Posts Tagged ‘talent management’

Seven Organizational Design Tip to Boost Profits at Private Equity Portfolio Companies

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Tim McConnell and Michael Woods examine  how portfolio companies can avoid organizational entropy, the silent killer of business performance.   Are you assessing a company’s value for a possible acquisition? Are you looking for a full or partial liquidity event for your portfolio company? Are you realizing the full potential of every business investment? Tim McConnell and Michael Woods look at seven organizational design tips to fully realize superior returns in middle-market private companies.
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Is Talent Diversity a Business Strategy?

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Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Our editorial board mulled over a February 20, 2012 article written by Gail Johnson (Bombardier: Giving women wings)where she quotes  Elisabeth Bussé, (director of leadership development and talent management at the Dorval, Que.-based organization, a division of Montreal’s Bombardier Inc. BBD.B-T) as saying: “Increasing diversity is a business strategy: We want our employees to be representative of the community in which we do business.”

Johnson adds: “Women have made up two-thirds of the recent growth in the Canadian work force, climbing from 35 per cent in the 1970s to 50 per cent in 2005…”

For most women in the business world, these are facts and sentiments they have heard before, for decades.
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Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Identifying Candidates Who Fit In With Your Company’s Culture

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Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

We enjoyed reading and discussing Adam Bryant’s interview with Michael Lebowitz, founder and C.E.O. of Big Spaceship, (Hey, Rock Stars: Take Your Show Someplace Else  in the January 30, 2011 issue of the New York Times.

Bryant quotes Lebowitz as saying: “Don’t hire jerks, no matter how talented…  The second- or third- or fourth-best candidate who isn’t a jerk is going to ultimately provide way more value.”

We understand what he is saying: someone may be technically very highly qualified but if the individual’s personal or leadership style doesn’t fit with the company culture, then he or she likely will not be the best candidate. 
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Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



The New Year’s Resolutions HR Should Have Made (Note: there is still time!)

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Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Of course, we are technically three weeks into the New Year, but there is still time to take stock of your HR plans and consider what steps you can take to make the most of the opportunities for and dodge the threats to your valuable human resource assets.

We can’t predict the future and many would say there are plenty of unknowns about the employment market for 2011, but one thing is for sure, the US is slowly recovering.  According to a January 14, 2011 article by Economics Writer Jeannine Averaa, published on Yahoo (Industrial production rises by most in 5 months) “Overall industrial activity has risen 11 percent since hitting its recession low in June 2009. But it is still 6 percent below its peak reached in September 2007.”   The article continues, quoting Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, saying: “recent economic activity suggests the economic recovery is through its soft patch… [with] stronger growth this year, between 3.5 percent and 4 percent.”

Ron Scherer, staff writer for the CS Monitor writes in his January 7, 2011 article (Unemployment rate drops to 9.4 percent, but little cheer in jobless report) “The US economy finished 2010 with only lukewarm job gains [and]…  the unemployment rate fell from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent – its lowest level since May 2009, which partially reflects fewer people actively looking for work.”

Discouragement on the part of job seekers isn’t surprising since, according to the article: “From the start of the recession in December 2007 to its end in June 2009, the US economy lost between 6 million and 8 million jobs. In 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy gained only 700,000 jobs back after not adding any jobs in 2009.”

So what does economic recovery with stubborn unemployment mean for HR? Simply that your BEST employees remain key targets for recruiters.   If you haven’t taken the necessary step yet to retain these individuals, you must get started, NOW.  They first fundamental step in the process, which is often overlooked, is to determine which positions and which people are key to your company’s success.  As we said on our blog When the Going Gets Tough Keep the Best From Going , first identify the key roles and those people who contribute most to the bottom line, then create the infrastructure that supports, develops, nurtures and appropriately compensates these individuals.

High unemployment coupled with the fact that many companies have had to rein in incentive program, raises, and bonuses in order to survive give recovering and growing companies the opportunity to upgrade talent without over spending. At the same time a company identifies its key positions, it must determine if the individuals holding those positions are top talent.  If not, this jobs market can offer the chance to improve key talent in critical positions while controlling compensation and recruitment costs.
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Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



Ho Ho Holding Down the Federal Government Employee Wages

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Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

The holiday season brings out the best in many people.  Traditionally, this is a time of giving and sharing.  But for Federal workers, they will unfortunately experience a different kind of sharing – the hardship felt by many Americans who are un- and under-employed.    Late last month, President Obama proposed a two-year wage freeze for some 2 million federal workers.  As Charles Riley wrote in his November 29, 2010 article for Money (Obama calls for federal wage freeze: President Obama’s proposal Monday to freeze federal worker pay would save $60 billion over 10 years):  ”The freeze… [is] an important step to help generate taxpayer support at a time when policymakers will need to make numerous difficult decisions about curbing the debt, one fiscal expert said.”

However, this proposal, impacting some 2 million workers, is just a drop in the bucket toward solving the debt crisis in America, achieving “… less than 1% of what’s ultimately needed.” So why bother? 
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Filed under: Expert Perspective - Rewards



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



In His Own Image: How Competency Models Compel Uniformity

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Creating, promoting and nurturing diversity in the workplace has long been a focus of human resources efforts.  Whether its religion, race, gender, cultural or lifestyle differences, we agree that all enhance the work environment.   Why then do performance review, talent management review and leadership competency models inevitably reflect only the qualities, traits and characteristic of the current leaders? 
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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.   
 
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Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development



“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steven Jobs

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Just like the recession of the early 1990’s (think back to the battle between “41” and Bill Clinton for the White House), it became clear when the economy, “stupid”, did turn around that many of the jobs lost in that recession were simply not coming back.  Instead they were obsolete, outsourced, off-shored or automated to save businesses money and improve their bottom line.  When it is a fight for survival, even the stodgiest of companies will innovate to save money and their futures.  In part the problem then, as it is now, is that there is a serious lag between business innovation (for example outsourcing, off-shoring and automation) and educational innovation to put today’s graduates in a position to handle today’s jobs. 


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When All You Have Is a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail

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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

 The July 16, 2010 article in India Times (Why does talent management have to be so complicated?) pitches a book by “HR guru” Marc Effron called “One Page Talent Management: Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value”.  Interestingly it takes the authors, Marc Effron and Miriam Ort, nearly 200 pages to explain just one.  
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Filed under: Expert Perspective - Organization Development