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Economic Growth and Its Impact on Talent Acquisition | S2:E6

  • Episode 6
  • 'Inside Executive Search' Podcast

    Attracting, selecting, and retaining top talent is a challenge for many businesses. Join long-time executive search professional Scott Peterson, alongside Steve Yakesh, President of Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search at one of the leading executive search firms, to discuss insights and techniques to assist companies to achieve their best results. If you’re an executive leader looking for advice on hiring the best talent for your company, you’ll want to hear this advice from these industry experts.

    Steve Yakesh | President, Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search

    As President of Direct Hire & Executive Search, Steve Yakesh leads Versique’s award-winning permanent placement division with more than 20 years of experience. Additionally, he guides strategy for Versique’s twelve practice areas, including IT, HR, Finance & Accounting, Engineering & Operations, Sales, CPG, Digital Marketing, Executive Retained Search, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Family Owned and Demand Generation.

    Scott Peterson | Vice President, Executive Leadership Search

    Scott Peterson leads the Retained Executive Search division at Versique as the Senior Practice Director. In his role, Scott fills critically-important senior level positions such as CEO, CFO, CIO, COO. Scott has over 20 years of experience in executive recruiting. Additionally, Scott has also served on the Board of Directors the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation, Medina Golf and Country Club, as well as several youth sports organizations.

    Podcast Transcription

    Speaker_1: 00:02 Get ready for your weekly dose of talent strategies and tactics from industry leaders to help you attract, select and retain your top talent. You’re listening to Inside Executive Search with Steve Yakesh and Scott Peterson
    Speaker_2: 00:30 Hello and welcome to the Inside Executive Search podcast. My name’s Steve Yakesh and this podcast is for business owners, board members and executives seeking strategies and tactics to attract, select and retain the very best. If you’re not feeling a hundred percent confident that you have a plan to attract the very best, keep listening, this podcast will help you get there. That said, I would like to welcome Mr. Scott Peterson into the podcast for the 22nd time. So today we have another first. Last week we brought our first guest in, Mr. George Murray. Loved having him here. Today we’re going to recap an event that you and I got to participate in last week.
    Speaker_3: 01:00 That was a lot of fun. We were able to go to an executive summit and we’re going to jump into telling what that all was all about and some of the lessons we learned during that summit.
    Speaker_2: 01:32 Awesome. So last week we had an opportunity to participate in an executive summit that Vistage put on. So, if you can recall back to earlier podcast, we mentioned Vistage. It’s a, an executive peer group organization, and I believe they have, I don’t know what, 20 peer groups around the Twin Cities and hundreds or thousands across the globe.
    Speaker_3: 02:01 Around 20 in the Midwest, five state area. Okay. 23,000 members across the United States
    Speaker_2: 02:10 So, this one was the Minnesota Summit and there’s about 350+ Vistage members, so CEOs, business owners, etc. , that were there and really we wanted to recap what we learned through two of the keynote speakers. One they had an economist in from ITR Research so we’ll recap what he heard there and Vistage researches we will really tap into what we heard there tapping into the 23,000 members and grab some good insights there. Then we also had a privilege to lead one of the breakout sessions basically on this podcast about, attracting, selecting and retaining top talent and we’d love to provide the listeners a recap of what the members of our breakout session gave us or what are their struggles, challenges, etc. are.
    Speaker_3: 03:02 Yeah, it was really good and it validated the 21 previous podcasts episodes and how important those resonated with the CEOs and leaders that we met with.
    Speaker_2: 03:12 Cool. Well, I’ll start out, I’ll recap the keynote from ITR it really was recapping what are they predicting the economy to do, and I’ll point out that they did provide a lot of credibility early. So, for the last five years they went back and proved out what their research or their predictions and how did it actually turn out. And I believe it was like to a 98% accuracy rate. It was phenomenal. So, that being said, I personally believe in their predictions. And what they have predicted is over the course of the remaining of this year we’re still going to grow, but the growth is slowing. So, there’s a little headwind. And we may dip down to stalling, maybe even dip down, to a quote on quote recession, but it’s going to be short lived and they think that’s going to happen sometime end of first quarter into second quarter. But then the good news is we’re going to rebound really quick and the economy’s going to be growing again in Q three. Q four of 2020.
    Speaker_3: 04:25 Yeah, it was good news because you hear a lot of negativity about the economy and when is the next recession.
    Speaker_2: 04:34 Did you hear, I think it was Harvard Business Journal, went back and archived and research every single news article on the major wire’s newspapers and 94% were negative.
    Speaker_3: 04:50 Yes, negative on the economy being that we are focused on that one, but what they tell us is that the ITR group, that has a really solid track record of predictions, is that the next recession, if we want to call it that, is going to be not as deep and not as long, not nearly as deep and right. So, it’s compared to ’08, ’09, it’s not going to be anywhere close to that. So that’s a good thing for everyone to be thinking about their business and how to maybe just slightly adjust but not throw their hands up and go, Oh, I don’t know what to do.
    Speaker_2: 05:26 Yeah. There’s no, no reason to panic. It may slow down a little bit, but to recap this and then we’ll go into the next one is, you know, they think that once we come out of this quote on quote slowdown and first, second quarter of 2020 that we’re going to have an another strong two, three plus years ahead of us in growth. So good news. So yeah, I thought it was great cause the unknown is the scariest piece and now I feel like I know and have a pretty good reliability that of what’s going to happen. Now let’s move forward.
    Speaker_3: 06:06 I mean the cool thing about was that it was a lot of charts and graphs, but he made it real. Exactly. So, you got it, you understood it quickly and it was really more of a positive look then than maybe what we perceived.
    Speaker_2: 06:18 Perfect. I’m going to turn it over to you. I didn’t get to attend this full speaker, but I heard it was amazing.
    Speaker_3: 06:25 Yeah. There was another speaker that actually is an employee of Vistage and he is their Vice President of Research, so what they do is they research based upon their 23,000 members, right, so they send them surveys, they talk about various topics and one of them that is relevant to this podcast is on talent management. They asked a series of questions and had them say, is this an important factor in your talent management process and so we just want to provide you with some statistics and why it makes sense that these numbers are coming and what they are on.
    Speaker_4: 07:02 One of the top things again 23,000 were surveyed and of the people that responded, 66% said employee retention is a huge priority and a huge issue for them. So again, does that make sense in this world of talent attraction, retention we’ve been talking about on these podcasts. So that just validates some of the things we’ve been talking about. The other piece is that the strong culture is driving employee engagement and so we talked about culture, we’ve talked about why that’s important. Your brand, your culture, it drives employees to engage with your company, to be really part of it, not just working in your company, but they’re loving what they do, where they work and who they work.
    Speaker_2: 07:48 Yeah, I mean that makes a ton of sense and we’ve talked about it in prior podcasts, but you build a great culture and you show professional growth to an employee, why would they leave? I mean, if one of those two things aren’t happening then that’s on the company.
    Speaker_3: 08:09 Yeah, so it just puts the focus on the fact that it’s just not enough to pay them the right amount. There must be more to that formula, if you will. The next piece was on attracting qualified candidates. It’s not surprising that 61% of the owners and CEOs said, that’s a big problem. Right? We’re in a war for talent. We’ve got baby boomers retiring at 10,000 people a day, so that makes sense. But when you put all those three together, their top three, it really isn’t surprising that the culture and employee engagement drives higher retention and higher percentages of attracting employees to your company. So, if you’ve got a great culture and you’ve got a great story to tell, you’re going to retain the ones you have, but you’re also going to attract the ones you want. So, I think this was a great validation. Not only what we’ve been talking about, but just generally speaking about talent management in general.
    Speaker_2: 09:06 Yeah, absolutely, and if you’re trying to grow a company, you’ve got to pay attention to it these days. Right? All right, well, the last one we’ll spend a little bit of time. We did a breakout session trying to cram, what did we say about 350 minutes of podcasts into about a 40-minute seminar breakout session that we did and so we walked people through obviously at a very high level, some of the key components to attract, select and retain, but I thought it was interesting the feedback and the challenges and issues that individuals in the room had and it makes sense to of recap those and kind of share what we learned from the people in the room.
    Speaker_3: 09:47 Yeah. I think one of the things we want to talk about is active versus passive candidates. And so, nobody’s applying to my job, right? So it’s thinking why is this so hard to find candidates? I post my job and I get nobody. Well, yeah, the reality is only about 10 to 15% of the workforce is actively pursuing opportunities. So, it’s just not enough to post an ad and expect that you’re going to get the right candidates. So, you must have a strategy to go after passive candidates, and that strategy is around building a compelling story or company brand, understanding the market, where to go find these people. There’s a lot of strategies that we’ve talked about over our podcast that we really showcase to the executives that were in the room. And it really resonated with them. They’re like, we don’t do this. We’re not good at this. How do I this? That was really one key area.
    Speaker_2: 10:39 Yeah, and then the other one was the quality of the candidates that they’re bringing into their organization. I saw a lot of light bulbs turn on when we were talking about this topic around if you do only have let’s say 10 or 15% of people that are actively pursuing a new job, you take 15 out of a hundred people and put them, you know, on the left side of the room. And then you take the 85 other candidates that aren’t looking, but you can sure go and tell your story. The odds are in the favor that you’re going to find the best candidate. If I got 85 chances versus 15 so it’s has to be this blend. And they’re like, I get it, now, how do I do it?
    Speaker_3: 11:22 Right. Then you’re strategically going after a qualified candidate versus responding to a candidate that is not qualified, that’s maybe active in the marketplace. So, the quality of candidates is is a key issue for everybody. We’ve told them to slow down and not just hire for fine or good, but really spend time to find those great candidates, but that takes time and bandwidth at your company, right? So who is going to be running these searches? Who’s going to doing it? So, it takes a dedicated effort to really spend the time to understand what the opportunity is, what you’re looking for, and then how to go find it and where you’re going to go find it.
    Speaker_2: 12:04 Yup, well another comment, a couple of people in the room said, the cost of a miss hire, which I agree with. That can have a tremendous impact on the organization. Not just the role that you potentially miss hire, but how does it affect other people around them, other departments, whatever, but I think what the room wasn’t thinking is what is the impact of hiring great versus just good. You know, in the example we use, which is the easiest, is you hire a good sales rep for your organization to sell your product or services and they hit their quota of let’s say $1 million. Well, what are your president’s club level salespeople doing? $1.5M, $1.8M or $2M. So, you can very quickly quantify a great sales hire versus a good hire in the terms of five, eight thousand more every year, right? And you can draw those in finance roles, marketing roles, operational roles based on efficiencies and things of that nature as well, right?
    Speaker_3: 13:09 Yeah, again encouraging companies to slow down instead of just filling the role, fill it the correct way, the right way, the best way that fits your company culture, that fits your style, that fits the job fit, but as the candidates career fit. I mean we’ve talked about those concepts again throughout our podcast. So don’t forget those, just because you have an opening doesn’t mean you should hire tomorrow. Slow down to speed up and hire great is really the key that came out of our session.
    Speaker_2: 13:42 Yeah, well it’s a good preview to next week’s podcast is slow down and if you need, there’s this whole world of interim help or consulting, and so we’re going to have our next featured guests coming in next week who leads our consulting division, Chris Dardis to really talk about how you can bring in an interim individual while you slow down and take your time to find the very best for those key roles.
    Speaker_3: 14:09 Yeah, and this isn’t a new concept. This is a concept that has worked for 10, 20 years now and at very senior levels through all your organizations. So don’t be afraid to slow down, bring someone in that’s got excellent talent, but chooses to work on an interim basis while you look for and find the great hire instead of just a good hire.
    Speaker_2: 14:30 Yep. Absolutely. Well, cool. Well that wraps up this podcast. It was a great event. If anybody listening can attend events like this, you could probably do it every day if you wanted to, but I think it’s always good for me personally to get out once a quarter and attend different seminars, conferences, events, and I’ll give this Vistage a lot of kudos, it was a great event. We were happy to be a part of it and that will wrap us up for today. And just as a reminder, if you want to get ahold of Scott, you can find his information on or you can look him up on LinkedIn. And as always, if you like what you hear and you have not yet subscribed to our podcast, you can do that on all the major podcast channels. Thanks, Scott. We’ll talk to you next week.
    Speaker_3: 15:20 Sounds great. We will talk then.

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