Articles by William Byrnes

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It Should be Executive Find not just Executive Search

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The Grahall Executive Search services are different because:

• Engagements are executed only by senior consultants
• We conduct fundamental research for every assignment, giving you the best in the marketplace, not just the best in our database
• There truly are few ‘off limits’ situations in candidate sourcing
• We utilize a unique approach called “Rational Pricing” with fees starting at a discount to the competition and percentages dropping as targeted compensation goes up. Additionally we offer relationship pricing which reduces fees on multiple searches within 1 year
• We operate on fixed fees.  Our fee is based on targeted total cash compensation; the final candidate’s actual compensation does not impact our fee
• We guaranteed your satisfaction, with payments contingent upon YOUR definition of success.
• Invoicing is based upon performance milestones, not the passage of time.
• Successful completion precedes payment in full

We invite you to watch our video (by clicking here) on this important subject. You can download the slides that are used in the video by clicking here:  ”Grahall Executive Search: Value Differentiators“.

Learn more about our services by clicking here: “Grahall Executive Search Overview“, or by contacting  me, Bill Byrnes at:
Office: 804.379.7837
Cell: 617.406.9239
Email: William.Byrnes@Grahall.com

Filed under: Expert Perspective



Overcoming Fundamental Problems When Recruiting

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

We couldn’t help but chuckle when we read in Joe Light’s November 15th article for the Wall Street Journal (Keeping ‘Overqualifieds’ on Board) that Sayed Sadjady, who leads PriceWaterhouseCooper’s talent management practice, hired  “…some candidates, who would have secured high positions in a better economy, at lower levels instead.  Now…the company is revisiting the compensation, positions and development opportunities of [these] employees to bring them in line with the improved market.”

Shame on you Sayed for hiring people at the “wrong“  compensation level. And no wonder his “…clients [have] become concerned about overqualified hires looking to move to higher-paid positions…”).

Too often companies make four fundamental errors when recruiting:

1) They waste scare resources.
2) They fail to hire workers who are as committed to the company as the company is to them.
3) They forget that not all employees need to be long-term employees.
4) They disregard the fact that “the workforce” has changed.

Smart companies know that compensation is neither the right magnet nor the right glue to attract and retain workers.  Certainly it plays a part, but too often companies waste too much of their scarce resources – time and money – on workers who don’t boost competitive advantage.  Those positions that move the organization toward its goals are considered mission critical or “competitive advantage” positions. With competitive advantage positions, it is important to look for the best candidates and, more often than not, spend more than the market’s average in compensation dollars.

As is perfectly illustrated in the challenges faced by companies who hired workers at too low a salary, companies fail to search for candidates who are both right for the company and vice versa.  Based on our experience, a mutually rewarding outcome demands that the company hire candidates who are the best fit for the job.  Those candidates likewise  feel the company is the best fit for them.

Employees will continue with a company for as long as it feels “right” to them, and often not a moment longer.   Employers will retain workers for as long as they provide value, and not a moment longer.
Because of this, it is more appropriate to consider whether job candidates can and will make a meaningful contribution during their tenure, rather than worry about what that tenure might be.

For the majority of companies, there is no longer a single “workforce”.  There may be 10 or even 100 different workforces that are aligned like layers of an onion.  A uniform planning, management, rewards system or communications program will not work in this complex environment. 

In summary, organizations are made up of all types of “tissue,” and workers are akin to the specialized cells of these tissues. It is important for companies to think differently about how to recruit, motivate and retain these unique workers.  It’s not easy and will likely require continual review and improvement to HR tools. But it is not only the way of the future, but the way of today.

Contact Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board at edie.kingston@grahall.com

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



To Get the Right Person for the Job, Recruit the Right Way

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Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board
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With American workers changing jobs and companies many times over in the course of their working lives, recruiting is a mission critical job for every company.   It may seem that in these days of widespread unemployment recruiting is as simple as hanging out the help wanted sign.  But the truth is that with many people out of work the job of identifying and hiring the best and the right person for a job can be more, not less challenging.   Many ccompanies find that posting open positions can bring hundreds of resumes and wading through these can be both time consuming and fraught with challenges.  Additionally, there is no guarantee that the perfect candidate can be found in that mountain of paper.

So with recruiting becoming more and more important and with significant associated cost of employee turnover and replacement, what can a company do to effectively manage this process?
Continue reading “To Get the Right Person for the Job, Recruit the Right Way” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Which is Better: Making Smart Hires or Hiring Smart People?

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

The Editorial Board enjoyed reading Roland Smith’s article for the Wall Street Journal (Five Rules for Making Smart Hires).    His list of “five ways to make smart hires and avoid costly mistakes” is spot on and addresses those areas that, although perhaps it seems obvious, are often overlooked in the selection and on boarding processes. 

We’d like to add a “Grahall spin” to these topics.  The best way to make smart  and to hire smart people is first to do a thorough “self reflection”.  That is to really understand the organization and articulate this understanding. 
Continue reading “Which is Better: Making Smart Hires or Hiring Smart People?” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Seven Careers? We Agree: That’s just nonsense

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

In his September 4, 2010 article for Wall Street Journal (Seven Careers in a Lifetime? Think Twice, Researchers Say Carl Bialik sensibly questions: “Do Americans really go through careers like they do cars or refrigerators?”

Likely high school and college students asking the question “Fries with that?” do not consider that job, however well paying, to be a career,  And when these same individuals complete their education and go on to be an investment banker they wouldn’t think of the move from “burger flipper” to investment banker as a “career change” .  A job change, yes, a career change, NO.

Likewise the executive compensation consultant who has toiled for some years at Firm A and is recruited to Firm B to do similar work in a new environment (probably with more pay) would also not likely see that as a career change.  A job change, yes, a career change, NO.

So, is the question of career change even really relevant?  We think the confusion over the term “career change” vs. “job change” vs. “whatever ever else people are doing” may be nothing more than an issue of semantics. But the fact that Americans move around with some frequency is relevant to both employees and employers.   
 
Continue reading “Seven Careers? We Agree: That’s just nonsense” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Get Prepared for Your Employees’ 2011 Summer Vacations NOW!

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Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

The economic downturn has done more than put people out of work. It has put extreme pressure on some of those still holding jobs to do more and more.  This past summer has been a lesson for some companies under stringent workforce limitations to continue to provide service and products while at the same time providing often overworked employees with much needed and well earned vacations. 
Continue reading “Get Prepared for Your Employees’ 2011 Summer Vacations NOW!” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Our Notions on Investing – Getting a Little Banged Up?

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board
 
Graham Browley writes in his August 21, 2010 article for the New York Times
(In Striking Shift, Small Investors Flee Stock Market) that  “The notion that stocks tend to be safe and profitable investments over time seems to have been dented in much the same way that a decline in home values and in job stability the last few years has altered Americans’ sense of financial security.” 

This recession has been unusually deep, with unemployment remaining stubbornly high as companies lay off workers and jobs move overseas to cheaper labor markets.  It’s not your “grandmother’s recession” (of the 1960s) or even your “mother’s recession” (of the 1980’s) for that matter.   In this one, the marked difference is that, from the late 1980s on, more and more Americans became investors in the stock market through their 401(k) plans. 
Continue reading “Our Notions on Investing – Getting a Little Banged Up?” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective



It’s Not Just Executive Search, it’s Executive FIND

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

In her August 3rd article for SHRM (Executive Search Heats Up in Emerging Markets), Stephanie Overman writes: “Executive search experts see their business heating up in emerging markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific area and Brazil.”

Here in the US things are a bit different.  With the economy still struggling to recover in many sectors and geographies, recruiting professionals can be faced with sifting through hundreds or even thousands of resumes for every job posting.   “Using electronic media and social networking” as Overman writes, might work where demand is greater than supply. But for US companies the need for experienced executive search firms remains critical, regardless of how appealing these “no or low” cost options might sound.  
Continue reading “It’s Not Just Executive Search, it’s Executive FIND” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective



It’s Too Easy to Blame Compensation for Every Business Problem

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Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Jeffrey Phillips raises some interesting issues in his August 5, 2010 blog “How Compensation Models Work Against Innovation” asking  “… why innovation seems to be so beneficial on its face and yet so difficult to accomplish.”  He goes on to claim that “We exchange our labor, our thoughts and insights and our management skills for a paycheck.”  And he blames “… very small but very powerful disincentive[s] to innovate, buried in how we compensate our teams…”

Wow, that is pretty harsh and flawed thinking.  We believe there are many more reasons that individuals work and work hard than just for a paycheck, although obviously it is a compelling incentive.  Barriers to innovation won’t be leveled by simply changing compensation programs.  The issues obstructing innovation run much deeper than that.
Continue reading “It’s Too Easy to Blame Compensation for Every Business Problem” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Rewards



It was Twenty Years Ago Today…

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Ok, maybe not 20 years ago today literally, but over the past 20 or more years there has been a vast evolution in human resources departments. Many HR departments have changed from “personnel departments” (charged with little more than providing employees with a key to the wash room) to become “strategic business partners” helping companies achieve business strategies through development of effective HR programs. 
Continue reading “It was Twenty Years Ago Today…” »

Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development