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Healthcare Is Unprepared for Cyber Attacks and here’s why…

Healthcare is unprepared for cyber attacks and as the cybercrime threat landscape for medical devices and electronic health records is evolving at unprecedented rates this lack of preparation does not bode well.  The malicious intent of financially motivated or state-sponsored cyber-criminals was best served by victimizing financial institutions, power infrastructure and the business sector.

The sheer wealth of profitable consumer information stored within the servers and IT networks powering these industry segments have attracted cyber attack interests for decades. At the same time, these industries are investing vast resources to strengthen their security posture. Cyber criminals pursuing easier targets are aiming for the healthcare industry instead, where a similarly vast deluge of sensitive personally identifiable information powers increasingly digitized healthcare services from less-secure network infrastructure.

Inherent Loopholes as Healthcare Is Unprepared for Cyber Attacks

Healthcare institutions excel in medical practices but are inherently prone to security attacks. 2017 might have seen only a limited number of successful attacks, but make no mistake that healthcare is unprepared for cyber attacks and this is a very real threat, and here’s why. The future of healthcare centers are paperless medical practices. Digital patient information stored in network-connected servers is a recipe for disaster unless strong security defense capabilities are in place to ward off sophisticated cyber attacks. And that’s precisely the problem with the healthcare industry they are woefully unprepared for technology adoption.

While the government and the industry is pushing to embrace Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, the same attention is not given to invest in strong security solutions, technologies, and processes across the widening industry of healthcare institutions, hospitals, surgery centers and EMR/EHR management providers.

Equating Compliance to Security: Global regulatory authorities enforce strict laws to ensure security of digital health records and electronic systems used in the healthcare industry. However, these laws are designed to establish and maintain a minimum standard of security capabilities and practices. The risks could be far worse and varied. Therefore, it becomes more obvious why healthcare is unprepared for cyber attacks by maintaining compliance standards such as HIPAA do not translate into strong security capabilities.

Lack of Security Awareness: A significant proportion of life-threatening spearphishing and ransomware attacks are designed to exploit the human element. Random clicks to malicious links by unsuspecting workforce in the healthcare industry cost millions of dollars in damages. Inadequate workforce education and training on maintaining security of digitized records and new healthcare technologies is prevalent in the industry considering the simple root causes of these costly attacks.

Lack of Resources: Many healthcare institutions do not operate on the same IT security budget in comparison with financial and business organizations. A recent conducted by The Ponemon Institute finds healthcare organizations rate their ability to defend against cyber-attacks at a meager 4.9 out of 10.

Outsourcing May Alleviate Healthcare Industry Unprepared for Cyber Attacks

Healthcare institutes work to excel in the services they have to offer, and tend to outsource critical healthcare IT operations. These IT service providers are subject to strict regulations including HIPAA, whereas healthcare organizations cannot accurately assess the risk of business associates or ensure security of Protected Health Information (PHI) shared with them.

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Articles Cyber Security

Personal Cyber Security Has Now Become More Personalized

Cyber-attacks are amplifying across the globe.  Personal cyber security is important as not only have they becoming more frequent, but they are also impacting a wider band of digital terrain. A single worm, like WannaCry is capable of infecting countless systems in numerous ways, from email accounts to personal data to service disruptions and other critical disturbances. The impact and frequency has led to billions of dollars’ worth of damage, to include lost productivity. Damage to an organization’s reputation is not even calculable.

Budgets are growing tight due to the continued cost of cyber security protections and investigations. While this regularly effects large organizations, small to mid-size businesses are also seeing an increase in cyber-attacks. Hackers are turning toward smaller targets because they are less likely to have secure infrastructure and even less likely to know they are under attack. A worm or virus can sit in a computer system for months and without an in-house IT team, small businesses are especially vulnerable.

Personal Cyber Security Thwarts Hackers

A target that is even smaller than a small business is you. Personal cyber security is becoming more relevant as hackers seek out any vulnerability. But if small businesses can’t even afford an IT team, and if large organizations are finding their budgets shrinking due to cyber security costs, then how can an individual protect themselves?Personal Cyber SecurityCompanies like Rubica are offering personal cyber security options that protect individuals, and the businesses they own or work for, from cyber-attacks by providing easy-to-use and affordable cyber security options.

I rarely recommend any company’s products or services, but Rubica has options and features that warrant a serious look by executives and Board members alike.

Far too often individuals do not adhere to security protocols because the protocols are too complicated or time-consuming. People take short-cuts to avoid tedious passwords or log-in requirements.

Doing so on your personal device is risky, but when your personal device is also synced to business applications results can be catastrophic. By providing employees with personal cyber security features, Rubica protects individuals and businesses.

Some of Rubica’s defining features include its mobile ready app that can be downloaded on desktops, tablets and smart phones. There is no need to install hardware or receive staff training on its use. The app is backed by Rubica’s signature concierge service. The cyber ops team is on call at any time. But users rarely need to contact Rubica since the security app and service does its work without the user even knowing.

Personal Cyber Security Solution by Rubica

Rubica’s cyber ops team provides personal cyber security to any user who has downloaded the application. Once downloaded, the cyber ops team is able to monitor your data, identify threats and alert you when necessary. By paying attention to personal behavior patterns, the team is able to deduce when an imposter has entered a network.

If the idea of data and behavioral monitoring is not a price you are willing to pay in exchange for personal cyber security, then don’t worry. Rubica can be turned on and off. Users are able to access the app and view activity graphs, review investigated events and ask Rubica staff questions about their data or any ongoing threats. Rubica’s personalization means that your personal cyber security choices just got more personal.

Require the rolodex and expertise of an executive search team?

NextGen has a solid track record in identifying and recruiting “A players” – the top 14% of the workforce that produces 8 to 10 times more than even “B platers” – AND these “A players” exist at every level from lead software developer to cyber analyst to Director of business development to VP of Cyber Counterintelligence and much more.  We recruit for red, blue, and purple teams for cyber defense contractors and DoD as well as private sector cyber security needs.

 

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Articles Cyber Security

Facing New Cyber Warfare Tactics – Implement CCI Methods

Cyberspace is an official battlefield for almost a decade in many states. According to a series of data breach investigations report (2013-2016) of Verizon facing new cyber warfare tactics, despite cyber criminals remain a major actor category in causing data breaches, the significant participation of nation-states and state-affiliated groups in cyber-operations is not to be underestimated.

The operators in the latter category do not simply target short-term monetary gain, but in-depth and persistent penetration to attain strategic objectives, notably the advanced persistent threat (APT). Our businesses, government, and military are facing new cyberwarfare tactics used in economic espionage, geopolitical campaigns and remote sabotage attempts. High profile events in recent years ranging from the Chinese APT1 eavesdropping over 140 international companies, Russian APT28 implementing asymmetric warfare against Georgia and Ukraine between 2008 and 2014, to the DNC email hacking in the recent US presidential election and Olympic Games (Stuxnet) sabotage incident in 2010, contribute to the rapid development of cyber intelligence landscape.

Methods in Facing New Cyber Warfare Tactics

Thus, in this troubled water, not only the digital assets and intellectual properties of private companies are under constant surveillance of ​cybercriminals but also public critical infrastructures and new Internet of Things connected data and devices are at stake. Highly skillful and resourceful actors enthusiastically collect intelligence through sophisticated hacking tools, computer worms and network mapping technologies.This intelligence collection empowers malicious actors to succeed in striking companies and governments. One key underlying factor for successful risk mitigation is not only to catch up with the ‘hardware’ technological advancement, but also the software in facing new cyber warfare tactics to analyze the pattern, identity and objectives of the intruder so as to effectively counterstrike intelligence collection of the adversary.Facing new cyber warfare tactics by implementing CCI methodsThus, adopting military doctrines such as decoy, deception and deterrence to detect and mitigate cyber risks becomes a valuable cyber counterintelligence (CCI) strategy for both private companies and states. In the tactics, techniques, procedures (TTP) guidelines implemented by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Chiefs of Staff, at least four major intelligence collection methods can be identified in cyberspace. Intelligence can be collected through human (HUMINT), open-source (OSINT), signal (SIGINT) and geography (GEOINT).Based on these notions, the security researcher, Robert Lee, suggests two approaches to apply these concepts in CCI policy making: defensive CCI and offensive CCI.The former recommends regular red team assessment to evaluate both internal network vulnerabilities and external threat landscape. The latter is about setting up honeypots and sock puppets to interact with the adversary so as to achieve deception and delay effects. Both approaches require a comprehensive understanding of the internal networks, operations and procedures about one’s own organization. Ideally, one optimal CCI employment involves a mix of active and passive intelligence gathering to understand the potential adversaries.

Assessments in Facing New Cyber Warfare Tactics

In other words, it implies the hybrid application of conducting internal and external assessment as well as interacting with the intruders. Hence, the organization can be better prepared in facing new cyber warfare tactics by drafting its response plan and internal policies with more concrete scenarios, evidence, and more significantly, grasp of the tactics of the adversary.

In addition, internal analyst and general employee training is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of CCI strategy. On the one hand, improving the security awareness of general employees is an important, yet underestimated, means to prevent initial network compromise. For example, the victims of APT1 mostly started by falling prey to spear phishing which eventually caused successive large-scale data breaches. Educating employees to be cautious of unverified and false web information addresses the most vulnerable human factor in cybersecurity trust chain.

In other words, it implies the hybrid application of conducting internal and external assessment as well as interacting with the intruders. Hence, the organization can be better prepared in facing new cyber warfare tactics by drafting its response plan and internal policies with more concrete scenarios, evidence, and more significantly, grasp of the tactics of the adversary.

In addition, internal analyst and general employee training is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of CCI strategy. On the one hand, improving the security awareness of general employees is an important, yet underestimated, means to prevent initial network compromise. For example, the victims of APT1 mostly started by falling prey to spear phishing which eventually caused successive large-scale data breaches. Educating employees to be cautious of unverified and false web information addresses the most vulnerable human factor in cybersecurity trust chain.

On the other hand, the training of in-house analysts has to be rigid and unconventional. They must be able to identify, evaluate and distinguish accurate intrusion data to defend the organization. Putting themselves into the adversary’s shoes is a crucial perspective to anticipate the interests, objectives and strategies of the intruder. It also prevents them from being misled to well-crafted falsified data.

To optimize the performance of the duties of in-house analysts, a number of emerging cybersecurity vendors in deception technology like TrapX, Attivo and Cymmetria develop products and solutions adapted to this specific need. Through setting up decoys and buffering zones such as honeypot servers, sandbox and other buffering mechanisms, the defending organization can maximize the counterintelligence efforts to study the attacker.

In conclusion, adopting CCI perspectives in facing new cyber warfare tactics is an imminent issue for companies and governments to cope with constantly evolving and sophisticated cyberattacks. After all, the information security solutions of major vendors in the market target a more general public having relatively less security challenges than institutions dealing with multi-billion digital assets, IoT networks, and critical infrastructure. Installing ubiquitous anti-virus/ spyware detection software is the earliest phase in defending one’s institution.

In case of constant aggressive network breaches that their existing cybersecurity solutions and internal policies are ineffective, even defenseless, against the adversary, it is time to consider integrating CCI tactics and perspectives into the institution’s cyber defense strategy.

If the states are involved in attacking private entities, for what reasons companies should not introduce CCI to their management?

Whether you are a manufacturer, hardware or software vendor, or defense contractor, you Must have the best talent available who has a TSI and /or active security clearance to work in cyber defense and cyber counterintelligence.  NextGen has served companies with identifying and recruiting cyber analysts, red / blue / purple team engineers, and more.

 

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Articles Talent Acquisition - Assessments

Increasing New Hire Productivity Self Development & Mentoring

Increasing new hire productivity requires making sure the new employee can hit the ground and produce.  Behavioral assessment (sometimes referred to as “Psychometric Testing”) has become increasingly recognized as a valuable source of information when making hiring decision.

There is a wealth of data to demonstrate that using behavioral assessment in conjunction with sound, responsible recruitment methods reduces employee turnover, and it’s quickly becoming standard practice for many employers and recruiters.  But by and large behavioral assessments are not used properly.In addition, is it really worth the additional time and expense? In the current economic climate is behavioral assessment REALLY an essential for your next recruitment campaign?

The answer is:  YES with a CAVEAT towards Increasing New Hire Productivity

Increasing-New-Hire-ProductivityHere are three points why increasing new hire productivity works when behavioral assessments are used properly.  What is a general consensus among most companies is this usually involves a questionnaire that asks the candidate about their opinions, preferences and priorities.

Based on the results, and by comparing the answers against years and years of historical data and expert analysis, the individual’s attitudes and behaviors can be extrapolated.

Behavioral reports can include information such as preferred working environment, how they respond to tight deadlines, preferred management style, approach to selling, and much more.

If you’re skeptical, ask one of your employees – preferably one you’ve known for many years – to take an assessment. You’ll likely be surprised at just how inaccurate the results are.

1. Defining the Role Fit and Team Fit = Increasing New Hire Productivity

Figuring out exactly the kind of candidate you’re looking for and creating a job description to match can be a time-­‐consuming headache. But a simple survey of the stakeholders of the role (direct report, internal customers, the top employees already in that team the new hire will work within) can then be put into a Composite survey that will produce a detailed description of the ideal characteristics you’re looking for, many of which can be inserted straight into your job description.  There is virtually no scientific proof that performing a behavioral assessment of candidates alone will result in a “good hire”

To be successful in evaluating candidates and making the right hire so that increasing new hire productivity is the goal, once you know they fit the role in terms of tangible skills, education, and experience, but t,he fact that 46% of all new hires fail within the first 18 months, according to Leadership IQ, it is vitally important to measure the intangibles in the role fit and to assess the candidate’s impact on team dynamics.  And here is where so many Hiring Managers make a HUGE mistake.  The one-size-fits-all “corporate culture” is used to assess candidates across the board.  But the truth is that ALL teams are unique and EACH has their OWN CULTURE which may align in some ways with the corporate culture statement.  An accurate behavioral assessment of a potential candidate is when it is measured against  the team composite profile.  In particular, you need to measure

  • Values and Motivations and how the potential candidate’s views and needs impact  team dynamics
  • Relational Communications Traits – how the candidate is able to listen as well as sell his/her ideas to the team
  • Conflict Resolution Skills – many of post Baby Boomers were not taught this skills, so training is essential if hiring
  • Decision Making Traits –  can he/she make a valued fast decision or do they delay and waiver inconsistently?

2. Conducting Fewer Interviews

A resume or LinkedIn profile can somewhat tell you whether a person has the ideal qualifications and job history but usually it’s impossible to tell if a person has the right attitude and accomplishments until you interview them. Behavioral assessment done the right way, on the other hand, can provide you with that information in a fair and objective fashion. So if, for example, you have 7 candidates that look great on paper, a team fit and role fit scientifically based assessment can help you reduce that shortlist to a more manageable number, and leave you with a much faster interview process.

3. Customized Mentoring / Coaching = Increased New Hire Productivity

Quick assimilation – faster or rather increasing new hire productivity and longer retention.  It’s the goal for EVERY Hiring Manager.  An often overlooked feature of team fit and role fit profiles and behavioral assessments is its ability to tell you the training and management styles to use to get increased new hire productivity.  Getting your new recruit up to speed quickly and making them feel comfortable in the role is not only a time saver but it also reduces the expenses incurred through downtime.

We’ve already mentioned the fact that behavioral assessment reduces employee turnover, but have you ever stopped to consider just how expensive and time consuming it can be to  replace a bad hire?   Aside from the fact that you have to spend time and money, repeating the recruitment process all over again, you also have to repeat the expense of on-boarding and assimilation for the eventual replacement.

And it’s almost impossible to put a price on the potential for lost business and the reduced employee morale that occurs while the position remains vacant. Although prices vary quite a bit, the average cost of behavioral assessment is often far less than employers imagine. And any one of the above four points would more than justify the additional, modest investment.

But put these three elements together and you have a potential saving of time and money that represents tens of thousands of dollars.  Especially in consideration of reducing employee turnover.   So, the question is not whether you can afford to use behavioral assessment. The real question is…  Can you afford NOT to use behavioral assessment?

NextGen Global Executive Search – Increasing New Hire Productivity

Get an inside look at how NextGen uses this behavioral assessment with award winning Leadership Vault Recruiting process.  NextGen Executive search provides retained and engagement recruitment services for clients who build and service aerospace power systems, UAVs, drones, and stealth tech; artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality; cyber security and cyber defense; industrial automation, robotics, industrial power system, renewable energy, and fossil generation; medical devices and electronic health records; mobile networks, digital media, embedded wireless, IoT, and cellular  infrastructure.  Compare our search process and fees compared to other search firms by clicking the image below or contact us today.

 

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Articles Talent Acquisition - Assessments

Screening Candidates for Team Fit is BETTER than Corporate Culture Match

Screening candidates for team fit is more fruitful and accurate than corporate culture match. Work is a lot like life in general in that screening candidates cultural fit is what many strive for.  While it is a lofty goal, it is also a bit of star Trek wishful thinking that all will be well in the universe and a perfect hire will happen.

 In life, we tend to mingle with people who are quite like ourselves. As an individual, a person would usually be drawn to another who expresses similarities, in language, music, and style are among the things. In a few words: we are attracted to the same culture. The same goes for the business world.

Companies have a selection process where they usually look for candidates who share the same values and methods of their organization, i.e corporate culture. Screening candidates for team fit takes more work but in the end it is about the performance of the team and the impact the individuals being considered for hire will impact team dynamics.

Each team has their own culture.  And teams are made up of individuals.  If everyone thinks the  same and has the same corporate culture and process methods philosophy, their is no innovation, no challenge to different thoughts as everyone is robotic in their thinking.

And cultural fit should not be mistaken for one’s own prejudice. A candidate should be hired based on how they would make a positive impact on the team he/she will work within and how that in the end would be beneficial for the company without clashing with other employees and while at the same time maintain demeanor. If these are met  y assessing team fit instead of culture fit,  then that new hire is likely to fail.

Screening Candidates for Team Fit is Essential to Team Success

While cultural fit can be discerned in the screening process, whether the candidates fit the team he/she will work within is one of the main purposes of utilizing psychometrics to asses a candidate’s impact on team dynamics.  The major problem is the reliance upon one-way behavioral testing that partially measures a potential candidate’s potential behavioral patters, values, and motivations, but fails to take into account the team composite regarding relational communications style, decision maing and conflict resolution skills, and leadership/management style.

Many feel that in  a panel interview they can discern within a few hours how a candidate will impact team dynamics and weigh heavily on Human Resources to provide the behavioral assessment.  the interaction established in the interview exhibits the candidate’s credentials to accomplish the job and an essential fit needed to perform efficiently within the role, but cannot measure team fit.

Behavioral interviews are often used; unfortunately, the standard practice does not work well. Organizations need to measure a candidate’s behavioral profile against the composite reading of the team’s behavioral profile. This type of psychometric measurement combined with the in-person interviews can accurately tell how the candidate’s approach and conduct are compatible with the ones practiced within the team, as well as within the company.

According to Entrepreneur, Corporate culture is “a blend of values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths companies develop over time.” In itself, a company has their own identity within its workforce and it greatly varies from one organization to another. Within a company, it is common that different people are working together.

Screening Candidates for Team Fit Means a Good Hire

Screening candidates for team fit assures that teamwork is common and important in a corporate setting. Employees who value working with peers and acknowledge the input of various ideas is most likely to work well in an organization that puts emphasis working in teams. Working with others is an important part in business organizations.

However, when an employee prefers to work alone, he or she might be a good cultural fit in an organization that is more inclined in working in teams.Screening candidates for cultural fit and team fit also measures the capability of an employee to embrace diversity and exhibits no qualms in working in an organization that is compatible to their own set of principles and ideals. Companies need to recognize and employ candidates who exhibit these traits. Employees who are happy in their work environment tend to perform better and stay longer.

Despite the diverse personalities within a workforce, a company needs to find balance in shaping their work culture that will assure its accomplishment. Working in organizations would mean meeting a lot of people with different backgrounds. Both cultural fit and team fit emphasizes an employees’ abilities in and characteristics that can contribute to the success of the company.

A Recruitment Process Unmatched

NextGen’s award-winning Leadership Vault search process begins with the Discovery step where the objectives of the role, how a candidate will use their skills, team dynamics, and value proposition are determines.  The target candidate profile includes researched competitor and company targets followed by documenting accomplishments, relative KPIs, depth of industry / customer relationships, and scientifically based team fit analysis.

Success based recruitment fees where majority is based on acceptable deliverables and the actual hire.  Backed by a custom on-boarding plan and a 24 to 36 month replacement guarantee and a retention rate of 93% of our placements are working for same client at 3.5 years of service with 72% in 5 years.  You should expect NOTHING LESS than hiring an “A player” when you pay a recruitment fee.

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Cost of Failed Executive Hires – Eliminate Poor Recruiting Techniques

The cost of failed executive hires is tremendous. This is NOT limited to just CXOs and SVPs – same goes with VP and Director levels. It is surprising how many mid-cap and large conglomerates retained big-named search firms without realizing that with the exception of a few principals that manage the business and no longer recruit, most of the recruiters for these big firms are a revolving door. They flow in and out according to economic times. Boards should look towards smaller well-established retained executive search firms who have experts that have been working there for a dozen years or more and have a solid history of recruiting in your niche industry.

The cost of failed executive hires is not only damaging – it can prove to be fatal. First are the costs related to the executive compensation, benefits, and severance package, as well as indirect cost such as travel, poor strategy and poor business plan execution, lost market share, lack of direction for the rest of the staff, and lack of trust in the Board of Directors. I see it all the time where I not only need to find a replacement CEO, CTO, CFO, or SVP, but also one that has turnaround experience and is willing to come into a situation that is not ideal for immediate success.

Several times over my career in Executive Search I find myself working with a candidate who believes they are an ideal fit for a retained search assignment I am conducting. My retained search work is “performance based” NOT contingency based, which means that when a client has paid a deposit for my time and effort, I am expected to get the job done.For an executive search consultant, getting the job done means nothing short of bringing forward high-impact “business changing” candidates to our clients. These are the “A Players“.  Not only must they have the required experience, expertise, and a proven track record of success, but he/she must prove to me that they can meet the challenges of the position, meet or exceed my client’s expectations, and make a “direct positive impact” on my client’s business.

Most fail to understand the impact on the cost of failed executive hires is. The truth is that by and large, about 55% of all employees at any given company are in fact “C” Players. They can do the job they were hired to do; they show up for work on time, do the job they were assigned, and are loyal to their managers.  However, they lack the entrepreneurship risk taking mentality, the “take charge” attitude, and the take no prisoners’ mindset required to make an impact on the marketplace.  In addition, they are easily replaced by outsourcing at a lower cost as well as artificial intelligence, software automation, and robotics.  And the latter three can run 24/7 without sick days, benefits, training, and their performance is most often anything but mediocrity.

Avoiding the Cost of Failed Executive Hires

While for many positions it is acceptable until technology advancements eliminate many “C” players, companies will continue to hire them for many roles.  At functional leadership and key engineering, sales, and operations the cost of failed executive hires can be fatal.  Many VPs and Directors will look to “B” players, which based on my 20 years experience in executive recruiting, are roughly up to 30% of all employees at any given company.  They outperform “C” players any day of the week and possess the intuitiveness and hunger to succeed that makes them valuable to their employer. They have a track record of success, albeit in their department but rarely make a definitive impact on the company’s overall performance in the marketplace or the business strategy.So what really is an “A” player? The misconception is that “A players” only exist at the executive level.  That is purely a myth.  Most “A players” were born that way or evolved into it in childhood, teenage, or young adult years.  These unique individuals comprise the Top 14% of the global workforce.  They are easily recognized early on.  In their youth, they were leaders and entrepreneurs – whether having the most lawns to cut, starting a community newspaper, excelling in Junior Achievement or inventing a product or service company that was acquired by a bigger fish.

These “A players” are not always leaders as their ideas, thought processing, and inventiveness make them excellent engineers. Same goes with RSMs and MAMs who can blow out the quotas as an individual, but if you try to move them into leadership levels they fail.  The strategic thinker and the ability to “sell their ideas” type of “A players with superb interpersonal communications and conflict resolution skills are in fact the type of functional leader or senior corporate executive that is a “game changers” not only within a client’s vertical market, but have had similar success in other vertical markets within that industry or in a different industry altogether. They have a responsibility to the owners (founders, investors, and stockholders).

​​​​Cost of Failed Executive Hires is due to a poor Talent Acquisition Process

A Forbes article by a Silicon Valley CEO reveals that the cost of failed executive hires is estimated to be more than $500,000 or 2.5 times salary. And that does NOT include organizational, opportunity, productivity, and transitional costs for the new executive. As an Officer or Board member, you must ask yourself, why would you risk letting mediocre executives hires to occur?The same can be said of a VP of Engineering who needs principal level systems software engineer for that matter. You may save yourself a few dollars in the short run recruiting someone with your existing recruiting process, but the long term effects in the cost of failed executive hires may cost YOU and YOUR STOCKHOLDERS much more than 2.5 times salary or a recruitment search fee.

How to Alleviate the Cost of Failed Executive Hires

NextGen Global Executive Search not only reduces the cost of failed executive hires, we virtually eliminate them.  The award-winning Leadership Vault search method, developed over 30 years, is a the recruitment platform utilized by our executive search consultants that properly measures the potential candidates we identify by psychometrics to determine a strong match to role fit and team fit, document KPIs and the depth of candidates’ industry relationships, and provide a custom onboarding program that includes new hire self-development planning and a mentoring / coaching program that is easy to realize with little investment of time.  Backed by an industry leading 12 to 36 months replacement guarantee, the common feedback is the hire we placed met or exceeded their objectives.  Looking to fill a key  functional leadership or senior executive role in your company?  Reach out and see the difference engaging an Executive Retained Search will make to the quality of candidates you will interview. We don’t get paid in full until you are 100% satisfied.

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Articles Talent Acquisition - Assessments

Education Bubble Shortage of US born Engineers for High Tech

It’s a very tough market in electrical and computer engineers for companies that provide security applications, Ai, IoT, and aerospace products.  Under rules from FAA and ITAR to FCC to ITAR to DoD, the education bubble shortage of US born engineers is evident.  Requiring US citizenship or green card (permanent residence status), real unemployment nationwide across all industries is still high.

First we need to understand the reality of the education bubble.  In the USA, the primary reason we have a decline in economic power is that since the 80s we have moved from real education in science, history, english, writing, and mathematics to “social awareness” and social justice teaching.

As such, we produce a declining number of electrical and computer engineers for four decades – especially USA natives. Want proof the education bubble is worsening?  Graduates numbered 14,584 in 2004-05, but declined to 14,209 in 2005-06 and 13,783 in 2006-07. Master’s degrees also dropped in the same time period, recording a significant decrease from 41,087 in 2004-05 to 38,451 in 2005-06, followed by a smaller decrease to 37,320 in 2006-07.

 

Education Bubble Creates Shortage of US born Engineers

 

Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs as new foreign student enrollment for 2008-2009 increased by approximately 16.0% from the previous academic year.  Since the federal government took over education with the Department of Education in 1979, our elementary schools and high schools have declined and at the university level the education bubble is worse.

The Education Bubble shortage of US born engineers exists due to this social engineering. The education bubble has come about doe to the federal government’s free-spending ways.  We re broke as a nation and cannot continue to give student loans to those whose GPA is not deserving.  And like my family did for me and my siblings, it is a parent’s sacrifice and savings to put a kid through college.  Or going to school at night while working full time like my father did.

Or going via the GI Bill by serving in the military.  Or busting your butt in 2 years of community college like my own son did (who then received full scholarships for bachelor and master based upon his grades) who then achieved a PhD in Space Physics.  He soundly defeats the issues in the education bubble.

Reasons for the Education Bubble Shortage of US born Engineers

 

Education should be about Learning and Competition

The education bubble shortage of US born engineers exist due to a failure to deal with real life in educating our children.  Just as in life there are winners and losers –  and no one should receive a trophy just because they tried.  And if you did not win, so what?  I was taught to keep trying.   And I spent 2-3 hours a day in homework from elementary all the way through high school.   In elementary and high school  we were encouraged to join clubs and be involved.  Me –  I chose football and Key Club.

Those two things taught me competition, being a team player, and giving of my time to my community.  With fierce competition and high education standards, we had no education bubble.   And the focus on high academic standards prepared me for college.  Today our schools focus on “feel-good” social engineering and teaching children political and social correctness rather than the 3 Rs and molding children for a bright future. We need to address the fundamentals about the education bubble.

We as citizens and responsible voters can CHANGE the education bubble. Scientists and engineers today make up only 4% of US employment; even doubling their number would in itself have a modest overall impact on the economy.  It seems odd to me that for the sake of so-called global diversity, we fail to provide encouragement and programs to elevate our own minority citizens and break the bonds of failing inner-city schools to allow these kids to learn STEM.  I think you’d be surprised how well inner city children in Chicago can become engineers and scientists if only provided the will and means by our academic elitists.

Rather, the point is that scientists and engineers contribute disproportionately to the creation of jobs for the other 96% of the nation’s workforce by generating knowledge, by innovating, and by establishing new companies based on that knowledge and innovation.  We can overcome the education bubble shortage of US born engineers.

First, the outlook for 2018 and beyond is worse unless we dramatically increase H1B visas.  It amazes me how often I hear “we can recruit on our own as so many people looking for work” and Hiring Managers who tell me “HR sends them garbage resumes, but the corporate decision makers have their hands tied.”

If you are in artificial intelligence, aerospace or defense systems, cyber security, industrial manufacturing or robotics, mobile digital media, broadband or mobile network operations, wireless infrastructure or IoT data  / devices / networks, you often are required by federal regulations and laws to hire US citizens or green cards due to the security clearance needed.

More so, when you need vendor-facing, or customer-facing engineers where the candidates in USA must be able to speak plain understandable English, the education bubble shortage of US born engineers is even greater.  Oddly we lead in philosophy, history, sports nutrition, social services, marketing, and law degrees.  Some of those are needed but we are woefully declining in science and mathematics (ranked 27 in the world and dropping) as the education bubble shortage of US born engineers increases.

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Articles Talent Acquisition - Assessments

Choosing the Best Type of Search Firm, Retained, Contingency, or RPO?

Choosing the best type of search firm makes all the difference in getting the best possible hire for your team. According to Leadership IQ, 46% of new hires will fail within 18 months. The statistics only get worse.  Take a hard look at the expanded facts as presented by Dr. John Sullivan on ERE. About the 6 Ugly Numbers Revealing Recruiting’s Dirty Little Secret.  Choosing the type of search firm to work with is not an easy choice.  It is astonishing but not surprising.  When the agenda is how cheap can recruiting be done, the results are obvious.

Instead of looking deeply at the process a recruitment firm uses to identify, assess, and deliver potential candidates. When filling a key role, the cost of the fees is the first mindset.  What you should be thinking about is the end game – the services offering differentiation and the results.

 

Does the search firm accept verbatim the job spec verbatim?

 

    1. brief overview of the company culture, benefits, and market position. Rather than on the opportunity (USPs) of what this role will do to elevate one’s career. As well as the challenge being offered to entice interest
    2. Job specs focus on responsibilities when the focus should be on short- and long-term objectives with timelines.
    3. Too much emphasis on boiler plate requirements including skills and experience. The focus should be on prior directly related accomplishments & key performance indicators. What the new hire has done and will do with those skills and experiences. Not simply the number of years he/she has had them.

Simple economics is that the supply of good candidates is low while the demand to fill key roles is high.  As such, using job boards or career websites means that only active job seekers. Sadly in today’s market that is most often the underemployed and unemployable.  Because with low unemployment rates, good candidates are very passive.

They don’t look at job postings and they rarely respond to recruiter type emails. Those who are happy with their role, current employer, compensation; as such they are rarely ever looking for a job.  They are open to a challenge, the opportunity (unique selling points), possibly location, product or service, and company size.

 

Does the search firm have a verifiable track record of new hire retention?

 

It seems odd to me that one would not ask for proof of this.  Case in point is I have a direct competitor who is larger than my firm with more offices.  We both have done retained search for the same client.  We have each placed 3 at the C suite and VP levels.  All three of my competitor’s placements departed within 2 years while the three we placed are not only still there at 3.5 years but have been promoted and are meeting or exceeding the objectives for their respective roles.

What makes the difference?  The search process, assessments methodology, using psychometrics and the type of relationship.  My competitor interfaces with and is managed by the client’s HR group while we work directly with Executive Hiring Managers.    One more thing – look at the firm’s replacement guarantee clause.  If it is ranges from 90 days to one year, that tells you they don’t stand behind their work.  At NextGen Global, we stand behind our work with a 24 to 36 months replacement guarantee.

 

Does the search firm use science based methods and AI to identify team dynamics?

 

Let’s go back to that Leadership IQ study where it found that not only do 46% of new hires will fail within 18 months, but at the executive level it is for lack of interpersonal communications skills.  The truth is EACH team is unique.  By creating a composite of the team profile measuring values, motivations, decision-making traits, conflict resolution skills, relational communications traits, leadership and people skills, the recruiter can then compare the potential candidates’ capabilities to make sure they are either a strong or potential match. Choosing the type of search firm as you can see is part science, part experienced based skill set.

 

Choosing the type of search firm based on niche specialty

 

 

Choosing-the-type-of-search-firm-Retained-Search-has-a-Lower-Cost-768x512

We pride ourselves on being startup experts.  While we do perform retained and succession bench search for one role at a time, over the years we have partnered with an outsourced HR and payroll services firm to offer Team Building talent acquisition management services for startups with less than 25 employees in the initial startup phase.

We save clients hundreds of thousands of dollars while filling key roles they need to meet customer or product/service design and roll-outs. Our work is primarily with startups, mid-cap, and spin-offs.  We rarely recruit for publicly traded companies or companies large than 5k employees.  The reason is simple.

As entrepreneurs ourselves, we understand how VC and PE forms work, we work often with board members in recruiting entrepreneurs, risk-takers, movers and shakers who focus more on the value proposition of equity and generous stock options based on meeting performance objectives. For large companies the latter are generally limited to a select few senior executives.

The larger the company, the less effective we can be as they tend to want their HR or TA group “manage the recruiter” demanding we adapt our search process to conform to theirs. This is what we call “tying one hand behind my back” syndrome.  We turn down companies asking us to do that.  If you are a large conglomerate or have more than 5k employees, it is best to go with a very large firm for most positions.  However, if you are looking for a senior executive or functional leader who is a change agent, a turnaround expert, a solid risk-taking decision maker or motivator, for those roles your best bet is the smaller boutique search firm.

 

Two neat tricks to ensure your choosing the best type of search firm

 

  1. Look at the Linkedin connections of the recruiters you are considering. If you need to recruit a senior executive, does the recruiter have those connections with both your industry and with C-levels?  If the need is to recruit a VP of Sales of a Director of Engineering, do they have those relevant connections”?  You’ll be surprised to find most recruiters’ connections are with Human Resources and other recruiters which means they have few relationships with the type of people you seek.
  2. Does the recruiter have intimate knowledge and experience in your industry? Look at articles and posts they’ve written.  If they are all about just recruiting or job seekers instead of Artificial Intelligence, Wireless, or whatever your industry is, how well do you suppose they understand your products, services, marketplace, or customers>

When you consider the cost of retained search look past the initial fee.  Look at the results of the person hired via the firm.  If the new hire assimilates quickly, is immediately productive, and meets or exceeds the objectives of the role, the cost of the search fee is irrelevant.  And remember, good search firm ONLY recruit “A players” who by definition produce 8 to 10 times more than “B players”.  It’s really a no-brainer in the value.

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Articles Talent Acquisition - Assessments

Performance Objectives Focused Recruiting

Let’s look at defining the Key Performance Indicators or even better defining how performance objectives focused recruiting can be used in the recruitment screening process.  Many hiring managers and recruiters for that matter have a misconception that these are used only after the hire or limited to executive leadership roles.

To understand why performance objectives focused recruiting is effective, let’s look at a why it should be utilized as enhance both job postings and the screening process.  Typical job descriptions delivers poor results, negative advertising, and lousy applicants. Generally they bespeak of a little company branding, responsibilities, requirements to apply, and a brief overview of benefits.

What does work is to use defining the performance objectives focused recruiting in the job description and developing ideal candidate profiling of a position. The issue is most Human Resource departments, corporate recruiters, and external recruiters lack any sense of understanding of how to analyze how a potential candidate may perform or what they will do to meet those defined objectives.

Performance Objectives Focused Recruiting NOT Requisitions

 

Performance-Objectives-Focused-Recruiting-300x200One of the gurus I learned from to define performance objectives focused recruiting is Lou Adler.  Here is a link to his site.  The best description of the SMART techniques come from Lou Adler’s point of view as I believe he states it best.

What do you want the new hire to achieve with “x responsibility”?  Take each required skill and ask what are the objectives of using this skill and how well the candidate may meet those objectives based on accomplishments and similar tasks performed by using SMART techniques.

  1. Specific – details of what needs to be done (task, challenge, project, or problem)?
  2. Measurable – amounts of change / % of change required
  3. Action – what will the person in this role actually do?
  4. Results – what needs to happen to accomplish the major objectives?
  5. Time – how long will it take from start to finish for this objective to be reached?

Once you have defined the near-term performance objectives, move onto the long-term objectives that will bring real added-value to the company.

Candidate Profiling Performance Objectives Focused Recruiting

 

After discovering how to map those objectives you need to develop the ideal candidate profile. Next we will examine how a retained search firm performs these tasks including:

  1. when and who should be involved in defining the team profile (not the corporate profile but the actual team the new hire will work within)
  2. analyzing behavioral traits of ideal candidates measured against the team profile to determine effect of new hore on team dynamics
  3. refining how performance objectives focused recruiting uses team fit and candidate profiling to target and identify the candidates who can meet or exceed the management objectives.

 

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Articles Talent Acquisition - Assessments

Job Boards Impending Death Recruiting Insights

From an executive recruiting standpoint, job boards impeding death is apparent.  Job boards have always been a non-issue. The voluminous lists of pedestrian “McJobs” offered on job boards are targeted towards “active” job seekers. Largely all “C players” that make up 55% of the workforce. Who could easily be replaced by automation, software, Ai, or robotics. While they can actively show up and do a job, they add no real value. They are unlikely to contribute to or develop IP, fixing or resolving key issues or revenue rainmaking.  In essence what stockholders call overhead.

To further our assumption, there is empirical evidence that job boards impending death is near. It is agreed they have lost value even for active job seekers, some of the primary reasons being:

  1. Companies using job boards rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) or HRIS systems. These house, sort, and store applicants and employee records.  This means that your resume must be fully optimized to get past the 3-5 second look to be noticed.
  2. Because of the sheer volume of responses most companies receive, many will only look at the top handful of qualified results. So active job seekers are competing with hundreds, or even thousands of other people for the same job.
  3. A job board submission rarely goes directly to the decision maker or Hiring Manager.  You first must get through the Human Resources or corporate recruiter gauntlet. Many of these are simply not qualified to screen and assess for key roles.
  4. Quality positions are just not posted on job boards.  In fact estimates are that as much as 80 % of new jobs are never listed. Instead filled internally or via networking.  Referrals on the other hand, make up 40% of new hires.

Who or What Caused Job Boards Impending Death?

 

Suspect number one: Social Media

 

One of the key trends that is driving job-seeking is the rise of social media networking. With the right research and approach, a job-seeker can generally locate and connect directly with people and companies.  LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook are the go to social networks.  This will hasten Job boards impending death and probably a big bonus for job seekers everywhere. But in terms of executive recruitment, it’s a non-issue. The passive candidates we seek won’t be lurking about in either local in a job-hunting mode.

Suspect number two: the companies themselves

 

Of the thousands of job boards that are out there – from Monster, Indeed and Career Builder to LinkedIn and all the niche sites dedicated to specific industries – there is not one that successfully connects with passive candidates. These A-players, who make up approximately 14% of the workforce, are rarely, if ever, unemployed, and don’t ever use job boards or post their resume online, even if they are searching for opportunities. Of that 14%, only 15% don’t want to move at all, and almost half of them are open to dialogue with a recruiter.

There are a few boards that claim to target passive candidates, but they levy an additional cost on top of your paid recruitment campaign, and still the resulting applicants are (most often) not ideal: they are, in fact, active job seekers and not passive candidates. They now push the idea that new algorithms and predictive data based on utilizing artificial intelligence means they can attract and better match applicants to jobs, yet these are still targeted to those who overwhelmingly use job boards – active job seekers.

So basically, by buying into this thinly veiled cash-grab and stalling job boards impending death, you are wasting valuable time and money when you should be focusing on more traditional recruitment techniques such as networking and relationship building to get the results you need.

Where are all the A-players?

 

The top players, known as “A players” who exist at every level from CEO to janitor, are rarely, if ever, unemployed, they are never actively looking for a job, they don’t post their resume online and they don’t ever use job boards – and for good reason.

For the most part, the job boards don’t do a good job of attracting A-listers. Jobs posted on job boards focus solely on responsibilities, skills required and corporate culture selling points. This amounts to mostly boring descriptions of positions that mention nothing about the actual opportunity in terms of learning or career growth.

Further proof in the death of the job board is their postings also rarely mention “performance objectives.” They rarely, if ever, describe the “team culture,” preferring to use ambiguous terms like “corporate culture,” or “vision,” creating a huge disconnect between our A-players and any available positions.

Be Part of The Team

Team culture is also important, but you’ll never see anything about that on a job board. Individual work groups are unique and have their own “team culture.” A team culture is defined according to the personalities and behavioral patterns of each individual team member, as well as how they all work together.

The only way to determine whether a candidate will fit with a team culture is through personal connection – something you just won’t get with a job board.  When recruiting A-players, you must present them with opportunities that are significant.

This could be reflected in title, objectives, location, an attractive company size, growth, and product/service market share, but at least one of these things must be present to assure that you are piquing their interest enough to even have a shot.  As for how and where to find the A-players, if you take away the online and the bulk of social media, traditional recruitment methods always win the day.

Numbers never lie

 

If you’re looking for proof that job boards impending death is near, look no further than your own ROI. Numbers never lie. For every job board you invested in over the course of a year

  1. how many hires occurred?
  2. how much did each hire cost you?
  3. what was the level of the positions you placed from a job board candidate?
  4. were there any critical roles filled? What is the retention rate of those hired from a job board?

 

Most evident is just to take a at Indeed, a job aggregator service and you will find that the same jobs are not only posted by the actual employer / company, but also by numerous contingency search firms. and RPOs  Its recycling the same “C players” – that 55% of the workforce that are bodies and will show up to work to be paid, but contribute nothing to the bottom line.  Once you start crunching the numbers, the evidence will probably give you a clear picture of the unfortunate, unvarnished truth.

 

Personal connections always yield the best results

 

Retained executive search companies have always relied on interpersonal and industry relationships to bring about successful results. As anybody in this niche knows, the discovery of most A-players come from actual conversations that bring forth referrals. Technology has infiltrated our society and industry, changing the way the world around us turns. It is still the tried-and-true grass-roots efforts that win the day.

The verdict on Job Boards Impending Death

 

 

In closing, let’s consider the advantages that a niche, retained executive search consultant brings to the table.  If using a retained executive search professional, the hiring manager doesn’t end up with an inbox full of “flypaper” resumes. They instead receive a shortlist of 2-3 “finalists” who can meet the performance objectives of the position. These people are truly A-players who will produce 8-10 times more value than B-players.

This proves that the result is well worth the placement fee and time investment. Leading us to conclude with confidence that this is a far more valuable. Not to mention a more viable and cost-effective solution over the waste in the death off the job board.