Vicki Z. Lauter
  • Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Strategic Human Insights
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Strategic Human Insights
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Healthcare, Services, Technology
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Vicki Z. Lauter's Blog

Cats, Ghosts and Other Scary Stuff

In true Halloween fashion I could not resist using the title to represent the different type of individuals that make a team function (or not function) as the case may be for some of you reading this.

In Patrick Lencioni’s best-selling book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, he tells us a story about one firm’s executive team struggling with utter dysfunction. Ineffective communication, multiple egos, fear, office politics and judgmental attitudes were all contributing to the absence… Continue

Posted on October 26, 2009 at 3:22pm

Keeping Your Talented Managers

Recognizing and developing talent is a constant challenge for any company. Today's challenge is to produce more, and better results with few employees for customers who demand more value-add for less effort and cost.

Do YOU have the talent to meet this challenge?

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins uses the 'bus' business metaphor. he says great leaders understand three simple truths:

* If you begin with the "Who" rather than the "What," you can more easily… Continue

Posted on September 30, 2009 at 4:09pm

What Get's YOU Out of Bed In the Morning?

I'm talking about motivation. Do you know what motivates your employees to get out of bed in the morning? With Millennials in the workforce, employers are scrambling to "figure them out." What do they like and dislike? What are their goals? What motivates them? But when you attempt to answer these questions, generalization isn't effective. Each person is unique and it is the understanding of what makes them an individual will will make or break your… Continue

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 1:27pm

Ten Strategies to Keep Your Good People

Incorporate the following steps as part of your talent management strategy and you're sure to have employee retention.

1. Set Expectations; have a clear, concise description of the job and the expectations of the person in that job.

2. Move your talented people around the organization, let them experience other jobs in the… Continue

Posted on September 6, 2009 at 3:58pm — 2 Comments

Arm Yourself with Succession Planning Initiatives Before It's Too Late

We have all heard the hype on the baby boomers and the void they will leave in the workforce. In addition, the growing skills gap and talent shortage leave many organizations concerned about the future. This very concern has fueled a talent war as companies compete for highly skilled executives and superior performers to fill the void.

You don't have to take shelter yet. Succession planning is your best… Continue

Posted on August 26, 2009 at 5:53pm — 1 Comment

Hiring for the Longterm

Before launching a search for a senior-level manager, take time to figure out the skills, personality and values that will best fit your organization.

In today’s throwaway society, many organizations believe if they get two or three years of employment from a new hire, they have recouped their investment. In reality, organizations incur tremendous expenses in hiring and training higher-level managers and the only way to maximize the return on this investment is to retain productive employees.

To get the most out of hiring, an organization needs to strategically align its hiring needs with the talents of the individual. By investing on the front end of the hiring process—before advertising for a position and interviewing candidates business leaders create greater accountability for the open position within the organization and reap maximum return by retaining a candidate who can produce results and grow in their organizations.

Disposable Employees

Studies have proven it costs an organization more in time, resources and overhead to hire for the short term. A 2001 survey by the Hay Group, “Employee Retention Dilemma,” estimated that turnover can cost employers as much as 40 percent of annual profits.

According to Bill Gelderman, president of The Steering Group Inc. “All of us come to a new job with natural strengths and challenges. By assessing candidates and jobs, we can match those candidates that best correlate to the needs of the ‘job’ and the ‘culture’ of the organization. When this alignment occurs, both the employee and the organization benefit through an enjoyable, productive work environment. When we hire only for skills, we end up firing for attitudes.”

Take time to figure out what sort of person—as well as what set of skills—your organization needs. Envision the kind of candidate who will be ideal for your organization years down the road. Then, and only then, go out and find that person.

On the other hand, if you haven’t projected the future of this position, maybe you don’t need a permanent employee. Hire a contract employee instead.

Recruiting Strategy

I strongly recommend that organizations develop a recruiting strategy for open positions, one that they use each time they need to fill a senior management position.

Start the process by gathering all key stakeholders together to discuss the ideal candidate. Ask yourself the following questions:

- What is this employee meant to accomplish?
- What are the roles and responsibilities of this position?
- What personality will be the best fit for this position?
- Which departments will be communicating with and through this individual?
- What are the business goals of this position, and how will this person’s performance be evaluated?

Once you’ve answered these questions, devise the ideal candidate characteristics through a system of benchmarking. Benchmarking helps you identify the behaviors, values and culture of a job, as well as the specific responsibilities and expectations for the open position.

Furthermore, creating a benchmark based on current top performers can be an unexpected minefield. It is not uncommon to discover that performance improvements are possible by benchmarking the job itself, not the manner in which a current top performer is doing the job. If your current staff consists of B-level performers, and you benchmark them, your future expectation will be more B-level employees.

Candidate Assessment

When you’re ready to interview candidates, have applicants for the position complete an assessment to determine their fit for current and future roles in the company. All candidates will be compared against the benchmarks to determine the best fit for long-term success within the organization.

The process helps focus on the strengths of individuals and on the challenges of the position. It also helps streamline the interview process, so all involved in hiring know the goals of the position as well as the method for evaluating the new employee’s performance. Candidates whose natural talents and skills align with the needs of the position become an organization’s best choice for long-term employment.

Assessments should also be used during performance evaluations. This is a valuable aid in determining promotions or lateral moves within the organization.

A Better Approach

Short-term “fill the job” thinking often results in having people in positions that are in conflict with their natural talents and values. This commonly leads to burnout.

When employees find a natural match between their strengths and the needs of the position, they flourish. Going into a new role with accountabilities clearly spelled out instills a sense of confidence and focused motivation for employees. They feel in control of their success and responsible for the betterment of their organization. There is a stronger sense of loyalty, thereby establishing long-term opportunities for continued employment with the company.

Everyone working toward the same business goals ... that’s just crazy enough to work.

Comment Wall (10 comments)

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At 1:33pm on September 22, 2009, Mark A. Leon said…

No reason to apologize. I do thank you for accepting.
I hope there is some relief in the near future for you.

At 5:52pm on March 11, 2009, Vanessa Flynn said…
Hi Vicki,

Apologies for not responding sooner. I would be happy to connect and keep in touch. Vanessa
At 9:47am on January 18, 2009, Kurt Rink said…
Will do Vicki. Sorry for the late response. Been kind of crazy. Hope all is well.
At 4:05pm on December 26, 2008, Ed Freeman said…

Thanks for responding! Just getting a handle on all this online networking stuff (you can teach an old dog new tricks).
Please invite me and I'll respond asap.

What is your recruiting specialty? Let me know and I'll be on the lookout for those folks to send you. With my site - I get a little of everyone responding.

Have a great holiday!
Ed Freeman
At 4:40pm on December 11, 2008, Jenny DeVaughn said…
I'm glad that we have been able to meet IN person and just just online! Thanks for the add.
At 7:25pm on December 3, 2008, Kurt Rink said…

Great to hear from you. Give me a ring sometime and we can catch up.


Take care,
At 4:24pm on December 2, 2008, Lindsay Stanton said…
Thank you very much. We have received a great response from our clients. We are the only company creating high quality video for recruitment.
At 4:10pm on October 22, 2008, Lee Ann Cornelison said…
Hi Vicki -- I would love for you to get the word out about openings on my team. I'm looking for junior level recruiters (preferably with some healthcare and/or physician recruitment experience) to recruit for a southeastern territory (AL/TN). Would involve about 25% travel within those states for client profiles and would be officed in our headquarters off of I-85 near the Mall of Georgia.
At 2:23pm on October 21, 2008, Ed Freeman said…

At 9:51pm on October 5, 2008, Susan Burns said…
Thanks for connecting Vicki...... and for your kind words! Stop by every Tuesday at 3pm for Talent Talk Cafe and join us for a discussion. If you have ideas for topics you'd like discussed please do let me know. Cheers! Susan


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