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OC Women in Business: Jill Griffin

New Tech, Higher Wages, CEO Role

Advantage Solutions Inc. Chief Executive Jill Griffin is raising wages and investing in internal tech to combat labor market instability.

The Irvine-based marketing organization (Nasdaq: ADV), which is Orange County’s largest and most valuable marketing firm, has deployed a new recruiting software that has accelerated its hiring speed by 50%, according to Advantage officials. The company is also investing in wages to improve its retention rate as wage inflation remains at historically high levels.

“Our success continues to hinge on our talent, and at Advantage, we are talent first,” Griffin, who was promoted to CEO earlier this year, told analysts on an earnings call.

“It’s really important that we’re constantly a place where we can attract and retain the very best talent to come and innovate and grow,” she told the Business Journal last November, after being honored at the Business Journal’s 2021 Women in Business Awards.

Services at Advantage range from helping companies such as Unilever and McCormick & Co. on their individual product sales, to working directly with giant retailers like Walmart and Kroger on their own sales and marketing strategies.

The company, which went public in 2020, reported a 15% year-over-year increase in second-quarter revenue to $981 million. The growth was primarily driven by its marketing and sales segments, which saw gains of 31% and 8% from the year prior, respectively.

Griffin, who has worked at Advantage since 2008, was promoted from chief commercial officer and president to CEO in April this year. She succeeded Tanya Domier, who assumed the role of executive chair after running the company for nine years.

Griffin “has many special qualities that will help her succeed as our next CEO,” Domier said in a letter to Advantage employees.

“Not only is she extraordinarily intelligent with great energy and passion for the business, she is a deeply strategic thinker with great vision for the future and a respected leader who lives and embodies core Advantage values.”

The Business Journal annually honors five women business leaders from diverse industries at the Women in Business Awards. The 27th annual awards will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Irvine Marriott. For more info, visit: https://www.ocbj.com/events/2022-women-in-business-awards/ 

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