Posts tagged ‘leadership’

December 15, 2014

12 Days of Talent: Day 2 – 2 Outcome-Focused Recruitment Metrics

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2  Outcome-Focused Recruitment Metrics

How many of us in recruiting are getting too caught up in recruitment metrics these days? We seem to feel that having data on every move a recruiter makes will lead to a better recruitment function. Are we focused on too many metrics in recruitment and are we in fact slowing down the overall effectiveness of our function by creating a too heavily measured environment? And do our business leaders really care about all of these metrics?

We need to be concerned with the engagement levels of our recruiters who are in my opinion the most important factor in an effective recruitment function. Recruiters are getting frustrated with the increased level of measures being used to evaluate their performance. They dislike the increased time it is taking them away from core recruiting to provide data inputs used for reporting. We can’t forget about the importance of the engagement of our recruiters and ensuring metrics aren’t becoming a barrier or blockage to successful recruiting. We also don’t want to build an environment for our recruiters that make them feel and perform as if they are working in a call centre.

Don’t get me wrong, metrics can be a great way to tell a story or use to analyze potential problems within a recruitment function but I continue to hear stories of recruitment functions getting too caught up with metrics and spending too much time generating fancy looking reports full of data that they think the business wants to see.

Let’s think of what is important from the business perspective – which should be what is the true outcome of our work and our impact to the organization’s bottom line.  That’s all they truly want to hear from us.  They aren’t interested in the thirty page presentation on how we decreased their cost per hire by 10% or improved the interview to hire ratio by 20%.

Our businesses all feel the pressure from their shareholders, their employees and their customers.  So from a business perspective, my 2 most important measures of recruitment are:

  • Quality of Hire
  • Service Delivery Excellence

Quality of Hire

This should measure the true outcome of the new hire’s performance and the direct impact to the organization’s bottom line. This measure can be taken in the new hires first 6 months or 1 year. Simply prequalify the primary goals or targets of the new hire with the hiring leader prior to hiring for the role. Did the new hire meet, exceed, or fail to meet these goals or targets. If the new hire exceeded their goals, what was the direct impact to the organization – this is the ultimate outcome and my recommended measure of recruitment success.

Recruiter Service Delivery

This should measure how effective the recruiter was in delivering the recruitment service to their client, the hiring leader. This measure should be taken following the new hires start with the organization and can be done using a simple survey asking if the recruiter met, exceeded, or failed to meet their expectations in terms of process and outcome.  Expectation setting with hiring leaders is a major component of this measure and only helps when measuring a hiring leader’s satisfaction with the performance of the recruiter and the function.  A great tool for recruiters to use with their hiring leaders is a service level agreement which sets the expectations of the relationship and service on both sides.

So the next time you are looking through endless pages of recruitment data, ask yourself is this the data most important to me and the business?

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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

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

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December 12, 2014

12 Days of Talent: Day 3 – The 3 Steps in Talent Optimization

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The 3 Steps in Talent Optimization

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

For more information on The Talent Company and our 12 Days of Talent project, 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

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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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December 10, 2014

12 Days of Talent: Day 5 – 5 Steps To Building Proactive Pipelines of External Talent

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5 Steps To Building Proactive Pipelines of External Talent

One of the continuing challenges facing the Recruitment function is moving from the traditional, reactive and primarily transactional focus to a proactive and enhanced recruitment model.

Think about when you sit down with your hiring leaders to scope a new open position and the role details. When you ask the hiring leaders for a proposed start date for a new hire, how many of them responded with “ASAP” or “yesterday”? How many of your hiring leaders complain about the time it takes to recruit talent externally? And how many of us recruiters continue to get frustrated with these unrealistic pressures from hiring leaders? We know that for the most part, top external talent just doesn’t fall into our laps.

Effective sourcing takes time especially for tougher and more specialized positions to fill.

Over the past few years, I have been working with clients to build and develop effective proactive pipelines of top external talent. Building this type of pipeline isn’t for the light-hearted; it takes time and effort and requires planning, proper resourcing, as well as a skilled recruiter. The planning and the resourcing are the keys to success – proactive pipelining cannot be successfully implemented without the appropriate amount of time devoted to this initiative by a skilled sourcer and recruiter.

The return on investment of proactive pipelining is more than worth the effort. I have witnessed first-hand the enhanced quality of hire via this proactive channel as time is no longer the recruiter’s enemy. Beyond quality of hire, the average time to fill a position is reduced by on average 10-12 days as the sourcing of the top external talent has already been completed prior to the position becoming open.

So how do you get started with building these proactive pipelines of external talent? I look at it as a simple 5 step process:

Plan

Identify

Build

Manage

Execute

 

#1 – Plan

By far the most important step of this process is the planning. Within the planning stage you need to determine what position or positions you plan on building these pipelines for. I would recommend selecting only a few positions, those you and your business deem “critical” to your organization’s success and bottom line either now or within the next year. Determining what positions are “critical” is a difficult task. If you ask any hiring leader they will say that all of their open positions are “critical”. This will force you to walk a political tight rope to prioritize “criticalness”. You should work with the top-level business leaders to determine which positions they think are “critical”. Once you have your critical position(s) identified, you need to invest your time into understanding all about the position and why it would be attractive to potential candidates. Remember, as it is proactive, you are recruiting for a position that isn’t currently open. Knowing all the features and the upside of the position will allow you to effectively sell the potential opportunity to the top talent.

#2 – Identify

Once the planning is complete it is time to identify the top external talent in the market. This is where your skills as a top recruiter will come into play and requires you to be at the top of your game. I always go by the rule that the majority of the top talent in the external market is passive and not actively searching for a new opportunity. Your typical transactional and reactive recruitment sourcing channels won’t effectively work, so don’t count on simply posting the position to job boards as a solution to attract top talent. Be aggressive. Use your networks and referrals to determine who is at the top of their field within the market. Who is the top talent at your competition, or within a recognized leading top talent organization within your geographic area? Get out of the office and do some true recruiting to identify those resources outside your organization that will bring value and success to your company.

 #3 – Build

This is when you worry about getting them interested and excited about your organization. You have identified the individuals you think are the best of the best for the skill set you are looking for. Now it is time to determine the ideal approach to contact and sell to this talent in order to effectively build your proactive pipeline. Again, this is where a recruiter must be a “salesperson” and effectively sell the talent on the organization and the opportunities potentially coming in the future. You must be honest and set expectations that you are recruiting proactively for future opportunities and they have been identified to you as top talent within the market. Don’t be too aggressive with the candidate and always ask if it is alright to keep in touch within an agreed upon timeframe. Also use this opportunity to network further and ask for referrals for other positions you are recruiting for. Be careful to ensure the communication with these candidates is very positive and is a “win-win” for both the candidate and you as the recruiter.

#4 – Manage

By “Manage”, I mean, effectively manage your pipelined candidates. You need to ensure you nurture and speak with your pipelined candidates on a regular basis as was established and agreed upon when you first spoke with the candidates. If possible use technology to effectively document and track your pipeline – this is where a CRM tool could be effectively used by recruiters similar to the way salespeople use this tool for building and managing sales pipelines.

Steps 2, 3 and 4 are ongoing. You should always be on the lookout for new top talent externally and ensure you are effectively building and managing your pipelines. Again, this is an investment and will pay off when your organization most needs it to.

#5 – Execute

Step 5 is sometimes forgotten and it is simply to execute once one of your critical positions becomes open. Your sourcing is hopefully already complete and now when your hiring leaders answer your “when would you like the person to start” with “ASAP” you can pull out a slate of pre-sourced and qualified top external talent and sit back and relax………ok, maybe not relax but you will be feeling very good about your efforts as will your business leaders.

And of course, you need to continually monitor the success of your proactive pipelining efforts – how are you going to show your business leaders the ROI of your efforts?

Obviously there are many more details within each of these 5 steps to effectively build proactive pipelines of external talent and I hope this high level description provides insight into how to further add value to your organization’s hunt for key talent.

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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

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

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December 9, 2014

12 Days of Talent: Day 6 – The Top 6 HR Disciplines with the Greatest Impact On Revenue

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As a Talent Acquisition advisor to a number of the largest organizations in the world, it still surprises me on the number of organizations of all sizes who fail to see the importance and the impact of Recruitment (and the other “talent” related functions) to their bottom line.  In a time when the business is pressing Human Resources to do a better job of quantifying their impact to the organization, there are still so many HR functions simply not investing enough into their recruitment practices.

One of my favourite studies showing the direct impact of Recruitment to an organization’s bottom line was done in 2012 by The Boston Consulting Group.  Here is a snapshot from the study of the top 6 HR Disciplines and their corresponding impacts on Revenue Growth and Profit Margin for the organization:

HR Discipline Impact on Revenue Growth Impact on Profit Margin
1. Recruitment 3.5x 2.0x
2. Onboarding 2.5x 1.9x
3. Managing Talent 2.2x 2.1x
4. Employer Branding 2.4x 1.8x
5. Performance Mgmt & Rewards 2.1x 2.0x
6. Leadership Effectiveness 2.1x 1.8x

Source:    Boston Consulting Group – 2012

 

If HR were a business and this research was presented to HR showing the impact of each of their HR divisions, as a business it would be a no-brainer which divisions they would invest the most money and time into.

In the past few years, we have worked with a growing number of HR leaders who are slowly recognizing the importance of investing properly into their recruitment talent and practices.  Many organizations and HR functions ask us to help them understand why their recruitment efforts continue to fall short – for the most part, the answer is usually due to their limited capacity and capabilities. This is where we are engaged to help them turn their function around.  Without the proper investment in your recruitment function, you will fail to take advantage of one of the major drivers within HR to make a significant impact to your organization’s bottom line.

 

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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

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

 

 

 

 

December 5, 2014

12 Days of Talent: Day 8 – 8 Practices to Develop Your Leaders

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8 Practices to Develop Your Leaders

The success of any organization is highly dependent on its leaders. While there is no substitute for choosing the right leaders to begin with, leaders can become more successful through the development of a sound leadership development strategy that utilizes a number of the practices identified below.  Leadership development has been linked as a positive financial driver and a true competitive edge between companies that have strong leadership development programs and to those that do not.

Fresh from the results of The Talent Company’s Pulse on Leadership study, we asked the study’s participants what are the top practices their organization’s use to develop leaders.

Here are the Top 8 organizational practices used to develop leaders:

#8 – Mentorship – Mentorship refers to a professional developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.  For leadership development purposes there is value in leaders or potential leaders being on both sides of a mentoring relationship.  They can gain from the experience and insight from a more experienced leader who is their mentor or develop leadership qualities through being a mentor to a less experienced employee.

#7 – 360-Degree Feedback – Research has consistently shown that 360-degree feedback is one of the most effective tools available for developing leaders. The main benefit is that it develops the essential self-awareness that motivates people to understand and ultimately develop themselves.

#6 – Rotational Assignments – Leaders gain knowledge and skills by learning different roles and/or facets of the organization over a set period of time.  These assignments enhance a leader’s knowledge, accomplishments, reach, impact, and influence across different aspects of their organization.

#5 – Executive Education – These are the academic programs at business schools worldwide for executives, business leaders and managers.  Many of the schools offer customized programs, which are tailored for the leaders within a specific organization.  Customized programs help organizations increase leadership capability by combining the science of business and performance management into specialized programs that enable leaders to develop new knowledge, skills and attitudes.

#4 – Stretch Assignments – The stretch assignment is a project or task given to leaders or potential new leaders which are beyond their current knowledge, skill level and comfort zone.  The stretch assignment challenges leaders by placing them into uncomfortable situations in order to learn and grow.

#3 – Action learning – Action learning involves putting participants into teams and having each team solve a real strategic challenge for their organization. The outcome is typically a recommendation to senior management that is either accepted or rejected. With the right levels of guidance, studies have shown action learning to be one of the most powerful leadership development practices available.

#2 – Executive Coaching – Having a great personal coach can be far more powerful than attending the best training. More and more organizations are making use of personal coaching for leadership development. Key ingredients of a great coach are training, relevant experience and objectivity.

#1 – A combination of all or a few of the leadership development practices identified above – The top organizations recognized for their strong leadership development programs utilize a combination of a number of leadership development practices identified above.

 

Leadership doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and it can’t be learned overnight. For an organization to be successful at developing their leader, you must approach it as a long-term journey of continuous growth and development.  Stay tuned for more results from The Talent Company’s Pulse on Leadership study.

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Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for Recruitment, Talent and HR 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 athttp://ca.linkedin.com/in/simonparkin1

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

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December 3, 2014

The Talent Company’s 12 Days of Talent: Day 10 – 10 Ways To Use An Executive Coach

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10 Ways To Use An Executive Coach

Executive coaching is a partnership between an individual and their coach. The basic premise in coaching is that we are all capable and creative. Coaching is a deliberate process used to harness this capability and creativity to enhance an individual’s ability to accomplish their goals. In coaching an individual’s decisions and actions remain their own; through the coaching process they are held accountable for keeping their commitments through a confidential and trusting relationship with the coach.

Coaching takes place through a series of interactive conversations that are scheduled on a regular basis either in face to face meetings or via phone. The conversations are focused on what the individual needs to accomplish. The coaching interaction helps individuals leverage their skills and knowledge to move forward with their goals, it allows participants to focus. A Coach creates a safe environment to listen, ask questions, reflect back, challenge and acknowledge the individual. A Coach will champion, advocate and provide authentic feedback to support the individual’s growth and development.

How could you use an Executive Coach?

  1. Develop vision and goals
  2. As a sounding board; explore possibilities & building on past success
  3. Facilitate the brainstorming of strategies and/or action plans, including creating realistic timelines and understand/anticipate obstacles that could prevent the desired outcomes
  4. Help you learn a new skill and/or develop a competency
  5. For authentic feedback, encouragement and validation
  6. Support successful role transition
  7. Gain insights including different perspectives into yourself and your business relationships and situations
  8. Help you maintain your commitment, focus and clarity throughout the journey
  9. To assess and improve important working relationships
  10. Encourage you to sustain a behavioural change

The impact of coaching can be profound, both for individuals and organizations. Proven benefits have included improved employee engagement and leadership capacity, leaders delivering on individual and organizational goals, greater management effectiveness, quicker transition periods for leaders moving to new positions, improved communications, and stronger working relationships.

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The Talent Company works with organizations across North America providing an established Executive Coaching Practice with a full roster of experienced and certified Coaches to meet all of our clients needs.  For more information on our Executive Coaching Practice please visit http://thetalent.co/executive-coaching/ or contact Kathleen Jinkerson directly at 1-866-612-7119.

The Talent Company is a human resources consulting firm that work closely with clients to develop, optimize and innovate their HR, Leadership and Talent practices.  The Talent Company is comprised of leading Human Resources, Talent, Recruitment, Leadership, Compensation and Total Rewards experts with proven track records of client and organizational success. Our collective resources, vast experience, and extensive industry knowledge enhance our ability to deliver outstanding value to our clients.  As human resources leaders with in-depth experience at a number of global organizations, strong reputations for HR and Talent excellence, we possess the proven experience to execute on your needs. We have “walked a mile in our clients’ shoes”.

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

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December 2, 2014

The Talent Company’s 12 Days of Talent: Day 11 – 11 Effective Total Rewards for Your Organization

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11 Effective Total Rewards for Your Organization

At The Talent Company our main focus is advising organizations on how to recruit, manage and motivate talent. It’s a simple goal, but can be challenging to execute.

A key factor in doing just that is to create a robust total rewards plan that is aligned to an organization’s talent strategy. Most organizations understand that the foundation for engaging their workforce is having an effective total rewards strategy in place. This includes compensation encompassing base pay and incentives for each employee. We all want to be fairly compensated for our work; but what constitutes fair compensation is the subject for another article.

Where most organizations fall short is in their understanding of how leveraging other total rewards programs can have an equal or greater influence on talent engagement and satisfaction. In our opinion, the programs listed below are some of the most overlooked yet effective motivators that a company can employ to attract, retain and motivate their talent:

Benefits

Offering the right mix of health benefits, disability and income replacement insurance, employee assistance plans and retirement savings programs can be a key differentiator when it comes to recruiting and retaining talented individuals.

Employee purchase plans

Offering discounts on your own company’s product or services encourages brand loyalty, deeper product awareness and further engagement with the company’s broader mission.

 Flexible work arrangements

The benefits of flexible work arrangements can be profound. It drives recruitment and retention, improves morale and productivity, enhances cross-training, facilitates knowledge transfer and improves talent and succession planning.

Formal recognition programs

Looking to create closer alignment between HR and business objectives? A recognition program that is well designed and implemented is a good first step. Take the time to clarify the priorities of the business, identify which activities will drive results and encourage those behaviours through continued communication.

Gifts/prizes

When tied to clear team and/or individual goals and awarded in a transparent and fair manner, gifts and prizes can be a fun and effective results driver. In my opinion, however, they need to be used judiciously. This form of acknowledgement can alienate the remaining 80% of employees who do not win prizes often.

Group discount plans

Group discount plans are low cost, and sometimes free to implement but offer a high perceived value. The most common group discount plans include transit, entertainment or gym memberships are also worth considering.

Informal recognition

It’s simple, yet often a sincere thank you goes a long way. Take the time to acknowledge someone’s efforts privately and/or in front of the team.

Space

Space is an under-utilized commodity. The tech companies get it and you may want to consider it too. Ensuring your workplace is ergonomic, creating space for collaboration and/or offering room for socializing and personal activities creates a sense of community and makes for a happier and more productive workforce.

Subsidies for education and/or professional development

If you want top talent, recognize that you and your employees play a role in keeping their knowledge and skills current. Yes, you may lose an employee once they complete a course but then again one can assume they were probably leaving anyways.

Vacation time

Vacation time is very important to your employees. The key is to foster a culture of vacation entitlement and acceptance. Provide for an environment where employees feel comfortable in taking all of their vacation days. After all, vacation time taken does lead to decreased absenteeism and improved productivity.

Wellness programs

The characteristics of wellness programs can vary widely. They can include basic information on health and wellness issues to onsite services like seasonal flu vaccines and health screening. The return on this investment will be high as a healthy workforce is a more productive one.

 

At The Talent Company we advocate for customized solutions and as with all programs, care and consideration must be given to how each program can best be used in your company. If you are interested in learning more about current trends in total rewards or in enhancing your current total rewards offering, feel free to contact me.

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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 Recruitment and Talent practices. Kathleen has over 10 years of experience in partnering with organizations to help them build their talent capacity as well as their HR and leadership teams. Kathleen is very active on both 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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December 1, 2014

The Talent Company’s 12 Days of Talent: Day 12 – The 12 Traits of a Great Leader

 

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12 Traits of a Great Leader

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, 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.
Stay tuned for more results from The Talent Company’s Pulse on Leadership study.
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Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for 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

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

New Talent Company_logo

February 10, 2014

Trends in Talent Acquisition for 2014

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at the HRPA conference in Toronto on a few of the trends we are seeing within the Talent Acquisition function in Canada.  I am fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at a number of Human Resources conferences around North America each year and always enjoy how engaged the Toronto conference participants are with the challenges their organizations face with recruitment in Canada.

So what makes me so knowledgeable with the current state of Talent Acquisition?  As a former Global Recruitment Leader from a Fortune 100 company and having spent the last 6 years working closely with organizations of all sizes across every industry in every continent across the globe, I get exposed to every aspect of recruitment innovations, practices, and challenges.  I also participate in a roundtable event for senior recruitment leaders from the largest organizations in Canada held every 3 months where we discuss and debate the latest and greatest in recruitment practices.

So what’s going on in Talent Acquisition in Canada these days?  Number 1 is that many organizations are finally back to a focus on growth in terms of their talent – but smart growth.  Organizations are still being very cautious with their headcount and ensuring that the growth is focused on the customer facing roles best equipped to drive revenue and margins for their business.  Organizations are finally gearing up their recruitment efforts and ensuring their talent acquisition functions are appropriately equipped to source and select top talent once again…or so we hope. The past 5 years in the world of Talent Acquisition in Canada has been centred under one main theme – “doing more with less”.

Unfortunately most organizations in Canada are not prepared for the focus on growth specifically as it relates to their talent acquisition functions.  Based on my current observations, recruitment within most organizations in Canada is:

  • Under-funded based on the expectations and needs of the business;
  • Limited by the capacity of their current recruitment function;
  • Limited by the capabilities of their current recruitment function;
  • Treated as a transactional administrative process.

The key challenges within Talent Acquisition continue to remain the same:

  1. Finding good candidates.
  2. Filling positions quickly.
  3. Engaging the hiring managers and getting them to see recruitment as a priority.
  4. Candidate care and experience with the recruitment process.

So what are some of the other trends in the Canadian recruitment market?

teamwork business concept - cube assembling from blocks

“Unplugging your ATS”

Before all the Applicant Tracking System providers get mad at me let me explain this point.  There is finally a push amongst organizations to “humanize” their recruitment process and get back to old school basic recruitment practices.  These old school recruitment practices simply involve ensuring there are live human-to-human touch points within the recruitment process – not so innovative when you really think about it.  However, these old school recruitment functions recognize that their candidates are also potential customers and clients and appreciate every candidate’s interest in their organization regardless of their qualifications.  A quick live conversation with a candidate will go a long way to appreciate their time and interest in your organization.

For years organizations have built a wall of technology around their recruitment function – not sure what they are truly trying to guard within those walls.  Candidates continue to be frustrated with investing their time in applying to an organization through their website and feeling as though their resumes are simply dumped into a “black hole”.  Sales and marketing professionals would go crazy hearing the way most recruitment functions treat people (a.k.a. consumers) who have expressed an interest in an organization and walk away from the process feeling frustrated and unappreciated.

Many organizations are beginning to realize the benefits of moving from an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to a Candidate Relationship Management (CRM).   The candidate centric CRM technology is helping to transform the focus of Recruitment functions and follow more of the sales and marketing principles and practices.  Hopefully this trend continues to gain momentum over the year and more organizations show candidates some appreciation.

Aggressive Candidate Sourcing

Over the past year, I have seen a significant rise in the demand for my firm’s assistance in designing and developing a greater organizational focus and capability on candidate sourcing.  Companies want to be more aggressive when it comes to candidate sourcing – so the corporate intentions are there to get away from the “Post & Pray” culture they have been used to.

The biggest obstacle for organizations in becoming more aggressive in candidate sourcing is their own capacity, or should I say the lack of capacity.  Recruitment resources at most organizations are already spread too thin these days.  On average, Recruiters are responsible for 30 to 40 open positions at one time.  Quality and aggressive sourcing takes both time and skill which is not possible when your current resources are constrained to simply operating in a reactive recruitment mode.  Organizations are beginning to look for ways to overcome this obstacle and are investing in new dedicated sourcing specialists to complement their Recruiters and hunt the market for talent.

Many of the organizations we work with are spending significant amounts of money and budget on great recruitment tools like LinkedIn Recruiter Seats and other social media platforms.  Unfortunately, these same organizations are not leveraging these costly tools to their fullest.  Most organizations and their Recruiters are not utilizing the direct candidate sourcing power of LinkedIn.  They are simply using LinkedIn for posting their open roles and are not taking advantage of all the great features LinkedIn provides for their clients.   It is critical to ensure your organization is getting the most effective use of the tools you are already paying for.

The starting point for an organization, who wants to be more aggressive and proactive with candidate sourcing, is to understand and align the business goals.  The business goals need to be translated into the talent strategy which should identify the key roles the organization will hire for over the next 6 months to 1 year.  These are the roles your sourcing function should build proactive talent pipelines for.   You cannot pipeline candidates for every role for your organization, it simply is not possible.  My recommendation is to target the top 3 to 5 key roles critical for your organization’s success and build a proactive talent pipelining strategy around them.

It takes an investment of time and money to evolve your organization into a talent hunter culture.

Deeper Assessment of Candidates – Challenging the Status Quo

According to a survey by Harris Interactive in 2013, the top influencing factors for managers in hiring candidates are:

  1. A candidate’s sense of humour (27%)
  2. A candidate’s involvement in the community (26%)
  3. The better dressed candidate (22%)
  4. Candidates with whom the hiring manager has more in common with (21%)
  5. Candidates who are physically fit (13%).

This study highlights the flaws in the current way hiring managers’ interview and assess candidates for roles within their organization.  It’s scary that following are missing from the list of the top influencing factors in hiring candidates:

  • Experience
  • Achievements
  • Organizational fit
  • Potential

Additionally, you need to assume 50% of your candidates misrepresent themselves on their resume or exaggerate their experience in an interview – are your hiring managers equipped to properly assess the candidates coming through your recruitment process?  One of the leading challenges I see with hiring managers and their interviewing practices is that they take everything candidates say as fact and rarely probe deeper into the answers candidates provide to their questions.

The format and structure of a typical candidate interview is also a challenge.  The average candidate interview is an hour.  Is an hour long interview really enough time to truly assess a candidate’s true skills and experience, their fit within the organization as well as their future potential?  When you break down the interview with the usually banter and small talk, include time for the candidate to ask questions, the hour long interview is now approximately 30 minutes long.  The hiring managers are most likely trying to get through as many of the questions as they can focusing on the quantity of questions they can ask versus the quality of the answers.

Another top challenge for an organization is to align its hiring managers with the organization’s talent strategy and goals.  Most hiring managers are simply trying to fill their open role without thinking of the new hire’s longer term potential within the organization.  As I have cited earlier, hiring managers have enough of a challenging time simply assessing a candidate’s skills and experience for the role and are rarely able to assess the candidate’s organizational fit and future potential.

Organizations are starting to realize the gaps within their interview process are directly related to the number of poor hires coming into their organization.  They are beginning to engage firms like The Talent Company to design and develop more thorough interviewing platforms and provide training for their hiring managers to be more thorough and confident in their interviewing practices.

A great business leader once told me that filling an open position is as important as any other business decision for a leader – every open position is an opportunity to upgrade your talent.  Unfortunately most organizations are not properly equipping their hiring managers with the appropriate training and tools to make the best hiring decisions.

The Balance between Candidate Romance & Assessment

We work with a number of organizations who are struggling with the balance between their candidate experience and selling the value proposition of the opportunity to the candidate versus using the appropriate level of assessments and number of interviews in order to make the right hiring decision.

There are a number of frightening statistics when it comes to hiring success:

  • According to a Leadership IQ study in 2013, 46% of new hires will fail within their first 18 months with an organization.
  • A Harris Interactive 2013 study points out that 61% of new hires are unhappy because they feel that they had been misled during the hiring process.
  • The Recruiting Roundtable in 2013 states that 50% of hiring organizations or the new hires themselves regret the decision they made.

When I see these numbers, I applaud organizations who are trying to do things differently.  They have recognized that they hiring practices are not working and they need to change.  They are trying new tools and methods to interview and assess candidates and their fit.  It’s a tough balance as candidates can quickly get frustrated with robust recruitment processes.

An organization should never feel the need to apologize for their robust recruitment process.  With the statistics cited above, an organization needs to do a more thorough job of understanding and assessing their candidates.  The following is a simple remedy to balance your candidate’s experience to ensure they still feel the “love” and can be smitten by the opportunity while gaining a deeper and more thorough perspective on the candidates:

  1. Expectations setting up front with the candidates on your recruitment process.
  2. Regular communication touch points with the candidates throughout your recruitment process to maintain their engagement with the opportunity.
  3. Follow-ups with candidates after each stage of the process to answer any questions or concerns they have with the organization and process.

The Canadian recruitment landscape continues to evolve each year with new innovative ways to recruit talent.  Organizations need to review the success they have had in acquiring and retaining talent on a regular basis.  They should not be afraid to look at and try new ways of recruiting talent and should always have the top outcome in mind – hiring the best talent for their organization.

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Talent Company logo

Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for 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

Simon can be reached at simon.parkin@thetalent.co


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