Training, Development & Retention
We are working with more and more clients today that are recruiting talent from outside of their industry in an effort to gain competitive advantage. For example, I recently placed a talented developer from Silicon Valley with experience creating compelling and user-friendly interfaces at a Wall Street firm that is working to bolster their trading systems.
This required the hiring manager to put a strategy in place that supported hiring and professionally developing an “out of industry” candidate.
In doing the search it was clear that these candidates were used to a totally different kind of work environment and corporate culture. Their workplace was less structured or more informal.The organizational hierarchyand size disparity associated with our client presentedchallenges and the new hire needed toadaptto the industry and more formal work culture.
Fortunately, our client has been extremely successful in blending teams comprised of talent from varied industries, and they have actually reduced attrition and retained top talent in the process. The hiring manager often says that although the team is important, engagement with the ‘C’ suite can be the critical component.
Here are some suggestions from successful hiring managers for making team building of members with disparate backgrounds look easy.
- Look outside of your industry for corporate culture best practices. This may mean that an organization has to be flexible in terms of dress code, hours and telecommuting.
- Create mentoring programs for cross industry hires. Lack of domain experience is frequently cited as a challenge to candidates changing industries. Mentoring programs can help new hires learn the ropes and help foster an inclusive culture.
- Allow new team members to visit clients and observe their workflow and how products, systems and technologies are used. This firsthand interaction accelerates the learning curve and gives hands-on domain experience.
- Allow members of different teams to work together on projects that solve a bigger business problem. When individuals from different teams collaborate to solve a shared problem it creates a ‘win/win’ for the team and company. The company gains a highly focused solutions team that solves a pressing problem and the members create bonds across business silos.
Building teams from disparate cultures generally means change for an organization. When these challenges are faced head on with a plan and leadership buy-in, the result is a stronger, more nimble organization that is better positioned to attract talent and leverage best of breed technologies from outside their industry.
Kathy Harris is a Managing Director with Harris Allied. With a focus on Technology and Quant Analyst recruitment, her expertise is the recruiting and placement of professionals for corporate growth initiatives. Her expertise in the convergence of technology and the business makes her uniquely qualified in a constantly evolving industry. She is regarded as a consummate professional who consistently delivers great results to clients while maintaining discretion, judgment and integrity throughout the search process.
Growing up in a family where her engineer father, among other things, evaluated emerging computer technologies for IBM, and a brother who is now a Senior Project Manager at Harvard University, dinner table conversation was both creative and visionary. This fueled her passion for the practical application of technology to solve business problems and the people who solve them.
A graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, where she received a BS in Psychology, Kathy’s first position was as a placement counselor for a staffing firm. After a few years, Kathy was recruited by Huntington Learning Centers, the first tutoring center for children in the country, and worked directly for Eileen Huntington. From there she was asked to run the Admissions Department of a technical school.
After senior positions with the Solomon-Page Group and Robert Half International, Kathy was recruited by Liquidnet, a premier institutional investment network that facilitates institutional equities trading for asset management firms worldwide.
Kathy has been the recipient of several awards, including Chairman's Club Winner for IT Search based on revenue growth, and the President's Club Winner for her individual contribution for IT search based on billings. She is also actively involved in the NY Chapter of the Children's Miracle Network and Women's Breast and Health Initiative.
Contact Kathy Harris : firstname.lastname@example.org; www.harrisallied.com; http://www.youtube.com/harrisallied
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