From the Editors

By Desda Moss; Adrienne Fox Apr 1, 2007

Finding and keeping talent; women in HR

The Ties that Bind

Finding talent isn’t easy. That’s why when you find it, you don’t want to let it slip away. In this month’s Employment & Staffing Special Report, you’ll read about the lengths to which some employers are going to attract—and keep—great talent.

Our first story, “Stocking Your Talent Pool,” focuses on employers that are improving the quality and quantity of prospective new hires by making sure that when the business encounters someone who could be a hot prospect, the organization keeps the relationship “warm” until an offer can be made.

For some employers, effective recruiting involves looking at customers in a whole new light—by seeing them as potential hires. One reason customers often make good employees is because they already know, and value, the company’s products and services. Our second story, “Customers as Employees,” shows how tactics as simple as posting signs touting the benefits of employment, or including a message on receipts encouraging customers to apply, can lead you to the perfect hire.

Other organizations place a high value on hiring part-time workers. Part-time employees are an important part of the business plan at Digital Federal Credit Union, for example, because they allow the organization to better serve its customers—particularly during periods of high demand. With government statistics showing that the number of part-time employees in the United States is growing, it might be a good time for your HR department to think about how to tap this valuable resource. Learn more by reading “Committing to Part-Timers”.

Of course, in all these cases, HR plays a huge role in executing staffing strategies that keep businesses humming and talent streaming in the door.

—Desda Moss

Go Your Own Way

If you look at numbers alone, you would think not much has changed for women at the top echelons of HR. Statistics show the ratio of female H​R executives is virtually unchanged from a decade ago when many had expressed high hopes for the future of female HR leaders.

But, as statisticians and journalists know, numbers alone don’t tell the full story. Women in HR are making progress but at their own pace and on their own terms.

Some HR women happily make a difference in the managerial ranks without a desire to reach the very top. Others scale the ladder the way men do but make some sacrifices along the way in their life choices. Still others decide to have it both ways—just not at the same time. First, they have the career, then they opt out for personal reasons, and then they come back to resume their profession.

In this month’s cover story, senior writer Ann Pomeroy interviewed women who rose to the top through these and other ways. They had the following advice for other women who wanted to reach the top:

  • Find a progressive company. Find companies that have progressive flextime options and leadership programs for women. Also look for evidence of their success in the representation of women at the top.
  • Seek out a mentor. Whether they are male or female, in your industry or in another, top HR executives credit having a mentor for helping them reach their goal.
  • Consider other moves. If you believe you need experience in another function or another industry that requires a lateral move, take it if it will pay off in the long term.
  • If you opt out, stay in touch. If you decide to jump off the corporate track to raise your children or to pursue another interest, stay connected to the profession by consulting part time or attending industry meetings and conferences.

Turn to “Peak Performances” to find out how female HR leaders found their route to the top. ​

—Adrienne Fox

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