exaqueo http://www.exaqueo.com a workforce consultancy Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:04:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Hiring and Keeping the Best of the Best http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/04/talent-hr-news-weekly-roundup-hiring-keeping-best-best/ http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/04/talent-hr-news-weekly-roundup-hiring-keeping-best-best/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:15:37 +0000 http://www.exaqueo.com/?p=2829 We challenge you to attempt three things for your recruiting and retention strategy. First, hire the right employee. Second, hire the best of the best. Third, keep the best of the best. Easy, right? Not quite. These are some of the toughest things startup and growing businesses face. Everyone is looking at hiring and keeping the best of the best. Here is some of the latest thinking around how to do this in this week’s weekly roundup. 1) When It Comes […]

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We challenge you to attempt three things for your recruiting and retention strategy. First, hire the right employee. Second, hire the best of the best. Third, keep the best of the best. Easy, right? Not quite. These are some of the toughest things startup and growing businesses face. Everyone is looking at hiring and keeping the best of the best. Here is some of the latest thinking around how to do this in this week’s weekly roundup.

1) When It Comes to Hiring and Keeping Great Employees, How Do You Stack Up Against the Best? from Inc.

“Consider benchmarking your hiring, salary setting, and mentorship strategies against those of the fastest-growing U.S. companies. Last year, Sam Bacharach, Cornell professor and co-founder of the Bacharach Leadership group, surveyed  more than 300 Inc. 5000 firms to find out how America’s fastest-growing companies recruit and develop their best employees. The infographic below displays his results.”

2) 5 Ways Chief HR Officers Can Impact The Bottom Line from Forbes

“CHROs should help all employees generate more value. This topic dominated the onstage and backroom discussions at Oracle HCM World this past February. In his keynote, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison asserted that the modern HR department’s efforts to find the right people, retain them, and help them grow professionally is essential for business success. So how does the CHRO translate the demands of senior management into an actual revenue-driving plan? It requires creative thinking and a fundamental change in HR activities. Here are five steps that can get the money ball rolling.”

3) Hire New Employees For Their Potential, Not Their Past from Forbes

“Just like an investment prospectus that entices you with a great track record yet says, “past performance doesn’t guarantee future performance,” the same applies when you hire an employee. While the odds are better, your new hire may not succeed at your company just because they highlighted great accomplishments and extensive experience on their resume. When hiring, delve deeper and explore the skills, characteristics, aptitude, and abilities rather than past accomplishments and length of experience. Your job is to look beyond the flash and find those candidates with exactly the right balance of skills and traits to succeed at your company.”

4) The 10 commandments of hiring and employee retention from Multibriefs

“I. Thou shalt commit yourself to hiring and retaining only the best. If you are going to succeed, you cannot settle for run-of-the-mill employees. Mediocre employees breed mediocrity, so make sure you recruit and select only the best employees. II. Thou shalt not be unduly influenced by dazzling answers and false appearances. Applicants are generally better prepared for interviews than most employers. They receive coaching and rehearse pat answers to standard interview questions. They know how to dress to impress and will mightily try to do just that.”

5) Here’s Why You’re Not Hiring the Best and the Brightest from First Round Capital

“What’s the most consistent piece of advice you get as a startup? Always hire the best people. Never compromise in your hiring standards, no matter how big your company gets. And it’s true. A great team can take an okay idea and transform it into an incredible, world-beating product. But something has always bugged me about this advice. There’s an elephant in the room in the form of an implied clause: Always hire the best people… who are willing to live in San Francisco. Substitute Mountain View, New York, Boston, Chicago, or any other city. The problem is the same. We pay lip service to the idea of hiring the best people in the world — but in reality, we’re only hiring the best people who happen to be close by.”

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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Office Space Design: Q&A with Anne Regan http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/04/office-space-design-qa-anne-regan/ http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/04/office-space-design-qa-anne-regan/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:20:13 +0000 http://www.exaqueo.com/?p=2819 The environment around you can greatly affect your mood and productivity. Think about days when you wake up to gray skies and endless rain. You have zero motivation to get out of bed. By contrast, when you wake up to the sun and 70 degrees, you have all the motivation in the world to get up and get moving. This translates to your work environment as well. You hear about new office spaces – like Facebook or Google – that […]

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The environment around you can greatly affect your mood and productivity. Think about days when you wake up to gray skies and endless rain. You have zero motivation to get out of bed. By contrast, when you wake up to the sun and 70 degrees, you have all the motivation in the world to get up and get moving.

This translates to your work environment as well. You hear about new office spaces – like Facebook or Google – that are designed to motivate a desired behavior (be that creativity, innovation, collaboration, etc.) and reflect a company’s culture and brand. This is what Anne Regan does for a living – she designs office space as a Senior Manager at DBI Architects, which is a DC-based, full-service architecture and interior design firm. Their belief is that “beautiful environments foster meaningful human interaction and successful business outcomes.” I sat down with Anne, who has been with the firm for eleven years, to better understand the role of office space design for organizations, how that reflects a company culture, and how it impacts a workforce.

Lexi Gordon, exaqueo (LG): Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Anne. At exaqueo, we often recommend to our clients to consider renovating their office space if they are looking to make a culture shift. Why do you think the physical space of an office is important to the way a company works?

Anne Regan, DBI Architects (AR): I am happy to be here Lexi. If I didn’t think the appearance of physical space was important, I should probably have a different job! The place in which you work has an outright effect on your product as well as your daily mood. Sadly, Americans spend way too much time at their desk and in their office so it should be a place where your employees like to work. It also helps you sell your product. A company is more willing to have meetings in their office and promote their culture/brand and product if they have a beautiful space to show off.

LG: What process do you go through to determine your client’s needs? How does learning about their culture play into that?

AR: The basic answer to that question is, we hold programming meetings where we ask the client a lot of questions and try to LISTEN to all of the answers, but honestly every project is different. Some clients want to tell you everything about their company, their brand, and the vision for their new ‘home,’ while other clients need some extra coaxing to pull the information out of them. We use visuals, such as photos for inspiration and sometimes we take clients on tours through spaces we have recently completed. The culture has EVERYTHING to do with the design and the goal for the project. That actually might be the first question we ask a client – what is your ‘culture’? Are you an open environment with teaming and collaboration? Or are you a secure and highly contained group with enclosed offices and closed doors? The answer to this question dictates everything from the space plan to the art you hang on the walls at the end of the project.

LG: Once you understand a company’s culture through that initial consultation, how do you pull it through to the office space design?

AR: To us, the ‘culture’ of a company is more about how the employees work. A company that is regularly in collaboration mode and constantly talks to each other should have an open office environment with impromptu meeting space and areas for personal phone calls. A company that handles secure data or personal/highly sensitive information should have closed door offices for security. The ‘brand’ of a company is a different story. To us, the brand is the ‘who’ of a company. Who are these people? What do they do? We discover this through the company logo, marketing materials, and company colors. These two items go hand in hand – the culture of a company is what has moved the brand forward, bringing the company to life.

LG: Since you work with many different clients, and see many different things, what are some trends you are seeing with office space design?

AR: The most common trend these days is multi-functional space. The days of large boardrooms used once a quarter are no longer the norm. We design large boardrooms, but a lot of the time that same room can be divided into a few rooms, such as small conference rooms that can be used on a daily basis. With real estate being so expensive (especially in the DC area), it is most efficient for the client to utilize all of their spaces 24/7.

Another trend we are seeing a lot of is more companies going to an open plan workstation (cubicle) layout. Enclosed offices are going away, or at least the quantity is being reduced. We don’t like to use the word cubicles because there is a negative connotation to the word. We like the word workstations, because that is really what they are – a station for you to work, not some terrible fabric paneled hole that you are made to sit in for hours on end. Open workstations can be very nice and still allow the occupant to have enough privacy. They can help a budget, and in some cases, can provide more storage and workspace to an occupant.

‘Green design’ used to be a trend but that has become the norm, which is a nice thing for us to see – we no longer have to explain environmental design to a client. Now it is just a function of the project/design.

LG: Do you see trends that differ across industry and location?

AR: We work with many different companies from government agencies to small business firms to large technology  companies. I do not think that industry plays a role in the trends we see. Because we are trying to design for that specific organization, and every place has their own set of needs and goals.

LG: Are there common recommendations or concerns you typically address with clients?

AR: A main concern we typically address is ‘cultural change.’ A lot of companies are trying to downsize their footprint, but they are still keeping their staff size the same. When you are trying to downsize your footprint, so you pay less rent, you end up turning that small office into workstations. That is one of the hardest things for a company – facilitating change for staff. We try to help by presenting the design to the staff once the C-level team has finalized it. We can have a mock up of the workstation placed in the current space to make sure everyone sees what it will look like. We also encourage our primary client contact to take the staff on a tour of the new space before they move in. People are much more accepting of change if they are aware of what the change will be.

LG: Open space is really popular now especially at startup and growing companies. But it comes with drawbacks. What do you warn your clients about design when it comes to open space?

AR: An open plan is really based on how the company works. For some companies, an open plan just does not work, and that is okay. We try to present our clients with all of the pros and cons. For instance, one pro is it utilizes space much better than offices. You can get a lot more people on a floor with open workstations than you can with enclosed offices. A con is that workstations are not a sound proof space and can be loud, depending on how talkative the staff can be.

LG: How have you seen the positive effects of office design on a workforce?

AR: Yes, definitely! We did a large project a few years back where the client was working out of a first floor basement space that was built in the early 1960′s. There were not a lot of windows. They had occupied the space for almost 20 years and were moving to a brand new 5-story building, which belonged completely to them and was full of light. We moved about 800 people from small offices on the basement level to large, open workstations with windows and light on all four sides. We educated the staff and the facilities team to prepare them for the change. We did a furniture mock up, a full site tour (during construction), and shared a short presentation explaining what the new space would be like. They loved it! Upon the first week after the move, the facilities team had nothing but compliments to share about their new space.

LG: How about the negative effects?

AR: Yes, for every positive there must be a negative. We recently did a project where the company was consolidating 3 separate offices around the Northern Virginia area into 1 full floor space. With that consolidation, they had to double up staff into offices. This did not sit well with the staff as you can imagine. People went from being in their own small suite in a completely different building to all being together and sometimes in the same office. This change was dictated by the President of the company as they were trying to reduce the amount of leases they had, and they wanted to promote more of a ‘team’ experience.

LG: Final question, what’s a design feature you think should be in every office and why?

AR: I think every office should have a community breakroom. Every company should have an informal space where the staff can hang out. We design a lot of breakrooms that are multi-functional with a TV, Internet, and cable set up for an impromptu internal meeting (for when all the meeting space is occupied). These spaces are fun and available for the staff to just relax and be themselves – have lunch, maybe have a happy hour (depending on the company culture). The breakroom is the new water cooler. It is a space where you can whisper and not be judged – it is a judgment free zone.

LG: This has been fantastic – thank you so much for sharing your perspective on office design!

AR: It was my pleasure, any time.

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 News Weekly Roundup: A Primer for the Modern Recruiter – Tips to Rethink your Role http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/04/talent-hr-news-weekly-roundup-primer-modern-recruiter-tips-rethink-role/ http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/04/talent-hr-news-weekly-roundup-primer-modern-recruiter-tips-rethink-role/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:30:46 +0000 http://www.exaqueo.com/?p=2814 This week’s Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup features a primer for the modern recruiter and includes articles that cover tips to rethink your role as a recruiter. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of doing things the way you always have. Face it, today’s recruiting challenges are different from yesterday’s challenges, and hopefully these tips will highlight some new approaches. 1) 5 Ways To Reinvent Your Recruiting Strategy from Forbes.com “I’ve seen this happen before: even the very best in-your-face, […]

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This week’s Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup features a primer for the modern recruiter and includes articles that cover tips to rethink your role as a recruiter. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of doing things the way you always have. Face it, today’s recruiting challenges are different from yesterday’s challenges, and hopefully these tips will highlight some new approaches.

1) 5 Ways To Reinvent Your Recruiting Strategy from Forbes.com

“I’ve seen this happen before: even the very best in-your-face, cult-like workforce culture can’t survive a profits meltdown.  What drew employees to the thriving company – bragging rights, benefits, big salaries and big personalities – will push them away when the shine is off the company, salaries and benefits are frozen, and career advancement is slowed. And forget about trying to fill those empty seats when business picks up – news of a shaky workplace and broken culture travels fast.”

2) The Modern Recruiter from Career Advisor Daily

“What is a modern recruiter? Someone who is honest first, knowledgeable second, consistent third, humble fourth, helpful fifth, personable sixth, and resilient seventh – of course these are equally valid in other arrangements. Too many people who call themselves recruiters don’t take pride in their craft; aren’t continuously learning; believe they have ESP-like abilities to read a person’s body language during an interview or read between the lines of a resume; assume the job down on paper describes the real job; and recoil when asked questions about how they do their jobs.”

3) Top Tips for Recruiting from BusinessWorks

“During the past three years that I’ve been CTO at Affectv, we have grown from three to 40 people, more than doubling our Engineering team in the last eight months alone, says Pravin (Prav) Paratey. In the next six months, we are looking to double this number again. We’ve made mistakes and avoided some … here are the things I wish I’d known three years ago!”

4) Top Tips for the Socially Saavy Recruiter from Work4Blog

“It’s no secret that Spring is a peak hiring time for many recruiters. Recent grads and job seekers in any industry significantly affected by the change in weather (think: construction, tourism, hospitality, etc.) will be looking for new opportunities. This week we’ve rounded up the best recruiter tips from the web to help with your quest to find new talent in the busy months ahead.”

5) 5 Recruiting Strategies that Don’t Work Anymore for Staffing Agencies from Linkedin Talent Blog

“When was the last time you read a “help wanted” section in the newspaper? If you were born after the year 1980, chances are it was never. As technology continues to revolutionize the way recruiters do business, more and more recruiting strategies that used to work in years past have fallen by the wayside. Paula Todd, president of Innovations, a professional placement firm that specializes in the financial services sector and has been in business since 1985, has witnessed the evolution firsthand. Here’s her list of best practice recruiting strategies from the past that just won’t close a candidate any longer.”

6) Great Recruiting is Not a Supply Chain from exaqueo

“Most job seekers don’t brag about the application process.  They hate it–the black hole of recruiting, the time it takes to hear back from recruiters and the length and complication of the process. But they don’t always have insight into recruiters’ woes either: heavy requisition loads, corporate processes and rules, and inappropriate candidate behaviors.”

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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Great Recruiting is Not a Supply Chain http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/04/great-recruiting-supply-chain-draft/ http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/04/great-recruiting-supply-chain-draft/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:16:35 +0000 http://www.exaqueo.com/?p=2788 Most job seekers don’t brag about the application process.  They hate it–the black hole of recruiting, the time it takes to hear back from recruiters and the length and complication of the process. But they don’t always have insight into recruiters’ woes either: heavy requisition loads, corporate processes and rules, and inappropriate candidate behaviors. Case in point: last week, a recruiting leader posted the following: “Recruiter friends, I need your input: I rejected an applicant who really wasn’t qualified for […]

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Angry CustomerMost job seekers don’t brag about the application process.  They hate it–the black hole of recruiting, the time it takes to hear back from recruiters and the length and complication of the process.

But they don’t always have insight into recruiters’ woes either: heavy requisition loads, corporate processes and rules, and inappropriate candidate behaviors.

Case in point: last week, a recruiting leader posted the following:

“Recruiter friends, I need your input: I rejected an applicant who really wasn’t qualified for a position. Granted, it was a canned rejection response [but] the candidate’s reply [ended in]: ‘go suck a [male body part]‘. Respond?”

And the recruiting community responded with a variety of opinions including:

  • “Write him back and say that the original rejection letter was a mistake and he was going to get called into an interview but due to his response, you can’t recommend him.”
  • “I get those all the time…I usually just laugh at them and move on…seems like a lot of energy to waste.”
  • “The time it takes to write back could be much better spent on a blog post to other sensible job seekers about what not to do.”

I noticed one thing missing in the suggested responses. No one seemed to care why the candidate would respond like that.

Maybe we as recruiters, recruiting leaders and HR professionals are enabling this behavior.

How many times have you gotten frustrated at a customer service representative for a bank or in a retail store?  I often hear plenty of those complaints in my travels too. And when people get mad at airlines, they get mad. They usually have valid reasons for being angry and while that doesn’t excuse inappropriate behavior, in the heat of the moment people can act irrationally. Not because they’re crazy (though some are), but because the system, the supply chain, is flawed.

We have all been fed up by a customer experience at some point. We get annoyed at the company for not fixing our problem or saying “sorry I can’t help”. And then we vow to never use Comcast/USAirways/Bank of America/name-any-other-company ever again.

Bad customer experiences are usually bad because they operate like a supply chain.

There is a specific process for service representatives to follow and a standard script to respond to problems when they arise. But most customer service reps aren’t trained to get at the heart of the problem or empowered to change the process if it doesn’t work. So it repeats itself over and over and over again. Which is why we all often complain about the same brands.

What recruiters don’t realize, is they are doing the same thing.

When you have your process, your canned response and your gut reaction to “ignore it and move on,” you’re the scripted bank representative.  You’re assuming it’s not worth it to investigate why the person reacted that way, or you’re not empowered to do anything about it.  Could he be a run-of-the-mill jerk? Sure, but he could also be reacting to things in your process you could/should change to better the candidate experience or how you source, assess and hire.

Whether you like it or not, this guy is out there talking about your brand.

To at least respond changes the tone, allows you to become part of the conversation and maybe goes so far as to change perception. It also shows you are interested in bettering the process and helps you track trends. If you’re in an organization with multiple recruiters, this kind of response might happen often, which means there’s valuable feedback to be had.  And when people are frustrated in the moment they are more likely to respond and give real feedback.

We should stop acting like the brands we hate. 

Turn your supply chain into a human experience. The five minutes you take to ask why now, could change your entire hiring process for the better later.

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: How to Engage Employees http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/04/talent-hr-news-weekly-roundup-engage-employees/ http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/04/talent-hr-news-weekly-roundup-engage-employees/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:15:17 +0000 http://www.exaqueo.com/?p=2796 Everyone has heard of the nebulous term “engagement” when it comes to employees. We all know that engagement is relatively low across the board, so now what? You want to jump to action and bring that engagement level up. Below are some articles on how to engage employees and take this vague term and turn it into tangible action. 1) Recognize, Reward And Engage Your Multi-Generational Workforce from Forbes “Many leaders and HR pros are struggling to find a way to […]

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Everyone has heard of the nebulous term “engagement” when it comes to employees. We all know that engagement is relatively low across the board, so now what? You want to jump to action and bring that engagement level up. Below are some articles on how to engage employees and take this vague term and turn it into tangible action.

1) Recognize, Reward And Engage Your Multi-Generational Workforce from Forbes

“Many leaders and HR pros are struggling to find a way to make multi-generational workforces mesh and be productive. The chatter is all about the changing workforce and managing generational “differences” or as I prefer to say “nuances”…When will we finally be ready to walk the walk (less talk, more action already) about bringing people together?”

2) When Work Is Awesome, Employees Are Engaged from Employment Services

“While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sparking engagement within your company, the steps you can take to promote it are simple enough. It requires a emoting an understanding and caring attitude toward your workforce. Connect with them. Motivate them. Congratulate them. Brush up on the 10 Easy Ways to Reward Your Top Employees and incorporate at least three of these strategies into your workplace. Empower your workforce. Consider how to increase employee retention by implementing programs that help you promote from within or incentivize high performance.”

3) Engage and retain staff in 2014 and beyond from HR Zone

“It’s a common misconception that an individual’s performance at work is based solely on just their capability. Whilst possessing the right skills and abilities is important, in today’s competitive business world, it is based on so much more than this.  The silent threat of ghost turnover – The period of economic recession played host to a stagnanting pool of talent. Suffering from uncompetitive reward and constrained training and development budgets, staff stayed in their current roles, not because of job satisfaction but because of job security. This is known as ‘ghost turnover’ – employees who want to leave their current jobs but can’t due to a lack of alternative or secure opportunities.”

4) Are Your Employees Truly Engaged? You May Be Surprised by the Truth from Who’s Your Gladys?

“When employee engagement is down, internal customer service is missing. Today we’re sharing ten shocking statistics about employee engagement – a vital infographic for leaders committed to service excellence inside the company and out. As you read through these stats, consider how you’re currently engaging your staff and how you could amp it up.”

5) Why Companies Fail to Engage Today’s Workforce: The Overwhelmed Employee from GrowFL

“This is a worldwide issue. Gallup research shows that only 13% of employees around the world are actively engaged at work, and more than twice that number are so disengaged they are likely to spread negativity to others. As one HR manager put it, “today employees don’t want a career, they want an experience.” Look at some of the statistics. Nearly 40% of the US workforce now works part time. Baby boomers who lost their jobs are often out of work for 18-24 months. Millennials want more creative jobs and they want to work for startups (or for themselves). And everyone wants work to be easier, less punishing, and more meaningful.”

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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Using Vacation Policy to Promote Your Culture & Brand http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/03/using-vacation-policy-promote-culture-brand/ http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/03/using-vacation-policy-promote-culture-brand/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:43:46 +0000 http://www.exaqueo.com/?p=2791 Your company culture and your employer brand can be pulled through to any part of your organization that touches your employees, including a vacation policy. A company’s vacation policy, and how you promote it, can say a lot about your culture and brand.  The spectrum is broad – from no vacation for the first year of employment to unlimited vacation. Some industries – such as the financial industry – require two weeks (to be taken all at once) for legal […]

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Your company culture and your employer brand can be pulled through to any part of your organization that touches your employees, including a vacation policy. A company’s vacation policy, and how you promote it, can say a lot about your culture and brand.  The spectrum is broad – from no vacation for the first year of employment to unlimited vacation. Some industries – such as the financial industry – require two weeks (to be taken all at once) for legal reasons. Some companies opt to make their vacation policies unique to their company. Here are a few examples of different vacation policies that connect with the culture:

Netflix: Netflix’s culture of “freedom and responsibility” is pulled through to so many different parts of the employment experience. Its vacation policy is no different, allowing unlimited vacation as long as employees get their work done.

Airbnb: This travel company that connects people’s homes and apartments with travelers provides employees with a $2,000 travel stipend. This is a company all about transforming the travel industry, and that extends to their employees as well.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:  The mission of this organization is “to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.” This is a charitable and altruistic mission. The idea of charity even spreads into the organization’s vacation policy. In 2007, the company created a vacation time bank where staff can deposit unused personal days, sick leave, or time off. Employees who are in need of additional days, due to personal or family health-related reasons, can apply for extra days through this bank.

PNC: PNC has a “Grow Up Great” initiative, which focuses on improving early childhood education. Employees have the ability to take up to 1 week of paid time off to volunteer for a cause related to this initiative.

Even if you have a pretty standard policy, there are ways to promote it that reflect your culture. For example, I worked for a company with a typical 2-3 week paid leave policy. Because the company’s growth was through acquisition, the culture was still maturing. A common thread was that employees felt taken care of by the employer, demonstrated by the benefits provided, the advancement opportunities, and supportive teams. My team loved travel, and encouraged taking 2 weeks at a time to explore a destination. This was a way of taking an indistinguishable policy, and making it unique to the company.

We always say at exaqueo, perks do not make a company culture, and this is no different. Think about how those perks reflect your culture. How can your vacation policy mirror your culture and brand? This is your opportunity to show your employees what your organization values, and how you value their time outside of the office.

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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Be A Balanced Giver: The Better Way to Network http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/03/balanced-giver-better-way-network/ http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/03/balanced-giver-better-way-network/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:22:11 +0000 http://www.exaqueo.com/?p=2778 Businesses are built on relationships. We hire, expand and grow by finding, meeting and engaging with new people. Then why is networking such a burden? Time. As an entrepreneur, I often struggle with how to make it work. I hate saying “no” to any networking request on the premise I can either help someone or they can help me. And often you don’t know if it’s valuable until you’re well into the call or meeting. But I still try to […]

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giveandtake-cover

Businesses are built on relationships. We hire, expand and grow by finding, meeting and engaging with new people. Then why is networking such a burden? Time.

As an entrepreneur, I often struggle with how to make it work. I hate saying “no” to any networking request on the premise I can either help someone or they can help me. And often you don’t know if it’s valuable until you’re well into the call or meeting.

But I still try to be a giver. I respond to every networking request on the “you never know” premise. Until I realized it was getting in the way of growing my business.

Help them or help me? The eternal business struggle. Adam Grant illuminates that struggle in his book Give and Take.  Seems I’m not the only one trying to balance altruism and capitalism. I want to help everyone. But if I don’t continue to grow my business, I can’t help anyone.

Seems my struggle isn’t unique—as an author, professor and consultant, Grant told me he faces the same challenge. His advice? It’s all about balance.

“I’m always happy to be as helpful as I can as long as it doesn’t compromise my service to my clients.”

When Grant has to say ‘no,’ he’s clear about why. “People may like me less but [they’ll] respect me more.”

Achieving that balance requires some focus. Here’s how to be a giver and network better:

1) Determine the litmus test for what aligns with your business.

Let’s be honest: giving doesn’t mean much if it isn’t in line with your organizational goals. Be clear about who you can give to and how, and vet requests before giving that automatic yes. Sure, you can give when it feels good. But don’t help every student that calls–help the ones interested in your line of work for example.

2) Look for business partners with opposite styles.

“It’s really useful for a giver to have a business partner to be a matcher and someone who will fight the fire,” says Grant. If you’re an entrepreneur or leader, look for team members who complement the way you network.

3) Plan your giving.

Allot time for giving each week and when you’re out of time, you’re out of time. Be honest when someone reaches out about how you network and when the next available time exists on your calendar for that purpose. When you can’t offer an immediate response of assistance, provide alternative resources or words of wisdom in the short term.

4) Group your giving.

If you find groups of people—students, entrepreneurs—who all want your advice, try grouping them together. Use Google hangout or similar tools to offer mini networking sessions. You’ll learn more and they’ll make contacts and connections with each other.

In the spirit of giving, Grant’s made the opening chapter of his book available for free download. Take a look and rethink your own giving style. I’m still teetering on one foot, but beginning to find my own balance.

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.  This post was originally published by Susan on LinkedIn.

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Innovating Your Business http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/03/talent-hr-news-weekly-roundup-innovating-business/ http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/03/talent-hr-news-weekly-roundup-innovating-business/#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 13:45:23 +0000 http://www.exaqueo.com/?p=2775 Innovation has been a buzzword for a while now. By definition, it means something new or different introduced. In a highly competitive world, innovation is key to keep your business fresh and stay alongside or ahead of the competition. This week’s roundup features articles on innovative companies and ways of innovating your business. 1) The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2014 from Fast Company “In this special report on the World’s Most Innovative Companies, there are plenty of examples to make […]

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Innovation has been a buzzword for a while now. By definition, it means something new or different introduced. In a highly competitive world, innovation is key to keep your business fresh and stay alongside or ahead of the competition. This week’s roundup features articles on innovative companies and ways of innovating your business.

1) The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2014 from Fast Company

“In this special report on the World’s Most Innovative Companies, there are plenty of examples to make you a believer (“I’ve never been more excited about the possibilities ahead of us,” Nike CEO Mark Parker recently told me). Our staff has spent more than six months gathering and analyzing data. To generate our list of the 50 Most Innovative Companies–and the accompanying top 10 companies in various sectors–we assessed thousands of enterprises.”

2) DevOps: Changing the Nature of Innovation in Your Business from CA Technologies

“We all know that the rate and pace of business innovation is accelerating. Think about how location services, initially focused on mobility, are now used in many more computing devices to determine the services delivered to users. And think about the innovation happening with credit and loyalty cards…”

3) Six Components for Successful Innovation Capacity from Innovate on Purpose

I’m always a little cautious about any post that dares to state a definitive number of tasks or components for successful completion of any task.  Therefore, it’s with some trepidation that I’m going out on a limb to talk about what I think are six critical components for sustained innovation capacity.  Note that I am saying six critical, not “the only six critical” because while I’m certain these are important, there are probably others that are just as important.

4) “Why Should I Work Here?” is the NEW “Why Should We Hire You? from LLoyd Intelligence

“It’s a truth in hiring – companies spend a lot of time and expense identifying and recruiting candidates… but they should be giving equal time and expense to doing what it takes to motivate talent so that they say, ‘WOW, what a company, I want to work here.’”

5) When Companies Start Innovating from HR Examiner

“All new companies start with innovation – they develop a product or service, build a business around it, and hope to make money. Young companies, especially software start-ups with lots of funding and computer engineers who love making new things do cool tricks, are rich in innovation — new ways of thinking, doing, and making. As companies grow and hire more employees, they naturally start worrying about making money and growing what they have. They are interested in improvements and new ideas, but not complete changes to their core offerings. One main reason is success. Successful companies tend to focus on doing more of what they have been doing because it’s worked so far.”

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 News Weekly Roundup: Sourcing and Recruiting Technical Talent http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/03/talent-hr-news-weekly-roundup-sourcing-recruiting-technical-talent/ http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/03/talent-hr-news-weekly-roundup-sourcing-recruiting-technical-talent/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 17:09:20 +0000 http://www.exaqueo.com/?p=2766 In today’s world, technical talent is essential. And finding and keeping this type of talent is tough. There are only so many people with the right skills, and it’s an incredibly competitive environment. For this week’s roundup, we share some great finds about sourcing and recruiting technical talent. 1) How to Source Tech Talent in 5 Easy Steps from Undercover Recruiter “Candidates can be easy to find, but you have to be willing to take part in the communities where […]

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In today’s world, technical talent is essential. And finding and keeping this type of talent is tough. There are only so many people with the right skills, and it’s an incredibly competitive environment. For this week’s roundup, we share some great finds about sourcing and recruiting technical talent.

1) How to Source Tech Talent in 5 Easy Steps from Undercover Recruiter

“Candidates can be easy to find, but you have to be willing to take part in the communities where they can be found. Places such as Github and Stack Overflow are good places to start, and can be extremely useful to SEE what candidates can do, instead of just reading about their potential. If you know where to look, and how to find people, you can find them – but make sure you build up a name for yourself first.”

2) Nadella: Proud that India’s a Source of Global Tech Talent from NewsPost

“In an exclusive interview with TOI — the first with an Indian newspaper or TV channel since his ascension to the post of CEO in February — Nadella insisted that software is “one of the most valuable, malleable resources” of the organization and that his primary objective as Microsoft chief would be to deliver software-driven advanced innovations that would help enrich customer experience. “I want to see us remain convinced that software matters in the future,” the Hyderabad-born 46-year-old said, reiterating his “incredible focus” on offering Microsoft customers what they really value and enable them to do more in work, life and play.”

3) Double Your Talent Acquisition: Five Do’s and Don’ts For Technical Recruiters from Nathan LeClare

“Like it or not, there are a lot of companies competing for technical talent right now and it’s hard to differentiate yourself. But you may be making mistakes that could be avoided, and overlooking things that could be used to help improve your conversion rate. How would you like to source more talent, make your clients and recruits happier, and generally recruit like a boss?”

4) Utah – A Growing Hub for Tech Talent from Gild

“You’ve heard of Silicon Valley, but have you heard about the thriving tech community in Utah? Gild co-hosted an event in February with Dojo Dev Camp in Salt Lake City to discuss the state of the developer community in Utah, including what needs to be done in 2014 to stay ahead of the innovation curve.”

5) 5 Reasons Good Software Engineers Quit from Inc.

“Any Silicon Valley hiring manager will tell you that engineering talent is rare and valuable. And we all know the true cost of turnover is far greater than your balance sheet may suggest. So it stands to reason that you should understand why your top technical hires are most likely to leave.”

6) In IT Recruiting, Don’t Neglect Retention from Contemporary Staffing Solutions

“If you’ve started recruiting for employees for information technology positions, you’ve probably realized how difficult it can be, and how much money and time the task can take from you. That’s why when you’re looking for a new employee, you should give some serious thought to retention so that you don’t have to start the entire process over again if they decide they aren’t happy working in your office.”

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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The Gap: Increasing Employee Retention through Increasing Its Minimmum Wage http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/03/gap-increasing-employee-retention-increasing-minimmum-wage/ http://www.exaqueo.com/2014/03/gap-increasing-employee-retention-increasing-minimmum-wage/#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2014 21:51:04 +0000 http://www.exaqueo.com/?p=2757 As part of my morning routine, I was sifting through emails on my iPhone today when I came across an email from Gap Inc. with the subject line, “Gap is doing more…” I normally delete these sorts of promotional emails, but this subject line was catchy enough to get me to click through. I assumed it was some sort of corporate social responsibility effort, like reusing waste products from the supply chain or partnering with a non-profit. I was pleasantly surprised […]

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The Gap EmailAs part of my morning routine, I was sifting through emails on my iPhone today when I came across an email from Gap Inc. with the subject line, “Gap is doing more…” I normally delete these sorts of promotional emails, but this subject line was catchy enough to get me to click through. I assumed it was some sort of corporate social responsibility effort, like reusing waste products from the supply chain or partnering with a non-profit. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had to do with increasing the minimum hourly rate of their employees to $9 in 2014 and to $10 in 2015. As a customer and former employee of the Gap, I applaud the company, and it’s not necessarily because I feel strongly one way or the other about the minimum wage debate.

To catch you up to speed on the minimum wage debate, here are a few quick facts:

What’s the Current Federal Minimum Wage?

$7.25/hour (some states offer a higher minimum wage)

What’s the Debate About?

Obama wants Congress to raise the Federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 and to automatically adjust for inflation. In his State of the Union address, he “announced an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for future federal contract workers” (New York Times). The goal is to address income inequality and boost the income of over tens of millions of workers.

The other side of the argument is that an increased minimum wage will increase costs for corporations, resulting in layoffs, more unemployment, and/or increased prices to consumers.

What’s the latest progress?

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a minimum wage measure in the coming weeks.

Now that you’re up to speed on the debate, let’s revisit the Gap email. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, Gap made it clear that raising its minimum rate was the right move for its company. Gap’s CEO, Glen Murphy, explains:

“Gap store employees are our main connection to you. They help you find the right size and select the ideal gift. They know the perfect things to turn the clothes you wear into the outfits you love. They are also students and moms, aspiring fashion designers, community leaders and entrepreneurs. They’re managing families, school schedules, and many other responsibilities. We want to reward their hard work, and we want them to stay with us and help you for a very long time.”

At exaqueo, we help our clients understand their workforce – and not just their approach to work – but the whole person. What they value, who they confide in, where they get their energy…The reason for this is because we see a direct link between a strong employer/employee relationship and employee retention. Knowing the whole person can strengthen that relationship, thus increase the likelihood of retaining that person. The alternative is high turnover, which we all know is costly. There’s a bit more to it, but you get the basic idea.

Mr. Murphy very specifically points out the connection between understanding the whole person and the impact it has on the bottom line. They have a goal of retaining employees – a difficult task in the retail business and expensive if you don’t do it right.  They believe that raising the minimum hourly rate will help them get to that goal. Mr. Murphy also draws the connection between the workforce and customers. Its employees are closest to the customers – those who purchase the clothes and make it possible for the company to even be in business. A poor customer experience caused by an employee could very well result in the loss of that customer forever. Mr. John Willard Marriott, Sr., Founder of Marriott International, said it best, if you take care of your employees, “they’ll take care of your customers and the customers will keep coming back again and again.” This is just another great example of the importance of your people to the bottom line.

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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