Category: News


Outside-In® Companies Adopt a Family This Holiday Season

December 5th, 2014

As an Outside-In® Company, we strive to make a difference in the lives of those around us in our community and provide them with peace of mind. One way that we extend our Service to the Nth Degree value is by adopting a family every holiday season.

Twitter-Adopt-a-FamilyEach year, CBI Group partners with Delaware Social Service’s Adopt-a-Family Holiday Gift Assistance program. The program provides the sponsor with a brief description of the circumstances that led each family to the need for assistance. We survey through the available families with the goal of keeping the holiday magic alive.

This year, our hearts went out to a single mother and her two children. The mother is a domestic violence survivor who works part-time while caring for her 8-year old and 17-year old daughters. After being displaced from their residence, they now live with extended family to help make ends meet. She asked for basic necessities like scarves, hats, and gloves, as well as gift cards to Walmart and Kmart, so that she can provide her daughters with gifts from Santa.

Please join us and view our online fundraising page to help us spread a little holiday cheer and provide our family with the joy of Christmas.

Upcoming 12/11 Talent Seminar: Engaging a Multicultural Displaced Workforce

November 12th, 2014

Please join us on Thursday December 11th (7:30-9AM) for our Outside-In® Talent Seminar featuring guest speaker, John Tooher. John is currently a Managing Partner at HeadRoom LLC, and will share his experiences as President and General Manager at YellAdworks, a 3,000 person global advertising agency. Companies today have many factors to think about to engage a workforce in which people are spread out globally or where teams are dispersed in multiple locations. John will focus on the best people, talent and policy practices that led the organization to top performance at this global multi-media company.

ID-10077821Eventbrite - Outside-In® Seminar: The Happy Harry's Story

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

You should join us if you are:

  • An HR Leader
  • In Talent Management or Recruiting
  • A business leader planning for growth
  • Looking to expand your knowledge on best business practices
  • Seeking HRCI recertification credits*

*This seminar is pre-approved for HRCI credits.

ABOUT OUR GUEST SPEAKER

tooherJohn is currently a Managing Partner at HeadRoom LLC based in Media PA.

HeadRoom provides an enabling environment through the provision of shared office space and associated services and creates a transformative mindset by helping businesses and start-ups develop strategic roadmaps to their future vision.

John joined HeadRoom after 10 years as President and General Manager of YellAdworks Inc. based in KOP, PA, where he lead a 3,000-person global operation engaged in the production of print and online advertising solutions. With multiple sites in the US, UK, India and the Philippines, John gained considerable experience in the challenges of nurturing a workforce participating in a 24/7 global production workflow. The eight operations centers across four countries created over 2.6 million new media and print advertisements annually.

He began his career in 1986 as a process engineer with General Electric. From 1988 to 1997, John worked for 3M where he held various senior technical and manufacturing management roles. From 1997 to 2002, John worked for a 3M spin-off, Imation Corp., and was responsible for European technical, manufacturing and service operations for a number of divisions.

John holds a B.Sc. in Science from the National University of Ireland and a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Trinity College in Dublin. Mr. Tooher and his wife Kirsten have two children and enjoy living in the beautiful Chester County, Pennsylvania countryside.

Outside-In® Talent Seminar: The Happy Harry’s Story

November 10th, 2014

Last Thursday, we partnered with Alan Levin, the former CEO of Happy Harry’s (and the son of Harry himself), to present The Happy Harry’s Story at our Outside-In® Talent Seminar. Business professionals and knowledge-seeking individuals joined us at University of Delaware’s Goodstay for some networking, a hot breakfast, and to learn valuable business lessons from a successful and distinguished Delaware leader. Alan led the talk on the beginnings of Happy Harry’s and credited several variables to the success of the business.

Alan stated the importance of having customers and frontline employees at the top of the organization. “People in Delaware are extremely loyal,” said Levin. “Our fortune is credited to being located in Delaware. It’s important to give back to people. If you have the right people and the right customers, you will do well.

0240_001The discussion then turned to Levin’s 11 Rules for Business Success, a comprehensive list that includes empowering your employees to make decisions, giving back to the community you serve, and having fun. He reinforced, “Life is a people business and how you treat people makes all the difference in the world.”

Overall, our guests enjoyed Levin’s heartfelt talk, and appreciated his humor throughout the presentation. “There were several take-aways, with probably the biggest being the emphasis on people,” said guest Frank DeSantis, “The common themes were respect, empowerment, setting examples all resulting in the development of a relationship with both customers and your employees.”

Alan concluded the talk with the sentiment, “Do what you enjoy and you’ll have a much better life and not have to get out of bed every morning to do something you don’t enjoy. I never had a bad night of sleep because I had people that I trusted and people who trusted me.”

Interested in attending our Outside-In® Talent Seminars? We have several guest speakers lined up, continuing Thursday, December 11th with Talent Strategy: Engaging a Multicultural Dispersed Workforce. Our feature presenter John Tooher, currently Managing Director at HeadRoom LLC, will share his experiences as President and General Manager at YellAdworks. Join us for a breakfast, networking, and a valuable discussion! Get your tickets here.

Knocking Out Breast Cancer

October 30th, 2014

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, The Outside-In® Companies have been spreading awareness and raising funds for The Breast Cancer Charities of America as part of our Charity of The Month Program.

Breast_Cancer_Ribbon_Pink_MIThe Breast Cancer Charities of America exists to eliminate breast cancer as a life-threatening illness. They bring together organizations representing all health and social service disciplines in the commitment to establish new and unprecedented levels of effectiveness in research, education, advocacy and support. BCCA is the only non-profit bringing the ‘integrated cancer care’ message to women of America. Their focus on Prevention, Research, Education, Survival, and Support works to empower and educate woman across the country.

The Outside-In® Team banded together to engage in some friendly competition in a knockout pool for the football season. So far we have had 21 participants enter the pool with the goal of fundraising and donating half of the monies raised to the charity. One of our Staffing Support Specialists, William Poore, just won the “second-chance” pool, and we have two employees left in the main round. “The football pool has been a fun way to interact with coworkers and build relationships all while supporting a good cause and spreading breast cancer awareness,” said William. “I’m looking forward to being a part of new fun and innovative way to contribute to charity in the future.”

If you’d like to join us in the fight against breast cancer, please donate via our YouCaring page here.

Upcoming 10/30 Talent Seminar: The Happy Harry’s Story

October 7th, 2014

Remember Happy Harry’s?

Whether or not you remember this family-owned drugstore chain whose humble roots stem from Delaware — the story is one you will not want to miss. The Outside-In® Companies host a monthly series of seminars, which feature stories about people, talent best practices, company culture, and local business successes. For our next Talent Strategy Seminar on Thursday October 30th, Alan Levin, the former CEO of Happy Harry’s (and the son of Harry himself) will present The Happy Harry’s Story.

Alan will share a number of stories about the founding of Happy Harry’s and growing up in the family business, his management style and approach to hiring team members, and his commitment to customer service and the community. The first store on Marsh Road eventually grew into a drugstore chain that was acquired by Walgreens in 2006 when sales had reached nearly a half a billion dollars.

Reminisce with us and learn valuable business lessons from a successful and distinguished Delaware leader!

Eventbrite - Outside-In® Seminar: The Happy Harry's Story

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

You should join us if you:

  • Are a small business or startup leader
  • Manage people
  • Are from Delaware and committed to our community
  • If customer service important to you
  • Are in talent management or recruiting
  • Need HRCI recertification credits?

PRE-APPROVED FOR HRCI CREDIT

This seminar is Pre-Approved for 1.25 HRCI credits! In this workshop the participants will learn of the programs, initiatives and strategy that drove human capital contributions at Happy Harry’s. This program directly relates to the body of knowledge including Functional Area 01 and 02: Business Management & Strategy and Workforce Planning & Employment.

The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.

ABOUT OUR GUEST SPEAKER

Hon. Alan B. Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, serves as a Secretary in Governor Markell’s cabinet. In this role, Mr. Levin is responsible for the business and economic strategies for the State of Delaware, focusing, among other areas, in the technology, life science, and venture capital business sectors.

Previously, Mr. Levin served as President and CEO of Happy Harry’s, the tenth largest drugstore chain in the United States, until it was acquired by the Walgreen Company in July 2006. During his tenure, he grew revenues tenfold to nearly half a billion dollars, 76 locations and 2,700 employees, making Happy Harry’s one of the area’s largest employers. After the sale to Walgreen’s, Mr. Levin became the Founding Partner of Innovation Capital Partners, a later-stage growth equity venture capital firm. To read more about Mr. Levin’s distinguished career, please click here.

ABOUT HAPPY HARRY’S

The Happy Harry’s story began with a small store on Marsh Road owned and operated by Harry Levin. Through hard work, a devotion to quality and the development of a dedicated workforce and a loyal customer base, the store grew into a company that became the tenth largest drugstore chain in the United States. At the time Happy Harry’s was acquired by the Walgreen Company in 2006, the company had revenues of nearly half a billion dollars. Alan Levin played a key role in the development of his father’s company, inheriting the core values that made Happy Harry’s successful and implementing them in his role as Secretary in Gov. Jack Markell’s cabinet and as Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office.

Chris Burkhard to Present at Small Business Owner’s Boot Camp

September 26th, 2014

workforceChris Burkhard will be participating in a panel discussion while presenting his well-receieved talk, Trends of the Contingent Workforceat The Small Business Owner’s Boot Camp on Sunday, October 12th at The New Castle County Chamber of Commerce. The event is a FREE, comprehensive two-day education program for small business owners. Join Chris as he takes a look at realities of today’s workforce and the exciting evolution happening in the working world today!

The program will feature a series of panel discussions led by experienced business experts who will provide a broad overview of the challenges facing small business owners today. Audience members will have several opportunities to interact with the expert panelists throughout the day. Complimentary lunch will be served on both days.

The Boot Camp will be held Saturday, October 11, 2014 and Sunday, October 12, 2014 from 9 AM to 4 PM both days at the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce at 12 Penns Way, New Castle, DE 19720. Space is limited. For more information and to reserve your spot, click on this link to RSVP.

Not a small-business owner but would like to gain more industry knowledge and are interested in some networking? We have 5 guest speakers booked for our upcoming Outside-In® Talent Seminars, starting with Alan Levin, the former President and CEO of Happy Harry’s, to share a Delaware business success story. View the lineup and reserve your spot here!

The Small Business Owner’s Boot Camp is sponsored by Xan Hong’s State Farm Office and PNC Bank in Partnership with the Delaware Office of Supplier Diversity. Hosted by the Emerging Enterprise Center, A New Castle County Chamber of Commerce Initiative.

5 Guest Speakers Booked for Upcoming Outside-In® Talent Seminars!

September 22nd, 2014

2014-11-Talent-Seminar-AnnouncementAt the Outside-In® Companies, we host a monthly series of seminars, which feature stories about people, talent best practices, company culture, and local business successes. Our goal is to facilitate the mutual learning and sharing of best practices in Talent Leadership.

After hosting a successful talent seminar with a local guest speaker in July, we sought out to connect with local business and HR leaders to see if they wanted to share their story in an Outside-In® forum. We are excited to announce that we have booked 5 guest speakers (one being a duo!) for our upcoming talent seminars.

Mark your calendars for the following dates:

We launched the Outside-In Talent Seminar Series in January of this year and plan to continue growing the program throughout 2015. Next year we will host up to 10 talent seminars in locations from Wilmington to Philly. They will be held either in the morning before your work day starts or in the early evening. We’ll add to the schedule, which can be found at www.OutsideinCompanies.com/events, as the dates and speakers are confirmed. All seminars will be submitted for potential HRCI credit. We would be delighted to have you participate in our future seminars.

Keep Your Couch Full: Interview All the Time

August 20th, 2014

My friend and colleague Eric Herrenkohl interviewed me for the following article on the importance of interviewing all the time and keeping your couch full to attract A-players. It was then published in the Philadelphia Business Journal and featured it in his company’s monthly newsletter, Hiring A-Players. 

Chris Burkhard is a friend and colleague of mine and is president of CBI Group in Delaware, a full-service recruiting firm. Chris tells a great story about the importance of interviewing all the time if you are serious about consistently hiring A-players. Chris started his company about the same time that I started mine, about 14 years ago. CBI has grown tremendously over that time, but recruiting was a tough business back in 2008, when the financial collapse caused almost all hiring to come to a grinding halt. It was the first time that CBI had to lay people off.

Right in the middle of one of these tough periods, one of Chris’ executives came to him and said, “A buddy of mine who is in our industry wants to interview with us — and he really is an A-player. Should we interview him?” Chris had constantly preached to his people that they needed to be looking for A-players to join their team — and this manager had chosen the middle of a recession to begin taking his advice!Chris Burkhard is a friend and colleague of mine and is president of CBI Group in Delaware, a full-service recruiting firm. Chris tells a great story about the importance of interviewing all the time if you are serious about consistently hiring A-players. Chris started his company about the same time that I started mine, about 14 years ago. CBI has grown tremendously over that time, but recruiting was a tough business back in 2008, when the financial collapse caused almost all hiring to come to a grinding halt. It was the first time that CBI had to lay people off.

So now it was Chris’ decision: Should he take the time to interview his manager’s friend amid such a bad business environment? He had just laid someone off that morning. The chances that he would hire this guy were almost nil. The last thing he wanted to do, or felt he had time to do, was conduct a job interview.

Yet Chris, to his credit went, ahead with the interview. Why?

ID-100147739He later told me that he learned this lesson early on from working in his father’s business. As his dad would say, “You always have to keep your couch full.” His father meant that you always have to know where your next hire is going to come from. If you can’t picture in your mind the faces of several A-players who are qualified potential new hires, you have no one “on your couch.” This means that when an employee leaves your business (and sooner or later someone always leaves) you have no one to take his or her place. You have to start from scratch to find a new person. And often, when companies have failed to recruit before they need someone, they hire a warm body rather than an A-player just to get the position filled.

Did he hire this particular guy? I don’t think so. But Chris demonstrated a commitment to hiring A-players as well as modeled great behavior to his management team. Even in the midst of the toughest economy in decades, he was committed to keeping his couch full. He made sure that he and his management team interviewed job candidates all the time, whenever they could, rather than waiting until they had an open job to fill to get into hiring mode. Now that the economy has turned back around, and CBI’s business is back to its usual strong growth, those habits are helping the company to hire more A-players.

Picture that couch in the waiting room of your business. From a recruiting perspective, who is sitting on it today? Can you tell me by name the A-players who are sitting on it? These should be currently employed people with whom you have established some kind of relationship and at least broached the idea of working for you one day. These are people who work for someone else today but with whom you have discussed the idea of coming to work for you either formally or informally.

You don’t have to hold formal job interviews in order to keep your couch full. You can meet people at a bar, at a trade conference, at a continuing education event. Anywhere qualified people hang out is a potential recruiting ground for you. If you have established a relational connection, discussed someone’s past accomplishments and future goals, and discussed what would entice them to make a career move, that qualifies in my book as someone who is on your couch. It’s a lot more fun to have that conversation on the golf course than in your office anyway.

With that, what does it look like to interview all the time? Here are some ideas.

Personally commit to interviewing (formally or informally) at least two people per month.

Have your management team make the same two interviews per month commitment.

Hold your managers accountable for this two-interview/month goal. At your regular managers meeting, have each person discuss the new people they interviewed as well as where and how they could fit into your business.

Keep your couch full by networking and referrals. Let your referral sources know that you are always interested in meeting A-players.

If you are impressed with someone but don’t think they are a fit for your business, make sure to refer them to other executives for whom they might be a good hire. This obviously sets the stage for you to ask for their help in recruiting people who are a good fit for you.

Take notes on people’s goals and experiences during or after every interview and record them in your database. Then you can go back and refresh your mind on what it will take to recruit them to your business.

Use your company’s electronic newsletter or other existing communication tools to stay in touch with people after you interview them. Just as in marketing and sales, regular reminders that you are around will prompt A-players to contact you when they are interested in making a career move.

Most business people view recruiting as an interruption to their job. The ones that always seem to be surrounded by A-players believe that recruiting is their job. If you’re part of the latter group, your competitive edge comes in part from the habit of keeping your couch full.

To read the full article or to subscribe to Herrenkohl Consulting’s monthly newsletter click here.

Outside-In® Turns 13!

August 6th, 2014

Thirteen years ago today I started the Outside-In® story in my friend Jim Paoli’s coat closet. I had a laptop, a cell phone (not a smart one), and a folding desk and chair for ambience.  I had my business plan done, my labor of love of 80+ pages. I was so proud—we were going to change the world. This document represented all that was wrong with the HR services world and illustrated how I was going to do it differently. Call it my Jerry Maquire moment. Who’s with me? Well, there were just a few who believed in me and today I would like to thank them all.

Getting a business started is a fascinating experience. I have been fond of saying that it feels generally like full-blown asthma. You simply can’t breathe for months because of the crush of to do’s and the weight of needing to pay the bills and find those all important first customers. Eventually you find a way to get through it.

20140806_115354_resizedWe survived even through the adversity—and we have had plenty. It is going to sound like a joke of some sort with no punch line. Did you hear the one about the small business that survived a fire, a roof collapse, IT theft, and 9/11? Oh yeah that one. This was the day I opened to the world and my first full-time employee, Judi Dorazio joined the fold. We sat and worked as the world changed around us. I simply did not know what else to do. So we sat around for months waiting for the world to heal and for us to be able to start all of those delayed projects.

It was not easy. I am a smooth talking persuader according to Myers-Briggs profile anyway. So getting out and talking to the marketplace was easy for me. Hard work, mind you. But I could do it—and I did. Imagine working every single day for a year including Christmas. OK, I did not work all day, but I worked every day that first year. Think about the book Never Eat Alone- I took that to heart and had a lunch date every single day for almost two years. As you can imagine, this is got expensive. People want to feel your energy, get caught up in your dream, and see how big you’re thinking. Then they pat you on the head and wait to see if you make it before they work with you. Who can blame them?  When your nephew comes to you to sell you insurance when it’s his first week on the job you don’t buy. NO ones does. We all must pay our dues, gain experiences, and become good at what we do.

So here are the thank you’s to the class of 2001!

First and foremost my wife, Kim. If you looked at her Myers-Briggs profile, you would see that generally speaking she is conservative and avoids risks. Yet, she willingly and knowingly has supported my dream, our dream, for the past thirteen years—the good, the bad, and all of the ugly! Kim has been a Bookkeeper, Office Manager, Interior Designer, Foreman, and the one that vacuums and empties trash cans! Kim thank you for your sacrifices and vested interest in what we are building.

Laura Kasper. She worked for me once before the Outside-In® Companies. She worked for Placers 1.0 with my Dad and she worked for free until my business got going. Laura did everything that was not customer facing in the early days of the business. Laura did the business plan, wrote the proposals, bought office supplies, and she even designed most of the early processes & systems for every part of the business. I am proud to say that today she is a friend, a customer, a very successful HR leader, and mom extraordinaire!

Judi Dorazio. Judi and I also worked together at Placers 1.0. She did all of the recruiting and delivery. And customer and account management. And sales. You name it, she did it on the staffing side of the business for many, many years. Without that foundation we would not be where we all today!

Colleen Stratton. The first outsider. No Placers 1.0 here! Smart—whip smart. Colleen anchored our consulting practice. However, she really brought us forward with ideas and relationships.  Colleen is always at her best with complex people problems. Colleen is a friend, a customer, an advisor, and of course, an alumnus!

In all fairness, there are many others Jamie, Linda, Dave, Lisa, Joe, John, Garrick, Kelly, Glenn, Kathy. I feel like Frank Sinatra attempting to accept the award on stage but the ending music starts playing. My time for thank you’s is up!

Most companies don’t make it through year one. Then it is the five year hurdle. We had a cake and ice cream. For year 10, we threw a 25% party because only 1 in 4 makes it ten years. How will be celebrate being 13? With hard work, a simple birthday song, and a whole lot of sincere thank you’s!

Field of Dreams Reunion

June 19th, 2014

Each year, the Outside-In® Companies have an annual theme to help communicate openly about the priorities of the business with everyone on the team. Coming off of a very ‘heady’ theme last year with the Outside-In® Happiness Project, this year we decided to reel it back in. For us, 2014 is the year of Field of Dreams, inspired by the 1989 movie starring Kevin Costner.

“This year’s theme is about playing the game, building something great, and having something that all “3 Customers” can easily identify with,” said our President Chris Burkhard when asked about the annual theme. “Not everyone is a sports person but baseball is America’s game and people get it. Whether you watch the Major Leagues, played the game yourself, use the “3 strikes” mentality, eat peanuts & cracker jacks or have kids in a t-ball league, everyone relates to baseball.”

This year is also a special one for the movie itself, as it marks the 25th anniversary of Field of Dreams’ release. Kevin Costner joined other cast members and fans at the site of filming in Dyersville, Iowa for a 3-day 25th anniversary celebration festival this past Father’s Day weekend. This iconic film is held in the hearts of many, especially those that related to the father-son themes prominent in the movie. Costner, who attended the celebration with his family, told Bob Costas of the Today Show, “Field of Dreams” remains deeply meaningful to him. “I get a chance to bring my three little kids here. It’s really good full circle for me that this movie lives so long.”

We’ve brought new life to the movie by using the story, its themes, and baseball to support our company’s communication in the first half of this year. So cheers to you Field of Dreams – for inspiring so many, including us over the last 25 years!

“If you build it, he will come…” Right?

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