3 Things To Look For To Hire the Right People

I was facilitating a recent certification training program, and I got a question that I’ve been asked hundreds of times: “how do you make sure you hire the right person for a job?”

The question came during a section related to using McQuaig assessments for hiring. While many clients use our assessments to gain valuable insight into candidates’ natural temperament, some are surprised to discover that the tools go beyond assessment results. In addition to using assessment tools for accurate feedback about a candidate, here are three things to look for to make sure you’re hiring the right people.


3 Ways Your Team Can Stop You From Hiring The Best Candidates

In any hiring situation, there are a number of stakeholders. You’re getting input left and right about which candidate would be best. Getting caught in that whirlwind can be confusing and make it difficult to find the right person. As you navigate that storm, here are a few things to watch out for:


3 Questions To Identify A High-Quality Personality Assessment

Samantha is a Sales VP of a global technology company. They’ve been growing by leaps and bounds for several years as the industry continues to enjoy strong demand. Samantha leads a 100+ person team that’s been hitting their numbers year after year, and she’s managed to grow her business on average 38% annually for the past 4 years. She's ultimately responsible for delivering revenue, which means she needs to ensure the right people are on her team.

All in all – things are great, but Samantha is starting to notice issues with her team.


Five Common Mistakes That Can Lead To A Bad Hire

Whatever position you work in, most of us have seen or experienced a bad hire within our organizations – that bad apple that starts to smell after a while, but somehow goes unnoticed for a long time. Bad hires are often made due to some common mistakes that anyone can make. Luckily, these common mistakes also have actionable solutions, so you can prevent future bad hires from walking through the door. Here are five of the most common mistakes we’ve seen that can lead to a bad hire – and some methods for preventing those mistakes in the future.


Ask Better Behavioural Interview Questions: The SARR Method

Many hiring managers know to ask behavioural questions during the interview. This is a good first step, but the door is still open for vague answers and generalities. To get to the heart of the answer – and to help candidates whose nervousness may be keeping information back – probing questions are an effective way to peel back the layers of the situation being discussed. The SARR method is a handy way to ensure you’re getting all the information you want out of the interview. So what do SARR probing questions look like?


3 Steps To More Efficient Phone Screening Interviews

Once the applications start coming in, it can get a little overwhelming to call and rank the first round of candidates. But this is a critical first step to making sure you’re bringing in the right people for the in-person portion of the hiring process. With the right job profile, your eligible candidates should all seem positive at first glance, and the phone screening interview is a great way to make sure everything on the application lines up. This can be a great way to speed up the rest of the hiring process - by boosting the effectiveness of your phone interviews, you can be saving a ton of time in the assessment, interviewing, and selection stages. Here are the three steps to improving the structure of your phone screening interviews:


Stop Gambling With Your Recruiting Dollars

Think about the investment to hire new employees. There’s an applicant tracking system. An HR department. Outside recruiter costs. Job posting costs, and the time taken to write and edit the approved job description. Interviews plus follow up time. Training & development. Altogether, recruiting costs represent about forty-six percent (46%!) of a new employee’s salary. In other words, it costs approximately $46,000 to recruit one employee who will earn $100,000. Even after all that investment, it’s still a crapshoot – a standard interview is only 19% accurate in predicting candidate success.


Employee Assessments Should Help, Not Hurt: 3 Common Mistakes

Assessments have always been a part of your hiring toolkit and your overall hiring strategy, as they should be – but are you gaining the most value out of them? Here are 3 common mistakes HR and hiring managers make when using assessments:


Are You Ready For Change? Fostering The Creative Process

The creative process allows for breakthroughs and permanent change. It’s constant, vibrant and active, and it combines thought, rational, fact-based knowledge, behaviour and emotional feelings to bring about a desired change. Creativity uses the entire brain, both the right and left hemispheres. When we’re being creative, it’s really an all-encompassing process.


The Killers of Creativity

Have you ever worked in an environment where you felt like your creativity was shut down? How motivated did you feel to do an awesome job? Probably not too motivated, right?

Productivity and creativity often go hand-in-hand. It’s called intrinsic motivation, the idea that most employees will be more creative when they are motivated by their interests, enjoyment, satisfaction, and being challenged with their work, instead of motivating with outside pressures that cause a person to be systematic, direct, pushy or aggressive. The more personal motivation that an employee feels towards their position and responsibilities, the more creative they’ll be. Every great product, service, and idea starts with creative thinking by someone who felt personally motivated to work. The more creative your employees are, the more your organization benefits in the long-term.


Make It Count: Conducting Effective Interviews

I hate to tell you this, but if we’re being honest, there’s a good chance that you stink at interviewing. I don’t mean to pick on you specifically, but statistics don’t lie; study after study shows us that hiring manager make decisions based on interviews, and traditional interviews are just barely more effective than flipping a coin. So maybe you don’t stink at conducting effective interviews – but it certainly seems like a lot of us do!


Habits and Blocks to Creativity

For many of us in the working world, it’s important that we enjoy what we do. A common source of enjoyment for many of us is the ability to be creative within our roles. But sometimes we find ourselves stuck creatively, and this can have a surprising impact on our enjoyment of the job. Here are a number of creative blocks that might be contributing to that sense of low creativity:


The Best Way to Build A Job Profile

I’ve often noticed how organizations publish a job description when a position becomes available, but they don’t have a specific benchmark to compare candidates against. An organization may know what they'd like a new employee to do, but they may not have a clear idea of the temperament and intrinsic skill set that the job requires of the new employee. Without this critical piece of insight, how will they know they’ve hired the best person for the role? For many organizations, the best way to find this information is by going beyond the job description, and instead creating a job profile.


3 ways a job profile can speed up hiring

If making a hire is one more thing on your never ending to-do list, you are going to want to cross it off as quickly as possible. It’s not that you want to rush through the process, because that will likely end up in poor decision making. You just want to make everything more efficient so that it can all go smoothly.


3 tips to write better interview questions

You can find hundreds of articles on the best interview questions to use or the ones that successful companies rely on and it all attributes to how important this step of the hiring process is. The problem is that many interviewers ask weak questions, accept unsubstantial answers or do a combination of both and then end up having to do the work all over again. Who has time for that?


The 4 best points to use personality assessments in the hiring process

One of the biggest wastes that I see when supporting clients in using personality assessments is when companies only use it as a resource for one piece of their hiring process. Usually, that one piece is checking whether someone is a good fit for the position, and while that is important, there are so many more ways that they can help you save time and effort. Personality assessments are not a one trick pony. They can really support the entire act!


How TPD Finds the Right Fit For Their Clients

The international HR and workforce solutions company, TPD, knows that many of the selection techniques commonly used for hiring are not predictable enough to find the right fit for their clients. They understand that viable candidates need to have the right personality to be the best fit for the role and the organization. That’s why they have partnered with us to uncover greater insights into whether candidates can demonstrate the necessary behaviours to succeed in the positions that they work to fill.


Self-Assess for Success – Because “Strength is Weakness”

When I was an Organizational Development Consultant working with one of Canada’s major banks I came across a senior executive who had an aspect to his personality that I just knew was going to make the change initiative I was working on difficult to implement. It wasn’t that he was against the change – in fact far from it, he was the one insisting on the change and for good business reasons. The challenge was that his vision, passion for success and hard driving attitude, which had led him to his senior executive position in the first place, had the potential to scuttle a change initiative that required a large and diverse group of employees to buy-in to and execute. 


The "Why" Behind McQuaig

There's a lot of talk on social media about “finding your why” at work, or in other words, determining the reason why you show up every day and do what you do. Without this fundamental belief in your role, you have no purpose or motivation. You are simply repeating everyday motions without feeling engaged or connected to anything.


McQuaig Nominated for HR Reporter Readers' Choice Awards

We are very excited to announce that we have been nominated for the 2017 Canadian HR Reporter Readers’ Choice Awards! Our category is Employee Assessments and we will need your help to let everyone know that McQuaig is your preferred provider in this group.


How To Communicate Your Assessment Strategy

Assessments are an important part of any HR toolkit. The challenge with assessments though it that the value we get from them varies to a huge degree based on how well they are used. A big part of fully implementing any assessment tool is communication across the organization. HR can’t be the only one who holds the assessment process if we want to get full value from these tools. The tricky part of this is that we need to educate and involve different people in the organization in different ways. Below, I’m going to give you some tips and resources to help you more effectively implement and imbed McQuaig assessments within your organization. There are 4 main groups of people we need to educate and inform:


People-Focused Talent Acquisition Strategies Make Better Impressions

You thought you were cutting resource costs by automating your recruitment process but now you are realizing that your ideal candidates don’t want to deal with a robot. The idea of a completely automated process does not exemplify a people-focused culture and might even turn them off from applying at all!


Employee Engagement Ideas To Improve Work-Life

On their way to work in the morning, your employees are thinking about the infinite number of things that need to get done that day, the consequences if certain tasks are not completed, and likely a whole host of personal issues that they are experiencing. Your question, as a leader of these people, should be: how can I improve their everyday lives so that they are happier and more productive at work?


Could A Cognitive Assessment Test Have Told You So?

Nobody likes hearing “I told you so!” It is never pleasant to admit that you were wrong while somebody else knew better, especially when that mistake cost your organization a good chunk of change. We all know a bad hire is very costly and the hiring process is supposed to mitigate that risk.
But what if you were on the other side, the one who knows when something won’t work before it happens? Wouldn’t that feel fantastic? Skipping around your office singing “I know more than you do!” – Okay maybe you shouldn’t actually do that, but it would definitely be fun.
A cognitive assessment test can provide you with that feeling as mental capacity is a strong indicator of whether someone will be able to do the job. Workable says “These kinds of tests are much more accurate predictors of job performance than interviews or experience.”


Hiring Strategies For Growth: Finding Innovators

As an HR professional, you have to be strategic. You hiring strategies need to align with the goals of your organization to find the people that will help achieve those objectives.


Employee Assessment Tests For Talent Management

Who doesn’t love to buy one product that can be used in multiple ways? From multi-use apparel to home gadgets, getting more value from less purchases is always a bonus!


Employee engagement ideas to increase onboarding effectiveness

When bringing on a new team member, you want to engage them from the start and plant the seed for a long-lasting relationship. You need to get them up to speed as fast as possible while instilling a culture that values each employee as a whole person. This is no easy task and there have been many companies that have failed. According to ADP “less than half of HR administrators report consistently taking new employees through some of the basic “human” elements of onboarding.” 


What's The Best Approach For Succession Planning?

Any growing business needs a plan. Something that says how you will get from the current state to the multi-million (or billion if your up there) business that you wish it to be.  This plan involves many moving parts including product development, marketing, and sales. All of these pieces are crucial but you simply cannot move forward without the people to push you there. Think about what will happen as your current employees retire. Who will continue the vision? 


The Horrifying Symptoms of a Bad Hire - Beyond Bleeding Money

If you have ever made a poor hiring decision, you have felt the monetary hurt associated with it, but have you ever looked beyond that symptom to see the other effects on your company’s health? The dollar figures are enough to make you cringe but the effect on your customers, your internal staff, and your potential employees will have you crying for the nurse!


3 Quick Fixes That Will Save You from Making a Bad Hire Again

Dealing with the aftermath of a bad hire is no fun. You have to deal with the financial frustration from your boss, the stress overload from other employees, and the fear of incompetence from inside yourself.


Coach And Develop Employees With The McQuaig Word Survey

What if we were all the same? If we all spoke, wrote, and learned the same way. Everyone would come into work each day, sit down at their desks and do their jobs as if we were clones of one another. Aside from feeling like a Twilight Zone episode, this would just not work. Although we would all get along very well, we would all struggle with the same things.


Humanize Your Talent Management Process to Attract Top Talent

So you want to be one of the most sought after companies? One that everyone in your industry wants to work for, and even those outside of it! A company that receives candidate applications by the thousands every single day. An organizational culture so uplifting that people would be willing to work for free! (I am talking interns now, we have to be realistic)


Engage Employees With The McQuaig Self-Development Survey

Everybody wants a fulfilling life. A reason to get out of bed every morning, get dressed, and make something happen. We want to have purpose and feel passionate about what we do. But many of us get so bogged down by our day-to-day routine work that we become disengaged. Our jobs become solely the means to pay our bills - and we live for the weekend.


Essential soft skills to look for when hiring

The recruitment process is about more than just gauging a candidate’s job skills. What they can do, where their strengths lie and their track record are all important, but these hard markers are only one area you should be exploring in the hiring process. There’s another area that shouldn’t be passed over as you assess a potential hire: soft skills. Soft skills let you see who a job candidate really is, not just what they can do. Can they do more than just fill the basic requirements for the job? Include the following six pointers in your interviewing skills toolbox to gain a good understanding of a candidate’s soft skills.


The McQuaig Mental Agility Test (MMAT)


What is it?

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test (MMAT) is a 15 minute, timed cognitive assessment that measures an individual’s general intelligence, speed of thought, or what we call “mental agility”. It contains 50 multiple-choice formatted questions of verbal comprehension, mathematical ability and reasoning. Measures of general intelligence are among the very strongest predictors of performance across performance metrics, jobs, job levels, occupations, organizations, countries and demographic groups.  


Trouble with Team Dynamics? Master Team Effectiveness in 2017

As a manager, do you find a real variation in the personalities of the team of staff that you manage? This probably gets you thinking what the best approach is with each employee. Or maybe as an employee, what differences or similarities do you find between you and your colleagues? Other common questions I hear are ‘what makes a team successful?’ ‘how do we deal with conflict?’ ‘how do we create a high performing team?’ ‘how can we set it up so everyone wins?’ These are common questions to consider when building and working with a successful team. So how about discovering what makes your employees tick and how to create a successful team?


Five common recruitment mistakes and how to avoid them

One of the most important decisions a business makes is choosing who it hires. Simply put, selecting the right staff for the job can make all the difference in how well a company performs, and how efficiently a team operates and gets things done. Recruitment errors can lead to major problems; including costly staff turnover and uncooperative teams. In our 50 years helping organizations improve the quality of hire, McQuaig has seen example after example of the same mistakes. Here’s five of some of the more common missteps we’ve seen.


Recruiting Top Talent with The McQuaig Job Survey

When things get really busy on your team and no one has enough time to do everything that needs to get done, you realize you need more manpower. Or when you know something needs to be done but no one has any idea how to actually do it, it’s time to bring in a new member. But who is this new addition? What type of person will mesh well with the team? What characteristics do they need to actually do the job?


The Most Popular Social Recruitment Strategies from 2016

Social recruiting has been constantly growing in popularity and buzz. Here in North America 78% of respondents from our 2016 survey said their company utilized this strategy. Companies in Europe were quite active with social recruiting at 69% and Australia was trailing behind at 57%.
In total, 70% of respondents said they were using social media as one of their recruiting channels. Digging a little deeper, we asked those who are using social media to recruit, how they were using it.
The most popular social recruitment strategies from 2016 are:
1) Posting jobs on LinkedIn
2) Searching for candidates on LinkedIn

Only 27% were using employees as brand ambassadors and tapping into their social networks or posting content to build their employer brands. Although social recruiting is becoming more popular, not many companies have been using it to its full potential.
Get all the insights by downloading the full report here!

Recruiting With The McQuaig Word Survey



Your Favourite Blog Posts From 2016

We know we say this every year but 2016 really seemed to go by quickly! Now that the New Year is in full swing, it is a good time for reflection and planning. A time to think about what we have achieved in the previous year and what we hope to conquer in the this one. As part of this process, we have dug up your favourite blog posts from 2016:


The New McQuaig Comparison Report

 As part of our continuous improvement, each month we release new product features and updates. One of our most recent updates is a new version of what we call the Comparison Report. This is an extremely handy feature for a few different reasons. Whether you are in the recruitment process or are working to develop a team, this report will help to facilitate the necessary discussions. The report now includes two different views and allows you to select an ideal profile to compare multiple candidates to.


Looking Ahead: Recruiting Trends For 2017

We often talk about how companies wish they had a crystal ball to find out whether someone will be a good fit for a role, but it would also be helpful to know what to expect from recruiting in 2017! Instead, we will have to rely on the opinions of industry experts to give us insight into the trends coming our way.


Talent Acquisition Strategies to Reduce Turnover

Talent Acquisition Strategies to Reduce Turnover
Let’s say that your CEO instructs HR to develop a talent acquisition strategy to hire more millennials to keep your organization current. Your department focuses all of its energy on finding these individuals and getting them onboard. Then within 6 months, they start to churn.
There are many talent acquisition strategies out there to address different needs, however, the one thing that they should all be working towards is reducing turnover. No matter what type of candidate you are looking to acquire, once hired, you want them to remain.
Here are some approaches that you can take to sharpen this focus:

Relevant Sourcing
How do you find people who will want to stay in your company? Try asking your current employees where you would catch them!
Harvard Business Review suggests branching out from the traditional social media platforms to sites that are related to your industry, then connecting with community members who impress you. “Current employees can tell you which sites they use to connect with like-minded individuals, and they can also help you to launch networks that are organized to meet your company’s specific needs.”
By incorporating relevant sources into your talent acquisition strategy, the likelihood of finding more stable human power increases.


7 Ways HR Can Help Make Teams Successful

7 Ways HR Can Help Make Teams Successful
An ineffective team can get bogged down, fail to deliver, and cost the organization in terms of lost productivity, missed goals and sagging morale.
How can your organization avoid this? Based on the seminal 1996 book, Tools for Team Excellence, by Professor Gregory Huszczo, here are 7 ways to make your organizational teams successful:
1) Create a clear sense of direction
Define the expected outcomes of the team, what their role is and how their team’s output will contribute to corporate goals.
2) Find talented members
Based on the team goal, define what skills and competencies are required and either utilize existing members or find new ones.
3) Define clear and enticing responsibilities
Outline what each members’ roles are and where they should provide support. These roles should be in line with their talents and interests. Harvard Business Review talks more about how to define these responsibilities in this article.
4) Create reasonable and efficient operating procedures
Put in place systems to conduct meetings, identify and solve problems, make decisions, give and receive information, evaluate progress and perform tasks.
5) Foster constructive interpersonal relationships
Create systems to celebrate diversity, handle conflict, provide support, and challenge individuals.
6) Develop active reinforcement systems
Create a structure to hold members accountable and to reward positive outcomes and behaviors.
7) Build constructive external relationships
Support solid, diplomatic relations between teams that rely on each other.
When a team becomes effective, its whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Use these simple strategies to make your organizational teams successful and everyone will reap the benefits.


16 Key Principles of Leadership from Some of History’s Top Leaders

Companies, sports teams, and nations flourish under smart, successful leadership, and flounder without it. There are many ideas on what qualities make a successful leader. 

Who better to look to for guidance on this topic than some of the most prolific leaders of our time? Here are their thoughts on the principles of leadership.


What Makes a Good CEO? The 2 Most Common Leadership Profiles

What makes a good CEO? Of course, it’s different for each company and each stage a company may be in, but when we look at our data from profiles created for hiring executives, there are hints at what most companies are looking for when hiring CEOs.

We looked into that data and found the two most common leadership profiles.


Leading without Authority

Sometimes we find ourselves in a position where we need to lead or influence people who don’t report to us – read we have no power over. Okay, we often find ourselves in this position. In fact, this is what true leadership is, being able to move people along without the authority to just tell them what to do.

If you can master this skill you’ll achieve greater success in your professional and personal life. So, with that in mind, here are some tips for leading without authority.


5 Ways Mindfulness Can Make You a More Effective Leader

It's way easier to be a boss than a leader, and there is an enormous difference. Leaders are looked to for guidance and knowledge, trusted with heavy responsibilities, and regarded with confidence and faith. 

It's a big job. 

Leadership takes unique qualities, and being a leader is a constant evolution of resourcefulness, intelligence, and agility.  Mindfulness is a powerful tool gaining an increasingly important role in shaping powerful, effective leaders. 


What Michael Phelps Can Teach Us About Hiring

Michael Phelps is in the news again, winning more medals and announcing his retirement (again). He’s now the most decorated Olympian of all time. What an inspiration. And he also has something to teach us about hiring the right people.

That’s because Michael Phelps is a natural.


5 Powerful Strategies to Turn Dysfunctional Teams into High Performing Teams

Company leaders are responsible for reaching goals and bringing initiatives to fruition. This requires functioning teams.

There are, unfortunately, a thousand and one ways teams can veer off-track, causing projects to progress slowly or not at all, and objectives to fall short. 

Managers need to be prepared for teams to become dysfunctional, and take proactive measures to both avoid this and solve the problems behind dysfunctional teams. 

Here are five powerful strategies to turn dysfunctional teams into high performing ones. 


Would You Hire an Olympic Athlete?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an Olympian? With the Rio Olympics upon us, we decided it might be fun to explore the profile of an Olympic athlete using The McQuaig System and look at what type of employee they might make. 


Building the Business Case for Talent Assessments

Have you ever pitched management on a really great idea, but just couldn’t get the funding to try it? Even though numerous studies have shown the benefits companies realize by using assessments in their recruiting and development practices, I still hear the universal complaint from HR leaders that they’re underfunded and don’t have the budget to try them.

The looming question is, how do you calculate the return on investment for assessments? We developed this outline that will help you develop a business case for assessments that clearly demonstrates to management why they should fund your initiative. (And if you're just trying to figure out for yourself if assessments will ad value, it will help you figure that out, too.)


How to Succeed in HR

We spend a lot of time talking about how to make the right hiring and development decisions for your company, but every now and then you have to stop and ask “what about me?”

As a young HR professional, what can you do to advance your career? What are the things you need to do now to set yourself up for future success?


How to Engage Hiring Managers with Assessments

Hiring managers; you can’t live with them … Some people I speak to in HR would just end that sentence there, but the reality is you can’t live without them either. That doesn’t change the fact that this relationship is the cause of so much frustration for all parties involved: HR, hiring managers, and candidates.

So, how do you engage hiring managers in the recruiting process and make everybody happy?


Your Favorite Posts of the Year

As we approach the middle of the year, I thought I’d use one of our blog posts to thank you for reading and sharing our blog. I'm always interested to see which posts interest you. Sometimes I guessed a post would be popular, sometimes they catch me by surprise.

These are the five posts that you and other subscribers read and shared the most this year and hit on the topics that are on your mind.


Don’t Become a Candidate Experience Horror Story

I recently read a LinkedIn Pulse post on candidate experience that began with the following sentence: “I just spent the last 22 weeks living through the most obnoxious, frustrating, and drawn out, in depth, accusatory, mistrusting interview process of my life.”

How would you like that to be your company’s reputation with candidates?


Leadership Styles That Make a Difference

What are the leadership styles that equal success? Which ones will help you move the company forward? Who are the great leaders you should be emulating?

If you’re looking to define the leadership styles that will make a difference in your company, or to your career, choose carefully. Making the wrong choice can doom both.


How to Use Assessments When Hiring

Research has shown that using assessments can reduce cost-per-hire, increase productivity and lower turnover, but just using assessments isn’t always enough. To get full value from your assessment tool it’s worthwhile to consider how to use assessments when hiring within your specific recruitment process.

In this blog I want to go over a couple of different ways our clients use assessments in a high-volume recruiting environment versus a more normal process (is there such a thing as “normal recruiting?”).


Cognitive Ability Tests – Are They in Your Hiring Toolbox?

How do you know if someone can keep up with the pace of change in a role? If they’re an effective decision maker? What about their problem solving skills? These are key questions that need to be answered in many hiring situations and it can be really hard to know for sure based on an interview.

That’s where cognitive ability tests come in. If they’re not in your hiring toolbox, you should add them. Let me explain why.


New Hire Checklist: Tips for Onboarding New Employees

Are you doing everything (reasonably) possible to ensure the new hires you’ve spent time and money finding are going to stick around and become productive? Do you have a structured process for onboarding new employees, or do you kind of wing it?

I want to share a new hire checklist with you that will help you make sure your investment in those new hires pays off.


How to Build a Strong Executive Search Firm Brand Using Assessments

This post originally appeared on AESC Insights blog

The executive search industry generated $11.7 billion in revenue globally in 2014. In the US market alone there are more than 6,000 companies vying for a piece of that pie. How many direct competitors do you have in your market? What are you doing to make your firms stand out in that crowd? Assessments may be the answer.


Creating Effective Leaders in the Workplace [Video]

What are the traits of an effective leader in today’s organization? What do they need to truly drive performance in the workplace? And what can organizations do to attract, retain and develop those leaders?

These are some of the big topics we tackled in our #MiChat interview and twitter chat with leadership expert Mark C. Crowley. If you missed it, watch the recorded video of this great conversation.


HR Turns to Content Marketing to Attract Talent

There she is: your ideal candidate. The right experience, the right attitude, she’s got the behavioral profile to succeed in the role and is a strong match for your culture. Now, how do you get her attention?

She’s not looking for a job. She’s not on your website or seeing any of your job postings. Who knows if she’s connected somehow to one of your employees? According to a recent global recruitment survey, a lot of HR professionals are turning to a marketing strategy that’s all the rage to get her attention.


The Top Recruiting Channels for 2016

Which channels are most companies using to attract talent? And, more importantly, which of those channels are providing them with the best candidates?


The Secret to Hiring for Culture Fit

Guest post by Jamie Notter, Founding Partner, WorkXO

According to the 2016 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey, nearly two thirds of the respondents say it’s hard to find a cultural fit when hiring. And when there isn’t a good fit, you often end up losing people fairly quickly, and we all know that’s expensive and inefficient. So, given what’s at stake here, why are we finding it so hard to align who we’re hiring with what our culture is?


Survey Reveals the Traits of an Effective Leader

Leadership has a huge effect on every aspect of a company’s operations. One of the big areas it affects is the ability to attract talent. A-level talent wants to work at companies with strong leaders. That’s why I was so fascinated to see what the folks in HR told us they think are the traits of an effective leader in our recent global survey.

The survey also revealed how effective HR professionals felt their own leaders are and what that’s doing to their efforts to attract top performers. Let’s look at a snapshot of those results.


Why New Grads Are Disappointing Employers

Are colleges and universities cranking out graduates who aren't ready for the workforce? That seems to be the case based on a wealth of research.

This isn't meant to be another one of those Millennial-bashing articles. If it's true, they're not to blame; however, mounting studies are pointing to the fact that new graduates are lacking certain skills that employers need.


A Talent Management Plan for the Digital Age

The digital age is changing the way that we manage talent. I don’t think there’s anyone in HR or recruiting today who would disagree with that statement and there’s more and more evidence that companies that aren’t adapting are losing any chance of an advantage in attracting top performers.

A recent article form the McKinsey Quarterly outlined the path these changes are leading us down and the benefits some companies are achieving by getting ahead of the competition in adapting to this new reality.


Why Sales People are the #2 Hardest Role to Hire

Are you having trouble hiring a sales person? If so, you're not alone. According to research from ManpowerGroup, sales representative is the second hardest role to fill globally. That's up from fourth spot last year and the first time it's been that high since 2011.

But why is it so hard to fill these roles? And when you do, why does the person you thought looked great end up being a disappointment so often? 


Managers with a Growth Mindset are Better Coaches

Have you ever wondered why some managers are better coaches than others? It might not have anything to do with their skills or training. Research suggests that they might not believe people can grow and change – themselves included – and don’t see the point in coaching.

How do you tell the difference and what do you do about it?


How to Measure a Leadership Development Program

Countless studies and good old common sense tell us that good succession planning is critical to long-term company success. Despite that, very few companies seem to have much of a sense of whether or not their leadership development program is paying off. How do you measure the success?


Survey Says ... The State of Global Recruitment

For the third year in a row we're going out and surveying HR professionals from across the globe about the state to talent recruitment. If you work in HR or recruiting, I really hope you'll add your voice to the list of hundreds talking about what it takes to attract quality talent today.

Before you do, though, let's have a look at a little bit of what we've learned from the past two surveys.


Is Your Boss a Psychopath?

Do you sometimes wonder if your boss, or another executive at your company, is a sociopath? Do their actions in the office remind you of the suave serial killers from film and TV? It’s quite possible he or she really is a sociopath, but there’s also another potential explanation.


How HR can sell ideas to the C-Suite

If you’re like most HR professionals I know, your problem is not how to be innovative. You and your team probably come up with amazing ideas on a regular basis; ideas that will really make a difference to the company. If you’re like most, your challenge is how to get management to invest in your ideas

How can you sell your idea to your boss? Or your boss’ boss?


Are Effective Leaders Born or Made?

Is being an effective leader something you’re born with, or can you acquire those skills over time? And are there core elements of leadership that never change, or do you have to change and adapt with the times to remain effective?

Those are questions that have been asked for as long as I can remember. It’s also something that was  discussed by a panel of experts last year and what they had to say may hold the key for those of us trying to become more effective leaders, or trying to find the right kind of leaders for our companies.


5 Things to Stop Doing in Social Recruiting for 2016

The holidays are behind us and we’ve all made our New Year’s resolutions, but, if you’re using social networks as part of your recruiting strategy, I’d like to suggest that you add some things you should stop doing in social recruiting this year.


The Big HR Ideas of 2015

What did you learn in 2015? What books really spoke to you and made you dog ear a page or two to come back to later? What articles or blog posts compelled you to share with a friend or your network? I’d like to share some of ours.


HR in 2015: How did we do?

With 2016 fast approaching, there’s no better time to think about how we did as HR professionals throughout 2015.

Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report had a number of predictions about the state of HR and the direction it must work towards this year. Let's have a look how we did.


5 Things You Need If You Want to Lead

Two thirds of employees leave their jobs because of their relationship with their manager. Meaning they quit their boss, not their job. On the other hand, effective leadership can create a positive workplace culture, more engaged employees, high retention, better results for your organization, and greater success for you.

How’s the turnover in your unit?  If it’s higher than you’d like, you may be the problem. Here are five things you can do today to be a more effective leader and boost your career.


Working in HR Takes Courage: A Conversation with Steve Browne

If you participate in social media and work in HR you have no doubt heard of Steve Browne. Steve has used his influence to positively build a strong community within the world of HR. It was a great honor for me to sit down and have a conversation with Steve this month and hear all of his great insights around the profession and learn more about his passion for the world of work. 

Recently, I had the chance to talk with Steve about his thoughts on HR and where the industry is heading.


3 Reasons Behavior Assessments Lead to Higher Employee Retention

Do you ever wish you could look through a crystal ball when hiring a new employee? It would save so much time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in turnover costs. I’m not suggesting that assessments are a crystal ball, and I’m certainly not telling you they’re the whole solution. But I am telling you that using them dramatically increases the likelihood of making a successful hire and increasing your retention levels. Not to mention making happier hiring managers and lowering cost-per-hire.

Here are three ways that using behavior assessments can lead to higher employee retention.


How to develop leaders within your company

One major job for HR is to make sure your company is developing the next generation of leaders. Why groom these future leaders? Retaining and developing top talent in-house is less expensive than hiring outside your company.

So how do you do it? Here are some tips.


5 Questions to Consider When Coaching (Or Not Coaching) an Employee

As your company develops and evolves, your employees need to as well. That being said, you don’t always have time to develop everyone. And, as you’ve probably figured out, not every employee responds to your coaching the same way. While some people may develop at a rapid pace, others struggle. Sometimes it feels like more of a commitment than you can afford to take on. So, how do you tell whether someone can, or should, be coached?  Asking yourself these five questions can you help you make the right decision.


Four HR Metrics You Can’t Afford to Miss

'Tis the season for annual planning for many companies. The time of year when everyone tries to justify their existence and make a case for their piece of the pie for next year. The most important thing for any department in a company is what they are contributing to the organization’s bottom line. If you can’t show management what you’re contributing – and whether that contribution is going up or down – they’ll have a hard time committing resources, or even keeping you around.

In order to show management what they want to see, you need to be tracking the right metrics. Metrics that show your contributions AND allow you to see how changes in your activity impact your results. There are dozens, more like hundreds, of things you can and should track, but keeping these four on your list will provide you with the numbers to approach the c-suite with what they want to know.


What Successful Companies Do Differently to Attract Talent

I have the definitive answer to the question: Are we in a talent shortage?

Are you sitting down? Here is it … WHO CARES!


7 Tips to Become a More Effective Leader

Whether you’re a new manager or a seasoned management veteran, as your workplace evolves, your leadership acumen must as well. Here are seven tips that will help make you a more effective leader.


How to Use the Selling Process to Hire Better Salespeople

A poor sales hire is a costly one. Recruitment, training and salary costs among other expenses can amount to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Along with the high financial cost, it can be disheartening for your team and management to deal with the turnover and added workload that results from a departing sales hire.

It’s clear that in sales, your people are your business. You need to hire the best to be the best. But how do you know that you’re hiring the best? How can you predict that a candidate will succeed?


5 Questions You Must Answer to Attract Top Talent

Are your employees more or less happy this year than last? According to research conducted by Milewalk, they’re less happy. They’re also open to new opportunities and half of them have actually taken the step to interview with another company in the past year.


Here Come The Boomerangs

Here’s a scenario I’m sure many of you have found yourself in: You’re looking through resumes for a new job posting, weeding out the chaff, trying hard to understand if some of them even read the job posting and then you see it: the boomerang.

A candidate who used to work for your company applying to come back. In the past, many of you may have rejected the applicant because they already left you once. Even those of you without an official policy on the matter, may have wondered what would keep them from leaving again? A new survey suggests attitudes about boomerang employees may be changing. But should it?


Uncover The Reasons You Have Trouble Hiring & Retaining Talent

After a 10-year study with 10,000 employees and 200 companies, executive recruiting firm Milewalk has uncovered the secret reasons that employers have such difficulty attracting and retaining A-Level talent.  

On October 27, we’ll be interviewing Milewalk CEO Andrew LaCivita live to discuss what he learned from this study.


The Most Popular Employee Onboarding Articles on the Internet

There is a lot of advice our there about how to best onboard new hires. When you consider that studies have shown a good onboarding program can lead to increased revenue, lower turnover, and improved customer satisfaction that makes sense. To save you some time in the search for ideas, we've compiled a list of the 10 most shared articles from across the internet on the topic of onboarding. 

Our recent ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Employee Onboarding, covers a lot of best practices, but we wanted to share what other voices out there have to say on this important topic. So, here are summaries of the 10 most shared articles and blog posts on onboarding from around the web along with links to the original articles.


Could Executive Onboarding Have Saved Volkswagen?

With executive heads rolling at Volkswagen following their recent scandal, it may be a good time for companies to think about what they do to prepare new hires and promotions to take on leadership roles.

Research indicates that 40 percent of new leaders fail within 18 months. That number is even higher for outside hires, and much higher for hires from outside the industry. Some estimates I’ve seen put the cost of executive turnover as high as 400%. Have a look at your C-suite payroll and do the math on that one!

We all know onboarding helps with retention and setting people up for success, but do you have a special executive onboarding program?


Why the Netflix CEO says Interviews Don’t Work, and What Does

In a recent article, Netflix founder Reed Hastings said he thinks that interviews don’t work for hiring. He, and the other hiring managers at Netflix, put their faith, and effort, in another recruiting technique that he can’t believe so many managers do wrong or completely skip.

In an interview with The Independent, Hasting points to reference checking as the most important part of the hiring process. Keep reading to find out why.


The Ultimate Guide to Employee Onboarding

Do you have a formal employee onboarding program? When’s the last time you updated your program?

We’re spending a lot of money to find and hire the right people. Anywhere from $4,000 to $18,000 per hire, studies suggest. But 35 percent of companies spend $0 on onboarding, according to one study. No wonder we have problems with turnover and employee engagement.

Think back over the past year. Have you hired anyone who seemed like a great fit, and looked eager to jump in and contribute, only to see them fail or leave within a year? It could be your onboarding and now there’s a new guide that can help.


Don’t Let Your Pre-Employment Test Cost You a $2.8 million EEOC fine

By now, you’ve probably heard that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) fined  Target, the retail giant, $2.8 million in August. The EEOC said Target was using pre-employment tests that discriminated against certain minorities.


Millennials:Now in 4 Flavors

Everything you’ve heard about millennials is true! For 42 percent of them, anyway. The rest, well, they’re something else entirely. Are you adapting your recruiting and employee engagement approach to the different types of millennials?

What? You didn’t know there were different types? You should really read this.


How to Hire People That Will Make Your Business Succeed

Hiring qualified candidates means striking a balance between the right skills and the right behavior. No one wants an employee who’s a good cultural fit, but has mediocre competence at their job. But, a skilled employee whose way of thinking and acting conflicts with the rest of the organization or with customer needs causes more harm than good.

How do you decide what your candidates need to succeed in a position? To answer, let’s look at an example from JetBlue.


#MiChat Recap: Culture and Reinventing the Workplace with Pam Ross


If you could reinvent your workplace and make it a place where people find meaning in their work, are motivated and excited to use their talents, would you?


Advice for HR Professionals Looking to Make an Impact

“What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting their career in HR and looking to make a mark?"

My colleague asked this question to HR professionals who belonged to one of the larger HR-focused LinkedIn groups. The answers were informative, valuable and show a shift in the mindset of HR practitioners from passive to active drivers in their workplace.

I love the HR community and its willingness to help out professionals in and out of the industry and want to share some of these pieces of wisdom with you.


Want Better Management Skills? Avoid These 4 Deadly Coaching Mistakes

Even the best managers make mistakes, but some mistakes are more common than others when coaching employees. If you’re making these four common, but deadly, coaching mistakes your management skills are suffering. The good news is they’re not hard to avoid, if you know what to watch for.


Talking Culture and Reinventing the Workplace with Expert Pam Ross

It’s undeniable that the workplace is changing more and at a quicker pace than ever before. Technology is constantly evolving while the workforce’s fastest growing demographic is the much talked about millennial generation. In order to survive in the future, companies need to reinvent the workplace today – or have it reinvented for them. So what does this mean for all the people within it? What does it mean for those entering?

Find out how to take control of reinventing your workplace on our August 27 #MiChat live video interview and Twitter chat featuring author, speaker, blogger, and consultant Pam Ross.


How Your Yearly Performance Reviews are Sabotaging Engagement

I was talking to an HR Manager the other day and she was expressing her dislike for annual performance reviews. She wants to replace this archaic process with something that’s more effective. That got us talking. What are the goals and outcomes associated with doing an annual performance review and are they being accomplished? We concluded that waiting until the end of the year is actually the worst thing you can possibly do for employee engagement. Why?


How to Attract Passive Candidates

The other day my daughter was watching one of her cartoons on TV when I needed to get her attention. You parents out there can probably picture this scene. It took me three attempts just to get her to look up and acknowledge I was there, let alone actually pay attention. And why should she? She was busy and I was a distraction, not relevant at the moment.

That’s kind of the way it goes with recruiting, too.


Writing a Job Description the Right Way

So, you’ve just posted an opening for a new administrative assistant and BAM! It’s like the flood gates opened and you’re inundated with applications. Suddenly you’re staring down at hours of mind-numbing work sifting through all these applications to find the qualified few. It’s a pretty common problem and, I hate to say it, but it’s your own fault.


6 Ways to Make a Perfect First Day for a New Employee

A new hire’s first day on the job can be the beginning of a long, productive career, or the  beginning of the end. According to research, 15 percent of new hires contemplate quitting   on their first day. Here are six simple, low-cost things you can do to create a first day worth writing home about.


When Employees Quit, Make it Personal

Employees are job hopping more than ever before. In some fields nearly half of employees are thinking of changing jobs within one or two years. While this can be frustrating for employers, properly offboarding these employees provides three important opportunities:


How to Use Assessments for a Better Onboarding Experience

Onboarding. It takes a lot of time, labor and planning to truly onboard an employee. So why do it?


Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees

Research has demonstrated that onboarding employees can lead to dramatic increases in retention, productivity, engagement and cost-savings for employers. Developing an onboarding program for on-site employees is challenging enough, what do you do for remote employees?


Don't Let THIS Happen to You When Reference Checking

I want to tell you a story. It’s a story I was told by one of my clients about a nightmare scenario that unfolded for them because they didn’t check references properly on a new sales hire.  If you’ve ever skipped or skimped on checking references, I think you might reconsider that once you’ve heard what happen to my client.


When Team Building Retreats Go Wrong

Our team recently had an offsite meeting in Beaver Creek for work-related brainstorming and leisure time together in a refreshing setting. I have to say, I’m proud and fortunate to manage such a bright group of hardworking people. What’s even better is that there’s no animosity between our team, we have high retention and productivity levels and overall cooperative staff. It was a more than easy and fruitful two days in Southern Ontario with the team. Unfortunately, other mangers and teams aren’t so lucky.

A quick Google search of team retreat stories delivers a mix of entertaining and dreadful stories of tears, embarrassment and humiliation in the name of team building.

Considering the nature of workplace problems, such as inefficiency, poor communication, workplace harassment, gossip, or all around drama, we argue that team retreats are simply not the solution to most workplace troubles. While workplace retreats may be fun for functional teams, they have the capability to worsen a dysfunctional one. But why?


How to Create an Effective Career Website

Imagine a career website that draws in candidates, captivates those who fit your ideal profile with engaging content and discourages those who don’t, and then hooks them with pithy job postings and simple application processes. Are you smiling yet? Now, do you believe it’s possible?

According the 2015 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey, 74 percent of companies have a career website, but only 10 percent say they’re getting quality candidates from it. Not surprisingly then, 26 percent said they plan to invest in creating or improving their site this year. But where do you spend your money?


What the Pan Am Games Can Teach Us About Team Building

The Pan Am games are about to kick off here in Toronto, and the media is starting to speculate on whose team is poised to win a medal in which sport, who’s healthy and which players are injured. At the same time, as we get into the thick of summer, employees are booking time off and planning vacations. As offices empty and stadiums fill up, both Pan Am coaches and workplace managers have similar challenges: how can I ensure my team succeeds no matter who’s available?


Talking Leadership with Mark C. Crowley

What are the most important traits of a leader? What do employees want from their leaders? What are the common mistakes organizations make around leadership?

These are some of the topics we explored with author and leadership expert, Mark C. Crowley on our latest Twitter chat, #MiChat. You can watch the video interview and read the transcript of the Twitter chat here.


#MiChat with Leadership Expert Mark C.Crowley: Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:00 PM EST

Leadership methods of the past just aren’t cutting it anymore. Only one-third of employees are engaged. What’s worse is actively disengaged people, who are deflating your engaged workers, cost the US up to $550 billion annually. What’s the solution?

Leadership expert and author, Mark C. Crowley, thinks he has the answer.


4 Ways to Use Instagram for Recruiting

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Instagram has to be worth millions. Instagram is a social media platform where users can share pictures and short videos with the world. With more than 300 million active users uploading millions of pictures daily, it’s one of the fastest growing social media platforms.

The question for HR is, can this help with recruitment? If so, how?


What Most People Forget When Team Building

Imagine you’re the manager of a highly skilled marketing team and you’re trying to create a big campaign for a new product. On your team you’ve got Anne, the deadline lover who thrives on pressure; Dave who needs to get work done early and stay on schedule to manage; Susan, the dominant personality, who needs her ideas to be heard, often at the expense of quieter members; and Will, Mr. Easygoing who seems to be in agreement with any member that talks.

They’re all skilled in what they do, but when you put them together … BAM! Things go sideways, communication breaks down and dysfunction sets in and leadership looks at you for an explanation.  


How Volunteerism Increases Employee Engagement

We’ve all heard the dismal stats concerning employee disengagement and its cost to organizations. According to a study by Gallup, 70% of Americans are not engaged or actively disengaged. A study by ADP put the cost to organizations at $2,246 per disengaged employee.

To find the cost to your organization, just multiply 70% of your employees by $2,246. Yikes. But enough doom and gloom. In honor of National Volunteer Week, I want to share with you some stats showing how volunteer programs can help erase those costs and increase employee engagement.


[Audio Interview] How to Hire Top-Performing Salespeople

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by business coach, Jamie Cunningham for his on-demand radio program, Business Nutrition. On the program, Jamie and I discussed the challenges of hiring and retaining top-performing salespeople and touched on a number of topics, including what makes a top salesperson, hiring sales performers, using assessment tools to predict success, and more.


The Dangers Of Generational Stereotypes in Hiring Millennials

Time Magazine called millennials the Me Me Me Generation. Baby boomers were known as the Me Generation and generation X were typecast as narcissists. It’s always struck me how much of generational stereotypes come down to an older generation’s displeasure with the behavior of youth.

Even when we use more sound science to describe the personality of a single generation, there’s still a huge risk that we’ll get it all wrong. From a talent management perspective, theories abound on what makes this generation tick and what we need to do to attract and retain them. But these theories may be blinding us to the real secret to success.


Can Zappos Make a Bossless Company Work?

Zappos has been in the news a lot lately as a result of 210 of their employees opting to quit rather than work in the company’s new “Holacracy” or bossless workforce. Does a leaderless workforce make sense from an organizational development perspective? Can Zappos, or anyone, pull it off?

I think the odds are against them.


Tips for Hiring Millennials From a Millennial

Are you an HR pro or recruiter in a company that wants to keep up with advances in technology, the growing influence of social media and attention-grabbing marketing strategies? If so, you may be one of many people who had this thought: Yes that’s it! I’ll hire a millennial; they’ll bring fresh skills and a new perspective. 

As a member of that millennial generation I am going to share some tips with you to prevent this from being a decision you come to regret.


The Secret (You Already Know) to Effective Social Recruiting

Whenever I speak about social recruiting—whether it’s one-on-one with a client or to group at a conference—I inevitably get asked questions about what it really is and how to get started. I recognize that it can be intimidating. There are so many differing opinions out there as to how effective it is, what’s involved, where to start, etc.

What I’ve come to realize, after struggling for a simple answer for a long time, is that one of the most important, foundational pieces of a successful social recruiting strategy is something that most HR and recruiting professionals are already using. That seems like a good place to start.


Does the Talent Shortage Mean the End of Corporate Culture?

As As I read and re-read the results of our recent McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey, new insights and questions keep popping up. This week I was looking at what the responses from 450 HR professionals said about why new hires don’t work out. Some really interesting things came into focus regarding corporate culture and whether or not it matters. I want to share my thoughts and I’d love to hear what you think.


Interview Skills, Candidate Profiles and Hiring Managers … Do They Matter?

As we continue to explore the results from our survey of HR professionals from around the globe, I wanted to look at what our survey respondents told us about the all-important interview process. And of course, you can’t talk about interviews without talking about hiring managers, so we’ll see what there is to say about them, too.

image: studio tdes | CC BY


The Hardest Roles for HR to Fill

now_hiringFor the second year in a row, “Finding qualified candidates” and “Finding the right technical skills” topped the list of recruitment challenges in our Global Talent Recruitment Survey. This year, we also asked what roles people were having the most difficulty filling.

In this post, we’re going to look at that list and discuss some of the potential causes and solutions.


The 3 Recruiting Channels That Deliver the Best Candidates

Where are you looking for your candidates? And which channels are bringing you the highest quality recruits? We asked more than 450 HR professionals globally which channels they were using and which ones delivered the highest quality candidates.


What Successful Companies Are Doing to Win the War for Talent

More and more signs are pointing towards the onset of a candidate’s market. The Conference Board in the US has been so bold as to predict a 15-year period of tight labor conditions.

As the war for talent heats up, the results from our 2015 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey show some distinct differences in activity between those winning the war and those who are struggling.


Here’s What More Than 450 HR Professionals Have to Say

The results are in for the 2015 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey and I'm really excited about what they have to say about the challenges companies are facing and how they're adapting. We changed up the questions this year and were able to dissect the data to show the differences between companies that are have more success and those that are struggling, providing valuable insights for anyone looking to improve hiring outcomes.

In total, 453 HR professionals from around the globe shared their insights with us regarding the state of talent acquisition, where their biggest challenges lie, what’s working and what isn’t as they try to attract A-level talent.


5 Steps to Writing Effective Job Posts

In today’s competitive job market, strong job postings are a key element in finding the top talent that you need. The most desirable job seekers out there will not bother applying to a job posting that doesn’t speak to them and that can mean the difference between attracting a superstar as opposed to someone who is mediocre. A better ad can help you recruit better people! We've broken the process of writing effective job posts down into five simple steps.


How CEO Personality Shapes Corporate Culture, and Results

How important is it for the CEO to embrace the corporate culture? You won’t find many people who say it’s anything less than critical, but now there's a study that shows that it goes beyond buy-in.

The personality of a CEO actually determines the culture of a company, which, in turn, has a direct impact on company performance. It’s time to start paying attention to the link between these three things.


Helping Women Veterans Integrate into the Workforce

I was honored recently to be involved in an event called Project Reinvent, which was created to help female veterans prepare themselves to successfully integrate back into the civilian workforce.

The pilot event was for 50 women stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was put on by Operation Reinvent, a not-for-profit organization created to help these women transition. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: 

  • There are 2.2 million women veterans in the US
  • 100,000 of those veterans are unemployed
  • 20,000 women transition from the military to civilian life each year

In this short video, I share my thoughts on being part of this amazing event. If reading is more your thing, you'll find a transcript below the video.


Building High Performance Teams: A Book Review

Every organization wants to have high performance teams. Everyone wants to be part of a high performance team. Being a good team player is a sought-after trait for recruiters and hiring managers.

But the reality is that most teams are more dysfunctional than functional, and we’ve all been part of – or witnessed – a team that just didn’t click. So, what's the trick to building high performance teams?

That’s the topic that Liane Davey explored in her New York Times best-selling book, You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along, and Get Things Done.


Tips to Attract High Performers (Video)

Every organization wants to attract high performers - or A-Level talent. It's that 20 percent of your workforce that delivers 80 percent of the results. They're your leaders and future leaders. The people who move you forward and bring everyone else along with them.

Everbody wants them, but most organizations are making key mistakes in their attempts to attract high performers.

In the sixth installment of our Talent Management Talk video series, Ian Cameron shares highlights from his HRPA 2015 presentation Aim High: Five Steps to Hiring & Keeping A-Level Talent, and provides some key insights for companies struggling to find these top performers. Click below to watch the video.


How Plato and Jung Made Me a Better Coach

Greek philosopher Plato and Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung both spoke of these things called archetypes. Both men spoke of how archetypes influence and define who we are through our behavior.

My studies of archetypes have helped me to become a better coach by tapping into the underlying theory behind them.


Find Fulfilling Work with Roman Krznaric

In the fifth installment of our six-part video series from HRPA 2015 on Talent Management Talks, I talk with Roman Krznaric, about the search for meaningful work and the value that empathy can bring to an organization.

Did you know most people go about finding fulfilling work the wrong way? Roman shares with me a better way to find what's right for you, without packing it in and quitting. And on the subject of empathy, he speaks to why it's good for business and an easy and cheap way to test for it when recruiting.


Dr. Nick Bontis: Tips to Manage Information Overload [Video]

You've got your coffee, nice and hot, you get to your office, drop your bag, fire up the computer and then it hits you. Your inbox is overflowing, your voicemail light is flashing, a look at your calendar shows a full day of meetings staring you in the face AND you've got a list of priorities you can't seem to get to. Sound familiar?

I think we're all struggling with how to manage information overload and the impact it has on our productivity. In his book, Information Bombardment: Rising Above the Digital Onslaught, Dr. Nick Bontis throws us a lifeline in the form of some strategies to manage all of this information and find that work-life balance we all crave.

I caught up with him at HRPA 2015, where he was the opening keynote speaker, and he shares some of those tips with me in this short video.


Liane Davey on Creating High Performance Teams [Video]

There are so many ways a team can go wrong, but the power to fix them and get on the path to creating high performance teams lies within you.

That's the message that Liane Davey explored in her book, You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along, and Get Stuff Done, and it's what she discussed in her talk at HRPA2015.

I caught up with Liane after her session at HRPA and you can see what she had to say about how to create effective teams in this short video.


The 2015 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey

I'm really excited to announce the launch of our second annual McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey and invite you to participate.

The survey will take the pulse of the global hiring environment, the challenges companies are facing in finding the talent they need and what they are doing to address those challenges. As a thank you for taking the survey, we'll send you a copy of the final results.

Last year we surveyed 570 HR professional and got some eye-opening results ...


Want a Seat at the Table? Learn to Rock It [video]

The best way to get a seat at the executive table is to impress those already there. In order to do that, you need to be a more effective presenter.

In the second episode of our six-part series featuring keynote speakers from HRPA 2015, I spoke with the guys behind PresentationGenius, a company that helps people deliver more effective presentations by understanding the neuroscience of engagement.


Lessons I learned at HRPA2015

For me, one of the big take-aways from HRPA2015 was the need to look at challenges and opportunities from new perspectives. I found the most interesting sessions were the ones where the speakers challenged the audience to shake things up.

Here’s my attempt to summarize some of the messages and questions that resonated strongest with me, I hope they inspire you:


New Video: Talking Talent Management & Social Media with @UnMarketing

I was at HRPA 2015 last week and had an awesome time taking in all the great speakers and networking with some fantastic HR professionals. While there, I took the time to interview some of the amazing speakers who shared their eye-opening ideas with us.

We'll be posting those videos on our YouTube channel and I'll be sharing them here on the blog. I'm really excited about our first conversation with best-selling author and marketing celebrity, Scott Stratten.


Stop Wasting Your Money on Leadership Development

Spending on leadership development is on the way up! According to a 2014 study by Deloitte, companies spent over $130 billion worldwide on corporate training the previous year, a 15% increase. The research also showed that 35% of that money was spent on leadership development.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it might not be helping. According to Aon Consulting, 60% of US companies are facing a leadership talent shortage.

Part of the problem is that companies are spending money to develop future leaders without really understanding how to identify who those high potentials are.


Building an Engaged Workforce with Strength-Focused Coaching

If you want to increase your likelihood of building an engaged workforce it is far more empowering and effective to tap into and focus on an employee's strengths. According to studies by Gallup, employees whose managers focus on developing strengths are eight times more likely to be engaged than those whose managers focus on fixing weaknesses.


3 Keys to Effective Feedback: Observations, Perspectives, and Pathways

Feedback is a key component of a successful coaching program. Without it, you can’t effect positive change. If you’re not paying attention to the three key elements of feedback, though, you might be wasting your breath.

Those three key elements are observations, perspectives and pathways. 


The Secret to Hiring Self-Motivated Employees

How much time do managers spend motivating their staff? While I haven’t seen any studies that track this, if you asked people managers in your company – or think about your own time if you manage people – I’ll bet the number would surprise you. I’ve heard estimates on this run as high as 50% of a manager’s time.

Imagine if you had an extra two-and-a-half weeks each month suddenly freed up because you didn’t have to spend it motivating employees? What would you do with that time? If you’re a recruiter, imagine how your hiring managers would react if you used a hiring strategy that resulted in a great employee and also gave them the gift of more time.


What Makes a Good Leader?

There is a lot of information out there about what makes a good leader. How to prioritize your time, what to focus on, what skills you need to develop. But can anyone become a successful leader, or do you have to have a certain something in order to become great?

Our research over the years suggests that there are certain traits that make some people more likely to become good leaders than others.


HR Must Lead for Social Media to Succeed

A lot has been written about the importance of HR leveraging social media, but very little about the flip side of that coin: the important role HR plays in organizations looking to leverage social media in areas like customer service and marketing.

I think it's something worth spending some time on, though, because HR may, in fact, be the most pivotal partner an organization needs to bring to the table in order to realize social media success.


The 5 Top Talent Management Posts of 2014

Has 2014 been as crazy for you as it has for me? This year seemed to be marked by a lot of interesting twists and turns. On one hand we heard stories of talent shortages making it difficult fill positions, while other indicators pointed to a glut of candidates unable to find work.

The quest to attract and retain A-level talent seemed to intensify for everyone as we all sought to find those future leaders and top performers.

Throughout the year, we shared what we learned from working with clients and watching market trends here on this blog, in order to help you make the most of your talent management efforts. Looking back at the posts that got the most attention from readers like you, they weren't necessarily the ones I thought they would be. I thought at this time of year, when we typically reflect on the past 12 months, it would fun to share these top posts with you to see if they help in any way as you contemplate what next year will bring.


The Secret to Success with Behavioral Assessments

There are a lot of people out there wasting money on behavioral assessment tools. That probably sounds weird coming from someone who works for an assessment provider, but it’s a fact.

The reason they’re wasting their money isn’t because the tool can’t do what they need it to, it’s because it’s not being used the way it was meant to be used. This isn’t their fault. They were probably never told how to properly implement it.


Don't Muck Up Your Talent Management Process

How do you use behavioral assessments? That’s a question I hear a lot, but what people really want to know when they ask me that question is, “how do I use assessments in a way that doesn’t disrupt my existing processes and slow things down?”

It’s an important question to ask because a properly implemented assessment tool can improve your quality of hire, time-to productivity, and retention rates, but if they’re not properly embedded into your talent management process you might only see a fraction of that benefit – or no benefit at all.


The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Effective Sales People

Sales people are the lifeblood of most organizations. They’re responsible for driving top-line revenue; they’re the face of your brand with prospects; and your company’s first impression with pretty much every customer you have. They're also some of the most difficult roles to hire for.

The new eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Effective Sales People, provides sales managers and HR with the insights and tips they need to find, hire and develop these critical employees.


Interview Strategies for Hiring Sales People

If you’re a sales manager you know the pressure add top talent to your team and you know how tough it is hiring sales people. Cost estimates for a bad sales hire run into the millions of dollars. Even taking a more conservative approach, a 2012 report by the DePaul University Centre for Sales Leadership put the average cost to hire, train and replace a sales person at $114,957.

The stakes in getting it right when hiring sales people are higher than probably any other role in your company.  The secret to success is knowing what to look for and how to get at it in an interview.


7 Problems With Employee Incentives

For over a century the prevailing management wisdom in many companies has been that, in order to get improved performance from employees, you have to reward the behavior you want and punish the behavior you don’t. This philosophy has been built into compensation models, employee incentive plans, performance management programs, ingrained in the very fabric of many companies.

The problem is that it doesn’t work. In fact, following the practice of offering carrots and sticks can actually have the opposite effect, and decrease performance.


Coaching With Impactful Questions

A lot of coaching comes down to the questions you ask and how you ask them. The most effective coaches will ask a question instead of making a statement, but it’s also the type of question they ask that makes a difference. The key is to ask impactful questions that produce results. These questions will lead to deeper learning for the employee and the creation of an action plan that will produce results for both the employee and the manager.

So, what is an impactful question?


In Coaching, Know When to Be Quiet

Listening is a key to success in so many areas; successful communication, successful leadership, and successful coaching are all underpinned by the power of listening. It's also a key that many of us fail to make good use of in the workplace.

Listening with intention, or active listening, is an absolutely fundamental tool that you must have in your coaching toolbox if you are going to be an effective coach.


There Are 2 Types of Hiring Mistakes, Which One Are You Making?

Study after study lists hiring and retaining talent as one of the key issues that keep CEOs awake at night. Evidence also shows that if you have the right people on board, the issue of motivating them and driving them to produce results becomes much, much easier. Alternatively, if you don’t have the right people on board, the best strategies in the world won’t save you.

If you worry you may not be filling your bus with the right people, you’re likely making one of two common hiring mistakes.


Coaching Toolbox: Identifying Peak Experiences

There are watershed moments in everyone’s life. Those moments when something happens that changes our whole perspective on life or work or a particular relationship. We can use these peak experiences to tap into when we find ourselves stuck in a rut and need extra motivation.

As a manager or coach, you can tap into your own peak experiences, or the peak experiences of your employees, as a tool to improve performance in a big way.


Picking People for Demanding Roles

It was Coleman Mockler, the former CEO of Gillette, who said “every minute devoted to putting the proper person in the proper slot is worth weeks of time later.” This is especially true in demanding roles; roles that have a significant bottom-line impact and have considerable, measurable fluctuations in productivity.

Which roles in your organization are demanding roles and most worth expending extra time and care in finding the right person? How do you tell?


The Coaching Toolbox: Acknowledging and Championing Your Employees

In a post outlining a four-step coaching process, I listed a number of powerful tools coaches should have in their toolbox to ensure success. Today, I want to explore one of those tools: acknowledging and championing your employees.

I've always believed that we have a choice to either raise people up to their greatest potential, or hold them back. It can sometimes be too easy to resort to criticism and judgment, but a conscious and aware leader knows the value of acknowledging and championing their employees.


How Great Managers Build High-Performance Teams

I see a lot of articles and presentations about what great leadership looks like. The catch phrases are numerous: leaders lead, managers manage; leaders lead people, managers manage tasks. As I read all these, I sometimes feel bad for managers.

Don’t get me wrong, I think strong leadership is critical to an organization. Without it, you’re destined for mediocrity, or worse. But there are a lot of great managers out there, without whom many an organization would be sunk.

So, what do those great managers do that’s different?


How to Use Social Media for Onboarding

Social recruiting has been a buzz term for a few years now. There are entire conferences devoted to teaching companies how to attract A-level talent this way; experts are pushing out blog posts and articles all the time; and consultants are framing entire businesses around training companies to use social media to recruit.

What I see less of, though, is how you can use some of those same social tools and strategies for better onboarding, and that's a missed opportunity.


The Coaching Tool Many Managers Are Missing

If you are involved in coaching in the workplace, chances are that your end goal is improvement. That could be improvement in performance, improvement in attitude, improvement in a specific skill or aptitude, but your goal is to help your employee become better at something.

In my experience as a professional coach, there is one key tool that many coaches don’t take advantage of.


A 4-Step Process for More Effective Coaching

In my work with clients as a professional coach and trainer, I have rarely come up against someone who doesn’t think coaching can have a positive impact on a person and company. What I do see more often, are people who are frustrated that their coaching is not having the results they think it should.

They want to get more from their staff, but they don’t know where to start when it comes to coaching in a constructive manner, nor the best steps to successful coaching.


Are You Picking the Right Kind of Leader?

Most executives are not happy with their organization’s succession management program, despite recognizing the importance of such activities. Those sentiments are taken from reports created by Stanford University and the Institute for Executive Development. If it sounds like something your organization is struggling with, you’re not alone.

In fact, you haven’t been alone for a long time. Back in 2002, an article in the Harvard Business Review made the case that succession management was ineffective in many companies and also proposed an approach to fix what was ailing them.


The Employee Persona: A Critical Element in Attracting High Potentials

It seems in life that very few things we really want to happen, happen without a little effort. Take attracting high potential employees to our organziations; to attract this A-level talent, you have to specifically target them. Studies show that upwards of 80% aren’t actively looking for a job. They’re not going to stumble across your job ad. They’re not going to find you on LinkedIn or spend an hour consuming the career page on your website. You have to understand them at a deep level and develop a strategy to target them.

You need to create an Employee Persona.


Coaching Cheat Sheet for Managers

Have you ever sat down for a discussion with one of your direct reports and had the conversation go completely sideways? Have you ever wondered why you seem to be able to get through to one employee, but not another? Have you ever wished you had a cheat sheet that could help you increase the likelihood of success in a coaching conversation?

Our clients did, so we made this.


Tips to Avoid Generational Conflict in the Workplace

Today's workforce diversity also includes a rich blend of generational expertise and the unique challenges that this diverse talent pool presents to government, SMB and Fortune 500 firms. Whether it's Gen X, Baby Boomers, or Millennials they all have their own perspectives, lifestyles, interests, and approaches to their work responsibilities.

According to a recent report by Deloitte, two-thirds of human resource managers report some generational conflict within their organizations. Although this is clearly an important issue, only one-third of these organizations have addressed ways in which to identify, mediate and manage this issue.


Honest, transparent corporate culture tops list for job seekers

The type of culture people say they want in their current company and what would grab their attention in a job ad are actually two different things.


Do Results Live Up to Promises with Behavioral Assessment Tools?

If you’re in the market for a behavioral assessment tool to help you reduce turnover and increase productivity, you’ll hear a lot of promises from assessment providers. An important part of your due diligence should be confirming that the tool lives up to the promises made.

There are a couple of ways you can do this and we'll explore them here.


The Difference Between High Potentials and High Performers

Bill Gates once said "Take my 20 best people, and virtually overnight, Microsoft becomes a mediocre company."

Maintaining high-performing talent is a critical organizational competency at all times. Today I'll suggest some strategies for identifying different types of high performers and accommodating their needs.


Did You Reference Check Your Behavioral Assessment

It’s often said that exceptional customer service is a table stake in today’s world. That would be nice if it were true, but start asking questions of your friends and colleagues about the companies they deal with and it won’t take long before you start hearing tales of woe and neglect.

When you enter into an arrangement with a service provider to help you do your job, you’re also entering into a relationship with that company. When it comes to behavioral assessment tools designed to improve your recruiting and development programs, customer service is a key issue to explore.


Take the Test, Read the Reports Before Buying a Talent Assessment Tool

A talent assessment tool is only as effective as the actionable information it provides for you to base decisions upon.

If you’re considering a talent assessment tool one of the most important things you can do is review the reports you’ll be receiving.


Do Pre-Employment Tests Increase Your Exposure to Potential Lawsuits?

When you’re considering a behavioral assessment tool to improve your recruiting and employee retention results, one of the key areas you need to be aware of is ensuring the pre-employment test isn’t screening for gender or ethnicity just by the nature of its questions.

If it is, that could leave you open to potential law suits that could end up costing you millions of dollars.


[Infographic] Turning Your Biggest Recruiting Challenge into your Biggest Asset

When we surveyed 570 HR professionals about their recruiting challenges, one of the biggest was their internal business partners: hiring managers.

It turns out, when we dig deeper into this relationship, there are a lot of challenges that arise, preventing recruiting processes from running as smoothly as they could. We condensed some of the key survey data into this infographic and added in some tips that you can use to improve your recruitment outcomes by improving the relationship with hiring managers. 


Is There Real Science Behind Pre-Employment Assessments?

If you’re considering a pre-employment test or employee assessment tool to improve your recruiting and employee retention results, there are six key questions you should be asking yourself and potential vendors.

The first question on that list: “Is the behavioral assessment tool scientifically valid?”


Do Candidates Ever Fake Pre-Employment Tests?

A question I get asked a lot is, do candidates ever "fake" their responses on an assessment like McQuaig, and how successful are they if they do?

The recruitment process is, from the perspective of the candidate, a sales process. We know some embellish their resumes, their success stories in interviews and they only volunteer references who will provide positive information. So, it seems natural that they’d also try to embellish their responses in a pre-employment assessment.

The question is can they do it?


Interview Skills Training Turns Managers into Great Interviewers

It’s tempting to assume that anyone can interview potential employees and, with a few tips, accurately assess them. Tempting, but not true. Great interviewers are made, not born. Interviewing is a skill; one that requires more than the ability to fact check a resume. A good interviewer will know what they are looking for, know how to recognize those skills and traits, and know how to ask the right questions to get the answers they need.

It’s also tempting to assume that repetition will make someone a better interviewer. This is only true if they have a sound foundation to build upon; otherwise, they simply continue to replicate bad habits.

To make someone a truly effective interviewer, the surest path begins with interview skills training.


Recruiting Reports for Retail & Financial Services

Every industry is different, but there are many themes that run through all of them. That's what we've found as we release our special industry reports from the 2014 McQuaig Talent Recruitment Survey.

Today, we're releasing the final two reports: Retail and Financial Services. Here are some of the highlights:


5 Tips to Develop High Potentials

High Potential employees are your future leaders and they can greatly increase the growth and productivity of your company, if you can identify and develop them. If you can't, they can add that value to your competitors. 

They have the potential to take on more challenging roles in the company; specifically, they're capable of advancing at least two levels in the organization. They have worked on acquiring skills to enhance their innate talents and want to succeed in their careers

What are you doing to identify and develop these future leaders?


The Big Challenges for Manufacturing Recruitment

The biggest recruiting challenge for manufacturing companies is finding candidates with the right technical skills, according to the 2014 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey. That's not surprising, but those same companies also said that lack of skills are not the problem 47% of the time. 

That makes me wonder if manufacturers are focusing their recruiting efforts in the wrong area, or if they're not supporting those efforts with investments in onboarding and employee development. 


How Candidate Assessments Improve Hiring Outcomes

How often has your company hired a candidate based on skills only to find that they just didn't fit the position? 

I keep thinking about the results from our recent survey of 570 HR professionals. Nearly two-thirds said that when a new hire doesn't work out, it's not because of inadequate skills. So, what was it then? Bad cultural fit? Conflict with the boss? With co-workers? Had the skills, but not the drive, or the perseverance, or the self-motivation?

All this is so easily avoided. That's where candidate assessments come in.


7 Components of Successful Team Development

Effective teams can make or break an organization. When they work out, amazing things happen and their contributions can help organizations make tremendous leaps. The flip side of this is the dysfunctional team that gets bogged down, fails to deliver and costs the organization in terms of lost productivity, missed goals and sagging morale.

So, what makes the difference between the two scenarios? In his seminal book, Tools for Team Excellence, Professor Gregory Huszczo outlined seven key components for successful team development.


Mid-sized Companies Losing More Candidates to Counter Offers

Mid-sized companies - those with 200-999 employees - are finding it harder to find qualified candidates and are losing more of them to their current employers than their small and large counterparts, according to a global recruitment study.

When we carved out the results of our 2014 Global Talent Recruitment Survey to look at just those mid-sized companies, some very interesting differences came to light.


Cultural fit is crucial ... and we'll tell you WHY

Why is cultural fit so hard to achieve? And does it even really matter? Those are questions I get asked a lot. In fact, in our recent Global Talent Recruitment Survey, 51% of HR professionals said it was difficult to find a good cultural fit.

In that same survey, we learned that when employees don't work out, lack of skills is not the issue 61% of the time. Companies are struggling to find employees who match their culture—or maybe not looking at alland, as a result, hiring on skill and experience alone; but when the employees don't pan out it wasn't those skills they based their decision on that were the problem.  

Let's look a little deeper at what cultural fit is and how you can increase the likelihood of finding it.


HR’s Bogeyman: Behavioral Assessments

We all have fears. Some rational; some irrational. Take the fear of bugs. For the most part, they’re small and harmless. But if one of those creepy crawlers drops from the ceiling onto my shoulder … let’s not go there.

Then there are the rational fears. For instance, the one we hear from HR professionals all the time: behavioral assessments will sink my career.


5 Simple Strategies for More Effective Onboarding

Competition is stiff, so you do everything possible to attract top talent. Once you snag qualified candidates, your next challenge begins: retaining new employees. If your onboarding process is lacking, your bright new talent may not be around for long. An effective onboarding plan will make sure the people you invest in bringing into the company feel welcomed and confident enough to start contributing to its success sooner.

In our recent McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey, onboarding programs ranked as the #1 planned investment in the US and Canada, and #2 globally. Here are five simple strategies you can employ right now to boost the effectiveness of your onboarding program.


Why using your “gut” for hiring decisions can make you sick

You’ve probably come across a person who is convinced that they can make a great hiring decision based on “gut feel.” They can tell, just from a casual conversation or a quick interview, whether or not someone can do the job. There’s an intangible feeling, almost a sixth sense, telling them what to do.

Maybe you are that person. We were surprised to see in a recent survey we conducted of nearly 600 HR professionals from around the globe, that 32% of them felt that going with their gut provided them with the best hiring outcomes.

Those gut decisions could be setting them up for a case of indigestion. Here’s why.


Top HR Investments in Recruitment for 2014

In our recent McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey, we asked HR professionals from around the globe what recruiting-related systems or processes they planned to invest in to help them attract and retain talent. The results we got back show some interesting global trends and also a few thought-provoking outliers.

In this blog, we’re going to look at where companies are planning to spend their money and what it might mean.


4 Tips to Help Hiring Managers Develop Interview Skills

Apparently HR doesn’t have a lot of faith in their hiring managers’ interview skills. That may not be news to you, but when we asked nearly 600 HR professionals if their hiring managers were good interviewers, the results we got back were eye-opening.

Let’s take a look at what they said and then explore some tips to address this troubling problem.


The Top 5 Reasons Candidates Reject Your Job Offer

Nobody likes rejection. No matter what you tell yourself, part of you still takes it personally; even when that rejection comes in the form of a candidate rejecting a job offer. But rejection also provides an opportunity to learn.

In our recent Global Talent Recruitment Survey, we asked HR professionals from around the world what reasons candidates gave when they rejected an offer of employment. In this blog, I’ll share the top five responses and some thoughts on what they can teach us.


The Top Global Talent Recruitment Challenges

The results are in from the 2014 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Survey and you might be surprised by what we found.

We surveyed nearly 600 HR professionals to find out what their biggest challenges are and what they’re doing to address them.This infographic highlights some of the findings from the report.  


Use a Strong Onboarding Program to Increase Employee Retention

You've made a great hire and added strong talent for a new position in the organization. How can you ensure your new hire will stay? A solid onboarding program does more than introduce a new employee to the company. In a recent survey we’ll be releasing soon, onboarding programs ranked as the #1 planned investment for HR professionals in Canada and US and #2 globally, and with good reason. Studies show that onboarding programs play a significant role in determining if a new hire will stay with the organization.


3 Tips to Create Recruiting Messages that Attract Top Performers

Job_adCan you think of a commercial that some of your friends thought was just fantastic, but that left you flat? Or maybe the inverse, you were knocked over by how funny and compelling an ad was, but your friend was unmoved?

You’ve just experienced targeted marketing. That ad was designed to appeal to a specific type of person, based on their needs, wants or preferences. It was designed to speak to you, and people like you, not your friends. The marketers behind the ad did this very intentionally.

If you want to attract top performers, you have to take a very similar approach in developing your recruiting messaging.  Here are three tips to help you do just that.


Assess the right level to find your ideal candidate

This infographic outlines what we call the Three Levels of Assessment for candidate assessment. They represent the levels of a person that allow you to determine if they will succeed in a role. If you’re not looking at the right level, you may be making decisions based on bad information.

There was a study done at the University of Michigan that found that interviews are only accurate predictors of future success 14% of the time. The other 86% of the time, they’re not reliable.

The reason for that is interviewers are tapping into the wrong level of information in an interview to make a useful prediction of future success.


3 Tips to Retain Young Professionals

Just hired a highly-skilled, motivated young person? Great! Be prepared to say goodbye to them in about two years. Forbes reports that young workers are turning to job-hopping as the new norm. This is obviously bad news for companies, as they watch high potentials they spent time and money recruiting leave for other opportunities. Better compensation may seem like a good solution, but it isn't necessarily the answer.

Employees - especially young employees - look to the future. They are driven to better themselves, contribute to their employer in a meaningful way, and grow their career. The good news is, you can use job analysis and employee development to convince even your most pie-in-the-sky dreamer to stay invested in your company. Start with these three tips to reduce turnover:


What to do when your top sales person is a bully

Dave is your top sales person. Since coming on board, he’s consistently beat his numbers and increased revenue. In fact, he’s now responsible for a huge chunk of your total sales volume. In short, he’s a superstar.

The problem is that Dave is despised by others in the company. They say he’s rude, disrespectful, abusive, and his name comes up repeatedly in exit interviews. You’re worried he’s poisoning the environment, but that revenue is important to the organization. What do you do?


12 Things You Should Know About Succession Planning

iStock_000003621276ChessMost senior executives believe succession planning is a critically important business issue, but the majority of them don’t think their organizations are doing enough to identify and develop leaders to fill inevitable gaps. And only half of companies are grooming someone to replace the current CEO.

Those are the findings in a recent report by Stanford University and the Institute for Executive Development. The report authors also provided a list of five key problems companies face in creating an effective succession plan and seven tips for improving programs.

Why companies aren’t ready


4 Tips To Improve Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a goal of every business or company. One of the best definitions I’ve read of what employee engagement is comes from Kevin Kruse in an article in Forbes.

He describes it as an employee’s willingness to go the extra mile without being asked. It represents an employee's feelings of dedication and personal belonging to their place of work.

But how do you go about achieving that goal? Let's look at four tips to improve employee engagement.


Hiring Rainmakers

A couple of weeks ago we ran a short series on the traits of a successful sales person, part 1 here and part 2 here. The thing about sales people is that the traits that will make you successful in one industry will also equip you for success in another. Now, there are other factors – environment, processes, familiarity with the product – that play into it to, but the behavioral building blocks are consistent.

The challenge arises when that profile of a successful sales person is at odds with the profile of people typically in that profession. Engineers, doctors and lawyers come to mind. What do you do then? Where do you find your new business generators when your field of candidates has so few built for sales success?


Making Hiring Managers Better Interviewers

All companies recognize how important it is to hire candidates who are a good fit for the open position—in terms of specific knowledge and experience, skill set, and temperament. Yet decisions are often made by hiring managers who are untrained and inexperienced as interviewers.

Even the best interviewer is getting questionable information from an interview. A study from Michigan State University found that 90 percent of hiring decisions are made based on interviews. That same study found that interviews accurately predicted future success just 14 percent of the time. If the interviewer isn't skilled, that number may be even lower.


Do We Need a Different Type of Leader?

There is an interesting dialogue happening in one of the LinkedIn groups I am a member of regarding the need for a new kind of leader. The discussion references research from the Human Capital Institute (HCI) and the University of North Carolina (UNC), suggesting changing times mean we need a different type of leader.

While the research focuses more on the need to accelerate leadership development to compensate for an aging demographic of leaders, the LinkedIn discussion delves into what new type of leader will be needed. Is needing a different kind of leader really "new," though?


Tips for Hiring Innovators

Every company needs innovators. Business models are being disrupted in every industry. Google is getting into the car making business. Zappos has redefined shoe retailing. To remain – or become – competitive, businesses are turning to HR to help them bring in innovators. Innovators are the engines of progress and their unrestrained thinking and ability to connect seemingly unconnected ideas and trends are behind some of the greatest success stories in business.

But how do you find them? And how can you tell in an interview if your candidate is a true innovator or just looks good on paper?


Why Hiring Sales People is So Hard, Part 2

In Part 1 of this series we looked at some of the reasons behind why a new sales hire may not perform like you expected them to. They seemed to have everything needed for success, but the numbers just didn’t materialize.

In Part 2, we’re going to look specifically at the key traits for success for that role of a hunter or a rainmaker. The sales person who goes out there and consistently brings in new business.


Why Hiring Sales People is So Hard, Part 1

You were excited when you hired your new sales person. This new guy was going to really shine. He had a great resume. In the interview, he impressed you with his enthusiasm and said all the right things. He was even a success at a company in your industry. You were happy. Your boss was happy.

But now, six months later, the results aren’t there and it seems like the person down the hall is not the same person you hired. What went wrong? Why is hiring sales people so difficult?

If this story sounds familiar, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, some studies show that as many as 50% of candidates who are successful in one job fail in their next role. The reason they failed, and the answer to how to avoid it in the future, may surprise you.


Aligning Talent With Your Mission Increases Employee Engagement and Retention

You've just made hires to fill several important positions in your organization, but how can you increase the probability that they will stay, especially after all of the time and resources you've invested to find them? Building  employee engagement can impact turnover rates, and engaging employees plays an important role in the overall success of an organization.

High Potentials: 6 Components For Finding and Keeping Them

Every organization wants to find and keep high potentials (HiPos). They’re the future of the company. Born leaders who will pull the rest of the employees to new frontiers. But if everybody wants them, how do you make sure your company gets them?

One big way is to create a corporate culture that will draw them in and keep them once they arrive. There are six key components to look at when creating a culture that attracts and retains HiPos.


Does Your Personality Match Your Job?

I was thinking the other day, 'what a great bunch of people I work with.' We all get along so well and it really makes the job that much more enjoyable. It got me thinking how important personality is when it comes to maximizing your happiness and productivity at work.

We spend a third of our lives at work, interacting with people from different backgrounds. Having personal values, goals, and vision aligned with those of the company or job can truly make a big difference in improving the culture of the office and making everyone feel more capable. In this post I'll share my top 3 benefits of having your personality align with the job.


Succession Planning: Why Companies Fail

In our last post, we discussed some the traits that are important when creating succession plans. In this post we want to take a step back and look at some of the reasons companies don't implement succession plans or find their programs aren't working.

What we've learned in over 40 years working with clients is that succession planning is sometimes a bit of a bigger animal to tackle than one might anticipate when they first look at it. Here's a list of what our clients tell us they are missing to make it all come together. Have a read and see if you see yourself in here anywhere, or add your challenges to the list in the comments section.


Succession Planning: What Traits Are Needed

Time is moving on, people are moving on, retiring or leaving the company. You know there will be openings to fill not that far in the future. You want to review some of your employees as possible replacements for those leaving management positions. Your company may even have several employees in mind, but what criteria should you use to evaluate these individuals? What is the yardstick to measure future leaders against?

If you start soon enough there's time for you to help them acquire any skills or insight that they may need before the positions open up, but you have to identify the people and identify any gaps in skills or traits. Good succession planning is needed.


Coaching the "Whole Person"

Over the years, we've heard from many clients that getting real engagement and results through their coaching programs can be a challenge. When we look at our clients who are getting results from their coaching, we see a common thread and it's this advice that we give to those struggling: Coach the "whole person."


The Top 5 Reasons Managers Don't Coach

The meaning of the term coach as we use it in business today evolved in the 1800s from its original meaning of a carriage. At Oxford University it began to be used as slang for a tutor who carried a student through their exams. And that meaning still holds true to today: a coach is a person who helps another achieve something they could not do on their own.

That's a noble pursuit and, as we all know in theory, a very effective business strategy for developing and reta ining a strong workforce. So why isn't it employed more often? Why are so many coaching programs, maybe your own, not delivering the results and getting the support they should?

In our work with clients we've heard a number of reasons that managers don't coach, or don't prioritize coaching.


Managing "Invisibles"

Coaching_invisiblesIn a recent Harvard Business Review article, author David Zweig made the case that companies may be missing the boat on retaining some of their most valuable employees by not recognizing what he calls the "Invisibles."

Invisibles are those employees who are extremely capable, talented and committed, but who avoid the spotlight and aren't looking for fame and recognition. The contributions they make tend to improve the work of those around them and elevate the output of entire departments and companies. Often, though, they only get noticed when something goes wrong. And losing them can do real damage to a company.


The #1 Thing Companies Look for in a New Employee

You have worked hard to build up the culture of your company. Everyone on board fits in and work progresses smoothly. New slots have opened up and it's time to hire new employees. Just what should you look for to guarantee that the new employees will not only fit in, but will be an all around asset? Skills? Cultural fit? Personality?

In her article for Inc Magazine, Hiring? Personality Trumps Skills, Jessica Stillman reported on a survey of 500 professionals conducted by Hyper Island. The title should give you some idea of what they found


HR Can Take a Page From Marketing for Social Recruiting Success

If statistics are to be believed, it seems that most in HR have realized that social recruiting is something they have to embrace. According to Jobvite, 94% of HR professionals surveyed are currently using or plan to use social media in their recruiting efforts.

That's only good news, though, if you're using it correctly. Social media is most effective as a hiring tool when it's used to recruit passive candidates. According to that same survey, only 52% of those using social media are using it in this way. The upside here is that passive recruiting is the most effective way to attract top performers. So, if you use this new channel how its most effective, not only will you get the most out of it, you'll also improve your ability to attract the candidates who will add the most value to your organization.

Now, how do you do that? More good news here, the answer lies down the hall with your colleagues in marketing.


4 Tips for Attracting Top Performers

Dreaming of filling those empty positions with A-level talent? Since most "stars" are already plugged in somewhere, you have to attract and pursue top performers with some finesse. You can attract high-caliber people, but you must understand what motivates them to invest their talent in your company. Take a proactive approach to promoting the things that make your company unique like core values, working culture and new opportunities. Potential employees can get a snapshot of what it’s like to work with you. This helps them to determine whether your company is a good fit for their talent and ability.

Need some tips for attracting top performers? Try these four ideas and get noticed by 5-star people.


How To Solve The Biggest Problems With Team Building Exercises

The Houston Chronicle recently listed some of the biggest problems that prevent effective team work. These include bad leadership, poor goal planning, personality clashes, and poor communications. Some basic team building exercises will not only provide a way to identify these problems before they start becoming an issue, but also serve as a way of addressing them.

Getting employees to work together as part of a team can be a greater problem than just grouping them together, selecting a leader, and giving the new team a goal to accomplish. Often people have to learn to operate and produce as part of a team. Otherwise, big problems can arise if they don't have the team mindset and can't effectively work together. 


The Recruitment Collection: 5 Articles for improving hiring outcomes

We've had lots of great feedback on our posts here and the articles we've published over the years. We decided to take our five most popular blog posts and articles on the subject of recruitment and compile them into an eBook for easy consumption. And here it is.


How to reference check for A-level talent

Checking references is time-consuming, laborious, and … wait for it … critical to making a good hiring decision. Show me someone who doubts the value of reference checking and I’ll show you someone who is doing it the wrong way.

Reference checking the right way provides valuable insights into a candidate's soft and hard skills and the likelihood they will succeed in the role you are considering them for. And it's the only way to be sure you're getting a A-level candidate. Here are some tips for checking references the right way.


5 Simple Steps to Improve the Quality of Your Hires

When it comes to improving the quality of your hires, it’s all about what you know. Here are five simple steps that can help you hire the right people. 


6 Questions to Ask Before You Choose a Talent Assessment Tool

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, best in class organizations using talent assessments are experiencing:

  • 75% year-over-year improvements to hiring manager satisfaction;
  • 75% year-over-year decreases in hiring costs; and
  • 2.5 times year-over-year increases in profit per full time employee
Not every tool will deliver these results, though. Here are six questions that will help you find the ones that will.

6 Team Building Ideas That Work

Say "team building" to an HR manager and you may conjure up images of mismatched departments guiding a raw egg down a plastic chute—all in the name of strengthening the team. Sure, some of these tried and true activities and role-playing games do have some value—and offer serious entertainment, but they don't always meet the need. The goal is to build stronger, tighter teams, right?

A recent article in Inc Magazine illustrates how young entrepreneurs are thinking differently about team building with exciting outreaches. Perhaps some of these smart ideas will inspire you to try something a bit different.


3 ways to create a happier workplace

Raise your hand if you like your workplace to be unhappy ... thought so. Obviously, we all want to work in a happy environment. And management has a vested interest in creating one to improve employee engagement. When we're happy, we're more productive, there are fewer disputes and greater loyalty. Having a happy workforce has a direct impact on customer satisfaction as well.

Here are a few simple habits any company can develop for fostering a happier workplace.


Why you aren’t getting results from behavioral interviewing

The concept of behavioural interviewing is nothing new. In fact, I would wager that a majority of you reading this have used the technique in your own hiring process—or at least you think you have. That’s the thing about behavioural interviewing, the concept is simple, but actually applying it correctly is trickier. And if you’re not applying it correctly, it's likely not helping you hire the right candidates.

There is a trick to making this method of interviewing work harder for you, and getting that right is an important interviewing skill to add to your arsenal. I’m going to share that trick with you in this blog.


Remote team building: How to build even when they work from the road

While the world may not physically be shrinking, our global workforce is closer than ever. However, team building when members are telecommuting, working from a conference or anywhere on the road, may seem difficult. There are varying time zones as well as varying skills and technologies to deal with. But we've got some tips to make team development with remote teams a bit easier.


How to Calculate the Real Cost of Employee Turnover

When you hear people talk about the cost of employee turnover the numbers are often vague and non-specific. It's hard to put a real number on something that has so many indirect effects. The numbers you do see are typically scary, but how can you define what that number is in your organization? 

If your goal is to reduce employee turnover, how do you create a budget? How do show your return on investment for increased retention? Intuitively, we all recognize the importance of retaining quality people, but the challenge is putting an accurate number on it.


The Worst Recruiting Advice We've Ever Heard--Don't Do This!

The new hire is coming up to his quarterly performance review and it's obvious he's not measuring up. The company now has to decide what's next? Move the employee to a different position, increase efforts to develop him or simply let him go. This common scenario happens every day in intelligent companies all over the world, but what's the cause for this dilemma? The company's lackluster star may be a result of some poor hiring advice. Do you know the current hiring myths?


Leadership Development: What You Can Do NOW to Become a Better Leader

Honing your leadership skills frequently requires time, but there are steps you can take toward leadership development right now! You don't have to wait for the next conference or mentoring program to improve your skills and become the leader you dream of becoming.


6 Common Interviewing Mistakes

A bad hire can cost your company dearly. Just the cost of recruiting a replacement is typically around 45% of annual salary. That cost doesn't even factor in other costs like impact on customers, employee morale, confidence in management. When you take those factors into consideration, the numbers can get very, very big.

In the spirit of avoiding those outcomes, here's list of 6 common interviewing mistakes to watch out for:


What target do you measure candidates against?

Zig Ziglar, the famous personal development coach and motivational speaker, posed the question: "how can you expect to hit a target that you don't even have?"

Ziglar was speaking of goal setting and the importance of knowing what your goals are in order to achieve them. And the more specific and detailed your goals are, the better chance you have of hitting them. Sounds pretty obvious, doesn't it? How specific is your candidate target when you're recruiting?


Is an Olympian Your Best Bet for a New CEO?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an Olympian? With the Winter Olympics upon us, we decided it might be fun to explore the profile of an Olympic athlete using The McQuaig System. 


Is Angry Birds The Answer To Employee Engagement?

How do you make routine tasks more fun and engaging for your employees? Companies like Deloitte, IBM, Google, Microsoft and FedEx have turned to something called gamification to increase employee engagement, quality control and productivity. Those who employ gamification believe that learning new concepts in the workplace can be effective as well as enjoyable through the application of gaming principles. 


How to retain your best employees for the long-term

The long-term health and prosperity of your company largely depends on keeping your employees around. Retaining your best staff helps keep customers happy, sales healthy and co-workers satisfied. This preserves vital institutional knowledge – the ins and outs of how your company works.


How Employee Morale Impacts Customer Satisfaction

In virtually every work environment, there are customers involved. These customers purchase the products and services. A company’s goal is to have these customers return again and again – and perhaps even refer friends and family. However, this is easier said than done. Each client is different, so there are a variety of aspects that they’ll look at to assess each business. One important aspect that is commonly overlooked is employee morale.

In retail, there is the motto that the customer comes first. Although that might be the company’s strategy, that may not be the employees strategy. If employees are unhappy at their jobs or are disinterested in meeting the company’s goals, then this negatively affects clients as well.


5 Common Hiring Mistakes and How to Prevent Them

One of the most important decisions a business makes is choosing who it hires. Simply put, selecting the right staff for the job can make all the difference in how well a company performs, and how efficiently a team operates and gets things done. Hiring missteps can lead to major problems; including costly staff turnover and uncooperative teams.


How Long Can You Wait to Accept a Job Offer?

If your resume, cover letter, and interview skills are up to par, you may receive a job offer. If you decide that the offer meets your professional goals, and you are happy with the terms of employment, you will accept the offer.


Three Ways to Improve Your Work Environment

Office culture isn’t mere window dressing. It can have a direct link to how well people perform their jobs. Research has proven that the more comfortable people feel at work, the better their resulting output is. Simply put, a poor organizational culture has the ability to dampen employee morale, sapping their efficiency and creating an underperforming work force. The world’s top-ranking companies know this and make a point of ensuring their workplace atmosphere is finely tuned for happy, high-performing staff.


7 Essential soft skills to look for when hiring

The hiring process is about more than just gauging a candidate’s job skills. What they can do, where their strengths lie and their track record are all important. These hard markers are only one area you should be exploring in the all-important hiring process. But there’s another area that shouldn’t be passed over as you quiz a potential hire: soft skills. Soft skills let you see who a job candidate really is, not just what they can do. Can they do more than just fill the basic requirements for the job?


Five Examples of Companies Who Do Employee Engagement Right

Keeping employees engaged and happy isn’t an easy job. In fact, research reveals that an estimated four in 10 workers around the world are disengaged from their jobs. This is a big deal since staffers who are fully engaged at work are more motivated, more loyal and more willing to stay on target to help achieve the company’s goals.


Should you allow employees to work from home?

A debate was sparked when Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer banned the search portal giant’s employees from working at home. Why? Mayer’s goal was to boost collaboration between employees. And she also had some data to back up her decision – she consulted the company’s network logs and found its at-home employees weren’t working enough.


Why Employers are Starting to Look for Intraprenuers

IntraprenuersEstablished businesses are turning to startup techniques in their attempts to innovate and grow.


How Should Millennials Handle Management Jobs?

If you’re a member of Gen Y you may find that demographics work in your favour. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that people born between 1981 and 2000 will soon outnumber Boomers in the workplace—as early as 2015. Boomers are retiring in droves: 10,000 Boomers turn 65 every day.


Being Busy Doesn't Mean You're Working to Your Full Potential

If your answer to “How’s your day going?” is “swamped”, “drowning in deadlines,” or even the simple “crazy busy”, you may not be projecting the image you want.


Why Happiness Equals Production in the Workplace

Companies spend a lot of time and money focusing on how to market and sell their products when they should be focusing on a more important commodity: their employees. Unhappy employees cost employer’s big money – to the tune of $300 billion per year in the United States alone.


Yahoo! Employee Satisfaction Reaches 5-Year High

Many employees feel as if their jobs are in jeopardy when their company changes CEOs. However, very few companies do anything to help the situation. When Marissa Meyer joined Yahoo! as CEO last year, she decided that one of her top goals would be to increase employee satisfaction. So far, she seems to be reaching her goal, if evidence from employer reviews website Glassdoor accounts for anything.


The Results of the Monster Workforce Talent Survey

What do employees really think about their job? How many are dissatisfied with their current position? How optimistic are the unemployed about finding a job within the next year? Job search website Monster surveyed nearly 6,000 Monster users and tallied the results.

Job Dissatisfaction

The survey, which ran from January 14, 2013 to February 18, 2013, was available to registered Monster users who had used their account within the past three years. The survey discussed job satisfaction, job search challenges and career outlook. One thing of concern was the high rate of job dissatisfaction. Of those surveyed, 42 percent were not happy in their current position. Most of the respondents who were employed – 81 percent – expected to start their job search within the next year.


How to Create an Environment People Want to Work In

Despite what many employers think, employees don’t necessarily look for companies that offer catered lunches every day or dole out large bonuses at the end of the year. For employers, retaining top talent is much easier than you think. One thing to keep in mind: it’s not about all about the money.

Advancement Opportunities

Some people may be happy doing the same thing day in and day out for decades, but for the more ambitious types, being able to climb the corporate ladder is important. If they’re stuck in a dead-end job, they will quickly feel frustrated and unmotivated. The result? They’ll look to a company that offers more room for growth.


Does Experience Trump Education when Looking for a Job Candidate?

For employers and recruiters looking for job candidates, there is that age-old question of whether you should go with the candidate with the most education or the one with the most experience. Is a pricey college degree really necessary to obtain any job? Or can a candidate skip the student loan debt and gain valuable experience instead?

Why Education Is Better

College graduates tend to be more responsible and mature. No one is forced to go to college, but they made the decision to do so and they followed through. They’ve spent the last four years managing their course load and spending time studying and doing homework. Many have the drive and ambition that those with only a high school education may not have. College graduates have learned about many different subjects while in college, so they are also more well-rounded.


Are Canadians Vacation Deprived?

Vacation days are provided to most full-time employees in Canada so they can take time off from work and relax without worrying about pay. However, many Canadians wish they could have more vacation time, according to a survey conducted by

In 2013, the average Canadian will receive 17 vacation days. Although that’s equivalent to more than three working weeks, that’s still not enough for 40 percent of the 1,502 Canadians who responded to the survey. They said they would be happier with 30 days – the number of vacation days that Europeans average per year.


How to hire Gen Y

Get beyond the stereotypes and secure the best Gen-Y talent.

Not since the boomers has an entire generation been caricatured and stereotyped to levels verging on myth. Compared to previous generations, Gen-Y has been described as more narcissistic, less community involved, more technology savvy, more materialistic, less stable in their career paths and more. So much has been said about Gen-Y, or millennials, and their radically different work ethic, values and motivesthat these popular depictions have spawnedmisplaced assumptions about just how to successfully add and integrate them into today'sworkplace cultures.