Recently, I read an article in Newsweek entitled “Inside the Company That Bungled Obamacare.” The author described the nature, culture, management history, and philosophy of CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of the Canadian-based CGI Group, who were awarded the contract and had the daunting job of building the federal online insurance marketplace—a large, complex website intended to help millions of Americans obtain health insurance that, as we all know, failed and caused tremendous loss of credibility for the President and the Affordable Care Act. The article started by describing a two-day event of CGI senior management at the luxurious Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania. During the event, PowerPoint presentations were made that celebrated the phenomenal success of the company, their big profits, and its bright future. Read More
December 11, 2013
In a previous blog, I addressed the front end/pre-hiring phase of the onboarding process and in this blog, I would like to share some of my thoughts regarding three additional aspects that are essential to a successful onboarding experience.
Although often not considered part of onboarding, the “job offering” process is, from our perspective, a very important phase of the onboarding experience. All elements of the job offer provide the new employee with a set of impressions regarding the ways of the organization that make an impression and have a lasting effect. Some key questions and activities to reflect upon, which require answers and strategy, are—who communicates to the candidate that he or she has been selected for the job? What is the message that needs to be conveyed? How long after the final interview with the candidate should a call be made? Who makes the offer—is it the CEO, the CPO, or the SVP of Talent Acquisition? Who negotiates the compensation package? Who writes the offer letter and what is its content and tone? Each one of these decisions and subsequent actions convey an implicit message. Many companies fail to recognize this and what impression that leaves or is thought about from the perspective of the candidate/future executive. And, at times, the message that the organization is sending may not be consistent with the organization’s brand, image, values, and culture—both explicit and implicit. Read More
November 29, 2013
Onboarding is a multiphase process that organizations use to assimilate newly hired employees into the organization’s culture—with the ultimate goal of retaining them and making them valuable contributors.
Onboarding for senior level executives begins much sooner than most people assume. The process is typically thought to start only after the candidate is hired. However, an effective onboarding program actually starts the moment the candidate is first contacted and continues throughout the entire hiring process and up to a year beyond the hire date.
Who makes the first call to the candidate? Is it the recruiter from the hiring agency or an HR manager within the organization? Whoever makes the initial contact, it’s important that they convey the organization’s “message” or “brand” in a positive way and that it’s consistent with the organizational culture and environment. After the initial contact, then what is the protocol? Who invites the candidate for an interview and at what level are they? Is it the agency recruiter or the organization’s Chief People Officer? Each communication and interaction with the candidate must be considered a unique and important opportunity to introduce the vision, goals, aspirations, and core values of the organization. Read More
November 21, 2013
Most companies develop a list of success factors or aspiring values which drive the decision making during the selection process. When assessing talent for our client organizations, we insist upon spending time understanding and, in some ways, gauging the environment in which the new hire is going to be working. In doing so, we can evaluate the consistency between what the Talent Acquisition Function and/or Hiring Manager is telling us and the fundamental requirements that the candidate needs to have in order to be successful in the company and in their job. Often, we have found that this criteria is based upon a theoretical model and not upon what is actually valued and observed in the company or within a given department or group. We hire, based upon what business theorist, Chris Argyris, describes as, “the espoused theory versus the theory in use.” This subtle but very significant difference has a great impact upon the success or failure of the new hire. Read More
November 15, 2013
Hiring senior level executives can be a difficult and labor-intensive undertaking. However, there are some actions you can take to guide you in the decision-making process. One course of action is to conduct a pre-hire assessment and another is to have a pre-hire discussion.
How can hiring executives determine a candidate’s strengths and potential growth opportunities? How can they come to an informed and sound decision about a candidate if all the interviewers don’t sit down together and discuss the interviews? A meeting or conference call of all the interviewers to discuss the candidates can help hiring executives make a more confident decision about who to hire—and this pre-hire discussion can be divided into two different but equally important parts. Read More