Posted on

March Madness & Hiring

Written by:  Tim Saumier, CEO

It’s maddening!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March is a crazy time for college basketball and my wife tells my kids that I may be difficult to communicate with given it is my favorite time of year and my favorite sport to follow. march madness4

The funny thing is its not only madness in basketball but is seems to be a crazy time for hiring right now as well. Whatever your political affiliation is, the new administration, along with many other things are driving confidence in to the markets as evidenced by the DOW crossing of 20,000 a month or so ago. I would argue that all of this is artificial but it does drive spending by consumers that drives sales by companies that drives purchasing by companies and hiring of people. It’s a cycle where capitalism is at its best.

One of the companies that the stock guru’s like to follow is Parker Hannifin Corporation based in Ohio. They make motion and control systems used in a broad set of aerospace & industrial businesses. march madness5They credit Parker’s work over the past few years in the areas of “cost containment” and putting themselves in a position to grow when the time is right. They controlled costs in the flatter season and even built a cash reserve that has allowed them to recently announce the acquisition of Clarcor (filtration manufacturer) which will drive a new revenue stream for PH. The original article can be found HERE.

Why do I share this information on Parker Hannifin and what does it have to do with Basketball? While Parker and for that matter other companies in the Industrial B2B space are seeing benefits of their hard work over the past few years, the real question is:

“Do they have the Talent to deal with the next few years as confidence (artificial or not) grows and more relevant people leave the workforce (primarily baby boomers)?”

Parker has 354 openings on their website and I’m sure this is just a fraction of what they really need. As a Industrial B2B recruiter, we had a record year last year and are on track to do it again this year. march madness3

The challenge is not finding the open orders but rather finding and convincing the talent to leave their organization for a new role.

If you are in a hiring capacity here are a four things to consider as we go further in to 2017:

  • Cost – Talent is going to cost you more – the concept of internal equity needs to be tossed out the window. It is no longer relevant.
  • Better Processes – You’re going to need to speed up the process on your side if you are the employer. The best talent has no interest in going to work for a slow moving and indecisive company.
  • Focus on your existing team – You’re going to see turnover increase (mostly voluntary) as the full-court press is coming. People that have been passed over for promotions or given measly raises are now getting called about jobs that are a step up in title, responsibility and compensation (some 20+% increases).
  • Better, not perfect – If you’re looking for the “perfect” individual with a stellar work history plan on not finding them. Stellar histories have faded in the past decade and it’s not the individual’s fault but rather the company in my opinion. We have a saying – “Don’t let perfection get in the way of getting better.”

I could go on and on but you get the point. The reality of it is it may look like good times ahead but it will be maddening to say the least in the next couple of years as companies jockey for the same Talent. It will also be fun to watch. As will be the Basketball – Enjoy.

This is just one man’s opinion. I would appreciate your feedback.  You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

stack-logo-png

Posted on

Key to Avoiding Talent Problems

Written by:  Tim Saumier, CEO

As we begin 2017, I find myself having numerous conversations with clients regarding their talent problems. talent6We did a five part series last year on this subject, here they are Part I, II, III, IV, & V.

Today, I want to focus on a pretty amazing company that understands talent and it has shown up in their financial results year over year for the past couple of decades – Danaher. For the average person, they won’t recognize the Danaher name. It is a publicly traded holding company with a number of different brands/products throughout its portfolio that grew from a small $700 million company in the 90’s to nearly $20 billion in recent years using their “secret sauce” – the DBS (Danaher Business System) which is modeled after the Toyota Production System (TPS) but with many enhancements in my opinion. Last year they split the company in to two companies (Danaher & Fortive) to help focus them in particular areas. Regardless of the split, they will continue forward with the DBS model and it will show up in their performance.

Many articles have been written about Danaher so my intent is not to replicate them but rather I want to focus on what I see as one of their key ingredients to the DBS success – how they handle talent. While this is not the end all be all, this is where I see they have a distinct edge over their peer group of companies as well as the many companies out there trying to emulate/duplicate their DBS model and ultimately their success. Here’s what I’ve seen:

They have a farm system (think baseball) where they consistently hire new college graduates (undergrads and their coveted new MBA graduate program where they recruit from the top 10 programs in the US). talent4Regardless of what’s happening with their market / businesses they’re committed to hiring the brightest & the best and they tend to pay them to the right of the bell curve – meaning they pay well. For the high potential MBA’s, they put them in a rotation program where they garner experience in commercial roles, operational roles, and strategy roles ultimately letting the “cream of the crop” rise to the top and become their GM’s/Presidents.

The key here is they are not necessarily filling open requisitions that were created by someone who left the organization.

They in fact are over hiring to keep building their “bench strength.” Very few companies do this as consistently or well as Danaher. Most companies try to run lean and wait for someone to resign. This is a huge mistake in my opinion because whether you move a person internally or make an external hire there is so much opportunity cost being left on the table due to lost leadership and productivity. This is something that most presidents don’t truly grasp. They get it conceptually but do nothing to build their bench strength. I equate it to orders are flowing in from your customers and you are out of stock – lost opportunity. Something you never get back.

What’s amazing to me is this is all a math equation. Companies have an idea of their turnover % each year, they know the ages of their employees, and they have a projection of the headcount they will need to complete the goals for the year. talent3They can also pretty easily figure out the trends for what types of roles are turning over and build bench around these specific roles. I can tell you the patterns of my clients and I don’t have all their data.

So why am I sharing this today?

To get you to think of talent as a real investment – not a short range transaction. Consider putting together a Sales Operation Planning process around talent and get serious and intentional about finally getting ahead of the game in your talent pipeline. If you have not figured it out, this is only going to get worse for everyone as company tenures are shrinking, loyalty to companies is all but gone, and people are getting recruited out for bigger jobs, bigger titles, and bigger money. If your average turnover was 5% last year, expect it to rise. If you choose to do nothing, expect tough times in the future as you won’t have the talent you need when you need it. It’s time for leaders to step up and do something about talent instead of blaming others. This is a leadership problem to solve.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback. This is one man’s opinion.   You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

stack-logo-png

Posted on

Clarity & the New England Patriots – what do they have in common?

Written by:  Tim Saumier, CEO

Let me start this conversation by saying I’m not a Patriots fan. In fact, they are considered the enemy to my lowly Miami Dolphins who have brought nothing but disappointment for two decades running. While the Patriots may be the enemy I have an enormous amount of respect for the leadership and their process. patriots5Yes, they’ve been criticized over the years for filming others practices, deflating footballs, etc. but the reality is their leadership has built a culture of excellence for two decades running. I remember when Drew Bledsoe went down in the second game in 2001 with an injury. My first thought was ouch – my second thought was we may have a shot with Bledsoe gone because they are putting in this unknown quarterback drafted in the 6th round from Michigan named Tom Brady. Even after starting the year 0-2, this no-name steps up and carries them to the Super Bowl Championship and the end of the Drew Bledsoe era.

Earlier this year, Brady was suspended for the first four games of the regular season, up steps the #2 quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (who?) and they win their first two games. He gets injured in game two and up steps the #3 quarterback Jacoby Brissett (who?) and they go 1 – 1 with him. Tom Brady comes back in game 5 and wins. Now they are 5-1 and arguably one of the strongest teams in the NFL.

So what is it they have that allows them to keep performing at a high level regardless of injuries, distractions (think Aaron Hernandez), etc.? 

The conversation above is centered around quarterbacks but reality is they’ve had injuries and distractions across the board but for some reason they keep winning. The Pats have 124 wins over the past decade (#1 in the NFL and 20 more than the second team – Indianapolis). It starts with Leadership – Robert Kraft at the helm of the Patriots and his head coach Bill Belichick who joined the Pats in 2000. patriots3These two gentlemen are the clear leaders (not the players). They have established a culture of team first and have put a system in place where average players perform way above their individual capability. Tom Brady is a great quarterback because he plays within the New England Patriots system. Could he play elsewhere? Yes he could but the question is whether he would be as effective. I highly doubt it.

So what is it they have? 1) Clear leadership – Kraft & Belichick 2) Clear Systems & Processes 3) Clear Culture – you join the patriots they don’t join you 4) Clear role definition – everyone has a role to play. Yes they have talent but it’s the talent that fits their culture & their schemes – not the other way around. Corporations talk about talent like it’s the magic recipe to fixing everything. patriots4It doesn’t hurt to have talent on the team but without Clarity of Leadership, Systems, Processes, Culture, & Role Definition, it is pretty hard to be win as a team.

I’d appreciate your thoughts even if you don’t like football.

You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

cropped-hr_tyges_stack2.jpg

Posted on

Your Greatest Asset – People?

Written by:  Tim Saumier, CEO TYGES International

My son Noah turned 6 years old in November and for as long as he could speak he has shared with us that his desire is to become a Lego designer when he grows up. Lego1I thought it would be fun and also educational to put a resume and cover letter together for him to send to the CEO of Lego – Mr. Jørgen Vig Knudstorp – who is based in Denmark.

We wrote it up, took some pictures, and had a little fun with it. We got around to mailing in December. We figured it might be a 50/50 shot that we’d get a response.

Well I got home from work on Friday and there’s a letter from Lego addressed to Noah. Given my occupation, my first thought is that it was going to be the boiler plate rejection letter that so many companies send out, so I kept my eyes on it as Noah opened the letter (just in case I needed to protect his feelings). Fortunately it was not the rejection letter. Lego LetterRather it was a personal letter that was kind, respectful, well thought out, encouraging, and provided him some inspirational motivation to continue to hone his passion & craft for Lego design.

Why do I share this with my network?

I’m an Executive Recruiter and for the most part companies throughout the globe have lost sight of how to treat their associates & potential associates. I see it every day in my role as companies pursue new talent almost from “holier than thou” approach where they perceive themselves to be better than anyone they hire or are recruiting to hire.

  • Whatever happened to humble companies who have a greater mission than only making money?
  • Whatever happened to companies that believed in taking care of their associates and their families versus chasing the quarter?
  • Whatever happened to companies who do the right thing – period?

Companies wonder why associates leave them.  The reality is there’s no loyalty. There’s no common mission with a greater purpose.

If you’re a CEO, it starts with you. You have to pave the path to a greater mission and take care of your people.

I don’t know if Lego is one of the great companies that has a greater mission and knows how to take care of its associates; but what I do know, is they are a company that knows how to treat a prospective associate who is currently 6 years old. While the CEO did not respond directly, he did send it to an assistant located in the US who did a wonderful job penning a very thoughtful letter – thank you Moira for taking time to put a smile on my son’s face.

For those companies who send the boiler plate rejection letters, maybe it is time to take a play from Lego’s playbook and learn that People are your greatest asset.

I welcome your feedback as we continue living out our mission.  You can find me on LinkedIn and at Twitter you can find me at @timsaumierTI.  Also, you can learn more about TYGES at www.TYGES.com, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

cropped-hr_tyges_stack11.jpg