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Employee Relations Case History


Media and Entertainment Conglomerate
Human Resources - Employee Relations

Executive Search Firms that specialize in Broadcasting human resources executives  Senior Director Human Resources

New York City - USA based
FMS OIC reporting to Vice President Human Resources, New York City - USA

Client: A diversified U.S. based global media and entertainment conglomerate with television network, sports, cable TV, radio, retail, venue, entertainment and advertising holdings. The firm operates businesses in 65 countries across the United Sates, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, Mexico and South America.

Search: Senior Director – Employee Relations

Client Situation: The Vice President of Human Resources identified Filcro Media Staffing through the referral of another Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Employee Relations at a competing media and entertainment conglomerate that utilized FMS for HR searches in the past. FMS had also completed none HR searches through line management in the client’s Cable TV, Sports, Telecommunications and Venue business groups in the past.

Industry and Sector inclusion:

  • Television Broadcasting
  • Telecommunications
  • Cable TV
  • Radio
  • Sports
  • Entertainment and Entertainment Venues
  • Advertising

FMS was retained.

FMS Officer in Charge of Search TF was asked to commence a national search and establish guidelines to assure the implementation of 360 methodologies; best practices; and management training programs for five operating divisions of the company through identification.

FMS was provided with O&D charting and succession plans for the five operating divisions of the parent company. Clear definitions were established with HR in all (18) areas of concern. FMS already had a cultural understanding of the firm through prior identification and understood the sensitivities of inserting new and mandatory employee relations proactive policies across all lines of business.

The diversity of the five business groups posed an unusual challenge. FMS established a hierarchy of desired skill sets and industry experience to proceed with universe compilation and tiering. The fact that FMS reported directly to the hiring manager who was also the VP of HR offered many advantages as the VP HR was clearly identifying an heir apparent should she choose to exit the company.

Due to “direct” and “dotted line” reporting issues the search offered many challenges. An executive had to be identified that could function effectively where in some instances employee relations functions were handled by line management not aware of or ever participating in formal HR instituted, ER policies in the past. The continuity of policies, training and the desired empowerment of line management was going to offer many challenges

Some of the biggest challenges facing the new Employee Relations Director (ERD):

  • Change Management
  • Training
  • Cultural Reorientation
  • Empowering Management
  • Continuity Across Varied Lines of Business
  • Budget Controls
  • Common Goal - 360 Degree Programs
  • Best Practices

Solution: FMS proceeded to Identify the "best in industry" employee relations executives who had implemented similar programs in similar organizations in the media and entertainment industries. The sophistication and efficacy of the programs had to be from the ground up with a proven increase in productivity, lowering turnover and litigation avoidance to assure success.

An executive capable of focusing on line ownership of issues on a more proactive level was essential. With such diverse cultures and varied lines of business there needed to be effective policies in place to put out small fires and even prevent them in the first place by opening lines of communication above, on and below line.

With an unusual need for clear ER goals and programs we needed a person who could educate an entire population that “reactive policies never work” in an effective ER environment.

The VP of HR was receptive to varied approaches and gave FMS enormous autonomy during the search process to determine the proper skill sets and experience required.

Successful candidate identified: A Vice President of ER of a competing media and entertainment conglomerate was identified and hired as the new Director of Employee Relations.

This new Director with an MBA had organized the entire Human Resource department for her present entertainment conglomerate and instituted ER policies for 2,300 US employees located in U.S. operating groups. She incorporated Human Resources groups from acquired companies into corporate units with decentralized field operations and designed training programs for Senior Management and staff including Change Management, Leadership Skills Development, Team Building, Stress Management and Building Communication Skills. She conducted training in interviewing, hiring, firing, coaching and motivating. Manage sexual harassment training programs, started process of Wage and Hour Audits to insure company-wide FLSA compliance and worked with the legal department in the writing of a corporate handbook to establish consistent policies and procedures

She also developed and implemented a Web-based recruitment strategy including a Internet job board, resulting in improved employee retention and lower turnover rates. Her ability to conduct all internal grievance investigations and handle all Employee Relations issues while educating line management was exactly what the hiring company required. Her strong due diligence experience for all employment/benefit issues related to mergers and acquisitions was also well suited to get people acclimated to the new ER programs

Prior to working at the entertainment company she had work for one the World’s largest corporations in a Union / Non-union environment that was similar to our client company also. She handled all bargaining and non-bargaining personnel as she formulated strategic plans for staffing initiatives to meet revenue objectives that were also similar based on a “franchise” business model for one operating group.

The executive easily became acclimated within the new environment and even under the most stressful conditions put forward by those who wanted to do things the old way, she proved highly successful. Her programs have change the culture of the company, lowered turnover, reduced litigation and made the company a more productive place to work.

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