Outside-In® Talent Seminar: The Happy Harry’s Story

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Last Thursday, we partnered with Alan Levin, the former CEO of Happy Harry’s (and the son of Harry himself), to present The Happy Harry’s Story at our Outside-In® Talent Seminar. Business professionals and knowledge-seeking individuals joined us at University of Delaware’s Goodstay for some networking, a hot breakfast, and to learn valuable business lessons from a successful and distinguished Delaware leader. Alan led the talk on the beginnings of Happy Harry’s and credited several variables to the success of the business.

Alan stated the importance of having customers and frontline employees at the top of the organization. “People in Delaware are extremely loyal,” said Levin. “Our fortune is credited to being located in Delaware. It’s important to give back to people. If you have the right people and the right customers, you will do well.

0240_001The discussion then turned to Levin’s 11 Rules for Business Success, a comprehensive list that includes empowering your employees to make decisions, giving back to the community you serve, and having fun. He reinforced, “Life is a people business and how you treat people makes all the difference in the world.”

Overall, our guests enjoyed Levin’s heartfelt talk, and appreciated his humor throughout the presentation. “There were several take-aways, with probably the biggest being the emphasis on people,” said guest Frank DeSantis, “The common themes were respect, empowerment, setting examples all resulting in the development of a relationship with both customers and your employees.”

Alan concluded the talk with the sentiment, “Do what you enjoy and you’ll have a much better life and not have to get out of bed every morning to do something you don’t enjoy. I never had a bad night of sleep because I had people that I trusted and people who trusted me.”

Interested in attending our Outside-In® Talent Seminars? We have several guest speakers lined up, continuing Thursday, December 11th with Talent Strategy: Engaging a Multicultural Dispersed Workforce. Our feature presenter John Tooher, currently Managing Director at HeadRoom LLC, will share his experiences as President and General Manager at YellAdworks. Join us for a breakfast, networking, and a valuable discussion! Get your tickets here.

Two Paragraph Perspectives: Inspiration is a Choice

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I was traveling on a train recently and I have to tell you that I thoroughly enjoy being on the rails. It’s great quiet time and the seats are much more comfortable and spacious than those on airplanes. I do some of my best thinking on Amtrak. During a ride this month, I got the idea for this two paragraph perspective from eavesdropping on a conversation between a mother and her toddler son. The two had just returned from the dining car, an adventure for any child, and the young man asked his mother a question, “Mommy, what does it mean to be inspired?” She thought for a moment and answered, “It means that when someone tells you that you are really good at something it makes you do a good job.” Listening to this explanation made me want to do some unsolicited parenting right on the spot! As a father I am used to answering a seemingly endless number of questions daily. As such, I fashion myself pretty decent at taking complex “adult” topics or vocabulary and disseminating the meaning to my children.

I became immediately concerned about the impact that this answer may have made on a young boy who is looking for direction and guidance. He is experiencing a world that he will grow into eventually whether he is ready or not. Whether you are 5 and trying to figure out new vocabulary or 55 and trying to navigate your professional life, being inspired is a state of being. Inspiration is a choice that is formulated by our internal reactions and thoughts. The Oxford Dictionaries define inspiration as, “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” People may or may not improve their performance by hearing from another person that they are really good at something. I’d love to go tell Mom that being inspired is an attitude. It is a commitment to excellence. More importantly, true inspiration is chosen and can come from within each of us.      

Throughout the fall season of 2014, Barton Career Advisors will dedicate its industry pieces and blogging to a new series called Two Paragraph Perspectives. There is so much going on in our world and it is often difficult to consume an entire article, thought leadership piece, whitepaper, or news story. Our world communicates at lightning speed and most of that happens in 140 characters or less. For the previously mentioned reasons we will bring you key thoughts, insights, and questions in an easy to consume two paragraph format. Before the steam is finished rising off your morning coffee or tea you will be done reading our bi-weekly digest of all things career transition, personal brand management and outplacement best practices. We hope you are looking forward to this series written by our Founder and Managing Partner, Chris Barton.

CBI Way: How RPO Affects Your Brand

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ID-100221395Guest blog spot by Outside-In® Team Member Alex Patton

The CBI Way series has been discussing the value and importance of strong candidate engagement, and just as important, customer engagement. We spoke to some of the problems that are created with a lack of engagement, such as poor time-to-fill and loss of qualified candidates. Also discussed were a couple tips for curving weak engagement between partners, a daily or weekly meeting, for example. But what about the customer’s brand and reputation when it is outsourcing talent acquisition?

Working in an RPO partnership, the provider is essentially an extension of the customer, which cannot be forgotten. Think about it, the designated recruiters are reaching out to candidates and other professionals on behalf of their customer, even when just networking. While actively recruiting, the brand the candidates hear isn’t the provider’s, but the client’s, the business with the open requisitions. If the candidate feels overlooked, awaiting feedback, not only might he or she lose interest, but the customer’s brand and reputation can be negatively impacted.

Constant communication and alignment is essential to prevent any negative impact that could occur. Commitment to asking questions about the requisitions, company culture, and an equally strong effort from the client can be the difference between success and failure. Gather as much information as possible that can be applied to the job, company, and hiring process during the recruitment efforts, ultimately creating a better candidate experience.

Again, RPO is a partnership, and a commitment to the process and its many layers can be the difference between a frustrating situation and an efficient, brand-building placement.

The CBI Way blog series explores the tools and practices used in Talent Acquisition. CBI Way is CBI Group’s recruiting approach and methodology – it’s how we do what we do! Check in with CBI Way for insights around workforce education and training, the latest trends in recruiting technology, and how to best utilize these tools towards improving your own recruiting practices.


How Can You Attract & Engage Contingent Workers?

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In a previous blog, we discussed the war on talent and how it affects both employers and employees. With contingent work on the rise, how can employers attract and engage temps to ensure the best experience possible on both sides?

With more open jobs than there are workers, it’s important to market your company and it’s culture to attract the crème de la crème. Some of the ways you can attract the contingent workforce are:

Build Your Culture. Your culture is the brand of your company and it is ultimately the most apparent aspect about your business potential employees notice. The way your company runs, from how you hire and maintain talent, to how you operate on a day-to-day basis, can either make or break a candidate’s decision to join your team.

Engage With a Great Approach. Your job posting is the first point-of-contact you have with candidates—better make it a good one! Think about the kind of talent you want working for the assignment you are posting. Ensure that the listing accurately represents your culture, your organization, and your brand. Market the position in a way so that the most qualified and skilled workers engage and seek further information.

Don’t Forget About Passive Talent. Contingent workers are incredibly busy. Many have assignments lined up well in advance so it’s important to remember to look for passive talent. If you find an all-star candidate that’s already on assignment, don’t hesitate! Who wouldn’t jump at the right opportunity if it showed up at their front door?

Once you’ve attracted contingent workers to your company, one significant way to keep them engaged is through incentive programs. Here are a few programs to get you started on keeping your temps engaged and active in the business:

Recognize & Acknowledge. Humans are social creatures, and as such, long to be accepted and validated. One way to inspire employees is to recognize and acknowledge their good work. A little public praise goes a long way when it comes to showcasing your temps and treating them the same way you would your full-time employees.

Paid Time Off. One of the most rewarding benefits you can provide your temps is a way to accrue paid time off. Talk to your staffing company about the different time off programs you can provide for your long-term temps who have earned the right. One personal day every once in a while does wonders for morale and incentive.

Full-time Employment Opportunities. Another significant incentive for contingent workers is the possibility of full-time employment once the temporary assignment is completed. Many are motivated to excel at the project if there is an opportunity to join the team full-time down the line. This can also highlight those who are cultural fits and those who really want to be a part of your company.

Have any questions about implementing a contingent workforce program in your organization? We can help you. Email us at

Knocking Out Breast Cancer

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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, The Outside-In® Companies have been spreading awareness and raising funds for The Breast Cancer Charities of America as part of our Charity of The Month Program.

Breast_Cancer_Ribbon_Pink_MIThe Breast Cancer Charities of America exists to eliminate breast cancer as a life-threatening illness. They bring together organizations representing all health and social service disciplines in the commitment to establish new and unprecedented levels of effectiveness in research, education, advocacy and support. BCCA is the only non-profit bringing the ‘integrated cancer care’ message to women of America. Their focus on Prevention, Research, Education, Survival, and Support works to empower and educate woman across the country.

The Outside-In® Team banded together to engage in some friendly competition in a knockout pool for the football season. So far we have had 21 participants enter the pool with the goal of fundraising and donating half of the monies raised to the charity. One of our Staffing Support Specialists, William Poore, just won the “second-chance” pool, and we have two employees left in the main round. “The football pool has been a fun way to interact with coworkers and build relationships all while supporting a good cause and spreading breast cancer awareness,” said William. “I’m looking forward to being a part of new fun and innovative way to contribute to charity in the future.”

If you’d like to join us in the fight against breast cancer, please donate via our YouCaring page here.

What I Do, Why I Do It, and How I Do It

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The Outside-In® Companies exist to optimize customer talent challenges. I believe this is best accomplished by making sure our culture acts as our internal compass. Everyone is in charge of their own career and our values exist to enable employees to maximize their performance in their work. This natural culture promotes quality customer work in the purest sense—if you’re empowered, have challenging work, good training, and a servant leader mentality, you will create a special work environment.

ID-100278237I listen. I listen to customers, prospects, employees, and applicants. Even partners and suppliers. Then I aggregate information to see patterns and trends. This is our R&D. This is how we will build new service lines and brands for the Outside-In® Companies. We all want to survey customers and have focus groups. Formality in market testing ideas is fine, but knowing what your market place needs is a risk I see us continuing to take.

We will continue to listen. We must continue to be workforce and workplace experts. Our customers need the consultation as being in business and its many changes really impact how work gets done today. The workforce knows it needs different skills and assistance today—we must be its agent to help navigate.

The economy seems to be in constant change and flux and we are in industry that celebrates and suffers along with it. We need to continue to look to reduce that volatilty with our plans. I imagine this will take on a combination of geographic expansions, customer penetration across our brands, and the inevitable expansion into new and different service lines.

I create the routine. My job is to create the pulse for the business and to drive its rhythm. How do we communicate to whom? How do we plan and share information? I keep this pulsing like clockwork.

I encourage the heart. We want to create an environment where hard work and living our values creates extrinsic/intrinsic rewards for employees. Anyone can solve a problem, tackle a project of their choosing, or speak to whomever they want in the business. The why may not be obvious here. Innovation, confidence, proactivity, and engagement all come from within when the right environment is nurtured.

I am a teacher and a coach first. I love to help others know more and believe that knowledge should not be used as a bargaining chip in business. The more my team knows, the more confidence and self esteem they have and I trust the correlation between the two. We must be a market leader with training—there is only a cost when you don’t train.

I help my team interact with prospects and customers differently. We are consultative in a world where this is typlically just considered words that mean nothing. I continue to show that when you’re able to translate your expertise to your customers’ challenges and opportunities, the rest comes easily. The very act of learning their business builds lasting relationships and a trust that fully takes you from being in sales to a trusted partner.