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May 1, 2017 - No Comments!

Are 2017 College Grads Falling Short?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/where-college-seniors-are-falling-short-1493118000

As a recent 2017 University of Oregon graduate with my degree in Public Relations, I found this article very interesting and, let’s be honest, somewhat alarming. It seems as though 2017 grads are getting a bad wrap - and while many may be unprepared to enter the workforce, I find myself in a different place post-graduation.

University of Oregon’s PR program really encouraged students to get involved with work opportunities and internships while in school. I was able to take advantage of this advice – this not only gave me valuable experience, but helped me better understand what I wanted to pursue post-graduation. I was able to complete multiple internships throughout my time at UO and received college course credit for the work I was doing.

Something I found interesting about UO is that almost all of my professors had previously worked in the corporate world. This opened up opportunities to gain a strong network with professionals around campus and within the community.

As a final graduation project, I was able to work with TrackTown USA to complete a Public Relations and Marketing campaign and host an event to help identify their brand more effectively. My professor had a relationship with the CEO of TrackTown, so this connection allowed myself, as well as other students, to work with a professional client and get real world experience outside of the classroom.

As a communication major, I find myself somewhat confident in my interviewing skills, but that's because I do my homework. I research the company and position, any recent articles in the news about the organization, make sure to bring up what I can offer the company, how I can make an impact on the company culture as well as have at least 2 questions prepared for the interviewer. I understand that the interview is as much about me interviewing the company, as it is the company interviewing me. Most importantly, the follow-up email is essential. I think that writing a note thanking the interviewer for their time leaves an impact and can make the difference between an average candidate and a great one.

Upon first glance, this article is making a blanket statement that 2017 grads may not be as qualified as previous classes - but that doesn’t mean there aren’t highly qualified candidates applying for jobs at your company. Most importantly, college students need to capitalize and utilize the resources on campus before hitting the real world to optimize their chances of post-grad opportunities.

-Ashlee Sutherland, SBC Recruiting and Events Coordinator

Published by: Corey Kachigan in Blog
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November 5, 2016 - No Comments!

Candidate Experience or Courtesy for 2017?

Forbes recently posted top workforce trends for 2017.  I was delighted to see at the top of the list that companies are focused on strengthening their candidate and employee experience.  There are several ideas around this that make it so powerful and relevant.

First, a great candidate experience means first understanding the power of common courtesy.  Being respectful of others matters for it reflects on who you are as a person and how your company brand is experienced. Our candidates tell us stories of prior interview experiences that make your hair curl and yes, we need more leaders to learn about being respectful of others.

Second, a great experience also means reducing the candidate's efforts to obtain feedback that matters to them.  I am not saying that we need to give everyone all of the granular data but where is common courtesy in this step?  We have heard stories where someone might be a contender for a cool role, interview, return for many discussions and then never hear what happened in the end, assuming there was an end to the process.  This happens to external partners of the company as well.  What gets in the way of closing loops?  I know everyone is very busy but it matters in building real connections that do result in good business.  Just like Zappos ability to connect to customers, track their questions, address challenges, every step of that journey is intended to be pleasant and respectful.

Third, relationships matter to your business.  These are relationships with candidates, parents of candidates, service providers that know candidates and it goes on from there.  You may not see a need for that candidate today or that service provider, but most likely you will tomorrow or next year.

How often are we creating experiences that connect everyone to what your desired intention is? Posting a job is one thing but offering an experience that turns the whole process upside down to say, "share your skills and passions with us, we wantEMM to know you" even though we don't have a job now, we want to know who you are, is powerful.  By seeking connections, there is a longer lasting benefit to everyone.  A great experience means a lot to those you want to work with, fans, loyal employees and even appreciative  partners."

Last thought:  A week ago I met Matthew Emerzian,  the founder of Every Monday Matters. He created a not-for-profit organization committed to creating a new normal where individuals and organizations understand how much and why they matter.  His book and education programs are taking off.  He captivated a room of business leaders looking to bring "purpose" into their culture.  Matthew said, "we have lost our ability to engage with each other."  He shared such a simple and powerful message that we all matter and can change from the inside out.   Let's look at both candidate experience and courtesy.

October 7, 2016 - No Comments!

SBCo September Newsletter – A CEO and CHRO’s View on Finding the One

Search and selection is a high stakes game and there’s pressure to get it right. As we all know, great talent is hard to find!

Our clients see the value of strategic approaches in the search for talent. More important than finding great talent is finding “the one” person who is not only adept at the technical skills of their role, but can also seamlessly integrate into the culture of your organization.

At S. Benjamins & Co., our creative intention is about helping you find the ONE. With that in mind, we recently revamped our web site to focus on our unique process and purpose. SBC imageCheck it out here!

In the spirit of our new website and our long standing purpose, we asked three of our favorite clients and friends how they find the ONE.  Read on to see how Jamie Latiano with Renovate America, Steven Milovich, ABC Entertainment Group and Carol Geffner, Professor at USC and healthcare entrepreneur see talent acquisition today.

Jamie Latiano, SVP People & Culture, Renovate America
San Diego based – The leader in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing

SB: How do you find the ONE in your business? 

JL: While cliché, hiring for attitude, energy and training for skill is one of the biggest keys.  jamie latianoHere at Renovate America, we are growing dynamically and there is a lot of change as our business is scaling quickly.  Identifying behaviors such as resourcefulness, flexibility, comfort with change, leadership, communication and alignment with our Core Values has proven to be an effective assessor for hiring the right talent.

We are fortunate to attract great talent by having an awesome corporate culture grounded in impactful work, smart, dedicated, fun people and a philosophy of empowering people to do great things…together.

SB: What do you see changing in this landscape as you look ahead? 

JL: It is becoming more important for us to identify specific experience and competencies that serve as pillars for our growth and success.  While the foundation of hiring people aligned with our culture and values will remain strong, identifying gaps in competencies or knowledge is important so that we can be targeted in getting the right people in the right place, at the right time.

SB: What is your advice to other leaders who are focusing on finding or developing the ONE?

JL: My advice is that there should be foundational or “non-negotiable” things that a hiring manager looks for.  For me, this is in the areas of values, attitude and behaviors.  Diversity is important, especially diversity of thought. Also, in order to keep great talent showing up great, we have to allow them to shine, be their best and bring their discretionary effort to drive success daily through business deliverables, contributions to teams and to the culture of the organization.  It is a two way street; we need to be able to recognize “the ones” that fit our culture and values, and they need to want to jump on board, be inspired to grow, drive, and deliver.  When there is that symbiotic relationship, it is magical; there is incredible accomplishment, people own the outcome, enjoy the journey, and make history together.

Carol Geffner, PhD – Professor of Management, Governance & Policy, USC
USC Price School Professor and CEO of Newport Healthcare Advisors

SB: How do you find the ONE in your business? 

It starts with clarity about what the organization is looking for.  We work with our clients to CarolJGeffner-headshotre-think what is and will be needed in key positions rather than making an assumption that what worked in the past will be acceptable today.

We also take a holistic view of candidates. Think about how an individual will fit into the culture, how they work with others and if they have the attributes to lead change.   And in most leadership positions it is critical to screen for emotional intelligence. Organizations are social enterprises and working well with others is one of the most important aspect of success.

SB: What do you see changing in the landscape as you look ahead? 

CG: Healthcare is the industry undergoing a true transformation.  In a world that is changing so radically, it is imperative that we build leaders who can lead through uncertainty while simultaneously move their organization toward a compelling future.  From a behavioral and neuropsychological point of view, people respond more favorably when they move toward something positive vs. negative.  What this means is that an element of leadership success is being able to create (with others) an emotionally interesting and vivid picture of the company direction.

We have four generations in the workplace. This has enormous implications for the way in which we structure and lead businesses.  Millennials are more concerned with making an impact than fitting into a structure. This means organizations will re-think how to recruit, manage and engage people with very different motivations.

Lastly, we are operating within a customer-focused paradigm. One implication of this is that transparency is the norm.  Determining on a daily basis what openness means is a central responsibility of leaders.  Insular management will not work in the future.  Leading from  the “outside-in” and building a customer-centric organization is a mandate for success.

SB: What is your advice to other leaders who are focusing on finding and developing the ONE?”

CG: Think about the whole person and how they will fit your culture. Consider their emotional and social intelligence and the ability to work with and lead others. Be mindful of bringing in talent who can lead the business to the future as opposed to preserving what exists today.

Our Final Thoughts... 

The best people in HR go against the norm. They are early adopters for change and compete to find the ONE.  We hope this story has inspired you to new thinking about the future of talent.

August 20, 2016 - No Comments!

Out on a Limb? Are you an Original?

How about rejecting the default in us? Take a chance and get on that limb.  Adam Grant, in his new book, Originals, talks about taking those chances.

Are you exploring whether there is a better option or do you default to what you know? The start is curiosity and seeing things in fresh perspectives.  I know that is hard to do.  The job market is requiring us to reject the default in us.  Taking a role that you thought might be less than what you are skilled for might be scary, or away from the main stream but could result in new perspectives and ultimately new work.  It takes being on that limb for a bit.

Many of my friends are sending their children off to college this week - I hope they seek something new for themselves, something they never expected.  It might be something you never expected as well.

It is emotional letting them fly ( I have been there) and having them try something entirely new every day.  What a great time to be in college or start a business or create a new solution in your work.  Why can't we all do this?  Go out on a limb and create a spot in your weekly staff meeting for a "go out on a limb segment."  You may be surprised how refreshing and fun this is.   Increase your tolerance for what some might call being idealistic or eccentric as Adam Grant reflects on this.

Our son went to Loyola Marymount University for his undergrad work and double majored in Fine Arts and Communication.  We did not expect the art side of the equation and as business owners we have had brief moments of "yikes, he is out on that limb."  However, it has inspired and fed his creative spirit and productivity and ours too in delightfully new ways.

Younger talent will choose to speak up, express ideas and censor themselves less.  We can learn from them, take risks and be proud.

August 6, 2016 - No Comments!

Find the One – What Does This Mean?

Don't we all want to work with amazing people? There is plenty of research and real life experience that says investing in who decisions pays off.  Finding the one for your company means achieving success or just getting by.

Enlightened CEO's place the importance of people decisions at the top of their list of important skills to develop and invest in. I grew up as an HR professional at American Hospital Supply (AHSC) - later acquired by Baxter Healthcare.  From the first introduction to the company through thoughtful and interactive interviews, to a well articulated offer and then onboarding, I was fortunate to have a world class experience.  I can say that now. After 20 years plus in the field and working with many companies as we help them find the one, they still struggle with this work and more importantly, in getting the process right.

Joining American at the time felt like joining a family. There was great care and planning on making us feel welcome, immediately connected to resources and people that cared about our success.  Thank you Bob Ruh for inspiring me even with that high bar for performance!  We were always clear on what the responsibilities were and where the challenge could take us.  I was very early in my career and had come from a company that offered little development and almost no conversation about the business.  It taught me to take initiative.  AHSC  prepared me for doing my best work with incredibly talented people.

It is important to find the one.  And, it means getting the first part right and then ensuring that you have all the other parts in place; integrating the one into your culture, developing their skills, stretching them with challenging assignments and having a plan for development.  Oh, and I almost forgot, scheduling conversations with key influencers and your boss about how it is going and what is needed to keep you on track and engaged.

Finding the one means;

  • having regular meaningful conversation with people.  It seems many have lost that focus for there is so little time to commit to this today.  There are way more initiatives on everyone's plate and little time to reflect and care for the ones that contribute.
  • looking at entirely new options for your workforce.  Frankly, the one you want may get more excited about a gig, a project, an experience with  you rather than the full time position you have posted.  John Boudreau masterfully talks about these options in his book, Lead the Work. To continue to find the one, we now have to look at other ways for our talent to contribute.

This future of work offers a huge upside to individual workers and their leaders.  Think about it; we see how younger professionals, mid-life or late stage careerists are taking on what they want, when they want it and where they want it. Let's get over the old model of employment and think more about what "the one" defines for themselves.  You will be surprised how committed and aligned those workers will be if we ask, listen, share perspectives and help each other grow.

March 14, 2016 - No Comments!

Welcome To Talent Talk Episode 2!

The Future of Hiring - Eliminating Bias

Today’s topic is all about using new tools and strategies to move beyond “old boy network” hiring and towards a hiring strategy that allows for a more diverse workforce.

In this episode we will discuss:

  1. What made Young’s Market decide that it was time to amplify that success by weaving a diversity initiative into the recruiting strategy.
  2. How the diversity initiative has effected the way Youngs Market recruits veterans and new graduates.
  3. The positive results of hiring a more diverse workforce.
  4. Quick Tip!

Published by: admin in Podcast
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January 7, 2016 - No Comments!

SBCo December Newsletter: Reflecting Back and Looking Forward

We are living in an increasingly connected world with incredible opportunities, tools and technologies to transform the work that gives us meaning. The growth in new-model companies presents challenges that excite the millennial and might frustrate the traditional leaders.

Our friends at the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto say, “In ten years, today’s 11-year-olds will be entering the workforce. Today’s 18-year-olds will be taking on positions of leadership in our largest institutions. What’s waiting for them when they get there? What will they expect? What does their experience of the world today tell us about how they’ll reshape our society (and our careers) tomorrow?”

Our team would like to thank you for your friendship, connections and participation in learning this year. We thought it would be fun to share our insights looking back and also looking ahead to 2025.

Kate Kjeell, Recruiting Practice Leader (SBCo team member since 2000):

  1. Greatest takeaway/lesson/aha moment of 2015 for you/SBCo?

Personalization of the recruiting message. Top talent wants an opportunity that speaks to them and piques their interest to learn more.

  1. What do you think will be the biggest trend in recruiting in 2016?

As the competition for talent heats up in a rebounding job market, the need to differentiate your job will be critical.  Your message, inmail, job postings will need to stand out in light of growing demand for talent.  Recruiting is now at the intersection of sales and marketing and needs to leverage the same approach in terms of content generation, analytics, talent networks, social and mobile recruiting.

  1. What will recruiting be like in 2025? 

I don’t think we will be recruiting for Spacley’s Sprockets and driving our flying cars. (Ala The Jetson’s) I do think that the nature of recruiting will change to be a marketplace where people advertise their skills and accept bids similar to eBay.  We are seeing glimmers of this with the growing flexible, free-agent workforce. Virtual workers and technology platforms enable visibility to interesting work across the globe.

Lisa Sutherland, Recruiting Consultant (SBCo team member since 2001):

  1. Greatest takeaway/lesson/aha moment of 2015 for you/SBCo?

    The greatest takeaway for me this year was learning from hiring managers who are assessing talent in entirely different ways. It is more about potential this year. With such hot demand leadership capabilities, it has been critical to be consultative and partner with our HR clients. This means refinin strategies real time.

  2. What do you think will be the biggest trend in recruiting in 2016?

    I see “grow from within” as the competitive advantage in our healthcare clients. Many key positions have a limited supply of experienced candidates. Developing internal talent and conducting career conversations signals the high performer that you are invested in them. They expect this.

  3. What will recruiting be like in 2025? 

    Recruiting in 2025 will be 4-5 generations working together and integrating those different styles into the workplace. There are already more women in the workplace by then we will see progress in tech companies and Boards.

Nicole Peguero, Recruiting Consultant (SBCo team member since 2014):

  1. Greatest takeaway/lesson/aha moment of 2015 for you/SBCo?

Recruiting processes are still a two way street with the edge towards the employee or worker. Not everyone wants to be an employee today. The importance of reputation and brand is alive and well as future talent is faced with significantly more opportunities than a year ago. It is a competitive talent driven market for sure.

  1. What do you think will be the biggest trend in recruiting in 2016?

Retaining the talent you have invested in will be the number one challenge for multi- dimensional generations at work.

  1. What will recruiting be like in 2025?

The majority of workers will shift to mostly millennials. Employers will need to play close attention to what this demographic desires. They look at work, life, career through different lens. Purpose driven, collaborative culture and flexible work arrangements will rule.  What will your company do to remain talent competitive in 2025 and beyond?

Corey Protzman, Marketing, Learning Events, Sourcing Coordinator (SBCo team member since 2013):

  1. Greatest takeaway/lesson/aha moment of 2015 for you/SBCo?

HR is at a pivotal point in its life cycle. As the economy continues to recover and new organizations sprout up across the world, the demand on “human capital” leaders is in constant flux. There is no longer a cookie cutter approach to HR/recruiting.

  1. What do you think will be the biggest trend in recruiting in 2016?

Personalized messaging for active, passive, and future candidates. No one is/will be
biting on the generic job description anymore because of the downpour of information individual’s process daily. It will not be about adding to the downpour, but standing out from it.

  1. What will recruiting be like in 2025?

Recruiting won’t be just an HR initiative in 2025. Every person in an organization will be a brand/job ambassador and candidates will be motivated to make a change by individuals empowering a company not generic, umbrella company- wide messaging. The best talent ambassadors will understand personalization and networks

Our Final Thoughts...

Do you recall the first few moments of 2015? If that is tough, how about going back to 2000?   The journey has been exciting, unpredictable, and tragic at times, but filled with change on every front in the human capital arena. Our focus shifted from retention to engagement; from big data to brain science and from innovation to de-constructing work.

As we look ahead to 2025 our journey will demand navigating beyond a world of employment. John Boudreau boldly states that the non-employment work arrangement will leverage us into project based, crowd sourcing, and free lancing like never before. One of our clients recently said, “future workers will just say no to traditional modes of work” and we need to be ready for that now.

What will the rites of passage be that young workers and enlightened business leaders take as they adapt to the shifting needs and opportunities of the future? There will be new stories and perspectives that reframe how we work, where we work, and coordinate across the globe.

As we reach the end of the year, we plan to take a moment to reflect on the lessons learned, the challenges ahead and greet the New Year with hope, resilience and a search for good. We wish you the same and more.

 

November 25, 2015 - No Comments!

Labor Shortage – What it means to you?

If you are a recruiter or have responsibility for finding top talent, then you know about the talent shortage.  If you read the news, listen to podcasts or talk to business leaders, you know the scarcity of talent is here in many key areas and will arrive soon in others.

The Wall Street Journal is hosting a great series, which started November 23rd on "Demographic Destiny 2050."  The series will talk about how we work, how we will age, and live in the coming years.  This is not a US centric issue - it is much bigger and complex as it impacts many economically producing countries.  There are too few people.  (WSJ.com/2050)

Next year, for the first time since 1950, the world's combined working population will shrink 5%.  Slower population growth impacts economies and competitive advantage.   We are not alone in encouraging our older workers (including me:) to work longer.  There is plenty of opportunity for potential workers in Europe and US to retire later.  We see that happening more and more.

Today on NPR radio I learned of a new series this week that will address aging and the science of helping us live longer.  Sounds interesting but let's focus on what we can influence now.  Our health, our people and commitment to developing others.  Let's engage the hearts and minds of our workers.  Create a work culture that you are proud of and model the fact that we can work hard and separate from work to enjoy life, our families and breathe.  Whether you are a small entrepreneurial business, start-up or middle market company there are people needs that if not met will impact your success and hold you back from a balanced life.  Read this series, think about talent in new ways and share what the 2050 demographic "time bomb" as stated in the article mentioned, means for your business and your life.

 

August 3, 2015 - No Comments!

SBCo July Newsletter- HR Innovation – Impacting Business through Candidate Experience

We recently talked with long-time friend and respected talent leader, Jared Flynn, Senior Director, Head of Talent Acquisition for T-Mobile. Having joined T-Mobile in 2009 when they were not the most popular mobile phone carrier, Jared has taken part in their amazing transformation, a business transformation that has resulted in nine consecutive quarters delivering more than 1 million total net customer additions.

We sat down with him to discover how and why T-Mobile reinvented their candidate experience.

Sherry Benjamins (SB): So great to talk to you! Tell us a little about your role at T-Mobile.

Jared Flynn (JF): I lead Talent Acquisition for all T-Mobile brands and locations in the U.S. This equates to filling over 22,000 positions a year currently.

SB: And what were some of the challenges you faced at T-Mobile?jared Flynn

JF: Three years ago we had new leadership join T-Mobile and they challenged us to re-think HR and Talent. We came to realize this meant owning some of the pain points in our recruiting process.

T-Mobile focuses on getting rid of pain points for our customers and we wanted to do the same for our candidate “customers”.

SB: What were the biggest pain points you discovered?

JF: By far the biggest pain point for a candidate is lack of response. They go through the effort of applying for a position and their application goes into the black hole. We would never treat our customers like that, so why are we treating our candidates that way? We decided to focus on radical transparency.

SB: What steps did you take to become radically transparent?

JF: Every candidate should have a complete understanding of our process and know where they stand. For instance, we list the length of time a job has been open and the number of people that have applied.

Secondly, we feed our Glassdoor reviews onto our own website. Not all the reviews are positive, but if candidates are already looking at them, we might as well make them readily accessible.

Lastly, we created an infographic and video so our candidates would understand the process.

SB: From the T-Mobile perspective, does all this help ensure the right candidate applies to the job?

JF: That’s a great question. One area we really learned a valuable lesson on finding the right fit was customer service. We were experiencing 50% turnover in that department. The feedback from employees was the job wasn’t what they expected.

We decided to create a video that depicts what it’s really like to work in customer service at T-Mobile. It’s an amazing place to work, but some parts of a job are just less fun and exciting. The video helps empower candidates to find the right fit for them.

SB: What have you done for your internal candidates?

JF: We received a lot of feedback that our internal candidates also suffered from the black hole effect. One employee’s comments really stood out to me. T-Mobile had paid for him to go to school, but when he applied for a job with us in the trade he went to school for, he never heard back. Here were paying tuition reimbursements and yet not capitalizing on the investment or the employee’s new skills!

We’ve been taking steps to ensure we fully utilize the talent we already have on our T-Mobile team.

SB: How do you think HR is impacting business?

JF: We have 1 million people a year applying to work at T-Mobile. Frankly, that is way too many candidates. By changing our practices we are able to encourage only qualified candidates apply, thus reducing the resources necessary to manage an excessive number of applications. Additionally, we know a positive candidate experience could increase the likelihood of those candidates choosing to join T-Mobile as a customer.

SB: Do you partner with other T-Mobile teams to make these initiatives come to life?

JF: One of our core values is “Frontline first, because customers are first.” The frontline employees are in customer service and retail, the employees closest to the customer. We work closely with our frontline teams through focus groups and frontline “internships” to ensure we are always in touch with their needs and perspective. Additionally we work closely with our Marketing and Corporate Communications teams to ensure we’re aligned from a brand perspective. Our partners have been amazing at re-inventing our high volume job descriptions.

Our job descriptions are really energizing now.

SB: What are you most proud of when you look back on all you have accomplished at T-Mobile?

JF: I am most proud of seeing my team accomplish something that has never been done before. There were many heroes along the way that were really able to bring “next-practice” thinking.

It was also great to see the team receive the CandE award from the Talent Board in 2014. Internal recognition is always wonderful, but we value external recognition that we’re listening to our customers and actively solving their pain points.

SB: So, what is on the docket for 2016?

JF: We’re focused on ways to “Monetize the Million” (candidates). We want to delight them by doing a little something that says “thank you,” and leaves them feeling appreciated, and hopefully turns them into a T-Mobile customer.

SB: I have always admired you as a TA Leader and your ability to push beyond the norm. What skills do you think future TA leaders need to have?

JF: Most importantly, TA leaders need permission and an expectation to be bold. They should have the space to take risks and use them as learning experiences.

Our Thoughts...

Finally, a focus on talent and great companies transforming the conversation with their candidates is on the rise. It is an understatement to say the talent market has heated up. From Apple, to Zappos, JetBlue and T-Mobile as well as smaller entrepreneurial firms, there is an understanding that candidate experience impacts brand and that authentic messages matter.

Jared and his team are speaking to their customer – the candidate in a way that captures their heart. We at SBCo encourage you to do the same. It matters to your customer and your employees. Let us know how it works for you and share a success story that we can highlight in our next newsletter.