Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

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.

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.

To all my fellow Blog writers and readers I wish to extend a happy holiday season greeting.  I hope 2011 was good to you and that 2012 is even better. 

I will be back next year with tips for individuals who are in career transition; and of course tips for corporations about recruiting and selecting the very best talent. 

It is no secret that good people drive business performance yet most companies do not have a selection strategy.   Yep, it is still tough out there and if the hiring process is not done correctly it is definitely costly.  Given the economic situation can your corporation afford the cost?

 Until next year………………….

Lee Koren, PHR

Everyone should be using some form of social media to boost their career and enhance the chances of being contacted to explore a new career opportunity.  Whether gainfully employed or in a job search, it is a great way to keep abreast of new and exciting roles and activities within your industry; or keep tabs on a company targeted as a preferred employer. For these reasons it’s important to stay current, network with colleagues in your industry even when you don’t need them.  Take some time every day to connect with who you know and even who you don’t know.   One of my search activities as a senior recruiter is to send message out to business professionals every day asking “who do you know?”   Think about it, who do you know? Or who do you want to know?

Social recruiting is becoming a very popular way for companies to source candidates for employment.  As a senior recruiter/search consultant I use Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis.    I’ve been quite successful because my network forwards the message on to their network who forwards the message on to their network and before you know it the message is literally being read across the globe.  In addition, the effort always results in new connections being added to my network – quite powerful!!

Build your network in advance by talking to your connections on Twitter or other networking sites.  Join groups on Linkedin and join in the discussions, by being proactive you will be way ahead if you lose your job or decide it is time to make a move.  Identify people who you have something in common with – as Donna Messer (Queen of Networking) always says “networking is all about finding a common ground”.

Until next time……………..

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and a Lead Master Trainer in Behavioural/Performance based interviewing.  She is a senior recruiter/search consultant at The Ian Martin Group specializing in professional and executive search.

I know there are companies out there promoting Video Bios and Interviews; yep they want a piece of the action.  However before you leap, please consider a few facts.

  1. Technology cannot change the way a person thinks and unfortunately humans still have biases and make subjective decisions on what they see.
  2. Would you really want to be disqualified from an invite to interview on company site just because you wore a red tie during your video?  I know it might be an exaggeration, however you get the message.

If done properly, the Resume is still the best vehicle to get you in the door.    I have helped many people optimize their resume base on key strengths, competencies and accomplishments.  I read somewhere that an employer makes an impression in the first 5 minutes of the interview, do you really want that first impression to be via video?  At least, if you are face to face or even over the telephone you still have some control.      An alternative may be to create an audio interview highlighting key competencies and strengths as you talk through the resume

I am still very cautious about promoting job seekers to spend money on creating a Video Bio or Interview.   Now I will agree there may be folks out there who are good in front of the camera and a video may make sense if the job requires someone to be in front of the camera or involved in presentations in front of large audiences.  However, until technology can take the bias out of the video bio and/or interview my preference is still the good old fashion face to face interview. 

Lee Koren is a certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) specializing in selection and recruitment.

This is a an awesome on-line publication created by Donna Messer and her team at ConnectUs Canada.   I was thrilled my article was selected to be published in the “Business” section.  Please take a few minutes to read the article and scan the entire publication!

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