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Talent Trends: 5 Things You Need to Know | S2:E1

  • Episode 1
  • '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

    Intro: 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_1: 00:30 Hello and welcome to the Inside Executive Search podcast. My name’s Steve Yakesh and this show is for business owners, board members and executives exploring strategies and tactics to attract, select and retain the very best. If you’re not feeling 100% confident that you have a plan to recruit the very best, keep listening, this podcast will help you get there. That being said, welcoming in Mr. Scott Peterson. How are you?
    Speaker_2: 00:55 I am doing well, it’s good to be here. If we are on a video podcast today, everyone would see that we have furniture in our podcast studio. But since we are on audio, we will just have to say how comfortable and relaxed it is now. We love it.
    Speaker_1: 01:17 All right, well today we are going to take a little bit of a pause. A half year review, we are about midway through the year, a little after and we figured we would go back to the archives. You and I read a long time ago, Forbes put out there, top five trends in talent and top five factors from job seekers way back in January. So, we thought we’d review those and then lob them over to Mr. Scott Peterson to really give us the local angle because this is more of a national trend.
    Speaker_1: 01:51 Yeah. And I think it’s important to at this point of the year, halfway through the year, summer, we got the vacations going on, is there anything changing in the market? Is there anything alarming or is it status quo? Is it similar to what we were six, nine months ago? Well, let’s start with talent trends. This podcast is really about retention, selection and attraction. All three and these trends really cover all three of those main items. So, I’ll start with the attraction component. Two of them that stuck out to me that they wrote in their article was consumer grade experience for job seekers.
    Speaker_2: 02:50 So what does that mean? Really it basically gets down to what is the experience for the job seeker coming into the company. Some of the examples that they gave and that we’re seeing is a higher percentage of applicants for jobs are using mobile device to apply for jobs. So they want that as easy as everything else they do mobile. So, if it’s very cumbersome and clunky to apply for a job, fight information about the company, they’re going to be less likely to apply for that job. So, again, almost treating the job seeker as a consumer like Amazon would in their interface on a mobile app, similar has to happen for your company. Yup. And I think too, and we talked about this in some of our previous podcasts, the experience just doesn’t stop at somebody’s applying or you’re advertising your particular position. It’s about the experience all the way through the interview process. Absolutely. We have talked about employment brand before, we’ve talked about this kind of a new concept of how I
    Speaker_1: 03:50 Yup, and you mentioned it a couple of seconds ago and one of the other top five trends is that companies need to have an authentic employer brand, which you mentioned. So, explain that a little bit.
    Speaker_2: 04:36 Yeah, go back in the archives, go check us out. There’s one on branding. But really people want to work for a company that has a great culture and a great brand. How is that portrayed in the marketplace? How is that advertised? How was that seen? Are people on Glassdoor talking about their company in a very positive way so the brand is very cool, and I’d love to go work there. I love to be part of that. So, companies need to continue to work on that from marketing to their future employees as well as not only their current employees. Yeah, and obviously this podcast is around more of the executive recruitment, but all those are important for whether it’s a guy like you or myself recruiting on behalf of a client or a client, Head of Talent or HR reaching out to candidates on their own, they’re going to check your employment brand. They’re going to check Glassdoor, they’re going to go to your website before they maybe return that phone call, whether it’s a direct internal employee or a
    Speaker_1: 05:58 Perfect. Well, the third item that Forbes wrote about was personalized benefits. Now we talked about compensation and perks and what goes into it for the executive, but personalized benefits isn’t a term we’ve used.
    Speaker_2: 06:10 It isn’t, but we should have. I think it really gets back to the total rewards of a company and sometimes not everybody uses the same benefits the same way. So, it might be like, Hey Steve, you want to take a couple of days off and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity because that really excites you. That’s a benefit. That’s a personalized benefit that we’re going to let you do to make your employment experience with us better. So that’s just one smaller example, some time off. It could be a similar type of arrangements. It could be working from home once a week and it’s usually nonmonetary, but again not forgetting what the total rewards of the organization. So, all benefits are not created equal for everybody. Some need something different for different parts of their lives when they have family, suddenly health insurance becomes a big deal when you have children. Is it less of a big deal early on? Maybe, you’re young and healthy and you don’t really care as much about that, but that
    Speaker_1: 07:21 Perfect. The other two are more what I would say on the retention side of attraction, selection, retention, rise of everyday performance. Please explain.
    Speaker_2: 07:34 I love that terminology. And really what it is, the days of doing an annual review as the only time you get feedback about how you’re doing in your job are over or should be over. I know at Versique we do daily if not weekly follow. So again, it’s that ongoing feedback to that person. Tell them when they do something well and tell them when they are doing something they need an opportunity for improvement.
    Speaker_1: 08:10 So you’re saying I shouldn’t let all the improvement areas just bundle up and cascade all the way and then just drop it on in somebody.
    Speaker_2: 08:20 It’s really hard to make improvements in your company if you wait for a year. I think newer employees, millennials, they’re looking for constant feedback. They’re looking for that pat on the back, they’re looking for, hey, what can we do differently? What can I do better? And doing it annually really doesn’t really serve the purpose with today’s workforce.
    Speaker_1: 08:45 All right. The final one that Forbes wrote about was something called employee led learning. Please explain.
    Speaker_2: 08:51 Yes, so this is really changing from a top down. Hey, here’s what you get. Here’s what we provide you, Steve Yakesh in terms of development. It’s the other way around. Steve would come to his boss or his leader in their organization and say, I want to take a class or a seminar on public speaking because I’m uncomfortable in front of groups of people. That is something that you brought to do from a development standpoint, not something that they told you had to do. So, it’s really just turning it around, embracing that the employee’s desires and wishes in terms of development and then allowing them to go do it.
    Speaker_1: 09:37 Absolutely, and I know we do it here and I have seen more and more organizations where there is a training topic but its led by the people that are in the day to day, staff level. It’s not a corporate trainer, it’s not a leader in the organization. They’re empowering their employees to teach others in a more formal setting.
    Speaker_2: 09:59 And I don’t want to say that that the top down doesn’t still exist. It’s just in combination with the employee coming to the table with things that they’d like to do.
    Speaker_1: 10:10 Yup. Absolutely. All right. We’re going to shift gears just a little bit. In the same article Forbes wrote about what are the top five most important things that job seekers are wishing for? And I’m just going to list them off and I know we’ve talked about a lot of these in podcasts previous, but we’ll hit on them here briefly. So top five development opportunities, work atmosphere, work life balance, job security and salary and benefits. So, any of those stick out?
    Speaker_2: 10:43 You know it’s not surprising that you’re going to see those topics mirror sort of what we’ve talked about in attraction selection, retention. You know, salary and benefits, if those are aren’t correct or those aren’t competitive, you’re not going to attract any talent to your company. So those are just sort of given. Now in the benefits that could become, hey, that’s self-directed benefits, those types of things. Personalized benefits is the right word. I think all of those things just intuitively makes sense, but sometimes I think we forget about them. Like employee development. Again, it gets back to, hey, I want to go take a class on x or y and my boss has a budget to allow his team to do that kind of thing. Scott, go for it. So that’s that in develop development opportunities. Also growth opportunities within the company. How do I make myself attract attractive to the next promotion in the company or another opportunity?
    Speaker_1: 11:48 Well, and I think going back to one of the first couple podcast we did, we were kind of explaining our process at Versique and it’s really, anytime we take on a, a search for a client, we’re trying to get alignment in three things. It’s the candidate needs to be aligned with the company, the core values. The work atmosphere, work life balance. There needs to be alignment in the job skills experience, which is more of that job security, but then a career alignment as well. Are they going to grow within the organization? So that’s the development and ops and the salary and benefits just come with, with the job. So yeah, I agree with you Scott, that makes a ton of sense that those are still the top five.
    Speaker_2: 12:35 Yeah and we talked a little bit about national versus local here in Minneapolis, and I don’t think there really is anything much different than the local market. Sometimes you’ll see industry trends of that industry is down and not hiring right now, but from what we can see, the economy hasn’t slowed down very much at all. Maybe a little bit. Maybe there’s a taking a breath or a pause here in the summer, but the reality is companies are still hiring at a very robust pace. There’s still not enough employees or qualified employers for every job that’s out there. So, it’s still a good time to find a new opportunity.
    Speaker_1: 13:16 Absolutely. Well, thanks Scott. That wraps up our podcast here and we’ll do it again next week, but if anybody wants to get ahold of Scott, feel to go to or find him on LinkedIn. As always, you can subscribe to our podcast on all the major podcasts. And don’t forget this is number 17 now so if you have not listened to any of them, you have a lot of listening to do. Yes, so you can find any of the podcasts on all the major podcast channels. All right. Thanks everybody. We’ll talk to you next week.

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