Archive for October, 2012

October 31, 2012

HR consulting firm The Talent Company selected as recruitment services provider for major Canadian financial institution

Markham, Ontario, Canada – October 31, 2012 – The Talent Company, a human resources consulting firm, announced today that it has been selected as recruitment services provider for a major Canadian financial institution. The scope of services will be delivered via The Talent Company’s subsidiary, Solara Search, and includes staffing requirements for recruitment and human resources functions across Canada.

“We are incredibly honored and pleased to partner with such an iconic financial institution in Canada,” says Rehana Doobay, Chief Executive Officer of Solara Search and The Talent Company. “This is very exciting for us. It presents an opportunity to showcase the solid relationships we have within our networks and our ability to consistently identify and engage top talent for our clients”.

“Under this agreement, Solara Search has a clear opportunity to shine”, says Simon Parkin, Practice Leader, Recruitment and Talent Management with The Talent Company. “With our ability to thoroughly map the talent market, leverage our deep recruitment toolkit, headhunt passive candidates and tap into our vast networks, we are well positioned to support our clients through a variety of complex talent acquisition challenges. I am really excited for what lies ahead for our team”.

All candidate opportunities under this agreement will be posted in the Opportunities section at

Solara Search is a recruitment services firm that enables organizations to achieve real value and real results through the identification, engagement and acquisition of top talent. Clients benefit from a range of services, each uniquely designed to target and address complex talent acquisition challenges. At Solara Search, our belief is that organizations gain greater value for their recruitment spend by enlisting only the services needed, not based on a single source approach.

Solara Search – Real Value. Real Results.


Joe Minaudo


October 30, 2012

The 3 Biggest Challenges Facing HR Today

In May of 2011 when we started The Talent Company, we had a vision to create and develop an organization of leading HR, Recruitment and Talent experts to partner with organizations to address their key talent and HR challenges.  Personally it was important to me to not only build a team of experts across the various HR disciplines but also build a team of great people who I have worked with at some point over my past 20 years in HR.  It was also important to bring together people with the similar focus on quality of work, innovation and personal integrity.  For me to once again invest my time and money in building a business it was critical to surround myself with great people who I can trust to deliver over and above our clients’ expectations.

In my mind the key differentiator of The Talent Company is that we have walked a mile in our client’s shoes with our extensive HR, Talent and Recruitment corporate experience.  We have faced and successfully addressed the challenges and issues our clients experience…..mainly centred around 3 main themes:

  • Leadership Effectiveness
  • Talent Acquisition & Talent Management Challenges
  • HR Capability and Capacity

Leadership Effectiveness

Leadership effectiveness is the number one challenge faced by organizations in today’s market.  Leaders have the largest impact on how well employees are working toward achieving the organization’s business strategy and goals.  Unfortunately most organizations hire and promote their talent into leadership roles these days without any formal leadership development, coaching and training.  These new leaders are just not appropriately equipped with the insight, knowledge and tools to be truly effective.

Recent research has found that high-performing organizations — those with the greatest growth in revenue, market share, customer satisfaction and profitability — were twice as likely as low market performing organizations to involve their frontline managers in the design, development and execution of talent-management strategies. In other words, involving managers in all aspects of talent management was highly correlated to better market performance.  Additionally, these high-performing companies were three times more likely to say that their frontline leaders were highly involved in leadership, career, and high-potential development.

There is a real business case that can be made for organizations to invest the time, energy and tools in developing their managers and supervisors to be effective leaders through training, coaching, and to ensure the managers are held accountable for these activities.  The Talent Company partners with our clients to develop and manage customized leadership development programs and initiatives to enable leadership success.

Talent Acquisition & Talent Management Challenges

Organizations are continuing to struggle with hiring and managing their talent effectively.  Most corporate recruitment and talent functions are reactive and rarely are future focused.  These functions aren’t aligned to their organization’s business strategy, aren’t part of a formal organizational talent strategy and in fact seldom even communicate with each other.  Most HR Leaders and their teams aren’t spending the necessary time upfront to analyze and properly plan their organizational talent assets, needs, and gaps.  When an organization’s Recruitment and Talent Management functions are performing effectively, the rewards far outweigh the investments.

Organizations must be self-aware and understand their true functional capabilities within Recruitment and Talent Management.  An organization which isn’t effective in managing and developing their own talent will need to rely more on hiring new talent to fulfill the talent requirements of the business strategy.  The organization must understand the limitations of their talent functions and make the appropriate decision to either invest quickly in resolving their functional deficiencies or work around the deficiencies.

At The Talent Company, we help your organization to translate their business strategy and goals into an organizational talent strategy and plan.  We work closely with our clients to understand and assess their talent including skills and capabilities and enable our clients to identify the future talent gaps their organization faces.  We are former corporate Recruitment and Talent leaders who have led the national and global talent functions for a number of organizations considered best-in class in terms of their focus on talent.  We are trusted advisors for our clients in enhancing their recruitment and talent functions.  We enable our clients to successfully move, develop and recruit talent to meet their organizational needs and goals.

HR Capability and Capacity

Too many business leaders and executives still view HR as a non-strategic cost centre instead of a core, profit-contributing function. This is especially true during the tough economic times of the past few years which have put more organizational demand on the revenue generating business functions – and more of a focus on cost saving for the other functions.  Unfortunately most organizations still view HR as a transactional cost centre which has forced them to downsize the function and “do more with less”.  HR is still faced with the challenge of capacity with the reduced number of resources resulting in less focus on new HR and Talent initiatives and innovations for their organization.

Many HR functions have spent the past few years transforming themselves to be HR Business Partners.  Unfortunately within many organizations this change was in name only with HR simply renaming their HR Generalists, Managers and Directors as HR Business Partners.  These same HR professionals who were HR Managers one day were given the new title as an HR Business Partner.  It was merely a window dressing exercise as organizations were seldom training, coaching, developing and equipping their HR talent with the capabilities and tools to walk, talk and deliver as a true HR Business Partner.

One of the most common complaints about HR is that many professionals lack the forward thinking, strategic advisory focus needed to be an effective business partner.  They don’t spend the time to understand the business they support and focus more on transactional HR activities that don’t have the impact the business desires.  HR Business Partners need to be trusted advisors to the businesses and leaders they work with.  They need to be effective coaches and remain aware of their critical role as to effectively assess workforce capabilities and enable planning for future needs.  HR must be focused on becoming a trusted advisor to their business to empower managers to drive improved organizational performance.

As your organization continues to look for ways to enable growth and drive success in a changing economy, The Talent Company offers a full range of HR services and solutions to help your HR function enhance its capability and capacity ensuring your business leaders will view your HR function as a focused profit-contributing function.


Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for Recruitment and Talent Management Solutions at The Talent Company –  Simon is recognized as a global thought leader in the acquisition and management of talent and has successfully transformed the Talent function for organizations of all sizes. Simon works closely with clients to build, develop and innovate their Recruitment, Talent and HR functions. He is a former global leader of Recruitment and Talent for a Fortune 100 company. Simon is a featured speaker at a number of HR and Recruitment conferences across North America and an author of many acclaimed articles on innovative Recruitment, Talent and HR trends and best practices. Simon’s full profile can be found at

Simon can be reached at

October 25, 2012

What Makes a Leader Great?

There are hundreds of books and articles about what makes a strong leader and they all offer insight.

My favourite leaders do the following:

  • they stand in front of you when needed,
  • they know when to stand behind you,
  • they are beside you often, and
  • they never fall on top of you or trip you.

You may be wondering what all of this means, it’s quite simple really, a great leader knows which position he/she needs to play depending on the situation.  Let me clarify, there are times when you need your leader to take the hit, to protect you from reputational risk, blame or difficult circumstances, this is the forward position a leader takes.  From this position, a leader acts as your buffer to external challenges such as those from other leaders, departments or global colleagues.  Leaders may clear the way for you to succeed.  At other times your leader wants you take the lead, he/she gives you the opportunity to shine, excel and get credit for the effort you put in. This is a public form of recognition and a way to raise your profile in a controlled, low risk manner.

The side position is all about providing support as needed, this is more of a situational position. It could be a learning opportunity when your leader works with you on a project and gives you credit for the part you played. It could also be a situation when the work is high volume or intense over a shorter period of time and you need all hands on deck. Here your leader shows they are on your team, helping you to succeed.

Finally great leaders do not fall on their team members, they don’t create an environment where team members feel the need to protect their leader. Leaders can be vulnerable but not frail. Great leaders do not blame their team members for mishaps, they support them and find the learning. This is not to say that a great leader cannot be constructive, quite the opposite, a strong leader knows how to motivate through objective feedback.

Do you know when to take the appropriate position as a leader?


Rehana Doobay is the CEO of The Talent Company ( and is responsible for creating, communicating, and implementing the vision, mission, and overall organizational strategy. Rehana also leads The Talent Company’s Leadership and Executive Coaching Practice.

Rehana has over 20 years of experience in corporate HR roles supporting clients in information technology, financial services, retail and sales. Her areas of specialty include organizational effectiveness, leadership, employee development, talent attraction and retention. She previously held the position of Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Talent and Diversity Officer at Shoppers Drug Mart and Vice President, Human Resources at American Express.

Her years supporting Fortune 500 companies across Europe and North America led her to pursue her passion for coaching, gaining certification in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University. She is attentive to the individual needs of her clients and their organizational goals. As a coach, she is able to work with clients to refine a clear roadmap to success that is reflective of their personal potential and business needs. Rehana is committed to helping individuals and organizations reach extraordinary outcomes through coaching and leadership development.

For more information on The Talent Company and our offerings please contact Rehana directly at 1-866-973-9150 or via email at

October 22, 2012

3 Steps to Upgrade HRs Role in Enterprise 2.0

Over the last few years, social and mobile technologies have proven to be powerful tools for sourcing and recruiting talent. More recently, we’re beginning to see consumer tech–social, in particular–being leveraged in other HR functions. But while research shows these next generation tools have the potential to improve communication and collaboration across the enterprise, business leaders are left with one question: “Who takes ownership of these tools?”

Call me crazy, but… Why not HR? By teaming with IT, and driving the adoption of these next generation tools, HR could upgrade its role in Enterprise 2.0. There’s just one problem: HR must first shed its old-school role of communications cop.

Old Habits Die Hard

It’s no secret that social and mobile technologies make HR leaders nervous. Many have earned a reputation for policing interoffice communications, but this old habit is counterproductive.

“We hurt our corporate reputations when we attract candidates through contemporary use of social media, and then revert back to our old ways and block employees from using social tools to do their jobs,” says Cindy Lubitz, Founder of inTalent Consulting. As she sees it, this double standard that is becoming a growing problem.

While mitigating risk is important, HR can do more by taking a proactive approach to new tech. By moving away from the stereotype of communication cop and redefining itself as a communication catalyst, HR can play a more strategic role.

Three Steps for Upgrading HR’s Role in Enterprise 2.0

The strategic play for HR is to team with IT to assess needs, research solutions, and implement new technologies enterprise-wide. Of course, game plans for embracing consumer IT will vary, but there are some general steps in the process to get HR strategically involved in the selection, implementation and use of social technologies.

First: Identify Needs, Research Solutions

Before you can begin strategizing for improvement, you need an accurate picture of where things stand. Survey employees, managers and department heads. Discover how teams communicate and collaborate today, and what needs employees have that they’re not solving today.

Then, research technology solutions. While you short-list some tools, keep in mind that the best solution may not be a new tool but rather using a tool already in use in a different way.

Second: Align Department Needs to Business Goals

It’s important to understand that social tools aren’t one-size-fits-all. And if you’re trying to achieve high-level business goals like improved employee engagement, what works for one department, may not work for another. For example:

<<Figure 1>>

HR is uniquely positioned in the enterprise to identify needs–individual, departmental, regional–and tie those needs to business goals.  By bringing department heads and regional managers together with IT, HR can facilitate an implementation strategy that works for everyone.

Step 3: Collaborate with IT on Implementation

Cloud-based tools don’t require much technical heavy-lifting, but adoption can be a challenge. HR should focus on internal communications to promote adoption of the new tools and best practices around their usage.

It’s also effective to get your employees involved. At Software Advice, for example, Marketing employees recorded video tutorials for various tools we use. They’re useful, but they also gave employees a chance to share some insider information–and play a part in driving adoption.

For HR, Resistance is Futile

There are bound to be hiccups when opening channels for employees to exchange ideas and information in real-time. But the greater risk with these types of tools is that heavy-handed moderation can have a direct impact on your company’s investment in these technologies.

HR departments fighting for a seat at the table aren’t doing themselves any favors by resisting innovation in workplace technology. If HR can focus on strategies to maximize return on investment, rather than policing use, they could position themselves as a major contributor in the social enterprise.

About the Author:

Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at—an online for reviewing and comparing talent management software.  On the surface, it’s his job to contribute to the ongoing conversation on all things HR. Beyond that, he makes sure his audience is keeping up with important trends and hot topics in the industry. Focused on offering a fresh take on points of interest in his market, he’s not your typical HR guy.

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