October 29, 2021 – Following nationwide research, Korn Ferry assisted with the placement of Janet L. May as the next Director of Human Resources (HRD) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She will start working full time at UAB on November 1, succeeding Alesia Jones, who announced her intention to retire in February after 27 years at UAB, 12 of which as CHRO. “Alesia has expertly guided HR through tremendous institutional growth as HRD, including the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ray L. Watts, president. “I thank her for making a smooth transition in HR leadership possible, and I look forward to Janet building on the momentum Alesia and her team have created.
Brian D. Burnett, Ph.D., senior vice president of finance and administration at UAB, credits the research committee led by director of communications Jim Bakken and Korn Ferry for helping identify Ms. May as the UAB’s next human resources manager. “This position has generated great interest from highly qualified HR professionals across the country,” said Dr. Burnett. “I would like to thank the research committee and Korn Ferry for their work in leading this successful research.”
Dr Burnett says Ms May brings extensive experience in higher education and a demonstrated commitment to excellence in this role. “Janet is well respected in her field and among those who have worked with her,” he said. “She is a lifelong learner and servant leader with a broad and deep experience that will serve UAB well.”
Ms. May, who has also held senior human resources positions at Texas Tech University, New Mexico State University, and Pima Community College, comes to the UAB from the Houston Community College System where she serves as the Director of Human Resources. human resources for a complex company that serves over 80,000 students and 6,000 employees over 600 square miles in Houston, TX. Ms. May recently received the 2021 Distinguished Service Award from the Professional Collegiate and University Association for Human Resources, on which she served for 10 years, in the roles of Secretary, President-elect, President and Past President, and – for three years – as the representative of the Western Region on the National Board of Directors.
Ms. May will lead the human resources units at UAB responsible for ensuring a positive employee experience at every step of the employee continuum, including recruiting, benefits, compensation, employee relations, wellness. employee and organizational learning and development, in addition to overseeing campus consultants. and divisional communications and support services, information systems, service desk, records administration, compliance, and the Employee Advice and Help Center.
“I am delighted to start working with a university so clearly committed to its mission, its shared values, as well as the faculty and staff who have enabled UAB to be recognized as # 1 by Forbes of the best greats. employers and No. 4 in diversity. “Ms. May said.” The more I learned about UAB and the more people I met, it was clear that this was a special place. It is an honor to be selected to maintain and advance the level of ‘excellence that has been established, and I can’t wait to call Birmingham and UAB home. “
Leverage Big Data
Korn Ferry offers in-depth expertise, research and thought leadership to meet the diverse needs of HR leaders. The company leverages big data to design and build HR organizations rooted in best practices but tailored to the needs of the organization. Korn Ferry also provides function specific insight into client challenges around talent acquisition, succession management, leadership development, rewards, and more.
A recent survey of 230 CHRO by Emilie Petrone, managing partner of Korn Ferry’s office in Princeton, NJ and member of the firm’s human resources practice, explored the place of role at the heart of the challenging work environment of ‘today and how the pandemic is impacting their function. “The challenge of the coronavirus has put HR leaders at the forefront as they navigate everything from employee safety to staff changes,” the report said. “These issues have highlighted the importance for HR organizations to constantly adapt and create a culture of trust and transparency. Indeed, the survey showed that nearly a quarter of HRDs said their top priority was to create a culture of trust and transparency, followed by 21% who said they wanted to break down hierarchies and foster more agility. .
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Ms Petrone said HR managers are currently tasked with a massive strategic balancing act when it comes to workforce planning. “They are responsible for the viability of the business and critical talent pools, organizational health and the brand of employees, both internally and externally,” she said. “They need to ensure continued engagement and performance while managing the experience of employees who will not be part of the future of the organization. That’s a big push and pull.
The survey found that nearly half of HRDs (45%) believe the talent shortage and talent match will have the greatest influence on their priorities going forward, and the pandemic has only reaffirmed that thought. While it’s too early to say exactly how the current business environment will affect long-term hiring trends, HR leaders are already rethinking their business needs. “What we might have been looking for in leaders six months ago in a strong economy may be very different from what we need for the next 12, 24 or 36 months,” Ms. Petrone said, “re-prioritizing internal capacities and redeploying the right leaders to the right roles will be essential.
Upgrading the skills of current talent could become a much higher priority for HR managers in the future. According to the survey, 37% of HRDs said upgrading the skills of the current workforce was the main strategy to enable success.
The global health crisis has shown that the future of work has invariably changed remote working, according to the Korn Ferry report. Thirty percent of HRDs said using digital tools was also key to employee success. While some corporate cultures will prevail to need people in the office, many HR managers are already rethinking what collaboration and innovation looks like in a post-pandemic digital age. “Shared workspaces and team space may not be sustainable, historic business models may need to transform, and how work is done and decisions made will be more critical than ever to the success of the business. ‘business,’ Ms. Petrone said.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor-in-chief; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor-in-Chief – Hunt Scanlon Media