Top Employers Institute

The podcast focuses on how new, innovative, HR/talent related insights and strategies will drive better business performance, raise the level of excellence of the worldwide human resource management profession.
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 13, 2017

Today we are excited to share Valerie Gervais’ insights. She is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources with Saint-Gobain, one of the world's largest building materials companies. The company was founded in 1665 and, today, they have over 170,000 employees in 67 countries, with eight research and development centers worldwide.


Saint-Gobain makes innovative materials to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, in terms of sustainability and people's comfort and well-being, and as Valerie shared, “We're trying to do the same things with our employees.”


Read the full show notes and find more insights at





Production & Development for Top Employers Institute’s Talent is Transforming podcast series by Podcast Masters

Nov 15, 2017

Only about 13 percent of U.S. workers are passionate about the work that they do, across all industries, locations, and ages – not only is this number remarkably low, but it’s hurting our businesses.


John Hagel is the Founder and co-chairman of Center for the Edge, Deloitte’s Silicon Valley-based research center. He's also an author of the well-respected and well-read research report, “If you love them, set them free: Why building the workforce you need for tomorrow means giving them wings to fly today.”


We discuss the findings of this report, what it means to be passionate about your work, and how it plays a role in the economic impact of a business.


Read the full show notes and find more insights at




Nov 7, 2017

Wouter Hol is the Senior HR Director at adidas Group Amsterdam, a certified Top Employer organization. You’re probably familiar with adidas products, but you may not be familiar with the organization: they have a massive 55,000 employees worldwide, and they’re in the midst of a leadership transition that is transforming how the organization attracts talent and engages employees.

A big part of this transition is reducing the traditional, hierarchical structure of HR and leadership through initiatives that increase understanding and empower employees, and in this episode Wouter highlights three of adidas Group’s most successful initiatives.


Read the full show notes and find more insights at




Oct 23, 2017

CEB, now Gartner’s, research shows that the median time to fill a position increased a staggering 30 business days between 2010 and 2017 – and that costs money.


Thomas Handcock is the Global HR practice leader for CEB, now Gartner, the world's leading research and advisory company. Thomas works with chief human resources officers, heads of recruiting, and heads of HRIS to navigate through and adapt to the challenges and the opportunities in today's fast-changing, volatile, and increasingly digital business environment.

We sat down with Thomas to discuss why there are such significant talent shortages, how talent shortages are affecting businesses, and how your business can better compete for top talent in the digital age.


Read the full show notes and find more insights at




Oct 4, 2017

Mervyn Dinnen is a globally-respected HR and talent analyst who advises business leaders around the world on emerging trends impacting hiring, retention, engagement, and talent. He has spent over 20 years helping organizations craft and implement winning recruitment and retention strategies.


We discuss his book, Exceptional Talent: How to Attract, Acquire and Retain the Very Best Employees, and the emergence of what he dubs the New Talent Journey.





Sep 20, 2017

Rob Kelley is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ongig, an #HRtech platform that helps organizations around the world create a consistent and engaging visual experience for candidates who click over from Google, Glass Door, Indeed, and LinkedIn.

Ongig’s mission is to transform job descriptions into advertising vehicles. They believe every job is a million dollar transaction, and should be treated like a Super Bowl ad, to attract the best talent out there.


You will learn:

  • Why talent acquisition is a sales and marketing role, not HR.
  • What the big trends are in Applicant Tracking Systems
  • Google’s three new pieces of tech that may change job search



Sep 5, 2017

In this episode of Talent is Transforming, Dave Nast, managing partner with Nast Partners, discusses how retention drives the health of your business, and shares how you can keep employees happy and engaged.


Dave is a three-time CEO and an award-winning business coach with over 25 years of experience in executive coaching, leadership development, change management, career coaching, executive search, talent acquisition, and human capital management.





Jun 27, 2017

How do you build a business culture that supports people, succeeds financially, and lasts for decades?


Today we’re exploring how CGI – a leading IT and business process services provider – established a culture more than 40 years ago that still appeals to younger generations and helps CGI adapt over time.


Bernard Labelle is Senior Vice-President of Global HR at CGI. He shares insight and examples showing how CGI was founded on belief in its people, how it balances the needs of its professionals, clients and shareholders, and why ethics and respect for diversity matter just as much today as they did to CGI’s founders in 1976.


You will discover:

  • Why CGI’s 40-plus year-old culture is still appealing to young talent
  • Why CGI has members, not employees
  • How CGI has stayed focused on people and how this has helped fuel its growth for over 40 years



Jun 1, 2017

“Millennials are tech savvy.  Gen Z’s are tech native.” -Shaara Roman

If your organization is still trying to engage millennials, unsuccessfully, then you are behind the curve. Millennials have been in the workforce for over 15 years and now Gen Z is knocking at the door.

In the U.S. alone, there are 70 million Gen Z’s -- about 25% of the population entering the workforce over the next 15 years, and it starts this Spring when the first class of Gen Z’s graduate from college. 

Shaara Roman, Founder and Managing Partner of The Silverene Group, joins us today to share what leaders can expect from Gen Z’s and teach you how to leverage their talents and digital brilliance to drive success.



May 10, 2017

Are you prepared to show your best self during an interview?

The interview (in-person and otherwise) is still the most important part of the hiring process, but people often stress themselves out and overcomplicate the process (even people in senior leadership positions).   

Because CEOs around the world turn to Louis Montgomery for his expertise when they’re choosing CHROs, CROs, and others to join their executive teams, we asked him to return to the show and simplify the interview process, for both organizations and candidates.


You’ll discover…

  • What makes a good, humanized, insightful interview in today’s world
  • How we use technologies in the interview process
  • How both organizations and candidates can put their best foot forward and prepare for interviews, both in-person and digital




Production & Development for Top Employers Institute’s Talent is Transforming by Podcast Masters

Apr 26, 2017

Do you want to help develop strategic, long-term, and sustainable strategies for recruitment?

Then you need to join the conversation, and we’re here to show you how.

Today’s guest, Sjoerd Gehring, is the Global VP of Talent Acquisition and Millennial Employee Resource Group leader at Johnson & Johnson. He oversees the company's global recruiting activities (approximately 25,000 hires annually), leads J&J’s talent innovation lab, is a fierce supporter of HR technologies, and is responsible for spearheading J&J’s consumer-centric approach to recruiting.


Sjoerd and J&J are truly reinventing recruiting efforts on a global basis – and he wants you to be a part of it.




Production & Development for Talent is Transforming by Podcast Masters

Apr 12, 2017

Is your culture hurting your bottom line?

Historically, companies invest a lot of time and effort on business strategy, but not culture strategy… but ignoring your culture is probably hurting your bottom line.

Fan favorite guest Laurie Colasanti, DHL Express America's Vice President of Human Resources, is back to share…

  • How strategic culture directly correlates to the bottom line.
  • Why the culture is so important to everyone at the company (from CEO to new hires).
  • How they implement new culture training.




Production & Development for Talent is Transforming by Podcast Masters

Mar 30, 2017

Does bias influence your decisions in the workplace?

If you don’t think bias affects your people and talent decisions, then it almost certainly is. We incorporate unconscious bias in everything we do, and not addressing our implicit biases can negatively impact our businesses and organizations.

Our guest, Dr. Lauren Aguilar, is one of the world’s foremost scientific experts on diversity and inclusion (D&I), and specializes in translating the science of diversity into actionable strategies. She is a diversity and inclusion partner with Forshay, a consulting firm that designs and implements comprehensive organizational D&I strategy(s) informed by scientific research and evidence-based practices.


You will learn...

  • How to address the reality of unconscious bias.
  • How bias negatively impacts people and talent decisions.
  • How strategy, structure, and consistency can minimize unconscious bias.




Production & Development for Talent is Transforming by Podcast Masters

Mar 15, 2017

Do you know what CEOs are truly looking for from their HR teams today?

Today’s HR and Talent professionals need to become productivity experts.

Josh Bersin is the Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP, a leading provider of research-based information, benchmarking, professional development, and advisory consulting services for strategic HR, talent management, leadership development, recruiting, and training organizations.  

More than 60% of the Fortune 100 leverage his insight on an annual basis. Today he’s offering you his insight on…

  • People and talent predictions for 2017.
  • How talent, business, and HR align in today’s business environment.
  • The role data and technology will continue to play in the transformation of HR.



Feb 28, 2017

Are you prepared to adapt in the war for talent?

There's been a seismic shift in the war for talent. The shift is a reaction to years of restructuring and cutting back benefits (including pensions and healthcare). These changes affect everyone, but they affect Millennials the most.


Today’s guest, Jennifer Boulanger, is an expert talent acquisition specialist and sourcing strategist with over 18 years of experience. In this episode, you will learn...

  • Why millennials behave differently in the workforce (and how your business can adapt).
  • How to build a recruitment model that scales.
  • How to recruit like a marketer.



Production & Development for Talent is Transforming by Podcast Masters

Feb 22, 2017

Behind the Scenes: Dow’s Onboarding Strategy

When we think of onboarding plans, we often envision a checklist of steps to support a new hire as he/she begins their new role. But we’re seeing more and more companies ditching their checklists and tweaking their onboarding strategies to focus more on making an employee feel truly integrated into their new workplace. It’s a mind shift that directly correlates to better retention.

Talent is Transforming recently spoke with Tammy Sherman, Dow’s North America Talent Acquisition Leader, for a podcast about the company’s StartGreat program and how it tracks success and uses data to keep its talent engaged and aligned with business goals.

New approaches to onboarding

Tammy says Dow, which delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers all over the world, has a long history of onboarding new hires quickly and successfully, but always looks for ways to improve and found one in the integration piece of their onboarding program(s).

“How do we get them up to speed very quickly so they not only feel like a valued member of the organization, but they also get support from the people around them and can produce more quickly,” Tammy told us.

The company’s StartGreat program was crafted as an answer to that question. It first eliminated the standard hiring and onboarding checklists and leveraged technology to automate emails to people involved in the recruiting and hiring process. So a hiring manager may get a note that says, “Now it’s time to review goals with your new employee and explain the process to them.”

Dow’s new hires also get paired with an integration coach, who guides them through the ins and outs of working at Dow. The integration coach is usually a colleague who has requested advanced training on how to help employees feel like they’re part of a team.

The StartGreat program also involved bringing together all the technologies within HR like payroll and benefits. That way the process of setting up how the new hire was going to be paid is now part of that onboarding process.

Is this working?

Tammy says Dow conducts routine surveys to get feedback from employees on how things are going. The first survey comes 30 days in, asking new hires to provide feedback on the onboarding process.

The 6-month survey is a little more critical with questions about whether that new employee feels integrated into the organization, has their new manager talked about their professional goals, and how often they’ve met with their integration coach.

Tammy says the most recent survey resulted in a 4.2 out of 5, which the team was pleased with but because she and her team always strive for ways to increase engagement, realizes there’s room to improve.

How data helps with the war for talent

Tammy says one of the challenges of using tools or solutions in talent acquisition is that they’re always changing. She leans on the company’s digital team for guidance and is also a fan of simple, free tools like state labor data.

“When comparing strategic staffing plans and looking at what the businesses need, [state data] should be a go-to,” she says.

Dow relies heavily on its own survey data, as well as “time to fill” and “time to onboard” metrics, to align its strategic HR programs with its business objectives. That data is collected monthly and shared with HR and hiring managers. The company also conducts surveys on how well its recruiting teams are doing in the eyes of hiring managers, asking questions like, “How well did the recruiter explain the hiring process to you?”

That kind of survey allows the company to continuously look for gaps in its hiring process. Tammy says the company is scoring a 4 out of 5 on a quarterly basis.

Three action items for HR leaders

  1. Tammy says don’t be afraid to get creative, do things differently and push yourself.

“We had many people tell us the StartGreat program was just too complicated,” she says. Now, due to its success and ease of use, “We’re looking to implement it more widely.”

  1. She also recommends that companies elevate the integration piece of their onboarding plans. Poor integration practices directly impact retention -- and integration should come in early in the onboarding process.
  2. As soon as someone is hired at Dow, they get an email with a welcome video from the CEO. And just a couple days later, the hiring manager gets an email reminding them to call the new hire to welcome them to the team.

“It sounds simple, but we’re all humans, we all want personal relationships. This helps build that way before they even start,” she adds.

Jan 30, 2017

4 Strategies for How Startups Should Tackle Talent Acquisition


One thing that startups have little to spare is money, so making sure new hires are happy enough to stay, thrive and be innovative is a major investment.


Talent is Transforming recently spoke to experts at two startups about best practices for talent acquisition and overall human resources. Emily Markmann, vice president of people at WeddingWire, and Warren White, director of human resources at Citelighter, gave us their four amazing pieces of advice for making sure startups are putting useful people strategies in place.


  1. Use data to elevate the role of HR


Emily says some of the most important people decisions should involve data. Being able to present certain data-driven trends to a startup’s leadership team goes a long way in terms of being to show a picture of where the company’s talent pool is and where it’s going.


Some of the first steps for a company in collecting data could be as simple as creating a spreadsheet of where its talent is and different roles in the company to using software like Tableau to view data on graphs. Emily says being able to analyze that data can help HR predict the future. For example, are employees only staying two years? What roles have the shortest retention rates?  “It can elevate the role of HR very quickly when you’re talking to your financial folks and high-level executives,” Emily tells us.


  1. Start an HR strategy sooner rather than later


Warren says as a startup expands, it’s important to start developing an HR strategy that can be executed by a designated leader within the company. One of the mistakes a lot of startups make in that regard is they wait a little too long to start really focusing on talent, says Warren.


The value of an organization, aside from its innovation, is its people. The wrong people strategy or an absent people strategy can be a huge detriment and expense for the company. “Startups can’t afford to make a lot of people mistakes because people are expensive,” he adds.


  1. Engagement is the voice of the employee


Emily says measuring and monitoring employee engagement drives productivity and the bottom line. Through “voice of the employee” surveys, a company can drive engagement numbers and quantify engagement period over period. “It’s extremely fun to watch and be able to see the impact period over period when you take specific targeted programs that are identified through the voice of the employee and being able to strategically map out programs,” she says.


A strong employee engagement survey includes a few key components: Share employee survey results with the entire team so that it encourages even more feedback. A good survey program is also an opportunity for the company to share its priorities.


  1. Great people feed the talent ecosystem


Great people make great companies, says Emily. There’s a talent ecosystem at work every day where everything feeds itself. In other words, talent acquisition builds great talent in the organization. You have to cultivate that talent, engage that talent and it all feeds itself, says Emily.


To go even further, Warren says startups should create and foster an environment that allows its people to perform at their maximum ability, he says. That means having the resources to do their jobs, along with the peace of mind of knowing they have benefits in place and predictable paychecks. Not having to focus on those things really allows employees to perform their best.


Want to hear more about how startups can approach their HR strategy? Listen to the entire Talent is Transforming podcast. 

Jan 3, 2017

In sports, it’s all about the best players and coaches. Sound familiar? Businesses of all sizes are also heavily reliant on finding and keeping the best talent to succeed. So why don’t we take more lessons from professional sports teams on how they recruit and retain the top players?

Talent is Transforming recently spoke to Louis Montgomery, who leads Korn Ferry’s executive search practice for the mid-Atlantic and southern regions. He’s been outspoken on the valuable lessons we can take from sports.

“Successful sports teams and successful organizations have many things in common,” Louis tells us. “But the most important thing is that they really focus on getting and developing the best talent.”

Louis, who’s a two-time Talent is Transforming guest, gave us three tips on thinking more like a sports team when it comes to developing a talent management strategy. 

  1. Have a well thought-out talent acquisition process.

Football teams have about 300 professional football players to choose from and teams are limited by their own record in terms of getting access to those players. The better teams tend to have some of the most developed acquisition processes in place. Louis says you can be a 13-person firm or a 100,000-person firm, but ultimately you’re only going to be as good as the people you bring into the organization. “You need to have some real clarity around what you need and want to do from a talent acquisition standpoint,” he says.

  1. Have an assessment process to determine the star players.

Performance is one thing, potential is another, says Louis. Have a way to determine who are the people you should be making more investments in to help them get better. Those are going to be the people who lead your organization in the future. Identify your organization’s “diamonds”—the people who have more potential than you can actually see. Figure out the “blockers”—those who tend to stay put in positions that are really stepping stones to other roles within the organization. “Make sure you know what you need for the various kinds of positions and you get people in the right kinds of roles,” Louis told us.

  1. Have a plan around succession and development.

A brand new organization may not be thinking about succession, but they should, Louis told us. In fact, companies at all stages should be thinking about their company’s next generation of leadership. Use data to help—do talent reviews more regularly, study the types of traits needed in certain positions and invest in developing current employees for future positions within the organization. “We continue to talk about a war for talent, but it can be won if you have an effective talent management strategy,” Louis says. “If you don’t, you’re doomed to mediocrity.”   

Louis had much more insight during our chat, so click to hear the rest of our conversation on the Talent is Transforming podcast.