Business & Talent. Aligned.

How you manage talent spells the difference between success and failure. To gain a competitive edge, leaders must be prepared to address shifting economic, social and demographic trends that impact workforce performance. Stay informed with research, insights and advice from our leading industry experts. The world of work is changing. Is your company ready?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New College Grads Find Job Market Tough

To no one’s surprise, this year’s college graduates are finding the job market very tough. More than 300 recent graduates were surveyed by Right Management about their job hunting and career plans. Despite the humbling outlook, many of the graduates proved to be optimistic. Thirty-eight percent expect to find they job they want within six months, while 15% think it may take up to a year, and 9% a year or more. But 16% anticipate landing the desired job in a month or less.

No one can ever say this year’s college grads are complacent. They are facing a sluggish economy and a difficult job market, but the ones we’ve met seemed very determined and will do the hard work they need to get the kind of work they really want. Employers will find these grads eager to learn and get the job done.

The survey was deployed during complimentary job search planning workshops we conducted with 365 college graduates across 42 North American cities between May and July.

Three out of four (76%) graduates believe it very possible or somewhat possible for them to find the job they want, down from 91% in the same survey a year ago. Twenty-two percent think it is not very possible or not possible at all, and 2% said they don’t know.

Many of the graduates seem to be employed at least part-time or not in positions of their choosing. Consequently, only 8% are able to work full-time on their job hunt, while 42% reported that they are spending as much time as possible. In particular, parents have been helping graduates by far the most, followed respectively by relatives, classmates and the college office. Once again proving how networking is the best approach for sourcing new career opportunities.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top People Are Prime Targets for Other Companies

More than one in two employers are convinced that other companies are actively seeking to hire away their top people, according to survey of over 1,400 CEOs and human resource professionals from more than 700 companies across the globe.

The study explored the role played by senior management in a broad range of leadership development areas including management succession and the nurturing of the next generation of corporate leaders. According to the study’s findings, 56% of organizations report that other employers seek to recruit their best people. Only 4% strongly disagree.

Other companies actively try to recruit our leaders.

Strongly disagree 4%
Disagree 11%
Agree 43%
Strongly agree 13%
No opinion 29%

As aggressive competition becomes increasingly adept at replicating products, services, operating models and marketing strategies and worldwide demand for certain skills sets rises, senior and operational leaders are realizing that talent is the last remaining source of competitive advantage. So, it is no surprise that there’s a global war being waged for talent. No organization today is immune from the stresses of effective retention or competitive recruitment. CEOs and HR staffs are right to feel enormously vulnerable and many are stressed seeking ways to hold onto their rising leadership.

Even though most organizations report that other companies have targeted their top performers, survey respondents are not necessarily positive about their own leadership pipeline. Nearly half the respondents (47%) expressed doubts about the strength of their middle-level pipeline, and only 27% said their company has a sufficient number of qualified internal candidates that are ready to assume senior manager/executive positions.

At the same time, those organizations that have strong leadership programs are more likely to feel as though they have qualified candidates at both levels. Programs that were rated highly generally had a combination of key elements: assessment and feedback, coaching and mentoring, formal classroom training as well as action learning.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Best Practices for Letting Employees Go

Yahoo CEO, Carol Bartz, was recently fired over the phone by her fellow board member and Chairman. There’s been a backlash by reporters and career professionals quoting this situation as an example of how not to let employees go.

Right Management’s best practice recommendations include:

  1. Prepare the materials - Assemble written documentation if the termination is performance related. If the termination is due to job elimination, explain the rationale. Prepare all severance information in writing: notification letter, salary continuation/severance period; benefits; outplacement counseling, and other pertinent information.

  2. Prepare the message - Write out the script you will use during the meeting and the information you will convey to remaining employees. List two or three factual reasons for the termination. Keep everything short and to the point. Set the stage in general terms. Discuss overall business reason for the action.

  3. Plan for the Meeting - Determine the time and location of the meeting. Review and rehearse talking points. Be familiar with key components of separation package. Prepare to answer likely questions. Know what resources are available.

  4. Arrange the next steps - Schedule additional meetings with HR and the outplacement consultants. Review what should be done with personal belongings. Specify when the employee should say “good-bye” to his or her colleagues and leave the organization.

  5. Prepare yourself emotionally - Don’t assume personal responsibility for the termination. Remember, it is a business decision based on business needs. Prepare your approach and talk about your feelings with the human resource professionals and outplacement consultants.

  6. Anticipate employee reactions - There are typically reactions - shock, acceptance, relief and quiet. And sometimes there are unusual reactions - very angry, overly emotional, manipulative, out of control/violent. By acknowledging these various reactions and learning to recognize them, you will ensure that no matter what the reaction, you will be prepared to handle it in the best way.

  7. Communicate with remaining employees – Prepare a statement in advance. Managers should be visible and prepared to answer questions, keeping the focus on the business reasons for action and the plan for moving forward while respecting the dignity and privacy of the impacted employee(s).

The decision to let employees go is never an easy one to execute. Be prepared and minimize the stress and disruption to both you and the departing employee(s).