Conversations With Staffing Leaders: Anita Gutel and Chris Himebauch of Red Lobster

You cannot truly lead or make a difference at your company without all the qualities ERE authors describe every day in their articles. But there’s one more thing you must also have: an absolute passion for what it is you are trying to do. It’s this passion that my colleague Mark Mehler and I wanted to capture as we discussed with ERE the concept of partnering on a series of web-based audio conversations with staffing leaders who make a real difference in how their companies find and recruit great employees. Click either audio format to listen to this webcast:

Windows Media | RealAudio Presented by ERE, this series of interviews will attempt to shed light on how staffing leaders, in many cases working behind the scenes, overcame the challenges in front of them and led their organizations to implement best practices in recruiting. All of the interviews in this series will be conducted by either myself or my colleague at CareerXRoads, Mark Mehler. Anita Gutel and Chris Himebauch of Red Lobster Red Lobster’s Anita Gutel and Chris Himebauch have tackled an age-old problem: translating boring job descriptions written by equally boring analysts into engaging and relevant literature. They did it with a world-class approach that more firms should replicate, as Red Lobster’s results clearly demonstrate. I sat down to talk with Anita and Chris recently about job descriptions. Have a listen. Click either audio format to listen to this webcast:

Windows Media | RealAudio [If you experience any technical difficulties in accessing this webcast, you may need to work with your IT department to resolve firewall issues. Send us an email at if you experience any other technical difficulties.] About Anita Gutel Anita Dahlstrom-Gutel, SPHR, has spent her career in the hospitality industry, with a majority of that time at Darden Restaurants Inc., the world?s largest casual dining restaurant company. Anita has over 20 years of experience in business operations as a multi-unit director of operations with Red Lobster Restaurants, where she was responsible for $30 million in annual sales. She has spent her most recent six years in human resources with assignments in the areas of organizational development, performance management, and strategic staffing. Her staffing responsibilities encompassed over 65,000 crew members and managers in over 650 locations, and included oversight for sourcing, selection, staffing, and retention of Red Lobster’s human capital. She currently is charged with an enterprise-wide job analysis project for Darden?s leadership. About Chris Himebauch Chris Himebauch has been with Red Lobster since June 1995 and current serves as its director of crew relations. Chris and his team are responsible for managing employment issues, legal compliance, and mediations for 65,000 managers and crew members in over 650 locations. Chris joined Red Lobster as a divisional employment manager in charge of staffing 120 restaurants in the Southeast. Two years later he was named manager of university relations and employment. In this position Chris successfully built valuable partnerships with key universities, implemented a faculty and student internship program, and increased the hiring of college graduate management recruits. One year later, Chris was promoted to director of staffing, overseeing the sourcing, selection, staffing and retention for all 65,000 managers and employees. During his time as director of staffing, Chris was responsible for creating and implementing a new company-wide selection process that helped Red Lobster receive industry recognition as a leader in reducing turnover and improving diversity.

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Gerry Crispin, is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and thought leader. He seeks to understand how firms design and build staffing processes, the technology to enhance them and the systems to manage them. He is also committed to writing, researching, and sharing his adventures, opinions and observations about evolving staffing models with the HR profession, clients and friends. He and his partner, Mark Mehler, created CareerXroads® and the CareerXroads Colloquium with one goal in mind: critically analyzing corporate recruiting issues from a tactical yet strategic perspective. Learn more at CareerXroads