How can a company in need of technical talent successfully navigate the crowded IT recruitment waters? Here some strategies for doing just that.

Are you ready for the tech war for talent?

The technology sector continues to grow as engineers and programmers develop new innovations designed to ease the background processes of life. Businesses are of course taking advantage of these creations, integrating advanced enterprise technology into workflows of all kinds. Worldwide information technology spending is expected to increase 2.7 percent to $3.5 trillion this year, according to data from Gartner. This rapid operational modernization has forced businesses to bolster their IT ranks and seek out indispensable technical specialists who cannot only manage modern enterprise systems and devices but also offer guidance on how the organization might weather future technological challenges. How can a company in need of such talent successfully navigate the crowded IT recruitment waters? Here some strategies for doing just that:

Target smaller markets
While a good number of talented IT professionals certainly congregate around big cities such as New York and San Francisco, many more live in smaller markets in the Midwest and Southeast, FastCompany reported. Consequently, savvy human resources personnel shift their attention to these areas where competition is less fierce. Most offer up relocation packages and sign-on bonuses to sweeten the pot to draw out hidden talent and bolster their IT teams.

"Offering the right perks at the right time can go a long way toward netting the perfect IT addition."

Pay attention to perks
Organizations searching for premier IT talent go up against companies such as Google and Microsoft – heavy hitters known for doling out healthy compensation packages stuffed with perks. These offerings are well out of reach for small, midsize and even some larger firms. However, that doesn't mean more modestly resourced HR teams should just give up. Offering the right perks at the right time can go a long way toward netting the perfect IT addition, according to FastCompany. Companies should put together multiple offers with different compensatory configurations. Additionally, maintaining new-age workplace programs can also help, especially when it comes to recruiting younger workers.

Work with a partner
Although internal efforts can produce results, you might need help from an external resource when looking for top IT talent. Executive search firms are the ideal option here, as these organizations can leverage strong industry connections to reach out to passive job seekers who may be thinking of pursuing new opportunities but have yet to take action. Keep in mind also this is all they do, i.e. their focus day-by-day! Is your company prepared to up its IT recruitment efforts and hire transformative new talent for the tech department? Connect with YES Partners today.   

To see some of the roles we have already successfully placed, click here.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries.

How do enterprises go about building developing talent pools?

Strategies for developing a sustainable talent pipeline

Organizations tend to focus on the short term when recruiting for hard-to-fill positions. How can we address the vacancy in the executive suite? When will we find the RIGHT applicant for this crucial managerial role? While effective to some extent, this methodology tires internal human resources teams as they leap-frog from opening to opening, deploying a disparate hiring strategy for each new opportunity.

Establishing a self-refreshing talent pipeline is a much more powerful and sustainable approach. With this model, HR staff can leverage standardized systems to reach consistently qualified candidates, while saving precious time and resources. On the other hand, companies need to know what talent they actually want to have in the 'talent pipeline'. At the end of the day, every company wants to hire the best. How do enterprises go about building developing talent pools? There are multiple ways to do this.

Build a better brand
These days, active job seekers do far more than peruse job descriptions before submitting applications. Most not only review company websites and read up on executive staff but also search employer social media profiles and other online resources to gauge company success and evaluate workplace culture. With this in mind, businesses must bolster their branding so that it offers a favorable reflection of the enterprise and yields accurate information that may be of value to talented candidates, according to Inc. However, HR teams should not waste too much time on this variable, as entrenched passive searchers often dodge job portals and reach out via other channels, such as retained executive search firms. Additionally, businesses must back up digital claims with demonstrable actions, Harvard Business Review reported.

"Establishing a self-refreshing talent pipeline is a powerful and sustainable recruitment approach."

Grow from the inside
While external recruitment efforts are normally the most effective, it does not hurt to search internally for up-and-coming talent, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Professional development programs geared toward high-potential workers can help pinpoint the next generation of corner office dwellers and operational wizards, making it easier for HR personnel to draft effective succession plans and ultimately facilitate sustained success. Of course, this strategy hinges on employee engagement, as young talent must have an incentive to stick around and wait for prized positions. The ancillary tasks that come with this approach can get overwhelming fast. As a result, it's wise to supplement internal efforts with robust external recruitment programs.

Collaborate with a partner
Even the largest, most equipped HR teams cannot navigate the recruitment process alone. Employee management tasks take up considerable time and internal recruiters maintain limited connections, which makes it challenging to reach out to dynamic out-of-the-box candidates who can bring fresh perspectives into the operation. Executive search firms, on the other hand, have copious contacts in multiple sectors, putting them in the perfect position to broker meetings between companies and passive job seekers of all sorts. Plus, these firms form lasting bonds with businesses, facilitating robust recruitment channels. Additionally, their task is not on filling a position, but finding qualified candidates for the very specific openings. 

Is your organization prepared to develop a sustainable talent pipeline? Connect with YES Partners today. Our executive search consultants develop long-term relationships with clients and leverage their industry knowledge to connect them with viable candidates who have the executive experience and technical skills to make an impact. 

To see some of the roles we have already successfully placed, click here.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries.

Do employee referral programs really help human resources personnel bring in the best and brightest?

Do employee referrals really work?

Organizations often leverage a variety of recruitment resources when it comes time to fill essential positions. An estimated 63 percent of companies turn to established employee referral programs, according to research from the talent tracking solutions provider iCIMS. These arrangements come with ostensible benefits for both businesses and employers – if they would work. But, do they really help human resources personnel bring in the best and brightest?

Addressing employee participation and fit
Employees at every level constantly come across top-down initiatives calling for their participation. Referral programs fall into this category, of course. Surprisingly, a large number of workers participate. In fact, almost 40 percent of American workers have recommended friends of family members for open positions. A percentage of these referral candidates go on to assume internal roles, according to a staffing survey referenced by the Society of Human Resource Management. The big question however is whether they really meet company expectations?

"Referral programs aren't the end-all and be-all."

The dangers of referral systems
Often overlooked dangers are when employees and managers refer relatives or former coworkers, the same way those future employees follow them into a company, the same way they will leave again for another company once those employees or managers change their company. The same principle applies also for contract recruiters.

While referral programs can obviously bolster your recruitment strategy overall, they aren't the end-all and be-all. Rather than trying to fill positions, companies should focus on finding the RIGHT candidates. You should supplement by working with an executive recruitment firm like YES Partners. Our executive search consultants can put you in touch with talented C-level leaders even your most connected employees cannot match.

To see some of the roles we have already successfully placed, click here.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries.

To win the War for Talent, you must abandon traditional recruitment strategies for more modern techniques designed to engage today's top-tier personnel.

How to win the War for Talent

Currently, many businesses are locked in what recruitment experts call the "War for Talent." This phenomenon, a symptom of decreasing unemployment levels and globalization, forces internal human resources personnel to fight tooth and nail to compete for a limited number of qualified candidates. Often, this means abandoning traditional recruitment strategies for more modern techniques designed to engage today's top-tier personnel. If your organization has yet to adopt such hiring strategies, you must move quickly to make changes, as the War for Talent may never subside, according to Fast Company. The indications are that this war for qualified folks will intensify in in 2017!

Focus on benefits
Last year, the Society for Human Resource Management asked almost 800 recruitment professionals in the U.S. how they had changed their approach to account for increased competition. Approximately 95 percent of respondents said they started by bolstering their benefits packages with new health care incentives. Additionally, more than half introduced flexible work options to entice candidates looking for better work-life balance. It would be in your best interest to consider similar changes, as benefits have reached peak importance among potential hires.

"Streamline the search and screening phases to get the RIGHT people in the door."

Speed up the process
We've touched on this idea before but it bears repeating: To compete in the modern job market, you must facilitate an effective yet swift hiring process. First, streamline the search and screening phases to get the RIGHT people in the door. How? Work with a retained executive search firm that can help you pinpoint the most qualified candidates. When it comes time to make an offer, do so with urgency, recruiter Robin Reshwan advised in an article for U.S. News & World Report. You don't want transformative leaders with real executive experience moving on because you took too long to respond.

Beyond this, keep in mind that there is more to it than waiting and hoping for the RIGHT candidates or simply approaching talent on social networks. Global executive search firms, by nature, have deep industry connections and work with prospective hires who not only understand the hiring process but also specify ahead of time the kinds of organizations they want to work for.

Ready to achieve victory in the War for Talent? Contact YES Partners today. Our executive search consultants can connect you with truly talented business leaders.

To see some of the roles we have already successfully placed, click here.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries.

There are a few key recruitment practices that, more often than not, allow organizations to hire and retain transformative talent.

How to hire the right people

Even as more qualified candidates enter the job market, it can be difficult to find individuals who not only possess the requisite skills and executive experience to excel in leadership positions but also fit the existing workplace culture. Fortunately, there are a few key recruitment practices that, more often than not, allow organizations to hire and retain transformative talent.

Tamp down unconscious biases
Many hiring managers have unconscious biases that directly impact recruitment efforts, according to human resources expert Suzanne Lucas. It's best to address this issue by adjusting the hiring process to discount variables that might stoke such feelings. For instance, as Lucas pointed out in a column for Inc., some organizations ask candidates to submit resumes without names so interviewers can judge candidates based solely on their experience.

"Attitude is just as important as skill when it comes to hiring."

Hire for attitude
We've broached this topic before, but it bears repeating: Attitude is just as important as skill when it comes to hiring. Candidates with the right attitude and base-level competencies often outperform certificate-laden subject matter experts who resist change and bristle when confronted with feedback, Harvard Business Review reported.

Reduce the red tape
Workplace policies are, of course, essential, as they provide structure and establish expectations. However, overly restrictive internal codes can hamstring human resources personnel. The fact is, today's professionals have high expectations when it comes to office culture and will not hesitate to pass on organizations that don't facilitate modern practices, like telecommuting.   

Now that you understand how to attract the right talent, you should move forward and partner with an external resource that can put you in contact with viable C-level staff. YES Partners is one of the top retained search firms in the country, connecting corporate clients with skilled executive search consultants who have decades of experience and deep industry connections.

To see some of the roles we have already successfully placed, click here.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries.

Could a 'buddy hire' system work for your company?

One of the problems that organizations often encounter when trying to attract candidates who are in high demand is that these candidates are unwilling to leave behind the friendships they've made at their current place of employment. According to executive recruiting expert Dr. John Sullivan, organizations might want to consider a "buddy hire" arrangement, where they agree to hire both the original candidate and a qualified colleague of theirs at the same time to help overcome this obstacle and sweeten the deal. 

According to Dr. Sullivan, studies have found that one of the most effective ways to convince a candidate to change his or her "maybe" to a "yes" is to offer the option of working with a good friend or someone he or she admires. Apple and Google have both taken advantage of this information in their hiring strategies, incorporating a description of the team that candidates would be working with into the interview process. 

A buddy hire offer can also bring benefits to your company. If you are truly serious about hiring a candidate and trust his or her judgment of character and work effectiveness, allowing him or her to choose a colleague can mean adding another great team member without having to go through the recruiting process again.

Of course, companies should employ this tactic wisely, using it only to convince exceptional talent to fill crucial, high-level roles. You also don't have to abdicate your right to vet and approve or reject your candidate's "buddy" according to the standards of your organization. However, as Dr. Sullivan writes, you won't usually have to worry about a buddy hire not meeting your standards "because top talent simply don't select buddy hires who aren't also well qualified."

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

How can you tell if a referral program is worth it?

Writing for ERE.net in 2012, Dr. John Sullivan suggested that companies use an employee referral program to enhance recruiting. While it's not a substitute for an executive recruiter, when done well, this kind of program can be highly successful. But how can you tell if it's working? Dr. Sullivan has a few answers.

First, he recommends looking at several different pieces of hard data that prove the effectiveness of the program. These include your company's applicant-to-hire ratio, the cost you pay per hire and the average retention rate for employees who have stayed with the company for two years. If these are all higher with the referral program in place, it is worth it.

He also said that, with the internet influencing more processes, referrals are a less-risky investment.

"As referral programs become more data intensive, the critical success factors that are required for operating an effective one have become clear," he wrote. "Programs designed with these critical components almost always produce a positive ROI and have an extremely low probability of complete failure."

According to a research paper published this May, referrals influence as many as 50 percent of all hires. However, the same study found that over time, non-referred candidates had a higher salary trajectory, especially after five years of tenure.

You should weigh the pros and cons of using a referral program seriously before considering one. An executive recruitment service can help you make the most of available information to find the best person for an open position.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

Putting effective retention strategies in place

In a recent piece for ERE.net, Dr. John Sullivan examines one of the tactics used to encourage employee loyalty: retention bonuses. Sullivan argues that this method, which gives special rewards to workers, is a bad idea in the long run because it doesn't create real loyalty among employees or give them sufficient reason to stay in most cases. 

Looking at the practice of retention bonuses more closely, Dr. Sullivan asserts that they can even cause employees who would have otherwise stayed to leave their position. This is because the workers in question could misinterpret the offer as an insult or "an act of desperation" that makes them wonder why such a bonus is even necessary.

He adds that some businesses are tempted to use retention bonuses as a substitute for actual change. Rather than listen to feedback and improve the company, they give out rewards to frustrated employees. 

What are some better alternatives to keep workers interested? Writing for Entrepreneur, CEO Charlie Hararay stresses the importance of praise and compliments. Though they are less tangible than financial rewards, they ultimately carry as much weight if they come from a sincere place.

"Look for ways to compliment your employees," he writes. "Tell them how much you appreciate them and how valuable they are to the company. Send them a quick email or voice message, thanking them for their efforts on a particular project or meeting. Words can build bridges that money can't take down."

This doesn't mean your CEO can't give bonuses or offer special incentives for projects, as Hararay says these are also powerful motivators. But these things should be connected to the joy of the work experience, not a substitute for it. Executive recruitment professionals can look for signs that a CEO candidate knows how to keep employees engaged and loyal.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

Strong support lets CEOs relax while away

Everyone needs a vacation once in a while, but The Wall Street Journal recently reported that most CEOs don't like to take a break. Citing information from a recent study, the source notes that less than five percent of 250 executives questioned feel comfortable doing no work while on vacation: The majority stay involved while away, some going as far as canceling personal time entirely when something important comes up.

While dedication is vital to success, a boss who feels they can't ever walk away from work is a bad sign. Chief executives should be free to trust operations to other c-level staff temporarily. That way, a company doesn't struggle when their CEO is unavailable—and that CEO, in turn, can get important rest and relaxation when he or she needs it.

It's not just bosses who are foregoing their time off. According to U.S. Travel Association information cited in a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, "40 percent of American workers will leave paid vacation days unused."

The Tribune spoke to the president of the Association, Roger Dow, who said that Americans "suffer from a work martyr complex" that prevents them from stepping away and enjoying themselves. In the short term, it feels like more work is getting done, but working too hard leads to greater problems later on, for both the individual and the company.

"In part it's because 'busyness' is something we wear as a badge of honor," Dow says of this overzealous work habit. "Unfortunately, workers don't seem to realize that forfeiting their vacation time comes at the expense of their overall health, well-being and relationships."

The solution? Companies should turn to an executive recruiter for c-suite staff members who complement each other and work well as a team. If everyone at the c-level feels comfortable in their positions, the CEO's week off won't seem as daunting.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

What stock options are appropriate for CEO compensation?

Before your new CEO even sets foot in his or her office, some of the most important decisions concerning his CEO tenure will have already been made. One such factor is compensation, which comprises not just salary but benefits, including stock options.

This provision of stock options is an issue that both depends on industry standards and the preference of your business and its board of directors. The Seattle Times recently looked at the relationship between shareholders and the options given to CEOs.

These board members should be involved in the process of determining what works best. The Times story notes that, according to a recent study, the average total payment recorded for a Northwestern CEO was $1.6 million in 2013.

The most "awarded" CEO for this region was T-Mobile's high-profile executive John Legere. Of the more than $29 million he earned in compensation for 2013, just $6.6 million was in cash.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Stanford professor Allan McCall discussed how Coca-Cola's recent changes in compensation can be measured against others in the same field.

The benefits offered by this company (more than 300 million stock options for all of its executives by 2018) might seem excessive to some, but not to those who think about the larger picture, McCall argued. "I think that when you look at the numbers behind the compensation program that they put forward, what you see is something that is more or less in line with what every other company is doing," McCall said. 

Executive search consultants know the best way to dispense and structure these benefits, including industry standards, and can advise your organization on how to create an attractive compensation package.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

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