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Gilda Chan: Human Resources and Benefits Manager for Jenny Craig, Inc.

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Gilda Chan, human resources and benefits manager for Jenny Craig, Inc., became interested in HR while working for a credit union.

“[It] had a top-notch human resources department,” said Chan. “The orientation, training, and benefits I received [there] sparked my interest in human resources.”

She graduated with a degree in business administration with a concentration in human resources; however, Chan’s HR concentration evolved into her current career. In 2001, Chan joined Jenny Craig, Inc. as a benefits representative in San Diego, eventually progressing within the HR department to her current position.

“I was able to advance by adding value to the department and the company. I am constantly seeking ways to improve processes and find more options to provide information to our employees. I was fortunate to work for a mentor that recognized my contributions and encouraged my growth.”

“Roberta Baade, our previous VP of human resources, was a tremendous mentor by displaying great leadership and a successful career,” Chan continued. “It is valuable to have someone that knows the ropes not only encourage you for your strengths but also willing to coach you on your faults.”

Coordinating a myriad of tasks, including Jenny Craig’s health and welfare benefit plans, leaves of absences, 401(k), and recruitment for the home office, Chan faces challenges from “providing comprehensive benefits plans during a time when healthcare costs are increasing dramatically” to recruiting.

Q. What do you like to do outside of work? Any odd hobbies/interests? Are you married? Do you have children? Can you explain a little about your personal life outside of your company?

A. Pursuing my MBA while working gives me little free time. But I have found time to learn how to play tennis.

Q. What CD is in your CD player right now?

Mercy Me, Almost There.

Q. What is the last magazine you read?

Real Simple.

Q. What is your favorite TV show?

Law & Order (the original and SVU).

Q. Who is your role model?

Suze Orman.

“It can be difficult to fill a position when the cost of living in San Diego is high, and there is a low unemployment rate,” admitted Chan. “We seek to hire the right individual for the position.”

The solution?

“This requires understanding the requirements of the position and maintaining strong partnerships with the hiring managers and recruiting resources. We also build our brand and utilize brand recognition to entice potential candidates.”

Jenny Craig, Inc., founded in 1983 in Melbourne, Australia, and opened in the U.S. in 1985, “is a long-term Food/Body/Mind solution that helps clients manage their weight by creating a healthy relationship with food, building an active lifestyle, and developing a balanced approach to living,” says the company’s website.

Currently, Jenny Craig has approximately 3,400 employees working for both its California-based home office and nationwide company-owned centers.
“One of the unique characteristics about our human resources department and for Jenny Craig, Inc. are the many employees that have joined the Jenny Craig team because they want to help others and make a difference,” said Chan. “It is a feeling that is throughout the company. It is wonderful to work for a company where so many employees enjoy what they do and find rewards that are priceless.”

And Jenny Craig hires only the best. According to Chan, her department works closely with Jenny Craig’s recruiting partner and continuously evaluates their recruitment process-all to find the right candidate: “individuals who can embrace our values of teamwork, health, excellence, learning, integrity, diversity, and fun.”

Only then, with a vibrant and cohesive staff, can Jenny Craig assure clients that their lives will change and fully implement its mission statement: “We help our clients look better, feel better, and live healthier lives-by providing individualized, safe, and effective weight loss and lasting weight management solutions. We change lives!”

“I would encourage anyone that is interested in human resources to pursue continuous education in the area of human resources,” said Chan when asked for her advice. “I think basic keys to success in human resources [are] to understand the business, understand your employees, know the employment laws, and be comfortable with the gray areas of human resources.”
On the net:Jenny Craig, Inc.

Melbourne, Australia

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 San Diego  health and welfare  HR  personal life  VP  business administration  benefits  leadership  contributions  mentors

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