9 days old

Director of People

Gagen MacDonald
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Gagen MacDonald is a strategy execution consulting firm that specializes in employee engagement, leadership, and culture change.


The Director of People is a multi-disciplined leadership position that ensures we are positioned for long-term success by focusing on the company's most important asset – its people. This role will take a leading role in the redesign and continuous improvement efforts to ensure the best possible experiences for our employees.

Reporting to the CEO, you will develop and implement strategies that support the engagement, development, and management of our employees. Areas of responsibility include benefits, compensation, talent acquisition, analytics, learning and development, and talent management. Services are delivered and supported through a partnership with leadership and each business team/function.

Key Responsibilities


  • Plans, directs, and implements policies for all areas of the people function including staffing, compensation, benefits, training, employee relations, safety and compliance.
  • Administers and innovates people programs and policies to support company goals and positively engage the workforce.
  • Advises leadership on all people issues with broad and current subject matter knowledge that includes expertise in federal and state employment laws.
  • Prepares operating budgets for the people department and make recommendations for funding that drives workforce productivity.
  • Maintains systems for all required processes and transactions that provide data and reporting on HR activity.
  • Provides leadership and vision to align our talent strategy with company goals and directs the successful implementation of initiatives necessary to drive our long-term performance.
  • Develop strategies, design processes and lead talent practices including workforce and succession planning, performance coaching, employee engagement, internal communications and development and executive coaching.
  • Translate strategy into actionable cascading goals (firm, team, individual) for performance and growth helping to implement goal setting and performance management.
  • Contribute insights and ideas to drive excellence in the overall Talent Management strategy, ensuring what is built enables business and talent objectives
  • Proactively collaborate with business leaders and across HR to develop talent management plans and programs that address both current and future business needs by building, implementing and managing workforce plans and succession strategies.
  • Design effective engagement strategies with a focus on retention of high performers, high potentials and key contributors at all levels, for front-line to executive level employees. 
  • Be the resident expert and advisor on external trends, innovations and best practices.

 Key Competencies

Leadership & Navigation

Ability to navigate the organization and accomplish HR goals, to create a compelling vision and mission for HR that aligns with the strategic direction and culture of the organization, to lead and promote organizational change, to manage the implementation and execution of HR initiatives, and to promote the role of HR as a key business partner.

Relationship Management

The skills needed to create and maintain a network of professional contacts within and outside of the organization, to build and maintain relationships, to work as an effective member of a team, and to manage conflict while supporting the organization.

Business Acumen

Understand the organization’s operations, functions and external environment, and to apply business tools and analyses that inform HR initiatives and operations consistent with the overall strategic direction of the organization.

HR Strategic Planning

Activities necessary for developing, implementing and managing the strategic direction required to achieve organizational success and to create value for stakeholders.

Employee Engagement & Retention

Retaining high-performing talent, solidifying and improving the relationship between employees and the organization, creating a thriving and energized workforce, and developing effective strategies to address appropriate performance expectations from employees at all levels.

Total Rewards

The design and implementation of compensation systems and benefit packages, which employers use to attract and retain employees.

Organizational Effectiveness & Development

Concerns the overall structure and functionality of the organization, and involves measurement of long- and short-term effectiveness and growth of people and processes, and implementation of necessary organizational change initiatives.

Workforce Management

HR practices and initiatives that allow the organization to meet its talent needs (e.g., performance management, workforce planning, succession planning) and to close critical gaps in competencies.

Diversity & Inclusion

Create opportunities for the organization to leverage the unique backgrounds and characteristics of all employees to contribute to its success.

Company Overview

Gagen MacDonald is committed to delivering on our firm’s core value, “Our cause is our clients’ success.” To do that, we need highly-talented people for whom this cause is a primary priority.

We’re a strategy execution firm that helps companies turn strategies into results. When our clients are making operational changes, building their brand, or launching an entirely new strategy, business transformation is required for success. We are passionate about helping organizations manage the human struggle of change.

Our clients include global Fortune 500 companies with some of the most recognized brands in the world.

For more information on Gagen MacDonald, visit https://www.gagenmacdonald.com


Education and Experience

  • 12-15 years of progressive HR management and leadership; proven and demonstrated record of success in talent management and execution experience, leading culture and system change, performance management, succession and workforce planning, learning and career development, employee communications, evolved performance management processes and career development in organizations of relevant scale
  • Minimum of bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent industry experience; master’s degree or MBA preferred; SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP preferred


  • Proven ability to design, build and run an HR function within a professional services environment
  • Comfortable working independently without the resources or structure of a well-defined HR function typically found in large companies
  • A proven track record of success leading and enhancing people function strategies; ability to innovate and challenge norms to drive change in the organization and work with people of varying backgrounds and organizational levels
  • Demonstrated ability to blend previous experiences and make data driven, fact-based decisions relevant to the current situation and business needs; and have the skills and ability to work at the strategic level and then translate those ideas into tactical actions
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality when necessary and know when to share information that others need to know
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to effectively communicate to all parts of the organization and our external customers and partners.
  • Practical experience providing formal and informal executive coaching and development in all areas of leadership, but particularly in change management and performance effectiveness at the individual, team and organizational levels
  • Large scale project management experience; strong project planning and management skills; able to manage multiple key projects simultaneously


Posted: 2019-08-12 Expires: 2019-09-11

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Director of People

Gagen MacDonald
Chicago, Illinois 60601

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