Talent Management Strategies: Attraction, Efficiency, & Retention


Darwin Shurig

Darwin Shurig

CEO, Shurig Solutions
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Darwin Shurig presents Shurig Solution's and the importance of hiring the right people that fit your mission and culture.


Darwin Shurig  0:05  

Well, first of all, I think that LSI and the conference that Scott Pantel and the team puts on is one of the best in the industry. So it's extremely humbling to get the opportunity to come and talk to you today about a topic that I'm extremely passionate about. And they just talked about as we continue with digital growth and optimization. And that made me think before I came on about how important attracting the right talent is to the growing companies. So first of all, my belief is that people are the number one asset of any company. So if you don't believe in that premise, then probably not much of what else I have to say will probably be a value to you. But if you do agree that people are the number one asset of your company, then having a strategy that attracts talent that's going to fit your culture, create a process of efficiency, and retain that top talent are critical subsets. So why would you not then tie your TA process in your quality management system and measure outcomes, so you can create real best practices, the cost of a miss hire is enormous, particularly when you consider opportunity cost, as well as wasted training. So what I'd like for you to do is take a look at these paintings, and consider which paintings you appreciate and which ones that you don't. So we have the seven plagues of Egypt, which is romantic art. We have a Monet, impressionism painting in the center, and then a Pollock painting, which is abstract Impressionism, they're all considered masterpieces. Personally, I like one quite a bit one, I can take it or leave it. And one, I don't really care for much at all. So I'm not here to tell you what strategy or combination of strategies that you should pick for your company, you have to pick a strategy that works for you. My hope is that this presentation will make help you to think more proactively about the strategies that are available to you, that you will tie in your mission statement and your why you'll tie in your TA process to your Quality Management System, and you'll create the best processes to attract talent, optimize efficiency, and create an environment and a culture of high retention. However, not picking a Strategy is a strategy, just like not planning is planning to fail. Our SSI mission statement is to help candidates with relevant career advancement opportunities, while helping build companies that bring positive products to patient populations, and then supporting the charities that matter to us. At SSI, our mission statement is on every stakeholders desk, and it's really a big part of who we are. It's the original mission statement that I started in my home office back in 2015. In Mark Murphy's hire for attitude, he talks about a story of a CEO at an off site meeting. And he offers up $1,000 to any of the 100 managers at the meeting that can actually share the company's mission statement. Not one person could do it. If you want to attract talent that is going to be a fit to your culture, then your mission statement can't be lip service. How do you expect your people to execute and meet expectations if they don't even understand exactly why they're doing it? I believe that leadership is so extremely vital. And certainly it's not easy. Extreme Ownership is one of our preferred books in our library at SSI. And it's really our playbook for leadership and accountability to create efficiency, and a culture that focuses on the attributes that we want. That brings solutions to our partners, and is more about problem solving versus finger pointing. So our our employee value proposition is that I have a keen curiosity and interest in other people with a passion for bringing positive products to patient populations. So that certainly ties in to our mission statement. Well, I certainly want to be successful. I'm more interested in being a part of a unique team that is bringing value to others. So our mission statement vision statement and our EVP are visible throughout our office. It's something that I strive to really bring on a regular basis that we talk about and focus and anybody that we interview after we understand what they're into rested in their experience. The next thing that they learn is are the key attributes that we're looking for that will fit the SSI culture. Mark Murphy of leadership IQs book hire for attitude. I think it's a great sort of best practices for creating your interview process and questions, but it really resonated with me. And one of the key data points that leadership IQ showed was that for failed hires, that technical aptitude only accounted for 11%. Think about that. The other reasons were low emotional intelligence, poor motivation, poor temperament, and not being very coachable. Wow, think about that. How important is it, that you find the right talent that's going to fit the culture that you want, and that has the right attitude. You can hire somebody that's absolutely incredible in every category, and if they don't fit your culture, it's probably not going to work very well. In terms of the characteristics that we are most interested in looking for, I'll highlight a couple. But certainly integrity is paramount. Secondly, I look for and want people that have resiliency, and that they're open to change, we have changed so much in eight years, three office moves, and half of the team hasn't even been at SSI a year. We need team players that look out for others, and they look for opportunities to partner with candidates, our partner companies, as well as their peers. And the fourth, they certainly need to be coachable and have an interest in growth. So I don't know if pantiles in here or not, probably not. But I'm not going to offer any of you $1,000, if you can share your mission statement with me. I hope you can share it. But maybe you can maybe if you can shoot a hole in what I'm about to share with you. Next, you can get pay until they give you $1,000 off your next conference. So maybe meet him at the at the bar later. But who in here has had a friend or colleague or a top player come to them and say, hey, you know, any companies with a poor culture that people really don't want to work at? I'd be interested in a position where I don't really grow, I'm not really interested in change. And heck, they can pay me below the market if you'd like. I've never had anybody Well, except for my mother, who regularly comes to me and asked me to give her $100,000 salary to work four hours a day with an hour and a half lunch. But other than that, I've never heard that, in my experience, especially as you go up the ladder of leadership and responsibility. The first question is, hey, tell me about the culture. Tell me about the vision of the leadership. What's the complexity of the product? How's it going to benefit patients? Is it is it in a growing area? And look, I know I'm going to work hard, but am I going to enjoy the people that I'm in the trenches with? With key considerations, what I first like to consider is really how you look at talent, and talent evaluation relevant to emerging markets. Secondly, consider cultural characteristics that you want to attract first, follow that up with a minimal technical expectation of skills and specificity of experience. Third, and this is really one of the bigger elephants in the room. There's certainly not a right answer, but autonomy and strategies for autonomy. Fourth, how you manage growth and you share your vision of that growth with the people that you're trying to attract. And lastly, that you tie in your talent access process, to your quality management system, then you have to understand the market you have to do the appropriate research or partner with somebody that has a clear understanding of the market. Okay, quick example relevant to emerging markets and talent. This past year, we had a company that we partnered with, and I was really excited about it because it was a unique technology and value prop. And we successfully helped them bring on a senior leader to the company. However, during the interview process, the interviewers really did not necessarily do a great job of interviewing all the candidates. There were certain interviewers that really didn't try to attract the talent, which I think is a big mistake. And lastly, there were a couple for the person that accepted the offer that actually challenged the person on whether or not in their function. Their functional area had actual experience with their product or their technology, which was interesting because the product had gotten breakthrough designation technology status just a few years previously. So After the final onsite interviews, and I got the opportunity to debrief with this with this talent to candidate, her position was, What are you talking about? I mean, none of you have actually worked on this technology before you came to this company. Every single one of us are examples of crossover talent. What I'd like to do, I'd like for you to do is think about this slide and how you consider being open to talent. Are you open to crossover skills? Are you open to talent that's ready for the next step in their career? Do you? Are you willing to consider strategies for autonomy? Or are you simply going to overpay or is your value prop and your leadership just so incredibly strong, that people are going to cross the street get in the back of the line for the same amount of money? What I'd like to do now is share an industry example as a benchmark. So the IBD medical device industry was a 60 million US Excuse me $60 billion niche in 2016. growing at an eight to 9% CAGR, it went over $70 billion this past year, and is projected to go over 93 billion by 2028. So in 2019, a top 25, global IBD medical device company came to us, because they were having a real challenge with four different positions that had been open for about six months. So after sitting with them, and discussing their expectations, and their needs, there were several challenges. Number one, below a manager level, they did not have a bonus, which was not relevant to the market. Secondly, their expectation and culture was to have somebody, every single area of every position had to be on site five days a week. And they had competitors in the market that in these particular particular functions allowed for a couple of days, remote a week. And then lastly, they wanted very specific experience. These were regulatory positions with the 510 K, it had to be with an IBD medical device product. So after explaining them the challenges of the market, we talked about strategies relevant to the talent war, and being open to, you know, crossover talent. So while they weren't open to a lot, they did give us the opportunity to go out and try to attract talent that had successful 510 K experience in a different product category, and met the rest of the requirements. So after that, in about a six to eight week period, we were able to successfully partner with them and help fill all four of those positions by going out and attracting talent that had successful 510 K submission experience and backgrounds in biochemistry, biomedical engineering, and they were excited about the opportunity to use their skills in a different product category, and how that particular niche might benefit their career. Of those four candidates, three of them are still there now, and had been a great had been great hires for them. The fourth one was there for a year and a half. And then recruiters got recruited away for their first management position. So let's consider another market that is growing at three times. The example we use previously, the digital health space, according to Rock Health, $29.1 billion was invested into digital health startups in 2019, excuse me this past year. That is a significant markup from the 8.1 billion that was invested in 2019. Now, this past year, it dropped down to a little over 15 billion, but that investment is supposed to is expected to be the same this year. And that's obviously a substantial uptick from 2019. When you consider wearable technologies, which is one subset of digital health, it's growing at a CAGR of 28%. predicted to go from $17 billion in 2021 to over $100 billion by 2028. When you think about emerging markets, the relevant talent is directly proportional to the size of the market. The talent where war talks about strategies for identifying the minimal amount of technical skills and specificity of experience that you're going to require for your positions. And then after that focus on attitude, cultural fit, and their ability to grow as your company grows, which should resonate with everybody that's attending LSI, depending irrelevant, irrelevant of what aspect where you're at in your growth. In cutting through Bernie half, he talks about how you gather an information and you move to action. One of the examples is Colin Powell, who talks about the 4070 rule in critical situations, that you shouldn't act unless you have 40% of the information that you're looking for. But once you get to 70%, if you haven't moved to action, yet, it might be too late. Jeff Bezos relevant to business targets the 70% threshold, but states that if you get to 90% or more, you've moved too slow. And again, it's probably too late. As I've grown my business, I have targeted the 70% mark to be able to move to action. I love podcasts, one of the med tech podcasts that I enjoy. A recent CEO was talking about the first startup experience that he had, and how exciting it was. And they had a unique they thought technology. However, they move too slow. And so many aspects of the process and why they ultimately got to market. Once they entered the market, they were in eighth place with three large companies ahead of them. And unfortunately, it the company failed, which he felt that was a factor. So I believe this principle applies in the same fashion to the talent process relevant to opportunity cost. I think it's another strong reason why leaders need to be able to have a company that ties in their ta process to the quality management system and measures outcomes. I think it's vital. Okay, strategy first, how do you evaluate talent, and then you have to understand that it's a numbers game. And that ties directly into autonomy. In a recent interview with Shark tanks, Kevin O'Leary, he talks about certain states in the United States that he will not invest in anymore, because the high amount of increase in regulations and the significant cost of commercial property. He also mentions that 40 to 50% of their positions, depending on functional responsibility, are now remote with limited travel to corporate. And that's not going to change. There have been multiple examples of in the news recently of CEOs that have tried to force their employees back to the office five days a week. One of those examples is the CEO of Salesforce. After the threat of mass resignations, he softened his position. I believe that leaders that don't understand how the pandemic has impacted autonomy could be in for painful surprises. One of the key strategies that every company has to take a position on is relevant to autonomy. Will you be open to more remote opportunities or remote with travel? Will you take a combination combination of strategies for autonomy? Or remote hybrid with moving to more remote with travel depending on where the candidates at in their life and their career experiences? Or will you expect the world to go right back to the way it was and expect people to be in a seat five days a week. As SSI comes up on its eight year anniversary, before the pandemic, I really never had people ask me about autonomy, remote positions, it just just rarely happened. I oftentimes joke that it would kind of like be going into your first interview and saying, Hey, you give me a little bit more insight into your short term disability benefits. It just didn't happen. Now, it's one of the top three questions that were asked every single time. So we do quite a bit of surveying in some of the specific functional areas that we work in because we want to understand what the talent is thinking and what they're looking for. And we want to bring as much value to our partners as possible, relevant to what's going on in the market. In a recent survey that we did in the last month with over 900 regulatory affairs professionals. 88% of them stated that the pandemic had no effect on their ability to perform their roles. 93% stated that they preferred a hybrid or remote position 95%. And I just find this astounding, but stated that they were contacted for a new opportunity one to two times a day, or four to six times per week. Key Point over 80% of them stated that after the culture, their opportunity for growth, that the number one or two factor that they would look at and considering a new opportunity would have to do with strategies for autonomy at that company. And I can tell you that whether it's clinical design quality or other functional areas that have the ability to do their roles with autonomy, it hasn't been much different. The bottom line is people are looking at least for aspects of autonomy. At the medical device and manufacturing conference, Christopher Lafayette gave an incredible presentation. He was a keynote keynote speaker on the metaverse, and certainly the pandemic has been the most disruptive force in my lifetime. He talked about the metaverse, and he painted a picture of an interrupt or an inter operable and technological city with artificial intelligence squarely at the center. One of the key points that he made several times was his was that we are more virtual right now in the last 36 months than we've been in the last 36 years. And it's most likely not going to go back. I would ask you to consider Blockbuster Video, they could have bought Netflix for $50 million. But they chose not to purportedly out of hubris, a lack of vision and too much attachment to their late fees that were a projected 16% of their entire revenue. I'm not here to tell you what position you should take on autonomy any more than the strategies that you should take to hire your critical needs positions. However, you got to decide first to have a strategy, and hopefully have a clear understanding of how drastically that the pandemic has changed the landscape. When talent considers autonomy. So, your interview process, the consistency of it is, I believe, vitally important. The one thing that I will say is that as you interviewing for and identifying cultural fit has to be different than technical. When it comes to technical, you do not want that to be evaluated based on gut feelings based on a popularity contest, or because essentially, they're just not doing a very good job of identifying it, you have to separate that out whether it be a presentation, some type of technical example that they have to work on. But most importantly, you have to have a consistent process for every single person that's interviewing to try to identify this to capture the information and compare and contrast. Managing growth is a critical challenge, particularly for startups and companies and growth modes. You have to have an understanding of what you want to share financially, either upfront or after sign NDA, every single candidate, and this certainly applies to everybody that's at LSI trying to get funding or grow company, they want to understand what that looks like relevant to their risk tolerance. There's a company in a major area that I've followed for over four years now. And I personally think they have a really cool technology. Unfortunately, they've gone through multiple hiring and campaigns and layoffs three or four in the last three years. And so they're starting to get a very negative perspective from the talent in the marketplace. Okay, as I put up the slide of quality management system, the simple but I think very serious and important question I would ask you is if your quality management system for the products that you manufacture, or possibly that you hope to manufacture in the future, or the services that you provide, matched your quality management system for how you manage your TA process. Would that be a good thing or a bad thing? Unfortunately, in the eight years that I've been doing this too often, it would not be a good thing. Focus on your client patient population first to bring incredible value And, secondly, create a culture and bring on leadership focused on bringing incredible value to your clients and patient population, Voice of the employee. And lastly, Voice of the stakeholder, I believe if you get the first two, right, the third one will follow. Okay, there's so many different strategies that you could look at relevant to talent management, whether oftentimes leaders start with, obviously, their relationships and people that they know and respect in their inner circle, moving to a warm market, possibly bringing in somebody in HR or TA, to try to create a system internally and pay no external recruiting fees. cautionary note, it is $180 billion industry. So sometimes that's not an option, but it's one strategy. Secondly, use a retain partner for your critical leadership positions, then after that move to priority searches, or a partner to do exclusive content, while creating a system that manages the warm market, and as you grow, moving away from recruiting fees, because hopefully you have the talent, the processes in house to do it, well. Do everything yourself up to a certain point of growth. And then take a vendor approach, use multiple firms at the lowest fees, all working against one another and your internal TA group on the same talent pool. There are a multitude of strategies you can use. However, I don't want to put you out of sleep. So we're not going to go into details. And since it's March Madness, and I love basketball, we're not here to talk about the specifics of the pack line, defense or full court press are the offensive strategies to compete against that. What I'll simply share with you is I would consider having two processes, one for the warm market and a more efficient processes process with a higher sense of urgency for the passive market. If you want to get top talent. Attraction. The main thing I'll share with you here is if you look at this and make it transactional, you're going to get transactional results. Everyone's going to be familiar with these categories as they pop up. And they certainly make sense. What I would highlight is you've got to make your why your mission statement a part of your interview process. Secondly, and might be one of the most important, they need to understand who they're going to become by coming to your company. What's in it for them, you cannot just interview. Number three, you have to make sure you understand exactly what your expectations are, what you need them to do in the position, and how that could potentially change in the next six to 24 months. This is critically important relevant to retention, artificial intelligence and digital optimization are everywhere. That terminology as the metaverse grows. So what types of technologies are you investing in to attract talent more efficiently, while protecting your value prop in the marketplace? The first interview is a vitally important initial interaction. And if you want HR to do that initial interview, they don't have to be a subject matter expert on every aspect of the position. But they do have to understand what the responsibilities are. They need to be able to clearly express the why and the mission statement. Important point they need to understand the products positioning in the marketplace and how that compares to the competition. And they got to be able to share what's exciting, or track to the manager or the team. Lastly, she got to understand it is a numbers game. Every time you get up to bat you interact with talent in the marketplace, whether they have a positive or negative experience matters. Okay, numbers game, I would suggest we look at this from a commercial standpoint, Tam, Sam and then your serviceable obtainable market, which is critical. Part of why we have grown is because I don't want to waste anybody's time, we focus on value and efficiency. I don't want to waste the candidates time the hiring managers time and certainly not my time. So with that being said, the difficulty of every position that you try to fill is first relevant to the specificity of the skill set Regulatory Affairs, clinical trials, human factors design quality first, secondly, the location or whatever strategy is relevant to autonomy, you're open to the minimal level of competency, but the main thing you need to understand is how many people your internal staff or your external partner are going to have to go through to actually get to an accepted offer. Part of attraction is not only how you initially reach out how quickly you respond to a direct application, or an external submission from a partner but it's also about how you share the opportunity, the mission, and why would they come want to come to your company? So it's a good cultural fit for both sides. Okay, respect process efficiency of process. It has so many aspects and might be the hardest part of the entire recruitment process, how quickly do you respond to an internal submission or a partner that's sending you talent? no response at all, because you're not interested. I always respectfully suggest, think about your process and how you would feel as a candidate if you were going through it, how long would you want to wait to get any type of response or feedback from the investment of your time to interview and I would suggest starting there. Whether you use an internal process or an external partner, you must make sure that you have people that understand how to reach out to a talent to the talent appropriately, that know the mission and the why they understand the company's positioning in the marketplace. And they can tell the story to attract the talent to your company. To the candidates, it can be the difference between dial up and high speed internet access. If you do it internally, they have to have the right skill. And they also have to have the right bandwidth. I can't tell you how many times that I have seen, you know good people with HR skills in recruitment positions that essentially don't have the right skills to do the work, or internal people that are inundated with too many positions. So they don't have the right bandwidth. And I can tell you that the two together are a dangerous combination. proactivity a process. It's amazing how many times I've seen a company that has a position that they believe is critical, they get a candidate that they really want. And then they miss out on that candidate because they're waiting on check offs in processing from HR or the executive team. So my recommendation is be proactive in your process. Make sure whatever you need to do internally, is been done already be done by the final interview. Every single day you go past the final interview or a verbal offer, your chances of getting an accepted offer go down exponentially. Last year, we worked on a position for a really interesting company in an emerging area. And we brought in three candidates, they were excited about an interview that one they were particularly excited about. So this was the timeline connected with the candidate. Day three, I submitted the candidate 16 days, 13 days later, the client interviewed the candidate. On day 23, still no follow up from my client, a competitor got into the conversation and reached out to this particular candidate. Two days later had a phone interview, the internal HR person got it and said, Hey, look, I don't want you to laugh at me. But this position is important to us. And we're going to fast track this opportunity because I think you'd be a great fit. That was on a Friday, the next Monday, he went on site met the entire team. And it was a really good experience. Five days, six days later, they offered him not great, but a lot better than my client. Day 33. It was like almost 19 days since the last interaction with the client, the candidate finally went on site with my candidate, it was actually a really good experience. And they were impressed. I don't think they had a chance. And then that kind of even things out. But then it took them five days to actually get feedback and want to move to offer. And as you can imagine, by then it was too late. Retention of top talent is so important because of how hard it is to find top talent that's a cultural fit first. And secondly, the cost of replace it is high attraction and understanding what you need the person to do in that position. And how you communicate that directly impacts retention. We have a client that has really a good culture, good people we've helped 20 People go there over the last two years, and they had a highly technical role that required 30 40% travel. So we helped them fill the position and the candidate was excited. Six months later, candidate resigns. Clients frustrated. Why did that happen? Because what the candidate bought was really not what they were sold. About four months in, they were told now you have to be on call every other weekend, which had never been discussed. And so they went back and evaluated how much they'd been traveling which was 60% of the time and that was a deal breaker. Why do people leave companies consistently the number one reason is the immediate manager or poor leadership. One of the other major factors is Does the company respect culture relevant to quality? And are they trying to create a quality culture? Many of you are here and many of the innovators are here because they created a product because they might have dealt with a clinical issue or they had a family member. I certainly want to help people. And it's awesome to help people move in their career and be excited about it. But with my clinical background, the reason I'm here is because I want to help patients. Okay, key takeaways, beating the clock, you got to have a strategy or a combination of strategies and figure that out up front. Secondly, tie in your mission statement, your vision statement, make it a part of your interview process, you've got to live it. Third, determine your minimal level of technical expertise and specificity of experience that you're going to require. And after they hit that threshold, focus on attitude, cultural fit, and their ability to grow. You've got to understand if you're in a growing market, there's not as much talent. So you've got to consider how open you're going to be to talent upfront and strategies for autonomy in advance. Don't be Blockbuster Video, tie in your talent management process to your Quality Management System, track outcomes, and then utilize analytics to create best practices, so you can create exceptional candidate experiences. Okay, I screwed up disclaimers. But I do want you all to know that I literally get no money when they sell a book or they speak. So if you want to, you know, hit them up for me maybe I get a free book for the next employee that I hire. So I hope this brought you value. I really appreciate your time. Please reach out to us if we can help you with newer technologies to help attract talent more efficiently to your critical needs positions while protecting your value prop or help you set up best practices for your interview processes. Thank you


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