Digital Agency Essence Appoints Jennifer Remling as Chief Talent Officer

Strategic Hire will Amplify Agency's Innovative Approach to Recruitment and Retention

Jan 28, 2016, 12:30 ET from Essence

NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Essence, a global digital agency, today announced it has hired Jennifer Remling to serve as Chief Talent Officer, a newly created position.  

Essence is solving today's most sophisticated marketing challenges for global brands.  These challenges require technologists, data scientists, creatives and strategists; some of the most sought after people on the planet, in an industry notorious for burning people out (evident by a turnover rate upwards of 30%).  While Essence has successfully combatted this trend, client demands have created a need for an aggressive talent acquisition program with global scale.  Remling has a proven ability to execute this given her past experience at highly regarded agencies such as R/GA and AKQA.  For today's leading companies, talent is everything.  Essence is committed to being the very best at hiring, developing and retaining its most precious asset: its people. 

Remling most recently served as SVP Global Talent at R/GA.  She has over 15 years' experience in recruiting and talent acquisition, after leading the function at agencies including AKQA and 360i, as well as founding her own successful executive search firm.  Remling's new role will hold her accountable for Essence's employment brand; external talent pipelining and sourcing; and further bolstering the agency's proprietary selection process, a technique that has proven to fuel Essence's growth and success.

Specifically, under Remling's remit, Essence's recruitment approach will evolve globally so that candidates in every region share the same experience.  The evaluation process identifies the most compatible talent from both a skills and cultural perspective by ensuring an individual's hard and soft skills are addressed equally.  Retaining talent is a parallel priority for the agency, and is achieved through an impressive training and development program.  Last quarter alone, Essence delivered over 3,700 hours of training delivered by its team of in-house coaches and Peer Trainers, a group of over 50 training-certified employees worldwide.  In addition to benefiting from a low HR professional-to-employee ratio, 75% of employees opt to participate in a mentorship program that matches individuals with a peer colleague who serves as an unbiased sounding board.  And, recent college graduates can participate in a year-long rotation that allows them to test out a variety of disciplines; most are offered a fulltime job by year-end.  As Remling ramps up recruitment efforts, she will partner with the talent development team to better align acquisition and retention initiatives and continue to establish worldwide best practices.

"In order to solve digital marketing's toughest challenges, we need to arm ourselves with the very best talent," said Christian Juhl, global CEO of Essence.  "At the same time, this can often be a challenge in today's highly competitive landscape.  I'm thrilled to have someone like Jennifer on board who can take our recruitment efforts to the next level as Essence further expands its global footprint."

"As our industry continues to evolve, there is urgent demand for emerging skillsets and capabilities," said Remling.  "Everyone is competing for the same talent--agencies, technology companies, publishers--and winning requires a holistic approach with a renewed emphasis not only on finding and attracting talent, but onboarding and retaining it.  I'm excited to join a company that makes talent core to its strategy for growth and client satisfaction.  Essence has a strong culture of learning and development which is a key differentiator and a great foundation to build on as we look to scale."

Remling's appointment is effective immediately. She will report into Juhl and will be based out of Essence's San Francisco office.

About Essence
Essence is a global digital agency that blends data science, objective media and captivating experiences to build valuable connections between brands and consumers. Clients include Google, Viber, method, Tesco Mobile and the Financial Times. The agency is more than 500 people strong, manages over $700MM in media spend and deploys campaigns in 71 markets via offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore and Tokyo.  Part of GroupM, Essence is majority owned by WPP, the world's leading communications services group.

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