Posts Tagged: Delaware

How to Make Your Business a Talent Magnet

September 21st, 2016

Every company, large and small is challenged when it comeVector business conceptual background in flat style. The hand of businessman holding magnet and attracts happy customers or clients of different age and race to the business.s to attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent. For decades now, “lean” has been the buzz word in manufacturing. The lean business model has spread across industries, including the recruitment of quality talent. Here are a few tips to help you attract and keep the best and brightest, while remaining efficient:


What if, instead of bearing the cost of recruitment, (fees, travel expenses, etc.) you could have all the top candidates be drawn to you like a magnet? Corporations such as Apple and Google have perfected the art of employer magnetism. But you don’t have to be a tech giant to create a similar attraction.

Businesses need to focus on creating a workplace environment in which people enjoy working, according to Roberta Matusun, author of Talent Magnetism: How to Build a Workplace That Attracts and Keeps the Best. She also points out that, apart from the product or service they offer to consumers, businesses should also brand themselves as an employer.

Create Purpose

A mid-sized California BioPharm company has been able to capture the element of purpose. They boast a job satisfaction rate of 77% of their 18,000 employees. Almost all of them (90%) stated that they feel as though they have a “high job meaning.” Purpose is especially important when you are targeting a younger workforce as Millennial generation; it is said, work for the purpose, not the pay.

How to Create Purpose

Graham Kenny, writing for the Harvard Business Review says purpose, is not a company’s values, mission or vision. Your purpose statement needs to say; “this is what we are doing for our customers.”  To craft an effective purpose statement, it is important to convey the impact your organization has on the lives of the people it serves. Success in this area will inspire your employees to become invested.

Engage, Motivate, Retain

Face it, at times it is simply hard to get out of bed in the morning. Imagine working in an environment where you wouldn’t be missed if you didn’t show up at all. It is imperative that the modern workplace is structured to make employees feel integral to the day-to-day operations. Doing so creates a culture of engagement and a feeling that the success of their organization is dependent on the full participation of each individual, no matter their position. When employees feel motivated, they become more engaged, and that translates directly into improved retention.

By creating a corporate culture in which employees enjoy working, feel they have a purpose, and understand how they connect to the overall “big picture,” you will not only attract the most desirable talent but most importantly, inspire them to stay.

Outside-In Company, Barton Career Advisors Featured in Delaware Business Times

January 28th, 2016

Put plan into action now, DuPont refugees urged

A plan. That’s what financial and recruiting advisors recommend as DuPont employees begin the hard process of processing both the paperwork and career ramifications of a layoff.

DuPont’s December announcement that it would merge with Dow Chemical set in motion a chain of speculation, then announcements — first that the company intends to cut 1,700 Delaware-based positions, and then just last week, confirmation that 200 Experimental Station employees were given notice.

“If you position your experience as being able to be used right out of the box, it can be a very compelling argument for the prospective employer,” said Barton.

The layoffs are part of a $700 million cost reduction and restructuring, according to DuPont Chair and CEO Ed Breen.

Chris Barton of Barton Career Advisors said he’s already talked to a number of DuPont employees who received termination notices.  His firm is a national outplacement career coaching and training firm that works with companies and individual clients. The firm has also offered workshops on job transitioning to former Chemours employees.

“Many of the folks that will be exited are those that have a long tenure,” said Barton, who worked at the MBNA Corp. for 16 years before leaving with a package that included outplacement services. It was a negative experience that he credits with leading him to start his own career services agency.

DuPont will provide separation packages that include career placement services and training allowances based on years of service, according to spokesman Dan Turner, who did not offer details.

Barton said many outplacement services at mid- to large companies offer personalized coaching to senior leaders and group-based programs for mid-level managers and others, a “one size fits all approach” that doesn’t always meet the needs of the individual.

Barton said applicants fresh to the job pool should spend time defining their unique value proposition for prospective employers.

Barton recommends:

  • Career and personality assessments to better define the skill sets, personality attributes and values that will better define direction.
  • Crafting materials, including an updated resume and refined social media profile, particularly LinkedIn.
  • Work the network.

“You need to take your market research and create compelling materials and game plan that can give you a leg up in the situation,” said Barton.

A solid game plan that includes materials that stress the uniqueness of their candidacy is crucial here.  Barton recommends detailing accomplishments in quantitative and compelling way.

What about the exited employee who’s too young to retire but has the bulk of his work years behind them? Barton says to highlight it as an asset.

“If you position your experience as being able to be used right out of the box, it can be a very compelling argument for the prospective employer,” said Barton. “But you also have to position yourself in a way that you share not only your willingness to perform a new role but demonstrate that you have energy, excitement and motivation to do it.” 

Thomas Talley worked for DuPont for 29 years.  He took a buyout in the early 1990s and traded his communications background for a career in finance. Now he’s offering advice to DuPont employees caught by the layoffs.

“Losing a job is a very emotional experience,” said Talley, who works as a financial advisor with Raymond James and Associates Inc. He recommends staying away from any decisions steeped in emotion.

Talley, who specializes in financial and estate planning, warns against dipping into a 401K, and said budgeting after a layoff is a key before making any financial decisions.

For the older worker who’s accumulated funding in their DuPont Savings Investment Plan, the budgeting process is key to making decisions as social security decisions come into play, said Talley.

“It’s a critical decision,” said Talley. “But every year you defer to taking it you’re increasing your benefit by 8 percent.”

Younger employees may elect to roll over their 401K to their next company.

“Don’t get caught taking money out of places you shouldn’t,” warned Talley.

DuPont’s merger with Dow is expected to reduce DuPont’s worldwide workforce by 10 percent.

New Partnership with Medical Society of Delaware

August 4th, 2015

medical_societyThis summer, Outside-In® Companies became a new Affinity Partner to the Medical Society of Delaware. The Medical Society’s Physician Relations team assists practices with all aspects of practice management support. With physicians’ offices and hospital organizations growing at such a rapid pace and rising competition for the best people, MSD saw a partnership with Outside-In® as a great opportunity to serve their members’ medical staffing needs. Outside-In® Companies will assist MSD members with recruitment, staffing and outplacement services.

“The Medical Society of Delaware is thrilled to partner with an organization of Outside-In® Companies’ reputation and stature. The Outside-In® team has a strong record in health care staffing in the area and are known for providing their clients – and our members – top-notch service. This is yet another example of the quality programs, products and services available to the Delaware physicians through their state medical association,” said Mark Meister, MSD’s Executive Director.

Outside-In® Companies Founder and President, Chris Burkhard comments, “We have been helping Delaware’s medical community for more than 40 years since the founding of The Placers. We are excited to bring all our expertise to bear formally as we provide cost effective talent solutions to the association.”

For a full listing of the Medical Society of Delaware’s Affinity partners, please click here.

What Do You Need for Christmas?

December 16th, 2013

Guest blog spot by Caitlin Olszewski, Communications & Design Coordinator

When you’re a kid, Christmas is about as magical as it gets. (I have yet to see a unicorn, okay?) The fact that you go to bed with a belly full of apple pie and ice cream to wake up to toys and treasure underneath your tree is the highlight of the year. And parents, those behavioral Jedi mind tricks you can use on your kids while “the elves are watching” are truly miracles in themselves.

“What do you want for Christmas?” The question all of us were asked year-after-year by the red-velvet-clad cookie connoisseur sparked elaborate answers of Transformers, high-tech gadgets, and cavity-inducing candy. However, the moment you opened a present to unveil a pair of socks or the dreaded pack of underwear you immediately came to the conclusion that you were on the naughty list. What if you actually wanted those things and worried more about your cold toes than the latest toys? What if all you wanted for Christmas were simply things that you absolutely needed?

Each year, we partner 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 looking to make their holiday season extra merry and bright. This year, when I was reading each informational bio, one family stuck out in particular.

adoptafamA recently-singled father and his 7-year-old daughter were simply asking for a $200 gift card for groceries along with hats and scarves to brave the cold weather. So what did we do? We used our Service to the Nth Degree value to provide roughly $600 in gift cards to make their Christmas extraordinary. However, we all know that there’s nothing like the suspense and sound of ripping open wrapping paper on Christmas morning, so we set off to provide presents and various necessities for our family to make their holiday a little more Outside-In®.

Through working as a team and providing peace of mind for our adopted family this season, we helped keep the spirit of Christmas alive for them, as well as ourselves. No matter what you celebrate, I hope you can discover your own holiday magic this season and share it with those around you who truly need it.

Want to be a part of the Adopt-a-Family program next year? Click here for more information.

Inc. 5000 list includes 16 Delaware firms

September 17th, 2013

Written by: Cori Anne Natoli, The News Journal

This article appeared in The News Journal, Business Section 9/17/2013

It’s one thing to call yourself an entrepreneur, a risk-taker with enough moxie to take a business plan from concept to creation.

It’s quite another to cultivate a workplace where revenue grows rapidly amid a sluggish economy. Yet that’s exactly what the leadership at CBI Group, a privately held, Newark-based human resources firm with an office in Wilmington, is accomplishing.

Under the direction of founder and president Chris Burkhard, the firm that provides recruitment, staffing and outplacement services to companies nationwide and in Delaware has earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies, for the third time in six years.

A total of 16 First State firms made it to this year’s list.

“Appearing on the Inc. 5000 list is not only an honor for CBI Group, but it reflects the current realities of an ever-changing workforce,” Burkhard said. “To see consistent growth within a recruiting and staffing company shows that organizations need to have recruitment and talent strategies that meet today’s fluctuating business climate.”

The firm has reported 128 percent growth from 2010 to 2012, according to Caitlin Olszewski, CBI officer manager, and has provided services for the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce.

The fairly young company has navigated an ever-evolving digital landscape and seen success using social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

CBI has implemented specialty software to enhance its recruitment process, communication and information gathering, Olszewski said.

For CBI, it comes down to how the team communicates and gathers information, spokeswoman Kelly Murray said Thursday.

“These two things have changed the most over the years, and we’ve been able to leverage the advances in digital technology to adapt and stay current for our customers,” Murray said. “In today’s market it is certainly a necessity. The best solutions and interaction with clients is a blend of face-to-face, phone, Internet, email and social media.”

CBI Group, Placers, and Barton Career Advisors Announce Partnership

August 5th, 2013

Talent leaders band together under shared, values-based culture

Delaware-based talent companies CBI Group, Placers and Barton Career Advisors announced today a new partnership under their shared values-based culture, Outside-In®. The companies will work together under the Outside-In® brand and continue to serve the national marketplace offering recruitment, staffing, and outplacement talent solutions.

This partnership unites three companies based on a shared culture called Outside-In®; a mindset that advocates putting the customer first in all scenarios, at all times. The companies’ consider their customers to include clients, internal employees, and even vendors.

“My personal goal is to have Outside-In® be as meaningful to a business and its customer base as the good housekeeping seal might be on a household product” says Outside-In® Companies President and Outside-In® founder Chris Burkhard. “We hope to have our family of companies stand for an incredible customer experience where innovation and employee satisfaction are evident to all.”

Headquartered in Newark and Wilmington, Delaware, the Outside-In® Companies intend to change the way the Human Resources industry provides talent solutions. Instead of operating from a pre-packaged services mindset, the companies provide solutions “from scratch” crafted  specifically to solve the challenges that led the customer to work with a third-party service provider.

“Our expanded partnership with CBI Group and Placers as part of the Outside-In® Companies brings heightened market awareness to the Barton Career Advisors Outplacement business,” said Chris Barton, Barton Career Advisors Founder & Sales Group Lead. “Values are the secret sauce in business performance and I know we are on the right track.”   

As companies whose purpose is to handle clients’ challenges of bringing people in and letting them go, this service-based, cultural mentality is a conscious – and innovative – approach to talent management. To learn more about the Outside-In® Companies and their new partnership visit

Yes, Your Company Is Outside-In, Sir

January 16th, 2013

Yes, Your Tide Is Cold and Dark, SirOutside-In® is our culture and our operating philosophy. Outside-In® is made up of our employees and a work environment that encourages individualism, innovation, and focus on creating a unique customer experience.  We want customers to be happy with great service.  We want employees to be happy with great culture.  And shareholders can be happy with the good profits that ultimately follow. These great employees are hired, recognized, and rewarded against our core values. Our core values guide us where others use policy manuals and mandates. The world is too complex and dynamic and the business world too fluid to not put the information, knowledge, authority and gumption in the hands of all employees equally.

With all this said, I’d like to take some credit for its creation, but I am not its “Founding Father”.  That credit goes to another Burkhard — Alan Burkhard. Over our lifetimes, we have worked together to refine the concept of Outside-In®. The focus of putting the customer first in business thinking. The notion of a culturally led business.  Alan did it first, and this Outside-In® brand, this Outside-In® philosophy can and is used in all kinds of businesses and industries.

Many years ago, I gave Alan the registered trademark as a gift that we share. We went first in using it in business, and the ™ symbol is our proof.  However, our goal was to encourage the world to use Outside-In® as a way of describing customer-oriented behavior and thinking.  This is my personal 10 year goal.  Make Outside-In® a household name.  Look it up.  It is more mainstream in business than you realize…

But this post is about how we think our Outside-In® philosophy gives us an edge in business. It helps us run better waste companies like Independent Disposal. We run better staffing, recruiting, and outplacement firms.  We run great restaurants.  And now we make Outside-In® movies.No one can say that we are not diverse right?  Find a market.  Look for a service gap.  Treat the customer better than they expected.  Create a customer-centered culture.  Focus on and make your company Outside-In®.

Do that enough, and opportunities present themselves.  Do that enough and you want to help people. Have enough success in life and there are opportunities to share what you know in new fields and you get quite a rush and ride along the way. That is where my Dad is in life.  He backed and helped make a independent movie, Yes, Your Tide Is Cold and Dark, Sir, written and directed by local filmmaker and friend, Chris Malinowski. My Dad makes a cameo as a bartender. He taught a group of talented actors, producers, directors, sound, key grips, and a whole lot more about Outside-In® and he got to help a friend fulfill a lifelong goal of getting a script to the big screen. When I spoke with Chris about his experience working with Alan on the project he said,

“Alan, empowered me to run the [film] company and believed in the exuberance of the project. He knew it was a challenging narrative. Producers tend to lean at times on the creative parties and stick their necks into the creative process. Alan didn’t do that. He empowered me completely.”

Empowerment and creative freedom on a movie set? That is the ultimate Outside-In® experience. I am proud.

Ultimately, what matters is that they took the risk. Through that risk, the Outside-In® brand and legend grows.  So, if you are in Delaware and are into independent films, watch the trailer, come to the premier, and most importantly help me celebrate the success of our Outside-In® brand and what can do for any business.  For Yes, Your Tide Is Cold and Dark, Sir trailer, click here. For showtimes and ticket information for this weekend’s premiere, you can visit the film’s Facebook page.

DelMarVa SHRM Presentation – March 16, 2010

March 17th, 2010

I was honored to be the speaker at last night’s DelMarVa SHRM event. View the presentation above or download using the link below.

“The Economic Tsunami: How Businesses Are Rethinking Recruitment & Retention.”
Delmarva SHRM – Economic Tsunami Presentation

What is Intrapreneurial Leadership?

December 14th, 2009

The worlds first management style was defined by the military institution.   Decisions were made at the top, information cascaded down throughout the ranks, and everyone is trained to know how to respond to those orders.  It was tough for information to flow back to the top however.  During times of crisis it is a good thing for all to know their role and to clearly know who will make the critical decisions for the organization right?  Well for business I am not so sure.  During difficult times we all appreciate a leader that will make the tough decisions.  That is when real leadership can be the most lonely right?  You are doing your job some days and your board, employees and other stake holders probably will not agree with some of the decision you must make. Everyone has their interest and their lens that gets applied to your decisions.
Business moves at a blistering pace. We know the story. The world is global and your customers and competition might not be across town anymore.  Technology has changed who has information and when and were they can access it. The decisions that must be made can be biased by an ever increasing flood of possible information. There is just so much today and it never stops. This knowledge-based economy requires different leadership. Why not Intrapreneurial leadership? How about giving staff the authority and the knowledge they need to help make the business better? Why not ask for help from those that are closer to the problem.
Intrapreneurial Leadership requires you to gave away authority. To push out decision making.  To give people access to the same information. Treat everyone as an equal and to have the fundamental belief that some employees want to feel like entrepreneurs. They may not want to risk their house like one; yet they understand and see how great it can be to work in an entrepreneurial environment.  Who would not want less red tape? More responsibility if they knew they could actually do something with it.  And great opportunities to make a difference? Over and over again in surveys to managers we think that staff wants money and benefits. Truth is even in this tough economy we all want a voice. We want to trust and know we make a difference. And that we will be listened to. And communicated with. We want to be treated as people. And we want the truth. Give someone more than they expect and they will do anything for the business. Give them less, well you end up without trust.
So this sounds hard? Not in small ways. Recently I was working with a customer on defining their organizational values. The management team was in on the project and they did their best to help the President complete the task. On a suggestion we asked a few front line staff to participate and we got a terrific result. The staff was honored to be apart of it. And ultimately their involvement contributed to completing the project!
We all know what is great about the small business experience. Employees are not a number. There is less bureaucracy. There are fewer rules and regulations. The business feels more pure. The goals of the company are very customer oriented. The business exists to serve the customer. There are less “artificial limits” created by the politics, internal agendas, and communication breakdowns to get in the way.
And as a leader it requires a special person to change. What got you here worked, right? Why change now?  Maybe your organization could be more productive?
Here are some suggestions on simple ways you can implement the basics of intra-preneurial leadership:

  1. Get your staff involved in a project that breaks down title barriers or department silos.
  2. Ask for help.
  3. As more questions than the answers you might provide.
  4. Get rid of titles and job descriptions for internal purposes.
  5. Meet with staff on a regular basis. Ask how you are doing and what can make their job better.
  6. Treat everyone equally.

It Is Time to Put the Focus on Service

December 1st, 2009

I think I know why they call it Black Friday. All of the surly clerks and frustrated shoppers. Even I spent a good part of Saturday out shopping for the Holidays with my wife. I have to admit, it was fun. There must be something to this gathering and hunting thing. But as I looked around questioning how we could actually be in a recession with all of this spending going on — it hit me. Service is a lost art. Many retail stores seem to try hard. Others don’t seem to care. Frankly, it is not a part of their business model. Cheap is good, yes. But a smile would be nice too.
This is a great time for me to dust off an important leadership notion and cultural value that I learned as a young leader, Take “service to the Nth degree!” What does it mean? Simple right. Put the focus on your customer, serve them with excellence. Raise the bar. But still it seems so absent in many businesses today.
Why? It is free. It is hard to copy by your competitors. It is intangible. It is a feeling. It is the gap between what you say and what you do. The most important reason to put the focus on service? It feels good. It is contagious. It is competitive. And customers will notice.
Here are a few simple ways to raise the bar on service to take it to the Nth degree:

  1. Call a meeting and focus on it. Ask people to think about how their job interacts with the customer.  Where can they bring something extra?
  2. Answer the phone. Turn off your voice mail. Insist the phone be answered in three rings. Or better yet two.
  3. Get back to me. Tell me by when and actually do it sooner.
  4. Change the way you answer the phone. CBI Group says ” I can help you.” This is our Purple Cow! Great book too!
  5. Reward customer service. As a leader catch me doing it!

Outside-In® Book List

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