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:

Tracking the right sales metrics

Last night I read this article from L’areal Lipkins through Vistage’s network. It made me pause and it hit home as Acumen works with our clients to help determine who is the best candidates for them. More importantly “Who” will be the best cultural fit while meeting the professional skillsets required to do the job.

As a business consultant partner, we see companies through an outsider’s lens.  Leaders, C-level executives and boards members come to Acumen to find managers, directors, and C-level professionals. Some of the questions we ask our clients reveals so much and are important questions we ask to determine the metrics they use for success:

Describe your culture in five words or less.
Who will work best in your current state (behaviors, personality traits)?
What are three top problems that this person needs to solve?
How are you measuring their success?

All hiring managers that are hiring or planning on hiring need to ask themselves these question. Then look at their answers to see if they follow L’areal Limpkins definitions.  Here is what Ms. Limpkin wrote:

Are you tracking the right sales metrics?

created by L’areal Lipkins in Manufacturing NetworkView the full blog post

There are three metrics high performing sales organizations track: behaviors, leading indicators, and lagging indicators.

Most organizations only track lagging indicators like revenue, profit, number of new customers, close ratio, etc. The problem with just tracking lagging indicators is that it’s history and there’s nothing you can do about it. This is especially problematic if you have a long sales cycle.

You should also be tracking leading indicators such as appointments, demos, proposals, or whatever makes sense for your business. Leading indicators will give you a red flag that your sales team is on or off track much sooner than waiting until the end of the month, quarter, or year. For example, if you know you close 1 out of 3 proposals and your goal is to bring on 3 new customers, theoretically you need to have 9 qualified proposals. Now obviously we can work on different techniques to improve our close ratio, but the key is you, your sales leader, and your sales people should know what the critical leading indicators are and how they impact results.

Lastly, you should track behaviors. What activities should your sales people be doing every week to get in front of prospects. Maybe it’s cold calls, referrals, prospecting emails, LinkedIn connections, or networking. Again, the goal is to improve our output by improving (or increasing) our input. If we just try to fix the results, we’re fixing the wrong end of the problem. Your sales people should know their top 3-5 prospecting activities and how much they should be doing each week to keep their funnel full and drive leading indicators.

About Ms. L’areal Lipkins:

L’areal Lipkins is Managing Partner at Acuity Systems, and she specializes in helping companies streamline, systematize, and scale their sales efforts. L’areal is a Vistage Member and Vistage Speaker.

Bad Hires Can Be an Expensive Mistake

A CareerBuilder survey shows three out of four employers have made bad hiring decisions, and the cost of a bad hire is almost $15,000.   The bad hire can cause less productivity in the workplace, compromised quality of work, and time lost spent recruiting and training the new worker.

Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder said in part “there’s a ripple affect with bad hires. Disengagement is contagious — poor performers lower the bar for other workers on their teams, and their bad habits spread throughout the organization”.  And while most managers quickly realize they’ve made a bad hire, it takes about 9 weeks to let them go.

Employees also sometimes realize they’ve made a poor choice.  Two in three will accept a position, only to realize it was a bad fit, with 50% quitting within six months.  Their reasons for leaving include toxic work culture, the boss’ management style, and the job not matching the initial job description.

New hire retention rates can be improved by over 80% with strong onboarding processes.

Oregon Laws Changed – Employers Need to Know

As of October 6, 2017, a provision of the Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 is already in effect.  An article written by Liani J. Reeves of Bullard Law discusses this provision pertaining to legal changes around requests for salary history data.  (see full article here).  It is now unlawful for prospective employers, recruiters, and others involved in the hiring practice to seek an applicant’s or employee’s salary history.

Now employers may not:

  • Seek salary information from an applicant or employee
  • Seek salary information from an applicant’s or employee’s current or former employers
  • Use salary history information to determine a starting pay offer.

However, employers can consider an employee’s salary history for a promotion or transfer to a new position with the same employer or ask for salary history after a job offer has been made that includes the proposed compensation.

What does that mean for those involved in the recruiting and hiring practice?  They will need to immediately change their hiring policies, application forms, interview questions, and compensation policies.  To fail to do so will put them in violation of the Bureau of Labor and Industry and open them to fines, lawsuits, and class action claims.

HEAT Oregon Annual Gala

Acumen Executive & Talent Search loves to support our community and our non-profits.  HEAT is a great organization that helps thousands of Oregonians every year.  Please click HEAT for more information and to find out how you can support this great local non-profit.  We would love to see you at their next Gala.

HEAT Oregon Strives to Gift Warmth & Power

Our Mission Statement

HEAT Oregon: Gifting Warmth and Power to Oregonians Facing Hardships

What is HEAT Oregon?

It is estimated that nearly 1 in 6 Oregon families may not have the money to pay for heat or keep the lights on when needed most. HEAT Oregon is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1989 to help Oregonians and hard working families keep those vital utilities on during unforeseen emergency situations.

At HEAT Oregon, we are people just like you who want to ensure area families are safe and warm in their own home. Together, we are neighbors helping neighbors, providing warmth and kindness through heartfelt donations.

Your Donation Stays In Your Community

At HEAT Oregon, we work with 30 local social service and community organizations throughout Oregon that help us determine if a family is eligible for assistance. We then use donated funds from those communities to help those in need pay their utility and heating bills.

As careful stewards of your donation, 90 cents of every dollar go directly to help qualifying households in your community pay their heat and electric bills. Charity Navigator, the Internet’s best guide to intelligent giving, awarded HEAT Oregon its highest 4-star rating for its accountabilty and transparency. It’s all thanks to the dedication of our board of directors, focused staff, and your kindness.  For further clarification of revenues sources to HEAT Oregon, please click here.

Join Us In Gifting Warmth and Power

Part of our continuing mission is to work with our network to provide Oregonian households facing hardships with the tools they need for self-reliance via energy conservation education and energy resources. With their dedication, we are helping more of our neighbors be self sufficient.