Interview with the Advisors

Interview with the Advisors

We asked each of our Global Talent Advisors a thought-provoking mix of questions about their areas of practice…

Find out what makes them the uniquely qualified experts bridging the gap between the HR department and the C-Level Suite:

Advisor: Trudy Mandeville

What myth(s) would you like to debunk about your professional specialty?
There are probably too many to mention in a short interview but at least one comes to mind — research isn’t needed or valuable.

What do your clients say is the greatest value you provide to them? Ability to design learning so that it directly correlates with business goals and objectives.

What are 1 or 2 things you want to add to your practice or knowledge base in the next 1 – 2 years? I want to increase our research base so we can provide additional evidence to our clients about why we recommend certain practices.

What created the craziest situation you have experienced in your consultancy? It happens quite frequently — unreal expectations about deadlines. One time, I was expected to design a management program for supervisors within 30 days and use technology that was in the process of being built.

What is the “secret sauce” your clients discover only after they have engaged you? Ability to ask the right questions to get the right answers.

What are the reasons you chose to establish your practice in your particular specialty or target market? Learning’s value is consistently underrated and undervalued. And I recognized, both personally and professionally, how critical learning is to our economic and emotional futures. It has allowed me to make differences in people’s careers and, therefore, their lives.

Advisor: Anne Devaney 

What myth(s) would you like to debunk about your professional specialty? Only people who wash out of real business jobs work in HR.

What do your clients say is the greatest value you provide to them? learn their business so my work is customized for their particular needs and people.

What are 1 or 2 things you want to add to your practice or knowledge base in the next 1 – 2 years? I would like to to work with Series A, B, or C level startups to frame their talent strategy and structures. 

What created the craziest situation you have experienced in your consultancy? I was just getting into consulting when I was referred for a short term (4-6 week) recruiting gig to hire 6 manufacturing employees for 1 plant. It lasted 11 months and included recruiting supply chain manager, customer service reps, and my permanent replacement.

What is the “secret sauce” your clients discover only after they have engaged you? Consulting is like building a spider web – there’s strength in building connections, whether connecting people or the “dots” in a project.

What are the reasons you chose to establish your practice in your particular specialty or target market? Business owners know their subject matter well. Small business owners need “experts” to help with a variety of tasks, whether it’s preparing their tax returns, devising their contracts, or managing their people processes and practices. I help them be more effective when they hire and develop employees, ensure compliance with critical employment regulations, and implement best practices.”

Advisor: Pat Sharp

What myth(s) would you like to debunk about your professional specialty? Innovation goes beyond R&D. It can touch any facet of a business.

What do your clients say is the greatest value you provide to them? I collaborate with them to create solutions that work. It is not “one size fits all.”

What are 1 or 2 things you want to add to your practice or knowledge base in the next 1 – 2 years? I would like a better understanding of data science and artificial intelligence.

What created the craziest situation you have experienced in your consultancy? I was on a project and the CIO was literally fired after 6 PM. We were working together on a project, so I immediately met with the new CIO and we were moving forward by 7 PM.

What is the “secret sauce” your clients discover only after they have engaged you? I have been called a “Swiss Army Knife.” Not sure if that is good or bad!

What are the reasons you chose to establish your practice in your particular specialty or target market? I have been a practitioner of strategic management for several decades. I decided to formalize my knowledge with an MBA in Global Strategic Management. Then, I had the chance to teach courses in managing innovation and realized the impact I could make on companies, their employees, and communities by helping improve business performance by inspiring innovation.

Advisor: Pi Wen Looi

What myth(s) would you like to debunk about your professional specialty? Employee engagement is not a silver bullet to all organizational challenges. 

What are 1 or 2 things you want to add to your practice or knowledge base in the next 1 – 2 years? Introduce clients to the concept of design thinking (and design doing!) and use this approach in consulting. Would like to learn improv and apply its principles in group facilitation, teaming, and communications. 

What crazy situation created the biggest opportunity for your business? I seem to meet opportunities at parties! :). Being truly interested in people and their challenges enable me to listen deeply. Asking good questions and paying it forward usually create business opportunities for me. 

What is the “secret sauce” your clients discover only after they have engaged you? That I am very flexible and work with them through various organizational changes. 

What are the reasons you chose to establish your practice in your particular specialty or target market? I am fascinated by people and their stories. What better way to understand employees’ perspective than listening to them? 

What do your clients say is the greatest value you provide to them? Guide them in asking the right questions; design studies that provide relevant data and enable them to make evidence-based decisions. Identify gaps and enable them to prioritize resources and follow up action. 

Advisor: Denis Barnard

What myth(s) would you like to debunk about your professional specialty? That it is a field for “techies only.”

What do your clients say is the greatest value you provide to them? I offer them the opportunity to save some months of research, and greatly improve their chances of sourcing the right solution.

What are 1 or 2 things you want to add to your practice or knowledge base in the next 1 – 2 years? How to advance the use of HRIS in more complex operations such as real-time performance monitoring.

What created the craziest situation you have experienced in your consultancy? One client had 9 different systems due to acquisitions over a couple of years and none of them were connected!

What is the “secret sauce” your clients discover only after they have engaged you? That my role is that of guide or lamplighter rather than as prescriber, and so all the knowledge gained stays with the client.

What are the reasons you chose to establish your practice in your particular specialty or target market? More by default, as in that era, 20 years ago,  no-one outside of IT was remotely interested! Thus, a niche was born.

Advisor: Tom Janz

What myth(s) would you like to debunk about your professional specialty?

  • Interviewing is a waste of time.
  • Turnover is the biggest problem with hiring. Reduce turnover and we are mostly done here.
  • All tests have about the same prediction power, if they look professional. Professional means colorful bar graphs and detailed descriptions about how candidates will perform.

What do your clients say is the greatest value you provide to them?

  • Access to compact and powerful pre-employment prediction suites with a proven track record.
  • The only evidence-based measure of fiduciary trust for high-impact professionals.
  • The analytics to forecast and guarantee the business impact of using our prediction suites, vs. the alternatives.

What are 1 or 2 things you want to add to your practice or knowledge base in the next 1 – 2 years?

  • Natural language analytics to score and act on the vast amounts of under-utilized text collected in the form of comments, interview answers, emails, blogs, chats, and documents. 
  • Career and performance coaching methods (Constructive Confession Sessions) to eliminate controllable talent risk arising from toxic talent in the current workforce. 

What crazy situation created the biggest opportunity for your business?  We had defined our ‘next generation’ product release goal as involving natural language analytics applied to machine-scoring behavioral interview answers to create a truly objective and unbiased interview. Then we secured a phone conversation with an innovation partner with Deloitte. He liked the idea of natural language analytics, but had a totally different application in mind. He wanted us to score prospective client opportunity descriptions. That led us to add an offering now called Automated Semantic Analysis. 

What is the “secret sauce” your clients discover only after they have engaged you? We may be strong on analytics and deep in our knowledge of the accumulated research findings on assessment methods, but we also identify with the struggles faced by all candidates and team members. This includes candidates that receive offers and need to be on-boarded supportively, with a clear view of how they can succeed on the job as well. But it also includes those who don’t get offers initially, or who may be more successful considering other career options. We are as concerned about members of the current workforce who need some light pointers on how they can raise their level of principled performance as we are for those whose risk propensity and risky actions require direct risk mitigation interventions. 

What are the reasons you chose to establish your practice in your particular specialty or target market?

  • There is so much that needs to be done for people everywhere to maximize their performance value potential at work, as well as in life. 
  • From the early days of personal computing (remember the Osborne and the Z-80 machines?), we have understood the power of information analytics to elevate human decision making about talent. 

Advisor: Zachary Weinberger

What myth(s) would you like to debunk about your professional specialty? That rewards is 80% science and 20% art.  At the end of the day, to really work, it’s the other way around.
What do your clients say is the greatest value you provide to them? Solutions based on broad experience as a rewards executive and a consultant, and a practical approach to implementation.
What are 1 or 2 things you want to add to your practice or knowledge base in the next 1 – 2 years? It is critical to remain aware of trends in the field.  I’d like to add more projects related to HR functional integration; I see a huge opportunity for adding value in this space.
What created the craziest situation you have experienced in your consultancy? A client action is almost always the cause of crazy situations.
What is the “secret sauce” your clients discover only after they have engaged you? I think and talk about rewards from the perspective of alignment with the broader business.  Also, I stay calm and keep my head about me in all situations.
What are the reasons you chose to establish your practice in your particular specialty or target market? Rewards, and how it integrates with other HR functions and company strategy, is what I know and have focused on for nearly 30 years. I love what I do.

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