Posts Tagged: Knowledge-Based

Find the Perfect Career Coach and Maximize Your Investment

September 22nd, 2017

There are many reasons why your job search might not be exactly progressing. Maybe you’re one of those people who originally had success when job hunting. Then time passed and life happened. Maybe you’re a young professional who decided to take a few years off and take care of the kids while your spouse continued working. Now that you’re ready to jump back into the game (at least part-time) you’re finding that today’s job market has changed and that you’re not getting replies to any of the hundreds of resumes you’ve been sending out. Maybe the job you used to do doesn’t even exist anymore! Before you get tangled any deeper in a web of both your own device and the result of a downward sloping economy, it might be time to call in an expert – a career coach who is in tune with the latest ways to be successful in finding a new career.

Where to Begin

A keyword search on Google can get you started. If you live in Newark, Wilmington, Hockessin, or the New Castle, Delaware area, put your location name online along with keywords like career coaching services, career resources, and finding a job. A career counselor will help you by using a variety of career assessment tools (MBTI – Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator – Career Leader, SkillScan, etc.) to explore your aptitudes and work with you on applying the results to your job searches. A career coach will work with you on successful resume preparation and help you to understand career research resources, and also prep you on how to prepare for an interview. Today’s career counselors will review your presence on various social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogs, etc.) so that you will present a positive picture for any prospective employers when they go to check out your online presence. In addition, they will provide job search support, and help you with strategies to overcome any obstacles in today’s very hard job market.

What Will A Career Coach Do For You?

A good career coach will do their best to suggest careers that are very closely matched with your life purpose. They will discover what your life purpose is by administering tests, having general discussions with you, and also ask you some specific questions about your goals. The best career coaches are very honest, and they will show you what your strengths are as well as your weaknesses. They will help you both with your job search and your resume, and they will coach you on how to perform in the job interview. Remember this, though – you can hire an excellent career coach, but if you don’t do the follow-ups and listen to the advice that is given, you will simply be throwing your money away. A career coach will instruct you on which job posting site is best for your particular career, and which staffing agencies, employment agencies, temp jobs, and temporary staffing opportunities can offer the most chances for a successful new career opportunity.

Do You Really Know Who Would be Best for Your Team?

September 28th, 2016

When there are open positions to fill, you have the chance to add team members who can enhance your current status quo and take your company to the next level.  On the other hand, if you hire the wrong people, you could be facing an epic fail that will be costly on budget, as poor hiring decisions typically result in expensive turnover costs.

flat vector design of employees or executives in meeting. this vector also represents company meetings discussions and opinions employee interaction & engagement

So, how do you combat the potential pitfalls and find people who will be perfect for your team?  Many decision-makers are far removed from the day-to-day tasks of the people under them.  Ironically, these same leaders are often the people tasked with choosing which candidates to hire.  When you take a step back, and look at the bigger picture, this system is set up for failure.  If you want to hire folks who will truly fit well with your existing team, you need to go directly to the source, and seek input from the people who will be working next to the new colleague.  Remove yourself from your role as a leader, and become a learner, the results can be astonishing!


Gathering Employee Feedback Boosts Engagement

When you seek assistance from your existing staff, employees will appreciate the fact that you trust them enough to want their feedback.  This simple act shows that you trust your team and want what’s best for them — two key elements to boosting existing employee engagement.  If you don’t want to be stuck filling more positions in the near future, it’s vital to learn how to build and retain employee engagement at every opportunity.

Integrating the Input of Existing Employees

Before you even begin calling candidates into your conference rooms, consult with your team members.  Begin by bringing everyone in as a group.  This will allow people to bounce ideas off each other as suggestions are made.  Make note of the following characteristics:

  • What do they do everyday?
  • What traits make the existing team work well together?
  • What are the downsides to the work they do?  (Although this isn’t a pretty question, the honesty can help open discussion for further improvement in the future, and it can help you identify candidates who can withstand the downfalls in the meantime.)
  • What can your team or company do to improve?

Each of these questions will likely lead to longer discussions from which you can derive plenty of information that you can take back to leadership regarding both the addition of your new team members, as well as changes that should be considered for your existing employees.

Invite Your Employees to the Interviews

Rather than relying on your instinct, bring a team member or two to the interviews.  They will likely think of questions you may not have even considered, and when it’s time to choose the right candidate, you’ll be able to gather a more well-rounded general consensus.


What are your thoughts about integrating existing employees into the hiring process?  We’d love to hear your opinions!  Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below, or head over to our Outside-In Facebook page!

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.

The 2015 Outside-In Summer Reading List

August 5th, 2015

Sometimes I can’t find enough time to read the pile of “must reads” on my night stand. So I am careful to suggest that others add to their guilt (I might be projecting my own guilt!) by having even more book and article suggestions to tack on to their lists.

Books.Pile of book on desk.When I make time to read, however, I am able to set aside the events of the day and the many distractions from people and electronics and something amazing starts to happen. Ideas and thoughts seem to flow in a torrent! I hope you’re able to spark your learning in a similar fashion. Find the time. It reduces stress and allows you to chew on the problems of the day in a new and productive way. And as a CEO or business leader, you don’t have to read all business books to find inspiration. This year, the trend (Fortune & LA Times for example) is for CEOs to read non business books to inspire new ideas.

So whether you’re committing to regular reading or simply looking for something to do on that family camping trip or week at the beach, this August I have a few page turners to consider.

  1. Choose Yourself by James Altucher: James is an avid writer, blogger and many time entrepreneur. Choose Yourself defines today’s workplace realities and offers real world ideas on how to take control of your work and how you will forever define how you earn an income. Thought provoking!
  2. In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, by Hampton Sides: This one grips you! A few weeks ago, I spent a week ignoring friends and family on the beach in Block Island and read this one. It’s a true story researched for years by Hampton, Outside Magazine and others. This is the greatest historical story you don’t know! Great lessons in leadership, sacrifice, and survival. Imagine trying to get to the North Pole in a wooden ship with no means of communication with the outside world!
  3. Delivering Happiness A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh, CEO In a business world where few have any real meaningful, sustainable business advantage, Delivering Happiness chronicles the dramatic rise of Zappos and how their culture drives everything and defines their success. And it is an entertaining read to boot! Not every success is immediate and over night. Success takes time, risk and perseverance.

I am always scanning for the next must read, I hear the Uncontainable, The Story of the Container Store by Kip Tindell is a must read… Next on the list? What books are on your list? Share away!

Are You a Sharing Leader?

September 24th, 2014

Being a leader in today’s work environment has it’s share of obstacles. The culture of your company directly impacts how you lead and what you do in your role in every circumstance. For example, let’s take the topic of communication and your responsibility relative to cascading messages. Often times leaders maintain the proverbial upper hand by distributing information (or frankly misinformation) to suit their personal goals and objectives. This does not have to be a nefarious or illegal thing by the way. Sometimes as leaders we are simply overly competitive or selfish. Being the leader that always has to win means you’re going to do anything you need to do to come out on top. That often means controlling what you know. Selfish leaders? Well, they are probably just protecting their job and paycheck. Everybody is doing it right? So what’s wrong with it? It’s like a teenager explaining staying out too late or a bad test grade, “…but Tommy is allowed to.”

Today’s world is about information. That’s why it’s called the Information Age. Why not empower today’s knowledge worker with as much as possible? Why not make it a point to share as much as you can? A group perspective is often more right and more powerful than the views of a handful or the privileged.

To be a sharing leader one must:

  1. ID-100161829Be clear on what their role is as a leader. Is it your job to share what you hear and learn in terms of strategy, vision, or simple business updates with your team? If you’re hearing these messages and you don’t see them in newsletter, town halls, or email updates then I bet it is part of your role. Be a messenger. There is good power in doing this well!
  2. Share it all. Don’t hold back an inch. Employees can sense when your holding back and not sharing. Trust them. They can handle the truth. Of course there is confidentiality. This is not what I am talking about. Stop protecting. Quit isolating staff from business news they can help with. They might even view the problems of the business as interesting new projects to tackle to grow their resumes!
  3. Use all means as possible. Some messages are tactical. Some are strategic. Some serious and some not so much. Pick your forum. Have huddles every day for daily sticks. Do a weekly discussion for businesses. Have a phone call or town hall meeting when you’re dealing with longer term updates or when you want to get some real engagement and feedback.

The key is to make communication a part of your daily leadership plan. It will always take a back seat to your inbox and to do’s if you let it!

Outside-In® Summer Reading List

August 27th, 2014

Summer reading is a part of the fabric that defines my free time as well as my summer vacation. The challenge is to decide how to recharge and rejuvenate with that precious time off. Do I really want to read an industry publication or study for that upcoming webinar to keep continuing education credits flowing? It’s not that I don’t like my industry or chosen profession, I just need space and time to decompress. The more space I can create or make more time to think, the more likely I am to find new ideas and thoughts that help with my day-to-day work!

However, sometimes it’s hard to get away without our smart phones tethered to our hand 24/7—we all have to find some compromise, right? The very device that lets you order pizza while on vacation or text the teenagers to find out when they will be home is the same piece of technology that pings every time there is a new email and some work issue that either ruins your vacation mood or requires immediate attention!

I once heard the pile of unread business magazines, articles, books, and white papers on your nightstand or work station referred to as the tower of guilt! I, for one, feel good when I take that pile of work and plow through it. Sometimes I read three or four books at the same time in rotation just to change topics for the sake of staying current. However, this is not the approach I like to take for summertime reading.

So if you’re trying too hard to work and want to recharge while coming back with a new perspective on your business, here are my top three must reads:

ID-1001841481. Anything by Gladwell. Malcom not only sees the world differently, but he does the research to back it up. Try The Tipping PointWhat the Dog Saw, or my all time favorite, The Outliers. If you want to think about your business place in a different way, try escaping to the world that Malcom creates!

2.  How to Win Friends and Influence People. So many smart people know something about their field of study or the technical aspects of their profession yet few invest in their relationships.  No books exists that is more time tested for helping you with tools and tips for great human relations skills!

3.  Zen and the Art of Happiness. Everyone gets down in the dumps from time to time. As Dale Carnegie is for great human relationships this book is for realigning your perspective on your daily life. Things happen to us each and everyday, it is what we do next that matters.

If you have a book that recharges and lifts your energy while helping you reflect and improve your business or your leadership persona please let us know!

Outside-In® Chronicles: Leaders, Admit When You’re Wrong Please!

August 20th, 2014

Originally posted on April 3rd, 2013

Today’s companies operate differently than a decade or two ago. Globalization, technology, cultural and social change, demographic trends and shifts have all impacted the way business is conducted. This structural shift has impacted the worker too. Today’s worker must be focused on knowledge building and embracing change skills to maximize themselves.

ID-100147926However, I think this structural shift has impacted the way leaders need to lead. One of my personal pet peeves is when leaders don’t take the time to admit fault. There is this funny thing called “leadership pride” that keeps our lips shut.  We may act like we did something wrong, we may make amends or attempt to fix a mistake, however, we don’t often vocally admit mistakes enough. When we don’t admit our mistakes, we damage trust on our teams and in our company. Trust is a funny thing. Easy to lose. Hard to get back.  Must be built through your actions and of course, your words.  They better be close to one and the same.

By not admitting mistakes we look fake and disingenuous. Today’s worker must do their job on the edge of their seat and take risks in their job to create some wow (or do something Nth degree in Outside-In® language). But the risk is the key.  If you won’t show vulnerability as a leader and expose yourself how do you expect others to do so?  And if you expect creativity or new thinking from your people, then celebrating mistakes is a requirement.

Making mistakes makes you real.  By making mistakes you are human. By admitting them, you allow others to admit them and creates an open channel for improved communication to blossom. A problem said out loud, is a problem half solved! Openly addressing mistakes you’ve made as a leader allows trust to grow and build between you and your employees. It’s about being Open Book — being honest, vulnerable, and transparent – and living Outside-In® leadership, where accessibility and trust are key components of a strong leader.

We all need a culture of admission, right?

Nov 21st Talent Seminar

November 8th, 2013

The Outside-In® Companies are hosting their first Talent SeminarHRCI_ApprovedForCreditSeal on Thursday evening, November 21st, 2013 in Wilmington. HR professionals won’t want to miss this chance to learn and participate in group discussion about talent acquisition and how it relates to developing solutions that involve both internal and external resources.

The event will kick off with a networking half hour at 5:30pm with light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.The seminar, “Building High Efficiency Relationships with Recruitment Providers” will be taught by CBI Group’s RPO and Recruiter On-Demand Leader, Lisa Van Ess. Attendees will have a chance to ask questions following the presentation.

To register for the event, go to

The Outside-In® Companies aim to share learning and knowledge with with the HR industry and plan to host ten talent seminars in 2014. Seminar Topics will include all things related to talent, including recruitment, staffing, and outplacement. As approved HRCI presenters, the seminar on the 21st is pre-approved by HRCI for one recertification credit hour.

With offices in Wilmington and Newark, the Outside-In® Companies are CBI Group, Placers, and Barton Career Advisors. The three companies provide talent solutions in recruiting, staffing, and outplacement to customers across North America.

HRCI_ApprovedForCreditSeal“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.”

The Entrepreneurial Triumvirate: The Role of Teaching

July 31st, 2013

Leaders need to be teachers and trainers. As business gets bigger and more organized, training becomes a function, a department, a group of people that delivers content and curriculum that the company thinks is critical to the orientation and productivity of the employee base. However, I was taught that leaders need to focus on three key functions: Teaching, Leading and Selling. This is The Entrepreneurial Triumvirate!  I just made that up, but it works.

Photo credit: Business Insider

Many new leaders are confused about their role. Perhaps they were good at their job and someone thought they would be good in a leader role. Where does one begin to get good at Entrepreneurial Leadership? Well its starts with this simple premise. What do your people need in order to do their jobs? This is the essence of servant leadership. Sometimes – lots of times – they need to know things to work through how and what to do. Too many times we tell staff what to do versus show them what to do. We must learn to get out from behind our desk and work side by side.

I often see and observe leaders that grow in frustration with their staff and their performance. This comes down to a simple point. A leader’s job is to develop staff. Period. End of story. Leadership begins and ends here. Too many leaders replace or complain about staff competence. This is our job, to develop competence, give feedback, create an environment of learning. To make sure learning happens on the job, in the classroom, with a buddy, on their own. I think you get the idea.

Next time you see a gap as a leader will you develop the person or be frustrated? Remember, your only job is to develop people! Can you be as passionate about developing employees as our friend Jack Black is about teaching future rock stars?


Workforce Realities: Advice for College Grads

May 2nd, 2012

Today’s workers have it tough. So much continues to change and there is too much new happening to fully absorb it all. For so many generations now, the western world has viewed education as the key to a better life for their kids. Education improves our quality of life, earning power and the ability to make a difference. All of us want this for our children. But there is a rude reality to all of this as of late. A college education is no longer a guarantee of anything. The numbers traditionally show that college education increases earning power over ones lifetime and also that less college graduates are unemployed than those with lesser education. But don’t ask this of recent grads.

Just this week it was announced that the number of recent college graduates unemployed or underemployed is well over 50%.
I can’t say that this statistic really shocked anybody. I am in the field of employment and my company certainly was not surprised. We all hear about high unemployment numbers on the evening news. Yes the economy is better, but there is a long, long way to go.

I was taught by a great mentor that the key to life is to make decisions with better information. See. Think. Act. Such simple words right? Try and apply them. So many times in work, life and play we don’t gather information before we act. We hope to, but we don’t know how to gather it. So instead, we simply act and shoot from the hip. Job seekers perceive any action as progress… they send resumes, surf job boards, do Internet research — feeling “good” about their job search.

So at the risk of being preachy, I have some hard-fought, earned advice for a college graduate looking to start their career and get their first real job. Perhaps the initial steps towards better information… But first, this disclaimer:

Each generation grows up heavily influenced by the events and trends of the world around us and with four generations working today? Well, let’s just say it is hard to walk in each generation’s shoes, to seek to understand other generations. While I may not know exactly what you’re going through because of these differences, bear with me.

Also, there are reasons why companies are not creating jobs for college grads. That is not your fault. However, you need to know what they are. Businesses add jobs when they can get a return on the investment, when they can grow and when the economic and political environment is more certain. So in the short-term over the next year or so the world is going to be extra competitive!

My Advice to College Graduates:

  1. This is not the first recession. Yes this is a bad one. But there is work if you are willing to work for it. Start in retail management if you have to. Think retail is below you? If you are a business school major, why not learn about hiring and firing, budgeting and customer growth in one of the few places that will give this responsibility to a grad. This is what I did.
  2. You are not owed anything. You have to work for it. Starting in an entry level job is not below you. Not even close. Your boss does not care about your debt or your life style. Starting at the bottom is where all of us have to start. The key is what happens next.
  3. Starting is the key. Once you have the entry-level job, take on the challenge. Ask for the tough project. Ask for the learn. Learn the business. Every business needs employees that are willing to grow themselves.
  4. While you just “finished” school, the learning has just begun. You and only you are responsible for bettering your skills and knowledge.
  5. Knowledge is followed by success. The more you know the more money you will make. The more your title will change. The more you will get to wherever it is you want to be. But…
  6. You can’t skip steps. In baseball, you can’t score if you miss a base. In work, you cannot be VP and drive a BMW without being of real value to a business. Risk and Reward.
  7. Take the risk and get the reward right? Well, life is not always fair. Starting a company is not easy, most fail. Working for a start-up builds great skills and will broaden your exposure. But it does not make you an entrepreneur.
  8. Your first job is not the rest of your life. The first one is like your first year of college, it is to grow up in the world of work. To learn about business, clients, culture, styles of leadership. The first job is about how to fit in and find your place. And most importantly, the first job is probably more about what you do not want to do for the rest of your working career.
  9. What you do not want to do. This is the most honest advice of all. It is up to you to fit in. The workforce won’t change for you. I know you want the world your way… working from home, time off, promotions, whatever. Work is about your ability to earn and gain influence. Your influence and trust (AND your ability to get results) get you what you want.
  10. There is a gap. And you don’t even know it yet. The gap is the space between who you are today and what you are capable of. Know that employers today long for a worker who knows this and works at it closing it.

Big words right? Are you now a college graduate that needs help? Do you know someone who is? Get them in contact with me. We will get them some help. Why? Good karma.

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