Talent and HR News Weekly Update: The Psychology of Working Together

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: The Psychology of Working Together

Psychology can be applied to almost everything. Wonder why companies pick certain colors to be a part of their logo? They are trying to tap into something deep into your psyche to evoke an emotion they want associated with their brand. The same applies to the workplace and working together - there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. This week's Talent and HR News Weekly Update looks into the psychology of working together. Check out the latest thinking below: 

1) Managing The “Talent” from The Work Psychology Company

"Managing talent in an organisation could be defined as being focussed upon particular people in the business, a set of characteristics or more toward a statement of identified needs for the future. Some organisations see talent as the ability to go on toward leadership & CEO status, or as McCartney & Garrow (2006) suggest as “employees that have a disproportionate impact upon the bottom line, or have the potential to do so” However the CIPD (2006) defines talent management as ‘the systematic attraction, identification, development, engagement/retention and deployment of those individuals with high potential who are of particular value to an organisation’. So how do organisations identify a talent pool or groups of individuals that will have significant effect upon the business and most interesting what do they do with the group when they have been identified?"

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Leadership Insights

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Leadership Insights

Anyone can demonstrate leadership qualities, regardless of your level. You don't need to be CEO of a company to demonstrate leadership. Below are some of the latest articles sharing thoughts on leadership and improving your skills in this area. 

1) Leader, Know Yourself from Lead Change Group

"Servant leadership is not easy to do in today’s dog-eat-dog, me-first business environment. Yet we’ve all had great bosses that embraced their role to help team members succeed, to feel good about their contributions, and to feel trusted and respected in their workplace. In fact, when working for a boss that cares and serves, employees’ engagement increases, production increases, and service to customers increases."

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Five Ways to Make Performance Reviews Bearable and Valuable

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Five Ways to Make Performance Reviews Bearable and Valuable

As we near the end of the year, forget the turkeys and trees. It's performance evaluation time. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, we all crave feedback. It's the rare (and unfortunate) professional who doesn't care how s/he performs. For the most part, we all want to know: "what can we do better?"

Yet, we dread this time of year. Evaluations take time, energy and always seem to sink to the bottom of the to do list until we get those threatening "now or never" emails from HR. So here are five ways to make it worth your while (and theirs!).

1) Start with a S/O matrix
For each employee you have to review, start with a simple strengths and opportunities matrix. Create a four block and with stream of consciousness writing, quickly bullet point that employee's strengths and opportunities with specific examples of each. And if you can't come up with a specific example, don't include the strength or opportunity!  This helps jumpstart start the process and ensures you're evaluating that employee on actual work rather than just past predjudice.

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Tips for Making the Right Hiring Decisions

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Tips for Making the Right Hiring Decisions

Probably one of the hardest business decisions is a hiring decision. There are so many variables to consider, and it's an expensive commitment. Some people rely on their gut, some pepople rely on more quantitative criteria. Whatever your method, here are some tips for making the right hiring decisions.

1) Old School Tools And Techniques Can't Win Today's Talent War from Forbes

"Think about the talent contests that are so popular on TV these days. They’re entertaining, but they bear no resemblance to the way the world really works. In those shows, individuals vie for the privilege of winning over an elite panel of experts. In the real world, organizations are vying for talent that’s all too scarce and growing scarcer. Why? Demographics are shifting; automation is eliminating most rote tasks, allowing people to do more of what they’re best at; and organizations are looking to expand globally while maintaining the same high standards they established at home."

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Getting - and Keeping - the Right Employees

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Getting - and Keeping - the Right Employees

Attracting new employees is hard enough. It's a huge investment, and you could spend months or even years trying to find that diamond in the rough. Now that you found that diamond, it doesn't end there. Retaining the right employees is a whole other beast. This week's Talent and HR News Weekly update features the latest thinking around getting - and keeping - the right employees. 

1) So You've Hired Someone Great--Now What? from Inc.

"Over a recent breakfast meeting, a colleague, Marisa, was discussing her company's challenges in integrating newly hired people into their culture. She went on to describe candidates who aced every round of interviews and had buy-in from all levels of the company. In her opinion, such high-performers should successfully and seamlessly integrate into the organization's culture without assistance. She was perplexed why some of her new hires hadn't lived up to her expectations--failing to assimilate or just not turning out to be the motivated personalities she saw in the interviews."

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exaqueo is Growing!

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exaqueo is Growing!

We know, you can't always pronounce our name (it's ex-ACK-we-o) and you may wonder why we're always lowercase (exaqueo: we want to stand out as a brand), but you won't wonder why we're growing.  It's easy to understand: organizations are recognizing the importance of standing out from the crowd. They want focused help on understanding their workforces and using that data to create real culture, brand and talent strategies.

With that, we're pleased to welcome two new team members to our core team.  Lesley Bartley joins exaqueo as a project manager and consultant and Amie Ernst joins us as a sourcing consultant. Both come from multiple in-house roles with organizations, so they know what it's like to be challenged for resources, dollars and stakeholder buy-in.

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Achieving the Best Company Culture

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Achieving the Best Company Culture

We are on a culture kick over here at exaqueo (have you seen our recent posts herehere, and here???). Could be the neat projects we're currently working on, or it could just be our general excitement around this content (we geek out with this stuff). We'll continue the trend in this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup and share recent news around achieving the best company culture. Take a look below:

1) Using Your Culture to Attract Top Talent from Forbes

"Drab offices, deafening silence, draconian rules — these are the trademarks of stifling workplaces. And if your aspirational employees are working in this kind of environment, believe me, they won’t stay long. We all know that finding valuable employees is a hefty time investment, but leaders should spend just as much time building the culture that keeps them. Unfortunately, that’s seldom the case, and the repercussions can be far-reaching. To get some additional insight on this critical topic, I reached out to Fred Virgin, former SVP of HR at GE, and Carolyn D’Anna, Co-Chief Human Resources Officer at CohnReznick, for their opinions on how company culture can be your greatest selling point or biggest hindrance."

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How Do You Size Up When Answering Candidate Questions about Culture?

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How Do You Size Up When Answering Candidate Questions about Culture?

When it comes to interviewing, there are so many resources out there to help individual candidates prepare. These resources cover almost everything you can think of – how to dress, how firm to shake hands, how you should use body language…and most importantly, how to answer interview questions. 

There is a ton of information out there on that last bit. And, as we all know in recruiting, the job search is a 2-way street. When a candidate walks into an interview, they aren’t there just to answer questions, they are there to ask them too. The candidate has just as much right to interview a company as the company has interviewing the candidate to determine the right fit.

That said, are you (as the company) prepared for the questions a candidate might ask about your culture? Most of you may think, “sure, I can describe the culture of my company.” But if a candidate were to ask each interviewer the same question about culture, would he hear the same answer? And would the answer include not only the good, but the bad and the ugly too? And also the parts of your company that make you really unique (aside from just “collaborative,” “laid back,” “formal”)?

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Local Career Development: RecruitDC

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Local Career Development: RecruitDC

It's great to have recruiting, HR and business networking friends all over the country and world. But as any good HR/talent professional knows, if any or all of your work is local, you MUST be involved in the local community.

Take Washington, DC for example.  My hometown for the past 15+ years (sorry Philly, you'll always be my first), DC was just named as the most expensive city to live in. And this has major impact on recruiters and talent professionals everywhere from salary to COLAs to wooing talented candidates from less expensive markets.

Enter RecruitDC. I'm proud to be on the board of our area's largest recruiting and talent organization. We're an all volunteer organization led by an awesome team and our goal is just to bring the community together to talk talent and better our own local learning.

Our next conference was just announced--December 11, 2014--and tickets are on sale now! We always sell out, so if you're local, or even if you're not, we'd love to have you join our half-day talent-fest. Come Spring, we'll have our full-day conference with other events and meet-ups in between.

Not in DC? Check your local community to see if you have a local group there. There are strong groups in places like Minnesota and the Pacific Northwest for starters.  Other groups I'm missing? Let me know!

 

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Making Sure Employees Are Happy

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Making Sure Employees Are Happy

Earlier this week, we shared an interview with Lily Cua from Aspire about providing employees meaningful company perks. This is all part of a larger effort to improve the work experience, and thus hopefully give employees the warm and fuzzy feeling that makes them want to stick around (there's more to employee retention, but this is part of it).  To continue along with this theme, this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Update features some recent news pieces focused on making sure employees are happy (you may have seen one about a few (very) big tech firms providing a certain benefit to boost female retention...) Enjoy!

1) Kip Tindell: How He Created An Employee-First Culture At The Container Store from Forbes

"I spoke to Kip Tindell, who is currently the Chairman & CEO of The Container Store. He was presented with Ernst & Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1991 and is a recipient of the National Retail Federation’s 1998 Innovator of the Year Award. In 2006, along with wife Sharon Tindell (Chief Merchandising Officer) and Garrett Boone (Chairman Emeritus), Tindell was inducted into the Retailing Hall of Fame and he is a 2009 Junior Achievement of Dallas Business Hall of Fame inductee."

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Providing Meaningful Perks to Employees: Q&A with Aspire Co-Founder, Lily Cua

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Providing Meaningful Perks to Employees: Q&A with Aspire Co-Founder, Lily Cua

You hear about company perks at companies, particularly startups, all the time: from kegs on Fridays (and not just beer kegs to unlimited snacks to nap pods At exaqueo, we often share with our clients that perks don’t make a culture Rather, they should reflect a culture.  

That’s where the company, Aspire, comes in. Aspire helps companies offer “employee perks that matter.” We sat down with Co-founder and COO of Aspire, Lily Cua, for a Q&A to share her perspective on offering meaningful perks to employees.

Lexi Gordon (exaqueo): Why did you start Aspire?

Lily Cua, Aspire (LC): My business partner and I created Aspire to help companies build better workplaces. Over the last decade, the workplace has changed drastically with the influx of Millennials in the workforce and the rise of Silicon Valley (and many other factors, of course). Company perks are quickly becoming an integral part of the workplace equation (even Glassdoor has introduced a new section for company profiles to highlight perks and benefits), and we’ve created a platform that enables companies to design a perks solution that aligns with their culture and business model.

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: The Benefits of Employee Training

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: The Benefits of Employee Training

We hear about the need for training time and time again when working with growing companies. Oftentimes, the company starts out in a "figure it out" mode. As you scale, and add new employees, this mentality is less dependable to ensure high quality for your customers or clients. In this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup, we share some recent articles on the benefits of employee training. 

1) 3 Tips for New Employee Orientation at Small Businesses from Blogging 4 Jobs

"Orientation is not just a way to teach new hires about policies and rules. It helps them understand the company’s vision and culture and gives them an opportunity to ask questions—these things are important regardless of the size of your business. Just because you may only have a handful of new hires per year, it does not mean you should skip orientation. Here are a few tips for how you can hold new employee orientation at your small business."

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Using Technology to Your Advantage

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Using Technology to Your Advantage

Technology is on this planet to make life easier. But that's not always the case when your computer freezes after you spent 30 focused minutes on a PowerPoint presentation, and you didn't save recently (and autosave didn't capture the last 15 minutes of brilliant work!). Well, we've gathered some tips to use technology to your advantage when it comes to HR and your business. Hopefully these will help you, rather than make your life more frustrating!

1) The 5 Factors of Social-Media Marketing Most People Don't Consider from Entrepreneur

"This has long been a question brands have tried to definitely answer. It has been brought to the fore of late by a recent Gallup poll, the report from which states, "A clear majority of Americans say social media have no effect at all on their purchasing decisions." That may make it sound like social media marketing has little benefit, but the report's cursory dismissal doesn't take into account several other factors."

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Is A Company's Culture For Real? Or Just BS? Here's How to Tell.

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Is A Company's Culture For Real? Or Just BS? Here's How to Tell.

Between cool perks and lists of values on walls and career sites, it seems like it's easy to get a sense of a company's culture.  But when we ask job seekers, they usually use benign and visceral words like "cool" and "seems like a great place to work."  

Similarly, our clients are often asking: "can you help make us an employer of choice?" Sure. But for whom?

Whether you're a job seeker, CEO or recruiter, understanding a company's culture (or lack thereof) is key to determining if you fit, who fits and how to find the right people who fit.  Read on for eight key questions to ask as your litmus test.

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Effective Employee Incentives & Motivators

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Effective Employee Incentives & Motivators

Managers are always looking for new and different ideas to keep their teams incentivized and motivated. To help give you some food for thought, we've pulled recent articles for this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Update that feature some new and effective employee incentives and motivators to keep your employees working hard. 

1) 7 Easy Steps for Encouraging Employees to Take Initiative from entrepreneur.com

"Taking initiative is essentially assuming the risk of a possible failure. When doing so, you put yourself out there and things don’t always go as planned. But the alternative is choosing to be inactive. If you're a leader, it's vital that members of your team make the right choice between doing nothing and doing something. For a healthy, forward-looking operation, they should want to choose action -- and this begins with the encouragement of a proactive leader."

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Four Ways to Stop Pretending You Know Your Workforce

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Four Ways to Stop Pretending You Know Your Workforce

Most leaders think they know their employees. When CEOs, CHROs and executives describe their company's culture they usually launch into a laundry list of descriptors: innovative, energetic, committed, supportive.  Recently,  I asked a leading HR executive how she knew her culture was this way. Without a beat, she pointed to data: employee opinion and engagement surveys.

Then, she fell into the trap most executives do:

"I've also been with the company for a long time and seen and heard a lot through town halls, employee events and walking the hallways. In fact, my executive team and I just redid our values and we're about to roll them out."

And herein lies the problem. The average Fortune 100 CEO is 57 years old, makes $11 million and is highly likely to have a graduate degree (65% do). Think your average employee is anything like this? Or that they're ready and comfortable to open up to leaders and CEOs? Not so much. 

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Trends for Recruiting Functions & Challenges

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Trends for Recruiting Functions & Challenges

Hard to stay on top of the latest trends in recruiting? We've got you covered. This week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup features trends for recruiting functions and challenges for a myriad of sources. Enjoy!

1) Recruiting Isn’t Enough Anymore; Business Advising is the New Norm for Corporate Recruiters from ERE

"Most recruiting leaders have had coffee-shop or happy-hour conversations with each other about “having a seat at the table” or being a “more strategic partner” to the business. There is no doubt these clichés are played out (and there’s a good chance you’re rolling your eyes at the thought of reading another article about this). The truth is, there are talent-acquisition departments that talk about having a seat at the table; heck, they might even lobby so hard to get to this “table” they get a pity invite."

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Hiring the Right Leadership

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Hiring the Right Leadership

Your leadership team and management are a key part of your company. A company's strategy is pushed down to all employees through these crucial levels, so it is important the right people are in place for these roles. That starts with hiring the right leadership. Here are some articles to help you think through how to bring in the right people to fill these crucial roles. 

1) Hire Great Bosses from SmartBrief

"One of the most important hiring decisions companies make is who to put into leadership roles. How well does your company do on this critical task? The Gallup organization reports that organizations make bad leadership hiring decisions 82% of the time (!). Gallup’s research indicates that managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement. That huge impact on employee engagement translates into good or not so good performance, customer service, quality, profitability, and discretionary energy being applied to daily tasks."

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The HR Newbie's Cheat Sheet

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The HR Newbie's Cheat Sheet

There’s something I love about working with young, aspiring HR professionals.  They’re hungry to grow, don’t have any of the misconceptions about HR (yet) and have a real opportunity to dispel some of the myths about the value of HR. 

One of the things they always ask is “how can I learn more about what’s happening in HR?” That same sentiment is often echoed from seasoned tech and business professionals transferring over to HR for the first time. They may be working on a new tech product or be asked to rotate through HR. Either way, understanding the function is key.

The most important thing you can do if you’re new to HR is to learn the profession. Understand its roots, and pay attention to what HR leaders and professionals do every day: their challenges, their priorities and their agendas.

So here’s my cheat sheet: after almost 17 years in HR, my recommendations on the quick way to immerse yourself in the world of human resources. Read more...

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