Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

How to Create a Solar System of Talent

How Executives Can Hire Top Talent

I used to be like many of you. I’d constantly complain about something, yet I was unwilling to do things differently to get the results I had hoped for. Then one day, it hit me. All the complaining in the world wasn’t going to change a darn thing. If I really wanted to achieve different results, I’d have to change what I was doing.

I hear executives complain all the time about their inability to find talent. Yet, they keep doing what they’ve always been doing and guess what? They’re getting the same results. I’m running out of sympathy. Here’s why.

You have to change your approach to achieve different results. If you’ve ever tried to lose weight (and who hasn’t) then you know you have to change your lifestyle in order to get results. Yep. No shortcuts there! Same thing goes for hiring. If your hiring strategy (assuming you have one) isn’t yielding results, then you need to make some dramatic changes.

Start by holding hiring managers responsible for hiring. I know that sounds radical. But hey, they’re called hiring managers for a reason. When you do this, I guarantee that filling positions will go from, “I’ll get to it when I can,” to “Hey, can you take a few minutes to interview this candidate I’ve just found.”

Recruit like your sales depend on it. Companies don’t think twice about investing in anything sales related. Yet when asked to invest an additional dime into recruiting efforts, most don’t. Here’s the thing. Your revenues do depend on your ability to sell and service new products and services. You can’t do this without good people.

My clients, who view employees as assets, don’t think twice about investing to hire stellar talent. If your companies views employees as an expense, then save yourself some bucks. Don’t change a thing in regards to your approach.

Speed rules. You may choose to do nothing after reading this post, but my hope is you’ll do something. If you only do one thing, speed up your hiring process. The quickest way to do this is to involve only those responsible for the performance of a new hire in the hiring process. For most of you, this will slash your hiring time in half.

© Matuson Consulting, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Ready to make some changes? Grab a free copy of my new e-book, The Executive’s Guide to Creating a Solar System of Talent.

I’m also offering the first five executives who ask, a complimentary executive session (in person or teleconference) on how to create a solar system of talent, to help you achieve results right away.

Interested? Email me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com

Check out my monthly newsletter, The Talent Maximizer®.

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Why Your Efforts To Move Forward May Be Holding You Back

Invasion of the Leaf Blowers

It’s Monday morning here, which means my street closely resembles the set of a Star Wars movie. Hosts of landscaping crews have invaded the neighborhood with leaf blowers on their backs. They’re on a mission to rid the sidewalks of grass cuttings and leaves.

I watch in amazement, as crew members blow the debris from one sidewalk to another. I’m left thinking, “Wouldn’t it make more sense to blow everything into one pile, pick it up, and dispose of it?“

This invasion takes place weekly, rain or shine. It’s my guess the same stuff is blown around week after week, as it’s spring here in New England, and there is little in the way of falling leaves.

I see something similar happening in businesses quite frequently. Leaders are moving poor performing employees from one part of the organization to another. They keep doing so, until someone has the sense to say, “It’s time to stop this madness and deal with the problem at hand.” Is your organization guilty of doing the same?

Here’s a recent example of how this plays out in companies. A client calls me and says, “Roberta, I need your help in letting an employee go.” We discuss the matter at hand and then I ask him, “When did you decide this person needed to go?” He tells me he knew twenty years ago!

Here’s some advice that will help to ensure that you won’t be reaching out to me, 20 years from today, with a similar plea for help.
  1. If you think someone is a problem, then they are a problem. Take immediate steps to help them improve their skills or move them out of the organization.
  2. If you make a hiring mistake, own it and move on. It happens to the best of us. We make a hiring mistake. No point in continuing to pour good money after bad. Say your good-byes early and learn from your mistakes, so you don’t hire a replica of the person you just released.
  3. You can’t want more for someone than they want for themselves. You may want a non-performing employee to succeed, but if they don’t want it as much as you do, your efforts will fail. Invest your time and energy in those who genuinely want to grow.
  4. Know what you’re looking for before you go out to hire. Lots of people start the hiring process without truly knowing what they are seeking. Don’t be one of those people. Get real clear on your ideal candidate before you go out to the market to fill any position.
  5. You have to manage people. I once had a manager say to me, “You’re not meeting my expectations, although I’m not sure I ever told you what they were.” Seriously. You cannot make stories like this up. No matter how skilled someone may be, they still need direction and feedback.

Next Steps: Think about your team and ask yourself the following question.

If I had to do it over again, would I hire this person?

If you even hesitate for a moment, then you’ve got your answer.

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Why Free Advice Isn’t Worth the Price

Delusional Coaching

If I had a dollar for every time someone wrote me and asked me for free advice, I could probably retire. I used to say yes. That was until I realized that by doing so, I was doing more harm than good. Here’s why.

Free advice is often dismissed. How often has someone given you free advice that you’ve chosen to ignore? If you’re like most people, the answer is more often than not. Now think about a time when you received advice after making a financial investment. Chances are you actually took that advice and put it into action.

If I were to continue to give out free advice, I would actually be doing people a disservice. They’d have a false sense of relief thinking they were moving forward, when in fact many would be standing still or falling behind.

The free advice given may not be customized to your specific situation. I have clients who pay to coach with me. They get top priority and every response is customized to their specific situation. When others reach out to me for free advice, I’m unable to take more than a moment or two to respond. I don’t know the details of their particular situation nor can I tell in one brief email what they’re really seeking to achieve.

I’ve quickly realized that in these situations, no advice is better than the wrong advice. Hence the reason I now decline these requests.

Free advice sends the wrong message. Every time I provide free advice, I send the message that you’re not worth investing in yourself, when in fact you are. For years, I’ve invested in a mentor, who has provided me with sound advice. By doing so, I now live life on my terms and have a successful consulting practice.

From time to time, I’ve veered off this path and have accepted free help from others. While they mean good, the advice I’ve received is never as sound as what my mentor provides.

I hope the next time you seek free advice from someone who is an expert in the field you’re inquiring about, you think twice before doing so. Instead, begin the conversation with, “How can I work with you on a formal basis?” By doing so, you’ll set the stage for getting the exact help you need to rapidly move your business or your career forward.

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How to Achieve Greater Financial Performance Through Better Hiring Practices

Talent Acquisition Made Easy

Let me offer four ideas that I think you’ll find to be of value. All will drive better financial performance, can be implemented with little effort on your part, and without a lot of investment.

1. Make it easy for candidates to apply. Insert a banner (or at a minimum, some sort of link) on your homepage announcing that you are hiring. Or add an “About Us” tab at the top of your site, which should have a drop down for careers. By doing so, you’ll increase your applicant flow.

2. Make sure you’re not sending candidates elsewhere. Some of you may be using third-party recruitment sites as a way to collect resumes and may not be aware that some sites are sending the candidates you are hoping to hire, emails with dozens of other job choices. Many of these offers are more attractive than yours. Don’t believe me? Just ask one of my CEO clients, who followed my advice and applied for a job with his own company. Much to his surprise, he started receiving some incredible job opportunities for similar roles that were far better than his. Had he not done this, he would never have known. Don’t let this

happen to you. Apply for a job with your own company and see where the trail ends.

3. Create a big splash with your employee referral program. Employee bonus programs are a great way to pull in talent, but most programs are best kept secrets. Consider doubling employee referral bonuses, for a limited period of time. Offer quarterly contests to keep the program top of mind (e.g., every time an employee makes a referral, their name gets entered into a drawing for a prize such as premium seats at a sporting event or at a concert, Night on the Town, etc.). If resources are too tight to do this, offer an extra vacation day, that can be taken during non-peak times.

4. Put your hiring process on a diet. Cut out all the excess fat (e.g., three people having to interview each candidate, a bunch of approvals required before offer is extended, etc.) and give hiring managers the ability to extend offers within 24 hours of interviewing the ideal candidate.

This week’s challenge: Apply for a job with your own company and email me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com to let me know how it goes. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my e-book, Selecting for Success: The Complete Guide to Hiring Talent. My guess is you’ll be quite surprised by the experience!

© Matuson Consulting, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Be sure to check out my monthly newsletter, The Talent Maximizer®.

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How Grassroots Recruiting Can Exponentially Increase Your Hiring Results

Grassroots Hiring

I recently had a client tell me they had a record number of job openings in their organization. They saw this as a burden, whereas I saw this as an opportunity to benefit from what I’m calling my Grassroots approach to hiring. This is where you involve employees, from the ground up, in your recruitment efforts. By doing so, you’ll have a bounty of talent coming to you regardless of the economic climate.

Here’s a real life scenario: Last month I met with an executive who told me that he thought his organization could benefit from my expertise in bringing in talent. He then went on to tell me about the hundreds of job openings his company had, and how many of them were in the talent acquisition department.

Let’s be real here. If you’re expecting your HR team to fill dozens or hundreds of jobs, when they can’t even fill their own jobs, then you’re basically waiting for a miracle to happen. Now imagine how different the outcomes would be if everyone, from the ground on up to the top, was involved and had a stake in the hiring process.

Here’s my tip: Create a big splash with your employee referral program. Employee bonus programs are a great way to pull in talent, but most programs are best kept secrets. Consider doubling employee referral bonuses, for a limited period of time. Offer quarterly contests to keep the program top of mind (e.g., every time an employee makes a referral, their name gets entered into a drawing for a prize such as box seats at a baseball game or front row seats to a music festival, Night on the Town, etc.). If resources are too tight to do this, offer extra vacation time, that can be taken during slow periods in your business.

The idea here is to start a movement. You want to get everyone excited about finding awesome talent for your growing organization. I’ve got lots more ideas on this topic, so if you’d like to discuss how you can exponentially increase your hiring results, reach out to me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com.

Posted in Hiring and Recruitment, Talent Acquisition and Retention

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How to Hire Evergreen Talent

Evergreen Talent

I was meeting with a client who is the CEO of a hospital and he mentioned to me that his new HR Director just filled two key positions that her predecessor was unable to fill. Beginner’s luck? I don’t think so.

There are many reasons why hiring efforts fail. In the interest of time, let me share four, and what can be done to change this.

HR teams that are transactional rather than transformative. At many companies, hiring is a lot like the game of Whack a Mole. HR teams are chipping away every day trying to fill holes that keep appearing. This tactic doesn’t work. But you know that already or you wouldn’t be reading this.

Filling jobs with people who you won’t need to replace ninety days from today requires more than a transaction. It requires a transformative experience. To do this, you’ll need look at the entire process from beginning to end and with a completely different lens—that of the candidate.

Rip Van Winkle approach to hiring. I hear from candidates all the time regarding how long it is taking them to connect with companies that appear on the outside to be hiring. Many great candidates lose interest mid-way through the process. I can’t say I blame them.

Apply for a job with your own company. If you can’t do so in less than twenty minutes, then march down to your HR department and demand they immediately remove the roadblocks that are preventing great candidates from reaching you.

Shouting in the forest. If you’ve been on social sites lately you know how many times a day (or in some cases hourly) you see companies posting these annoying, “We’re hiring!” notices. After a while, no one is paying attention.

Be bold. Do something different. Post a compelling reason why someone would want to apply for the job you are posting. It’s a little more work, but then again, you are looking for results, right?

One-size-fits all employment branding strategies that fit no one. Consumer companies spend billions of dollars on market research so they can reach their target market. Do you even know who your target market is when it comes to attracting the right people for your vacancies? Are you using a one-size-fits all employment branding strategy with the hopes that you’ll capture a few people who happen to be passing by your website at the right moment in time? How’s that working out?

Companies who know their target recruitment market fare much better than those who don’t. Create messaging that appeals specifically to the groups of people you are looking to attract. Keep in mind that this may require more than one recruitment campaign.

Posted in Hiring and Recruitment, Management, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Talent Maximization
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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Seeking Out an Executive Coach

Is Executive Coaching Right for You?

It’s Sunday afternoon and many of you are dreading the start of another work week. Maybe it’s because you’re having difficulties with your boss. You just can’t seem to figure her out. Or perhaps it’s because you’ve started a new job and are struggling to navigate the political landscape. Some of you may have just learned that the promotion you thought was yours has gone to someone else. Or perhaps you simply hate your job.

You sit and ponder. Maybe you even start Googling around for advice on how to get out of this funk. Many of the articles you read are all pointing to the same solution–you need a coach. Before you invest time and energy into finding this person, stop and think about the following questions.

Why bother putting effort into finding a coach if you’re not ready for a coach? That’s the first question you need to ask yourself before seeking out a coach, and perhaps the only one for many of you. If you answered this question by saying, “You shouldn’t,” and you think you are ready for a coach, then read on as there are a few more additional questions you’ll need to ask yourself before starting the search process.

Am I ready to commit to what it takes to make a coaching relationship successful? For years I tried to fool myself into thinking I was ready to lose weight. I even went as far as enrolling in an online program, which if we’re being completely honest here, I never used. You see, I really wasn’t ready to commit to making the changes necessary to achieve the level of success I was seeking.

When you enter into a coaching relationship, you’re the one who has to do most of the work. A good coach will guide you and support you. However, at the end of the day, your coach can’t want more for you than you want for yourself. So before starting the process of looking for a coach, ask yourself how willing you are to do the work necessary for success. If you’re unsure, then that tells me you are not ready. Save yourself the time and money until such time as you are.

Can I achieve the levels of success I desire on my own? The answer for some will be yes. Here’s how to figure out whether or not you fall into the “some” category. If you haven’t made progress or taken action in the last 30 days, then what makes you think the next 30 days will be different?

Am I able to make the financial investment needed to work with a top coach? Money is a priority and how you spend it depends on what’s important to you. I’m at the point in my life where happiness is my number one priority. I invest annually with my mentor and the ROI has paid off dramatically. I’m doing work that I love and have lots of discretionary time to spend with my family. Can you say the same? If not, then perhaps it’s time to reallocate your resources and find your own version of happiness.

I’ve found that there have been times in my life where I was ready to make changes and other times when I was not. You know yourself best. If you are ready to move forward, before another year slips by, then take action.

Here’s your assignment: Jot down where you are at currently in terms of your career and your personal life. Then think about where you’d like to be a year from now. Take note of things that might be getting in your way. Feel free to send me your responses (Roberta@matusonconsulting.com) and I promise to write back with suggestions to help you have an incredibly successful year.

© Matuson Consulting, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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Why You Might Want to Shop Your Own Business

Customer Experiences Matter

The other day, I was at the Million Dollar Consulting Convention and decided to go to dinner with three of my colleagues. Normally we’d just call for an Uber but instead decided to grab a taxi, which was sitting a few feet away from the hotel entrance.

I approached the taxi and knocked on the passenger window to ask the driver if he could give us a lift. He looked startled. I guess not too many people these days use taxis! He finally agreed. I waited for what seemed like hours, as he moved the heaps of junk on his passenger seat as well as the pack of cigarettes, which obviously he had been smoking. On route, he asked several times where we were going and for the address. This confused me and quite frankly was annoying, as his phone was sitting in it’s cradle.

That my friends, was the last taxi ride for me. I’m heading back over to my ride share app. I now understand why the taxi industry has gone from a monopoly to an industry that could disappear in the next few years.

I’m wondering how many of you are reading this and have customers that have abandoned your company because the customer experience has declined substantially. Chances are you may not even know this is happening until it’s too late.

Try this out: Over the next week or two, ride alongside one of your employees who is the face of your company to your customers. Take note of the experience. Then write to me and let me know what you’ll be doing differently as a result of what you observed.

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Want a Promotion? Start Tooting Your Horn

Managing Up: Make Some Noise!

How do you feel when I say, “If you want to get ahead, you need to go out there and tell your boss, and the people you work with, that you’re good at your job.” Does that make you uncomfortable – or you do dismiss it as nonsense?

In all the years I’ve been coaching, I have found the most challenging ideas for people to overcome are the myths about self-promotion. Let’s look at one of the most common – and look for the truth.

You probably believe your work should speak for itself. In an ideal world that might be true. But we don’t live in an ideal world.

We live in the REAL world where there are a ton of distractions, and quite a bit of noise. Not to mention, lots of other people vying for attention.

Think about some of the world’s most famous artists. They spent days and nights creating masterpieces that weren’t acknowledged until long after they were gone.

If you’re like me, you don’t want to wait until you leave the planet before your work’s acknowledged. So next time you think your work will speak for itself, remember these artists and don’t rely on others to promote you. You need to take the initiative to promote yourself and your work.

Think of yourself as a product on a shelf. Do you really think your competitors are going to clear the way so you can be in everyone’s line of sight? NO, they’re not. In order to get shelf-space in your organization, you are going to have to fight for it.

Here’s one way to get your boss to take notice. Volunteer to take on projects that no one else wants. Then do a bang up job. Stay in close contact with your boss to ensure she’s aware of the effort you are extending and the results you are achieving. When the project is done, request a meeting. At the meeting, summarize the outstanding results you achieved and ask what else you can do to make her life easier.

Interested in learning more about self-promotion and managing up? Join me for my upcoming teleconference on Managing Up in The Top Down World of Business.

© Matuson Consulting, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

I’ve partnered with LinkedIn Learning to develop courses to help leaders manage up, down and across the organization. Check them out!

Sign up to receive my monthly newsletter, The Talent Maximizer®. 

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The One Blind Spot That Can Derail an Executive’s Success

Career Success or Failure?

I’ve worked with hundreds of executives to help them dramatically improve their ability to become magnetic leaders. Some need a little bit of tweaking, while others benefit from a complete overhaul. Here’s the one thing they all have in common.

Failure to build strong relationships up, down and across the organization. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are in your area of expertise, if others aren’t behind you, your ideas will never be successfully implemented.

Here’s a real life example of this. I worked with a client, a thought leader in her industry, who couldn’t seem to get traction when presenting her ideas. Her peers rarely supported her in meetings and her staff did the minimum to keep their jobs.

This executive was about to get thrown off her perch. Why? She wasn’t producing results. And to add more fuel to the fire, her staff went to the CEO and told him they felt ignored and disrespected. I was her last chance to remain in her domain. She was fortunate to have received a second lease on life, as leaders are often removed without warning.

Here’s my tip: Focus your efforts on having meaningful conversations with those around you and spend less time perfecting your craft. Build strong relationships throughout the organization. By doing so, you’ll have a cheering squad all around you, to ensure your ideas successfully make it through the implementation stage. And as a result, you’ll be seen as a leader, who is well liked and one who really gets things done!

© Matuson Consulting, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Want to learn more about the benefits of executive coaching? Reach out to me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com with questions or if I can be of help.

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