As the economy slowly begins to improve, many companies are seeing their business doing the same. However, they may be reluctant to hire additional workers to handle the workload, fearing that it may drop off again and they will be stuck with employees they don’t need, says Danny Spitz, founder and president of Everstaff.

“The solution is temporary staffing,” says Spitz. “Businesses are more comfortable bringing on staff on a temporary basis until they make sure that the workload is going to continue. Although they are cautiously optimistic, they are skittish about hiring permanent workers. First, they want to see the skill sets and want to know that the work is going to last. So they continue to favor temporary staffing.”

Smart Business spoke with Spitz about how a recruiting and staffing firm can supply the right temporary workers to help you control your work force on an as-needed basis.

How can temporary staffing help a company control its work force?

It allows a company to staff for peak needs, with the flexibility of letting those people go when they no longer need them. When some companies have an increase in workflow, they are afraid to hire. So they ask their existing employees to do extra work and sometimes work overtime.

Partnering with a staffing agency to bring in temporary workers can help avoid burnout among your employees, improving their overall productivity and allowing them to continue to focus on their main job tasks. When companies are looking to cut costs, often the first place they look is payroll. And when a company downsizes, it will ask its staff to go into overdrive and handle responsibilities that they are not used to handling. Temporary staffing can help keep your current employees happy and allows you to bring in specialized talent for certain tasks, which, in the end, results in better service and better products for your clients or customers.

Temporary staffing can also help you control your work force because if the workload does continue, you have already trained that individual and you have the option of hiring him or her as a full-time employee. This arrangement allows you to try before you buy, evaluating whether they will fit in the corporate culture and with other employees, see what their work habits are and identify any weaknesses that might not be evident in the interview process before you hire them full time. It allows you to give someone the opportunity to work for your company but say that that person has to earn the right to be a full-time employee.

How can temporary staffing help cut costs?

Because the recruiting and staffing firm — not your company — is the physical employer of the temporary staffing people, you don’t have to worry about them filing for unemployment when they are no longer needed. This can reduce the overall operating costs for a business because it does not affect what the employer pays for unemployment insurance.

It can also keep costs in check because the business is not responsible for paying for benefits. In addition, the staffing firm handles all employer-employee responsibilities, such as workers’ compensation, and the employer doesn’t have to provide sick time and vacation time or contribute to a 401(k) plan.

Temporary workers can also cut costs by stepping in to handle overflow work instead of the company paying overtime to your existing workers.

How can a staffing firm help a company with the interview process?

With unemployment at an all-time high, the number of applicants for an open position is also at an all-time high. If you have one position and 300 people apply, where do you start? How much time and energy are you willing to put into that? An HR person could spend days going through hundreds of unqualified resumes just to identify a handful of appropriate applicants to prescreen for an interview.

A specialized staffing firm like Everstaff will take on that role and mirror the company’s procedures as an extension of the HR department and management team. The firm conducts a thorough screening and very specific skill testing to find a candidate with the right skill set, as well as a candidate who truly wants to work. The firm will mirror exactly how a company does its internal hiring. If it’s two interviews, a background check, drug testing and skill evaluation, the staffing firm will do the same things, so someone who comes in on a temporary basis and then is hired full time has been through the same process as everyone else.

What would you say to an executive who says his or her company doesn’t have a need for temporary workers?

If you don’t have a need now, that is the perfect time to meet with a staffing and recruiting firm. The last thing you want to do is to try to determine the right partner to meet your needs when your need for help is now. Take a proactive approach and take the time to develop a relationship with a staffing firm to identify potential needs.

That way, when someone resigns with little or no notice, or if something in your business changes, the staffing firm already has someone in the pipeline to step in when needed without affecting your productivity.

Danny Spitz is founder and president of Everstaff. Reach him at (216) 674-0788 or danny@everstaff.com.

Insights Recruiting & Staffing is brought to you by Everstaff

Published in Cleveland
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:00

How to recruit and retain millennials

Who is Joe Walsh? The question came from the 20-something colleague of Aimee Houde, director of Recruiting Services at Sequent.

She was astonished that the colleague didn’t know “Life in the Fast Lane.” She was curious how most people would answer the question and realized that the answer depends on your age, or, more specifically, what generation you belong to.

“It brings to mind that the workplace has become a mix of many generations – with the newest bunch being millennials, those roughly between the ages of 18 and 34,” says Houde.

Why should you care about millennials? Because you can’t afford not to. Millennials will make up 36 percent of the workforce by 2014 and 46 percent by 2020. Employers who “get” where newer generations are coming from are winning the war on talent, while employers who regard hiring millennials as a necessary evil are missing the boat. The good news is that if you haven’t already adjusted your recruiting strategy, there is still time.

Smart Business spoke with Houde about how to hire and retain millennials.

Where should employers begin?

Get social. Many hiring managers resist using social media to locate and learn about potential hires. These managers got their first jobs through traditional methods, and they see no reason to adjust their approach. However, social media isn’t just for marketing your business. It’s essential to marketing your brand to potential candidates, establishing your company as a great place to work. Linkedin is an obvious choice for recruiting, with 95 percent of organizations using it in 2011. If you create Facebook, Twitter and Google+ company profiles, you open the door to potential employees by giving them an opportunity to easily get to know your company, its people and services. You can also connect with candidates through off-the-cuff conversations, boosting your responsive and engaging quotient. Putting a name and face behind corporate social media accounts works wonders, too.

How can employers find millennials?

Reach out. Don’t expect millennials to come to you. They won’t respond to boring posts on your website or your friendless Facebook page. Figure out where they live and go get them. Go to social groups and engage them. Post content that helps them find a job or that positions you as the trusted expert in your industry. Use your website to provide information that is important to millennials — balance, benefits, purpose, support. Videos are a great tool for highlighting employees who love your organization.

How can an employer get noticed by millennials?

Be visible. The web is the first place millennials go. So show up, early, often and consistently. You also need to represent your brand on social media, industry blogs and other outlets.  Millennials will check you out to see whether they know your brand or are interested in learning more. Consider hosting a blog, or commenting frequently to interest groups. It establishes your expertise and positions you as a top-of-the-food-chain employer.

What information should an employer share?

Tell your story. Millennials reveal lots of information about themselves online and expect the same of you. They are tech savvy and expect instant gratification. If you don’t provide enough self-serve information on a 24/7 basis, millennials will move on to an employer who does. Create an online atmosphere where everything is at a potential employee’s disposal. Go beyond highlighting what your company does and include information about your values, profiles of employees, insights into the corporate culture and why it might be a good place for them to work.

How important is interaction?

Be responsive. If you want bad news to go viral, share it with a millennial. Provide feedback to job candidates early and often, even if it’s not the news they want to hear. If that person isn’t a fit, he or she may know someone who is. Besides, interviewees are potential customers, and you’ll be influencing their opinion of your company. Everyone is connected and things happen fast. You need to be careful how you interact, but you have to interact.

How do you know what to look for?

Find entrepreneurs. Nearly one-third of employers look for candidates with an entrepreneurial spirit. For millennials with little experience, this translates to those who are doing interesting things. Entrepreneurial young people are extremely active online. They have their own websites and side projects they discuss on social networks. Engage with these people, and you’ll find self-starters who’ll infuse your organization with change and innovation.

How do you avoid popular myths about millennials?

Ditch the stereotypes. Millennials are impatient kids looking for a quick buck, know-it-alls who don’t need the advice of experienced supervisors, right? Wrong. Millennials are confident, raised on a steady stream of validation. When it comes to careers, they seek advice more often than prior generations. And, they crave coaching. Contrary to popular myth, they do not rank salary as the highest factor when seeking a job. Good benefits concern them most — especially health care and retirement plans. They want a career, but they also want a life. They like flexible work environments with remote and mobile options.  They are socially conscious and want to give back. They want the same things as prior generations. They just prioritize differently and are more vocal about what they want.

Millennials are not just our present, they are our future. They are confident, connected and open to change. If you respond to how they are wired, you will not only attract the best talent, you will reap the benefits of their gifts and be investing in the people who may ultimately become the leaders of your organization.

Aimee Houde is director of Recruiting Services at Sequent. Reach her at (888) 456-3627 or by emailing ahoude@sequent.biz.

Insights HR Outsourcing is brought to you by Sequent

Published in Cincinnati

In the service industry, employee-related expenses account for 50 to 70 percent of total expenses, which makes it critical to bring in the right people and ensure your investment is a good one.

“The cost to hire people is significant, from advertising to interviewing to the onboarding process,” says John Harabedian, Managing Director of the Retirement Plan Services division at Tegrit Group. “If you are only retaining 50 percent of the people you recruit, that’s a huge cost to the company that needs to be reduced.”

The benefits of recruiting and retention strategies aren’t just cost-related.

“If you’re growing and you’ve got a strong culture, you’ll be known as a good place to work, which enhances the company’s reputation and image in the community,” he says.

Smart Business spoke with Harabedian about recruiting and retention practices.

Why does a business need recruiting and retention strategies?

Not having a recruiting strategy often leads to reactive hiring. If someone terminates employment, a manager who hasn’t thought about a replacement strategy might make a quick decision to hire someone who seems qualified but isn’t.

You always want to look for loyalty in your employees, that is the key to customer retention as well as cost savings. Customers value continuity; if you have the same person on the account for a long time he or she will know the client well and the chances of the client having a great experience are significantly enhanced.

What are some best practices for recruiting?

Your human resources department should have an active ongoing recruiting process for key positions, even if those positions aren’t open. You interview people as resumes come in, for future position openings.  Then if you have to replace someone you already have two or three people in mind — you know what their situation is, if they need to move and their salary requirements for example. This makes positions easier to fill, especially for specialized, technical jobs, and ensures your company does a better job of finding the right people.

You need to define your corporate culture and find people who fit into it. A strong work culture engages employees and provides them with opportunities, which is crucial to keeping them satisfied.

In addition, good employees typically surround themselves with similar-type people, so employee recommendations can be a critical source for hires with the same work ethic and values. You can incentivize your staff with a cash bonus for recommending someone who gets hired.

An internship program is another excellent recruiting tool where both the intern and employer can evaluate each other before making a long-term commitment. You can start an internship program using younger employees who recently graduated with connections to local universities. Then in the second year, once you hire interns permanently, you can use them as spokespeople for the next graduating class. However, a successful internship program is predicated on interns having real work to do. You need to make interns feel like full-time employees by letting them have one-on-one time with managers, attend meetings and do client-based work.

Once you’ve recruited the right employees, what can you do to ensure they stay?

The defection of good employees is all tied to the culture. You need to put people where they have a passion. You don’t want to leave people in jobs they may have entered into if that is not what they want to do long-term. If you can get a person excited about what they do — if they can contribute and have some creativity in their role — they are much more likely to stay with the company.

A growing organization has to recognize you are always looking five to ten years down the road. Not only who are my managers today, but also which employees can become directors or fill other senior level positions? Internal mentorship programs identify key performers with significant potential. And you don’t have to be shy about who is in a mentoring program and who isn’t as it might motivate others.

Keep in mind what influences employees today. Younger employees put an emphasis on family and outside activities that you wouldn’t have found 20 years ago. You may need to be more creative in allowing staff to work remotely or have flexible schedules. You also might have to help older managers adjust to the mindset and values of younger staff.

How do you evaluate your recruiting and retention strategies?

Your HR department should always be looking for feedback from staff as well as evaluating the job application website you use to see if they are the most appropriate.

You can also rate your employees to find out how your retention strategies are working. For example, you can rate staff as (1) key performer, don’t lose; (2) good performer; and (3) average or acceptable, and any employee who is rated below three you would want to actively manage out. Then evaluate which employees are leaving — how many were ones, twos and threes?

Although the recession has created a double-effect that works for the employer — the talent pool is deeper with more people out of work and with fewer jobs more people are staying put — this kind of situation is only short-term. You need to invest in your employees and ensure the company has a wonderful culture in which they can grow and eventually take on more responsibility.

John Harabedian is the Managing Director of the Retirement Plan Services division, for Tegrit Group. Reach him at 330.983.0520 or john.harabedian@tegritgroup.com.

Insights Retirement Plan Services is brought to you by Tegrit Group

Published in Akron/Canton

You couldn’t avoid technology if you tried. It reaches into our everyday lives, and even undetected technology has embedded itself in such a way that it is impossible to ignore.

In fact, embracing technology has become a necessity for all segments of your business. And never before have technology and related social media platforms been so instrumental in your company’s ability to find, recruit and manage key talent, says Jim Dodgen, vice president, candidate services at Executive Career Services.

“One question you should be asking is whether your management team is leveraging the search for talent by using the latest tools?” says Dodgen. “And if they are not, how would you know that?”

Smart Business spoke with Dodgen about how to determine whether your company is using social media to recruit talent and how to maximize technology to reduce costs and improve market intelligence.

How can a company determine whether it is maximizing its resources in the hunt for talent?

One clue might be your HR professionals continued insistence on using and defending pricey internal online recruiting solutions when a site such as LinkedIn offers the ease and free access to thousands of qualified candidates. When you are looking to fill an executive position, one of your first calls might be to your recruiting firm, as you and your staff realistically may not have the time or expertise for the search process. And for high-level or difficult-to-fill positions, a retained recruiter is an obvious strategy.

However, outside of the people who are already in their queue, even those recruiters use LinkedIn as their No. 1 source to find candidates.

LinkedIn has become such an easy and effective way to find key talent, at all levels, that companies are increasingly using it as a resource. A quick key word search in the ‘People Search’ bar on the upper right hand corner of your home or profile page in your LinkedIn account will net a nice list of qualified candidates who are ‘advertising’ themselves via their LinkedIn profiles. There’s no better way to get up-to-date information about a candidate’s work history and the person’s value proposition, or branding statement.

LinkedIn is the place where candidates articulate their professional achievements and their industry savvy. You can tell a lot about candidate who is active on LinkedIn, which is why this resource has become so popular.

How important is it for a business and its HR department to be on LinkedIn?

If you and your HR department are not on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on streamlining your talent acquisition process and cutting your recruiting costs. If you want to use LinkedIn and still ensure that your privacy is protected, you can keep your LinkedIn profile to a minimum, set your profile searches to anonymous and still use the candidate search tools to identify potential employees.

How else can a business benefit from LinkedIn?

Not only can you use LinkedIn to find qualified candidates, but you can also engage in numerous professional/industry conversations in the Group section of your LinkedIn account. You can easily join as many as 50 industry or functional groups, where getting to know the players is only a click away. Go to the ‘Group Search’ bar in the upper right hand corner, making sure the ‘group’ pull down is selected. Then insert a key industry or functional word.

Immediately a list of related groups will come up. Select the ones that you want to join and click on ‘join this group.

Once you are ‘approved’ for a closed group, or automatically accepted in an open group not requiring approval, you can start looking over the member list to see with whom you might want to make a ‘first degree’ connection. You can also search the individual group member list by location to further refine your choices, as it makes sense to connect with those in your geographic area who share your professional and industry affinities.

The discussion streams are usually interesting and engaging, and if you have a subject matter expertise, you can easily and effectively gain acclaim among peers and leaders. As well, following group discussions can help you keep your finger on the pulse of new and developing trends.

How can someone get started?

If you’re new to LinkedIn, my best suggestion is to visit its ‘Learning Center,’ where you will find a dozen or so one-minute videos that explain the basics of the site. Technology can be daunting and downright intimidating, but a quick run through these videos will help you better understand the excellent resource that LinkedIn can be.

To find the LinkedIn Learning Center, you’ll first have to get your own account, which is an easy and free process. Once you are signed in, click on ‘Home’ and scroll to the bottom of the page. Then click on ‘Help Center’ and scroll again to the bottom of the page, where you’ll find the link to the ‘Learning Center,’ where you can click away at the generous topics and FAQs.

With more than 120 million business professionals currently on LinkedIn, isn’t it time you got on board?

Jim Dodgen is vice president, candidate services at Executive Career Services. Reach him at JimDodgen@ecscpi.com.

Insights Human Capital Solutions is brought to you by Executive Career Services

Published in Orange County

Every company seeks top talent to help grow its business and succeed, but not every company knows how to find it.

Too often, businesses settle for job candidates who meet some of the criteria for a position because they tire of interviewing, or simply don’t know where to find more qualified candidates. But a specialized recruiting firm can help you find those candidates after you have carefully evaluated your needs for a position, says Danny Spitz, president of EverStaff.

“Companies often go into the recruitment process with high expectations when hiring new individuals, and working with a specialized recruiting firm can help you meet and fulfill those expectations instead of falling short,” says Spitz.

Smart Business spoke with Spitz about how to evaluate your company’s staffing needs and how a specialized recruiting firm can help find individuals to meet your expectations.

How can a company begin to identify its staffing needs?

Start by evaluating your current staff to identify strengths and weaknesses within each department or within individual positions. Develop a current job description and evaluate it to make sure that is what is actually being done on a day-to-day basis. Update those descriptions annually, because in this economy, companies must be flexible and job responsibilities change to meet requirements. This process will allow you to make sure you are maximizing the position for your company’s requirements.

Once you’ve done evaluations, a specialized recruiting firm can do a full analysis of the department, or the individual positions, to understand how the recruitment process can enhance performance by identifying the right talent.

Should a company evaluate only open positions?

No. Meeting a company’s high expectations doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a current job opening. The best time to start looking for talent and raise expectations is actually when you have someone currently in the position but know you could hire someone with better talent that will enhance the company’s performance.

A lot of times, companies have someone they like, who is a good worker, but that person is not able to keep up with the growth of the company or take on additional responsibilities because he or she has hit the ceiling. Every year, a company should analyze every position and every function within that responsibility to make sure that the person is meeting or exceeding standards. And if he or she is not meeting or exceeding standards, that’s an opportunity to evaluate whether there is someone in the market that you can bring in to enhance that position.

This applies to upper management, as well. It is critical that you have the right managers in place, because if your management team is not exceeding expectations, it’s very likely that their teams are not meeting expectations, either.

Companies should continually try to upgrade positions if they believe there is better talent out there. Sometimes that means moving the person currently in that position to one more suited to his or her skill set, and sometimes it means letting that person go. Those are critical decisions that every company is faced with to make sure it has the right people to take it to the next level. Every company should be looking for those people who are constantly going to add value and help you get to the next level.

What would you say to a business leader who is reluctant to let someone go or move someone to another position?

It’s tough to recognize that the company has outgrown the skill set of someone you like. It’s difficult because you’re not evaluating someone on a personal level as much as if his or her talents are a good fit for the company. If the company is hesitating to make that transition, it is suffering as a result.

The management team needs to look at where the company needs to be in the next year, or next five years, and come up with a plan that will ensure it has the right staff in place to allow it to continue to hit those levels of success.

How can a specialized recruiting firm help identify the right people for a company’s needs?

While a company should do the evaluation process on its own, when looking to make improvements, partnering with a specialized recruiting firm is critical.

The recruiting firm will analyze a company’s expectations and determine if they are reasonable and, if so, how it can meet those expectations. The recruiting team will do customized searches based on where it thinks the company’s weaknesses are, where the position stands in terms of weaknesses and where improvement needs to be, and focus on identifying individuals who have the strengths to offset the weaknesses the company is facing.

It’s a very in-depth process, as the specialized recruiting firm not only takes individuals through the interview process but tests their skills, evaluates computer and personal skills, identifies where their strengths are and matches those to the company’s weaknesses. That’s what needs to happen to meet the company’s high expectations, because it’s looking for improvement out of that position.

The specialized recruiting firm will then narrow the pool of candidates based on the specific criteria developed between it and the company. It’s a very time-consuming process, but taking the time to recruit and attract the best talent will allow a company to save money by having the right individual in place or make more money by having better talent.

Danny Spitz is president of EverStaff. Reach him at (216) 674-0788 or danny@everstaff.com.

Published in Cleveland

While the Internet has changed the face of business as we know it, there is one thing it can’t do: decisively and professionally narrow a talent search to discover the right candidate for your business’s needs.

“As a HR leader I thought some years ago that the onset of the Internet would put recruiting firms out of business,” says Jerry Miller, vice president of marketing at Executive Career Services, whose human resources background includes extensive recruiting experience as well as executive search and contingency recruiting. “One could surmise that my original premise was correct and, with the increased popularity of social networking sites like LinkedIn, this percentage has nowhere to go but down. One would be wrong.”

It’s true that, according to the CareerXroads 9th Annual Source of Hire Study conducted in February 2010, only 2.3 percent of 2009 new hires came through third-party recruiters. But for specific talent acquisition for a niche position, a highly valued role, or a position that needs to be filled quickly and precisely, having a gatekeeper for selection and screening is invaluable.

Smart Business spoke to Miller about what a professional search firm can provide and how to choose the right firm for your business’s requirements.

Where is the value in using search firms?

Recruiting firms still have a place in the world of talent acquisition. It may not be as prominent a place as it used to be, but it is a place. Third-party recruiters are at their best when a position is hard to find, requires a very narrow or specialized skill set, or when a search is being conducted confidentially. They can also save their clients a great deal of time and effort by sourcing, interviewing and qualifying candidates and doing background investigations and reference checks. And because they are proactive rather than reactive in their methods, they provide access to passive candidates that the client would not otherwise have.

Are all search firms the same?

There are essentially two types of search firms, retained and contingency. Retained firms have an exclusive arrangement with the client and get paid whether the search is successfully completed or not. Usually, they get one-third of the agreed upon fee at the time the engagement commences, another third at a pre-determined milestone in the search, and the remainder upon successful completion of the search. Normally these engagements carry a six- or twelve-month unconditional guarantee whereby the search firm will replace the new hire at no cost if they should terminate employment for any reason during the guarantee period.

Contingency firms on the other hand don’t receive any payment until a candidate is successfully placed. They also have a guarantee, though usually not as robust as that of a retained firm. And the relationship with the client is generally not exclusive.

Companies will often engage multiple contingency firms on a search in hopes of covering more ground and reducing the time to fill the position.

How can a business best determine the right kind of search firm for its needs?

The level of the position is a determining factor. Retained firms will usually not take any engagements where the base salary is under six figures. Also, if the search is to be confidential, a retained firm, because it is an exclusive arrangement and because of the way they recruit, would be the best way to go. Contingency firms can be effective for mid-management and below positions. They are also a good choice if you have multiple openings in the same or various disciplines. They are generally willing to negotiate their fee downward for a multi-position engagement.

Once a business has determined what type of firm will fit its needs how does it go about finding and selecting the right firm?

Ideally, you want to work with a firm that is familiar with your industry and/or the type(s) of position(s) you need to fill. The best way to source such firms is by asking colleagues in your industry or discipline. Like in anything else, a referral from a person you trust is a great way to start. Alternatively you can use reference lists such as The Directory of Executive & Professional Recruiters, known as the ‘Redbook,’www.recruiterredbook.com, or simply do a Google search for recruiting firms using as key words your industry and/or discipline.

Once you have identified some relevant firms, then you proceed as if each firm were an employment candidate. You interview each one in detail and check references. You’ll want to find out specifically what searches they have done in your area of need, what is their success rate, whether they understand your industry or discipline, how they operate and their fee structure and guarantee. Once you’ve made your choice, get all of the parameters of the search down in a written agreement.

Search firms can be expensive, but they can also add tremendous value to your talent management process. The right firm will provide the expertise, experience and skill set required to design and deliver customized solutions that meet your needs, saving you valuable time.

Jerry Miller is vice president of marketing at Executive Career Services. Reach him at (949) 251-5600 or JMiller@ecscpi.com.

Published in Orange County
Thursday, 27 October 2011 16:50

A perfect fit

Eleanor Alvarez attributes LeaderStat LLC’s steady growth to its dedication to matching, not just placing, talented professionals with post-acute and senior care providers. The company uses a custom profiling process to ensure a good fit with clients. By first identifying and recruiting based on an organization's specific needs and culture, LeaderStat can then place individuals deemed compatible in interim, consulting and permanent positions.

As company president, Alvarez provides consulting and management support to more than 500 long-term care clients nationally. Her management experience in long-term care both as a provider and a consultant allows her to understand the needs of both the health care company and the employee.

Because of her success at providing personalized service, Smart Business, U.S. Bank and Blue Technologies named Alvarez to the 2011 class of Columbus Smart Leader honorees. She explained how innovative recruiting, combined with cutting-edge technology and a creative environment, allows the company to make a significant difference in the quality of patient care and services.

Give us an example of a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

The limited availability of outside capital has been a challenge for us. Our growth has been totally supported by our own cash over our 10 years of operation. While we still attained steady growth through our own financing, we could grow more quickly with outside capital.

In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?

We believe that our success in finding and placing talented leadership in the post-acute and senior living setting is greatly enhanced through our use of technology. We invested in a dynamic recruitment database to support our executive placement efforts. In addition, we are leveraging videoconferencing systems for high-level interviews to increase effectiveness and decrease travel costs.

We also recognized that our office environment was critical to our performance. We needed a new space to accommodate our growth as our company expanded in Columbus. We searched for a creative, open environment that is exciting and motivational. We found a great location with big open spaces, huge windows, outdoor decks, walking paths and a lake in a scenic setting. Our new office has greatly added to our quality of life. We are attracting a higher level of staff and seeing increased energy and productivity in our team.

How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

Our greatest impact is bringing talented leadership to long-term care facilities. We improve the lives of our elders and the quality of care and services for patients by placing dedicated professionals with them who make a difference. We are proud to have served more than 800 clients nationwide, bringing them both short-term and long-term management solutions. It is rewarding to serve such an important sector of the health care arena.

How to reach: LeaderStat LLC, (877) 699-7828 or www.leaderstat.com

See all of the 2011 Columbus Smart Leaders on the next page.

Together with U.S. Bank and Blue Technologies, Smart Business named the following honorees to the 2011 class of Columbus Smart Leaders:

*Indicates Women Presidents’ Organization Breakthrough Business Leader

Published in Columbus
Thursday, 10 March 2011 11:44

Career fairs just aren't enough

Not too long ago, companies could show up at a career fair at a local college once or twice a year and the effort would produce a line of great talent predisposed to start work upon graduation. Today, great talent is still graduating all the time, but this talent is proving to have very different motivations and perspectives on how they want to position themselves in the workforce.

Companies that understand the nuances of the younger generations of talent can position themselves better to create opportunities to attract this talent and maximize their productivity. As the baby boomers continue to retire, companies must identify strategies that connect them with local colleges, their faculty and their programs to ensure an effective transition of talent to their business. This more strategic investment of time creates opportunities to attract talent and to mold that talent to better fit positions with their business long before graduation.

Recently, I had the chance to interview Deborah (Deb) Mills-Scofield, who is a strategy and innovation consultant, a partner with Glengary LLC and a Growth Partner with Baldwin-Wallace’s Center for Innovation & Growth (CIG). Deb shared experiences, insight and advice on ways her clients engage with local colleges and create programs to benefit from younger talent entering their businesses.

Q: Why do you continue to work with college students, and what benefits have you received from these efforts?

A: As I reflect on my career, I was mentored every step of the way – through college, Bell Labs and AT&T. I wouldn’t be where I am without it. So I feel that mentoring is important. I do that several ways: through the Brown University Women’s Launchpad for senior women, informal mentoring of startups from Brown, and through BW’s Center for Innovation & Growth (CIG).  Frequently I’ll have the student fellows at the CIG get involved with my clients and at the VC firm, Glengary LLC, in which I’m a partner. At the VC firm, the students help us with due diligence. Their work has been very impressive and thorough, providing insights that we wouldn’t have thought of because of their age and different experiences. I will also have students help my clients as we do planning and innovation – doing some primary and secondary market research and analysis.

Q: What are the tangible benefits to having students involved in your work?

A: By involving students with my clients and Glengary on real projects, these companies get access to some of the best students in Northeast Ohio. These firms are able to assess how well the students fit into their environment and get an inside track to hire them after graduation. The students get exposure to how things are done in businesses, learn about corporate cultures and networking, and they receive practical, useable experience. This helps them get a better feel for what they may or may not want to do – including their own startup – and better evaluate their opportunities. And, let’s face it, this looks great on the resume.

Q: What are some of differences you see in Gen Y versus baby boomer and Gen X talent?

A: The 21st century has really shaken up the world – and the business world in particular. One of the major shocks to companies is Gen Y’s attitude to work, often misunderstood as selfishness or lack of commitment. The boomers and Gen Xers have worked hard, did as they were told, didn’t challenge the status quo, and punched the industrial clock. Gen Yers don’t buy in to this, for some very good reasons. They have grown up with absentee parents caught up in the corporate ladder-climbing rat race and experienced the lack of loyalty companies had to their parents in downturns. Gen Y’s loyalty must be earned over and over again (as should any employee’s). They are willing to work very hard, just not in vain, and they’re not eager to accept the same traditional rewards and recognitions their parents have (e.g., 2 weeks of vacation, 9-5, etc.)

Q:  How do you think Gen Y talent will change business?

A: Well, I keep trying to get my clients to realize that Gen Y will have a very large impact on 21st century capitalism. The 20th century’s view of profits as the ‘ends’ versus the ‘means’ is not sustainable, as our financial crisis blatantly illustrates. Gen Y wants to be part of an organization that makes meaning, not just money. If they are going to give their time, energy and talent, it better be for more than just corporate profits. Gen Y gets it right – profits are an output; making a difference in customers’ lives is an outcome. Profits are a means to the end of making a difference, not the end in itself. As these ‘kids’ enter into business, creating their own ventures and working in existing ones, they will transform business into something much more meaningful and impactful. And that is a very, very good thing. Companies that allow Gen Y to make a difference will have a powerful advantage over those that don’t.

If you would like to learn more about Deb Scofield or the Baldwin-Wallace CIG Program, you can visit her company website at www.mills-scofield.com for more information.

This article was brought to you by Chris Carmon, president of The Carmon Group. You can find out more about The Carmon Group at www.carmongroup.com

Published in Cleveland