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

Should Exit Interviews be Shown the Door?

Exit Interviews-Too Little, Too Late?

A business owner recently asked me if I thought he should have an exit interview with an employee who just gave notice. Here’s my response: Are you REALLY open to making changes so that others don’t leave for the same reason. If you can’t answer yes, then don’t waste the employee’s time.

Here’s what I recommend doing instead. You should regularly be conducting “stay interviews.” This way you can work on making meaningful changes BEFORE employees decide to pursue other opportunities.

Here’s how this works. Meet individually with employees on a regular basis and ask these three questions:

1. What were your hopes and dreams when you took this job?

2. Are you achieving these hopes and dreams?

3. If not, what can we do better to ensure you do?

What’s your experience with exit interviews? Do you think they are a good idea? Tell us why it’s a good idea or not in the comments section.

Posted in Employee Engagement, Employee Turnover, Leadership, Retention
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Deciding Who to Promote

Deciding who to promote isn’t as simple as it may seem.

One of my advisory clients recently asked for my advice on who to promote into a newly vacated position. You might be surprised by my answer.

I told him not to look at past performance. Instead, look at the skills needed to do this new job. Here’s why.

Let’s take the all-too-common situation of promoting your best sales person into a sales leadership role. What typically happens is that you lose three (or more) great people by doing this. First, you lose a great sales person, which means there is a good chance you’ll see a decline in your revenues. Next you lose the person or people who are now reporting to this person, who in most cases doesn’t have what it takes to be a great leader. And then, you lose the person who really should have gotten the job, but didn’t, as they’ll quit when they learn the position didn’t go to them.

List the skills needed to be successful in this job. If no one inside the firm has those skills, then look to the outside. The last thing you want to do is set someone up for failure, which is exactly what you’ll do if you insist on promoting people purely based on their past performance.


Posted in Leadership, Management
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Talent: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

Talent Poaching

I was visiting a Fortune 500 company that was struggling to fill jobs and retain talent—A challenge many of you have. They have a record number of job openings, and employee turnover is on the rise. Growth plans have been put on hold, as they don’t have the workforce to extend their reach. Their executive team was tired of working day and night, with no end in sight, to resolve this situation.

During a session I was facilitating, an executive shared a story about the loss of a top executive on his team, who had just been poached. He said he never saw this coming. Others sat by as if this situation couldn’t possibly happen to them. That was until I pointed out how they could be next.

In their effort to help investors and customers learn more about their management team, someone in the company decided to include a link to each executive’s LinkedIn profile. On paper, that might have sounded like a great idea. In reality, that decision cost the company dearly.

A headhunter discovered a candidate she was interested in pursuing, clicked the link, and began a conversation with the executive, which eventually resulted in a job offer. Several weeks later, that executive was gone.

I don’t want something similar to happen to you.

That’s why I’m offering you a free copy of my new e-book, The Executive’s Guide to Creating a Solar System of Talent (a 15-minute read), which is jam-packed with approaches, untapped resources and useful guidelines on how to successfully assemble and create a team of superstars. I also delve into what you can do to create a force field around your company, which will prevent others from plucking out your talent.

Drop me a note at and put “E-book” in the subject line and I’ll be sure to send you a copy.

Posted in Hiring and Recruitment, Leadership, Management, Retention, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Talent Maximization
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Why Relying on Job Postings to Fill Jobs May Not be Such a Good Thing

Are you wasting tens of thousands of dollars every year posting positions to job boards? Recent research shows a mere 3% of new hires actually come in through job board sites. Why continue posting positions to job boards if you’re not getting any traction?

I tell you what you should be doing instead, in my new e-book, The Executive’s Guide to Creating a Solar System of Talent. For a limited time only, the book is free. Or if you prefer, you can send me the $395 you’re currently spending for each job posting. Email me at for a copy.

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Why Few People Are Responding to Your Job Postings

Are your job posts putting applicants to sleep?

I tell clients all the time to be concise and interesting when creating job postings. A recent LinkedIn article shows why this is the way to go.

“Less is more. Shorter job posts (1-300 words) had significantly higher-than-average apply rates per view (the number of applications the job post got divided by the number of views).

Keeping things concise helps candidates immediately get the info they need to apply—and since more than 50% of job views on LinkedIn are on mobile devices, shorter descriptions are literally a better fit for modern candidates.

These short posts got candidates to apply 8.4% more than average, while medium job posts (301-600 words) performed 3.4% below average and long job posts (601+ words) did only 1% better than average.”

Your assignment: Look at one of your more recent job postings. Is it compelling? Concise? Are you getting the results you are seeking?

Here’s a link to the full article.

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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

Check out my monthly newsletter, The Talent Maximizer®.

Posted in Hiring and Recruitment, Talent Acquisition and Retention
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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.

Posted in Career, Careers, Coaching
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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 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®.

Posted in Hiring and Recruitment, Management, Talent Acquisition and Retention
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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

Posted in Hiring and Recruitment, Talent Acquisition and Retention

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