Posts tagged ‘Recruitment’

December 18, 2014

12 Days of Talent – Day 1 Part 3 – HR’s Top Priority for 2015 – Readying Your Organization for the Change in the Labour Market

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HR’s Top Priority for 2015 – Readying Your Organization for the Change in the Labour Market

The next year will continue to be a period of change and transformation for Human Resources functions across North America.  I have been an HR and Talent professional for over 20 years working with some of the top organizations around the globe.  This year has been one of the busiest years for our Recruitment and Talent Advisory Practice since our inception 7 years ago – and one of the top 3 reasons our clients have called us over the past year has been to help organizations prepare for the change in the labour market.

The market is quickly changing from “an easier to recruit in” employer centric market where the supply of strong talent has easily outnumbered the demand for talent.  In 2015 the demand for talent will quickly overtake the supply of strong talent for the first time in the past 7 years.  Unemployment rates will continue to drop to pre-2007 numbers and the strong talent every organization seeks for their critical roles will be tougher to find.

The smart organizations have been preparing for this change in the labour market over the past year investing appropriately in their talent management and acquisition functions and practices.  They understand the HR challenges ahead for their organizations and have ensured their functions are positioned in the best direction.

Here are a few of the HR challenges your organization will face in 2015:

  • Retention of your top talent – organizations across the continent are back in growth and will be more aggressive in the recruitment of your top talent to their organizations.
  • Retention of your top recruiters – often an overlooked area of focus but anyone who has heard me speak at a conference knows my view that only 20% of corporate recruiters are good and the first step in recruiting top talent to an organization is to hire great recruiters. So do whatever you can to hold onto the great recruiters you have.
  • Timeliness of your hiring decisions – over the past 7 years, organizations have increased the time they took in interviewing and making their hiring decisions. Unfortunately those organizations will lose the “good-to-great candidates” in their process to other organizations who are quicker to make their hiring decisions.
  • Managing a candidate’s multiple offers and counter offers – with most organizations focused on hiring in 2015, don’t be surprised that the “good-to-great candidates” you make offers to will have the luxury of weighing your offer to at least one other organization’s offer to them – so you better put your best offer forward and not wait to try and negotiate with a candidate as you will lose them to another organization. Or just as tough a scenario will be the candidate’s current organization doing everything possible to prevent the talent from leaving and presenting them with a counter offer.

We work with organizations every day to help them prepare their recruitment practices to be effective (and more efficient) in meeting the demands of the changing labour markets.  As an HR professional, what are you doing to prepare your organization for 2015?

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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 16, 2014

12 Days of Talent – Day 1 Part 2 – HR’s Top Priority for 2015 – Authenticity

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The Future of Talent Lies in Embracing Authenticity

By Joe Minaudo, The Talent Company

As organizations continue to compete for talent, in my view, there is a critical driver that many organizations overlook: whether or not their people, culture and brand are perceived as authentic. 

Why does authenticity matter now more than ever?  It’s because of our increasingly networked world. Nearly every one of your candidates, employees, customers and vendors is being asked what they think about your company. If the message is positive (i.e. if your organization is perceived to be genuine), you have an immense advantage over your competition. However, if the message is negative and your organization is being criticized on various social media and networking sites, then your ability to attract talent becomes much harder.

Tips for Embracing Authenticity

If you think that your organization has some work to do in this area, then the good news is that enabling authenticity is neither costly nor challenging. Here are 7 tips that I have recommended to help my clients transform how they are perceived:

Treat Each Candidate Interaction as the Last One – Ever!

Yes, it is important to try and keep the candidate pipeline full. But in my opinion it is even more important to focus incessantly on treating each candidate interaction as your last one – ever!  That is, you should view each visit to your career site, email sent, phone call made, interview completed and referral introduction as a key opportunity to convey that your organization strives for and cares about authenticity and all of its attributes, such as care, enthusiasm, professionalism, quality and leadership. Leveraging every touch point in this way is the best way to build authenticity into your organization.

Turn Executives into Authenticity Champions

Your executives are (or should be) your biggest champions. How passionate are they about engaging and elevating your organization’s talent? In other words, is talent management a key theme on the executive agenda? Is it a priority in the boardroom?  Leaders need to be authentically waving the organization’s flag at all times.

Ensure that Managers and Supervisors Play a Role

Managers need to be trained and supported on how to demonstrate and distribute authenticity through all levels of the organization. A key element of this is engaging employees, and ensuring that they feel valued. Its simple; if employees are engaged and feel valued, there is a direct correlation to company’s increased performance and client satisfaction.

It’s a continuous effort of process improvement

Organizations invest millions of dollars into getting customer care and retention right. And while you do not need to spend millions on your talent function, you certainly do need to ensure your talent function is fit for purpose. It takes time and should be part of an ongoing commitment – not a one-time-event. Authenticity takes time to build up and must be continuously supported or else it will diminish.

Make Candidate Care and Experience a Priority

Just like a visitor in a hotel, your candidates – both internally and externally – should feel like a valued guest. Every interaction should be designed for a positive experience, from initial contact to communicating why they were unsuccessful during the interview process.

Ensure that your External Brand Mirrors your Internal Experience

Frankly, there is no point in marketing your organization as a top employer if candidates and employees do not support that claim. Nobody benefits when a new hire feels like he or she has been deceived because the external brand does not mirror the internal experience. When that happens, it is only a matter of time before the employee leaves; or worse, they stay and contribute to a culture of disengagement.  Your organization has to feel and show like it is a great place to work. That’s the path to authenticity.

A Little Humility Goes a Long Way

No matter how admirable an organization may be, and how often it is ranked as a “best employer” or “most trusted brand,” there is always room for improvement. Organizational perfection may be an inspiring vision, but it is not a realistic expectation.

So, if you detect gaps in your talent function, or you get specific feedback from a candidate that their experience with your organization was memorable for all of the wrong reasons, then instead of hitting the panic or the denial button, humbly take ownership of the problem and explore what can be done to solve it. Sometimes simply saying sorry and promising to do better can turn a vicious critic into a future prospect.

Organizations must continue adjusting in an increasingly competitive and complex talent market. And while there are many factors and variables to consider, in my view authenticity is often overlooked as a critical driver; one that not only makes the process of attracting, engaging and retaining talent easier, but much more enjoyably as well!

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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 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 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 8, 2014

The Talent Company’s 12 Days of Talent: Day 7 – 7 Reasons Why Recruitment Should Partner with Marketing

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7 Reasons Why Recruitment Should Partner with Marketing

Every organization reaches a point where its ability to attract new talent demands a new, creative approach. The old way simply doesn’t cut it anymore, and hiring managers grow impatient. So where does one find new inspiration?

Acquiring talent is undeniably similar to marketing. In marketing, as in finding talent, customers (and candidates) must be engaged, convinced and nurtured before a sale (or hire) is completed.

Ultimately, any organization that is struggling to keep up and compete for talent would be remiss to not leverage its internal marketing expertise. Here are a few marketing themes to help reposition an organization on a path to success:

  1. Create a positive experience every time. Some of the largest organizations in the world spend millions of dollars to ensure that customer touch points are positive – which, ultimately, improves the customer experience and drives up revenue. The same principle can be applied to the candidate interview experience. The consequences of a poor interview experience last far beyond the interview itself, as colleagues, friends and family surely come to know about it. It’s key for organizations to ensure that every candidate interaction is positive.
  2. Use job posting titles to engage. A job title is an opportunity to stand out and engage talent. How can any recruiter expect to engage quality talent with a title as unoriginal as Network Administrator? Organizations should use this opportunity (or “copy space” as marketers refer to it) to educate candidates on what makes the organization unique and sets it apart. For example World Class International Organization in Search of Network Infrastructure Star is sure to get much more positive attention – not to mention clicks and inquiries.
  3. Leverage other channels. Attracting talent these days is so competitive, that in many organizations opportunities remain unfilled for months. However, with the volume of tools and people available, there’s no reason for this! I have over 1,000 connections on LinkedIn, who, in turn, connect me to nearly 1,600,000 people (via extended networks). That’s a lot of extra people to help put an opportunity in front of the right candidate. Don’t forget to engage your extended network and ask for help to spread the word! A word of caution however: reciprocity is key. You, too, must be willing to share opportunities when asked. Another channel to consider is recruitment vendors. They’re an extension of an organization. Just remember that to ensure that they have the right collateral and share appropriate messaging on your organizations behalf.
  4. Create content worth sharing. Content (such as a job description) should do more than just communicate job details. Rather, it can be used to establish brand, convey key differentiators, and elevate an organization as a leading employer – provided, of course, that the content is worth sharing. If so, then one of the most potent and inexpensive ways to spread the word is through social media; especially now that integrated communication features such as Share, Like, Re-Tweet and Pin It make it effortless for people to share compelling content.
  5. Repeat and schedule updates. Another great social media feature is the ability to strategically position content in front of a target market when they’re most likely to read it. Many social media aggregators make it easy to schedule and repeatedly distribute content. It’s like running a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl because the content is distributed to a targeted and engaged audience. And best of all, it’s free!
  6. Build and foster communities. A well-developed community engages people and allows them to remain connected to an organization’s brand. Communities come in different forms and sizes, including simple LinkedIn groups and Facebook pages, to comprehensive alumni programs that provide key market updates, attract new talent, and foster new business leads. A well-maintained community builds brand awareness, creates interest, and can be a fantastic source for new and engaged candidates.
  7. Conduct market research. Prior to entering a new market or launching a new product, organizations conduct research to understand market influences, identify obstacles to success, and discover how to best position their product or service. Talent attraction can certainly follow that lead. It amazes me how often talent is described as “one of the top two most important assets for an organization,” and yet it’s rarely given the same resources and budget as a marketing strategy. Market research enables organizations to gain insights on what influences and motivates top talent to consider new career opportunities.

While each of the themes above are beneficial, frankly, the only way to measurably take recruiting to the next level is to embed the principles of marketing within every aspect of an organization’s talent attraction strategy. This includes identifying, engaging, nurturing, and onboarding talent.

Of course, all of this begs the question: “What about organizations that lack the required marketing resources, or whose marketing department barely helps out with simple branding initiatives — let alone all of this extra talent attraction stuff?”

This is a valid concern and common challenge. To find an answer, I consulted a number of marketing leaders within my network. All of their feedback boiled down to this: talent attraction functions must do their homework, build a business case, and convince leadership that it is a worthy investment for additional marketing resources and budget.

In addition, organizations are wise to socialize what they want to achieve by seeking the advice of marketing leaders – because they likely know how, and how not, to proceed. At the same time, bringing marketing leaders into the conversation helps build early consensus and support, which is typically a deciding factor to the executive who will (or won’t) be releasing the additional budget.

In conclusion, as the global economy continues to improve, the fight for talent will grow with intensity. It will be a difficult challenge for many companies. Traditional methods of attracting talent are becoming less useful, and so the need for a different approach is growing. And on a humanistic level, how we interact has also evolved as social media empowers the average person to become more collaborative, bold and influential as opinions are voiced live and with a global reach. One poor interview experience with a candidate, and hundreds — if not thousands — will know about it in a matter of days (sometimes hours).

What this also means is that the close alignment between marketing and talent attraction needs to be more prevalent – and not just to avoid negative candidate feedback, but as a means to better understand and engage hard-to-find talent tactically and strategically.

My opinion is that we hit an inflexion point a while ago, and that talent attraction’s next frontier is clearly a partnership with marketing.

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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 HR, 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 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?

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“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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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


January 21, 2014

HR Consulting Firm The Talent Company Announces Scott Bryan as Vice President of Consulting

Markham, Ontario, Canada – January 21, 2014 – Human Resources consulting firm The Talent Company has announced the appointment of Scott Bryan as Vice President of Consulting.

“Scott’s addition to our executive leadership team is a significant step forward in the evolution of The Talent Company,” says Joe Minaudo, Partner of the Strategy and Transformation Advisory practice. “With Scott’s experience in providing some of the most complex and value-added Branding solutions, The Talent Company becomes well positioned to provide a more expanded offering in helping clients to attract, engage and retain top talent.”

Effective immediately, Scott Bryan becomes practice leader of The Talent Company’s Marketing, Branding and Communications practice. In addition, Scott will work closely with practice leaders within The Talent Company to expand market leadership and explore new client opportunities within the human resources advisory space.

“I’m sincerely delighted to join this talented and passionate group of experts. The partners at The Talent Company are some of the most well respected HR executives in the industry. I also look forward to building true partnerships with our clients as we provide them with practical solutions and support” says Scott Bryan.

The Talent Company is a human resources consulting firm that enables organizations to achieve superior business results through the strategic acquisition, management and elevation of talent. Our organization is comprised of leading human resources, executive coaching, compensation, and talent 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.

The Talent Company – Practical Solutions. Exceptional Results.

 

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Inquiries:

 

Joe Minaudo

The Talent Company

joe.minaudo@thetalent.co

1-866-973-9152

October 4, 2013

The Coaching Imperative – An Interview with Alison Hendren, Master Certified Coach

 Executive Coaching 2

There is no doubt that the fastest growing competency in business today is that of Coaching. The reason for this is clear and quite simple – it works! The ever-increasing body of evidence around the ROI and cultural impact of Coaching is quite astounding.  From Fortune 500 companies to small entrepreneurial ventures, “C” suite executives and other organizational leaders, to the rank and file front line employees. All are seeing the value and benefits of Coaching as a core part of how they operate, the impact on people, and the bottom line.

I recently sat down with Alison Hendren, a pioneer in the coaching profession and founder of Coaching Out of the Box®, a Canadian owned and operated leader in coaching education. Coaching Out of the Box® works with companies in North America by training and supporting the development of coach trainers within an organization, or by the delivery of training directly to an organization by Coaching Out of the Box® itself. Although other programs like their coaching practicums are quickly growing in popularity, its flagship 5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program™ is gaining a tremendous amount of attention. They have had over 8,000 people attend their programs.

Bruce: So Alison, let’s cut right to the chase, why Coaching and why now?

Alison: Today’s fast paced and competitive work environment requires that we maximize the strengths and talent of all people in an organization. No longer does command and control work, and in order to retain talented and valued people, we must up our game to better support their ongoing development and satisfaction.  Honestly, it is a burning platform and organizations need all hands on deck!

Bruce: Why are leaders and organizations embracing Coaching at such a feverish rate?

Alison: It works!  One of our clients said to me recently, not only are you teaching people how to coach, you are creating raging advocates for Coaching.  People are energized when they are really listened to. They are excited to be challenged and enthusiastic to go and use these skills in their work and personal lives. They feel relief when they realize they are not responsible for figuring it all out on their own. Now they have a way to tap into the talent and abilities of others, and they love the structure of accountability that Coaching creates.

Bruce: What are the top three reasons you see organizations embracing Coaching as a core competency?

Alison:

  1. Demand; their own people are asking for it.
  2. The urgency to dramatically increase leadership effectiveness.
  3. Time and Money:  Coaching is the most potent way I’ve seen to strengthen retention of valuable people, capitalize on everyone’s strengths and talent, and at the same time move farther, faster, easier, quicker and better than it would have without coaching.

Bruce: I have heard coaches speak about bringing a “coach approach” to the way they manage, facilitate, lead, etc. What exactly does that mean?

Alison: Great question!  It means that they bring the coaching skills they’ve learned to all that they do.  It is in the way they ask questions that are more effective in finding out and seeking ideas, creativity and innovation from others.  It is the way that they take the time to really listen to others and clarify exactly what they are hearing. The way they conduct meetings so that people are heard, excited and motivated to move forward, and everyone leaves knowing who is accountable for what.  Creating an environment of asking vs telling, being curious vs knowing, highlighting and focusing on people’s strengths, getting crystal clear as to what is the purpose of any conversation and what is the intended outcome.  I think you get the idea – there is so much more!

Bruce: What is the competitive advantage you see for those who invest in Coaching both personally and organizationally?

Alison: Think about it.  When you maximize the strengths and talent of everyone, accelerate learning and innovation, have people excited and committed to supporting each other’s success while at the same time dramatically increasing accountability, AND have it so it is applicable in people’s family and personal lives you’ve got one heck of an advantage.  This is what Coaching does!

Bruce: What was the driving factor for you in creating the “5/5/5” flagship training program?

Alison: Making it as easy as possible for people to learn Coaching, use it right away and be excited to learn and develop themselves and others.  I wanted to create a way for people to learn coaching so that even after a few hours of our 5/5/5 Program they have something they can use immediately.  A few years ago we were about two hours into the program when at the break a person came up to me and said they had learned more in two hours of our coaching program than they had after several days of with another coaching program.  Yes, let’s make it as easy as possible for busy executives, leaders, managers, all employees, to learn this!

Bruce: Can you describe the ‘typical’ participant who attends the 5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training program?

Alison: They are people who want to do well in their work and personal lives and are keen to learn more and grow their skills.  They have heard about the value of Coaching, or perhaps have experienced being coached themselves and are excited about taking their leadership skills to a whole other level.

Coaching Out of the Box will be delivering a series of events across in the coming months. For more information on an event near you, please click here.

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Alison Hendren is founder of Coaching Out of the Box®, a Canadian owned and operated coaching education company. Alison also currently serves as the Director of Training for the Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching program at Royal Roads University, as well as being on Charter Faculty for the coaching program at the University of Texas, Dallas.

Bruce is the Practice Leader, Executive Coaching with The Talent Company – a management consulting firm that specializes in human resources solutions. Bruce holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University and has completed post secondary studies in law at Carleton University and Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University. He holds his Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credentials from the International Coach Federation. He also possesses more than 15 years of human resources experience working within a variety of sectors and industries.

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October 1, 2013

HR Consulting Firm The Talent Company Launches An Executive Coaching Practice

 

Markham, Ontario, Canada – September 25, 2013 – Human Resources consulting firm The Talent Company, announced today that it is launching a new Executive Coaching practice. In addition to an impressive roster of experienced coaches, this exciting and new practice will be lead by Bruce McLeod.

“As evidenced in our most recent international HR Pulse study, leadership development continues to be the key area of focus for most organizations,” says Simon Parkin, Managing Partner of The Talent Company. “Our Executive Coaching practice is well equipped to address this growing trend. With a seasoned leader like Bruce in place and a roster that includes some of the most accomplished and professionally accredited coaches available, The Talent Company possesses the expertise to support the talent development needs of our clients.”

The Executive Coaching practice at The Talent Company consists of a variety of options and solutions including helping our clients to build internal coaching capability and a foundation to grow leadership from within. Also, we possess an impressive roster of coaches with experience helping professionals realize their full potential in countries such as Canada, USA and Australia.

Please join Bruce McLeod and the leaders of The Talent Company at the upcoming Coaching Out of The Box™ event on November 6, 2013 in Toronto. Click here to find out more.

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The Talent Company is a human resources consulting firm that enables organizations to achieve superior business results through the strategic acquisition, management and elevation of talent. Our organization is comprised of leading human resources, executive coaching, compensation, talent and 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.

The Talent Company – Practical Solutions. Exceptional Results.

www.thetalent.co

 

Inquiries:

Joe Minaudo

The Talent Company

joe.minaudo@thetalent.co

1-866-973-9152

 

New Talent Company_logo

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