After Labor Day

After Labor Day

Labor Day is more than a holiday here in the U.S.  It is the day when people and organizations change.  A new sense of urgency arises.  Holidays, vacations and travel are set aside for budgets, plans, goals and business activities.  It is a dynamic time.  Think in terms of the Olympic 1500 meter, not the 10,000 meter, race.  There is a bit of time for strategy, but mostly it’s executing. That’s the approach to get the most possible out of this important time of year. Evaluate where you are, considering changes and opportunities that have arisen since your original plan.  Then get moving.  The best tactic is to determine what steps will have the greatest impact, and quickly implement them.  They should be sound, but don’t take excessive time to make them perfect! An organization’s success depends upon the people involved.  If the right people are in place in the organization, get them to buy into the vision. If they are in the organization, but not in the right role, rapidly create a structure to take advantage of their skills and abilities.  If high-performing people have notable gaps, support them.  If people who can contribute are not already part of the organization, identify and attract them. This time of year is just as important to an individual who is in an active job search.  Knowing that organizations will “turn on their afterburners,” increasing your efforts to contact people and following up with people you have previously contacted should be fruitful.  It’s a great time to be energetic! These steps determine how much momentum you gain during the critical last...
The First Five Steps in Recruiting Top Talent

The First Five Steps in Recruiting Top Talent

Preparation is arguably the most important aspect of hiring the right person.  The time invested in clarifying the role, describing ideal candidates, and establishing the selection criteria ensures emotions are only an appropriate part of the hiring decision, not a significant factor.  Advance planning places the focus on what is truly important for success in the role, reducing risk in the selection. This is the time to build a compelling story about the position and the organization, which is imperative to attract outstanding candidates. Here are the steps to make certain your efforts will deliver the anticipated results: Identify what you expect from the role Every role has expectations:  the more defined, the easier it is to create the compelling story to attract the candidates you want.  Having defined expectations and benchmarks makes early success possible; having a vision for the long-term maintains broad goals, which in turn establishes challenges as well as the ability to celebrate success. Understand what a candidate should have accomplished to be qualified Learning about a candidate’s accomplishments gives insight into how they do things.  Successes are a strong predictor of an individual’s ability to contribute in another organization.  Initial screening is simpler if there is a broad expectation of what a candidate should have achieved in prior roles to be prepared to be effective in this role.  Interviews can then concentrate on how the candidate attained these earlier accomplishments, along with what resources they required. Know the traits/characteristics required to be effective in your organization     Every organization is different.  How things get done in one organization may not work at all in...
Are you a corporate lawyer ready for a new role?

Are you a corporate lawyer ready for a new role?

Our client, the U.S. subsidiary of a European based consumer goods company with revenues exceeding $20 Billion, is recruiting a successful lawyer to be their Associate General Counsel.  This subsidiary generates approximately 20% of the company’s total revenue. This organization, which has a portfolio of well-known brands, operates in a highly regulated industry. The Associate General Counsel is a new position, created to support the organization by serving as a commercial attorney and providing litigation support. The Associate General Counsel reports to the Executive Vice President, General Counsel and is a member of a small team providing hands-on counsel to all business units and levels of executive staff. PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES The Associate General Counsel assists the EVP, General Counsel in protecting the organization’s legal interests and maintaining its operations within the scope established by law. He or she advises the General Counsel and Senior Management on, and issues recommendations regarding, how to protect and serve the Company’s legal interests. Functioning as a business partner, with an understanding of business and the business implications of legal decisions, the person who best fits this role will have a perspective much broader than just the legal aspects. QUALIFIED CANDIDATES WILL HAVE 8-10 years’ minimum legal experience, with a substantial part of that as a commercial lawyer. Experience working with regulated consumer products is desirable. Successfully provided legal support to multiple internal clients, including senior management. A law degree from a nationally accredited school and bar admission in at least one state. Highly developed oral and written communication and presentation skills. Strong interpersonal skills. Superior analytical skills. “Big-picture” understanding of the broad implications...
The new 80/20 rule in recruiting

The new 80/20 rule in recruiting

The Pareto Principle, introduced in 1906 by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto and developed further by Joseph Juran, is widely known as the 80/20 rule.  It states that in every event, 80% of the outcomes are contributed by 20% of the causes.  Believe it or not, this has a heck of a lot to do with recruiting top talent!  But perhaps not in the way you imagine. In the old recruiting model, the 80 / 20 rule was used to mean that successfully filling a key position depended 80% on finding the right candidates, and 20% on everything else.  Emphasis was on identifying potential candidates. Like many things that have an impact on organizational performance, however, recruiting is changing, probably more dramatically than most others. Social Media and readily available data have made it much easier to find individuals with the desired background and experience.  And this, in turn, has given us yet another meaning to the 80/20 rule. Emphasis has moved from identifying individuals who have appropriate knowledge and experience to making certain the person who joins the organization fits.  This perspective has flipped the rule.  Today, only 20% of the success in filling a position is based upon identifying potential candidates and 80% of the success is determining their ability to be successful in the future in the specific organization. The recently released book Agile Talent, by Cornerstone International Group member Ralf Knegtmans, points out that successful recruiting projects require understanding a number of things about  candidates, including their: Ability – what the individual knows and what they are capable of Personality Traits – what distinguishes the individual...
Why should someone hire you?

Why should someone hire you?

Talking with my grandson, a college senior interviewing for an internship, made me think about one of the basic questions everyone must address every day. Most of the time it is not in the forefront of thoughts, but it certainly is important to keep in the background.  It is one of the first questions I ask when coaching individuals, whether they are determining how to be better or to find that next perfect role. Why should someone hire you? Face it – people who can contribute are in high demand.  How they convey what they offer is extremely important.  Hint:  what you want is important, but what you can contribute is critical. Successful people think like entrepreneurs.  They are passionate; they focus on attaining goals; they overcome obstacles; they make decisions; they take risks; they are committed to success.  If that describes you, you are taking responsibility for your own success, and in doing so, helping the organization succeed. Managing your career requires effectively communicating why you bring value to an organization, the one where you are currently working or one you would like to join.  Here are some suggestions to assist you in creating a message: Assess yourself. Understand your strengths as well as what you are passionate about. Put yourself in the buyer’s perspective (the person you want to convince). Recognize what she needs to accomplish – what she would pay you to deliver. Communicate the value you bring; do not focus on what you want, but rather on what you offer. Consider previous experience only as your foundation; emphasize what you have learned and how it...
Don’t throw the people out yet – technology requires people

Don’t throw the people out yet – technology requires people

The future may be all numbers and codes. But technology requires people – and not just any people!   Ever feel smothered in numbers?  Someone comes up with a new approach, a new insight or a new product and voila!  We have Work 4.0; Wireless 4G; AI; iPhone7.  Another number.  Another thing to learn. Another new piece of technology.   But technology is good, right?  It’s how to win today and how we’ll keep winning tomorrow.  A recent study of CEO’s of large global organizations revealed that 44% of these leaders believe robotics, automation and artificial intelligence will make people largely irrelevant.  Almost two thirds view people as costs, not value generators.  This seems to indicate that technology is taking over the world!   That’s a long way from my perspective.  I’m in the people business.  People are the reasons things happen; they work with machines; they interact with other people.  Technology is indeed critical but people are more so.   Here’s one reason why.  The arrival of a technology is usually for the better.  But there is always change, and handling change is a challenge.  That’s where people come in.   If you are a change agent, will your organization be able to accommodate your approach?  If you are an organization that has a culture of change, will you be able to attract individuals who can thrive in that environment?  If you are an organization that needs to create a culture that encourages change, how will you begin?   With people.  But we’re not talking just any people.  If selecting the right technology is critical, finding and engaging...