The largest and fastest growing career and talent management partnership, Careers Partners International (CPI) is a global talent management organization comprised of 70 partners with 1,500 consultants operating in over 200 locations across 35 countries. As a CPI partner, CPI Houston offers local expertise and a global reach to companies large and small.
For over 25 years, CPI Houston has been helping Fortune 500 and many smaller companies optimize their bottom lines through talent acquisition, development and transition services. In contrast to other firms that provide off-the-shelf programs, CPI’s approach customizes talent management solutions for improved results.
Smart Business sat down with Sheryl Dawson, Executive Partner with CPI Houston and Talent Strategies Group, a Division of CPI Houston, to learn more.
What are some of your biggest business challenges?
Having been in business for over 25 years, I have found that one of the toughest challenges has been navigating the changing landscape of our business, especially during difficult economic times. Talent management consulting has undergone dramatic shifts with the impact of changing workforce demographics, globalization and technology. Expanding and altering our various practices to respond to the needs of our client companies in acquiring, accessing, developing, retaining and transitioning talent has been an ongoing process.
Strategies employed to address these challenges include:
- Becoming a partner in the fastest growing global talent management consulting organization in the world with over 200 locations in 35 countries.
- Building a team of top coaching and consulting talent to deliver best-in-class services.
- Partnering with innovative talent management technology companies to support our clients’ talent strategies with top rated products.
- Developing innovative solutions to “right now” challenges our clients face.
- Partnering with our clients to ensure their business needs, unique requirements and challenges are met and expectations exceeded.
- Remaining vigilant to developing economic, business and talent management trends that impact both our clients’ and our business, then adapting accordingly to ensure a competitive advantage.
Finally, we have created our brands to best reflect our values of integrity, high quality, commitment to our clients and optimal results. Demonstrating our value proposition to clients is an everyday goal.
How do you drive innovation?
Innovation is the life blood of any successful organization and it is a passion of mine. We are known for creating custom solutions for our clients using a blend of traditional and technology-driven learning and development resources. While innovating is serious business, for us it is also fun! I recall years ago, long before cloud technology, that we developed a “virtual” outplacement solution to complement our highly personalized programs. Today while major outplacement competitors have adapted technology as the primary delivery mode, substituting personal coaching with virtual online tools, CPI retains a coach-centric model of delivery that combines the best of both approaches.
In all aspects of talent management, we partner with organizations that are leaders in SAAS solutions such as SuccessFactors and Orca Eyes. We also utilize Harrison Assessments, a best-in-class assessment for the entire talent management cycle from recruiting to development and succession planning. Our forte is identifying and creating the best solutions and applying them to our clients’ unique requirements for optimal results.
What is a lesson you've learned in business?
One of the lessons I have personally learned is that I cannot be “best” at everything. It truly takes a team to deliver the best solutions. One of my greatest privileges in consulting is the opportunity to work with highly talented consultants and coaches. The old adage that our most important resource is our people is by far the greatest truth for a consulting firm. Without our experienced coaches, consultants and trainers, we have little to offer. Even our technology solutions are developed by extremely experienced and talented people. Over the years, I have focused on developing a network of highly talented consultants and creating an environment in which they can do what they love and what they do best. Having the right talent, at the right time, with the right solution for the right client is what I do best. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, I partner, collaborate and innovate to present the right solution with the right delivery team to achieve our clients’ goals.
How has your organization impacted your community and regional economy?
Our impact on the community and regional economy has been significant over the years. As a talent management consulting organization, our business is people. We directly impact the lives not only of those employees whom we personally coach, but their families and their entire organizations as well. We help our clients find new jobs and careers, advance their careers and become better leaders. We help organizations develop talent management strategies that optimize their engagement and retention. We help communities by enabling their population to find their passions, achieve their career goals, provide for their families, become more productive employees and entrepreneurs, and improve their leadership capacity. That adds up to an immeasurable contribution for over 25 years.
How do you provide value to your clients?
Our value proposition is constantly changing and adapting to our clients’ needs, requirements and business goals. What sets us apart is our commitment to adding value at each step of the consulting engagement. From identifying needs, to assessing solution alternatives, to delivery, we seek to differentiate our services and products with strong relationships of trust, innovative solutions, high quality delivery, and measurable results. We take pride in our long term client relationships and repeat business.
How do you go "above and beyond" for clients?
Going above and beyond is not merely a slogan for us — it is a commitment. Our philosophy of customer service is that we want our customers to be our best “sales force.” We deliver every assignment with the goal of having every client be willing to recommend us to their closest colleague or friend. We guarantee our performance will warrant the trust and confidence placed in our extraordinary team. It is great to get a generic reference, but when we receive a direct referral we know we have gone above and beyond for our client and that is the best reward for a project well done.