February 2, 2016 / HR / Talent Management / Wisetalk

WiseTalk Summary on Managing for Disruption

On January 27, 2016, Sue hosted Ragini Parmar, VP of Talent Operations, at Credit Karma. Credit Karma has set out to disrupt consumer finance and as a disruptive business experiencing hyper growth, they consider their culture fundamental to their success. Credit Karma’s culture is not built around free lunches, but common principles that act as their compass, and is a foundation of how they want people to work together.

Scaling their culture is as important to Credit Karma as scaling their business, and to that end, Ragini talked about their collaborative hiring process. This innovative process helps them avoid bad hiring choices that could change the internal culture instantaneously. Ragini shared why their culture is key to their success, how they structure the interview and debrief process, and how they involve employees.

Favorite Quote:
“You have to trust that you have smart people at the table who are invested and want to make a difference. If you don’t trust that, then there’s probably something broken there.”

Insights:

  • Credit Karma’s disruption as a company is focused on recreating the finance industry around people. The company wants to put the credit industry into the hands of the people by giving them free and comprehensive access to their financial data and empowering them to manage personal finances and make financial decisions. Internally, they mirror this disruptive philosophy by placing all decisions around corporate culture in the hands of employees.
  • When asked how a culture built by employee-driven decisions is a disruptor in their industry, Ragini spoke about the importance of trusting the employees. Because Credit Karma is growing so fast, if hiring or retention decisions were left to top management , they might be disconnected from employees because there are so many new voices at the table. Ragini commented on the richness of qualitative data that employees can offer, which can be overlooked if decisions are made solely based on quantitative data. Because culture is an abstract concept, it can be hard to define culture fit, and finding that trust in employees can be hard. But, Ragini said at some point they had to trust their hiring practice, that they were bringing on the right people who have an innate responsibility to want to take care of the culture.
  • One way Credit Karma involves employees in the culture decisions is through a collaborative hiring process. The company currently has more than 100 people on their interview team; any of those people can get pulled to interview at different stages of the process, depending on their experience and the position. Each interviewer has a different responsibility and at the end of the interview process, a discussion brings together all the perspectives. They decided in the beginning that they would always be collaborative in their hiring decisions. Even if a hiring manager says they want someone on the team but the team members who were part of the interview process say no, they will not override this. The benefit is employees select who they want to work with, leading to an investment in that person’s growth with the company and better retention.

What we found most interesting:
When Sue asked how they balance finding people that fit the culture with diversity, Ragini said, “You have to trust the values you have (as a company). Our cultural values are our guiding compass. They tell us how we’re supposed to do the work, how to collaborate and how to get the work done in an efficient way, and keep us all moving in same direction. If you really believe and embody those values, then you’re looking for people who naturally would be able to step into Credit Karma and embody those values as well. They could come from all different types of experiences and walks of life. It’s really about looking at that.”

For more insights on Ragini’s chat, listen to the WiseTalk recording.

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January 1, 2016 / Book Reviews

Article Review | How to Build a Collaborative Hiring Process That Works

How to Build a Collaborative Hiring Process That Works
by Ragini Parmar

Head: (3 out of 5)
Heart: (3 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (4 out of 5)

Hyper growth can cause some companies to move quickly in the recruiting and hiring process to fill open positions, placing the established corporate culture at risk. But Credit Karma has figured out how to prioritize building their culture to scale.

The article, How to Build a Collaborative Hiring Process That Works, by Ragini Parmar, VP of Talent Operations at Credit Karma, explains some of the guiding principles that make their process effective at building company culture while bringing in the right talent. Deviating from traditional hiring methods, a collaborative hiring process means more than driving for consensus; it espouses appropriate involvement from employees as well as human resource and recruiting partners at each step of the way.

From how to structure and involve employees in the interview and debrief process to the treatment of cultural fit as an objective vs. subjective assessment, these guidelines offer insights into an innovative way to hire the right talent and scale company culture, while continuing to drive employee engagement. Read it now.

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November 30, 2015 / Book Reviews

eBook Review | How to Hire Contract Tech Talent

tech-talent-group-300x232How to Hire Contract Tech Talent
by Mark Mian, 10x Management

Head: (4 out of 5)
Heart: (2 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (4 out of 5)

In the war for talent, the complexity in sourcing and hiring top tech talent has risen. Top talent can seem elusive, adding time and financial resources to the hiring process. Instead of hiring permanent employees, many companies are taking advantage of the growing freelance economy to not only expand their tech talent options, but leverage the right experience and skills at the right time for their project. To fully realize the benefits of the freelance economy though, companies have to expertly navigate their various sourcing options while weighing the risks and costs associated with each. This comprehensive e-book can help.

How to Hire Contract Tech Talent, a free e-book offered by 10x Management, builds a business case for using freelance tech talent and outlines a helpful 6-step process to find, vet and hire top tech contract talent:

  • Plan: What do you need?
  • Discover: Find good candidates
  • Screen: Determine their value
  • Contract: Set expectations and negotiate price
  • Manage: Optimize the engagement
  • Evaluate: Assess the outcome

Each section of this e-book contains useful tips and outlines important considerations at each step. This guide will help leaders find the freelance tech talent they need and make the most of them to operate a leaner, smarter business. Download this handy guide now.

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November 25, 2015 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management

On “The Tech Talent Shortage Is a Lie”

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we hear a lot about the talent wars, particularly for top tech talent. Tech engineers are in such high demand, they can cherry pick the companies they want to work for and those companies will pay top dollar to hire them. But the author of this article – an engineer, founder and tech executive – believes we are missing the mark on this so-called talent war. Talented people are everywhere, he argues, but they need the right environment for nurturing. So what is this shortage really all about?

We share Baron Schwartz’s TechCrunch article, The Tech Talent Shortage Is a Lie, because he offers an alternative perspective on the war for talent: the shortage isn’t about talent but about companies willing to change the conversation by investing in talented people. Check it out.

What is your company doing to create a culture that nurtures talent?

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October 30, 2015 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management

On “CIOs Get Creative to Fnd Top Tech Talent”

Much has been written about the war for talent in Silicon Valley, and we often hear some of the downstream effects this has as we work with our clients: product launch dates sometimes in jeopardy, employees overloaded with work, and leaders spending more and more of their time recruiting. With the demand for tech talent at an all time high, recruiting techniques that worked in the past are likely not good enough today. CIOs not only need to find creative ways to source the right candidates, but ensure a good culture fit, and this takes time and extra due diligence. That’s why we share this article.

The CIO.com article, CIOs Get Creative to Find Top Tech Talent, highlights some creative ways CIOs today are disrupting traditional talent sourcing and hiring methods to search for, vet and interview talent for the right culture fit.

What are some creative ways your CIO searches for and hires the right tech talent?

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October 8, 2015 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management

On “A hiring manager shares HR’s common hiring secrets”

Because recruiting and vetting top talent is a high priority in Silicon Valley, this article struck us as interesting to share. Some HR professionals vet candidates in ways that fall outside a company’s standard recruiting and hiring procedures.

In the Fast Company article, A Hiring Manager Shares HR’s Common Hiring Secrets, by Christine Diodonato and Marianne Hayes, learn some common (but not always compliant) ways HR can go about vetting potential employees, to ensure a cultural fit with the company and the demands of the open position.

What are some unique ways your HR team tries to ensure a potential candidate is a good fit?

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October 2, 2015 / Press Releases

Mariposa Leadership, Inc. Hosts an Executive Onboarding Expert and Author, George Bradt

George Bradt, co-author of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan, and an executive onboarding and transition acceleration expert, to be interviewed by Sue Bethanis, CEO/Founder of Mariposa Leadership, on the popular Wise Talk Leadership Forum for executives on October 22, 2015.

October 1, 2015 | SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Mariposa Leadership, Inc. is pleased to announce that George Bradt, an executive talent onboarding expert and co-author of the book, The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan, will be a guest on Wise Talk, a popular monthly leadership forum for technology executives, on Thursday, October 22 at 3pm PT/6pm ET. In an interview with Sue Bethanis, CEO/Founder of Mariposa Leadership, George will share insights on how successful executives plan for their first day on the job, the information they gather as early as the interview process, and how they use that knowledge to craft a message, build a team, and deliver quick wins.

Download PDF

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September 10, 2015 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management

On “How to use culture interviews to build a better team”

Hiring can be a risky process for all companies. Good hires contribute positively to company goals and company culture, but bad hires are costly and disruptive to team dynamics. For startups, finding potential employees with the right mix of experience, skills and culture fit is becoming the norm. Company culture is a key determinant of startup success or failure, so many are placing an emphasis on culture in the interview process. This is one approach we think many companies will benefit from knowing about, as the process does more than uncover the person behind the resume  – it can contribute to trust and employee engagement as well.

In the CIO.com article, “How to use culture interviews to build a better team”, by Sharon Florentine, learn how some companies go beyond behavioral interviewing to emphasize company culture in their interview process. The article outlines tips as well as pitfalls.

What techniques do you use to assess cultural fit of potential employees?

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July 31, 2015 / Book Reviews

Book Review | Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization

51JqFWSwmxL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
By Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright

Heart: (5 out of 5)
Head: (4 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (5 out of 5)

Human beings naturally form tribes, even within companies. Tribes are how work gets done. The relationship between tribes and their leaders lies at the heart of performance. Leaders who are successful at developing tribal culture are rewarded with recognition of the leader, tribe loyalty and high performance. It’s no surprise then that companies with successful tribal leaders tend to attract and retain top talent.

This book explains the five tribal stages and the culture of each, so that leaders can learn how to identify the stage of their tribes and take action to lead them through to the next level. Leverage points are included to help leaders unstick groups at each stage and coaching tips help them accomplish their goals.

Though backed by research into 24,000 people in 24 organizations, readers will not find a statistical read but a people book, with faces and stories showcasing principles backed by research and practical experience.

At a time in which many companies are engaged in a war for talent, developing the leadership ability to identify and up-level tribal culture for maximum productivity should be a strategic talent imperative. This is a unique business management book that leaders will want in their personal toolkit. Buy it now.

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June 29, 2015 / Articles We Like / Leadership

On “The Top Complaints from Employees About Their Leaders”

Trust is a key ingredient for creating an engaged and productive workforce. Yet competing priorities, daily pressures and sometimes a lack of self-awareness can get in the way of effective communication and leadership. When we read the survey results in this article, the list of complaints employees have about their leaders seemed all too familiar to us as executive coaches. But by bringing awareness to the power of meaningful connection with employees, we know leaders can make a huge impact on productivity in the workplace.

We share the Harvard Business Review article, “The Top Complaints from Employees About Their Leaders“, by Lou Solomon, to help raise awareness of your communication and connection with employees. Try implementing the suggestions to build more trust!

Tell us: What communication practices do you find most effective for connecting with your employees?

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