Posts Tagged ‘talent’

Trends in Learning That Will Make a Difference

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014


Brandon Hall, Ph.D., CEO of Brandon Hall Research, captures what’s next in learning and development in an article Learning Trends Here Today and Tomorrow. Here are some highlights that will WOW you:


Big Data: Big data will impact learning in several areas: program instruction, personalization and the ability for engines like or Netflix to track preferences in learning.

Mobile: As we all know, mobile will be everywhere. Today and in the future this will drive our ability to access knowledge all the time.

Social: “Social learning occurs in ways we never imagined,” said Hall. This creates new ways to exchange and share knowledge, and opens doors to rethink and reimage our approaches to learning, delivery and access.

Design: Design-centered thinking changes the approach to problem solving and what the end user is demanding or needing.

Learning, Talent and HR: We are already seeing change in these functions. According to Hall, “The learning function will change, with fewer standard learning programs, more experiences and mentoring, more performance consulting and more culture change initiatives.”

“The Internet of Everything”: This is a fairly new concept but one that we will continue to hear about. Kelly Lake, learning and performance strategist at custom learning company Aptara, speaks about digital expansion for learning — the connection of all digital devices at work to support learning and performance.

At WOW, we’re watching these trends — and you should, too.


What’s Your Company Persona?

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


Persona:  A fictional person who represents a potential employee for your organization.

A persona helps identify major characteristics and traits that are important to your organization. It helps identify people who will be most effective in your organization.  When considering what traits or characteristics to focus on, go beyond skills to include areas such as personality, demographics and years experience.

Why Create a Persona?

A better question is to ask, why not? Wouldn’t it be nice to share a visual representation of your ideal employee? It’s not like you are tearing a picture from a magazine and sending it around the office.  Creating a personal takes thought, work and insight.  It requires you to accurately describe company culture and values and articulate why someone would be successful in your organization.  It takes time, energy and teamwork to create a useful persona.

Getting Started

Gather magazines, markers, scissors, glue and flip charts to use to develop your visual representation.

  1. Create a name for the person if you like.
  2. Add detailed background information, such as education, experience, and location.
  3. List values, and how this person will support the company values.
  4. Identify personality traits and actions that will be important to succeed at your company.
  5. Describe your company culture, including the informal environment and how this person will fit into your company
  6. Gather other important details about your company

If you are intrigued by this process and want more information on Creating Your Company Persona, contact Nettie Nitzberg of WOW! transformations.

Survey Says…

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

“One in Five Workers Plan to Change Jobs in 2014 …” read more

“Many Employed Workers Haven’t Sought A
New Job In Years …”  read more  


What both surveys indicate is that 2014 looks like the year the job market turns around.  “Twenty-one percent of full-time employees plan to change jobs in 2014, the largest amount in the post-recession era and up from 17 percent in 2013,” according to the survey conducted online by Harris Interactive.  However, respondents expect the effort to challenging.

What does this mean for employers?

Retention and Engagement is critical. Ramp up initiatives that keep employees happy and involved.

  • Review current development programs and make sure they are better than your competitors.
  • Give thanks to employees as a lasting reminder of your appreciation. Make formal rewards and recognition a part of your company culture.
  • Ask employees what they need through surveys, focus groups or one-on-one interviews.

Experienced talent will be hitting the marketplace. Now is the time to review your hiring practices, make sure your recruiting message is effective, and you are prepared.

  • Clear communication should reflect the personality of your organization to attract and connect with the right talent, as well as retain existing employees.
  • Ensure the acquisition and hiring team is in alignment from sourcing talent to interviewing for skills, competencies and culture fit.
  • Use existing employees to act as talent ambassadors.

Take a look inside your organization. This is a good time to complete an Employee Audit. The Audit is an evaluation that identifies how people move through the employee lifecycle from acquisition > onboarding > development > departure.

  • Assess the entire relationship to uncover what is working and what can be strengthened.
  • Take a hard look at systems, processes and development initiatives to clarify strategic priorities, solutions that will address people pains, and talent hurdles that your organization may face in 2014.
  • Create a plan to address challenges to avoid losing key employees.
  • Evaluate your acquisition process to take advantage of key talent hitting the market.

Be prepared for change. Losing employees, hiring new employees or retaining existing talent all require change. With the talent outlook in 2014 changing, it is time for organizations to make smart decisions about investment in the people they seek, hire and retain.

Renewed optimism about the job market can be an asset or a liability for your company. Which will it be?  

Hire Superstar Talent Fast

Thursday, April 21st, 2011


A recent blog, Hire Superstar Talent Fast by Bill Taylor, talks about the war for talent raging in Silicon Valley. Taylor asks:  How do companies find, recruit and land the most gifted performers in their fields?

He cites three strategies by human resources expert Dr. John Sullivan that were published in Fast Company’s “How to Hire the Next Michael Jordan” more than 12 years ago. Here are Sullivan’s hiring strategies, with WOW! transformations’ beyondboarding™ twist:

1. Move from coincidence hiring to continuous hiring. “Traditionally, companies get serious about hiring when they have a specific opening: ‘Our vice president of marketing quit, so we need a new one.’ I call that approach ‘coincidence’ hiring: ‘I happen to need a basketball player today. Did Michael Jordan happen to quit his job?’ The odds that he did are not very good. So what are the odds of your landing him?”

From a beyondboarding™ perspective this is so important.  The first step in pre-boarding is to ensure your organization is set up properly so you can source and select the right talent for your needs, not just fill an open position on the org chart. Managers need to constantly look for the best and the brightest out there, building a strong bench of talent to select and develop.

2. Hiring is too important to be left to HR. “Hiring great people is not the responsibility of HR. It’s the responsibility of every single manager. There are lots of reasons for this: If you are the leader of a great marketing team or of a great product-design team, no one outside your group — no human-resources specialist — can understand the kind of superstar who will make a difference in your work.”

From a beyondboarding™ perspective, it is a joint effort between HR and Staffing, and the Hiring Manager.  HR and Staffing can help you in your efforts but it’s your organization that bring the new talent on board. It’s ultimately the responsibility of the hiring manager to ensure new employees will formally and informally fit within the organization, the department and the team.  HR and Staffing is not responsible for this – they are there only to support your needs.

3. If you want to hire smart, hire fast. “Great people usually won’t leave their current job unless there is an external triggering event: Maybe they’ve turned 40; maybe they’ve gotten divorced; maybe their company has been bought. So companies that are serious about hiring will keep track of great people and will be on the lookout for such triggering events. And when such an event happens, they’ll make their move fast.”

From a beyondboarding™ perspective, in this current environment the best talent is not jumping ship yet but just wait!  High potentials are just waiting to the perfect company to come along and meet their needs. You will want to make sure that your pre-boarding process is efficient and streamlined, between HR and Staffing, and the Hiring Manager to ensure you are doing what it takes to get the right people in the door before someone else snags them.

As Bill Taylor proposed … How are you waging the battle for talent? Why do you think you’re going to win?