Stella Karas Skaljac, JD, SHRM-SCP
Stella graduated with honors from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a dual major in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior. After graduating, she returned to her hometown to attend Case Western Reserve University Law School in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to having a law degree (JD), she recently received her Senior Certified Professional Certification from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP). After several years working in traditional practice of law, Stella transitioned to a human resource consulting role. She enjoyed the idea of working with employers upfront and taking a more proactive and preventative stance to avoid employment litigation down the road. She quickly learned that intervening early and communicating clear expectations often went a long way in avoiding potentially litigious situations and costly claims.
Stella’s love and passion for all things work-related started in her early years working at her dad’s waste hauling company. She attributes much of her HR mindset to her father who often preached a 'balanced approach' when addressing employee relations issues (always be firm but fair; tough yet compassionate; consistent and flexible). His work ethic, caring nature and humility have always been her inspiration. Through her work today, Stella continues to keep her father’s workplace wisdoms and philosophies alive when helping organizations develop sound employment and personnel strategies.
In 2019, Stella had the idea of starting a consulting firm on the premise that work should be fulfilling and energizing (not exhausting and stressful). She believed that organizations taking thoughtful action to strategically shape and mold the culture they want will reap the benefits of a high-performing workforce. She knew her legal background and proactive HR mindset could help employers identify compliance gaps while also looking for creative opportunities to motivate and engage employees. She also realized the world of work was rapidly changing and there was a need for consultants who understood the delicate balance between having consistent policies and also being agile enough to bend and flex to meet the desires of a new generation of workers.
Today, Stella spends much of her time advising and counseling business leaders and managers on legal compliance, workplace culture and employee relations issues. She has brought together a dynamic team of HR practitioners to assist clients in every phase of HR planning and implementation – from recruitment, hiring and onboarding to creating a culture of accountability, building a cohesive team and developing fair and balanced employment policies. Because the HR umbrella is so wide and encompasses so many nuanced employment situations, there is never a dull moment and always new workplace challenges to tackle.
Stella and her team are known for being ultra-responsive to client needs and relentless in making sure workplace issues are resolved in the most careful and effective way possible (mitigating legal risks while maintaining employee morale). Knowing that every company’s issues are unique and each industry has its peculiar employment situations, Stella tailors her best practice recommendations to the particular set of circumstances. If employers are struggling with numerous employment issues, she will recommend the HR Audit as a logical starting point, providing her with the chance to learn about her client’s business and deep dive into the organization's culture – identifying gaps, strengths and opportunities for improvement.
She often hears employers say they "don’t know what they don’t know" when it comes to HR and employment-related issues. They worry they may say or do something that can trigger an employment law claim. They wonder what their obligations are when it comes to handling employee complaints or providing a leave of absence. They want to know what else they can offer to incentivize and retain quality employees. They often feel morale and productivity could be better but are at a loss on how to inspire their teams. They want to feel more organized and confident (and less sporadic and reactive) and create an overall great place to work.
Stella's ultimate goal is to help businesses succeed by allowing employees to thrive. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with a variety of businesses and organizations throughout Northeast Ohio and beyond. At the end of the day, Stella wants ImagineHR to be a valued resource for all employers.