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Matuson Consulting // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results

I’ve got some exciting news to share. We’ve recently moved our offices and are now located in the Boston area! Please make note of our new address and phone number:

Matuson Consulting
75 Beaconsfield Road
Brookline, MA 02445

If you know of people in the Boston area (or any area for that matter) who would benefit from the work we do, we’d certainly appreciate an introduction. If you simply know people you think we should meet, by all means let us know!

The Unicorns are Coming! The Unicorns are Coming!

It wasn’t long ago that I came across an article that talked about recruiters hanging out at airport arrival gates in California, trying to steal someone else’s recruit as they were flying in for company interviews. I blew that off as a California thing and felt grateful that we on the East Coast weren’t that desperate. Flash forward a few years, and the labor pool on the East Coast (and other parts of the U.S.) is nearly as tight as it is on the West Coast. I’m wondering how soon it will be before those of us on the East Coast see recruiters trolling our airports looking for talent.

The next trend coming out of the West Coast is the herd of Unicorns - American software companies that have miraculously achieved a valuation of at least one billion dollars and are actively and successfully poaching talent on the West Coast. No doubt they will be taking flight and heading East in their search for talent. Should you be worried? The answer is yes.

Unicorns are successfully penetrating Sacred Cows like Google. (Hey, if they can break into Google, they can easily find their way into your company.) In particular, Uber — the largest Unicorn, with a valuation of more than fifty billion dollars, is scooping in and pulling teams of talent out of Google. Airbnb, the hip new short-term rental start-up, has successfully poached more than one hundred workers from Google.

Here are some important facts that you probably don’t know about Unicorns. They are picky eaters and they only go after top talent, which means they are happy to leave you with some scraps. Their recruiters are nimble. They aren’t bogged down by the rules and systems that are typically in place, which means they can outmaneuver (and out hire) your recruiters time and time again.

They’ll seduce your employees with generous equity packages, which can translate to mounds of cash if the company is sold or goes public. They will convince your employees they are more agile and certainly less bureaucratic than you.

Some of you think you don’t have to lay awake at night worrying about Unicorns because your firm doesn’t have any engineers. Not so. Nowadays, it’s open hunting season regardless of position. Case in point. Two well-known chefs who prepared meals for Googlers have been hired away by Uber and Airbnb in the last eighteen months. I bet Google never saw that coming!

Employees are receiving emails every day (sometimes two) asking them if they are eager for a new job. Even happy employees at some point find it hard to resist. You need to be on Red Alert and more aware of what’s going on inside your organization so you can take steps now to create a forcefield around your organization to prevent Unicorns and others from plucking your talent.  Standing by idly because you don’t believe in Unicorns is simply foolish.

© 2015 Matuson Consulting. All Rights Reserved.

Are You Preparing for Success or Failure?

Last week, I visited the newly opened Boston Public Market. By all accounts you would say this project is a success. The booths were filled with local produce and products, and the aisles were jammed with consumers attempting to make purchases. I say attempting because the aisles were filled with people and it was impossible to find a place in line to buy anything.

The people behind the Boston Public Market had clearly not prepared for this new attraction being as successful as it is. Had they done so, there would not have been masses of people exiting the venue with nothing in hand.

I see this happen in organizations all the time. Companies don’t plan for success, and instead experience failure. Take the recruitment function. I’ve written many articles that reference the difficulties companies are having attracting talent. However, there are certainly times when a company will post a job opening and be overwhelmed with the number of candidates who are now in the pipeline. They haven’t prepared, and so candidates are left hanging for weeks and sometimes months because those responsible for staffing are simply overwhelmed.

The next thing that happens is that candidates badmouth these organizations by letting others know, through their social networks, how poorly they’ve been treated. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what happens the next time these companies post an opening. Here’s how to plan for success:

1. Be prepared. Assume more people than not will respond to your postings, and be prepared to move people quickly through your hiring process. If you can’t do this, then consider holding off on posting your opening, or hire a contractor recruiter who can help you swiftly move candidates through your hiring process.

2. Simplify. Are you forcing candidates to zig-zag through your organization when a straight path to the hiring manager is available? If so, you risk the chance that some candidates will get lost in your maze. Simplify your hiring process so that people remain interested.

3. Make a great first impression. As much as I thought the Boston Public Market was a great idea, I’m not sure I will return. The idea of being in a mosh pit isn’t all that appealing to me. Do candidates who apply for employment with your firm have a similar feeling? Or are they impressed enough to pursue opportunities with your company?

It may be slightly more work to prepare for success, but the effort is surely worth the results. Otherwise you may as well close up shop, as that will eventually happen to those who are planning for failure.

Five Signs Your Employee is About to Resign

  1. Calling in sick has become the norm, rather than the exception.
  2. Your employee spends more time in the conference room with the shades down than he does at his desk.
  3. The employee who used to volunteer for every project no longer raises his hand.
  4. Your employee begins to collect LinkedIn connections as if they were baseball trading cards.
  5. Family photos (including the dog) are no longer on their desk.


Download a copy of my latest book, Talent Magnetism,for more signs and to learn how to prevent employees from exiting your firm.


Rules of Attraction: Your Monthly Tip on Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

Before promoting someone into a leadership role, ask him or her if they are interested in management. You’d be surprised how often this is not done!

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For more tips on attracting and retaining top talent, download a copy of Talent Magnetism. Call us today at 617.608.218-3633 if you’d like to discuss applying these concepts to your organization.

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Meet Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies, including General Motors, Best Buy, and, The Boston Beer Company, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.

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“Your work with my senior group exceeded my expectations. I've never seen anything like it. We are now going gangbusters, and the team is really working together. Fantastic job."

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President and CEO
Noble Hospital

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President & CEO
Mass Leadership Technology Council

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Visit Roberta Online:

Email: Roberta@MatusonConsulting.com
Tel: 617.608.3633

© 2015 Matuson Consulting. All Rights Reserved.