Archive for the ‘Business Performance’ Category

I just read this article by Jessica Leber via the Fast Company website.  I found it to be extremely interesting and quite factual.   There are so many companies out there spanning multiple industries whose business depends on excellent customer service from its employees.   In most situations the low-wage employee is the first contact a customer encounters.   This employee is a representative of the company and in most cases responsible for creating the “first impression”.

It is a fact that people are a company’s most valued asset so this “Hot New Business Strategy” Jessica writes about definitely deserves some merit – Enjoy!

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing.  Her expertise are recruitment, selection and career transition.


Over the last 2 years I have worked on assignments to find high calibre management talent within the food manufacturing industry.  I’ve gained a totally new respect for this industry and came to realize that there is a shortage of good talent at the management level; it takes a lot of creative sourcing to uncover this talent.  Subsequently, when it comes to talent acquisition it should be no surprise to learn that my sourcing toolbox is full of social media/networking sites.  I have a very large social network and maintain a presence on the internet via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   By utilizing key posting sites and performing creative Boolean searches the days of the old “cold call” are long gone – the only calls I make are very “warm calls” – those individuals who have already responded to my tweet, Linkedin message or email.    Yes it is true; if utilized properly the internet will make a recruiter more productive and visible.

Now Social Media recruitment is not new, at least to me.  Yet, I am surprised at how many placement firms and corporations are not taking total advantage of this valuable method to source talent.    If a company is willing to collaborate to identify the key competencies required for the role, and the recruiter is experienced enough to put together a structured behavioural interview process and a comprehensive sourcing strategy, 9 times out of 10 there is bound to be a successful result.  On the other hand, it is not a secret that unclear expectations lead to a dysfunctional and lengthy search.

I’m passionate about what I do and encourage all companies whether a placement agency or corporation to empower and encourage their recruiters to utilize the power of social recruitment – it is awesome and very rewarding.  In fact, I learn something new every day – a new way to source, a new site to explore, a new resource to add to my professional network.   Whatever the learning it broadens my knowledge; I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!


Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing.   She is an intuitive professional with extensive and acknowledged expertise in full-life cycle recruitment, selection and behavioural interviewing within Canada and the USA.  Lee is a results-oriented, creative individual who knows how to optimize the selection process.    She is a natural influencer who knows how to ask the right questions to fully engage the candidate.    Proven success in linking selection to performance to help identify and hire the best talent to drive business.  She guides hiring managers and candidates through the selection process with a wide degree of creativity, recruiting vision and understanding.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in the Day with Donna at Stone Edge Estate a Bed & Breakfast on the Edge of the Niagara Escarpment. It is owned by Doug Rapien and is a beautiful place surrounded by fantastic scenery  –

We gathered in a luxurious meeting room, a Dentist, Engineers, RN/Health Nutritionist, Artist, Financial Planner and of course me – a Talent Acquisition Specialist. We were strangers brought together by Donna to learn how to take our business to the next level, no matter how small or large. It was an exciting journey and one that was filled with inspiration, laughter and a large amount of learning. By the end of the day, as typical with all of Donna’s events, the strangers became a team collaborating on how best to help each other. We developed measureable goals and over the next 60 days Donna will monitor each and every one of us to insure we are following through. In addition, the team will stay connected offering support as we strive to achieve our business goals.

Donna broadcasted the event on BlogTalkRadio – I invite you to listen to the broadcast and meet the wonderful group of people I had the pleasure of spending the day with:

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and master trainer in behavioural interviewing. Her passion and expertise are in talent acquisition/selection strategies on both the corporate and individual sides. Lee knows how to identify performance skills for a specific role; and how to use social recruiting to find the right talent needed to drive business performance.

I just read an article from the Harvard Business Review about why top talent is in a nonstop job hunt and I say “right on” – this is not a new scenario. Most companies do not have a strong talent management programs to help retain talented employees. This article hits the nail right on the head – unless companies are recognizing and developing their talent, there will be turnover and they will lose high potentials which will affect buisness.  Take a look at one of my earlier Blogs “Does your Talent Management Program Drive Business Performance?” – yep it is all above talented people – hiring and retaining. The economy is turning the corner and there are more opportunities available so if your company believes “talented people drive business performance” then it is time to take action!

Enjoy this article written by Monika Hamon, Jie Cao and Burak Koyunca

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Ressources (PHR) and a Master Trainer in behavioural interviewing.  Her passion and expertise are recruitment and talent acquisition.

Today I’d like to talk about personal strengths.  Each of us has them, yet most of us do not know how to identify and leverage these strengths.    It is a fact that when we are engaging our core strengths we feel much better physically and mentally.   If employed, you are likely to be more engaged at work when utilizing your strengths.  When not using these strengths you may dread going to work, have more negative interactions with your colleagues and achieve less.  Same can be said for the Entrepreneur who may have a great service or product; however, if not utilizing and leveraging their core strengths on a daily basis it can affect their confidence, direction and ability to win business.

So how do you discover your core strengths and better still how do you leverage these strengths?  Well, there are ample books, videos and behavioural assessments available to help with this process.   However, the problem is not so much identifying as it is engaging the strengths on a daily basis.   Ever since I was a young child I have possessed a strong intuitive ability, I am told it is a talent handed down from generation to generation.   As I matured I channeled my gift into my career.  My passion and expertise are in recruitment and selection, I am certified as a Master Trainer in behavioural interviewing and because of my strong intuitive ability I am able to take this methodology to a whole new level.   In 2009, during the high point of the recession I decided to use my talent to help those in career transition.  Utilizing their resume, I took clients through a performance based interview.   Nine times out of ten the results were always the same, we discovered that their key strengths are not displayed on the resume.   Hmm, not so unusual, we are good at depicting our experience but not so good at representing our inner strengths – yet it is our experience coupled with these strengths that make the person and tell the whole story.

Earlier this week I attended Donna Messer’s new book launch “Cycles of Life – Keeping you on Track”.  During a break one of the participants came over to speak to me about his small business and resume.   As with most of us who are starting off in business we look for some type of supplemental income to help pay the bills while we get the business off the ground.    This young man was no different; however he could not understand why he was not getting a better response to his resume.  After all he does have a good technical background.  I asked him to describe himself in a few words – he gave me  “artistic” and “storyteller”,  next I asked him if these words were on his resume – the answer was “no”.   Ok! – So this young man is a graphic artist and my first thought is “artistic and storyteller” are very important when it comes to standing out as a graphic artist – right?  Yet these strengths are not mentioned.  Now if he was a client I would conduct a performance based interview to confirm these strengths and help identify other core competencies along with updating the resume to enhance visibility.   In addition, I would help him verbalize these strengths with examples of successful past performance utilizing the mock interview.   You see, this is my strength and I believe by helping others succeed, I too will be successful.

I encourage everyone to discover and identify their key strengths, but don’t stop there! Figure out the best way to leverage these strengths each and every day whether at work or at play.  If you invest the time to do this I guarantee you will feel better about yourself; and that positive energy you are generating is bound to get you noticed in a very rewarding way!

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Lead Mater Trainer in behavioural interviewing.   She has over 25 years of international experience in recruitment across multiple industries and levels along with developing and implementing talent acquisition strategies.  In addition, Lee possesses a unique talent when it comes to career transition management.

If I’ve said it once, I have said it thousands of times over the past 25 years “People are a company’s best asset, good people drive business performance”.  Think about a company that is struggling right now – if you could look deeper within that corporation how many of the top ten reasons companies fail would you discover?

  • Poor or no selection process – internal and external
  • No retention strategy to keep the high potentials
  • Ineffective compensation and bonus programs
  • High cost associate with poor hires
  • Lack of effective Performance Management Program
  • Insufficient succession planning
  • Little or no career development
  • Lack of qualified senior level management
  • Leaders who lack the training to be leaders
  • Broken link between HR and the business

It is a known fact that companies who have an all-encompassing Talent Management Program which includes a strong selection process coupled with a good performance management program, career development and succession planning are overall more successful.   Attracting, motivating and retaining a productive workforce requires more than a competitive salary and bonus, it takes letting the employee know what is it in for her/him – what are the “total rewards” of working for the company.

Lilly Canada is one of Canada’s top pharmaceutical companies; it is the Canadian affiliate of the major American pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly & Company.   According to a case study by Bersin & Associates conducted in 2011 Lilly is known for bringing in best-in-class strategies and behaviors to its global talent management programs.  Its talent management strategy is tightly integrated with its succession management strategy.   Subsequently, when data from the employee survey showed room for improvement in its rewards and recognition process Lilly took action.   Lilly already had a rewards and recognition program in place administered by management (basically gift cards); however it was evident by the results of the survey that there was definite room for improvement.  

They wanted a solution that would recognize and reward not only from management down but sideways, up and down as well as peer to peer, subordinate to supervisor and supervisor to subordinate.  Plus they wanted something easy to use and roll out; with the strong involvement of their human resource department the “I Love Rewards” program was launched in 2010, the gift and dinner cards were replaced by a performance-based points system, the solution mirrored the performance leadership behaviours in Lilly’s performance management program and code of conduct.  Within a year the rewards program was determined a success based on employee and leadership feedback – it has given the company another way to track employee satisfaction and engagement.  In fact, Lilly plans to use the data to evaluate and correlate business impacts such as employee retention, manager and employee turnover rates, high-potential turnover, sales performance and more.    By taking action, Lilly has improved employee satisfaction which in turn improves productivity and innovation which then drives better business performance.

Every company needs at least one exceptional performer who can motivate, inspire and enable innovation.   Take Apple for instance, Steve Jobs was a phenomenal leader and under his leadership the company grew leaps and bounds and today its products are top of the market.   During Steve’s reign Apple maintained a strong Talent Management Program – it encouraged its employees to excel – to always focus on the product and how to make it better.  Employees were never bored, once finished working on a product they were off to work on the next one.  Apple offered a very leisure dress code, in fact one employee comments:    “Diversity and dress code are the best parts of the company culture as well as the emotional energy around the product that drives everyone”.   There it is again – “Talented People drive business performance”    One can only assume that Apple put a strong succession plan in place for Tim Cook.  Time will tell if he is yet another exceptional leader. 

According to the “2011 Report on Emerging Canadian Software Companies” CEO’s acknowledge the talent race is on and for the first time, in a long time, access to talented resources emerged as a significant challenge.   A full 44% of CEO’s listed recruiting new talent and management team members as their biggest issue.  In 2010 40% of CEO’s indicating that developing the skills and training of their staff was their biggest talent management issue.   The top three most popular key performance indicators used by CEOs in 2010 were revenue based:

  • Total revenue
  • Revenue growth
  • Recurring revenue

Ahh the preverbal “bottom line”, it is a double-edged sword.  To achieve strong revenue results it comes down to having a talented workforce driving business performance.

Ok, so I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.  Yes I know, it takes time and talent to develop selection strategies, performance management programs, etc., etc., and yes, time is money.  However, in this case it is money the company may be losing by not investing the time and talent in these areas. Think about it!

Revenue Growth =Talented Leadership + Talented/Motivated Employees

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources by the Society for Human Resource Management along with Lead Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing.  Her passion and strength is selection strategy to include recruitment and sourcing.  Lee holds the position of Senior Search Consultant at the Ian Martin Group within the professional and executive search division.  In addition she is the owner of Selection Strategy.

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