotseat  

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) announced in September that Sarah Thewlis has been elected as the new chair of the REC and took over from Chris Moore on 8 October.

Sarah was managing director of executive search firm Thewlis Graham Associates, which she co-founded in 2010. She initially joined the REC Council in 2013 and has held several other senior non-executive positions including as chair of a cancer support charity.

Moore stepped down as chair after three years in the job and the maximum term of seven years as an REC non-executive director. He will remain a fellow of the REC. Thewlis said: “My predecessor, Chris Moore and Neil Carberry, the CEO, have together done a fabulous job in bringing positive changes to the organisation. There is still work to do if we are to deliver more to the membership. I am looking forward to focusing on regional support, embracing diversity and inclusion, and making sure that recruitment is given the recognition it deserves as we help to bring economic recovery to a developing world of work.”

Sarah Thewlis began her career in retail HR with Marks and Spencer PLC. After 12 years there, she joined the staff at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) as deputy chief executive. In 1994 she was appointed chief executive at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and in 2002 took up the role of chief executive and registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Talent strategy

New Street Consulting Group, a leadership and people solutions consultancy, has appointed two new directors, Lee Parker and Natalie Douglass (pictured), to lead the firm’s talent strategy consulting practice. They both join the firm from Veredus Insight, formerly Write Research Company, part of the Capita group.

Parker returns to the firm, having previously worked at BrightPool, part of New Street Consulting Group, until April 2018.He has more than 15 years’ experience in the recruitment and talent sector and has specialised in research and insight for more than a decade. Douglass has worked in the industry for more than 10 years, working with many of the UK’s biggest brands.

New Street Consulting Group’s talent strategy consulting practice specialises in providing talent research and insights to support clients’ business decisions.

The team conducts bespoke research to advise businesses on where they can find the best talent and what they need to do to attract them. Competitor analysis and location analysis are carried out to identify where a business would be best placed to acquire the best people.

The team also advises businesses on changes they can make to ensure they are attracting the most diverse pools of talent.

Out of the clouds

Cloud-based people development software provider Cornerstone OnDemand have announced the appointment of Duane La Bom as the company’s first chief diversity officer. In this role, La Bom is responsible for driving the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy by introducing new programmes that foster an inclusive workplace environment and ensure the entire global Cornerstone team is doing its part to contribute to lasting, cultural change.

La Bom joins Cornerstone as a seasoned leader in the DEI arena. Most recently, he was the executive director of global diversity and inclusion for Texas Instruments, and prior to that, he was the chief diversity officer and VP of talent management for Andeavor. He also held HR and DEI leadership positions at Rackspace, Toyota Motors Manufacturing North America and Willamette Industries.

As chief diversity officer at Cornerstone, La Bom will head the company’s Diversity Leadership Council to evaluate its people practices and partner closely with leaders across the organisation to reshape programmes and open lines of communication. La Bom will also drive DEI excellence by leading the company’s Cornerstar resource groups, a collection of online communities where Cornerstone employees can virtually and productively congregate, discuss and voice their concerns.

Navigating legal challenges

Marian Bloodworth employment partner at law firm Kemp Little has been elected as chair of the national Employment Lawyers Association (ELA), a not-for-profit membership organisation of more than 6,000 employment solicitors and barristers. Marian formally took over the two-year position at the ELA AGM on 9 September, having been deputy chair for the past two years, and will carry out the role alongside her existing partner role at Kemp Little.

Commenting on her election, Marian said: “I am delighted to have been elected as chair and to have this opportunity to work with my colleagues at ELA to support our members. Employment lawyers are currently navigating a number of issues, not least those presented by Covid-19, Brexit and the ongoing changes in the way we all work. There will be lots for us to do and I look forward to the challenge.”

See more Movers and Shakers, from August 2020, June 2020, February 2020

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