Friday, December 13, 2013

Uncovering Talent Strategies to Create the Competitve Advantage for your Organization

The 2013 Workforce Development summit brought together a great crowd of the who’s who in HR and talent management in the Boston area.  The event kicked off with forward thinking keynotes on how to use data and analytics in the hiring process followed by a second keynote on employee engagement and productivity.  We then broke out into smaller groups for peer to peer discussions on managing change and developing great leaders. 

Brad Warga and Sheeroy Desai joined us from GILD to talk about their innovative approach to using data to establish a better recruitment process.  They noted that the resume is dead and it’s all about one’s social profile and mining this profile to find the best talent for your organization.  More on this technology can be found at

Next, Ben Waber, Co-founder of Sociometric Solutions and author of the book on “People Analytics” presented on using data about behavior to build a team or organization.  Billy Bean did this in baseball, how do we use this data within an organization to maximize a team and productivity.  Sociometric Solutions provides wearable sensing devices for consenting employees to monitor speaking time, turn taking, interactivity, posture, energy levels, tone of voice and voice volume.  By monitoring this data over time, it is possible to predict how an individual, team or organization works best to maximize results.  Ben provided great case studies from a leading financial call center, Boeing and Yahoo.  Take a look at his presentation here. 

Tom Hopcroft, President and CEO of MassTLC presented an initial view of research being conducted by MassTLC’s education foundation on the “Truth Behind the Talent Crisis”.  The purpose of the research is to identify short and long-term solutions to address tech sector talent needs.  In addition, the goal is to develop insights around the extend of the the perceived talent crisis, how tech leaders are addressing it and possible public-private interventions.  The presentation is here.  The final results will be presented at MassTLC’s annual meeting in February.  The survey is still open and we encourage your participation.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey now!

Next we broke into smaller groups to encourage sharing of ideas and strategies.  The first session was on preparing your people to lead.   Margo Hendrickson, VP of HR at athenahealth and David Almeda, Chief People Officer at Kronos, presented case studies.  Both organizations are thought leaders in the space and shared some great strategies for success. From Margo, you have to create an environment that values developing people.  Provide people room to experiment, offer new skills training and challenges and value talent management!  David spoke about aligning a clear talent management strategy with your business and the need to measure.  Both agreed that measuring is key to success.  Two important KPIs: voluntary turnover,  and % of leadership filled from within.  Click here for the presentations:  athenahealth and Kronos.

Edith Onderick-Harvey from Factor in Talent lead a great discussion on how to manage change.  Edith introduced us to the real employee engagement creators: choice, competence, meaning and progress.  Most of our audience is involved in businesses that are currently undergoing huge change due to high growth rates, mergers and acquisitions, and startup environments.  Managing this change through transparency with your team is critical to coming through it without too many bumps and bruises.  Edith's presentation on why change kills engagement can be found here

Join the workforce development community again on February 7th for an intimate conversation on employee engagement (is unlimited vacation the answer?).  Registration is open.  Sign up now!

Thank you to all of our speakers, Kronos for sponsoring the event and to Microsoft NERD for always providing a fantastic location to host the tech community!  

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