August 21, 2016

This week in the workplace: Why CEOs are losing the talent war, what candidates want, and Megan Smith on Lenny Letter






To CEOs on talent: Wake up to the realities of the talent deficit and listen to what your HR teams are saying. Talk to a recruiter today and they’ll tell you: execs aren’t hearing them when they explain the challenges of recruiting in the current talent market. As long as hiring managers sit on the sidelines waiting for HR to deliver the perfect candidate jobs will stay unfilled. We love the way Roberta Matuson zooms straight into the matter at hand: longtime managers need to shed old habits and learn that recruiting, nurturing, retaining talent is part of their job description.


Companies with the best tech will win the talent war. Kimberly Lindquist of Drafted boils her 43 day job search, 32 coffee dates and 21 interviews into three truths about the current state of hiring: It’s all about who you know, building the right team is as important as chasing the bottom line, and that she could tell when the company interviewing her had process or chaos. She said her experience at companies who had technology-driven processes in place was drastically better than those who did not, noting that “not only did I never know WFT was going on, neither did they.”


Know a company’s culture and how you’ll fit in before you take the job. Your coworkers and managers affect your satisfaction at a job more than compensation and work-life balance. Do a culture check by being observant while you’re onsite for the interview: check people’s body language, how do they engage with each other? Are they smiling? Use the interview to do research on how employees are developed and treated with questions like “What happens when someone makes a mistake around here? Is risk-taking rewarded?”.


Gillian Jacobs interviews Megan Smith for Lenny. This week’s Lenny interview with Megan Smith left us inspired and reminded about how many people are working in technology with a vision for meaningful change. Megan shared her CTO initiatives that are taking government data out of a locked box and distributing it to the people. “People should be able to take these data sets and build on top of it, like Wikipedia… When somebody is about to decide whether or not to put someone in jail, how can we look around for tools and data that are not biased?”


How to hire like your business depends on it. “With funding down an estimated 25 percent since fourth-quarter 2015, startups around the country are cutting back.” A poor hire can cost a company $190,000; it’s time for companies to be more vigilant than ever about picking the right person for the job. Falon Fatemi advises on the qualities to look for in the kinds of candidate you want to keep, like grit and resilience; and offers ways to make sure your company stands out from all your competing with for that star player.


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