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The blog.


Learn from Experience

In recent months, top companies have been the topic of conversation because of errors that were made. Now, it is up to other companies to learn from their missteps to avoid the same downfall.

It all starts with leadership…

Since February, the ride-sharing service, Uber, dealt with charges of sexual harassment, disparagement from top management, a federally-charged criminal investigation and publicly shared internal emails encouraging the use of drugs and sexual relations between employees. These conflicts all pointed to weak leadership values as the CEO eventually took a leave of absence in June. Uber’s weaknesses highlight the impact that leadership can have on company culture. By establishing a base of active and value-focused top management, companies will succeed from the top down.

Holding people accountable…

Another scandal that shook the business world was the 2016 Wells Fargo scandal. Found guilty of creating millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts, Wells Fargo paid more than $150 million in fines. And, amidst the spotlight shining on its practices, Wells Fargo was recently reported as having charged auto loan customers for unneeded car insurance. Nonetheless, some key players are still being compensated despite the hailstorm brought to the banking industry. Not only does it fall in line with leadership failures, but by holding Wells Fargo executives accountable, the company could have avoided the latest news reports. It is important to look at all factors at stake and take corrective action on those that should be held accountable.

Prepare for anything…

While the Uber and Wells Fargo issues could have been stopped through past choices, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 nightmare was something that could not have been predicted. The way Samsung addressed the issue is something to learn from. After reports of the Galaxy 7 catching fire, Samsung posted a statement telling owners to power the phone down immediately and obtain a refund or exchange. That message, however, was posted discretely to consumers – fielding issues of secrecy and complexity. Not only did this cause users to be wary of Samsung products but it lessened the amicable relationship between Samsung and its carriers. By preparing for the worst and placing a priority on public relation messages if anything should go wrong, companies have the ability to come out of any controversy, successful and stronger in the eyes of the public.

Adapting for the 21st century


Corporate America has begun to transition into a new way of thinking for employees. The days of lifelong careers are no longer in sight as “over seven million of today’s jobs are expected to disappear by 2020” (SagePeople, 2017).

Employers have been forced to make a swift adjustment to cater to the disruption of the work force. By transforming the current employee mentality, employers will be able to evolve the company to match the new revolution and alleviate the risk of failure.

As the need for instant gratification grows so does the eagerness of employees to experience many different roles to see what fits best. Employees are looking to expand their skillset and transition horizontally, being less focused on vertical advancements but interested, rather, in lateral changes. A higher value is placed on unending learned and development, acquiring new skills as they transition within their career.

This change in mentality is a great opportunity for employers to adapt and face the challenges head on. Proactively engaging employees and offering the opportunity for optimum success will counteract any downfalls that may be experienced. With a constant rotating employee pool, recruiters can more selectively pick talent lending the chance to establish a workplace foundation focused on staff retention.

Employers can begin to mold key positions and mitigate the potential hit of the shifting employee mindset by identifying the key roles that are going to bring success in the future and pinpointing impactful skillsets. Abilities such as creativity, logical reasoning and problem solving will be held at a higher regard in future occupations (SagePeople, 2017).

The change of the workplace is inevitable and evolving quickly. Focusing on meaningful position development and employee support will help relieve the impact of the predicted unsettled employee mindset.

Enhancing Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn remains to be one of the largest professional networking sites today – giving insight into the company and employee dynamic. When searching for a new career, keeping up with your personal LinkedIn profile and building your brand is an important aspect to any job search.

Your LinkedIn profile gives a quick snapshot of your experience and should be carefully constructed to provide recruiters with the most accurate depiction of who you are as an executive.

While an easy field to complete, adding a degree or certification level to the name portion of your profile increases the chances of coming up in recruiting search results. Following your name is the headline – a highly undervalued profile segment that should answer who you are, what you do and how you can help (Forbes, 2017). Consider this to be the most important aspect of your profile as it is, besides your name, the first and possibly, the last thing a recruiter sees.

Your summary should go one step further to engage with recruiters. This portion of your profile is suggested to include a summarization of measurable goals and attention grabbing achievements. It should answer who you are and what you do on a deeper and more intimate level. This field, while engaging, should be concise and effective. Ensure that if anyone stops looking at your profile at this moment, they have a good understanding of your current passions and future goals.

Your experience should be organized in a way that highlights how you handle problem-solution situations. Having quantifiable details that address what the problem was, the steps that were taken and the results achieved will quickly showcase your experiential skill set. As always, it is important to use key words and integrate the skills that were gained in each situation. Your professional experience is a way for recruiters to see if your achievements fit well based on what the company is looking for in a candidate.

By enhancing and articulating these sections of your LinkedIn profile not only will you grab the attention of recruiters and like-minded colleagues but it allows you to continue the professional demeanor that has been established throughout your professional career.

Mastering performance reviews

Performance reviews – a historically dreaded time in the office. Understanding how to take advantage of the review process and what personal and organizational improvements can be made will help both managers and employees alike to develop as an employee and contribute more to the company.

Meetings between manager and employee allows for the construction of individualized plans geared toward success. Not only do these conversations open a clear line of communication and transparency but they align company and employee goals and strategy. Setting goals that are smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (S.M.A.R.T.) allows employees to prioritize their work in the coming months based on personal and company goals.

And while performance reviews provide managers and employees the chance to speak openly about position performance, no review should come as a surprise. Employees should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses beforehand allowing the time allotted for a performance review to be focused on goals to improve or further success. The categories that are being evaluated must be clearly outlined to establish a clear line of expectations.

After the performance review, managers should take the time to review their notes that were taken during the meeting. Rather than stuffing the file into a folder and storing until the next performance review comes up, taking the time to map out a timeline of the milestones that the employee must hit to be considered successful is important to continue departmental success. This practice will not only provide managers the ability to map out their expectations, but it will also provide an insight into practices within the office that may require more focus.

One-on-one reviews are great to establish relationships between managers and employees; however, creating a system that allows the department to anonymously submit general feedback and personal role evaluation allows the opportunity for staff to identify micro-level needs regarding professional development.

Targeting End of the Year Priorities

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is already almost halfway done. Now, comes the time to take a look back and reflect on the goals set out at the beginning of the year and realign your priorities focus on your goals for the remainder of the year and finish strong!

While it may sound tedious, the number one priority for a leader approaching the second half of the year is building upon employee engagement and satisfaction. Satisfying existing employees will decrease the need for new talent acquisition. Engaged employees are happy employees, and those employees contribute positively to the overall success of the company. Defining career development initiatives and actively listening to concerns allows for employees to feel as if they can make a difference and impact on the organization.

As with every industry, new technology continues to shape the way organizations conduct business, impacting systems, processes, and people. And as much as some people may be trying to avoid the technological boom, the digital age is here to stay. It is important to keep up with technical innovation and develop strategies that advance the company to competitive heights. Innovative processes and new business models may need to be developed to support the movement. However, such implementations will lead to great success in the long run and will set you apart from other traditional companies.

None of these priorities are possible without satisfied employees that embrace the vision and strategy for the organization. Recruitment and retention should be a top priority leading into the second half of 2017. Think about establishing a formal recruitment strategy and hiring the talent of the future. This will significantly impact your organizational culture and create future success.

Coaching and Development Replaces Performance Management

Twenty years ago, if you asked any employee how they were evaluated in their job, they would most likely say through employee performance ratings – a system designed to rank the performance of employees against colleagues strictly measured through output. Today, companies are turning towards a new regime of employee performance ratings – a system based on skills and attitude with the ability to drive change.

Managers who provide regular feedback and opportunities for growth and improvement are far more likely to have high-performers and greater employee satisfaction responses. The focus on coaching and development is becoming a priority in the workforce as more and more executives have found significant links to overall business success.

Now managers must dedicate time managing and communicating the importance of performance ownership with their direct reports. Coaching requires an open mindset, willing to build and progress rather than evaluate. Most importantly, managers must recognize the complete separation between performance and employee compensation.

A shift towards this progressive movement starts with senior leaders acknowledging the need to use performance management as a way to build skills. Managers need to be taught to provide valuable feedback that encourages their employees to further excel in their role.

Expanding the Sourcing Scope

Every day, it seems as if new recruitment job board websites come into the market constantly, making it harder for potential candidates to stand out and even harder for companies to acquire qualified talent. As the need for quality talent becomes more prevalent, companies must consider broadening their sourcing scope and seeking alternative solutions.

Employers must take full advantage of the resources that are available today by not overlooking cross-industry hiring. By expanding the view on the type of talent acquisition, companies will have the benefit of individuals trained in other departments, whom often, gain experience that correlates with the open position. A diverse workplace culture and sets of opinions appeals to different markets, which can help the company grow to a market outside of the initial targeted ideation.

Consider meritocracy. While the skills and experience that someone has are important to the success of the role, focusing on the ability and motivation that such employee possesses leads to greater drive for advancement in employees. This drive then positively translates into better overall company financial performance – encouraging employees to work hard for earned workplace promotions.

Rely on different sources. While employee referrals are an obvious source of talented potentials, reaching out on social platforms such as LinkedIn or industry Facebook pages may come up with surprising results. By expanding the scope that most companies have become accustomed to searching for potential hires through, the company will be able to diversify its culture and grow with a work environment that is slowly transitioning to multi-dimensional positions.

Compensation Budgeting

Budgeting is always a hot topic when it comes to employee benefits, which can sometimes lead to recruiters feeling as if their budget is stretched too thin to cover everything that is wanted in the workplace. But, it doesn’t need to be like that – here are some simple tricks to making the most out of a tight budget:

  • Offer competitive non-salary benefits. Make up for a lack of monetary incentives with benefits catered towards the employee’s needs. Offering childcare support, flexible schedules, office space, remote working opportunities and other chances for employees to feel valued is a great alternative that does not require salary-impacted benefits – rather, focus on employee work-life balance.
  • Focus on what’s important. There are items that can be considered “must-haves” that will make a huge difference in the day-to-day work life. Prioritizing items that are “must-haves” versus the “nice-to-haves.” Do this by ensuring the expenses are worth every penny.
  • Forecast – it’s vital to a healthy workplace budget. Keep in mind that staffing will change in the next year whether you see it coming or not. It is important to plan for these changes and leave a bit of budgetary room available to account for those changes, especially considering employee compensation.
  • Understand that you will not always be right. Whatever compensation package is offered, it is never going to be the best thing for every employee, and that is okay. Realize the biggest factors that will lead to company and employee success. One of the best ways to show appreciation for employees is fair compensation, so focus your attention on the benefits that will make the biggest impact for the largest number of employees.

 

Communicating expectations in an interview

Many times, to attain top candidates, job expectations and job realities do not always coincide. Significant responsibility is placed on the company to set realistic expectations from day one, so the possibility of a future dissatisfied employee is lessened.

Setting job responsibilities needs to be the priority. While responsibilities may vary, providing a framework of what to expect from day to day will give the candidate a better understanding of what they will be doing. This is an excellent opportunity for management to identify specific job duties to decrease the possibility of task overlap, making for a better operating workplace.

With the changing work place culture, in many cases, the expectations for business hours vary from position to position. However, it is important to alleviate the frustrations of either working too much or too little than what is expected by outlining specific office hour expectations. Finding an employee who is unwilling to work more than 40 hours may be detrimental to the success of them in that position; it is better to outline those expectations sooner than later.

An expectation for company culture should be drawn out before making a hire as well. If extracurricular office activities are a large part of the social side of the business, the candidate should know that they may be asked to participate in them. The social aspect of a company plays a significant role in employee satisfaction, and it would be advantageous to promote culture the right away to understand if the candidate will be a good fit.

 

The Power of Employee Referrals

Tapping into the tremendous advantage of employee referrals can ultimately translate into a successful hire, yielding high results in the long run.

Job seekers first go to their network for potential job leads. Keeping current employees in the loop allows them the opportunity to actively search for someone that would be a good fit for the open position. This is also advantageous when searching for a specialized role as the employee may have referrals outside of the particular job industry.

Time is money and hiring a referred candidate requires less money and time than a traditional candidate. The process and costs of creating a job post, waiting for applicable resumes and scanning for potential hires are tedious and can lead to potentially poor results. However, only an interview is needed for a referred candidate.

Having a familiar contact in the business will also make the onboarding process a lot faster. The advantage of having someone the new candidate can trust and turn to with questions will allow them to acclimate to the culture a lot faster than others who need time to adjust and find their peer confidant.

Both the referred candidate and employee who successfully referred the candidate will be more inclined to stay in their respective positions longer. Because there is pressure on the achievement of a referred candidate for the current employee, the quality of referrals is greater than those found through traditional means. Once the referred candidate is successfully brought on, the current employee feels better with a greater sense of trust for the organization since they are a part of the company’s growing future.

While employee referrals remain to be one of the most successful ways to hire, it is not a system that can be based on just word-of-mouth communication. A specific process must be established for employees or external connections to provide candidate leads. Ask for referrals and leave the door open for potentials – while you may not be currently hiring, it’s nice to continuously add to the talent pipeline.