Category: Customer Stories


CBI Way: Sourcing Beyond the Boards

February 25th, 2015

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

In the last CBI Way blog we discussed a few thoughts about RPO throughout this year, touching on where RPO is headed with about 3 million jobs added in 2014. But as employment changes, and the market gears more towards being driven by the candidate, how can we keep up with sourcing talent as active candidates become more passive?

ID-100310115Be creative. Everyone can formulate a Boolean string and pop it into the search bar of a resume board. As the “war for talent” rages on, try to think about ways to source in a more creative and different way than the competition. Creative sourcing to identify passive candidates is becoming more prevalent, and you don’t want to miss out on the talent it can produce. Instead of the job boards, put energy into navigating social websites like FaceBook, LinkedIn, or Twitter to find those passive candidates who may be open to a new opportunity, but have no desire to have their resume out on the web.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Even when sourcing its important to try new strategies and explore new methods to find your talent. Besides social networks, dive into some research about associations, organizations, or local chapters of the professionals you seek. This may lead you to member lists, networking events, or a new channel to post the opportunity where it will be seen by a more targeted audience.

Great sourcing is about tapping into the talent which often eludes many recruiters. Taking risks, being creative, and trying new approaches while sourcing will help you develop as a sourcer and identify fresh talent for hard-to-fill jobs.

Sourcing doesn’t always mean just scouring the internet. Creating a community of professional talent is an inventive and productive way to have the pool of candidates at your fingertips. Check in next CBI Way blog to learn about how building a talent community can make sourcing and identifying passive talent more efficient.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Outside-In® Chronicles: Mother Knows Best – Parental Leadership (Dale Carnegie Style)

February 18th, 2015

What can we learn about leadership from watching a parent? Just about everything. Parenting and leading require the same concepts and principles—communication, setting expectations, establishing roles, and setting boundaries. Let’s not forget building relationships and knowing what is important to the other person. In Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, one decree involves baiting the appropriate hook to suit the fish. In other words, knowing your audience and what they want. This requires you to think and speak in terms of the other person’s interest—in the Outside-In® world, this means being Customer Centric.

1871_001-2A great example of baiting the right hook involves my experiences as a young boy on any typical Saturday morning involving chores. The morning began with the Dale Carnegie approach from my mother, “Chris, remember today is chore day and if you still want to go to your friend’s house you have to clean up your room!” The answer was always, “Sure, Mom.” She would march off to scrub a wall, sweep, vacuum, or do the mounds of laundry that her active family always produced. Me? Well, I would go to the opposite side of the house; constantly moving and dodging parental contact. And then childhood pastimes would get the best of me—Saturday morning cartoons, eating, frankly staring at the ceiling, or even doing homework would be better than chores.

Then the second and even third requests would come, “Chris, why have you NOT started to clean up? You’re not going anywhere today and you’re really close to losing out on the whole weekend.” No longer was Dale Carnegie present in our household. It was “do it or else” time. Which never, ever worked. The more you push and tell me what to do, the less I will listen. (Did I mention I am an entrepreneur?) Try to make it my idea. Ask me. Explain the value of accomplishing the task. Even bribe me to do it. Don’t tell me what to do.

I find leaders start this way in work situations. We start by giving one a gentle push to complete a nagging, maybe slightly-behind project that is more important to us than the ones of whom we are asking. Then we check in and we get more directive, “I want that done by Monday. Are we in agreement?” And we end with the threat, “You know that your vacation day is in jeopardy and you are falling well off of plan. Performance reviews are right around the corner you know…”

water-24420_640So what does the inventive and creative Mom do when progress is behind? She takes the hill like a true Leadership General. She heads for the trash bag under the sink. Nothing moves people (or children) faster than the reach for the trash bag. Not following? Mom would grab the bag and head to our room or wherever our stuff happened to be piled that day. And she would say, “Anything I pick up you will not get back, it’s going to Goodwill.” And then I would come running, perhaps with tears streaming, “NO!” Sometimes it took action, not words to move the task or project to completion!

PS – Don’t try this on teenagers. They are prone to mumble, “Good now I don’t have to do it.” Or, “I have too much stuff anyway.” Any verbal warfare they can think of that gets to you!

Top 8 Ways to Earn the Right

February 11th, 2015

ID-100249765You asked. You sent your request. You emailed, you called, you stopped by the cubicle. You said please. Should you whine, kick, and scream? Should you remind people of your self-worth and importance by using your title, tone of voice, or some other power play? Maybe you will threaten or refuse to respond to their email? Eye for eye, right? We all need to get things done. We need people to respond to our emails, come to meetings, pay invoices, and return calls. To say yes to your next step. To go on that date. To clean the room up. Every single day we must find away to get others to act on our behalf. However, they don’t always do it.

Many times, although not every time, it is because you deserve the response you got. You have not earned the right with that person—you simply want something done. There is so much going on, so many priorities, and much to compete with your need. How do you get anyone’s attention? This is the difference between average and good, between a bonus or nothing, and between being offered a promotion or being shown the door. Success is about the things we can’t see, it is about our interpersonal and relational skills.

Here are the top 8 ways to earn the right with your stakeholders (or just about anyone):

  1. Treat people like you would like to be treated. Of course this is common sense, but do you reply to emails in the same time frame you expect from others? How about returning phone calls?
  2. Respond no matter what the circumstances. Even if you do not have an immediate answer for someone, get back to them quickly and acknowledge their request. My wife often asks, “Did you hear me? I know your thinking but please acknowledge me.” I see staff get a request and scramble to find the answer or response and then get back to the inquirer much later than was comfortable. If they had just reached out to acknowledge that the other person was heard.
  3. Establish a cultural internal service level for yourself. How quickly will you get back to someone? Give yourself deadlines to improve the quality and speed of your responsiveness.
  4. Realize that in order to get something done it is easier to know the players. Invest time in key relationships with customers and associates at work. Do it proactively, with a plan, and in advance. Why? Proactivity always pays off. By the time you get to this investment you will need it.
  5. Read the book Business Relationships That Last. Ed Wallace is someone I consider a good friend. He wrote a terrific book on how every relationship can be viewed by a relational ladder—the process to relationship building.
  6. Know how much relational equity your organization has in the moment. How long has your company worked with this supplier? How long has your associate worked on this project? Your boss knows the team. What was the last meaningful attempt reset and invest in the people? Did your team deliver last time around? Score the situation and know your relational scorecard.
  7. Build your reputation and be the giver. Be the one that does the extras for the team.  Volunteer to assist team members and spend that spare time helping. Grab the extra project or workload. Invest in others.
  8. Don’t be the taker. I met some very successful soccer players when I coached. I have had sales people that sold more than their quota. And we all know those really smart, intelligent, and talented associates that never give and only take. They are always late, always delegating, and often behind. They are a hot mess and can’t seem to do a damn thing on their own and it shows. Do not be this person.

If you can’t get things done it is your fault. If you don’t hear back from others in a reasonable time, that is on you. You might need training. Perhaps you’re low on the relational ladder and you need to figure out how to climb a rung or two. My point is simple really: To get what you want you need to walk, talk, and chew gum like the other person. Lastly, you need to give and create value in an authentic way.

Image courtesy of ratch0013 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Does it Mean to “Earn the Right?”

February 4th, 2015

How many of us know what earning the right actually means? Today, my son asked me if he could go to a friend’s house, and I shared a story with him instead of saying yes or no. I told him that when I want to hike all day on a Saturday with friends, I am certain to find out what I can do around the house on Friday night prior to my fun. His response was a perplexing one; he did not think that he needed to prove himself to anyone to get what he wanted. He simply wanted what he wanted. This may work with a teenager on occasion (especially when his parents get worn down from the barrage of constant requests), but it rarely works in business. The challenge here is that successful staff members figure out how earning the right works, while unsuccessful ones run out of here while the rest of the staff might just help them leave! Earning the right is one of the values that we have at the Outside-In® Companies. To be successful no matter how you define success? This is a prerequisite.

I was recently in a discussion with a colleague who had a meaningful, strategic dialogue with a long time customer of the Outside-In Companies® about how we could help them solve their workforce challenges. This is our wheel house. This is what we live for. This is what we want to do as workforce consultants all day long, every day. Unfortunately, we don’t spend all day doing this. Not all of our relationships challenge us to be our best and I sense that earning the right has 100% to do with it!

EarntheRightEarning the right is when you do the right things in a relationship to earn the privilege to ask for or expect something from someone else. This is relevant on your team. This applies if you work with other teams in the company and it certainly applies if your role is customer facing. Customer facing roles are based on relationships with existing customers, suppliers, new inquiring ones, and anyone that your business comes in close contact with.

In the world of business development and sales, the notion of earning the right is often a source of conflict for sales and service associates. Salespeople have to sell things, they need to ask for next steps and commitments and they must show forward progress. If you’re serving a customer the same is true. You must ask for commitments, information, time and calendar space, and you must be taken seriously to do the job.

Maybe you’re in a company and you need the assistance of others that are not in your team or division to help you get a project done. Although you are passionate and the project is urgent, why should anyone else care or help you? You will have to do more then plead and beg for a lending hand, that is for sure. The work starts well before your need arrives.

To earn the right, you must first understand that earning the right is on you, your cubicle mate, your leader, the founder, and even the janitor. It is critical to understand that we are always in the process of earning the right. Our actions and decisions can knock us down a few rungs on The Relational Ladder. This is a fluid and ongoing process. One that everyone uses (formal or informal) on whether we are going to say yes to anything.

This is why it can take months, years, even decades, to establish what is right with each other, prospects, and customers. Next week, we’ll be talking about the Top Eight Ways to Earn the Right!

3 Thoughts for RPO in 2015

January 28th, 2015

Guest Blog Spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

ID-100263020After a very encouraging year of employment data in 2014, there’s excitement for this year’s labor market, and in turn, hiring. With just under 3 million jobs added last year, we can expect to see the surge continue in 2015. With that said, how can RPO providers be prepared for increased hiring going forward? And who needs help? Let’s take a look at a few trends to help prepare and embrace the changing landscape of employment.

Technology: Supporting an RPO engagement with the right technology is becoming increasingly important with the rise of predictive analytics and capturing big data. It might be cleaning up and getting the most out of your ATS, or identifying inefficiencies in your direct sourcing tools. Keeping on top of new technology can go a long way to keeping your customer engaged, involved, and committed to the partnership.

Information Security: Sometimes it’s just about what’s going on in the world that identifies a growing market. With the recent security breaches throughout the retail and financial industries, IT security has become an ever expanding role, and is furthering its reach to greater markets, including healthcare, and protecting private patient information.

Healthcare: As an RPO provider, developing expertise within a specific industry can be a great way to attract new clients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for healthcare practitioners is expected to grow 31% by 2022. Attributed to new healthcare legislation and the 10,000 Baby Boomers who are turning 65 every day, the BLS also indicates home health care employment will surge just under 60% to almost 2 million jobs in that same time frame.

It’s easy to see that the 2014 employment situation has created momentum for 2015. There’s new strategies, more jobs, and growing industries contributing to an improving job market. As we see these changes, talent acquisition strategies must adapt. In the next CBI Way blog, we’ll look at the effect 2015 will have on sourcing top talent, and where sourcing is headed.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Company Culture: Superheroes on a Mission to Mars

January 21st, 2015

ca1227df115dbb88This is the Outside-In® companies’ theme for 2015. I am Green Arrow, billionaire crime fighter extraordinaire. (We all like to play make believe, right?) I admire how he fights for good and backs the underdog—all things I aspire to do on a daily basis. Being Tony Stark or Isis at work has its perks, too. Our theme is fun and unique. However, our message is important and we want all to remember our theme and relate it to our plans and priorities. On our mission, we are very focused on being sustainable and relevant both as individuals and as a company. We really have three parts to this mission.

The first part is sustainability for our business. We want our profit to grow, we want to invest, and we want to remain resilient to economic ups and downs. We are striving to do all of these things while continuing to run our business in an Outside-In®, customer centric way. This takes success and bottom line results to execute. And we know this creates great opportunities for our people, our partners, our customers, and our stakeholders.

Part two of this mission is about our role in the community and planet around us. We care about people and our causes and we long to make a difference. What Superhero doesn’t look to our web page to see our focus supporting a different charity each month. This month, our focus is with SPARC Delaware. Helping today’s youth in the marketplace we serve with workforce skills and coaching is a direct way to lend some knowledge to our future workforce!

Our final part to the mission is about each of us as employees and our growth plans at work and at home. I know life and work can be both challenging and exciting. We want to energize and focus on our well being in many ways. We know part of this is about being Superheroes in all of our many roles as Mom or Dad, Recruiter or Leader, Board Member, Soccer Coach, or Civic Member. All of this takes energy and a plan and we are excited to help all figure out the best plan for them! This will take focus on health, exercise/nutrition, development and training at work, and a supportive culture that embraces modern workforce ideas that give staff flexibility while ensuring that the company also remains sustainable!

Your company doesn’t have a theme? Then how do you create alignment across the company and keep everyone informed on where the business is going and how you’re going to get there? Themes are not for every business, however, knowing that having fun is a big part of our culture we make it a part of our everyday lives. Traditionally, goals and plans are presented with PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets. Don’t get me wrong, these things work. However, all of us remember and retain important company information in different ways. Some like to listen, others absorb handouts and presentations, while others remember it through experience. This is where the annual theme appeals to all different types of learners!

1 Out of Every 10 New Jobs is Temporary

January 14th, 2015

ID-100256543The number of US temporary help services jobs rose by 14,700, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The temp penetration reached another new high of 2.13%. In the Fourth Quarter of 2014, 57,400 new temporary jobs were created. This number represents over 17% of the jobs that were created in December and pushes the current numbers of temporary workers to just ten thousand shy of three million workers!

Seventeen percent is actually very high. Although some months as much as 24% of new jobs created were temporary in nature. However, it is hard to ignore the trends. There is a much higher percentage of creation of temporary jobs than most others. In fact, over the three years, one in ten jobs is considered temporary!

Every single month of 2014 saw an increase in the number of temporary workers. If it keeps up at this pace, could 2.5, 3 or 3.5 % of all employees be temp workers? If the last few years are a predictor of the next few, the answer is most certainly yes.

The business reasons are many. Work is becoming temporary in nature. Scaling up typically follows a ramp down. Work is more about projects than ever before. We ramp up to get big shipments out the door or to implement big projects. Then we scale back.

A business that uses temps has a great advantage to work with talent before committing. In a tightening job market (Yes, we are almost at a natural employment state of 5.5%), this is an effective and productive means of viewing and observing talent while working. This is a great way to select the best performers over time for core roles and functions.

The numbers of roles that are temporary are increasing because every job and pay grade in the company is now a possibility. With specialization in staffing firms and shifting workforce views, being a temporary President, CFO, or scientist is more and more accepted—even coveted!

What if There Was a “Back to Business” Holiday?

January 7th, 2015

ID-100263930Now that the holidays are behind us, I find myself waking up with the Holiday Blues. The holidays are a constant buzz of exciting activity and stimulation. All of us get so busy preparing, traveling, eating, and then recovering, that the world slowly limps into that first week or two of January. Even if you’re a Scrooge and intend to plow right through the holidays, the world around you is going to slow down so much that there will be less you can do to feel active!

Although the holidays are much needed (and well deserved) for employees, they are not very beneficial for the shareholders and customers of the business. The holiday season causes delays in production and hinders decision making due to limited staff in the office for meetings. Getting back into work and beyond the blues is easier said than done. It will take a few days to dig out from all of those emails, for schedules to free up, and for important meetings to take place. Then maybe decisions will be made and maybe next week business will be normal again.

The frantic pace that built up to the holidays when everything was either done by December 19th or left to January 2nd to deal with has officially dwindled. My point is that it has been a while since we have had a normal business week. I’m not sure we can all survive a five day work week after the frenzied rush before holidays and the post-season blues!

All joking aside, I think we are longing for some normalcy. Forget all of the January stereotypes regarding goal setting, New Year’s resolutions, and new annual business budgets that go live this month. There is so much pressure on performance both personally and professionally; yet there’s only so much we can do about it. I would like to see a business holiday formed inspired by the idea of going back to work now that the holidays are over. Everyone go to work that day and know that the playing field is equal and all businesses will be getting back to the grindstone at the same time—Imagine that!

Now that we’re back in action, we want the phones to ring, the emails to start flying, and for business to get back to normal. We all need this fast because before you know it snow and MLK day will cause the next business delay!

Everyone is a Leader—How Do You Lead?

December 31st, 2014

Everyone is a Leader is the hardest Outside-In® value to live and the most important value for us to get right! Culture is our secret sauce and our choke point. Our culture is “free.” Anyone can see it, read about it, experience it, and copy it. Then why is it so hard to mimic? Ego, success, habits, what exists, to name just a few. Giving everyone a chance to be a leader when there are so few good ones? Well, that just might be the point after all. Would you rather have one, or two, or many? I think getting all to embrace and understand the essence of leadership gives us a real marketplace advantage.

ID-100260051Imagine an organization and the advantage it could possess if its workforce dedicated itself to learning about leadership? Would growth be more manageable as key openings were easier to fill? Especially if you can fill these roles from within?

Living a value and being a great leader are obviously different. For our companies we want and expect:

  • All to have a say, especially in customer matters
  • All to learn how to make effective decisions
  • All to learn how to develop leadership capabilities
  • All to practice leadership skills

Leadership Mastery is a 10,000 hour pursuit. Thats 3 hours a day for a really long time—over ten years! Living the value of Everyone is a Leader frankly takes just as much organizational energy. But like I said if we do it well it is a free advantage that is extremely difficult to copy!

CBI Way: Job Market Snapshot – Encouraging Employment in 2014

December 23rd, 2014

Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

With only December’s employment summary yet to be released, it’s been quite a year for the employment situation in 2014. The highest establishment data in years, and unemployment rate lows, these recent employment statistics have been encouraging, and point to a promising year in 2015 for the labor market.  Let’s take a look at this year’s numbers, and where they stand historically.

ID-100256104New jobs added is always a scrutinized figure released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and in 2014, we hit some huge numbers. Through November, 2.65 Million jobs were added this year. In November, there were 321,000 nonfarm jobs added, again contributing to the longest streak of job growth on record, 57 consecutive months. The average jobs added per month this year has been 241,000, the highest average since the 1990’s, and by far the highest average since coming out of the recession in 2010. Job growth grew in a number of industries, but Temporary Help Services is a particularly interesting and promising set of data.

Temporary jobs have been steadily on the rise recently, and especially this year. This sector has grown 8.5% since last November, and currently stands at a total of 2.975 Million employees. That total number is a 2.12% penetration rate, or 2.12% of all jobs. Both of those temporary numbers are an all-time high, and can be expected to continually rise with the lowest unemployment rate (5.8%) since July 2008, and healthy, consistent job gains.

The December employment summary will be released January 9th  and it would seem safe to assume that momentum continues. A substantial number of jobs being, the unemployment rate staying consistent, and the possibility of the temporary workforce reaching 3 million cannot be overlooked. Stay tuned for more updates on the employment situation and which industries are hiring most in early 2015!

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.

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