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Startup Culture: Q&A with SocialRadar's Michael Chasen

Let’s face it, culture’s hot right now. From Zappos and Netflix to Hubspot and Google, founders are eager to create their own manifestos and espouse a cool culture. I’m constantly reminding clients that it takes more than a list of values to create a culture. The values have to become part of the everyday of your organization. And that means you have to hold employees accountable for them. At exaqueo, we call them work rules. It’s how our clients go beyond a list of core values and cool perks to a culture that really sustains. As founders, sustainability is the model we should be emulating. So I’m always seeking founders who are making that happen–creating a culture that lives, breathes and sustains. This week, I caught up with one founder who’s doing just that.

Michael Chasen is the founder and CEO of SocialRadar and former founder and CEO of Blackboard, Inc. SocialRadar aggregates existing social data to better connect users in real-time, in real places. With almost $13 million in funding earlier this year, SocialRadar’s growing fast. That’s where culture comes in, and Michael knows the importance of getting it right, now.

Susan LaMotte, exaqueo (SL): Does your company have a stated set of cultural values?

Michael Chasen, Social Radar (MC): Indeed, and we worked hard to create it. An introduction to our culture.

SL: When you made the effort to understand and strengthen your culture, what did you learn the most?

MC: When we started the company, we knew that culture was going to be an important component of a successful team and product. We didn’t leave our culture to chance; instead we called upon various influences to establish it and put it in writing for all on board to refer to. It’s one thing to say that teamwork is important, but it’s another to operationalize the company to support that—for example, we have fixed “work late nights” and team outings. In other words, we have both scheduled group overtime and scheduled group fun time. We offer perks such as gym membership, healthy dinners on work late nights, and general flexibility with hours to show our commitment to a work-life balance.

SL: That’s so true–you have to have examples of the values in practice to make them come alive.  What will you do to grow the company you want to grow?

MC: If you build it, they will come, right? We are pouring our energy into fine-tuning a product that is not only cool but ultimately indispensable. Even our marketing team would admit that word of mouth can be more powerful than any planned campaign...

…continue reading the rest of this post over on Tech Cocktail where it was originally posted.

Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce strategy that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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HR and Talent (Last) Weekly Update: Recognizing Employees

We got caught up in the holiday season last week too. But it's not too late to think about sending that last great thank you message and/or message of thanks.  So for our last weekly update of the year, we're reminding you to say thanks and check in on your employees end of year. A "how are you?" or a "thank you" when an employee least expects it is one of the most powerful tools in your manager tool box. This week (well, really a holdover from our holiday hangover last week), we remind you how to bring that cheer, thanks and appreciation as the year closes out.

1)  Make the Lost Week a Busy Week: Kick-Start Success for 2014  from SmallBizClub.com

"It's known as the "lost week"—the week in between Christmas and New Years. Unless you're in retail, chances are your business is almost dead during that week, so it's tempting to take the week off. Think again! Smart business owners are use this quiet time to get a jump start on the New Year, and you can too.  The challenges of running a small business are complex and time-consuming. It's rare you have time to stop and think about the direction your business is going. So instead of letting this quiet week slip by, make the most of it. Here's to a prosperous and successful New Year."

2) Bringing holiday cheer to employees on a bootstrap budget from Upstart Business Journal

"What is one creative way that startups can show appreciation to their employees around the holidays on a bootstrapper's budget?  Make dinner for the whole team. Have everyone arrive while the founders are putting the finishing touches on the meal. As team members are sipping their holiday beverages and mingling, they will see their leaders cooking and setting the table. At that moment most team members will feel cared for and appreciated."

3)  Recognizing your employees during the holidays from NorthFulton.com

 "Are you planning on doing something to show your employees that you really care about them?  Even though the holiday season is a busy time of year, small business owners shouldn't miss the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of their employees."

Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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Should I Leave My Job?

A few weeks ago, we talked about a better way to quit your job when you just can’t handle it, rather than making a scene or spectacle. Spectacles aside, what if the reason you leave isn’t necessarily because you can’t stand your current job? As I dig into my first few weeks at exaqueo, I can’t help but reflect on how I arrived here and share the knowledge I gained through my most recent job switch, and the question I asked myself: "Should I leave my job?"

I left my last few jobs for amazing opportunities, all in line with my personal goals. It was heart wrenching to go into the offices of those who mentored me…gave me every opportunity to learn and grow…and explain to them that I was leaving. I’ll never forget what the President of one of my former companies asked me after I shared with him that I was leaving to pursue a new opportunity – “is this something you are walking towards or walking away from?”

What an interesting question. I hadn’t thought about it that way. Of course, from his perspective, if this was a job I was walking away from, he wanted to know why, and if there was anything he could have done better to keep me there. I was lucky to have an employer who cared enough to ask. It takes a strong leader to put himself in this vulnerable position and be open to criticism of a company he built.

This question has a lot of power.

Marketers constantly try to get into the heads of their customers. Employers should be doing the same, and get into the heads of their employees. With employee engagement at an all time low (according to Gallup), this question should be something leaders and managers ask themselves from the perspective of their employees, well before they are faced with someone leaving. Is there anything about my company - or the way that I manage - that may cause a high performer to walk away and is within my control? Are there consistencies among staff sentiment around our culture that may have a negative impact that I can get ahead of?

Anticipating these needs is important since we all know it’s extremely expensive to ignore them (according to Fast Company, roughly $370 Billion to be exact). This is especially important in startup and high-growth companies where the business is always evolving.

Sometimes people leave because it’s just not a good fit, and that’s valuable information to know from an employer perspective, so the next new hire IS a good fit. And sometimes, an employee leaves because of an amazing opportunity, and there’s nothing you could have done. If you have to lose employees, those are the kinds you want to lose.

As for me, joining exaqueo was something I walked (leaped!) towards. I’m very excited to join the team and contribute to this growing, inspiring company.

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Lexi Gordon is a Lead Consultant for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

 

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Talent and HR Weekly Roundup: Startup Culture Basics Edition

We talk culture all day long, but there's a beginning, a place it all started. And you might be in the place. Considering the role culture plays or even trying to convince your founder or leadership team it matters. This week we've compiled some varying insights on ways to learn about culture and get started in your organization. Remember, values are just the first step--you stil want to do all you can to bridge the gap between values and execution (perks, communications etc.)  Check out our post on what we call work rules--a unique way to put your values in action.

This week's roundup:

1) Want to Build an Enduring Company? Fix Culture First from Agency Post 

"As a leader, your primary role — and greatest challenge — is to build culture. The sooner you begin to look at leadership as the empowerment of people through culture, the sooner you can build a true foundation that will correct the problems the company faces through the people who are in the midst of it every day. More than vision, product or decisiveness, culture is what builds great companies and enduring brands."

2) What Big Businesses Can Teach You About Building Company Culture from Huffington Post

"A great company culture means that you know how to keep your employees happy and productive. And if you have happy and productive employees, they will not only stick around, but attract new talent as well."

3)  How to create company culture from Mixergy

"Today, Zappos is known for their outstanding customer service. But great customer service wasn’t the secret to their success. In fact, “the word ‘customer’ isn’t even in the Zappos corporate values,” says Robert Richman, former culture strategist for Zappos and author of The Culture Blueprint. So what was the secret? Creating a culture of service, which meant providing great service for everyone, including customers, vendors, bosses, employees, and coworkers."

4)   Easy Ways To Create A Workplace Culture That Doesn’t Suck from PanosPanay.com

"Entrepreneurs fret over just about everything: marketing plans, product features, investor pitches, sales collateral, management team hires, company valuations, financial projections, cash balances. But an often neglected, yet critical part of success is the culture that a startup founder fosters and the key role that it plays in the company’s eventual success."

5) Being a Best Place to Work and the Importance of Culture by Design from Cornerstone on Demand

"We’ve said this before, but it’s still true: in today's connected society, corporate cultures get defined by default unless companies take an active role upfront. At the center of this all is employee input: put employees – not managers – at the center and allow them to identify and shape a company's personality, purpose and rewards."

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Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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exaqueo is growing!

When we started exaqueo at the end of 2011, the goal was to rethink the way we value employees. When companies wait until they get too big to create a culture and hire to that culture, disengagement ensues. We're passionate about helping startup and high-growth companies and pleased to grow our team of consultants doing just that. This week, we welcome consultant Lexi Gordon to our team here in snowy, Washington, DC. Lexi's background in consulting, culture and brand is the perfect addition to our growing team. Most recently, Lexi was a consultant with The Clearing, a culture and change management strategy consulting firm. She now turns her expertise and attention to startup and high-growth clients here at exaqueo and joins our awesome team.

Lexi will be taking a project management role with many of our clients. Say hello and welcome her to the team!

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exaqueo is growing!

When we started exaqueo at the end of 2011, the goal was to rethink the way we value employees. When companies wait until they get too big to create a culture and hire to that culture, disengagement ensues. We're passionate about helping startup and high-growth companies and pleased to grow our team of consultants doing just that. This week, we welcome consultant Lexi Gordon to our team here in snowy, Washington, DC. Lexi's background in consulting, culture and brand is the perfect addition to our growing team. Most recently, Lexi was a consultant with The Clearing, a culture and change management strategy consulting firm. She now turns her expertise and attention to startup and high-growth clients here at exaqueo and joins our awesome team.

Lexi will be taking a project management role with many of our clients. Say hello and welcome her to the team!

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exaqueo is growing!

When we started exaqueo at the end of 2011, the goal was to rethink the way we value employees. When companies wait until they get too big to create a culture and hire to that culture, disengagement ensues. We're passionate about helping startup and high-growth companies and pleased to grow our team of consultants doing just that. This week, we welcome consultant Lexi Gordon to our team here in snowy, Washington, DC. Lexi's background in consulting, culture and brand is the perfect addition to our growing team. Most recently, Lexi was a consultant with The Clearing, a culture and change management strategy consulting firm. She now turns her expertise and attention to startup and high-growth clients here at exaqueo and joins our awesome team.

Lexi will be taking a project management role with many of our clients. Say hello and welcome her to the team!

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HR and Talent News Roundup: Brand Basics Edition

When it comes to "employer brand," most people either don't know the term or completely misunderstand it. Employer brand is not social recruiting or posting jobs online. And it's not slapping the consumer brand on a careers site and calling it a day.  It's what the employment experience is known for, it's reputation.

It's actually just like the consumer brand, but instead of the product or service a company is selling, it's the employment experience. In order to really understand employer brand, you have to start with understanding the concept of brand, so this week we bring you some brand basics. Put your consumer brand hat on first!

1) Everything You Know About Branding Is Wrong from the CMO Network

 "The simple truth is that a brand isn’t a logo, an advertisement, or a poster hung on the wall in a corporate office. It’s a gut feeling about a company, and smart companies know the power of a brand done right. This happens when everything connects through design—from virtual environments like websites to built environments like office spaces—and it all starts with an understanding of why a company matters. Whether designing a company’s headquarters or field office, their website, or developing a new brand strategy, start by asking two key questions: who are you? And: Why do you matter?"

2) Branding Basics for Social Media from The Huffington Post

"In the online world, your brand is shaped by everything you do and say. With an increasing number of social media channels comes a strong need to present a consistent brand.  Your brand should be the same across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, your company blog and everywhere else you communicate online."

3)  The Most Memorable Brand Wins and Fails of 2013 from Mashable

"Oreo kicked off the year with a brilliant, impromptu online ad during the Super Bowl, the success of which inspired countless other real-time marketing campaigns, many of which fell short.  Tech companies like Samsung and Google aired clever commercials to introduce new products to consumers, while BlackBerry struggled to reintroduce itself in a make or break marketing campaign.

4) How To Build Brand Love Via Designed Serendipity from Forbes

"Companies that genuinely love their customers and build emotional connections that transcend transactional relationships are a special breed. Yet, what if we could decode the formula that ties together world-class “experience” companies like Target, Starbucks, and Disney–and characterize their common traits so others can follow their playbooks?"

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Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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An Attitude of Gratitude: Thanking Your Employees

This week is all about gratitude for sure. Thanksgiving isn’t just a food-coma-inducing holiday. It’s a chance to think carefully about what you’re thankful for and to share that thanks. Being grateful isn’t as easy as sounds. Especially when it comes to thanking employees. Team members receive and appreciate gratitude in different ways and it’s important to learn how they liked to be thanked and what they appreciate most.

This week we’ve found some great insights on how to do just that. It’s important to realize everyone appreciates gratitude differently. And the more attention you pay, the more they’ll see the how genuine your gratitude really is. Who will you thank this week? And how will you do it?

1) Top 10 Easy, No or Low Cost Ways to Tell Employees “Thank You” from Leading With Trust

"Telling an employee “thank you” is one of the most simple and powerful ways to build trust, yet it doesn’t happen near enough in the workplace.  Whenever I conduct trust workshops with clients and discuss the role that rewards and recognition play in building trust, I will ask participants to raise their hands if they feel like they receive too much praise or recognition on the job. No one has ever raised a hand!"

2) Speak Up, Say “Thank You”: The Art of Employee Feedback from Abacus NYC

“It’s only fitting during Thanksgiving, then, to emphasize the significance of saying “thank you” by delivering valuable feedback to employees. Many managerial professionals are at times guilty of providing inadequate feedback or none at all.  Such essential communication may be absent for any number of reasons. Perhaps some managers initially offered ample praise, but subsequently grew all too accustomed to employees’ strong performance, and began keeping quiet.”

3) 10 Creative Ways to Thank Employees from The Palm Beach Post

"This is a week for giving thanks, something we usually think of in the context of our home and a gathering of family and friends around a traditional meal. But before you go off for that extra-long weekend, have you thought about how you might thank your employees this holiday season? Without them, you literally wouldn't have a company.  Holiday bonuses are nice, and depending on your company's practices may be expected. But here are 10 non-cash perks that will let employees know you're thinking of them in a way a check can't."

4) Austal hits new milestone from Fox10 Mobile

"Austal USA managers are already getting employees in the mood for Thanksgiving. They handed out free turkeys this week. With hundreds of  employees, that's a lot of turkeys.  Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said, "Total employment is at just over 4000, 4019, so, we're going to continue to grow a little bit through the end of the year, maybe around 4100 or so."

Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

 

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The Path to Startup Culture: Q&A with Roundtable Companies' Corey Blake

 

At exaqueo, we’ve always believed that the earlier you define your culture, promote that culture –the good and the bad – and hire to it, the more effective the role talent can play in your growth.

Today we’re continuing our series on companies not only passionate about culture but making the effort to pull that through. Our goal is to show you talent not only matters but can be the difference between success or stagnation.

This week I sit down with Corey Blake, President of Roundtable Companies, a storytelling and publishing company that develops and distributes books that change the world.

Susan LaMotte. exaqueo (SL): You’ve had a [excuse the pun] storied career. And now as a company founder, you’re paying close attention to the careers of others. In your mind, why does talent and culture fit matter?

Corey Blake, Roundtable Companies (CB): Talent alone can be a disaster. We actually hire based on culture fit more than anything because there is plenty of talent available. The combination of the two sets the stage for us all to pull the rope in the same direction and create work that matters.

SL: It’s always surprising when you find diversity of talent with similar behaviors. As you’ve gone through this process to understand and strengthen your culture, what have you learned the most?

CB: Investments in culture require faith because they produce results that can often be difficult to measure. But every time we invest in culture, we generate more happiness among our people who then turn around and serve our customers with more enthusiasm, dedication, and brilliance. Lesson learned: investing in culture requires a leap of faith.

SL: That leap of faith isn’t always perfect though, right? Tell me about a time you felt company leadership went wrong. What did you do?

CB: As the CEO, I was handling too much of the day-to-day operations earlier this year. But as an entrepreneur, I'm not best suited to management. I was cranky and financial fluctuations gave me anxiety that I spread all over. My other executive team members sat me down and we had some tough conversations on how to make the necessary shifts so that I wasn't infusing our culture with fear and anxiety.  Our conversations around my anxiety resulted in us making a major shift. We moved me out of operations and our VP moved into the COO role. He is steadfast and our staff responds to him beautifully. That shift gave our staff more comfort (because I am too much of a roller coaster), while it freed me up to get back to my own zone of genius which is being an entrepreneur and building something new. Since then I have spearheaded the launch of our community. An all around win.

SL: Now that you have the right foundation, what will you do to grow the company you want to grow?

CB: At this point, our staff and systems are working at a high level. Our future growth will come from exposure of our work through our new community. We feel we are one of the best-kept secrets in the business world and the world of storytelling, so our growth will come through the use of a bullhorn and inspiring people to share the work we're engaged in.

SL: Looking back, what advice would you give to other entrepreneurs about starting a company?

CB: At all costs remain true to your word. And do what is right, regardless of the cost. Become known for your integrity. You'll learn some painful lessons that force you to spend large amounts of money to remedy, but that will teach you how to hire the right people, how to care for your customers, and how to build systems that support doing things the right way and to an incredibly high standard. That will in turn sell your business.

SL: Well said. Thanks for your time Corey!

Corey Blake is the President of Roundtable Companies. He has been storytelling for almost two decades since he graduated from Millikin University with a BFA in Theatre in 1996. Learn more about Corey and Roundtable Companies.

Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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Job Hopping: Why A Million Jobs Is a Good Thing

photo Let's face it, no one sails through their work life with grace and ease. We stumble, we fail, we struggle and we learn some pretty great lessons along the way.  For me, those lessons have come from 32 different, paying jobs in 21 years. You heard that right. 32. From orientation leader to cold caller, I wouldn't believe it myself if I hadn't written them all down.* Am I flighty? Do I lack work ethic? Am I a poor performer? Not a bit.

We've been chastising millenials for job hopping and holding too many jobs. We assume the worst--lack of promotions, laziness, perspective--but maybe there's more to it, especially early in your career. What if having a million jobs was a good thing?

For me it was. It deepened my skill sets and ability to understand how diverse groups of people work. I figured out what interested me and what didn't. I didn't understand it then but as an orientation leader at Virginia Tech, I first learned the art of HR and onboarding. I fell in love with the opportunity to welcome people to a new community and help them fit it in.

There were more practical lessons too. I quickly learned the very-valuable lesson of how much money mattered to me. I started working at 13 in hourly jobs. The more I worked, the more I made. But I had to balance the tradeoffs--did I want more cash or more time with my friends? Annoying decisions to make back then. Transformative lessons when I look back now.

But if I thought I worked many jobs, I don't hold a candle to Scott Crawford, the now Director of Career Services at Wabash College in Indiana. Scott's had double the amount of jobs I've had. 64 jobs to be exact from cloth cutter to human trash compactor. And he's nowhere near the end of his career.

You might think Scott the definition of job-hopper, but truth be told, he's been in the same field for over 20 years. And in his current job for eight. However, he's not shy about his job-hopping past. In fact, it might be the reason he's been successful in his field and happy in his job now.

"I think the main thing is that every [workplace] thinks they’re somehow unique or special but they’re usually more similar than they think. After awhile I could tell immediately if (a) I was going to like it/fit in, and (b) if the place was run well or not," says Scott. "I quit one place after 3 days.  I could tell it was going nowhere (really poor training/orientation), and it closed shortly thereafter."

The more experiences you have, the more sure you might be when you finally land. And the more obvious it will be when you don't. I wrote about the job hopping people do in The Right Job, Right Now (St. Martin's Press), and the idea that we overcompensate. We hate our boss in one job, so we look for a better boss. We find that better boss in our new job, but the growth potential we took for granted at the old job is now missing. Not the best strategy in our professional careers. But it is early on.

Having a million jobs early on helps you make key decisions. After working retail, I knew I didn't want a job in fashion. The perks of hospitality are great but the pay isn't. And multiple internships in public relations helped me codify specific skills and understand the reality of the corporate world before I fully committed.

As for Scott, he looked for leadership inspiration:

"One of the best run [places I have worked] was Wichita State University. The President there at the time really created a ‘we’re all in this together’ kind of atmosphere, and communication flowed freely. He moved his office to the bottom floor of the Admin Building from the previous President's suite at the top) right at the front door, with his doors open.  One thing the President said that made a big impression on me 'if you see a piece of trash on the sidewalk, pick it up and throw it away.  Don’t assume someone else will, or that it’s the groundskeeper’s job to do that.  We’re all responsible for how this school is perceived.'  I think about that a lot," he says.

The way we work, our successes now and our engagement in work are a result of where we've been. Forget conference best practices and what's worked for everyone else. Look back to your own experiences to remember what influenced you. What did you like the most and how can you find that and emulate that moving forward? A million jobs means a million lessons, leaders and projects to take the best from.

Just ask Scott: from a broom factory to wrapping gifts to stocking fine china, he's got a lesson from every single, solitary experience.

"My shortest job was one day. They'd fired the guy that hired me, and forgot he'd [just hired me]. Then, they had no position for me, so they gave me three months severance pay," says Scott.  "Management styles and bosses, however, varied wildly, and I most definitely enjoyed working in more collaborative and participatory atmospheres, with bosses who actually cared about the organization or product/service, not just their own careers."

As for me, I'm still learning, and still counting:

  1. Snack Bar Attendant (1988)
  2. Camp Counselor
  3. Customer Service Associate
  4. Cashier
  5. Head Cashier
  6. Customer Service Manager
  7. Lifeguard
  8. After School Program Leader
  9. Call Center Associate
  10. Public Relations Intern
  11. Public Relations Assistant
  12. Waitress
  13. Retail Salesperson
  14. College Orientation Leader
  15. College Orientation Assistant
  16. Graduate Student Affairs Assistant
  17. Training Coordinator
  18. HR Generalist
  19. Recruiter
  20. Recruiting Manager
  21. Sr. Manager, Member Services
  22. Program Director
  23. Career Coach
  24. Assistant Director, Career Services
  25. Author
  26. MBA Intern
  27. Director, Talent Management
  28. Director, Talent Acquisition
  29. Senior Director, Employer Brand
  30. Consultant
  31. Speaker
  32. Founder (2013)

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Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce strategy that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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Recruiters, Why Don't We Scrum More?

Timely. Detailed. Manager. Feedback.

When you read that, you have one of two likely reactions. They are probably either "I'm sorry, what did you say? Was that English?" or "Oh, you mean when a manager says 'hmmm, Not a fit'". Let's face it, regardless of whether you are an internal or external recruiter, getting timely and detailed feedback and information is usually a challenge. Feedback and a solid heads up can very much resemble the purple squirrel we're all always in search of. So what can we do? We're all at the mercy of the hiring manager who makes the final call, right? Well, what if we turned the feedback model on it's head?

Many of you who recruit for technical and/or engineering roles are familiar with the Scrum development methodology. Not familiar? NO PROBLEM. It's not just for engineers! Scrum is a methodology that incorporates the idea of fast development cycles, frequent releases and quick stand-ups versus long, drawn out, "Death by Powerpoint" meetings. Hmm, maybe the developers are on to something here.

If we start to think and work like the client teams we're supporting, there's a greater chance of success of us getting what we need. For our purposes, let's focus on the quick standup here. Consider these outcomes as part of moving toward a more Scrum mentality when working with hiring managers:

Quicker Feedback

By scheduling 10-15 minute stand-ups on the books with hiring managers, you can get detailed feedback on phone interviews, submitted candidates, and any tweaks they want to make to the profile in real time. Also, with their schedules, 10-15 minutes is easier than 30-60 minutes. Now you can get the info you need to pivot, or to keep the trains moving forward with candidates. And at the end of the day, quick feedback is an integral part of any candidate experience.

Work How They Work

Eternally, recruiters are trying to move to a model where they "have a seat at the table" so that they can be seen as business partners versus order takers. This is an ideal way to show that you get it. You understand how quick they need to move, and you want to work within those parameters.

Client Service & Personal Touch

Scrums are a much more effective way to have a personal touch point with your managers. Seeing their recruiter frequently helps build familiarity, and familiarity breeds trust. Respecting their time, and still getting what you need is a win-win for both sides. And let's be real.....no one reads emails. A harsh truth, but a truth nonetheless. And isn't 15 minutes talking better spent than say, 4 hours a week playing email tag?

Stay On Top Of The Needs

In addition to having your Scrum meeting with your managers, try to join in on a couple of the development scrums. Sure, most of what is discussed will not apply directly to recruiting. But during those meetings, occasionally the future needs are discussed, or they talk about where they are bottlenecked and may need additional heads. This my friends, is proactive recruiting at it's genesis. Again, it's part of building a sense of trust among not only the managers, but the team as well.

This might be most useful in the technical arena, but it can definitely be parlayed across multiple business units with some modifications. And, since we're all looking to show that we can help drive the business, this is a potentially helpful way to demonstrate that to you teams.

Have you incorporated this at your organization? I'd love to hear your take on this.

Here are a couple of fun takes on incorporating Scrum in your process:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oheekef7oJk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBKuYzqvZmI

 

Pete Radloff is a Lead Consultant with exaqueo. You can connect with Pete on Twitter.

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exaqueo is a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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5 Reasons Recruiting Is Like Dating

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 2.19.58 PMThere's a great scene in Sex and the City where Charlotte proclaims she's exhausted with dating. Constantly trying to find "the one" is tiring. And while there's no real limit on the time we can take to find the right spouse or partner, if you're a recruiter, you don't have the luxury of taking your time. The proverbial clock is always ticking. It's a constant game of matchmaking and starting over again. Sometimes a good metaphor can be the best training. So when founders, new CEOs or leaders in growing companies toil over hiring, I encourage them to think about it like dating. It makes it easier to understand the struggle, the exhaustion and the hilarity of it all.

Here are five ways recruiting is like dating and the accompanying lessons you can learn.

1. Good looks only get you so far

When you're across a room or a bar, you need a reason to approach. And attraction is often it. But once the target opens his/her mouth, it could be all over.  Or, maybe the good looks carry for a few months before you realize you can't stand to be in the same company as him/her. Sometimes it takes a little time to figure it out. But when you do, you know it, and you wonder why it took you so long.

Lesson: A great resume doesn't mean anything without a conversation. Credentials may get your attention but they won't (and shouldn't) keep it.

2. A little feedback goes a long way

Ah, the relationship that ends for no reason. Or at least you have no idea what the reason was. A few great dates, flirty conversations and then bam. Suddenly, you get a thanks but no thanks text, email or post-it note with no other explanation. Hours upon of hours of Sunday brunches and girls' nights are spent discussing the "why" factor.  Most of us aren't interested in begging for a relationship life jacket, we just want to know why.

Lesson: You don't need to write candidates a long rejection letter, but at least share a snippet of clarity around why they weren't selected. No one ever wants to swim in an unknown ocean of self-doubt. A quick plunge is easier to recover from and then you can adjust your search strategy next time.

3. You can't ever have it all...

I'm a well known neat freak. I obsess over the Container Store and am known to often exclaim "everything has its place!" when referring to my home. My husband on the other hand...not so much. But six months into the relationship I decided that didn't matter.  All of the amazing things about him outweighed his inability to be able to help his clothes find their way into dresser drawers. It's not that we don't find ways to um, manage this drawback, but there are so many other awesome things about him. (And yes, I know. He can hate my neatness too).

Lesson: a long laundry list of must haves in a job description means it might take a long time to find the one. Consider what you're willing to give up to fill the role sooner rather than later.

4. ...but, being specific is always better

Sure you can't have everything, but having some clarity about what you must have is key, right? If you're asked "what's your type?" and your answer is vague, those blind dates are going to have a low success rate. Sure, your roommate can find you a 5'6" blonde who likes sports. But how does she react in public at the game when the ref makes a bad call? You'll yell "that's my girl" or slunk down so no one sees you.

Lesson: Fit is everything. Be clear on the criteria that are non-negotiable and actually influence performance. Do you need someone in your newsroom who can handle pressure. Absolutely. Is it crucial they also have a ten years of experience in the industry? Maybe not.

5. The honeymoon period eventually ends

Ah, the blissful six months when your new infatuation can't do anything wrong. And then she has a meltdown or you find out about the ex-girlfriend he might still have feelings for or he looks at other guys in a way you had never noticed before. Perfection fades and reality sets in. And how you handle reality is the real test of long-lasting bliss.

Lesson: Everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning--from interview to week one on the job. So ask about a candidate's worst qualities, how he handled failure or what he thinks of the worst parts of the job he's applying for. Get the reality on the table up front.

Whether you're on the market or blissfully settled down, it's all about information, communication and being clear. You don't need a self-help book, just a real, honest assessment of what you want and need. And then say it.

We're the ones that have to save ourselves.

http://youtu.be/-JVeFRRLdAc

 

exaqueo is a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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It's Not What You Think: Las Vegas Startups

Las Vegas has a specific reputation: gambling, bars, partying, up-all-night-antics. We've all been there (or not). I won't tell if you won't. Either way, unless you're in the business of showing guests a good time, it's hard to think about business in Vegas. Until now.  Over at Forbes I just wrote about the changing face of business in las Vegas. It's not what you think. Thirteen years ago, cell phone battery dead and no ATM in sight, I walked from the Hard Rock Café to Mandalay Bay on the Strip in Las Vegas. Not my smartest move ever: two and a half miles at 3:00 a.m. leaving behind a gaggle of girlfriends who weren’t ready to end their night. I hated Vegas.

Las Vegas is defined by the Strip. It revels in its notorious, brightly lit glory from ad campaigns to pop star concerts. But tourism and hospitality make money—the Strip brought in $6.2 billion in gaming revenue alone in 2012. It’s like the sad tale of a Hollywood actress who tried to make it big and realized she could make more money as a stripper. At first she was a little embarrassed, but now she relishes walking a line of disrespect and lavish living.

If the Las Vegas Strip is the Saturday night stripper famous for her routines and earning potential, downtown Las Vegas is an aging call girl. But good investors know the difference between a tear-down and a rehab.

Enter the Downtown Project.

The founder and CEO of Umba, Lauren Thorp is like many entrepreneurs—deeply focused on growing her business and doing what it takes to make that happen. She and her husband had briefly relocated from Washington, D.C. to Menlo Park as part of 500 Startups. But she wasn’t moving again.

Lauren hated Las Vegas too. And she’d never even been there. She begged off opportunities to visit, imagining Vegas just like the media portrayed it to be. That was until investors came calling—community members, really. All from the Downtown Project.

“I’ll be honest, it was mentally confusing,” said Thorp. “How did I have such a strong opinion on a place I had never been to? We made a weekend trip after much convincing and in 48 hours we were sold. And there wasn’t even a sales pitch.”

Much has been made of the Downtown Project, Tony Hsieh’s heavily publicized venture in downtown Las Vegas. He’s moving Zappos’ headquarters into the old City Hall building, and piled $350 million of his own money into turning once-seedy Downtown Las Vegas into a business, cultural and lifestyle mecca. And while Tony may be the one who saw the potential, he’s rallied a team of builders, doers, thinkers, and huggers to bring companies, education and healthcare to drive this call-girlish investment.

It’s not about the money. It’s about the people.

If you listen really carefully you’ll hear the sound of quieting egos and a community getting louder and louder. This is the business of people. Not just startups.

Rehan Choudhry had been begging me to visit Vegas for months. A former MBA classmate of mine, Rehan runs startup Aurelian Marketing Group. Aurelian’s the agency behind the Life is Beautiful Festival responsible for turning downtown Vegas into a music, arts and learning mecca in late October.

Like many MBA types, Rehan’s career was a series of short-term wins, metrics and promotions. He never looked through a long lens of what he wanted and what he could give back. From corporate consulting to hospitality management, Rehan kept building towards short-term wins, but was never really satisfied.

“I finally realized that to be happy in business I had to both follow my passions and make my life more meaningful and the Downtown Project is a perfect example of marrying both.”

Vegas is still Vegas…but it’s getting better.

To be clear, Vegas is still Vegas. Coming out of my hotel on my recent visit, I passed a barely-clothed man wearing only a loincloth and Native American face paint. On our way to Downtown Lowdown (a mandatory monthly meeting for Downtown Project members), we passed a bearded lady. My non-smoking hotel room still smelled like stale Marlboros. There’s still a long way to go.

Continue reading this article on Forbes.

exaqueo is a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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It's Not What You Think: Las Vegas Startups

Las Vegas has a specific reputation: gambling, bars, partying, up-all-night-antics. We've all been there (or not). I won't tell if you won't. Either way, unless you're in the business of showing guests a good time, it's hard to think about business in Vegas. Until now.  Over at Forbes I just wrote about the changing face of business in las Vegas. It's not what you think. Thirteen years ago, cell phone battery dead and no ATM in sight, I walked from the Hard Rock Café to Mandalay Bay on the Strip in Las Vegas. Not my smartest move ever: two and a half miles at 3:00 a.m. leaving behind a gaggle of girlfriends who weren’t ready to end their night. I hated Vegas.

Las Vegas is defined by the Strip. It revels in its notorious, brightly lit glory from ad campaigns to pop star concerts. But tourism and hospitality make money—the Strip brought in $6.2 billion in gaming revenue alone in 2012. It’s like the sad tale of a Hollywood actress who tried to make it big and realized she could make more money as a stripper. At first she was a little embarrassed, but now she relishes walking a line of disrespect and lavish living.

If the Las Vegas Strip is the Saturday night stripper famous for her routines and earning potential, downtown Las Vegas is an aging call girl. But good investors know the difference between a tear-down and a rehab.

Enter the Downtown Project.

The founder and CEO of Umba, Lauren Thorp is like many entrepreneurs—deeply focused on growing her business and doing what it takes to make that happen. She and her husband had briefly relocated from Washington, D.C. to Menlo Park as part of 500 Startups. But she wasn’t moving again.

Lauren hated Las Vegas too. And she’d never even been there. She begged off opportunities to visit, imagining Vegas just like the media portrayed it to be. That was until investors came calling—community members, really. All from the Downtown Project.

“I’ll be honest, it was mentally confusing,” said Thorp. “How did I have such a strong opinion on a place I had never been to? We made a weekend trip after much convincing and in 48 hours we were sold. And there wasn’t even a sales pitch.”

Much has been made of the Downtown Project, Tony Hsieh’s heavily publicized venture in downtown Las Vegas. He’s moving Zappos’ headquarters into the old City Hall building, and piled $350 million of his own money into turning once-seedy Downtown Las Vegas into a business, cultural and lifestyle mecca. And while Tony may be the one who saw the potential, he’s rallied a team of builders, doers, thinkers, and huggers to bring companies, education and healthcare to drive this call-girlish investment.

It’s not about the money. It’s about the people.

If you listen really carefully you’ll hear the sound of quieting egos and a community getting louder and louder. This is the business of people. Not just startups.

Rehan Choudhry had been begging me to visit Vegas for months. A former MBA classmate of mine, Rehan runs startup Aurelian Marketing Group. Aurelian’s the agency behind the Life is Beautiful Festival responsible for turning downtown Vegas into a music, arts and learning mecca in late October.

Like many MBA types, Rehan’s career was a series of short-term wins, metrics and promotions. He never looked through a long lens of what he wanted and what he could give back. From corporate consulting to hospitality management, Rehan kept building towards short-term wins, but was never really satisfied.

“I finally realized that to be happy in business I had to both follow my passions and make my life more meaningful and the Downtown Project is a perfect example of marrying both.”

Vegas is still Vegas…but it’s getting better.

To be clear, Vegas is still Vegas. Coming out of my hotel on my recent visit, I passed a barely-clothed man wearing only a loincloth and Native American face paint. On our way to Downtown Lowdown (a mandatory monthly meeting for Downtown Project members), we passed a bearded lady. My non-smoking hotel room still smelled like stale Marlboros. There’s still a long way to go.

Continue reading this article on Forbes.

exaqueo is a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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It's Not What You Think: Las Vegas Startups

Las Vegas has a specific reputation: gambling, bars, partying, up-all-night-antics. We've all been there (or not). I won't tell if you won't. Either way, unless you're in the business of showing guests a good time, it's hard to think about business in Vegas. Until now.  Over at Forbes I just wrote about the changing face of business in las Vegas. It's not what you think. Thirteen years ago, cell phone battery dead and no ATM in sight, I walked from the Hard Rock Café to Mandalay Bay on the Strip in Las Vegas. Not my smartest move ever: two and a half miles at 3:00 a.m. leaving behind a gaggle of girlfriends who weren’t ready to end their night. I hated Vegas.

Las Vegas is defined by the Strip. It revels in its notorious, brightly lit glory from ad campaigns to pop star concerts. But tourism and hospitality make money—the Strip brought in $6.2 billion in gaming revenue alone in 2012. It’s like the sad tale of a Hollywood actress who tried to make it big and realized she could make more money as a stripper. At first she was a little embarrassed, but now she relishes walking a line of disrespect and lavish living.

If the Las Vegas Strip is the Saturday night stripper famous for her routines and earning potential, downtown Las Vegas is an aging call girl. But good investors know the difference between a tear-down and a rehab.

Enter the Downtown Project.

The founder and CEO of Umba, Lauren Thorp is like many entrepreneurs—deeply focused on growing her business and doing what it takes to make that happen. She and her husband had briefly relocated from Washington, D.C. to Menlo Park as part of 500 Startups. But she wasn’t moving again.

Lauren hated Las Vegas too. And she’d never even been there. She begged off opportunities to visit, imagining Vegas just like the media portrayed it to be. That was until investors came calling—community members, really. All from the Downtown Project.

“I’ll be honest, it was mentally confusing,” said Thorp. “How did I have such a strong opinion on a place I had never been to? We made a weekend trip after much convincing and in 48 hours we were sold. And there wasn’t even a sales pitch.”

Much has been made of the Downtown Project, Tony Hsieh’s heavily publicized venture in downtown Las Vegas. He’s moving Zappos’ headquarters into the old City Hall building, and piled $350 million of his own money into turning once-seedy Downtown Las Vegas into a business, cultural and lifestyle mecca. And while Tony may be the one who saw the potential, he’s rallied a team of builders, doers, thinkers, and huggers to bring companies, education and healthcare to drive this call-girlish investment.

It’s not about the money. It’s about the people.

If you listen really carefully you’ll hear the sound of quieting egos and a community getting louder and louder. This is the business of people. Not just startups.

Rehan Choudhry had been begging me to visit Vegas for months. A former MBA classmate of mine, Rehan runs startup Aurelian Marketing Group. Aurelian’s the agency behind the Life is Beautiful Festival responsible for turning downtown Vegas into a music, arts and learning mecca in late October.

Like many MBA types, Rehan’s career was a series of short-term wins, metrics and promotions. He never looked through a long lens of what he wanted and what he could give back. From corporate consulting to hospitality management, Rehan kept building towards short-term wins, but was never really satisfied.

“I finally realized that to be happy in business I had to both follow my passions and make my life more meaningful and the Downtown Project is a perfect example of marrying both.”

Vegas is still Vegas…but it’s getting better.

To be clear, Vegas is still Vegas. Coming out of my hotel on my recent visit, I passed a barely-clothed man wearing only a loincloth and Native American face paint. On our way to Downtown Lowdown (a mandatory monthly meeting for Downtown Project members), we passed a bearded lady. My non-smoking hotel room still smelled like stale Marlboros. There’s still a long way to go.

Continue reading this article on Forbes.

exaqueo is a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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Talent and HR News Roundup: Healthcare and the Shutdown Edition

042913-DC4K-29Last week was a busy week here at exaqueo...we are bringing on new clients, putting the finishing touches on our Q3 newsletter (sign-up here) and working on some big plans for 2014.  But we didn't want to end the week without our weekly roundup--so we're starting the new week with it instead! This week it's all healthcare. Sure, we're based in DC but we usually do a pretty good job of staying out of politics. This week you don't have to take sides, but it is important to understand what's going on and how it will affect you, your job, your business and your family.

1) 5 Things to Know Today About the Government Shutdown from USA Today

"The state of play: The new fiscal year starts Tuesday, Oct. 1, so a bill to fund the government must be passed by both chambers in Congress and signed by Obama by midnight tonight."

2) Health Care Law Online Signup Delayed For Small Businesses from The Huffington Post

"The administration said Thursday that small business owners who want to use insurance markets designed especially for them will have to wait until sometime in November before they can finish their sign-ups. They still can start shopping right away on Oct. 1. And even with the delay, they can get coverage for their employees by Jan. 1, when the law takes full effect."

3) As Some Companies Turn to Health Exchanges, G.E. Seeks a New Path from The New York Times

"“If we don’t take accountability ourselves for figuring this out, we’re part of the problem,” said Sue Siegel, a senior executive at G.E., who sees transformation of health care both as a business opportunity and a business necessity. “We have to be involved in the solution,” she said. “We can’t just wait for someone to tell us that it is going to be fixed.”  What distinguishes the effort by G.E. is its direct focus on hospitals and doctors. Companies looking to the private exchanges are largely hoping to save money and want to be freed from the headache of administering health benefits."

4) Prices Set for New Health-Care Exchanges from The Wall Street Journal

"Costs will vary widely from state to state and for different types of consumers. Government subsidies will cut costs for some lower-income consumers. Across the country, the average premium for a 27-year-old nonsmoker, regardless of gender, will start at $163 a month for the lowest-cost "bronze" plan; $203 for the "silver" plan, which provides more benefits than bronze; and $240 for the more-comprehensive "gold" plan. But for some buyers, prices will rise from today's less-comprehensive policies. In Nashville, Tenn., a 27-year-old male nonsmoker could pay as little as $41 a month now for a bare-bones policy..."

 

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exaqueo is a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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Talent and HR News Roundup: Healthcare and the Shutdown Edition

042913-DC4K-29Last week was a busy week here at exaqueo...we are bringing on new clients, putting the finishing touches on our Q3 newsletter (sign-up here) and working on some big plans for 2014.  But we didn't want to end the week without our weekly roundup--so we're starting the new week with it instead! This week it's all healthcare. Sure, we're based in DC but we usually do a pretty good job of staying out of politics. This week you don't have to take sides, but it is important to understand what's going on and how it will affect you, your job, your business and your family.

1) 5 Things to Know Today About the Government Shutdown from USA Today

"The state of play: The new fiscal year starts Tuesday, Oct. 1, so a bill to fund the government must be passed by both chambers in Congress and signed by Obama by midnight tonight."

2) Health Care Law Online Signup Delayed For Small Businesses from The Huffington Post

"The administration said Thursday that small business owners who want to use insurance markets designed especially for them will have to wait until sometime in November before they can finish their sign-ups. They still can start shopping right away on Oct. 1. And even with the delay, they can get coverage for their employees by Jan. 1, when the law takes full effect."

3) As Some Companies Turn to Health Exchanges, G.E. Seeks a New Path from The New York Times

"“If we don’t take accountability ourselves for figuring this out, we’re part of the problem,” said Sue Siegel, a senior executive at G.E., who sees transformation of health care both as a business opportunity and a business necessity. “We have to be involved in the solution,” she said. “We can’t just wait for someone to tell us that it is going to be fixed.”  What distinguishes the effort by G.E. is its direct focus on hospitals and doctors. Companies looking to the private exchanges are largely hoping to save money and want to be freed from the headache of administering health benefits."

4) Prices Set for New Health-Care Exchanges from The Wall Street Journal

"Costs will vary widely from state to state and for different types of consumers. Government subsidies will cut costs for some lower-income consumers. Across the country, the average premium for a 27-year-old nonsmoker, regardless of gender, will start at $163 a month for the lowest-cost "bronze" plan; $203 for the "silver" plan, which provides more benefits than bronze; and $240 for the more-comprehensive "gold" plan. But for some buyers, prices will rise from today's less-comprehensive policies. In Nashville, Tenn., a 27-year-old male nonsmoker could pay as little as $41 a month now for a bare-bones policy..."

 

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exaqueo is a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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Talent and HR News Roundup: Healthcare and the Shutdown Edition

042913-DC4K-29Last week was a busy week here at exaqueo...we are bringing on new clients, putting the finishing touches on our Q3 newsletter (sign-up here) and working on some big plans for 2014.  But we didn't want to end the week without our weekly roundup--so we're starting the new week with it instead! This week it's all healthcare. Sure, we're based in DC but we usually do a pretty good job of staying out of politics. This week you don't have to take sides, but it is important to understand what's going on and how it will affect you, your job, your business and your family.

1) 5 Things to Know Today About the Government Shutdown from USA Today

"The state of play: The new fiscal year starts Tuesday, Oct. 1, so a bill to fund the government must be passed by both chambers in Congress and signed by Obama by midnight tonight."

2) Health Care Law Online Signup Delayed For Small Businesses from The Huffington Post

"The administration said Thursday that small business owners who want to use insurance markets designed especially for them will have to wait until sometime in November before they can finish their sign-ups. They still can start shopping right away on Oct. 1. And even with the delay, they can get coverage for their employees by Jan. 1, when the law takes full effect."

3) As Some Companies Turn to Health Exchanges, G.E. Seeks a New Path from The New York Times

"“If we don’t take accountability ourselves for figuring this out, we’re part of the problem,” said Sue Siegel, a senior executive at G.E., who sees transformation of health care both as a business opportunity and a business necessity. “We have to be involved in the solution,” she said. “We can’t just wait for someone to tell us that it is going to be fixed.”  What distinguishes the effort by G.E. is its direct focus on hospitals and doctors. Companies looking to the private exchanges are largely hoping to save money and want to be freed from the headache of administering health benefits."

4) Prices Set for New Health-Care Exchanges from The Wall Street Journal

"Costs will vary widely from state to state and for different types of consumers. Government subsidies will cut costs for some lower-income consumers. Across the country, the average premium for a 27-year-old nonsmoker, regardless of gender, will start at $163 a month for the lowest-cost "bronze" plan; $203 for the "silver" plan, which provides more benefits than bronze; and $240 for the more-comprehensive "gold" plan. But for some buyers, prices will rise from today's less-comprehensive policies. In Nashville, Tenn., a 27-year-old male nonsmoker could pay as little as $41 a month now for a bare-bones policy..."

 

—–

exaqueo is a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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Talent and HR News Roundup: How to Be Better Edition

Ever have one of those weeks where you got some great feedback on how to be better from multiple people?  They are rare, but fantastic. Most of us know what we're good at, but we're not always aware of how we can be better. And unfortunately one of those things most of us aren't good is giving developmental feedback. So this week, we've pulled together some really relevant pieces on how you can be better. You know, in case no one will tell you. 1) The Best Kind of Entrepreneur to Be from Inc.

"Maybe you're afraid to start a business because you feel you could never compare to the brightest stars in the entrepreneurial firmament. Or maybe you shrink from the thought of having to work and sacrifice and struggle towards a goal you may never accomplish. Or maybe you think other people have some intangible entrepreneurial something--ideas, talent, drive, skills, creativity, etc.--you just don't have. If that's the way you think, you're wrong."

2) How Your Team Can Stay Nimble While Growing from OpenForum

"When your team is small, your biggest barriers tend to be external in nature: needing more funding, press or market traction. Internally, though, you can turn on a dime. Yet as you grow, keeping your team aligned and coordinated becomes increasingly challenging. The single best tool you have in keeping your growing team agile is building a culture of effective communication."

3) Dealing With Difficult Employees When You Don't Have the Time from exaqueo

"As founders or leaders, we’re always on the fly. I’m writing this blog post from an airport lounge! But that doesn’t mean I should text an employee if there’s a problem, or shoot off an email, hit send, and shut down the computer. Feedback has to be a two-way street real-time. A ten-minute phone call now will save you five emails later and an employee so frustrated, stewing about the feedback that he doesn’t focus for the rest of the day. Always direct, always in-person (or on the phone)–the only way to give feedback."

4) Staying Calm is Important from SmartBlogs

"Yelling, screaming and berating others is not acceptable behavior from a leader. If you have a tendency to “go off” on others, you set a bad example (people are watching you and copying your poor behavior) and make the objects of your rage feel terrible. Motivation is killed. More importantly, your employees will avoid and abandon you when you need them most to knuckle under and get the work done or to go the extra mile."

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exaqueo is a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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