Posts Tagged ‘talent’

The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing a Multigenerational Workforce

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

“Never in history has a workforce had four generations working together —until now.”

                –Dr. Kevin Snyder, 2015 Compensation & Benefits Conference

Diverse business group meetingSo who are these four generations working so closely together? In most offices, you will find the:

  • Matures- born from 1925 to 1946
  • Baby Boomers- born from 1946 to 1964
  • Generation Xers- born from 1965 to 1980
  • Generation Yers or ‘Millennials’- born from 1981 to late 1990s

Each generation comes with their unique set of stereotypes and stigmas. While the Matures are seen as loyal but lousy with technology, the Millennial crew seem to attract the opposite perception. While many of these stereotypes are exaggerated, it is undoubtedly true that each generation possesses a distinct set of characteristics from one another.

For many managers, this could sounds like a bit of a headache. After all, who wants a bunch of groups with differing ideas, schedules, and motivations working together? It may sound like a nightmare, but it could actually be an advantage if these differences of habits are leveraged correctly.

To effectively manage your workplace, follow these Do’s and Don’ts  to ensure the generations are working in tandem, and not against, one another.

Do know what each generation is looking for

Knowing your audience is a huge key to success. By understanding what each generation is looking for in a job, you can better manage their expectations and vastly improve their career contentment. Conduct surveys that poll your employees on what they find most rewarding about work. If you find that a large share of your Millennial employees are looking for a strong work culture, organize team lunches or wellness activities for them to take part in. If you find that many of your Mature employees desire one-on-one guidance, try to give them the extra personal attention that fulfills them. With a greater understanding of what makes each generation tick, you will be creating a more engaged, dynamic and productive workplace.

Don’t encourage generational separation

We all enjoy talking to someone we have a lot in common with, and shared age is a great and easy way to bond with a fellow employee. While many employees seem to naturally bond with coworkers of similar ages, it is important to discourage any extreme separation based around age in the office. By combining the varying tastes, attitudes and experiences of the multiple generations at your disposal, you will be fostering a healthy and collaborative dialogue between your employees. Though there is always a potential for conflict, your business would be missing out on the greater potential for new and dynamic teamwork by keeping the generations from working together.

Do recognize their varying strengths

Maybe you have a Millennial employee who’s great with technology, but not so effective when it comes to face-to-face interactions. Or the opposite situation could be true of a Boomer who thrives in personal interactions with others, but understandably lags behind in the tech department. Rather than spreading your employees too thin and expecting the Millennial and Boomer to become well-versed in their respective areas of weakness, recognize their independent strengths and leverage them together. If that means having the Millennial put together the PowerPoint and the Boomer giving the presentation, so be it. By appealing to each of the generation’s strengths, and not holding them hostage to their weaknesses, you will be doing your business and your employees a huge favor.

Don’t assume the generational stereotypes

As we said above, many of the generations possess differing ideals, skills and habits from one another. While it is important to recognize and leverage these varying strengths when you can identify them, do not assume that an employee will lack a certain skill or experience simply because it is not usually ascribed to their generation. By pigeonholing your employees to certain spheres along generational lines, you could be wasting heaps of potential. Be open-minded about each generation, and allow their strengths and experiences to present themselves in due course rather than forcing them into a box in which they may not belong.

If you would like to further discuss how you can more effectively manage a multigenerational workplace, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

4 Tips for Recruiting Exceptional Talent

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

recruit top talentEmployees are the framework for all organizations, and they represent a driving force behind the success or failure of a company. As one of the key elements for long-term success, it’s critical that companies focus on the hiring process, and strive to recruit the most intelligent, motivated and versatile employees available.

How can companies position themselves to not only recruit employees, but attract top talent? Here are four steps:

Evaluate Current Processes

First, evaluate the current selection process your organization has in place. Because of convenience, countless job seekers will come through newspaper ads and website postings, but by using additional outlets (social media, executive staffing firms, industry professional associations, conferences and online boards), a new kind of job candidate can be uncovered. By extending your network pool, you can build relationships, and much can be said about hiring a person whose character you know, instead of hiring solely on Internet credentials.

Provide Thorough Job Descriptions

Once you are recruiting within the correct market, make sure that your company job descriptions are clearly outlined. A detailed description of requirements and responsibilities is imperative, as it’s a way for you to label and define the expectations of future candidates. Don’t wait until the interview process to discover your interviewee doesn’t meet the basic qualifications. If you allow the job description to cover basic requirements, your interview process will reveal the candidate whose skills stand out above the rest.

Keep an Eye on Talent

To recruit the best and brightest, employers must always keep an eye open for top talent. Firms with exceptional recruiting results always monitor potential applicants, whether hiring or not. Through continuous evaluation of the candidate pool, organizations have a better idea of who to select when the time comes. By keeping a running list of candidates, you can keep a watch over top talent and avoid hiring at the last minute.

Monitor your Company Brand

An important piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked is to monitor your company brand. What people say outside of the company walls matters immensely. The overall public perception of your organization will influence many candidates. Outside of salary and job growth, employees want to be part of a company whose culture is respected and valued. Treat your current staff well, as they will be your spokespersons to others about what makes your organization great.

For more information about recruiting, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.


Delivering Great New Employees – Part 3

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

In today’s video blog, CAI’s Vice President of Membership, Doug Blizzard, shares his last installment of advice for hiring great new employees. Doug starts the video by describing a triangle that represents a pool of job candidates. He says the 80 percent of candidates that are at the bottom of the triangle are aggressively searching for a new job. The five percent of candidates at the top of the triangle are not open to new opportunities. However, Doug says the actual challenge is to attract the 15 percent in the middle who aren’t looking but might be open to a better opportunity.

To uncover those 15 percent, Doug offers several tips in the video. His first tip is to engage employees. He suggests telling your employees about current openings at the company and asking them to tell their friends, as well as post about the jobs on Facebook and LinkedIn. His second tip is to encourage employees to brag about the cool things your company is doing, such as blood drives or food drives. His last tip is to ask employees questions like “why do you enjoy working for our company” or “what makes our company different from our competition.” Doug says to use their answers in campaigns and ads to target and attract new employees.

Doug’s overall message is to train your employees to be good talent scouts for your organization. Please call our Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 for additional ways to attract new talent.


Ryan Estis Shares Insights on Why Companies Need to Rethink HR

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

ryanBio02[1]Ryan Estis is widely recognized as a leading expert on several business and HR topics, such as leadership, culture, sales effectiveness, and HR/workforce trends. For CAI’s 2014 HR Management Conference scheduled for March 5 and March 6 at Raleigh’s McKimmon Center, Ryan will kick off day one with his presentation, Rethinking HR: The Future of Work and Human Resources.

In his keynote session, he will explore the evolving role of HR and introduce new tools, techniques and technology to keep up with the different trends developing in the practice of people. I recently had the pleasure to talk with Ryan and discuss some of the information he plans to share with conference participants in March.

Starting the conversation on a positive note, Ryan said, “This is a great time to be in the practice of human resources.”

When combining the different trends that are emerging in the industry, he sees new opportunities for HR professionals. HR is receiving more attention from companies, and Ryan explained that this is the reason for additional opportunities. He says that the challenge that comes with these opportunities is that the work is going to look a little different.

One of the big trends that Ryan is seeing is a strong focus on recruiting and hiring talent. He said that because many companies did well financially in 2013, more companies are in a position to grow their team in 2014.

“[Organizations] recognize that in order to grow, in order to drive continuous innovation, [they] need the right kind of people and that brings HR to center stage,” Ryan said.

Another trend that he points out is that the workforce is becoming more mobile. In other words, employees are electing to switch jobs more frequently.

“The average employee in the US has been with their employer for less than five years, the average millennial is projected to stay less than two – that creates an entire [new] set of challenges for an organization, and specifically an HR function,” Ryan said.

Several top performers leaving a company can really paralyze the performance of the business, he adds. This trend isn’t going away, so HR will be required to think differently on designing roles, functions and systems to keep up with the more mobile workforce. Ryan believes that HR will be tapped to solve the new challenges that companies will face.

At the 2014 HR Management Conference, he will dive deeper into the topics mentioned above. Ryan will also talk about the requirements of today’s new workforce, why a culture that embraces continuous learning is important, and how HR has shifted from a service-providing function to a function that is driven by capabilities.

Please join us for our March conference to hear more from Ryan and discover the ways in which you need to prepare for the future of work and HR. Visit to see the full agenda, session descriptions and speaker bios. Register today!

6 Actions You Need to Take to Find and Retain High-Performing Employees

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Two businesspeople holding briefcases outdoorsAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the country’s unemployment rate has dropped to 7 percent as of November 2013. Over the last year, the unemployment rate has continued to decline and the overall economy is continuing to slowly improve. With these positive economic signs, employers will need to be competitive in order to obtain high-performing employees for their organization.

Because the economy is improving, talented job candidates have more organizations to choose from when looking for a new position. Employers must make their company stand out. There are several steps your organization can take to ensure you’re appealing to hardworking individuals. Take the six actions below to get stellar job seekers onboard at your company:

Quicker recruiting

Employers may be losing great candidates if their recruiting and decision-making processes are lengthy. As competition increases for a smaller pool of job seekers, applicants will grow tired of waiting for next steps in the hiring process with their company of choice and accept a position at an another organization simply because the process moved faster. Ensure this doesn’t happen by communicating with your candidates every step of the way. Don’t make rush decisions that may result in a bad hire, but do avoid any roadblocks in your system. Be prepared to make a decision.

Pay competitively

Be prepared to offer higher compensation and stronger benefits as the economy improves. Do not make the common mistake of overlooking or devaluing the importance of pay to your employees’ motivation. If you want to attract qualified applicants to your open positions, provide a base pay that is at or above market rates.

Challenging assignments

Boredom is one of the fastest ways to have your employees look for a new job. There is little or no excitement for an employee that performs the same routine day-to-day. Even though mundane tasks need to be completed, make sure your top employees are participating in interesting projects that provide them with a challenge.

Offer flexibility

Top-tier job candidates are looking for flexibility, and your competitors are probably already offering it as an attractive, non-compensation-related perk to help reel them in. Options, such as working from home and customized schedules, can make one job opportunity more appealing than another.

Opportunities for growth

Your high-performing employees and energetic job candidates want to work for a company with goals that align with their goals. Be open to discussing growth opportunities with your current staff and those that may be joining your team soon. Chances for a promotion, raise or special project are likely to keep your staff members engaged.

Positive acknowledgement

A good way to retain your best-performing employees is to create a culture that embraces praise and recognition. Confirmation of a strong performance is a great way to show your employees that you see the hard work they put in and that you value all of it. By publicly acknowledging the achievements of your staff, you remind individuals of their own personal value to the organization and that’s critical for keeping them engaged.

For additional help with recruiting and retaining employees, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: The-Lane-Team


Change Is Inevitable in the Workplace—Are You Prepared?

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

May 13 quote blog

Many changes are taking place in the business world. The full effects of healthcare reform will soon come to fruition, the competition for top talent still rages on with no plans for stopping, and your employees are looking for better ways to manage both their responsibilities at work and outside of it.

How will you handle the changes that you and your organization face? In order to continue to achieve success at your business, or even just to stay afloat, you must start by creating a plan to address your most pertinent issues.

Review the following articles for help handling the changes that you and other employers will likely see:

Changes in Healthcare Reform

Are you interested in knowing the top healthcare issues of 2013 and how they will affect employers? Our benefits partner, HCW Employee Benefit Services, put together an article highlighting this information. Check it out here:

Compete for Top Talent and Win

Many organizations are struggling to find high-performing talent to fill their open positions. If you aren’t finding the right candidates, you may want to review your hiring process. Finding an excellent employee isn’t something you can attain quickly. Just like other projects you work on, you must have a solid plan for securing top achievers. Here’s an article to help:

Dealing with Workplace Change             

Changes in the business world aren’t just affecting employers; they are also affecting your workforce. Understanding the concerns your employees may have about various workplace changes is important for growing your organization with a loyal team.  Review this article to gain strategies for helping your staff deal with company changes:

Employees Crave Work/Life Balance

Engaged employees help drive the business results that you want. They are productive team players who strive for excellence. Their work life is important, but so is the life they’ve established outside of your company. Help them manage both well. When you do, you’ll see a number of benefits. Read more about them here:

For additional advice or information for dealing with change at your workplace, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Retain Top Performers with 4 Strategies

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

 There are many factors that attract top talent to companies. Some candidates will only work for organizations that guarantee great benefits and competitive pay. Other job seekers want to know if there are opportunities for individual and career growth. There also are workers who think a strong and positive company culture is imperative to their workplace success.

top talentKnowing what job seekers are looking for in their future employers is the first step in securing high-performing workers. Once you understand what drives them to perform their best, you can tailor your recruiting methods and company benefits and perks to attract them. Once you attract them and they prove to be integral team members, you’ll still have to put forth a good effort to retain them.

Try these four ways to keep your top achievers productive, happy and loyal:

Your Culture

The environment your company exudes is usually a determining factor in whether an employee will stay. Not every worker will appreciate, dislike or desire the same workplace qualities so it’s important to make sure you’re hiring employees that are interested in your unique offerings. Create a culture that allows several types of people and personalities to grow and enjoy success.

Your Leaders

Who’s leading the company is a major reason why employees decide to stay with an organization long term. Many employee opinion surveys reveal that employees leave or are likely to leave because of the actions of their managers, supervisors or senior leaders. No one enjoys a micromanager or a leader who never checks in. Treat your employees with respect–be considerate and communicate openly.

Your Communication

As an employer, you’re responsible for communicating to your staff the rewards that your company provides. If your employees receive higher than average salaries or your wellness program saves staffers money, make sure they are aware. Frequently remind employees of the benefits that you offer so they’ll have reasons to stay loyal and perform better.

Your Feedback

Employees are more likely to stay with organizations that show them that their time and effort have not gone unnoticed. Receiving positive and constructive feedback consistently is critical for their success, so let them know how they’re doing regularly and show them that you appreciate their efforts.

For more information on recruiting, securing and maintaining top talent, please join us for CAI’s 2013 HR Management Conference on March 6 and March 7 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. The conference will feature four keynote speakers, including best-selling authors, Daniel Pink and Jon Gordon. Some of the topics presenters will share at the conference include: aligning HR with business strategy, succession planning, using social media for recruiting and managing a remote workforce. Register and see full conference agenda at Early bird prices are in effect until February 1, 2013

Photo Source: Victor1558

4 Reasons Why You Should Add a Veteran to Your Team

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Every November 11, we celebrate Veterans Day to honor and thank those who serve or have served in the US military. Veterans have sacrificed their lives to protect our country while giving up their time, moments spent with loved ones, and sometimes their physical and mental health. Although Veterans Day has passed, we can still celebrate our American Heroes. They are great at protecting our country and when they return from being away, they also make great employees. Let’s recognize the skills that these individuals possess. Here are four reasons why a veteran should be on your team:

Team Player

Veterans are trained to work in environments made up of teams. They know how to follow orders and when they should give them. Because they worked so closely with others during their military career, veterans take feedback well and are willing to help a coworker in need.


Those who serve sacrifice their lives so we are protected and maintain our freedom. They take their job seriously and understand that they are responsible for the safety of their team and their country. They will use that same accountability to complete their projects and hit their goals for themselves and their employer.

Results Driven

People in the military will accept nothing but their best when carrying out a mission. They know that people are depending on them, so they don’t tolerate mediocre results. This mindset will not leave them when they’re working at your company. Expect great outcomes from a newly hired veteran.

Calm and Collected

Our service men and women are very familiar with situations of extreme pressure and danger. Because veterans are trained to handle tough moments and decisions with grace, their experiences will help you lead your company to success.

Let’s thank our Vets for their service and sacrifice, and let’s help them find jobs. If you have hired a veteran after Nov. 21, 2011 or plan to hire one before Dec. 31, 2012, you maybe be eligible for a tax credit. Find more info here:

Photo Source: US Army Africa

Avoid these 4 Hiring Sins to Find the Right Candidate

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

The post below is a guest post by Greg Moran, the CEO of Chequed Employment Testing, a Predictive Talent Selection suite to help organizations hire better. You can follow Greg on twitter @CEOofChequed.

In the hiring process the main objective is fairly obvious–find the best candidates for your open position. Whatever the position is, finding the right person for the job is important whether it’s the front desk assistant, head of HR or the customer satisfaction associate – each plays a strategic role.

This is why even just one bad hire can seriously impact a business on a variety of different levels. What I find amazing is while the impact bad hires can have on any organization is fairly well known, so many continue to commit serious errors in their hiring process; committing hiring sins if you will. If your organization is hiring or you’re involved in the hiring process,  make sure your not committing these hiring sins.

Sin 1: Measuring the wrong traits

Many companies look to assess their top performers as benchmarks for incoming recruits. While this thinking is correct often the approach and decision of what to measure is flawed. When establishing an effective benchmark, the most important part is to know the difference between your strongest and weakest employees.

Most of your recruits will share many traits with your top performers, but they could also share too many with your weakest hires. This is the fact that many often overlook  and the results can be catastrophic. If you’re only focused on what they can do well, there’s a high probably you’ll get blindsided when they turn out to be an organizational cancer.

When creating benchmarks and choosing what traits to measure, be sure that you outline all their traits to find only those that best correlate with top performers and differentiate them from the rest.

Sin 2: Skipping the Reference Check

The main purpose of contacting candidate references is to get insights that you can’t get from other components of your hiring process. Granted, we’ve all had reference calls that never get returned, the reference provides little value or they’re overwhelming concerned about legal implications that they don’t provide anything. While this can and does happen, it’s not a reason to completely abandon the reference check all together!

Most of the time, you can actually get responses and valuable data if your process is done the right way. The best way to accomplish this is to automate the process as much as possible and drive candidates to prompt their references to respond. Think about it: If the person can actually vouch for the candidate then they should be able to contact them!

Sin 3: Putting too much weight into Interviews

All too often companies look to the interview as the golden opportunity with which they can appropriately and completely assess a candidate.  Sadly this is true even though hard numbers dating back decades prove that interviews are, for the most part, ineffective. As early as 1984, John and Rhonda Hunter’s University of Michigan study demonstrated that interviews increase the likelihood of choosing the best candidate by less than 2%.

Why less than 2%? Because companies typically conduct interviews as though they’re Wednesday night chats over a game of Bridge, performing minimal research beforehand regarding the types of questions that will be most beneficial. Although, we have to point out that Bridge would likely provide you a more objective assessment of even the most charismatic of individuals than would an interview.  Interviewers too often become vulnerable to inaccurate first impressions and gut feelings.  Keep in mind interviewees can be very talented actors when it comes to portraying the ideal candidate.  Highly structured assessments that are based on scientifically validated job profiles can see through such facades much more easily while simultaneously minimizing interviewer bias.

Sin 4: Filling a position is the end

This hiring sin is especially easy to overlook as a faulty misstep.  When we finally fill the vacant position, we often view it as a success and continue on to the next HR situation.  However, the opportunity for feedback that follows filling a vacant position is immensely important; it’s the time when you can track how well the new hire is performing to see if your pre-hire tools worked appropriately or if they need further refinement.  Doing so turns the hiring process into a cumulative learning experience and allows you to better prepare for all future hiring occurrences.

While there is no foolproof method yet for hiring the perfect candidate, science and technology are getting us a lot closer.  It’s time to abandon our old ways and become devout believers in hard data and proven statistics. Our success, and that of our companies, depends on it.

Photo Source: Victor1558, Victor1558

Here’s What You Missed at CAI’s 2012 HR Management Conference

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

CAI hosted its annual HR Management Conference last week on February 21 and February 22. More than 380 HR professionals and company executives attended the event themed Crushing Your Competition with Your Culture & Talent.

Jack Daly delivering his keynote presentation.

Held at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, the conference featured four keynote speakers. Each of them provided audience members with helpful tips to create a positive and productive workplace to keep employees happy and engaged. Listed below are the four keynote speakers and their presentation topics:

  • Jack DalyCorporate Culture: Is Yours by Design or Default?
  • Jeff TobeColoring Outside the Lines: Let’s Get Engaged
  • Michael Lorsch—The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
  • Kelly Swanson—How to Stand Up and Stick Out in a Crowded Market

“I’m actually the vice president of our operations company, and in my daily work what was really important to clarify is the dilemma between important and urgent. You do urgent things every day, but you don’t necessarily do the important things. This has direct impact not only to my world, but more importantly to the world of my people and the company culture they experience ,” said Max Henze, Vice President of AKG North America Operations when commenting on information from Jack Daly’s keynote session.

In addition to the keynote presentations, conference goers had the opportunity to participate in several breakout sessions hosted by leaders experienced in company culture and strategies to retain top talent. The 12 breakout sessions utilized role plays, surveys and real-world examples to help participants absorb concepts to take back and incorporate at their organizations.  Here are a few of the topics discussed during the sessions:

  • You’re Ruining Our Culture: How to Deal with Toxic Behavior in the Workplace
  • High Value Talent: How to Capture and Keep Them
  • Creating a Competitive Advantage with a Strong Corporate Culture
  • How to Influence Positive Leadership Behaviors that Impact Your Culture
  • Building Your Talent Pipeline
  • Coaching Supervisors and Managers to Solve Their Own People Problems

“I came primarily for the cultural enhancement of organizations. My organization has had some phenomenal growth over the last four years, and we’d like to position ourselves to be the employer of choice so to speak,” said Keith Workman, Vice President of Human Resources at Implus Footcare, when asked why he attended the conference. “With the speakers, Mr. Daly and of course Brad Geiger, who is superb, I noticed that they were focusing on cultural development, how to identify problem areas and ways to avoid them, so that was a very big draw for me.”

CAI CEO Bruce Clarke with the 2012 Ovation Awards Winners

CAI revealed the winners of its sixth annual Ovation Awards for HR Excellence on Day 2 of the conference. Local employers are encouraged to submit nominations year round for an innovative people practice they initiated at their company. The people practice must have made a significant and positive impact on employees and business results to win one of the three awards segmented by company size. This year’s winners include:

  • Caterpillar Building Construction Products Division in the Large Employer Category
  • Halifax Regional Medical Center in the Mid-Size Employer Category
  • Pate Dawson Company in the Small Employer Category

Leaders from the three winning companies presented their innovative people practices to conference attendees in small breakout sessions after the awards ceremony. Caterpillar presented on its workplace flexibility initiative, Halifax Regional Medical Center discussed its fast-tracking hiring process and Pate Dawson Company shared its high performance workplace training program.

Participants also received notebooks packed with information from each of the keynote speakers and presenters of the breakout sessions. The conference provided opportunities for guests to personally speak with each presenter and network with more than 380 of their peers.

When asked about his thoughts on this year’s conference, Keith said, “Oh it’s excellent, and it always is. I’m never disappointed.”

If you are interested in attending CAI’s next HR Management Conference in 2013, please contact an Account Manager at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.