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Crain’s 2020 Notable Leaders In HR – Justin Pinchback BlueGrace CPO

By Crain’s Chicago Business

With record low unemployment and a tightening labor supply, human resources departments are at the center of the action and gaining a louder voice in the C-suite. HR departments are tasked with recruiting talent during a buoyant economy and keeping the workforce happy. The 58 HR specialists featured in Crain’s list of Notable Leaders in HR are finding innovative solutions to this challenge.

They are hiring recruiters with a sales mentality and opening new pipelines for talent. They are paying more attention to training and development to make sure employees have a promising career path. And they are reforming the process of performance management as millennials demand more continuous feedback and conversation rather than once-a-year reviews.

Under these executives’ leadership, HR departments have added benefits such as flexible schedules, parental leave and wellness programs. They’ve added diversity programs and sought to promote women and minorities to management and senior levels. And they’ve embraced technology that makes for more efficient administration of pay and benefits, scheduling and performance tracking.

Justin Pinchback

Chief people officer, BlueGrace Logistics

In his first year, Justin Pinchback helped the third-party logistics company continue its fast growth. In 2019, the firm hired more than 200 employees and grew by more than 25 percent. Pinchback championed investment in learning and development and is rolling out an online system that will offer crowdsourced learning and other content. He increased the population of women at BlueGrace by 10 percentage points and grew the number of women with management roles by 25 percent through external hires and by promoting sales representatives. Before joining BlueGrace last year, Pinchback was head of talent strategy for investment firm Citadel. He earlier held positions at Bridgewater Associates, Bain & Co., Goldman Sachs and Moody’s. He has spoken at conferences on human capital issues.

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