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Category: Talent Strategy

You Want Fries With That?

Posted on in Talent Strategy

“Recruiting is our biggest bottleneck,” said one of the CEO’s I’m working with.  The conversation went downhill from there as he expressed his frustration with the process (or lack thereof), the quality of candidates they were seeing and a general lack of urgency.   “I need you to fix this if we are going to scale.” Ah.  My dream scenario. I show up on my first day to start the assessment process and while a full assessment takes several weeks to complete, the CEO wanted some feedback at the end of the very first day.  No pressure. The first order of business was to attend the weekly recruiting team meeting.  Awesome.  Nothing beats firsthand observation of the team and I’ll get insight into their process and hear about their challenges.  I sit at the end of the table, listening intently.  The roles they are discussing demonstrate their knowledge of the business […]

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Star Search or Gong Show?

Posted on in Talent Strategy

I had the pleasure of appearing on a TV show called CEO Chat last week.  The show brings together CEO’s of companies as well as those who solve problems for the C-Suite to talk about today’s biggest business challenges.  It was an interesting experience to get a behind the scenes look at how programs are produced and a lot of fun to talk shop.  The hosts quickly picked up on two things:  I am not an HR consultant. For those who know me well, you are all too familiar with my point of view on the differences between “HR” and “Talent Acquisition and Management” and the topic can sometimes be a hot button.  For those not familiar, I shared my point of view during an interview on HR Today this summer. I solve business challenges. I am the “how” to a CEO’s “what.”  It’s about understanding the client’s industry, market position, […]

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Trick or Treat?

Posted on in Recruiting Strategy

“Trust the process.”  That was music to my ears when the CEO said that on our interview prep call last week. It’s been months in the making, but this is one client who gets it. But, their initial story is one that is all too familiar. My client struggled for years to recruit and retain someone in a leadership role for a business unit that is the backbone of their entire operation. As a result of the turnover in this role, they had a poor reputation as an employer which was impacting hiring across the entire enterprise. Further, their interview process wasn’t well designed or managed, candidates often didn’t know where they stood in the process, urgency forced bad hiring decisions, and there was an overall lack of authenticity throughout which caused candidates to feel…..well……tricked (note: none of this was intentional, but when you don’t have the right resource to […]

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An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Posted on in Talent Strategy

I have the flu. I haven’t been this sick in years and needless to say, it’s cramping my style. When a friend declared “that’s why I get the flu shot” it was like rubbing salt in a wound. However, it seems kind of silly that I’ve set myself up for an unnecessary struggle this week for no reason other than I’m a giant weenie about needles. And it got me thinking. Why do we avoid taking proactive measures that we know will help us eliminate or minimize future ailments? Is it because we don’t believe the short-term pain is worth the long-term gain? Do we say we are “too busy” and can’t afford to invest the time to evaluate our current state and implement a change or two that could strengthen our position? Is it that we just don’t know what we don’t know? For those of you who follow […]

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Break a Leg

Posted on in Talent Strategy

I was on stage speaking at an event last week and was asked what is the #1 challenge businesses face today.  It’s funny to me that people are always asking for “one thing.”  It’s never one thing, no matter what the topic. That said, the biggest threat to many companies today is that they lack a modern strategic plan. A modern strategic plan is like a 3-legged stool.  The first leg is your business strategy, the second is your culture strategy and the third is your talent strategy.  These “legs” must be aligned, for if one is deficient, fractured or nonexistent, your strategic vision will be impacted (just as the stool will no longer function effectively under the same conditions). Your business strategy addresses the what….your market position, product or service priorities and financial goals.  Your culture strategy articulates your why…your purpose, mission and values and how that’s used as […]

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How to Hire When Your Culture is Broken

Posted on in Talent Strategy

Culture.  Is anyone else tired of this word or is just me?  What started out as a cornerstone for gaining a competitive advantage for an organization has quickly eroded.  And it’s unfortunate because when designed intentionally, it’s what separates companies that thrive apart from everyone else. How did we get here?  In the quest to become a “best places to work” many companies quickly and haphazardly came up with a list of adjectives that they thought described their company cultures.  Some even borrowed the same words and phrases from other companies…which I guess is working efficiently, but definitely not effectively.  I even worked with a client who took a verb he liked and then force fit values to support it. So we are left with a significant number of organizations who have pretty posters on the wall with words like “honesty, integrity, trust, collaboration, commitment, caring…..” I could go on […]

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When Everyone is at the Pool Drinking Rosé, Do This!

Posted on in Talent Strategy

Need some end of the summer inspiration?  Check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s video “August is the Month to Go All In.” If you can’t spare two minutes and twenty-two seconds, the point Gary is making is that if you want “it” (meaning achieving a goal for the year) then August is the month where you double down and work even harder because using this time to perfect your plan, make more calls, conduct more interviews, source more candidates, make new connections, etc.  puts you way ahead of the competition who will restart these activities after Labor Day with hamburger hangovers and sunburns. August is always when I prompt clients to start working on their talent plans for the next calendar year.  If you use this time wisely and identify skill gaps in your current team, evaluate your attrition, identify new skills required to support the business, create new recruiting marketing collateral […]

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Welcome: The Selfie Generation?

Posted on in Talent Strategy

Generation Z also referred to as iGen, Centennials, the Selfie Generation, and a whole host of other names is generally defined as those who were born around 1996 through 2010.  It’s estimated that there could be as many as 60 million Americans in this demographic and they’ve grown up during interesting times.  Most in this demographic only know about 9/11 from history books and they grew up during a time when the US was (is) always at war (on terror, climate change, you name it).  They’ve lived through the Great Recession and have likely seen their parents face financial hardships.  Many have seen millennial siblings struggle and boomerang back to live at home. They are also the first true digital natives as they’ve always had access to the internet, smart phones, apps and loads of other technology. Research suggests that those experiences have created a group that “appears to be […]

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What You See is What You Get

Posted on in Talent Strategy

Authenticity.  When I hear that word, I instantly think something that is real or actual.  A classic “what you see is what you get.”  In an era of #fakenews and photoshop, it’s hard to come by these days. When it comes to your employer brand, company values, and culture, authenticity is the only thing that matters.  It is critical that who you think and say you are as an employer to the outside world is in complete alignment with what someone’s experiences are on the inside.  Pretty words on a poster, catch phrases on a wall or snappy sound bites don’t matter if your candidates or employees have a completely different experience when they work with you. Which brings me to an interesting case study. Have you ever heard of Barstool Sports?  Until last week, I hadn’t either.  They describe themselves as a media and entertainment company that provides a […]

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Developing Talent Goes Beyond Goals and Performance Management

Posted on in Talent Strategy

CFO to CEO: What if we invest in our people and they leave us? CEO: What if we don’t and they stay? This is one of those daily quotes that circulates on social media that is worth paying attention to.  It not only speaks to a sentiment we’ve heard from clients, but also highlights that great leaders know that they must develop their people. Over the next few weeks, we will discuss Pillar #6 of the Talent Continuum:  Develop.  This isn’t going to be a series that focuses on the importance of goal setting, or how to create a performance management process.  While these activities are important, most companies execute them so poorly that they’ve turned into meaningless exercises, used as tactical management tools, as opposed to being part of a broader talent development conversation. Developing your team is about being strategic and understanding the “whole” person (their individual preferences, behaviors, strengths, […]

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