Archive for the ‘Talent Management’ Category

Over the past several years there has been a lot of buzz going around about “Meaningful Work”. Companies are incorporating the phrase into their recruitment and performance management strategies stating “We offer a meaningful work environment”. However, most of the time it is exactly as it seems a catch phrase to help recruit or retain talent. Most companies do not have a clue what it takes to establish a meaningful work environment.

In my opinion, this type of work environment would see each and every employee bring a sense of passion, creativity and meaning to the workplace every day because they feel and see on a personal level that it makes a difference. How? Because management is continuously recognizing, rewarding and celebrating the successes of its employees no matter how large or small.

A couple of years ago I was introduced to a company which stated it offered a meaningful work environment. Senior management was running around giving “lip service” to providing meaningful work” and the majority of the employees were scratching their heads wondering what is so meaningful about this work? Actually, the company did have a good foundation – the problem was too many antiquated managers ingrained in an “old style” of management. Hence if a company is committed in creating a cohesive meaningful work environment it must start with its management to insure each and every one is a leader capable of inspiring employees to bring their best to work every day.

The organization is responsible for creating a meaningful workplace where each and every employee is a part of and contributes to its success. You got it, a cohesive culture continually fostered by the organization. Hmm sounds a little like human resource management – what a concept!

The only way a company can honestly say they offer a meaningful work environment is if each and every employee buys in and understands the concept. Herein is the challenge – each and every employee not just the “superstars” or those deemed to “have potential” but all employees even those who are struggling. All too often struggling employees are mislabelled as underperforming or “poor performers”. It just might be that the employee is under-challenged, and finds the work boring subsequently showing up for work every day becomes a chore. On the other hand maybe the employee finds the work too complicated and does not feel he/she is getting adequate training. In a true meaningful work environment struggling employees become the priority and it is up to management to help inspire the desire to bring their best to work every day.

Let me know what you think – does your company do a good job of offering all its employees meaningful work?

Lee Koren is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). She is an expert in career transition management, recruitment and selection.


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.

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.

I just read this article by Sajjad Masud and totally agree; however this is not exactly new stuff.  I’ve been using social media as a part of the talent acquisition strategy for many years now.  If utilized properly it is a great way to find and connect with hidden talent.  Hope you enjoy the article!


Lee Koren is a certified as a professional in human resources (PHR) and specializes in recruitment and selection/talent acquisition strategy.  She is certified as a Master Trainer in Behavioural Interviewing and recognized as an expert when it comes to social recruiting.

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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