CATERING TO THE GROWING NEED FOR EXECUTIVE LEVEL
HUMAN RESOURCES LEADERSHIP AND
INTERIM HR EXECUTIVES / CONSULTANT TALENT
The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that the field of Human Resources is likely to grow faster than the average for all occupations. That’s because the focus on top talent has become so intense that HR has grown in scope and dimension. Words like engagement, culture, employer branding and recruitment analytics now fall within HR – which has come a long way since the National Cash Register Company established the first Human Resources Department in 1901.
Over a century later, technology has changed the profession dramatically – with a list of recruitment platforms, onboarding programs and talent management systems that interpret and scrutinize much more than a worker’s performance. The focus on measurement and metrics – big data – is one of the evolving areas faced by the HR professional – who simply can not remain a traditionalist and survive in today’s workforce and economy. A 2015 study by Deloitte, titled Reinventing HR – An Extreme Makeover, revealed that there is a gap between what business leaders want and the actual capabilities of HR to deliver.
To help companies and HR professionals better compete in this changing environment, LLoyd has expanded and restructured one of our talent communities within the Executive Search area and created an Executive Human Resources Practice. Enter Lauren Burns, a 15-year HR veteran whose resume includes roles at DuPont, United Technologies, Cigna, as well as some smaller to mid-size companies. Lauren is charged with identifying and connecting with the HR talent that organizations need to remain competitive. Moreover, beyond retained and contingency search, Lauren and her team will oversee Interim Executives (high-level temporary HR engagements, as well as senior consultants for short and long-term HR projects of varying complexities.
“LLoyd is taking a 360 degree approach to the HR function and it will be up to Lauren and her team to address a wide range of HR challenges, all requiring a sophisticated level of candidate and consultant talent – the operative word being TALENT.”
– Jerry Angowitz, Managing Director of LLoyd Search (and former CHRO for RJR Nabisco)
Burns got into Human Resources because she found it was a good mix of her Psychology/Political Science background and her planned pursuit of a law degree. “I found something in the middle” smiles Burns, who headed up to Cornell after finishing her undergraduate program at SUNY Stony Brook. She wanted to attend Cornell because of its top ranking in the area of HR, Industrial and Labor Relations and completed her Masters in two years while making the right campus connections to be offered a prime position at DuPont after graduation. Burns was there for six years and experienced five different roles and titles, each adding to her knowledge of people, the need and the profession’s direction. She says her roles were largely strategic and advises others, “Always be aware of your surroundings. Have a sensitivity to the folks in the room.” As far as advancing your career, she counsels, “Take care of your reputation. Be a credible contributor. Act ethically. Show you can listen.”
After DuPont, Burns journeyed from Delaware to Connecticut to be a senior HR leader at United Technologies. From there she accepted a position in Philadelphia at Cigna leading the HR function for Underwriting which required her to travel frequently to locations throughout the U.S. Lauren also went into business for herself setting her own direction. She moved to Colorado where she did some consulting, largely in the area of Executive Coaching. Other positions followed, but ultimately she felt drawn to Recruitment and Search.
Burns says she’s hired thousands of people over her career and always pays attention to how comfortable a candidate gets in the interview process and measures how this comfort-ability matches up to their potential role. “I want to know who they are and what they liked and didn’t like about the positions they have held. It’s important to dive deeper than skills and abilities.” She adds, “a candidate’s ability to make eye contact and how much, is a good tell.”
“Lauren’s in depth, hands-on HR knowledge was critical to our decision. We wanted to expand our Search community and head up the Executive HR Practice Group with someone who had been both in the ranks, but understood where HR was going and could identify and anticipate the kind of professionals and strategic talent organizations need in this day and age to meet their visions. HR is a new landscape not just from 20 years ago – but also from 5 years ago. Many employers are having trouble keeping pace”
– Keith Banks, LLoyd’s President,
Burns intends to actively pursue a broad group of companies on her radar, but it won’t be all work. Currently engaged to a musician, Lauren follows him to his gigs and consequently finds many of the restaurant locales are a great place to network and make new connections. An admitted foodie, she says that sometimes it’s just about the meal and not the talk, so a favorite haunt of hers is the Premier Diner in Commack where she says their Snapper a la Freddie is a must try.
LLoyd welcomes all of our business partners to consider a meeting or a conversation with Lauren Burns to see how her ideas and talent resources can impact your organization in this new age of HR. Lauren’s wall holds a favorite saying of hers – which seems apropos to the industry practice she now heads up. “When you start doubting yourself remember how far you’ve come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome. Then raise your head high and forge ahead, knowing that you got this!”
Lauren Burns, Director Executive Human Resources Talent 631.370.7373