Havas Inventive North America appoints Claire Telling as CPO

Havas Creative North America appoints Claire Telling as CPO

Grace Blue North America CEO joins Havas Creative North America to drive meaningful candidate-centric recruiting with a strategic focus on diversity

With the aim of building the best, most cutting-edge recruiting skills in the industry, Havas Creative North America has appointed Claire Telling, former CEO of the global executive search company Grace Blue North Americaa new position within the network as Chief People Officer (CPO).

Telling brings 23 years of experience helping executives at some of the world's best-known companies solve business challenges by developing strategies for smart people, building high performing teams, and finding great talent.

As CPO, Telling will serve as the strategic recruiting, brand and culture leader for Havas Creative North America. Her primary focus is on attracting the best and brightest talent to the company through innovative, people-centric programs and processes that ensure the network's workforce culture is healthy and has above average retention rates.

"Winning in North America means, first of all, attracting an unfair share of talent," said Stephanie Nerlich, Executive Managing Partner, North America. “Evolving our approach to recruiting is a strategic driver of growth, and our people-centered activities such as hiring, training, professional development and performance management must make a meaningful difference through a well thought out plan. Claire has the passion and deep expertise to act as our talent advocate and brand builder, helping to attract and retain the best and brightest talent for our company. This is all the more important in the current climate where improved diversity is critical to the future success of our group. "

At the heart of this new position is rethinking and rebuilding Havas Creative North America's recruiting plan to better optimize investments in internal and external resources and programming. However, the role of the CPO goes beyond recruiting to ensure that the life cycle of each new hire is exceptional.

Telling will help develop an advanced onboarding process that will set up new hires for a quick start and long-term success, and work with global talent and human resources to improve education and training. She will centralize her work in each village or agency in North America and coordinate with the local human resources department to support employee engagement and culture building activities.

Telling will also act as a proactive driver and influencer for leaders across the network, helping them develop their own leadership in terms of talent – and raise the bar across North America.

"After working with Havas as a customer for many years, I saw their commitment to being a people-first company and the exceptional talent they have attracted," added Telling.

“Havas is unlike any other agency in that integrating with Vivendi gives them access to the world's best entertainment and content, which is incredibly attractive to anyone looking to create meaningful work. The chance to expand the agency's talent function and create a diverse culture in which people are motivated to do the best work of their lives – at a time when Havas is so dynamic – is very exciting for me. "

As CEO of Grace Blue North America, Telling has been responsible for running the US and Canada business since its inception in 2012 – managing key client and candidate relationships, overseeing the New York team, and setting up new departments for growth During that time, she enabled some of the most pioneering recruitment in the advertising industry and was recognized for her creative approach to solving her clients' toughest talent challenges.

Prior to Grace Blue, Telling spent a decade with agencies, including BBH, TBWA Chiat and 72 and Sunny, working on brands including Miller Lite, Mentos, Unilever, Family Tree, Singapore Airlines and Sonos. The Marketing Director also spent some time on the customer side at, where she led the US advertising team as Marketing Director before moving to London to develop the company's European operations. After a few years in London, Telling returned to New York to manage the airline's marketing and branding strategy for British Airways.

Telling will report to Nerlich and will be based in Havas New York.

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