In This Issue

George Bradt is the founder of PrimeGenesis, Executive Onboarding and the author of several books on this subject. He offers sound advice for onboarding your new employees and similar advice for employees starting a new position.   full article
This quarter the STRe Solutions team discusses changing industries. We discuss how to position your experience for a new industry, and what to look for when hiring a candidate outside of your industry.
Candidate Tip #109  Hiring Manager Tip #109  full article
It's the season for shopping. Check out the results of our informal survey.   have fun


Leadership Onboarding, Transitioning to a New Job
by: George Bradt, Managing Director PrimeGenesis Executive Onboarding

Note: George Bradt has a unique perspective on helping leaders accelerate transitions based on his combined senior line management and consulting experience. He has worked in sales, marketing and general management at Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola—around the world. He founded the executive onboarding and transition acceleration group PrimeGenesis.

Let's look at one situation. Betty joined a large computer manufacturer in a senior sales leadership role. Since she was working from home, she called her new boss, Dave, at 9 am on her first day to find out what she should do. Dave didn't return her call until 10:45 and then gave Betty the names of three people she could contact to start learning about the business. No phone numbers. No contact info of any sort. Just names. And two weeks into her job, that was the last conversation Betty had had with Dave. She had spent most of those first two weeks trying to get a computer, password, network connectivity and the like—and she still had not been granted access to the local sales office. Almost unbelievable. But true.

Who's to blame? Everyone. Shame on the company for not having a cohesive onboarding process. (Hard to imagine that a computer manufacturer can't figure out how to get its new sales leader a computer before day one.) Shame on Dave for not taking his new employee's onboarding seriously. Shame on Betty for not taking charge of her own onboarding. Onboarding is the process of acquiring, accommodating, assimilating and accelerating new team members. In this case, everyone missed each of the last three steps and Betty is well on the way to joining the 40% of new leaders that fail in their first 18 months.

Onboarding is the process of acquiring, accommodating, assimilating and accelerating new team members.
Acquire: Identify, recruit, select and get people to join the team.
Accommodate: Give new team members the tools they need to do work.
Assimilate: Help them join with others so they can do work together.
Accelerate: Help them (and their team) deliver better results faster.

As you're joining a new team yourself or bringing someone onboard your team, keep three things in mind: 1) Get a head start, 2) Manage the message, 3) Help others deliver results.

Get a head start

From the perspective of the hiring manager, new employee onboarding starts with getting key stakeholders aligned around the role and interdependencies before starting any recruiting—mitigating the role risk. Then, right after the offer is accepted, the best hiring managers co-create a personal onboarding plan with their new employees so they can get a head start on jump-starting relationships and learning even before day one.

Manage the message

Knowing that everything communicates, forward looking hiring managers understand that all interactions with candidates model behaviors and approaches they want candidates to take when they become employees. For their part, the best leaders carefully manage everything they do and don't do, say and don't say to make sure they are communicating what they want to communicate and not communicating what they don't want.

Help others deliver

After day one, the only thing new employees can do all by themselves is fail. Delivering any result in any organization requires them to work with and through others. Thus, the most successful new leaders invest heavily in converging into the new culture and then accelerating progress as a team. And the most successful hiring managers help new employees and their teams deliver by providing resources and support as needed behind the scenes.

Thus, getting a head start, managing the message, and helping others deliver is a good framework for improving success for both hiring managers and new employees.

George is the author of The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan (Wiley, 2006 and 2009), Onboarding (Wiley, 2009), and The Total Onboarding Program (Wiley/Pfeiffer, 2010). Additional information can be found on his website:

Candidates and Hiring Managers: Maximize Your Experience with Recruiters

Our highest priority at STRe Solutions is building long-term relationships with both jobseekers and hiring managers. The Recruiter Relations section of our newsletter offers ongoing tips to candidates and hiring managers, regardless of whether you're seeking top talent to seamlessly join your team or searching for your next ideal position.

This quarter's focus is on changing industries. As a candidate, how do you highlight your skills to show you can be successful in a different industry? And, as a hiring manager, how do you evaluate candidates who do not have your industry experience, but might otherwise have the skills to be successful at your company?

Candidate Tip #109

Changing Industries. So... you are in software and everyone knows that many software companies, even the big ones, can be acquisition targets. If you are in a G & A function, there is a good chance that your skills are transferable. As a candidate you need to understand what your "core competencies" are, what functions do you perform that are needed by any company regardless of industry?

So... let's take an example of an HR Director. Your key skills might be compensation, recruiting, organizational development and training. These are skills that are needed by all companies, and industry may only matter when recruiting for specific technical jobs. But here again, demonstrate your basic recruiting skills, focus on how you will identify candidates, focus on the breadth of your network and access to candidates, not who you already know. Develop a message that highlights those horizontal skills that are more directly transferable to a new industry. If you have worked in multiple industries, be sure to highlight that you have already successfully transferred your skills from one industry to the next. Highlight this on your resume (e.g. quickly identified key goals for new industry recruiting plan) and in your cover letter/introduction.

And, lastly, remember to sell yourself. Hiring managers like people who are confident and have the right cultural fit, no matter what your prior industry experience is.

Hiring Manager Tip #109

Evaluating candidates from other industries. Many of today's job openings are in the new clean tech space, but this is a whole new world and there aren't a lot of experienced professionals with prior industry experience. As a hiring manager, you are excited to be in this new industry, and you, yourself may not have this industry experience. So how do you identify the A players?

The hiring process starts with developing the job description and the job requirements. Look carefully at what the critical success factors will be for your new hire. Start with a picture of the most perfect candidate, and then prioritize the skills and experiences you have listed. Divide the list into required vs. desired skills, then you can screen for candidates that meet the requirements, and evaluate based on the desired skills, not just industry experience. Hiring and recruiting are part science and part art.

When considering candidates from other industries, look for the "good athlete" factor. Has the candidate demonstrated their ability to learn and grow in the past? Is some of their experience in a related industry, like semiconductors, or utilities? Do you have confidence that the candidate has the right interpersonal skills to be effective in your culture? If so, congratulations, you have found the right person.

STRe Fun --- Favorite Online Shopping Sites

'Tis the season to shop! So, the editor took a poll to find out where people liked to shop online. No surprise—Amazon was by far the favorite of the majority. Other shopping sites with honorable mention included eBay, Shutterfly, Shopzilla, PriceGrabber, QVC and a new one that I never heard of—Etsy, a site for handmade items.

Happy shopping!