Elizabeth McFarlan Scott: "My goal is to help our clients be as efficient and effective as possible"
Welcome to the team Elizabeth! For those who have not met you yet, can you please share what your background is and how you got interested in HR operations and HR effectiveness?
Elizabeth: I’ve been working in HR for almost 25 years and gravitated towards the roles where I could solve big problems that challenged me and enabled me not only to think strategically, but also to roll up my sleeves and implement changes that make a lasting difference. I’ve been lucky enough to do that kind of work in all aspects of HR - Recruiting, Compensation, Benefits, Business Partnering, HR Operations, etc - and in a variety of industries, including consumer goods, healthcare, retail, and technology. Regardless of the role or industry, I found that I most enjoyed work that involved translating strategy into action and operationalizing and optimizing HR processes and/or technology.
At Nua Group, you are leading a newly-formed HR Effectiveness practice. How do you define HR Effectiveness?
Elizabeth: Different companies structure their HR in a variety of ways while using different terminology for areas of the HR Function: HR Operations, People Operations, Talent Operations, HR Services, Employee Experience, etc. At the end of the day, my goal is to help our clients be as efficient and effective as possible in the design, implementation and continuous improvement of their HR operating model, processes and technology. Given Nua’s breadth of expertise across HR functional areas and the multitude of ways in which HR teams organize and structure themselves, we decided to name this area of our practice based on the ultimate value we believe we bring, which is to enable “HR Effectiveness” for our clients in whatever way they choose to define it for themselves.
Why has Nua decided to offer clients help in this space, why is it important?
Elizabeth: Nua founders - Chris, Gerry and Joe - built the company to focus on Total Rewards, but they were finding that clients consistently asked about capabilities around operationalizing HR processes and technology that enable not only Total Rewards, but also other areas of HR. I believe that HR supports the business best when it is able to do so with end-to-end solutions that focus on the manager and employee experience and are not siloed by HR functional area. To that end, it seemed like a natural evolution for Nua to increase its capabilities to provide more holistic solutions to our clients. With the addition of expertise that span beyond Total Rewards to include, HR Technology, HR Service Delivery, Talent Acquisition and Development and HR Strategic Partnering, we are excited to offer broader and deeper partnerships to our clients.
You have previously worked at Yelp, Levi’s Strauss and Co, Gillette and other outstanding brands - what attracted you to the consulting space and Nua Group specifically?
Elizabeth: After 22 years of working non-stop in Corporate HR, I had the opportunity to take a break for a few months in 2018 to spend time with my family and reflect on what would bring me joy in the next 15-20 years of my career. I talked with a lot of colleagues, mentors and friends while I thought about not only the type of work I want to do, but also the people I want to work with and the way I want my work and life to blend.
I have known Nua Founder, Joe Farris, for several years and at some point I was actually a client of Nua’s. What attracted me to Nua the most was the people and the mission. It’s a group of smart, energetic, interesting and authentic people who truly want to do good work and make a meaningful impact for their clients. We all know of companies who talk a good game about their mission and culture, but when you get behind the curtain you find it’s a different story. What was so great about contracting with Nua in 2019 was that I got to see first-hand that everything is exactly as they say it is. At the end of the day, I felt a kindred spirit with Joe, Gerry, Chris and the rest of the team. We are aligned not only on the work we love to do, but also our core values, goals and way we want our lives to be.
I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to do interesting and fun work for great clients with people I love spending time with. I am excited for the new year!
What will you focus on at Nua Group and what intentions do you have for your first year as a Partner at Nua?
Elizabeth: The good news is that I started working with Nua as a contractor in Q2 of 2019, so I already have a few months under my belt building up our HR Effectiveness practice. We delivered a variety of solutions to clients last year that included work such as developing a global HR Operating Model, re-engineering and optimizing HR processes and technology (specifically Workday and Oracle), creating Standard Operating Procedures for centralized service delivery, developing M&A tools, supporting M&A integration, facilitating development of an Employee Value Proposition, mapping the employee experience journey, and filling in for temporary gaps in HR leadership in areas such as HR Operations and HR Business Partnering.
In my first year as a partner, I look forward to continuing to refine our service offerings to add the greatest value for clients. We know that one size does not fit all and I pride myself on being able to provide solutions that are tailored to specific client needs, cultures and business strategies.
I will consider it a successful year if I have developed deep and lasting partnerships with clients who say that the solutions and support we provided had a material impact on their business success. I am also excited to continue to grow our team. We have brought on some fantastic expertise in 2019 and I look forward to continuing to increase the depth and breadth of experience and expertise among our team.
To learn more about Nua's work in the HR Effectiveness space and to connect with Elizabeth, drop us a line.