Havas Chicago Taps GrubHub for New HR Head

Agencies are chasing execs with experience outside the industry

Jennifer Marszalek is the new chief talent officer for Havas Worldwide Chicago, joining the agency from GrubHub where she ran human resources at the mobile and online food delivery service.

The network's Chicago office has been on a new-business run recently, adding accounts like Moen, Ragu and Bertolli. Marszalek assumes responsibility for recruiting talent across functional disciplines for Havas's integrated "villages" of staffers ranging from those in creative and media to others in data, content and studio. This is the first time the agency has had a senior C-level HR exec focused on Chicago.

Patti Clifford, Havas's global chief talent officer, said Marszalek's background in the tech sector helps Havas compete for talent not just in ad companies but also in tech firms offering more generous compensation terms.

"We looked at a broad range of candidates and what attracted us was Jennifer's experience with a tech start-up plus great HR experience," said Clifford.

Before her job as GrubHub's vp, human resources, Marszalek spent four years as the head of HR at SurePayroll and more than 11 years in HR and talent management roles with Room & Board home furnishings.

Marszalek's experience in business outside the ad industry is becoming increasingly sought-after in executives charged with attracting talent and fostering agency culture, according to Havas Worldwide Chicago chief Paul Marobella. "Our industry is under intense pressure to evolve the value creativity brings to brands, and we are increasingly hiring from outside of the advertising industry—from start-ups and technology firms to business consultants, social media experts and content creators," he said.