Category Archives: Newsroom

Negotiating the recruitment minefield

New Zealand Business, August 2009

There could also be what Gabrielle Young, Stratus Consulting director, describes as dramatic changes in the way those individuals connect with potential employers. Online recruitment is growing, and overseas the traditional recruitment agency model is being replaced by more innovative ways of doing the same job, she says. “I deal with a lot of people in the States and they’re doing it differently. Employers are recruiting directly, mining social networks, using alumni and sources like LinkedIn and Facebook.”

The key is a good employment brand, she says. “Everyone talks about their employer.”

The employment brand needs to be defined. “It’s not hard. Just ask questions like ‘why did you come to work here’ and ‘what’s important to make you stay’?”

And once you’ve defined the brand, use it, says Young. “Being clear about your employment brand is important for SMEs anyway. But it needs to be articulated, online and in any form of advertising an SME does for candidates.”

Full article

Polish your diamonds and watch them shine

New Zealand Herald, 28 May 2008:

Gabrielle Young is the director of Stratus Consulting and also says that upskilling employees is best done onsite.

“While formal training has its place, it’s very clear – people learn on the job. Most of that development around the gaps in their competence can be done on the job,” Young says.

But some training does need to be formalised. Young says that includes things which are mission-critical or are “this is the way we do things around here” type of things. When everyone needs to be doing something the exact same way then formalised training is best. But for other tasks, Young says managers need to take a coaching approach rather than a telling approach.

“One of the huge things that people need to have in their organisation is a coaching culture – managers as coaches. They see it as their role to grow and develop people’s performance.”

If managers can facilitate employees in solving their own problems, they can upskill themselves. But Young says many small to medium businesses are just not aware of how to manage their talent. Organisations should know what it is their people need to be good at before they can upskill them. These basic competencies might include relationship management, drive for results, customer focus or attention to detail.

“The first thing to do is understand the capabilities the business needs – therefore, what competencies do my people need?” Young says.

Young says that if small businesses think about how they need to recruit, develop and retain staff in a more integrated way, they will be a lot better off.

Managers should be comparing a person’s progress against their goals on a six-month or annual basis as part of an overall talent management programme. And no, there is no guarantee that the efforts put into staff development will pay off. But with today’s highly mobile workforce, Young says a personal development policy is the best retention tool you can have.

“The research is really clear. People that are bright and talented, what they’re hungry for is development. It’s one of the most critical things anyone can be offered in a work context.”

Full article