Carl Smith is a people person.
Literally. And Smith would have it no other way.
He currently serves as the Americas Advisory People Leader at Ernst
& Young for a practice of 10,000 professionals providing Performance
Improvement, Risk management and IT Risk services.
His responsibilities cover all people related functions of recruiting;
acquisitions, learning & development; experience management/
staffing; inclusiveness/diversity, performance management, HR operations and partner matters. In this role, he led the full-scale transformation of the people functions to achieve Americas and Global
recognition for the design and deployment of innovative and best in
class approaches to people excellence.
“We are making a difference that impacts the consulting profession’s
most important asset—people,” he says. “The focus on the people
agenda—how we attract, develop and retain people—directly impacts
our ability to provide exceptional client service.”
Smith led the full-scale transformation of the people functions and
is most proud, he says, of the performance of the extended people
team, which has “consistently stepped up and performed at an excep-
tional level. In fact, many of the redesigned processes and related ini-
tiatives are being leveraged in other Ernst & Young Service Lines and
at a global level.
And Smith has compiled quite an impressive checklist of accom-
plishments, including: Hiring 3,000 professionals, including the inte-
gration of several acquisitions; the deployment of a recruiting
approach that has resulted in women representing 30 percent of all
direct admit partner hires; the promotion of Partners & Executive Di-
rectors that will be 20 percent higher than last fiscal year; improve-
ments in the approach and enabling tools to support staffing: “right
person, right place and right time.”
In addition, Smith orchestrated the launch of the “Leadership Jour-
ney,” which features female partners with a very personal view into
their leadership journey, along with leadership discussion forums.
Smith says the biggest factor to his success is “a lifelong passion to
take on challenges,” and “an ability to see the big picture and energize
others to develop to their full potential and take on challenges that
achieve measurable results.”
Smith’s own path hasn’t followed the traditional career arc—stretch-
ing from psychology to accounting to mergers/acquisitions to business
process to IT consulting. That fact, he says, “has truly broadened his
perspectives on people and ability to lead others in solving complex
issues that are always focused on achieving measurable results.”
ERNST & YOUNG
q&a What does winning the Top 25 award mean to you, your firm and your clients?
“For me, it’s the recognition
and validation of a lifelong
commitment to leading and
helping others be successful.
For the firm and our clients,
it’s the recognition of the
firm’s commitment to people