CEO’s Prepare for Talent Churn in the Digital Age

CEO’s Prepare for Talent Churn in the Digital Age

Take everything you know about talent management and throw it out the window. How else can you make sense of the mixed messages found in  PWC’s 20th Annual CEO Survey?


For example, 79% of CEO’s said technology will cause job losses, but only 4% plan to cut jobs because of technology. In fact, 77% of CEO’s believe skills shortages could impair their company’s growth.


CEO’s tell us the most important skills needed in an ever-increasing digital age are soft skills. What? Yes, these human skills are important for capitalizing on new opportunities.


15% of CEO’s say human capital is their top priority, second only to innovation. But creative leaders with emotional intelligence are in short supply and are essential for innovation. So, doesn’t that make human capital the top priority?


What is going on here? OK, I’m being melodramatic. The report makes perfect sense. We are in disruptive times and the mixed signals indicate disruption.


People will always be critical to success, but skills required are changing.


Technical skills are critical for digital transformation, but emotional intelligence is required to lead innovation.


The ability to gain new skills, adapt and align will characterize those who deal best with disruption.



The report also points out that CEO’s are taking steps to manage disruption.


75% of CEO’s have changed talent strategies to reflect the skills and employment structures they will need. They are also promoting diversity, looking for talent globally, and moving employees to where needed.


These steps may not be enough though. To find and train the talent required, PWC says, CEO’s will have to appoint executive teams that represent the diversity of the employee pool, create a purpose and culture that inspires people, and help their workforce manage turbulent times.


CEO’s have many challenges, including talent challenges. As we adapt to the digital age, talented people will lead the way. Thanks, PWC for these excellent insights.


Please contact us if we can help with your talent challenges.



Randy Samsel

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Talent Predictions for 2017 and Beyond

Talent Predictions for 2017 and Beyond

This is a great time of year. The holiday season brings out the best in people. Thankfulness, generosity and optimism abound! 2017 is right around the corner, and many experts are sharing their predictions including those for talent management trends. Here is a sample:


From Hunt Scanlon Media – Six Top Workforce Trends for 2017

  1. Blended Workforce to Grow

The gig economy, an environment in which organizations contract with workers and for short-term engagements, has created a new kind of diversity with full-time permanent employees working side-by-side with freelancers and contractors.

  1. Companies to Improve Candidate and Employee Experiences

Companies create marketing experiences for customers and prospects in order to drive positive engagement, increase loyalty and grow their revenues. Now employers are recognizing they need to do the same thing for both their candidates and their employees. A recent study by Workplace Trends found that nearly 60 percent of job seekers have had a poor experience as a job applicant, and 72 percent of them have shared that experience on an online employer review site.

  1. Use of Talent Analytics to Increase

Analyzing and curating data to measure and improve hiring will become more prevalent as talent acquisition professionals feel the pressure to combine traditional recruitment methods that leverage instinct or gut feelings, with the ability to turn everyday data into recruiting intelligence..

  1. Average Starting Salaries to Rise

For every job opening in 2008, there were 40 applicants. By 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics ‘Job Openings and Labor Survey,’ the number of applicants for every open position had shriveled to 1.4. Two factors – increased demand for skilled workers and historically low inflation – are driving wage growth and, as a result, average starting salaries will continue to rise in 2017.

  1. More Millennials to Enter Management Roles

This year, more than 3.6 million executive leaders are set to retire as younger professionals ascend to managerial slots. As Millennials move into leadership roles, their management style is expected to bring a striking change in corporate America, with a focus on collaboration and transparency.

  1. Uptick In Boomerang Workers 

The boomerang employee, one who leaves a company on good terms but then returns later, is on the upswing. According to a study conducted by the Workforce Institute at Kronos, ‘The Corporate Culture and Boomerang Employee Study,’ 85 percent of HR professionals say they have received job applications from former employees, and 40 percent say their organization hired about half of those former employees who applied.


From Korn Ferry:


Following are the 2017 Trends Predictions:

  1. Rise of the Gig Economy, or “Me Inc.”

Some reports estimate that by 2020 as much as 40 percent of the American workforce will be contingent workers, or independent contractors. There are two key drivers for the rise of what is now being called “the gig economy.” From the workers’ perspective, there is a demand for diversity and flexibility in their roles and the ability to showcase their unique skill sets. For some organizations, there’s a shift in strategy from ‘I need to hire a person’ to ‘I need to complete a task.’

  1. Programming the Robot: The Changing Roles of the Vital Many

Technology is changing the role of the ‘vital many’ – large groups of employees who traditionally carried out manual or redundant tasks. Take for example call center employees, who once answered all customer questions, but who now, with the acceleration of omni-channel communications, must be comfortable transitioning between mediums – be it over the phone, online or via social messaging – to answer those questions. Instead of doing manual work, assembly line workers, whose roles are increasingly being phased out by robotic, now must learn how to program the robots.

  1. Pack Your Bags: The Vagabond HQ – and Employee

Location, location, location. Increasingly organizations are taking a bold action in moving company headquarters – or significant facilities—closer to sources of specialized and available talent. For example, because of its solid highway system, favorable tax base, central location and niche talent, Dallas has become a hotbed for corporate relocation. Toyota, Liberty Mutual, JP Morgan Chase and coffee giant Farmer Brothers are all relocating their headquarters or major facilities there.

  1. Trusted Advisor: How Big Data is Changing the Role of the Recruiter

Administrative tasks that were only until recently done manually by talent acquisition experts, such as applicant tracking, can now be handled through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data. This now frees up time for recruiters to work more closely with HR and talent acquisition leaders. As a team, the group can help determine the best ways to align business and talent strategies. This will offer a more in-depth, longer-term workforce planning approach, as opposed to “just-in-time” recruiting.

  1. One Platform = True Intelligence

Big data has the risk of being, well, too big, too cumbersome, too fragmented. To help simplify and make the most out of data, today many clients are moving to one integrated platform for all of their HR needs, from profile design, sourcing, tracking, interviewing, assessment, on-boarding, employee development and benefits.

  1. Seeing into the Future: Data that Matters Long After Hire

Key performance metrics in the recruiting world have traditionally been around the hire itself, such as time-to-hire and cost-to-hire. However, today’s successful programs use longer-term metrics such as how long a person stays in a role, how many times they get promoted, and what 360 reviews say about their fit within an organization.

  1. Big Data, Big Brother: Keeping Information Safe

This year, news of data breaches seemed to make headlines almost daily. It was clear that no type of business was exempt, including the recruitment industry. In fact, in 2016, more than 700,000 candidates on the books of one international recruitment organization had their details hacked in one of the biggest security breaches in the recruiting industry.

  1. Culture is the Key to Retaining Employees and Enhancing Business Performance

A recent Korn Ferry executive study found that nearly three-quarters of respondents say culture is core to the success of organizational financial performance. In another Korn Ferry study, 73 percent of respondents said their No. 1 driver at work was doing a job that had meaning and purpose, while only 3 percent said pay was the top driver. This highlighted that the pay check is no longer king when it comes to sourcing, retaining and motivating talent. Today’s employees – irrespective of their generation – want to work for companies they believe in, from both a vision and development perspective. Company culture, ability to grow and upskill and location of work are all key motivators above salary for candidates choosing their next employer.

  1. Swipe Left/Swipe Right: Social Media and Recruiting

The concept of social recruitment will reach a new level in 2017 as Talent Acquisition leaders look to new mobile apps to source and secure talent. Social platforms like Tinder will pave the way for similar recruitment channels where both candidates and employers will swipe left or right for desired jobs or employees. There are new services in different parts of the globe that combine social, geo-targeting and mobile technology, whereby an employer can post a job advertisement on the mobile application which pushes a notification to everyone with the app in a 50-mile radius. Recipients can then react instantly with a push of an ‘apply’ or ‘ignore’ button.

  1. Embrace Diversity to Plug Skills Gap

2016 was the year when the widening skills gap was truly brought into view. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be a shortfall of some 85 million qualified workers globally. Looking at the shortage of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in particular, talent is an issue that consistently raises its head in today’s media and still inspires much debate.


And from Bersin by Deloitte:

Prediction 1: Organizational Design Will Be Challenged Everywhere

Organization design, including structure, roles, talent mobility, and the role of leadership, must become flexible and adaptive—changing many elements of HR.

Prediction 2: Culture and Engagement Will Remain Top Priorities

The topics of culture and engagement will continue to be top priorities, and we can now measure them closely.

Prediction 3: Real-Time Feedback and Analytics Will Explode in Maturity

Real-time feedback, pulse surveys, text and narrative analytics, and network analytics tools will become mainstream in 2017.

Prediction 4: A New Generation of Performance Management Tools Will Emerge

The revolution in performance management practices (moving from an annual to continuous model) is finally being supported by a new breed of performance management software vendors.

Prediction 5: A Focus on “Human Performance” and Wellbeing Will Become a Critical Part of HR, Talent, and Leadership

A focus on employee wellbeing, productivity, and health will become an integral part of HR’s mission in 2017.

Prediction 6: Focus on Employee Experience Will Overcome Process Design in HR

The concept of “total employee experience,” focused on design thinking and the simplification of work, will become a major focus in HR.

Prediction 7: Digital HR and Learning Will Help Us to Reinvent L&D and HR Systems

Digital HR is here to stay. We, in HR, have to “do digital,” as well as “be digital,” in everything we do.

Prediction 8: The Leadership Market Will Start a Steady Process of Reinvention

Leadership development continues to be a challenge year after year. In 2017, a focus on “digital leadership” and rethinking the leadership pipeline will be critical to addressing this perennial problem.

Prediction 9: Diversity, Inclusion, and Unconscious Bias Will Become a Top Priority

Diversity, inclusion, and the removal of unconscious bias will become CEO-level issues in 2017. New tools are making this problem easier to diagnose and address.

Prediction 10: The L&D Function Will Continue to Struggle

The corporate L&D market is undergoing one of its most disruptive times in the last 15 years.

Prediction 11: The Future of Work Is Here and HR Is in the Hot Seat

AI, robotics, and cognitive systems are augmenting and changing jobs, professions, and careers. HR needs to learn about the future of work and help to redesign the organization faster than ever.


Beyond 2017, Randstad US predicts a massive shift to contract employment, with a majority of the workforce employed in an ‘agile capacity’ (i.e. contractor, consultant, temp worker or freelancer) by 2025.

Some common themes in these predictions include growing interest in digitization, diversity and inclusion, disruption and culture development. A general shift of power to employees is embedded as well. Please click through the links above for more details.

Talent management is evolving rapidly. The rate of change may seem overwhelming, but there are basic elements that remain steady: people want to work for a greater good, a purpose; they want to believe their work matters; and they want to grow. Cultures and leaders who can meet these needs will attract and retain the best talent.

Please let us know if we can help with your talent management efforts.

We wish you Happy Holidays and all the best in 2017!



Randy Samsel




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Career Conversations and Employee Engagement

Career Conversations and Employee Engagement

Recently I had a great discussion with an early career professional. This person contacted me about the possibility of making a job change, and he asked many questions about career choices. He was interested in how various options would impact his long-term career possibilities. He wondered if staying with his current firm would hurt his marketability should he later switch industries. Also, if he switched industries, at what career level should he do so. His questions were not uncommon, and we discussed them at length. Then he said something that struck me as interesting. He said there was no one in his company to talk with about these questions without raising concerns he might be in a job search mode.


Many employees have similar feelings. No matter how much employees like their current role, they may wonder if they are missing out on a better opportunity. Individuals can address this concern by creating and following a career plan. Employers have an opportunity-and an obligation–to help.


An article by Right Management shows that employers enhance employee engagement by providing career planning help, and two-thirds of individual performance drivers tie to career conversations. To create a dedicated team of employees, organizations must develop career plans for each team member.


Sean Conrad, Certified Human Capital Strategist with Halogen Software, says career development is the second most impactful way to increase employee engagement. More to the point, employees will look elsewhere if their career advancement desires are not fulfilled.


In an article published by Forbes magazine,  author Lisa Quast cites a study that explored employees’ and managers’ perception of whose responsibility it is to drive career development. The results showed key disparities. 74% of workers believe employers should provide professional development and career paths for them. However, an overwhelming majority of managers believe workers should take responsibility for their own career development. This gap sheds light on an opportunity for employers to engage with employees in a meaningful way.


Many employers provide mentors, coaches, development plans and succession plans for their people. For employers that do not, an article published by SHRM provides great suggestions. The benefits of increased employee engagement and productivity will outweigh the investment.


Here at Future State Talent, we provide career planning, employee engagement, succession planning and other consulting services. Please let us know if you would like to discuss career planning for your employees.


Randy Samsel







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Hyland, Creator of OnBase – A #WorkplaceParadiseNEO Company

Hyland, Creator of OnBase – A #WorkplaceParadiseNEO Company


The day I announced the Workplace Paradise NEO series and asked “Where are the best places to work in Northeast Ohio?”, Mary Vales was the first to respond and said, “Hyland, of course”. Mary is the Manager of Learning and Organizational Development at Hyland, and says “Our employees are our family. Best work-place ever.”


Started in 1991, Hyland is the creator of OnBase, a single enterprise information platform for managing content, processes and cases. OnBase has transformed thousands of organizations worldwide by empowering them to become more agile, efficient and effective. Today the company is headquartered in Westlake, Ohio where it has a multi-building campus that includes about 1600 local employees, and roughly 2200 total employees globally.


If you ask anyone who has visited Hyland’s headquarters in Westlake about first impressions, they are likely to mention the playground-like slides in the lobby. Not one slide, but two. They bring a smile to the faces of most who visit. But there is a lot more to working at Hyland than the slides.


Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Kathleen Vegh, Manager of Employee Engagement and Megan Klingshirn, Public Relations Specialist at Hyland. They shared insights into what makes Hyland so special – and it is a special place to work. Here are some of the aspects of working for Hyland we discussed.


It starts with a culture that was formed and nourished in the early years of the company by Hyland family and friends, who were the founders and initial employees. Hyland believes that happy employees make happy customers, and it lives by that mantra. As described on its website, Hyland encourages passion, creativity and individuality which is reflected in a flexible, inclusive environment. Hyland values its people, and provides great careers AND well-being. Hyland recognizes that people are more than employees, and welcomes the whole person to the company.


Since its early days, Hyland has been dedicated to a fundamental purpose. Broad, inspirational and enduring, Hyland’s purpose is to enable organizations to operate more efficiently and effectively. To ensure it stays on point with that purpose, Hyland created a set of five core values:

  1. We conduct ourselves with honesty, integrity and fairness in our relationships with our partners, customers, employees and shareholders.
  2. We deliver configurable business solutions that are intuitive to use. Our customers are confident when navigating our solutions.
  3. Our customers are our partners.
  4. Our employees are our family.
  5. We are motivated people passionately dedicated to the success of the company.

These core values are consistently consulted when making decisions and creating policies, and are not compromised for financial gain or short-term expediency.


Its culture, purpose and values have helped the company become wildly successful, as evidenced by numerous business and workplace awards. For seven consecutive years, Hyland has been recognized as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management. For three years running, Hyland has been recognized as a Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, moving up 28 places to number 48 this year. Locally, Hyland has been recognized as a Plain Dealer/ Top Work Place and NorthCoast 99 winner, and has received many other awards and recognitions.


These awards and accolades have helped attract talent as well. Hyland is the first name mentioned by most candidates I talk with when asked where they want to work in Northeast Ohio. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to attract and retain the highly talented professionals Hyland requires. Kathleen Vegh explained that Hyland looks for motivated, positive and hard-working people, mostly in the IT field. Those are the same people MANY companies seek. And the roles at Hyland come with high expectations, tight deadlines, and some with high travel and long hours. Even so, Hyland continues to attract the best and brightest by working at it.


For example, Hyland has an entire team dedicated to engaging employees, using a process of interviewing employees, actively listening to their concerns and advocating on their behalf. The process has resulted in many of the perks and benefits employees enjoy today. One example is the addition of bicycles used by employees to go between buildings at the Westlake Campus (OK, for the record, the original request was for Segway’s). The engagement process provides an opportunity for employees to share concerns and improve their workplace.


Hyland also trains its people to look for ways to contribute to its customer’s success, which is directly tied to the Hyland corporate purpose. As Cam Bowers, Technical Consultant states, “What is most enjoyable about working as a Technical Consultant in Implementation Services is helping our customers achieve the goals they have set out for their companies. When I can help someone make their life easier, I feel rewarded.”


Looking forward, Hyland projects to have over 3000 employees by 2020. Even though Hyland enjoys a very positive, high profile as an employer, the company continually looks for new ways to keep the talent pipeline full. Three approaches stand out to me. The first is an ongoing commitment to hiring interns. The Hyland Career Site focuses on People, Place and Purpose. Within the people section, internships are addressed separately. Hyland believes that internships should be about gaining valuable work experience, not fetching coffee. Providing meaningful work experiences to interns helps with a steady flow of early career candidates, and with building an employment brand that appeals to all professionals.


The second approach to keeping the talent pipeline full is the CHAMP program. Kathleen Vegh said that Hyland tried something new in 2016 and hired 25 entry level professionals into this program, which provides intensive training designed to prepare them for future roles as business and technical consultants. The program serves as a feeder system to the market-focused service and consulting delivery teams. The CHAMP program provides tremendous flexibility in filling internal roles as needed, especially compared to sourcing experienced professionals with specific IT skills.


A third approach to keeping the talent pipeline full is to hire remote workers and expand in other locations. Given the global footprint of the customer base it makes sense to have employees elsewhere. That approach provides an opportunity for Hyland to attract talent from outside Northeast Ohio, without requiring relocation.


Though Hyland will continue to expand outside Northeast Ohio, the company is committed to Greater Cleveland. As its career site proclaims, “We’re born and bred in Northeast Ohio and we couldn’t be more proud of our hometown.” The headquarters and majority of employees will be in Westlake for the foreseeable future. That commitment provides benefits beyond business and tax revenues. Hyland and its employees are big on giving back. Hyland’s Community Engagement Program focuses on employee involvement in the organizations that mean the most to its employees. To that end Hyland provides matching gifts, Dollars-for-Doers and paid service days. Hyland also hosts charitable events and conducts corporate-wide volunteer initiatives.


Hyland truly is a shining star as a business, civic and employment contributor in our area, and a great place to work.

Thank you, Mary, Kathleen and Megan for providing tremendous insight into #Hylandlife, and thank you Hyland for providing a Workplace Paradise in NEO!




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Mar-Bal, Inc. – A #WorkplaceParadiseNEO Company

Mar-Bal, Inc. – A #WorkplaceParadiseNEO Company

What a fabulous time to be living in Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio! In a few days the Cleveland Cavaliers will be raising their 2016 NBA Championship banner at their season opener, and across the street the Cleveland Indians will be hosting a World Series game for the first time since 1997. Go Tribe! One of the Tribe’s biggest fans is Maria Gaeta, Director of Human Resources for Mar-Bal, Inc. I’m excited to feature Maria and Mar-Bal in our first Workplace Paradise article.

Maria and I have known each other for years. We served together on the board of the Cleveland SHRM chapter, and Maria has had a highly successful career in human resources and HR consulting. Maria has won numerous awards for her work and contributions, including a 2015 Women Who Excel award and a 2016 Award for Organizational and Employee Development from The HR Awards of Northeast Ohio. Maria has been with Mar-Bal for four years and has made quite an impact.

Mar-Bal, Inc., headquartered in Chagrin Falls, OH, is the leading integrated compounder and molder of BMC Thermoset composite products and value added finishing services.  Mar-Bal has been recognized as one of America’s fastest growing companies for 2 consecutive years (2013, 2014).

Since 1970, Mar-Bal has engineered and manufactured quality, customized materials and parts while delivering unmatched client cost-effectiveness through superior customer service and commitment to the total value.

Here are some additional insights about Mar- Bal and their strategic direction:

Mission Statement

To develop and manufacture Engineered Composites that will create value for our customers and all stakeholders (employees and communities).


To be the premier thermoset composite solutions provider in the industrial and appliance markets and growing in new markets with great people and efficient operations.

Mar-Bal created a Values Tree based on feedback received from an employee survey, with the most cited values in bigger, bolder letters:


Mar-Bal provides truly innovative engineering solutions to solve customers’ technical challenges. The company culture strives to move quickly and be agile. They hire the best and work to develop great talent that wants to grow, contribute and make a difference, in a fun, award winning and challenging environment.

While the company is doing extremely well, Maria says it is challenging finding the best people – especially for the shop floor. “Working on the shop floor can be very challenging. It’s dirty, hot and itchy. We really have to provide value to our employees in order to compete with larger, publicly-held companies in the area” Maria tells us. As part of the effort to step up their game in the talent attraction area, Maria helped create a link on the Careers section of their website called the Realistic Job Preview. The Job Preview provides a step-by-step guide about working for Mar-Bal, the hiring process and employee testimonials. There is information about safety guidelines and an employee handbook. Great transparency for interested candidates.

But that’s not all. In order to compete for talent in today’s tight job market, Maria has included information about possible career paths, compensation and benefits. “We provide many opportunities for our people to earn bonuses and additional time off based on reaching goals, and for contributing ideas to improve quality and lower costs.” How has this extra effort paid off? Watch and listen to those who work for Mar-Bal to get a first-hand perspective.

While much of this article describes Maria’s background and contributions, she is the first to point out that the company’s success is a team success. “As a family owned business, we have an open door policy. Our executive owners, Scott and Steven Balogh, are often on the shop floor talking with supervisors and workers. Everyone has a voice at Mar-Bal, and everyone contributes to our success.”

For Northeast Ohio, there is another benefit of the family ownership. Scott and Steven Balogh are from this area, are active in area associations and are committed to Northeast Ohio. Part of that commitment includes adding a new plant here in Northeast Ohio. That means more jobs, which will contribute to our Northeast Ohio economy and success.

For all these reasons, we are proud to have Mar-Bal, Inc. as a Workplace Paradise in NEO!



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