Posts tagged ‘brand ambassador’

December 18, 2015

HR’s Top Priority for 2016 – Enhancing Talent Acquisition

Uncovering the top talent within your organization

As I was studying and beginning my HR career in the mid-2000’s I got tired of the often used term “the war for talent.” As a slightly naïve and optimistic individual I didn’t want to describe anything as a war and it seemed to me that describing talent acquisition as a process that set up conflict between talent and the business was short sighted.

In any case, the economic crash that began in 2008 quickly took care of that.

But the Canadian market has seen a few years of slow and steady increases in business activity resulting in an increased demand for talent. So, while I’m not advocating a “war for talent”, I will suggest that Business Leaders as well as HR and talent acquisition professionals need to significantly up their game if they want to attract the talent necessary to achieve their goals.

If you’re not mobile, you’re not in the game.

In a recent survey by the Pew Research Centre, 28% of respondents reported using a smartphone in their job search. To further quote this survey:

“while many of today’s job seekers are enlisting their smartphones to browse jobs or communicate with potential employers, others are using their mobile devices for far more complex and challenging tasks, from writing a resume to filling out an online job application.”

When you consider demographics and the prevalence of mobile browsing in general, this stat is actually higher in certain segments. For instance, 53% of 18-to-29 year olds have used a smartphone as part of a job search.

One reason for the lower than expected result in this survey? Company career sites just aren’t enabled for mobile browsing or applications. This forces applicants to track down a computer where they can confidentially apply or (increasingly) just move on to the next opportunity.

Reject checkbox recruiting

As an employer if you’re still looking for talent with a particular degree from a certain university or demanding experience in a particular version of a software program, it’s past time to ask yourself why. When there were more job seekers than jobs it was easy to layer preferred criteria on top of firm requirements and still build a strong short-list of candidates. While that may still be the case in some sectors, the tide is turning.

More importantly, this approach discourages diversity and innovation. Solution-focused candidates often bow out, left with the impression that you favour process over results.

I’m not advocating that you eliminate requirements completely. Focus on what those requirements demonstrate. Are you looking for evidence of specific results, behaviours or motivation? Then frame it that way and look for the candidates that can demonstrate those abilities.

Business Leaders need to own talent acquisition.

This one will be uncomfortable for both HR and the Business equally. Business Leaders need to take greater responsibility for talent acquisition.

To emphasize this point further, in The Talent Company’s recent Talent Acquisition Practices Study only 5% of companies surveyed responded that the Business/Hiring Managers owned talent acquisition.

I think that most companies recognize that Hiring Managers need to make individual hiring decisions, with the support of HR, talent acquisition and peers. But Business Leaders also need to be more involved in other talent acquisition activities such as employment branding, acting as an ambassador for the organization and building proactive pipelines of talent.

In return, as a true business partner, HR and talent acquisition teams must be accountable for enterprise-wide talent acquisition strategy (formulated to align to business strategy) as well as advising, facilitating, training and coaching Business Leaders on effective talent acquisition behaviours.

 

Talent acquisition has always been a top priority for HR. But with current market trends, and the reality of lean teams, HR and talent acquisition professionals have to be strategic in their focus and where they invest their resources. The three trends that we’ve identified here are becoming increasingly critical and, in our opinion, are past due.

The Talent Company works with organizations every day to help them optimize talent acquisition. Through our consulting work, research and networking we can see that greater progress is still required so that talent acquisition practices can meet the demands of the business.

So, as we prepare for the new year, I challenge you: What are you doing as an HR or talent acquisition professional to create true business partnerships and to ensure that your organization is attracting the talent it needs to meet your goals?

 

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Kathleen Jinkerson is the Director of HR & Talent Solutions with The Talent Company, a human resources consulting firm that works closely with clients to develop, optimize and innovate their Talent practices. Kathleen possesses more than 10 years of experience in partnering with organizations to help them build their talent capacity as well as their HR and leadership teams.

For more information on The Talent Company and our customized solutions, visit http://www.thetalent.co

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April 15, 2015

The 3 Steps to Talent Optimization

Grow & Retain

First of all, what is Talent Optimization?

I get asked this question often and usually by individuals who confuse it with the function of talent development or talent management within their organization.

My definition of Talent Optimization is simply the alignment between the business strategy and the plan for your most important organizational asset, your talent.

It involves three critical steps:

  1. Start with your business strategy and assess its impacts on your talent needs.

The business strategy needs to be at the core of talent optimization.  The business strategy has to drive the desired organization talent outcomes.  Every talent initiative your organization develops, sponsors and participates in must be steered directly from where the business wants to go.  Without this alignment back to your business strategy your organization is simply wasting its time, efforts and money for initiatives that aren’t supporting what is important to your organization’s success.  So many companies have invested heavily in talent focused programs and initiatives over the years which look great…..but many times when I ask them why the created the program they aren’t able to align the purpose of their high visibility programs back to the business strategy.  Simply put, these companies have spent lots of money on “window dressings” and failed to focus their investments into ones that will shape their organization’s talent to where it needs to go.

  1. Assess your current talent to effectively understand current skills and capabilities.

Similar to analyzing the value of an organization’s asset, understanding your organization’s own talent and their capabilities is another critical factor within talent optimization.  Companies need to properly gauge their own talent’s skills, abilities, and limitations to effectively understand the gaps between their current talent and the desired skills and abilities needed to successfully achieve their business strategy and goals.  Very few companies are able to do this successfully.  Most companies understand the skills and competencies needed within each role but fail to understand the full capabilities and experiences of the talent working within that role.  Companies recruit and hire simply to fill their roles and fail to recognize the other skills, abilities and experiences of the new hire beyond the requirements the role.  There are so many great tools and technologies available for organizations to gain a better understanding of their talent which is essential to building an effective organization talent strategy and plan.

  1. Move, develop and recruit talent successfully to meet the organizational needs and goals.

An organization’s ability to effectively move, develop and recruit talent is the third critical factor for an organization to optimize talent.  Companies must be self-aware and understand their true capabilities within talent management, talent development and talent acquisition.  An organization who isn’t effective in managing and developing their own talent will need to rely more on hiring new talent to fulfill the requirements of the business strategy.  The organization must understand the limitations of their talent function and make the appropriate decision to either invest quickly in resolving their functional deficiencies or work around them.

Talent optimization starts at the top of the organization and shouldn’t be just another HR exercise which the executive team and the rest of the organization isn’t fully supporting.  Talent optimization is an organizational function – not just an HR function.

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Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for HR, Recruitment and Talent Management Solutions at The Talent Company – www.thetalent.co  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 http://ca.linkedin.com/in/simonparkin1 and he can be reached at simon.parkin@thetalent.co

March 26, 2015

12 Traits of a Great Leader

Grow & Retain

People know effective leadership when they see it and simply holding a position in leadership doesn’t make someone a good leader. A great leader strives to help others reach their goals; they are always developing themselves, and act as a visionary for their organization.  Fresh from The Talent Company’s new Pulse on Leadership study (http://thetalent.co/pulseonleadership/), we asked the study’s participants what they considered to be the top traits of a great leader.

Here are the Top 12 Traits of a Great Leader:

#12 – Open & Trusted – People want to work for a leader they can trust−a leader that has morals,  values, and integrity. An open and trusted leader will always get more from their team and have a stronger following. Leaders new to their role and/or to their team need to build their credibility and trust from their team over time. Unfortunately trust is a trait that can be lost quickly. Be honest, fair, candid and forthright, and treat everyone in the same way that you yourself would want to be treated.

#11 – Sense of Humour – A sense of humour shows your employees that you are more than a leader, and that you aren’t a machine, which encourages them to feel comfortable around you.

#10 – Empathetic – People want their leader to have a caring side. Great leaders care about their  people, not just about the business. It’s not about their ego, it’s about humility. It’s not about fulfilling  personal agendas, it’s about helping their people to be successful.

#9 – Self-Awareness – A great leader not only understands the many different traits needed to effectively lead others; they also have a strong awareness of their own qualities, strengths and areas to continuing to develop themselves. When they look into the mirror, they see who they really are and how others see them versus who they imagine they are.

#8 – Passionate & Optimistic – People want to work with and for people who lift them up instead of dragging them down. A great leader seeks out the positives in their people, helping them overcome their own feelings of self-doubt and spreading passion and optimism throughout the organization. Passion is infectious. Others will feel it and want to get on board with you.

#7 – Results Focused – At the end of the day as a leader you are responsible for delivering results. What really counts is what is accomplished. Great leaders spend their energy on the most effective actions and activities to achieve the greatest outcomes.

#6 – Personal Accountability – A great leader takes ownership of situations that they are involved in. They see them through and take responsibility for what happens – both good or bad. They don’t point fingers and blame others when things go wrong but do their best to make things right.

#5 – Talent Focused – To become a great leader, you must build and develop a great team. The ability to recruit great new talent while focusing on the individual and collective growth and development of your team is often overlooked as a trait of a great leader. How can you as a leader be successful if you don’t have great talent around you?

#4 – Strong Communicator – Communication is one of the fundamental capabilities of a great leader.  Communication is a two-way conversation with listening as important as speaking. Great leaders listen more than they speak and the more personal and engaging the conversation is, the more effective it will be.

#3 – Supportive – A great leader supports their team members by creating an environment where it is safe to take risks, be honest, speak up and reach their potential. Truly effective leaders not only recognize potential, they feed it, prepare it, and allow their team to exercise it. They know when to shield their team from controversy, protect them and keep them focused on the most important tasks.

#2 – Commitment – Nothing shows commitment and humility like getting your hands dirty with the rest of your team. Showing your commitment sets the example for others to follow, and leads to greater loyalty and respect for you as a leader.

#1 – Inspiration & Vision – A great leader is able to paint a vivid picture of where their team and organization is headed. Try to paint and communicate a vision of the future that inspires your people to do whatever it takes to get there. People want to work toward something they believe in – it gives your team a reason to work, to succeed, and to do their best in everything they do.

 

Leadership doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and it can’t be learned overnight. To be successful as a leader, you must approach it as a long-term journey of continuous reflection and self-improvement.

For more results from The Talent Company’s Pulse on Leadership study please click here http://thetalent.co/pulseonleadership/

Pulse on Leadership

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Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for Recruitment and Talent Management Solutions at The Talent Company – http://www.thetalent.co      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 can be reached at simon.parkin@thetalent.co

For more information on The Talent Company please visit www.thetalent.co

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December 11, 2014

12 Days of Talent: Day 4 – 4 Reasons Why Onboarding Is Your Competitive Advantage

12_days_of_talent_2

4 Reasons Why Onboarding Is Your Competitive Advantage

In a world of hyper efficiency and doing more with less, Onboarding for most is an aspect focused on short-term tasks and getting a new hire settled in. It often starts with being brought to their desk, given a laptop, asked to setup their voicemail, email and then of course, the journey starts to fill out copious forms and reading through mind numbing company documents that “help you get familiar with us”. Our view is that this common approach is too systematic and critically void of what Onboarding is truly supposed to be – a human experience.

Onboarding is not a checklist, nor should it be an attempt to get a new hire to a desk and setup. It is a unique opportunity to show your new member that your external brand mirrors your internal brand. What is promoted externally as a wonderful place to build a career is not only words on a website but is in fact tangible and can be experienced within every aspect of your organization. Additionally, Onboarding should be an experience that provides a new employee with the opportunity to engage, socialize, understand your company’s culture and embrace its core values.

For the few that recognize Onboarding as a competitive edge, it is considered a series of milestones that can often last up to one year. For these exemplars, Onboarding includes mentoring and coaching, networking opportunities, formal goal setting, training, development plans and it is integrated into the talent management process and part of the overall talent strategy. Executing on this well not only produces an engaged employee but it also generates the following:

  1. New brand ambassadors for your company and, hopefully, a source for new and otherwise untapped candidate pipelines
  2. Valuable competitive and industry intelligence
  3. Robustness in your talent management program as existing employees are given opportunities to expand their skills beyond functional areas
  4. Leadership becoming more “connected” to their employee base.

Within these organizations, Onboarding is a shared accountability. It is not the responsibility of HR but rather includes the contribution of many. More importantly, the onus resides with the performance manager to ensure the new hire has a successful first year.

Companies that view Onboarding as a set of painful steps facilitated by checklists are missing out on a unique opportunity. It is a short window of opportunity that provides you with a chance to connect, engage and develop the talent that you have hired, not another number that is added to a report.

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Joe Minaudo is the leader of the Recruitment Strategy and Transformation practice with The Talent Company (www.thetalent.co), a human resources consulting firm that works closely with clients to develop, optimize and innovate their Recruitment and Talent practices. Joe possesses more than 15 years of recruitment, talent management and workforce planning experience. He has lead recruitment and workforce planning functions for both international and global Big 4 consulting firms. Joe can be found at the following social tools LinkedIn and Twitter.

For more information on The Talent Company and our 12 Days of Talent project, visit www.thetalent.co

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February 21, 2014

Pay Attention: Poor Onboarding Is Gutting What Little Competitive Edge You Have Left

Recently, I had the tremendous privilege of presenting at the annual HRPA conference with my business partner, Simon Parkin. This was particularly exciting for me as it was my first opportunity – Simon being the more accomplished speaker, his sixth. As we complete a number of studies throughout the year at our consultancy The Talent Company, our research led us to a hunch that Onboarding would be a point of interest (and angst) for many. Who knew the turnout would be so strong?! Thank you to those who were present and participated. The following includes highlights of the content shared along with additional insights that I believe our clients and network may find helpful.

In a world of hyper efficiency and doing more with less, Onboarding is one aspect for most that is focused on short-term tasks and getting a new hire settled in. It often starts with being brought to their desk, given a laptop, asked to setup their voicemail, email and then of course, the journey starts to fill out copious forms and reading through mind numbing company documents that “help you get familiar with us”. Our view is that this common approach is too systematic and critically void of what Onboarding is truly supposed to be – a human experience.

Onboarding is not a checklist, nor should it be an attempt to get a new hire to a desk and setup. It is a unique opportunity to show your new member that your external brand mirrors your internal brand. What is promoted externally as a wonderful place to build a career is not only words on a website but is in fact tangible and can be experienced within every aspect of your organization. Additionally, Onboarding should be an experience that provides a new employee with the opportunity to engage, socialize, understand your company’s culture and embrace its core values.

For the few that recognize Onboarding as a competitive edge, it is considered a series of milestones that can often last up to one year. For these exemplars, Onboarding includes mentoring and coaching, networking opportunities, formal goal setting, training, development plans and it is integrated into the talent management process and part of the overall talent strategy. Executing on this well not only produces an engaged employee but it also generates the following:

• New brand ambassadors for your company
• A source for new and otherwise untapped candidate pipelines
• Valuable competitive and industry intelligence
• Opportunities for existing employees to expand skills beyond functional areas
• An increase in overall employee engagement
• Robustness in your talent management program
• Leadership becoming more “connected” to their employee base.

Within these organizations, Onboarding is a shared accountability. It is not the responsibility of HR but rather includes the contribution of many. More importantly, the onus resides with the performance manager to ensure the new hire has a successful first year.

In conclusion, company’s which view Onboarding as a set of painful steps facilitated by checklists are missing out on a unique opportunity. It is a short window of opportunity that provides you with a chance to connect, engage and develop the human being that you have hired, not another number that is added to a report.

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Joe Minaudo is the leader of the Strategy and Transformation practice with The Talent Company (www.thetalent.co), a human resources consulting firm that enables organizations to achieve superior business results through the strategic acquisition, management and elevation of talent. Joe has approximately 15 years of recruitment, talent management and workforce planning experience. He has lead recruitment and workforceplanning functions for both international and global Big 4 consulting firms. Joe can be found at the following social tools LinkedIn and Twitter.

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