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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results

Are you posting jobs and few people are responding? Or worse, are resumes from hundreds of the wrong people flooding your inbox? If so, you are not alone. You stand a much better chance of hitting a bull’s-eye with one arrow going in the right direction rather than dozens of arrows flying everywhere. Here’s what you need to do to hit a bull’s-eye every time you release your recruitment arrow.

Leading with Purpose

Ask any CEO or business owner why they are in business, and most will say it is to make a profit. These same leaders wonder why their employees don’t act the same way they do. Why should they? The income of the majority of employees is not directly tied to company profits, and even if it is, that is most likely not enough of a driving force to impact performance. Now what if these employees were working for a higher purpose? Something they were passionate about? The results would be dramatically different.

The Real Meaning of Purpose

Making money is not a purpose, although many people mistakenly think it is. Purpose is a much higher calling. It’s the reason why your organization exists. It’s the common factor that pulls people together. Take St. Jude’s Hospital, for example. Their purpose is clear and compelling. Finding Cures. Saving Children. Who wouldn’t want to join in this noble cause?

Hiring on Purpose

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is saving lives and changing the way people think about their jobs by focusing on purpose. A recent job posting for a Director, Financial Accounting and Reporting, began with the following: How many people can answer the question, "What do you do for a living?" with, "I help find cures for cancer." At LLS, employees take our mission seriously. Whether you work in one of our chapters, are an accountant at the national office, or a specialist in our Information Resource Center, you work each day on making our mission a reality: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Join us and give new meaning to the word, "job."

Now compare this to a recent posting, sent to me by a friend, from another healthcare related company. Human Resource Generalist needed in Rhode Island - must be local, no housing or flights provided. Basic "nuts and bolts" of Human Resources. Does this post make you want to jump on board and join this organization? Probably not.

What’s the Point of Hiring Great People If You Can’t Keep Them?

I recently presented a keynote session in San Francisco on behalf of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) for their Financial Executives on the topic of Guard Your Exits: How to Retain Top Talent in Turbulent Times. I began the presentation with a poll asking the group what percentage of employees they thought were actively looking for work. Not one person in the room got the correct answer. In fact, most were way off.

The correct answer was 83 percent! The reaction? Silence, followed by gasps. It should come as no surprise that many people have reached the point where they are ready to take the next flight out, as the recession has left many clamoring for new opportunities. But what is most surprising to me is how little attention is being paid to what will no doubt be a crisis for those organizations that fail to prevent their great people from leaving. What are you waiting for? Prevention is much less expensive and disruptive than contingent action. Use my new complimentary Employee Turnover Calculator and see for yourself!

Houston, We Have a Failure to Communicate

We put a texting plan on our cell phone when our daughter turned thirteen and was given her own phone. It was either that or turn over her college fund to AT&T. But that meant that we had to now communicate with her using her preferred method, or we may never reach her again. This was a bit more challenging than we anticipated.

I was in a meeting one day and I kept feeling my phone vibrate in my pocket. Texts were coming in like crazy. When I finally looked, I saw the following messages. “Hello?” “I’m here.” Hello? Where are you? I’m here.” “Hello, Hello, Hello???” Followed by the message, “Oops! Wrong phone.”

My dear husband apparently was trying to notify our daughter that he was in the school pickup line waiting for her to come out. Instead, he texted me. We all got a good chuckle out of that one. All of us, except our thirteen-year-old, who felt abandoned. We haven’t given up. We’ll eventually get this communication thing right with the younger members of our family, and I suspect you too will eventually get the communication thing right with those workers in your company who prefer a different method of communication than the one that you’ve grown accustomed to.

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

I was in my local market the other day and happened to run into the food manager. I knew he had been looking for a baker, since a friend of mine had applied for the job online several times. He never saw her application (says HR never gave it to him), which meant that he wasn’t able to hire one of the top bakers in town.

Check your applicant tracking systems and your HR department before you complain there are no great candidates to choose from. I’m betting you’ll find talent locked in those systems, just waiting to get out and connect with a real human being.

For more tips on attracting and retaining top talent, download a copy of Talent Magnetism. Call us today at 413-582-1840 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 Best Buy, New Balance, The Boston Beer Company, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.

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