Our Blog: The Perfect Hire

A Better Way to Staff Your Staffing Firm

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Feb 5, 2019 11:02:00 AM right

As a leader in the staffing sector, you know all too well the importance of finding the best-fit hires for your clients. But, what about your own staff? Does your staffing firm believe having high turnover of recruiters and professional staff is just “part of the business?”

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Making Leadership Development a Priority in an Ever-evolving Healthcare Environment

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Oct 30, 2018 10:17:27 AM right
Leading Courageously and Bringing Others Along

Optimizing leadership skills and building a deep pipeline of executive-ready talent is more critical than ever, given a fast-and-ever-evolving healthcare environment. With the introduction of new laws, regulations, care coordination, and payment models, new leadership styles need to be implemented to effectively lead and manage in the new paradigm. However, alongside the need for modern leadership competencies is the need to address an impending talent shortage of leader ready talent. In fact, executive turnover is expected to increase due to a high number of leaders eligible for retirement, combined with a shortage of senior leader ready talent.

To survive, and thrive, healthcare organizations must take advantage of all its institutional talent. Yet, this can only be achieved if leaders widely embrace the need to address the issue of leadership development. Healthcare organizations, like many, are slow to invest resources to identify and develop next generation talent. This is problematic in light of our research that shows a significant gap between what directors do well and what is needed to be a successful executive. This is a classic case of "what got you here, won't get you there".

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The Solution to Talent Shortages Facing Life Sciences Companies

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Apr 6, 2018 3:22:00 PM right

A recent study highlights a pervasive challenge facing the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry, and that is a lack of talent. The study found that 51 percent of CEOs of life sciences and pharma companies admit to greater difficulties attracting and retaining the right people, more than any other industry in the study.


In fact, one of the greatest challenges on the horizon for pharmaceutical and life science companies is filling vacant positions and decreasing the time-to-fill for those positions. On average, pharma hiring decision-makers report they are currently 14 percent understaffed and have roughly 212 open positions at this time. Additionally, they report that it takes an average of 105 days, essentially 3 ½ months, to recruit and hire non-executive positions.


These lengthy vacancies are quickly eating away at corporate profits. In fact, companies lose $500 a day for every job that stays vacant. Given the average time-to-fill among pharma decision-makers is 105 days, and that amounts to $52,000 per vacancy.


Lack of Right Skills and Culture Fit Key Contributors

For many pharma decision-makers, sourcing good candidates is hard and finding qualified applicants can be even harder. Yet, finding the best-fit talent both in culture and skill-set can be downright excruciating. Consider that 76 percent of Pharma HR-decision makers agree, “when positions become available at my organization, we struggle to find people whose skills match the job requirements,” and 70 percent say, “we struggle to find people who are a good cultural fit.”


Pharmaceutical and life sciences leaders will need to increasingly leverage data and analytics to bring greater accuracy, efficiency and predictability to the hiring process. As pharma companies continue to struggle with turnover, open positions and costly vacancies, they simply can’t take a chance on anyone who doesn’t measure up.


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Topics: Recruitment, Performance Management, Succession Planning

Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical Company Case Study: Assessment-Based Succession Plan Improves Turnover in Key Scientist Role

Posted by KGL on Feb 16, 2018 11:37:20 AM right

The Challenge    

High turnover in a key scientist role was plaguing this Fortune 500 multinational pharmaceutical company, greatly hindering productivity and advancements in this critical function.


The Preparation

 In order to address this problem, XBInsight identified the need for a robust succession plan that included:

  • Creating a benchmark for the next level position to measure the readiness of these scientists to be promoted to this role.
  • Developing a customized assessment to not only reflect the skills, critical thinking and overall fit needed for the current position, but also identify a clear picture of what success looks like in the next level job.
  • Designing a comprehensive leadership development program to prepare high potential employees for next level positions


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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management, Succession Planning

Increase Innovative Thinking in Your Executive Team Today

Posted by KGL on Jan 23, 2018 11:00:00 AM right

Innovation is critical in a knowledge economy — driving growth, new products, and new methods of delivering value to customers. According to PwC’s 2015 study on Global Innovation, U.S. companies spend $145 billion dollars in-country on R&D each year. And yet, despite its importance, innovation is a difficult quality to cultivate both in leaders and in organizations. In Conference Board’s 2015 CEO Challenge study, 943 CEOs ranked “human capital” and “innovation” as their top two long-term challenges to driving business growth. This is a key talent challenge for most organizations, and a talent gap that needs to be closed, starting at the top – with the role of the CEO.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management, Succession Planning

Take action on your New Years workplace resolutions - learn how to become an effective change agent in 2018

Posted by KGL on Jan 9, 2018 10:30:00 AM right

The rules and requirements to remain competitive in today's marketplace are evolving so rapidly hat leadership is struggling to stay ahead of the course. While change used to be slow and incremental, organizations today face a whole new breed of change – one that is fast, disruptive, and unpredictable. As such, businesses are acutely aware of the need to be agile. However, to be agile you need agile people because in the end, organizations don’t change – people do.


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Topics: Coaching and Training

The Four Fundamental Aspects to Measure When Assessing Talent

Posted by KGL on Jul 18, 2017 9:05:00 AM right

Imagine the consequences of not assessing someone seeking to join the police force, or someone aiming to join an airline as a pilot. Seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? While the impact of hiring the wrong person in those roles can be dire, the consequences of not assessing job candidates and employees in less complex jobs are also significant. The outcomes for businesses hiring or promoting the wrong person can range from poor performance, high turnover, lackluster customer service, to even lost business.



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Topics: Performance Management, Succession Planning, Coaching and Training, onboarding, Recruitment

What would you do if a key executive declared their independence?

Posted by KGL on Jun 29, 2017 9:05:00 AM right

What would you do if a key executive declared their independence? If one of your company's key executives resigns tomorrow, would you be prepared? 

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Topics: Succession Planning

5 Reasons Executive Development Programs Fail

Posted by KGL on Jun 21, 2017 9:05:00 AM right

Executive and leadership development has risen to the top of most companies’ priority list over the past decade, with the realization that in the fast-changing, innovation-led business landscape organizations must have exceptional leaders to navigate it. In fact, when upward of 500 executives were asked to rank their top three human capital priorities, leadership development was included as both a current and future priority, and almost two-thirds identified leadership development as their number one concern.1 This explains why U.S. companies alone spend almost $14 billion annually on leadership development.2

However, for many organizations, the outcomes of their leadership development are lackluster and fail to meet the ideal return-on-investment for such programs. The failure to meet expectations of executive development programs can be attributed, in part, to four common mistakes that derail their efforts.

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Topics: Performance Management, Coaching and Training, Succession Planning

Developing Talent at the Bottom of the Corporate Ladder

Posted by KGL on Jun 14, 2017 9:05:00 AM right

It’s easy to understand why most companies place greater value, consciously or unconsciously, on higher-level positions, executive management and the C-suite. However, the reality is a company’s success depends primarily on the quality of work of those who perform the majority of the work – those employees who hold lower-level positions, typically found in customer service, administration, IT, and operations. Yet, few employers structure their career development program to optimize the skills and competencies of employees at the bottom of the corporate ladder.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Is Your Team Joined at the Hip, or Disjointed?

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on May 24, 2017 9:47:02 AM right

In the age of lean organizations, most work groups in existence today are being pushed to evolve toward a team philosophy as the span of control of management widens. From executive teams and project teams to marketing and sales teams, team structures are vital to the way most organizations organize and deliver their work. However, all teams are not created equal. A key distinguisher among successful companies is their ability to create and maintain high-performing, effective work teams to deploy complex business strategies.

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What is the value of using assessments for developmental purposes?

Posted by KGL on May 11, 2017 12:02:50 PM right

Research has shown that feedback is an effective way for individuals to gain insight into their need to change or develop. It permits participants to understand themselves more fully and to see the impact of their style and behavior on others and on goal attainment. The development process allows the manager or internal coach to help individuals take a more objective perspective. Using an assessment during this process results in a credible and more accurate self awareness. Raising self awareness is critical for employees to take ownership for changing behaviors (Riggio, 2008). For example, development assessments uncover blind spots: areas of weakness that were unknown to the participant. Participants are likely to learn about hidden strengths: skills or competencies that can be further leveraged or adapted for future roles.


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Topics: Performance Management

3 Tips for Communicating with Your Company's Top Performers

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Mar 23, 2017 2:11:39 PM right


High-maintenance high-performers: Working with a high-performer can be either exhilarating or exasperating. It all depends on how you react to the challenges that come with it. Most likely, this high-performer can be also high-maintenance – which has its benefits along with its drawbacks.

Usually high performers are inspiring, charismatic, focused, direct and driving. Yet with their high-maintenance flaws like being confrontational, demanding, and impatient, it’s often hard to align goals and strategies with such roadblocks between the lines of communication.

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Topics: Coaching and Training, Performance Management

Subtle Cues That Can Help You Close More Sales

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Jan 18, 2017 3:33:09 PM right

People-reading Skills For Salespeople – Subtle Cues That Can Help You Close More Sales


Salespeople constantly hear that they must know our prospects and sell to them in the way in which they want to be sold. However, within the short time span of an initial meeting or lunch, many salespeople don’t have much time to observe, much less make qualified decisions about the communication methods of those we meet. The DISC Behavioral Profile can offer some much needed assistance in making quick assessments. Using the cues below, you can easily gather some basic information to help you tailor your sales approach “on the fly” and potentially close more sales.


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Topics: Performance Management, Coaching and Training

6 Areas for Managers to Develop in 2017

Posted by Kathi Graham-Leviss on Jan 11, 2017 10:19:37 AM right

It's that time of year again, the time when everything seems new and we all begin to dream of ways to plan (and accomplish) what we’ve let “slide” during the old year. For managers, New Year’s resolutions can be extremely valuable. However, many simply make broad plans to close more sales, get more done during the day or have better working relationships without considering how to accomplish those goals. Here are some basic skills you and your team can improve upon in 2017 that will have a profound, positive effect on everything else you do.

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Topics: Performance Management, Coaching and Training