Six Traits of Destination Employers

Six Traits of Destination Employers

Many employers are struggling to find people who can help them reach their goals. In a survey of HR leaders by Ranstad Sourceright, 73% of HR leaders feel a “war for talent” is still a relevant description of today’s talent market. Innovative approaches to attracting talent are popping up and will benefit many employers, especially early adopters. Solutions range from software that helps identify better candidates on the internet to quality of life improvements, including wellness programs and work-from-home arrangements.

While these approaches may prove helpful, some feel a bit reactive. Employers can take steps today that will help ensure long term success with attracting and retaining top talent. In a SlideShare called The Talent Gamble by Executives Online, the authors describe six steps to take to become a Destination Employer, or Talent Magnet.

  1. Understand the investment top talent makes for you. It’s the blood, sweat and tears they put into succeeding for you. They’re not just commodities.
  2. Treat talent as customers. They’re discerning as your most important customers. They don’t accept mediocrity and won’t tolerate it. Instead, they thrive on partnership and authenticity.
  3. Demonstrate high quality of leadership. Employees want leaders who are respected and allow them to develop, and will lead from the back.
  4. Understand that culture trumps strategy. Planning is guessing if you don’t have your culture right.
  5. Demonstrate how you grow people. They know if you don’t provide opportunity to grow your competition will.
  6. Reward comprehensively. After a point financial rewards won’t appeal. What really matters is the fulfillment they get, that they feel they belong and are central to your company’s future.

Taking these steps will require change for most employers – massive change for some. But the payoff will be worth it. According to Employers Online, talented people view working for Destination Employers as the pinnacle of their careers. So for employers, developing a culture that attracts and rewards top performers can make the difference between long-term organizational success and an agonizing path to irrelevance.

Call me for more on how to turn your company into a destination employer.



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Top Ten Reasons Why Human Capital is the Number 1 Concern of Global CEO’s

Top Ten Reasons Why Human Capital is the Number 1 Concern of Global CEO’s

The Human Capital Task Force recently surveyed CEO’s around the world and learned that Human Capital is their number one concern. Within this overall concern the Task Force determined that the challenge exists in ten key areas, identified as Critical Issues Facing the Human Capital Function, as follows:

  1. Generational Differences: Today’s workforce is comprised of 5 different generations with varying outlooks, communication styles and motivators.
  2. Style of Work: There is a new style of work and worker expecting less “command and control” leadership and more “collaboration and connection.”
  3. Recruiting Talent: Diverse and innovative approaches are required to win the war for talent. Development and implementation of new recruitment strategies are critical this new challenge.
  4. Employment Branding: An organization’s reputation and brand are tied to effective talent attraction and employee engagement. Successful organizations both clarify and communicate their brand externally and internally.
  5. Talent Audit: Identifying and building talent needed for organizational growth is a key component of future success. Attention is needed to fostered talent communities and ensure a robust, targeted talent pipeline.
  6. Learning Process: The content of learning and how learning occurs have not kept pace with the changes in the workplace and workforce. In support of the targeted talent pipeline, learning/training needs to morph from “break and fix” to proactively building organizational capabilities with a focus on leadership development for today.
  7. Performance Management: The current performance management process is failing to meet the needs of the employee and employer. The process must be re-imagined to support employee development aligned with organizational needs.
  8. Use of Data: The Human Capital Data explosion has become the “oil of the 21st Century”. The use of data can maximize productivity, unlock the power of the workforce and promote effective decision-making.
  9. Technology: Whether you view yourself as a digital immigrant or native, we have all become digital citizens. Technology can be harnessed to advance individual and organizational goal attainment.
  10. Human Resource Professionals: To gain a reputation for adding value to their organization, HR professionals must shift from a reactionary inclination of “sense and respond” to a strategic capability of “predict and act.” While redoubling every effort to manage human capital efficiently, HR needs to work to anticipate business needs in support of business imperatives.

In a 2014 Deloitte report on Global Human Capital Trends 2014, leadership, retention, HR skills and talent acquisition were the top global concerns of CEO’s. 38% of respondents rated the need for more leadership as urgent. That same article noted that CEO’s need HR to move away from people administration toward a focus on people performance (see #10 above).

For human resources professionals, these findings are a call to action. This is our time! Never before has CEO focus on human capital and the human resources function been as high. How will we respond? Will we step up and seize the seat at the table? Our CEO’s hope so. The stakes are high and the pace of change is increasing.

What should our first move be? We recommend developing and implementing a Human Capital Plan (Talent Plan) that is built to support and execute an overall strategic plan. Why?

  1. Preparing a talent plan requires understanding the strategic plan and puts HR squarely in the strategic discussion.
  2. A well written talent plan provides a road map taking an organization from their current roles and competencies to the roles and competencies required to reach strategic goals.
  3. A well-executed talent plan must be supported by great practices in talent acquisition, talent management and talent retention. If those great practices are not already in place, the talent plan will help you get there.

CEO’s are clearly stressed about human capital issues. HR has on opportunity to address these issues through talent planning.

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The Talent Challenge – A Matter of Corporate Survival?

The Talent Challenge – A Matter of Corporate Survival?

Does this sound like your company?
Your CEO says, “We need more talent!”
Your employees say, “I have more to offer, but promotional roles are elusive.”
Interested outside individuals say, “I have talent, but no one responds when I apply.”
Talented individuals your company would like to hire say, “Why should I leave my current role to join your company?”

Talent experts offer a laundry-list of remedies and recommendations including the following:
•    Employee Engagement
•    Social Media
•    Branding
•    Talent Networks
•    Corporate Culture
•    Assessments
•    High Potential Programs
•    Mobile Job Sites
•    Rewards and Incentives
•    Leadership Development
•    Talent Analytics
•    Performance Management
•    Workforce Planning
•    Career Pathing
•    Employee Value Proposition
•    Work-Life Balance
•    Coaching and Mentoring
•    Diversity and Inclusion
•    Onboarding
•    Succession Planning
•    And many, many more

In addition, while you are working on attracting and retaining top talent, your competitors and others are busy trying to recruit your top people away.
As if that is not enough to deal with, you may also find yourself defending your corporate reputation from anonymous, negative Glassdoor reviews. How do you know what to do?

Welcome to The Talent Challenge!

Identifying, attracting, hiring, developing and retaining top talent is more challenging than ever. There is no silver bullet solution for addressing the talent challenge. The best approach may be to develop a talent strategy to support your corporate strategy, and rely on that strategy to guide your actions with your people. A well-developed and executed talent plan can provide direction and comfort in meeting the talent challenge.

Is the talent challenge truly a matter of corporate survival? Maybe, maybe not. With a talent plan in place, though, you may turn the talent challenge into a talent advantage.

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The Talent Magnet Quiz

The Talent Magnet Quiz

By all measures, talent is becoming more difficult to attract. Competition for top talent is increasing and talented individuals are becoming more selective and discerning. In order to attract and retain top talent, organizations can benefit by becoming an employer of choice.

What goes into becoming an employer of choice? How attractive is your company to talented individuals? Here is a quiz to help determine how attractive your organization may be.

1.    Is your company growing and profitable?
2.    Is your company a market leader?
3.    Does your company have a positive reputation on Glassdoor? In talent communities?
4.    Has your company won awards for being a great place to work?
5.    Does your company support the community through giving back?
6.    Does your company have a well-defined and publicized mission, vision and value statement?
7.    Does your company have a record of promoting from within?
8.    Does your compensation plan include competitive salaries plus bonus opportunities that reward performance?
9.    Is your benefits plan competitive?
10.    Do you have well defined and followed policies and procedures for the following: Hiring? Onboarding? Performance management? Training and development? Succession planning?
11.    Do you provide mentors and coaches?
12.    Do you conduct exit interviews for individuals leaving the company? Do you track turnover?
13.    Do you have examples of talented individuals who have excelled in your company?
14.    Does your company have a well-defined talent strategy?
15.    Is your talent strategy embedded in your overall strategy?
16.    Do you market your employment brand internally and externally?
17.    Do you have a high performance culture?
18.    Do you understand what motivates your people?
19.    Do you have a positive corporate culture?
20.    Does your senior management team lead your talent attraction efforts?

Few companies have the right answers to all these questions. Even if a company does, there is no guarantee that company will easily attract all the top talent it seeks. Similarly, scoring poorly on the quiz does not preclude a company from attracting top talent. However, the more of these questions you can answer positively, the better you can understand your strengths and challenges in attracting top talent. Armed with that understanding, you can plot your course toward becoming or maintaining an employer of choice status. By definition, that will make attracting and retaining top talent easier.


For help evaluating and improving your talent attraction, management and retention practices, contact Randy Samsel at . There is no cost for an initial consultation.



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Talent Supremacy

Talent Supremacy

Leaders, Answer These Ten Questions For Talent Supremacy

Recently I completed the Human Capital Institute’s (HCI) program to become certified as a Human Capital Strategist (HCS). The program was awesome, as were the instructors and other participants. The tools and techniques we learned were practical and complemented the theoretical subject matter. I’ll use all of what I learned to help clients identify, attract, hire, develop and retain the talent they need to reach their goals.

While the seasoned human resources professionals were completely comfortable with the subject matter presented by HCI, I wondered how non-HR people would relate to the topics – especially business leaders. For me, many of the terms and tools we discussed struck me as HR speak (9 box grids, Belbin’s Team Roles, onboarding, engagement, etc.). So I put on my business-owner hat and tried to view the main topics in terms that made sense and that would help me understand the critical nature of strategic talent management.

If you are a business leader, answer these questions to see if you are among the talent elite:

1. Do we have a vision for our future?

2. Do we have enough leaders and other talent to reach our vision?

3. Do we know who our best performers are now and will be in the future?

4. Do the best people (ours and others) want to work for us?

5. Are our people fired up about our vision?

6. Are our people equipped to get us to our vision?

7. Are our leaders equipped to get us to our vision?

8. Are our people maximizing the use of their strengths?

9. Are our people committed to our vision?

10. Are we tracking our people progress?

If you answered yes to all ten questions, congratulations! You have the talent, leadership and people processes you need to reach your goals. You win!

If you did not answer yes to all ten, join the club. Very few companies have talent supremacy. A well written and executed strategic plan, supported by a well written and executed talent plan can help you fill in the gaps.

All organizations are only as good as their leadership and talent. Getting to ‘yes’ for these ten questions will help you win.

For help reaching Talent Supremacy for your organization, send an email to


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