NEW YORK—Hill & Knowlton USA has named Ellen Shedlarz, a former Mercer Delta Consulting executive to the newly created position of chief talent officer. In her new role, Shedlarz will be a member of the U.S. executive committee, and will work closely with Paul Taaffe, Chairman and CEO, Hill and Knowlton Inc., and MaryLee Sachs, President and CEO, Hill and Knowlton USA on personnel issues.
Shedlarz will manage Hill & Knowlton’s human resource staff in New York, as well as providing leadership to its HR professionals in the U.S. and around the world. She will be responsible for ensuring that programs and policies are consistent with attracting, developing, and retaining a world-class staff.
“As the economy becomes more and more knowledge-based, and clients become more and more sophisticated, talent will be the critical driver of corporate performance,” says Sachs. “A company’s success in attracting, developing and retaining talent is its competitive edge. My entire job is to make sure that Hill and Knowlton is at the top of its game. There is no time better to do this than at the bottom of an economic cycle.”
At the same time, she says, “we will all need to embrace a talent mindset. It will be everyone’s responsibility to help develop and mentor our talent. This will be done through a combination of informal and formal coaching, mentoring, teaching, sharing of best practices, providing timely and direct feedback, rewarding and most importantly, providing our talent with superb client opportunities.”
Shedlarz joins Hill & Knowlton from Mercer Delta where she served as chief administrator officer and was responsible for building a human resource function, as well as creating key people management processes. Prior to Mercer Delta, Shedlarz was an administrative partner of McKinsey & Company, responsible for the administration and operations of six locations.
Her appointment follows that of Beth Axelrod, also a former McKinsey partner and co-author of the War for Talent, who joined WPP as the chief talent officer in June.