War for Talent

Bob Flynn
Private equity portfolio companies face aggressive goals when they try to expand their business in short-time frames. With acquisitions thrown into the mix, there is added complexity and risk. The projects to accomplish these growth and integration initiatives require dedicated resources and your best resources who are already spread too thin end up being over-utilized. The best strategy is to find experienced, specialized, interim resources that you can rely on, and have them available on demand. A key area of focus is to have a strong Project Management Office with enough project management talent and project management professionals, and a great process to drive your strategic initiatives. Plan ahead, form these relationships now with strategic staffing and talent companies. Make sure these companies and their team can deliver the breadth and depth of talent required, especially in terms of industry expertise and functional knowledge. Oftentimes, it takes weeks to find…
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Does Resistance to Change Improve Outcomes?
In the early 90s, I had the great good fortune to be the Communications Director for the United States Sailing Association, governing body and logistics manager for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team. I was simultaneously, and not surreptitiously, starting my own consulting firm and trained my replacement before transitioning from a salaried position to a consulting one. I supported the new Communications Director in a variety of capacities for a few years. Olympic-sized Goings On While I continued to support the various departments — all designed to foster sail training and competition, and help sailors of all ages find pathways to becoming Olympians if that was their dream — through communications outreach and co-editorship of the magazine American Sailor, I also had my new friend and colleague’s back. This Communications Director was a lightning rod for special projects which she took on unflinchingly and performed gainfully. We worked together to…
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The trouble with talent! Is that consultant you contracted with really a contractor?
If you hire contracted talent, you can learn from my mistake… About eight years ago, I learned the hard way how inconsistent the government classification of employee vs. contractor really is. For over 15 years prior to a very unpleasant incident with the state unemployment insurance division, I had helmed my marketing agency from offices in three different states with a crew of various employees and contractors. My administrative and customer service-facing colleagues were employees, and most of my graphic artist, web development, photography and video support people were independent contractors I brought on board virtually when I needed their support on a client project. The incident culminated from a series of decisions based erroneously on my experiences in the first two states in which I practiced. I opened the office in the third state specifically because it was booming, and there were very limited providers of business development services…
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The Argument for On-site AND Remote Contract Teams
While I haven’t been able to determine precisely how many staffing and talent outsourcing companies there are in the world–I’d estimate at least 100,000 worldwide based on numbers I found–the American Staffing Association’s 2015 fact sheets indicate that 16 million contract and temporary employees are placed in jobs annually in the U.S. alone. Using my estimation metrics, that is 1.1 billion globally. And we’re only calculating traditional, on-site, staffing. On the freelance side of the global workforce–again using the same estimation formula based on 53 million U.S. freelancers–it looks to be about 3.7 billion. It appears that there are three times the number of people freelancing, both on-site and remotely, as there are being placed on-site in temporary positions. I suspect the 1.1 billion is, in fact, part of the 3.7 billion. According to the 2015 report “Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New Workforce” (research by Edelman…
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Can you speak every generation's lingo?
I just read an insightful article about leadership communication that drew a number of useful conclusions about communication skill levels in the workplace, especially as they relate to choosing new hires. It hit me: how does leadership communicate equally well to teams whose members speak the diverse vernaculars developed over four generations? I’m a boomer. I’ve stopped using the word groovy, but I frequently date myself in a hot second saying “cool.” I read magazines, not posts and tweets, and I was expected to be able to — “Larry Crowne” style — wax poetic for four minutes on pop topics. Millenials, on the other hand, get 83% of their news from YouTube, 50% from Instagram, and after hiring someone on Upwork to do their homework, they invite someone over to “Netflix and chill” which does not mean movie watching and hanging out. Gen Xers, from the era of gettin’ jiggy…
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