You’re Invited: Everything DiSC Showcase!

Today, organizational culture cannot be an afterthought. It must be focused on—intentionally and continually—to ensure recovery and results. That’s where Everything DiSC® on Catalyst™ comes in. Sign up for the Everything DiSC on Catalyst Showcase to learn about how DiSC can benefit your business.

In this 60-minute interactive, virtual event, participants will:

  • Discover the value of strong organizational culture and its connection to success
  • Explore the Everything DiSC on Catalyst learning experience
  • View a live demo of the Catalyst platform
  • Participate in a live Q&A with the showcase presenters

 

Everything DiSC on Catalyst helps people:

  • Better understand themselves
  • Appreciate and value difference in perspective and approach
  • Readily and consistently adapt to the unique needs of each person or situation they encounter

 

The Everything DiSC showcase will be on June 7th, 2022 at noon EST. Sign up here: https://forms.gle/jv3uK3E3nzCRdZECA

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Accessing Municipal Compensation Information Just Got Easier

INTRODUCING THE MUNICIPAL COMPENSATION DATABASE

Every municipality needs to undertake periodic compensation reviews to keep their compensation current and attract talent.

Municipalities generate vast amounts of compensation data that other municipalities need, but there is no easy way to access or share it.

Engaging third-parties to conduct a review is expensive and the day the report is presented, the data is already outdated.

Conducting your own compensation reviews is not efficient and results in a duplication of work.  How many times last year, were you asked your salary and benefits information, by comparator municipalities conducting their own compensation reviews?

The Ontario Municipal Administrators Association (OMAA) and muniSERV have once again partnered to bring a new tool to Ontario municipalities to address these issues.  Along with support from the Ontario Municipal Human Resources Association (OMHRA), the Municipal Compensation Database (MCD) was developed under the guidance of a joint CAO/HR Advisory Committee.

The MCD is a cloud-based platform to collect and aggregate current municipal compensation and human resources information.  It revolutionizes the ease at which municipalities share and access compensation and human resources data, when and how they need it.

Benefits for Municipalities:

  • Single source access to improved municipal salaries & benefits data and HR information
  • Comprehensive, Convenient, Collaborative and Confidential
  • Easy access 24/7 right from your desktop or device, from any location
  • Access to real-time, statistically valid information
  • Includes Council Compensation, Job Descriptions and Organizational Charts
  • Enhances efficiency – eliminates duplication
  • Guarantees measurable cost savings
  • Real-time reports created in a matter of minutes

The Province of Ontario encourages municipalities to work together and share services and the MCD fits the bill.

Learn more and participate in the Municipal Compensation Database, or to request a demo, email [email protected] or call 705 538 0176 or 905 459 9200.

By: Susan Shannon, CEO, muniSERV.ca

 

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Considerations for Employees who are Working Remotely – Part 2

cartoon of people on a zoom call

Part 2 – Clearly outline when the employee is considered to be in the physical work environment and when they are not.

In our last article we noted that Covid-19 changed the way many organizations do business and organizations have had to learn how to navigate the many challenges of remote work: lack of face-to-face supervision, keeping employees engaged and motivated and managing the work environment are just some of the challenges with remote work. During the pandemic, many employers shifted to a full or hybrid remote work arrangement, but with COVID restrictions being lifted and life slowly returning to the pre-pandemic norm, what was just a temporary measure necessitated by the COVID pandemic is becoming a more permanent arrangement by choice.

Whether you choose to adapt to a fully remote workforce or a hybrid remote work arrangement, employee’s activities while working remotely should be subject to the same standards that are applied at the organization’s offices regarding confidentiality, security, quality, and access to business documents just to name a few. In addition, an employer must continue to comply with applicable employment legislation and continue to ensure the health and safety of employees to minimize the risks of workplace injuries while working remotely. To help minimize liabilities, employers who are considering implementing a permanent remote work arrangement should ensure that they establish and implement a clear remote work policy along with a well drafted remote work agreement between the employer and the employees.

In Part 1 we talked about these key areas to consider when creating a remote work policy; Availability and Hours of Work, Physical Environment & Security.  Here are some additional areas to consider when creating a remote work policy. 

Client Confidentiality

Some employer’s client information may be particularly sensitive. Customers have a right (both legal and moral) to expect their confidential information to be protected. Employees who are working remotely should be reminded of their obligation to take appropriate precautions to ensure that confidential information not be exposed to third parties, including family members, visitors or any other persons residing, working or simply present at the remote work location.

Health and Safety

The remote work location is an extension of the physical office. While the Ontario Health and Safety Act appears explicitly to not apply to work performed by the owner or occupant in or about a private residence, the employer should practice due diligence and it would still be considered best practice to direct employees to observe all applicable health and safety policies when working remotely.

Remote work may also be conducted in locations other than the employee’s home. This could be highlighted in the policy and employees reminded that they could consult with their health and safety representative (if applicable) in respect of best practices in setting up a remote-work location. Employers continue to be responsible to take every reasonable precaution to protect the well-being of their employees. And in the context of a “distributed workplace” employers should be clear about the employer’s and employee’s shared responsibility to ensure a safe workplace.

Injuries sustained at the employees’ homes would be treated as a workplace-related injury, so it is imperative that organizations continue to manage health and safety for employees who are working from home. To minimize the health and safety risks associated with working from home employers should ensure that the remote-work policy covers the following:

  • Define the workplace. Where does the workplace extend to and how does the workplace extend into the employee’s home?
  • Clearly outline when the employee is considered to be in the physical work environment and when they are not.
  • Be clear about break times and ensure that employees understand that breaks are time away from work.
  • Employees should be made aware that just as they are expected to maintain a safe work area free of safety hazards while in the office environment, they are required to do the same in their home workspace.

Confusion of expectations and disconnections between employees and employers from not having a clear remote work policy can result in undue risk to both parties. An effective remote work policy should establish the guidelines and expectations for performance while working remotely, along with providing a framework for monitoring and addressing situations of non-compliance. By doing so the employer may enjoy a competitive edge, even during trying and difficult times, as they provide employees the opportunity to continue to contribute to the organization’s ongoing success in an evolving understanding of how work gets done.

By Adrian Johnson, ASSOCIUM Consultants

Through our collaborative approaches, innovative HR products and customized advisory solutions we impact four leadership priorities: managing risk, driving productivity, strengthening talent capabilities and supporting your bottom line.

Let’s connect to find out how ASSOCIUM Consultants can help your organization.

 

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Considerations for Employees who are Working Remotely – Part 1

Office items on a desk

Part 1 – Your remote work policy should outline the importance of protecting confidential information in remote work settings.

Covid-19 changed the way many organizations do business and organizations have had to learn how to navigate the many challenges of remote work: lack of face-to-face supervision, keeping employees engaged and motivated and managing the work environment are just some of the challenges with remote work. During the pandemic, many employers shifted to a full or hybrid remote work arrangement, but with COVID restrictions being lifted and life slowly returning to the pre-pandemic norm, what was just a temporary measure necessitated by the COVID pandemic is becoming a more permanent arrangement by choice.

Whether you choose to adapt to a fully remote workforce or a hybrid remote work arrangement, employee’s activities while working remotely should be subject to the same standards that are applied at the organization’s offices regarding confidentiality, security, quality, and access to business documents just to name a few. In addition, an employer must continue to comply with applicable employment legislation and continue to ensure the health and safety of employees to minimize the risks of workplace injuries while working remotely. To help minimize liabilities, employers who are considering implementing a permanent remote work arrangement should ensure that they establish and implement a clear remote work policy along with a well drafted remote work agreement between the employer and the employees.

Below are some key areas to consider when creating a remote work policy:

Availability and Hours of Work

A remote work policy should clearly outline availability expectations. One of the disadvantages of working remotely is that employees are in various locations. This sometimes makes it difficult to have spontaneous meetings or pop by someone’s desk for a quick meeting or chat about business. A solution for this may be to incorporate schedule requirements including structured, periodic check-in times with employees. While there has been much written recently about the value of flexibility for employees who can have greater control over their schedules while working remotely, it may still be necessary to set parameters for hours of work and set rules for overtime. So, regardless of the flexibility of work schedules, the employer may want to set expectations for employees to be accessible during particular hours and to be available to respond promptly to any time-sensitive calls, emails, or other communications from the organization’s clients or other third parties critical to the organization’s purposes.

Physical Environment

If there is a preference for a physical working environment for your employees, outline these expectations in your policy. Ensure your employees know what the requirements are for a physical working environment whether it be in the employee’s home or alternative location. If necessary, the employer may require employees to provide addresses and locations from which they are working remotely and update these when necessary. Employers may wish to establish expectations for dependent care arrangements and personal responsibilities to ensure that employees are able to meet their job responsibilities without interruption or distraction.

Security

Security is a big concern with remote work. Your remote work policy should outline the importance of protecting confidential information in remote work settings. Your policy should set guidelines for working remotely to secure records and prevent unauthorized disclosure of confidential business information.

Employers should consider the processes for storing business documents, especially sensitive and/or highly confidential files, on the organization’s secure servers and not on the employee’s remote hard drives.

Your organization might consider specific policies mandating secure internet connections or virtual private networks with a strict exclusion of public wi-fi. And there should be a policy and process for reporting a security breach if the employee has any reason to believe that business information has been accessed by any unauthorized person(s).

And, of course, if budgets permit, it may be prudent to provide remote-work employees with secure computers and other hardware, owned by the organization. Related policies could then restrict the processing or storage of any of the organization’s information on the employee’s personal equipment.

This is a two-part conversation, so watch next week for Part 2 of our article, where we’ll cover, Client Confidentiality and Health & Safety considerations. 

————-

Through our collaborative approaches, innovative HR products and customized advisory solutions we impact four leadership priorities: managing risk, driving productivity, strengthening talent capabilities and supporting your bottom line.

By Adrian Johnson, ASSOCIUM Consultants

Let’s connect to find out how ASSOCIUM Consultants can help your organization.

 

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Spotlight on the DEI Journey

Predictive Success Webinar Series

Many business leaders are grappling with where to start their Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Journey – there’s work to be done!

Organizations like the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) have learned that transformative change starts from the inside, out.

What does change look like in a time when so many organizations continue to face capacity issues?

What role does your Board of Directors need to play to wake and shake up the sleeping giant?

What are some of the courageous steps that you’ll need to take to lead the journey through uncharted territory?

Join us for Spotlight on the DEI Journey with Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, where we’ll uncover answers to these and other questions.

Learn more and register

Spotlight on the DEI Journey Webinar Flyer Final

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Find your Dream Employee in 2022

Your next hire, on us.

Find your Dream Employee in 2022 with The Predictive Index® – New Talent Optimization Software from Predictive Success

See the power of predictive analytics in hiring a perfect fit. Your all star candidate is in the driver’s seat. Seize the opportunity by offering them the perfect job fit, backed by scientific data.

This Complementary Offer is Valid for muniSERV Members: One free job model and five free PI Behavioural Assessments® for your top candidates. 

To redeem: Contact Mitch LePage, your Managing Principal with Predictive Success at [email protected] or (905) 430-9788 x110

See the full brochure on this special offer: MuniSERV Offer – Your Next Hire on Us with Predictive Success

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Tips to Run a Successful In-Person Meeting

Over the last two years, many of us had to learn how to connect differently than we were used to. Instead of putting on our best suit, we’re still in our jammies from the waist down. Instead of shaking hands we’re pushing unmute.

Slowly but surely, the world is beginning to open back up. Where it’s safe to do so, many meetings are returning to an in-person format. Since we’ve all become accustomed to doing things virtually, it may take a little time and effort to get back into the swing of the face-to-face meetings. Here are a few tips to help make your meetings run as smoothly as possible.

Set the Agenda:

Municipalities know this, but meetings always run more efficiently when there is an agenda to follow. Having a clear agenda helps set the expectations. If the conversation starts going off track, you can always point back to the agenda items to steer things in the right direction. Setting out estimated times each agenda item should take for discussion, will also help provide direction and keep folks on track.

Start on Time. End on Time.

While it may seem polite to wait for some late arrivals to join, there’s a bigger downside to holding off until everyone is in the room. First and foremost, this sets a bad precedent. Accommodating the latecomers shows the others that arrival times are lax. This can spiral out of control quickly. Secondly, the attendees who’ve prioritized arriving on time are now feeling frustrated that their time isn’t being seen as valuable.

Set Ground Rules:

Having a few basic ground rules around meeting etiquette can help provide great flow in your meeting. Some solid rules, or expectations, can be something simple like; participate, get focus, maintain momentum, and reach closure. If you list these rules at the top of your agenda, both new and returning attendees will understand the direction of the meeting.

End with an Action Plan:

We’ve all been in meetings where the conversation seems to go around in circles without resolving anything. It’s important to establish a plan of action for the agenda items that need follow-up. Assigning certain people to particular tasks and plotting out a course of accountability will ensure that your meetings have purpose and value to all of those involved. We’ve conducted meetings by video teleconference for so long, (and honestly, we’ve become pretty good at them), it will be an adjustment for everyone to start attending again in person. But a well-organized meeting, and Chairperson with good leadership skills, will get us all back
in the swing of things soon.

Oh, and one more thing – dig out that suit again. Things may have changed over the last couple of years, but it’s still not considered socially acceptable to wear pajama bottoms to an in-person meeting.

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The Value A Search Firm Provides Versus The Costs To A Municipality / Broader Public Sector Organization

Kartik Kumar

Kartik Kumar

National Practice Leader, Municipal Government and Broader Public Sectors.

When a Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization is looking to hire a new senior executive – they have two options. The first is to do the search themselves and take on the hiring and search process internally. The second is to partner with a specialized executive search firm that has a successful record and significant experience in placing senior level executives in their industry to manage the entire search process. 

Municipalities and Broader Public Sector organizations operate under very strict budgets and sometimes the cost of paying to work with an executive search firm can seem high. As a result, some organizations choose to take on a new senior management search themselves. While this may seem like a smart cost saving measure at the time, an organization can face serious legal issues, lost opportunity and lost time if they make a mis-hire and are unable to find the “right fit”. In full transparency, let’s take a look at the actual hard costs (in terms of time and resources) that a Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization will face and incur when taking on a new senior management search themselves without the help of an executive search firm. 

Phase I: Strategy Costs 

This entire executive search process will need to be owned and managed by a senior executive leader within the organization with the know-how “to manage a process such as this”. The Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization should be comfortable with the ethics of poaching and causing another Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization to lose a senior executive. Many organizations do not allow this type of activity amongst each other. However, using a third-party such as an executive search firm, allows this type of activity to take place without any conflicts or issues. Candidates would feel much more comfortable dealing with a search firm rather than dealing with a competing organization. Finding and placing a new leader within the organization is a very delicate and intensive process. Let’s say you are a senior executive at a Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization who will own this search process, and earn roughly ~$150,000 per year or ~$78.00 per hour. This will be our baseline for evaluating and calculating time in terms of cost to the Municipality.

Before you begin your executive search for a new senior executive, you will need to identify stakeholders, any technology required, construct a strategy, organize documents and create milestones for this entire process. This will need to be a few hours of meetings and time for all internal stakeholders that will be involved to align on this process. Let’s say for example it will take roughly 15 hours collectively (or ~$1,200) of the senior leadership team’s time to decide on a strategy and get the proper processes set in place and approved.

Once you have a strategy and plan in place, you will need to create a job profile including: a list of requirements, responsibilities, qualifications, skills and credentials required of a candidate to perform in the role. As you are looking for a high-performing senior executive, this position profile must be carefully crafted as the senior executive will be the next leader for your organization for years to come. Cost will vary significantly depending on the amount of time involved for multiple stakeholders in this process. 

Creating the job profile takes time, and the individuals that understand what is needed of a senior executive will need to collaborate within this part of the process. At this level, the senior leadership should be very involved in drafting and creating the position profile. Let’s say, for example, that four senior executives within the Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization will need to draft, review and approve the position profile spending about 10 hours of their time each on this profile totaling 40 hours or ~$3,200.

Total costs to your Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization at this point are: ~$4,400.00 

Phase II: Talent Acquisition Costs

When a Public Sector organization decides to take on a senior management search themselves – they assume the process is as simple as posting to a job board site and letting the resumes flood in. The search has to start somewhere, and this is the quickest way to build a talent pipeline when you do not have a network of talented professionals to choose from or contact.

This inbound recruiting method works well for staffing more junior level roles, but when it comes to senior leadership positions it is not ideal. Posting a job to a job board will attract only “Active” candidates. Active candidates are eagerly looking for a new opportunity or are currently unemployed. At the leadership level the “actively looking” talent pool yields a large volume of mediocre talent. More often than not, these candidates are in-process for other opportunities as well and have a relatively low commitment to your  organization or the position itself. There is no guarantee that the qualified candidates will flood in. In some cases, I have conducted searches where very few resumes responded to the posting. Most of our successful candidates are what we call “passive candidates.” These are candidates that are identified by reputation and directly sourced. Usually these candidates are not “actively looking” for a new role but open for opportunities to enhance their career. This a classic situation where direct poaching between organizations may be deemed unethical, however that is the business of an executive search firm. A professional executive search firm will do targeted research to determine who the most effective leaders are in this space and contact them directly. 

The average posting cost a public sector organization will assume for several job boards to generate a talent pipeline can be upwards of ~$5,000.

Let’s say for example, that you have posted your senior executive position to several job boards and received several applications and now it’s time to review. This stage of the process should typically be handled by a senior level leader who is capable of answering all relevant questions and has the expertise to communicate well with senior executives.,. In addition, you will need to build your own deep relationships with candidates throughout this entire journey ensuring that confidentiality is maintained at all times. If the word gets out there that a potential candidate is looking, it could potentially risk their current employment which could lead to legal action. Only you and other key stakeholders will understand what skills and leadership style will be a match for your organization. The time required to carefully sift through, organize and prioritize these  applications can take roughly 40 hours which can cost a Municipality ~$3,000.00 of your time. 

Total costs to your Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization at this point are: ~$12,400.00 

Phase III: Screening & Interviewing Costs

Next, you will need to screen via zoom or phone the top 20 candidates to begin the interview process. Let’s say that each initial candidate screening will take 1 hour per candidate and then some additional time to create the interview questions, draft and refine your feedback and notes, review resumes again and notify the bottom candidates that they will not be moving forward. This phase will cost the organization roughly 75 hours or ~$5,900.00 

After the top 10 candidates have been selected, a second round of initial interviews will need to be conducted to gain a firmer understanding of which candidates to present to leadership and the other key stakeholders as the top choices for the role. These interviews will be much more in-depth and should take longer than the initial screening interviews. In addition to longer interviews, candidates again will need to be measured and assessed after each interview. This stage of the process can take roughly 60 hours or a total of ~$4,700.00

Total costs to your Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization at this point are: ~$23,000.00 

Phase IV: Stakeholder Interviews & Final Assessments Costs

Once the top candidates have been screened, and put through an initial round of interviews – they will need to speak and interview with other senior leaders and stakeholders within the Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization. There will need to be at least 2 rounds of interviews between the senior leadership team and these top candidates. One of these interviews may be a panel interview with multiple stakeholders (3 for example) participating. After these interviews are conducted the team will need to come together to discuss their thoughts, notes and reactions to the candidates. This stage for one candidate can take up to 10 to 15 hours per candidate or ~$4,400.00

Now you must deliberate and choose to narrow it down to two finalist candidates. At this stage, some senior leadership stakeholders within the Municipality may want another round of interviews or have a candidate make a final presentation. In addition to these additional interviews or presentations, stakeholders will need to discuss and unanimously decide together on the best fit candidate. This can take roughly 15 hours total to complete and arrive at a selected finalist for a total cost of ~$1,200.  

Total costs to your Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization at this point are: ~$28,600.00 

Phase V: The Cost Of Making An Offer

At this phase, a verbal offer is made prior to drafting the official contract to be signed. This phase is relatively short, but sometimes negotiation and internal politics can extend this phase of the search considerably. Let’s say for example the candidate has decided to negotiate a few things into their contract which will require legal and HR to revise several drafts and receive approval each time. This stage can be outsourced or take roughly 10 hours of legal and HR’s time or ~$1,000

If the candidate accepts you will choose a start date which will be several weeks away. At this stage you have invested nearly ~$30,000 in your time to find a new senior executive. This time is in addition to your regular responsibilities and commitments in your everyday role. 

Hidden Costs And Outcomes: 

There are many variables that can happen during the executive search process such as your finalist candidate accepting another offer at a different organization. If this happens you will need to repeat some of Phase IV and consider those added time costs. 

More often than not when a senior management search is conducted by a Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization internally without the help of an executive search firm, the selected candidate is not a good fit, which results in a mis-hire several months later. As a result, this candidate needs to be replaced, but since too much time has passed from your initial interactions with all candidates when beginning your search, you will need to restart at Phase III again and revisit the entire search process. This can add an additional ~$15,000 to your original time spent and bring your total internal time costs up to ~$45,000 to find a replacement candidate for the position. 

The Cost Of Working With An Executive Search Firm.

Senior executives are key hires to your leadership team and your organization. They have a significant impact on the future of your community and organization and a controlling stake in that future for years to come. A miss-step by taking on a search yourself and hiring the wrong candidate can have monumental consequences and set a Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization back in many ways. When looking at the total internal costs associated with finding, interviewing and hiring the best senior executive, a Municipality / Broader Public Sector organization can save significant time, risk and money by partnering directly with an executive search firm to manage and run this entire process. 

Typically, the search fee itself will be lower than the cost in time and resources that the organization will spend doing a search themselves, and a search consultant will be able to serve as a trusted advisor throughout this entire process. In summary, here are some things to consider when debating the value of working with an executive search firm:

  1. By posting and praying, you have no control over whether a good candidate will respond. If they don’t respond, what are you going to do? 
  2. If the hired candidate leaves or is released or terminated, you are back to square one and must restart this entire process. With a search firm there is no additional cost as it is covered under a replacement guarantee. 
  3. A credible search firm does research into your industry and assesses its network to identify who the key players are, and proactively reaches out to them to determine interest. Most of our successful hires have been people in this category that would have not considered the opportunity otherwise.

About The Author

Kartik Kumar is a Partner at Legacy Executive Search Partners and has over 15 years experience in successfully executing 250 projects within the Public and Private Sector, including Municipal Government and Public Libraries. Kartik has a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Ryerson University and an accredited certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

Prior to joining Legacy Executive Search Partners, Kartik has held several Managing Director roles within large national and international executive search firms. He has successfully developed an executive search practice across Ontario and Canada within Municipal Government and the Broader Public Sector.

Contact Kartik to learn more ([email protected]) about Senior Leadership Recruitment within the Public Sector across Canada.

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Finding Diversity, Inclusion & Equity in Municipal Government and Public Sector Organizations in Canada

 

Kartik KumarKartik Kumar, National Practice Leader, Municipal Government and Broader Public Sectors.

 

Diversity and Inclusion has been a common discussion point for many Municipalities and Broader Public Sector organizations over the last several years in Canada. As communities and populations begin to shift to become more inclusive and diverse, meeting these changing societal values and demographics will require fresh perspectives and representation at the leadership level within Municipalities and other Public sector organizations.

Oftentimes innovative leadership qualities are found within diversity candidates that can challenge the status quo to effectively impact change across a community. Typically, diversity candidates have experienced and mitigated a lifetime of adversity and obstacles. These experiences, both professionally and personally, foster new ideas, creative thinking, innovation, agility and influence. However, when it comes to appointing diversity candidates to positions of leadership, Municipalities and other organizations within the Public Sector face a number of challenges including:

●  Finding Passive Diversity Talent

●  Diversity Leadership Driven By Representation

●  Benchmarking Diversity Candidates Against Competencies and Skills

●  Creating An Inclusive Culture To Drive Performance

Finding Passive Diversity Talent

Many Municipalities and organizations see the value that diversity can bring to their leadership teams but don’t know where to start their search for this elusive talent. For many years, organizations and Municipalities unknowingly created a culture of homogeneity thus shrinking their own internal talent pipelines as a source for diversity talent. Instead, Public and Private Sector organizations must partner with external experts, such as an executive search consultant, to assist in the identification, appointment and presentation of the most qualified and capable diversity candidates for a role.

Diversity Mandates Driven Representation

One element of diversity that some organizations fall victim to is the necessity to hire a diversity candidate as a response to societal pressure. I’ve worked with many clients in my career as an executive search consultant, that believe that hiring a diversity candidate that can provide the best value to a community is the simple concept of representation.

When I work with Municipalities, Public Libraries and other Public Sector organizations – I advise Councillors, Board members and other stakeholders and selection/recruitment committees to consider three things:

  1. The benefits that diversity can bring to their communities/ organizations.
  2. Require a diverse slate of candidates.
  3. Examine diversity within the community/ organization and population to help clarify and define the best fit of diversity for a leadership role.

Benchmarking Diversity Candidates Against Competencies and Skills

Sometimes the personification and perception of diversity by selection/recruitment committees may not always align with the true values and representation of the communities they will be serving. As a best practice, a diversity candidate should be representative of the larger community in which they will serve, while also maintaining the leadership attributes required by the role.

In addition, Municipalities and Public Sector organization’s selection/recruitment committees must carefully examine what key competencies and skills the role requires. Sometimes the benchmark diversity candidate that a search committee thinks they need, does not always align with the skills and core competencies demanded by the role itself. The best fit diversity candidate is a well-rounded individual that is able to meet both the requirements for the role as well as represent the larger community/ organization.

Creating An Inclusive Culture To Drive Performance

The other caveat that Municipalities and Leadership within the Public Sector overlook when hiring a diversity candidate is inclusivity training and acceptance of new and different perspectives for other senior leaders. Inclusivity programs allow for the broader leadership team to adopt and best leverage new perspectives gleaned by diversity candidates in powerful ways. By elevating cultural sensitivities and awareness to the existing senior leadership team and creating a more inclusive culture, senior leaders can learn how to better collaborate, break through unconscious bias and support one another.

As a result, this awareness and approach to inclusivity will increase collaboration. This culture reshaping will then trickle down through the wider teams and produce better results. As this cultural shift slowly takes place, success can be measured by performance and the attraction of other diversity candidates to the talent pipeline.

About The Author.

Kartik Kumar is a Partner at Legacy Executive Search Partners and has over 15 years experience in successfully executing 250 projects within the Public and Private Sector, including Municipal Government and Public Libraries. Kartik has a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Ryerson University and an accredited certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

Prior to joining Legacy Executive Search Partners, Kartik has held several Managing Director roles within large national and international executive search firms. He has successfully developed an executive search practice across Ontario and Canada within Municipal Government and the Broader Public Sector.

Contact Kartik to learn more ([email protected]) about Senior Leadership Recruitment within the Public Sector across Canada.

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How To Find Executive Level Talent For Canada’s Municipalities And Broader Public Sector Organizations

How To Find Executive Level Talent For Canada’s Municipalities And Broader Public Sector Organizations

Some thoughts from a search expert in these fields.

In my last article, we discussed the leadership qualities and traits that will be required to transition Canada’s Municipalities and the general Public Sector into a post-pandemic reality. As the pandemic recovery slowly makes its way through the economy in Canada and abroad, industries will begin to bounce back, becoming more resilient, agile and innovative under new leadership. As a result, an increase in hiring has surged through the workforce and is transforming the talent landscape from a “War for Talent” to include a “Race For Talent”. So what is the best way that Councils’ and Boards’ in the Public Sector can reach, engage and attract the best talent to lead the recovery. 

More often than not Municipal Councils’, Boards’ and Senior Management Teams within the Public Sector will approach the recruitment of a Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Director or other C-level senior executive similarly to that of a mid-level manager. When taking this effort on themselves, they will post the job description, gather resumes, interview candidates and make a final selection. This approach to running a senior level search internally is compromised for many reasons including:

  • There is limited access to qualified leaders beyond your team’s immediate networks.
  • A lot of potential candidates are not “actively looking,” are “selective” regarding their career moves and would not apply for the role concerned about a breach of confidentiality. Dealing with a search consultant, before they commit, makes it easier for these candidates to feel comfortable and seek more details about the opportunity.

Countless times I have seen Municipalities and other Public Sector organizations attempt to take on the hiring for a senior executive leader internally, and end up coming to us eventually for help in managing the search process.

In order to avoid this initial waste of resources, time, finances and frustration, I’ve created a guide for how Municipal Councils’, Board’s and Senior Management teams in Canada can partner and work with an external executive search firm for finding and appointing the best leaders for their organizations and communities.

Step 1: What Is Their Specialization? Success In Finding And Placing Right Fit Candidates Who Can Make A Difference

Firstly, you will need to identify the best search firm to partner with. This will include a close examination of several key areas including the types of executives they have placed, other clients they have worked with in the past (are these past clients similar to you and your needs) and a list of recent or past searches. For example, I specialize in placing Chief Administrative Officers’, Chief Executive Officers’, Commissioners’ and Directors’ for Municipalities, Public Sector organizations and Libraries across Canada. To quickly gather this information, review a search firm’s website. If you are still unclear of their specialization and methods you can dive deeper into their thought leadership that they have published. Look for regular postings of thought leadership articles and content about your industry and ask yourself if these articles provide deeper insights than others you have come across or reveal perspectives that you may not have considered. A truly experienced search consultant should be able to demonstrate and provide value to their wider networks in addition to their immediate clients.

Successful search consultants that exceed client expectations, will also see a high rate of repeat and referral business – it is important to understand what percentage of a search firm’s business is repeat or referral business versus new business. The higher the repeat / referral rate – the better the relationship a search consultant will have with their clients. I am grateful to have a very high rate of repeat / referral business. 

The final consideration for identifying specialization within a search firm when working in the Public Sector, is to confirm that a search firm or search consultant is a trusted partner and vetted provider with prior experience working with Municipalities and Public Sector organizations. A search firm that has been through this rigorous process of verification, certification, approval and documentation, will be accustomed to these requirements and this process. Having this awareness and experience will save you time and resources when looking for an external search firm to partner with.

Step 2: Why Partner with A Search Firm Instead Of Doing It Yourself?

Aside from the downsides to doing it yourself that I mentioned earlier, there are a number of additional reasons why allowing a well respected third party to manage and run your executive search process will yield better results. In addition to unrivaled candidate access and relationships, a search consultant or search firm you partner with can:

  • Collectively gather information from internal stakeholders to create a summary of ideal core competencies, gain trust and build consensus.
  • Remain unbiased during the research, interviewing and decision-making processes.
  • Conduct interviews to provide a fair and objective process for everyone involved.
  • Assure that candidates have fair representation in the interview process.
  • Garner buy-in across multiple internal stakeholders.
  • Decrease the time to placement / hire by circumventing internal obstacles and politics. 

A search consultant should serve as a trusted advisor to both a client and a candidate. Having an objective perspective as a search consultant, they can lead the charge and the process and instill confidence and trust within the candidate. When a search is conducted internally – candidates often will not trust the process for any number of reasons and therefore lose interest, shrinking the available talent pool. This distrust can manifest from any number of prior experiences including:

  • Mistreatment in a prior internal interview process
  • Losing the role to an internal hire / promotion (for cost hiring purposes)
  • Mishired and not a good fit culturally. 

The candidate experience is becoming more and more critical to finding and attracting senior leadership talent within the Public Sector. A third party search consultant represents both the client to the candidate and vice versa and will have everyone’s best interests top of mind throughout the entire cycle. When candidates are not selected to move forward for any number of reasons, an expert search consultant will assure that the candidate’s experience remains positive by offering additional coaching, feedback, etc. This in turn creates a favorable impression by the candidate and maintains a Municipality’s or Public Sector organization’s reputation. 

Another reason why senior executive candidates do not apply directly to positions is the risk of exposure to their current company which can damage their reputation and career aspirations. As a search consultant, I make sure that the entire search process remains confidential and candidates are informed of their status in a timely and discrete manner – regardless of the outcome. 

Once your Search / Recruitment Committee has selected a search firm to appoint your next senior executive, it is imperative to understand the process of how you will work together with a search consultant. 

Step 3: Understanding The Executive Search Process. 

To set expectations, an executive search process for selecting a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) or a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will take roughly 6-8 weeks to complete. First, we interview Search / Recruitment Committees and the rest of Council / Board members to gain insight, get stakeholders actively involved and identify the core competencies (skills, traits, qualities) of the ideal candidate. When completed, this reveals the summary of the most important core competencies, which are then developed and approved by the Search / Recruitment committee and built into a position profile. 

Next, as a search consultant, we go to market to research, find, engage and source candidates that align with these competencies. Our team will often consult with my confidential advisory committee of current and past successful Municipal and Public Sector executives seeking potential referrals for candidates. Typically this initial research will yield approximately 80-100 candidates, who are then scored and ranked against the competency matrix through a round of initial interviews and either moved forward or withdrawn from the process. After this initial screening and research phase, I match the best candidates that align with both the required experience and core leadership skills, resulting in roughly 8-10 top candidates ready to be presented to the Search / Recruitment Committee. 

At this point, a truly experienced search consultant will continue to manage and facilitate the interview process between candidates and the search committee. By facilitating panel interviews as a moderator and coaching stakeholders on key questions to ask, a search consultant will make sure that the process remains fair and equitable. This also avoids any possibilities for potential conflict internally and eliminates favoritism and bias. 

We would then work with Search / Recruitment Committee stakeholders to build consensus of their top 3 candidate selections. Once further interviews are conducted and a finalist is chosen, we also recommend a unique psychometric assessment expert to conduct an independent assessment of the finalist candidate. I will conduct final reference, credential, criminal background and social media checks. An offer is then extended to the candidate who will then either negotiate or accept. 

The above process is an example of a typical search process that has been successful on many occasions in hiring senior executives, however each process is tailored to clients’ specific needs and agreed to in advance. We constantly strive to improve our processes and do so based on feedback from clients. 

It is our understanding that the average tenure for a Chief Administrative Officer / Chief Executive Officer in the Public Sector is roughly 3-5 years. If you have any questions regarding the Canadian marketplace or are considering a new executive hire to your leadership team, I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Below are a list of our current searches that we are working on:

Some of Our Past Successful Searches Include:

  • Chief Administrative Officer – City of Pickering
  • Chief Administrative Officer – City of St. Catharines
  • Chief Administrative Officer – Township of Uxbridge
  • Chief Administrative Officer – Town of Niagara – On – the Lake
  • Chief Administrative Officer – Region of Waterloo
  • Chief Executive Officer – Burlington Public Library
  • Chief Executive Officer – St. Catharines Public Library
  • Director, Economic Development Services – City of Oshawa
  • Director, Planning Services – City of Oshawa
  • Director, Transit Services – Region of Waterloo
  • Director of Municipal Works – City of Niagara Falls
  • Director of Operations and Environmental Services – Town of Ajax
  • Director of Communications – City of Cambridge
  • Director of Information Technology – Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)
  • Director of Finance – Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)
  • City Manager – City of Cambridge
  • Senior Manager, Economic Development – Town of Whitby

About The Author

Kartik Kumar is a Partner at Legacy Executive Search Partners and has over 15 years experience in successfully executing 250 projects within the Public and Private Sector industry segments, including Municipalities and other Broader Public Sector organizations. Kartik has a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Ryerson University and an accredited certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

Prior to joining Legacy Executive Search Partners, Kartik has held several Managing Director and Partner roles within large national and international executive search firms. He has successfully developed an executive search practice across Ontario and Canada within Municipal Government and the broader Public Sector.

Contact Kartik Kumar at [email protected] for Senior Leadership Recruitment within the Public Sector across Canada. 

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