Author archives: Acumen

Lunch & Learn: What’s Next

Acumen’s Suzanne Hanifin and Karen Anderson are hosting:

 

Lunch & Learn – What’s Next

June 12 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

at:

Portland State Business Accelerator (PSBA)

2828 SW Corbett Avenue, Portland, OR 97201

 

So much to accomplish in so little time: deadlines to meet, investors to attract and please, regulatory hurdles to achieve and, hovering above it all, the unrelenting competitive and investor pressures to be the first to market.

If you are a member of the Biotech community, the screen image of your computer is barely faded from closing the last file you were working on before you have to ask yourself, “What’s Next?” – and then pivot both your body and brain to charge after it.

Having a great product is important; however, a top tier team to deliver and take the company to the next level is essential.

Suzanne and Karen will address how Biotech firms can secure funding while attracting and retaining the best and most talented players.

Topics covered will include:

  • Viewing your company within a 360 degree lens
  • Assessing talent gaps, team and synergy
  • The role of corporate culture
  • Vetting the best Attracting the best: the offer
  • Selling the best: the role of your corporate brand
  • Assessing your team building, recruiting and on-boarding process
  • Forward thinking – What’s next and the talent required to do it

This interactive session will help you think through critical items you may have been too busy or reluctant to assess and face. Join us for this supportive, informative and valuable presentation.

To attend the event:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lunch-learn-whats-next-tickets-46130015117?aff=mcivte

The Cost of a Bad Executive Hire

Maybe that new executive you just hired, the one everyone thought was so great – isn’t.

But, to be fair, you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, so you let him keep working on the critical new product initiative for which he was hired. Maybe he just needs a little more time. Maybe she is just misunderstood. So, you wait. Things will improve. Maybe.

Here’s the thing. Even if that executive does improve, perhaps you should consider how much their poor performance is really costing your business in the meantime.

Let’s delve deeper.

If your team is not functioning well, you are probably experiencing product or project delays. Product and project delays typically delay revenue, earnings and market share growth. The result is that where your company finds itself, is nowhere near where it would have been had you hired the right person.

Let’s look at the graphic below to illustrate the negative impact of a bad hire over a Product’s Life-Cycle:

Lost Economics:

Economic Impact of Product Delays

bad-hire

The green line is ideal. It depicts a product that is developed smoothly – without major delays. The product is introduced and grows to maturity quickly – capturing the good margins and market share it deserves for its innovative value.

Now let’s look at the impact of poor executive talent on that same product – the red line.

Slow development delays growth and creates frustration. Perhaps, forcing termination of the executive working on it.

That termination then delays growth further as development and product improvements are delayed during the re-recruiting and on-boarding process. During that time competitors grab market share that should have been yours if the product had been completed and released earlier.

That lost share is nearly impossible to recapture. The lost profits are gone forever. While you were dealing with your bad hire, your competitor wasn’t. They are now, for this product, permanently ahead of you and your reputation has been harmed.

There may be organizational damage as well.  Employees, some of them talented, may experience frustration and burn out – resigning from the added stress of playing “catch-up”.

 

Lost Time:

In addition to the economic impact, critical time is lost.

Initially, it takes 3 to 4 months to hire a person, another 3 to 6 months to admit this person is a bad hire and then at least a month of discussions to finally decide to let them go. Then it takes another 3 to 4 months to rehire, with another 3 to 6 months to determine if this person is a good hire. Overall, you are looking at 12-18-month delay to effectiveness.

A bad hire is something that your company may never recover from. Nobody wants that.

 

Preventing a Bad Hire:

Most important approach to improving the probability of success in finding, vetting and recruiting excellent executive candidates is to use a proven process.

By proven we mean, the process delivers candidates with:

  • A proven and vetted track record
  • A high probability of early integration
  • A high probability of long term retention
  • A close cultural fit
  • A strong complementary personality to the rest of the team

Partnering with an executive search firm that has demonstrated repeated success mitigates greatly the risks associated with the consequences of a bad hire.

The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture

Harvard Business Review wrote an excellent article “The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture” to help define your organization’s culture and shape it to fit your strategy.

Many leaders often don’t understand culture, ignoring it or handing it off to HR. That can often lead to their plans for their company being derailed. Align culture with strategy and leadership and it drives your organization forward. You can hire and retain great employees, improve morale, and increase profits.

To learn more about culture and how you can use it to shape your organization, read this informative article.

Congrats to Avery Pickard, OEDA’s new Executive Director

Acumen Executive Search is proud to announce the successful placement of Avery Pickard as Executive Director for Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA).

OEDA is a volunteer board, made up of members with other full-time jobs. When it came time to initiate a search for an Executive Director, the board members determined that they didn’t have time or expertise to devote to the challenges of a complex search process. They reached out to Executive Search professionals and fellow OEDA members Acumen Executive & Talent Search (Acumen) for help finding the right person for this critical role. Acumen stepped up to the plate, putting into action their unique, customized 9-step search process. Reaching into their deep candidate pool, Acumen quickly developed a list of 5 highly qualified candidates and presented them to the board. Ultimately, the board decided to hire Ms. Pickard, who not only had the right skillset for the job, but was a perfect cultural fit for OEDA.  Sara Means, board member for OEDA said, “We at OEDA are thrilled to announce Avery Pickard as our new Executive Director.  With Avery’s leadership, we look forward to the great things ahead for this organization.  The experience we had with Acumen in the search for our Executive Director was superb.  OEDA highly recommends Acumen to anyone looking for assistance with an executive recruitment.”

About Avery Pickard:  Avery Pickard will be reporting to the OEDA Board of Directors. She will have the overall strategic and operational responsibility for OEDA’s programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. Ms. Pickard will manage the day-to-day details and will serve as the face of this organization. She will help develop and implement a new 5-year strategic plan for the merged organizations (AORA & AOI), now known as OEDA, helping bridge the urban/rural divide, and help launch a new professional development program in partnership with the professional development committee. “I am grateful to the board for the opportunity to direct this exceptional organization. OEDA will continue to strengthen its role providing advocacy, collaboration, and education for Oregon’s economic development professionals. I’m excited to work with the entire OEDA network, and to unite our distinguished membership as the primary champions for Oregon’s economy.”

About OEDA: OEDA is a statewide non-profit membership organization that works to support its members – the state and local economic development professionals who are on Oregon’s front line in diversifying and expanding the state’s economy. OEDA believes the success of Oregon’s economic development is accomplished through its core values of advocacy, education and collaboration. OEDA is newly created from merging the Association of Oregon Redevelopment Agencies (AORA) and Association of Oregon Industries (AOI). More information about OEDA can be found on their website at www.oeda.biz.

About AcumenAbout Acumen:  Since 2007, Acumen has been the premiere boutique, woman-owned Executive Search firm in Oregon with global clientele. Acumen works holistically and strategically with their clients to deeply comprehend their business and culture, to facilitate critical hires who can help solve meaningful problems. Visit www.AcumenRecruiting.com

Congrats to Sarah Garrison – New PNDC CEO/President

Acumen Executive & Talent Search is proud to announce the successful placement of Sarah Garrison as Chief Executive Officer/President for Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC).

The PNDC search committee invested much time and effort in a complex search process when on a quest for their new CEO/President. The committee then determined that an objective third party search firm was key to finding the right person for this critical role, they reached out to PNDC member Acumen Executive & Talent Search (Acumen) for their deep search expertise to help them identify a pool of high caliber candidates.  Acumen quickly implemented their unique, customized 9 step search methodology and within three weeks, had developed a list of 5 highly qualified candidates. Said Board Chair Judy Johnson “We saw a comprehensive approach provided by ACUMEN that included a thorough gathering process of Board input through our Executive and Search Committees as well as comprehensive individual staff interviews to really understand what the needs were. They presented fully vetted candidates covering a wide dynamic range giving the Search Committee members ample contrast and choice.”

Ultimately, PNDC opted to hire Sarah Garrison, who not only had the skillset to do the job, but was the right cultural fit for PNDC. “Our choice was Ms. Sarah Garrison who brings our organization new energy, expertise and experience that will carry PNDC to the next level. Her humble work ethic and clarity of focus on the needs of our members are exactly what we needed and I fully expect all existing and future members of PNDC to be completely delighted”, said Ms. Johnson.

About Sarah Garrison:  Sarah Garrison will be reporting to the Board of Directors of PNDC and will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for PNDC’s programs, expansion, and execution of its mission.  She will work collaboratively with PNDC’s board, members, staff, and strategic partners and will ensure successful planning, budgeting, and management of staff.   Ms. Garrison has a proactive approach in addressing and solving planning and operational issues, and can use this approach to influence, plan, and implement change in PNDC.  “I am humbled, thrilled, and excited to lead PNDC into their next chapter and look forward to listening and engaging with the members and stakeholders, to guide and serve together, taking this great organization to new heights”.

About PNDC: The Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition is an association of over 275 Northwest defense and security industry businesses. PNDC strengthens our members’ business growth, our region’s economy, and our nation’s security through training, direct counseling, business-to-business networking, and federal governmental advocacy. More information about PNDC can be found on their website at www.PNDC.us.

About Acumen:  Since 2007, Acumen has been the premiere boutique, woman-owned Executive Search firm in Oregon with global clientele. Acumen works holistically and strategically with their clients to deeply comprehend their business and culture, to facilitate critical hires who can help solve meaningful problems. Visit www.AcumenRecruiting.com

Hiring and Retaining Top Talent

Vistage Research Center conducted a survey of over 1300 SMB CEOs in December 2017.  In their article “Five Ways the Best Companies Hire the Best People” they found that 71% of firms are planning to hire more people this year, up from 60% last year.

Hiring the right talent is the single most critical decision facing CEOs this year.  Vistage said, in part “getting talent decisions right will play a major role in the success of any SMB in 2018”.  In this tight job market, everyone is competing for top talent.  Vistage had some insights for hiring the talent you need and retaining the talent you have.

Talent comes before growth.  Having the right people in the right job is the basis for businesses.  It’s even more crucial for SMB, where depending on one person is greater than for a large company.  In fact, it’s crucial for survival.  Whether you are trying to make investments in your company or increase business, not having the necessary people can cost you money/lost income/revenue.

Retain your current employees while looking for new hires.  In addition to bringing on new people, you need to hold onto the ones you have.  Other CEOs will be looking in your company to hire your people away.  In a small business, the loss of a single employee can cause the collapse of your current processes; you lose knowledge and productivity.

Grow your employees.  Invest in their professional development.  It’s an easy way to help you retain your current workforce and will boost their productivity and improve their skills, increasing the likelihood they will stay with you.

Offer competitive wages to employees.  It is top strategy in hiring talent.  It’s also a smart way to retain talent as it keeps them feeling valued.  If they are deserving, offering them a raise can keep them from looking for employment elsewhere.  Don’t wait until they have an offer from another company.  It’s too late then.

Offer great benefits to potential hires.  It will give you a competitive edge.  Don’t forget to offer those benefits to your current employees.  It will help them feel satisfied and secure.  They will be more likely to stay with you.

You can increase your chances of getting the right talent by hiring Acumen Executive Search.  Cultural fit is our number one priority.  We have a 100% success rate for retained searches, with a 93% employee retention rate that is triple the national average.  Our searches are national.  We don’t just pull a resume from a database.  We go out and find you your next great hire.

Oregon’s 2018 Job Outlook

According to the Portland Business Journal’s article “What we’ve learned about our state’s employment outlook”, Oregon’s low unemployment rate at the end of 2017 signals for the beginning of 2018, “a coming bounty for job-seekers.”

If you’re looking to make a change, the outlook is very good.  More than 30 companies, such as SolarWorld, Nike, Umpqua, and OHSU, are looking for hundreds of workers.  Companies range from technology to apparel and footwear.  Positions range from quality assurance engineers to medical assistants to account managers.

Salaries in Portland were ranked against the rest of the nation in twelve jobs, such as retail, registered nurses, and civil engineers.  It was found that on average, Portlanders earned $25.94 to the nation’s $23.86 in those positions.  Registered nurses, sheet metal workers, clergy, and retail workers, amongst others, all do better in Portland than the rest of the nation.

The PBJ noted some industries that experienced the most growth: construction, mining & lodging, and manufacturing.  Some that experienced the least of amount of growth are information, government, and financial activities.

Overall, now is the time if you’re looking to make a switch.

Suzanne Hanifin will be a Mentor

Come see our very own Suzanne Hanifin of Acumen Executive Search at Bizwomen’s Mentoring Monday! On February 12, 2018, she will be available for “speed mentoring”, a 7-minute block of time where you get to pick her brain and ask her any business-related questions.  Suzanne is excited by this opportunity to help fellow business women advance their careers and would love to see you there.  2018 is the year of the woman.  Get it off to a great start by taking advantage of this amazing opportunity!  Register now and use promo code MENTOR for 20% off the ticket price: http://bizj.us/1pgg8j.