The Inside Skinny on Getting Noticed.

United Professional Women Accelerating Relationships & Development is hosting “The Inside Skinny on Getting Noticed“. Recruiters are 13% less likely to click on a woman’s bio on LinkedIn, but 16% more likely to hire a woman. Does your profile stand out? Are you owning your accomplishments? Does your resume cause a recruiter or a client to want to spend more than 9 seconds (average review time)?

Join Suzanne Hanifin and Amanda Szeto April 23 at 5:30 pm to explore tips and tricks for building an effective LinkedIn profile and optimizing your resume for job hunting, board positions, consulting, or whatever your goal is.

 

Product Marketing Manager Sought to Fill Gaps and Prepare Prior To Product Launch

“Acumen was easy to work with. I felt both Amanda and Karen genuinely looked out for my welfare. They kept in touch and clearly care about me – so unexpected and so very appreciated. Acumen’s coaching was on point; they advocated well for me resulting in a win-win agreement”

– Ananda, Product Marketing Manager

 

Challenge:

An early stage, pre-launch medical device company needed an experienced Product Marketing Manager to spearhead go-to-market strategy. While awaiting certain data for an innovative yet complex hardware/software product, it provided a challenge and opportunity for solutions. The product is a game changing medical device to be used in predicting disease state pre-dispositions to position patients and providers to enjoy improved health outcomes.

 

Solution:

Acumen’s expertise quickly led to a top-tier candidate. As the interface of engineering, product management, and marketing, Ananda feels he has been able to be a sounding board for the team and has helped with overall direction and marketing approach. The team has been able to focus on goals in order of priorities and have clarity on product deliverables. As a result, Ananda is now a part of a Clinical Studies Group where team members from multiple departments meet regularly to examine next steps in the process of product development and launch.

 

Results:

Ananda feels heard and valued by his company.  He finds the science of the product and the whole space he works in is both exciting and fascinating.  As such, he is currently spearheading a group “The Voice of the Customer” to prepare to partner with customers post launch by building tools to work with and train distributors.

The team began a Culture Committee late last year to bridge the lab and corporate office.  It was an initial success, with approximately 27 people show up to an inaugural event designed to bring everyone together collaboratively as one team.

“I have learned so much and have never been in such a brand spanking new environment. Such a great experience!”

Small Business Hiring Trends for 2019

Businesses are growing and creating more jobs. Finding qualified people to fill those positions in a booming economy is a challenge. According to a Monster.com article Small business hiring trends 2019: What to focus on to stay ahead here are things you can do to make recruiting a little easier when unemployment is down.

  1. Invest in technology that requires fewer hires. Upgrading to the latest technology and equipment can help your current workforce worker better requiring less additional hires.
  2. Use HR technologies that level the playing field. Make your website mobile friendly as 70% of applicants use their mobile devices when searching for jobs. Another easy thing to do: make a video of your office space, yourself or someone from HR talking about the position. Use social media to find candidates; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Also, a career website can be useful for getting in touch with hard to reach candidates.
  3. Source for potential vs. perfect candidate. Instead of looking for the perfect candidate, sourcing for a “high-potential” candidate who is trainable may be the solution. Tailoring the job for a candidate and/or offering training are ways to make the search more successful.
  4. Do reality checks on candidates’ interest in the job. An important aspect of searching is weeding out candidates who are not a good fit. This can be accomplished through “Job-shadowing” where a candidate interacts with the team and gets a feel for the job.

Putting all or some of these ideas in place will hopefully give you a leg up the next time you need to hire.

 

By Christine Billett

How to Conduct a Search for Your Right Search Partner

By Molly Norton

The Most Critical Component of an Executive Search Takes Place Before the Search for an Executive

 From Laszlo Bock, former SVP of People Operations at Google and author of Work Rules:

“Superb hiring isn’t just about recruiting the biggest name, top salesperson, or cleverest engineer. It’s about finding the very best people who will be successful in the context of your organization, and who will make everyone around them more successful.”

 

In today’s highly competitive business environment, companies cannot afford to make a less-than-optimal choice when it comes to filling mission-critical leadership. A well-suited and high-caliber hire can also have a multiplier effect on a business.

To greatly increase the probability of search success, finding and engaging the right executive search partner is the most important first step in any executive search. Ideally this partnership is forged prior to a need arising so that an organization is a step ahead of the current talent-driven market.

There are a veritable plethora of reasons why it’s critical to engage the right search partner, but here are the most important:

  • The search firm is the first exposure that your best, most ideal candidate will have to your firm. It is critical that your brand is presented professionally, sincerely, authentically, and ethically.
  • They must make candidate experience a top priority – as it reflects your organization and the way it’s viewed in the market.
  • The search firm should study and solidly understand the organizational culture and keep that as the North Star that guides the search.
  • The search firm needs to effectively sell the best candidate on the virtues of your company: its vision, its future, its culture, its mission, and its peer executive team. This can only be done with a firm that has put in the time upfront to listen, learn, and partner well with your team. These skills are essential because, again, the right candidate is going to have a multiplier effect on your business (which is a whole separate article unto itself).
  • The search firm should make your job easier, not more difficult. They must not burden you with all the work of screening an endless flood of resumes in the hopes that something might stick.100% of the resumes you receive should be from highly qualified candidates.
  • The search firm should know how to formulate tailored offers for the best candidate; this means they must understand the candidate on a deeper psychological and cultural level than just their skills and education.

Because executive searches are typically a blend of art and science, and are inherently iterative, the most successful executive search firm partnerships require deep levels of trust, candid and frequent feedback, honest and open communication, and strong commitment to ensure successful outcomes.

Top search firms have three easily recognized characteristics:

  • A proven and codified search methodology with analytical tools and high placement and long-term retention rates.
  • A thorough, up-front effort to understand your strategic vision and corporate culture, industry, technology, and organizational objectives before developing and executing on a search strategy.
  • A sincere interest in people and understanding who they are and what makes them tick.

When interviewing potential executive search firm partners, here are some qualifying questions you might consider asking:

  • Do they have expertise and a track record of success hiring talent in your specific industry? Do they understand your competitors and the industry ecosystem in which you operate? Do they understand your unique market challenges? Search firms can have broad expertise, but successful ones have sharp focus and don’t try to be all things to all people.
  • Do they have a broad, trusted network of people in your area and industry? Have they worked internationally? Anyone can reach out to people through social media, but does your firm have a trusted network that they can leverage to champion your brand?
  • Do they have strong references? Do they have a large number of repeat customers, case studies and transformative client successes?
  • Do they have an appreciation of and track record of hiring for diversity?
  • Do their search consultants have decades of experience in the business world? Have they worked as hiring managers and/or HR professionals before focusing on executive search? Do they have an understanding of particular HR laws as they relate to recruitment that will keep your firm out of legal hot water? Are their search professionals also technology and finance experts with first-hand experience in these functions?
  • What is the average retention rate for their hires and length of tenure vs the national average?
  • Do they have a strong team that works synergistically? It’s important to vet anyone who will be representing your brand in the search. After all, your search team is representing you to many high-caliber executives and must impress. They must be able to articulate, and accurately and authentically represent your value proposition without presenting as a slick salesperson. They must speak the language of your industry. Your executive search partner will be an extension of your sales and marketing team and the best search professionals will also be creating dozens of new potential customers for your product / service / brand.
  • Are they creative in how they conduct their searches or are they consistently fishing in the same spot? Are they just pulling resumes from a stale applicant tracking system (ATS)?

 Finding the right strategic search partner that meets the criteria and leverages the strategies above prior to a critical executive search will set the stage for great success.

And here’s to great success!

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.” ~ Lawrence Bossidy

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