Mary Sue McClintock

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Renewed Focus in Canadian Market

Posted by Mary Sue McClintock on Wed, Sep, 14, 2016 @ 16:09 PM

 pexels-photo-143714.jpeg

Over the past several months we have witnessed a substantial increase in the number of partner opportunities coming from the Canadian market. This heightened level of activity has brought about a great deal of excitement and renewed interest, prompting us to intensify our focus and align dedicated resources to help our Canadian Sage partner community continue to grow. This really comes as no surprise, as we have seen a major upswing in the number of recruiting and training management deals across other regions in North America. These opportunities are being uncovered because of an increased need for recruiting (Cyber Recruiter) and training management (Cyber Train) technology solutions that simplify and eliminate the ongoing inefficiencies plaguing talent management processes across organizations of all industries and sizes.

Several of our partners in Canada have recognized and embraced this as a prime opportunity to deliver huge value to existing clients and prospects. They are approaching leaders and knowledge workers in Human Resources to discuss challenges they are facing related to managing the recruiting and training process. Our more proactive partners no longer see these processes as an afterthought or add-on sales opportunity. Due to the significant growth potential that exists, these partners are intensely focused on leading with Cyber Recruiter and Cyber Train as part of their solution portfolio, which are Sage HRMS Endorsed solutions.

Don’t worry if recruiting and training management has not been a primary focus, as there are an abundance of opportunities in the Canadian marketplace to go after! We need more proactive partners asking questions early in their conversations with customers and prospects to identify and uncover these needs. The good thing is you are not alone in this. We have dedicated resources here at Visibility Software and of course through Sage to help.

In fact, Deana Dearry of Sage North America and her team regularly champion Visibility Software, and has been a great asset to have on our side. 

“Knowing I can rely on the Visibility team to swoop in and empower us with their high-level of expertise and  “can do” spirit is such a great asset for our customers and partners – especially since so many of us just aren’t that familiar with all the intricacies of Recruiting/Applicant Tracking and Learning Management! It’s a relief to know when our customers ask the questions, we’ll seem like experts with all the answers thanks to Mary Sue and her colleagues”, said Deana.

Mary Sue McClintock plays a very active role in managing the Canadian territory here at Visibility Software, and prides herself in developing relationships and helping her business partners succeed. As a dedicated resource, Mary Sue helps partners build out an active strategy plan, and is available to help train on how to ask the proper questions that will uncover needs, assist in responding to RFPs, provide product demos, and help you leverage our many marketing resources (whitepapers, email content, product overview collateral, infographics, videos, blog articles).  One partner example, Amanda Scott from The Answer Company, involves Mary Sue on just about every step of a new deal from registering the opportunity and all the stages in-between right through close.

We are excited to about the intensive renewed activity in the Canadian market, and are very excited for the many opportunities to come.  If you need additional information on how Cyber Recruiter and Cyber Train are solving recruiting and training management challenges, don’t hesitate to connect with Mary Sue (click here to send her a message). She is ready to support you and your team with everything you need to provide solutions for your customers, close more deals and generate more revenue. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Tags: cyber recruiter, cyber train, sage hrms, canada, sage partner, customer solutions

6 WAYS to Develop a Mentorship-Style Training Program

Posted by Mary Sue McClintock on Wed, Mar, 11, 2015 @ 09:03 AM

Our recent article, “6 Reasons to Develop a Mentorship-Style Training Program” examines the various benefits for employers and employees to create an effective training program designed for mentors and mentees. Employers benefit greatly by implementing this style of learning and development, especially when it comes to building an employer brand that fosters loyalty. More than 70% of Fortune 500 companies have official mentor programs, and with results like increased retention rates, meeting diversity initiatives and increased employee engagement; it just makes sense.

Mentorship 

The benefits don’t just stop at the employers, but they stem throughout the entire organization and positively affect employees too. Not only do mentor programs build lasting relationships with leadership, but they provide opportunities for professional advancement, as well. The rewards of this type of training program are evident, but earning those rewards requires a little work. Or maybe, it requires no work at all. Here’s a great point: 

“A lot of companies’ structured mentoring programs have failed as they have tried to put structure to something that is basically a relationship.” - Jeanne Meister (@jcmeister), Author of The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today 

Unlike any other organizational program, the mentorship program is more likely to fail if it’s structured. You simply can’t spoon feed a mentor-mentee working relationship. However, you can put in place these 6 organizational initiatives:

1. Job Shadow

“Spending a day in the life of someone in a different department can change the way you approach every aspect of your job.” - Lisa Evans, (@WriteLisaEvans)

For new hires, spending time in a different department may be getting ahead of yourself, but spending time with someone in their department should become a major part of the onboarding process.

Work4, a social recruiting platform, founded an inter-department employee exchange program called “Live My Life” which allows employees to spend a day in the life (at work) as one of their coworkers. See how this program has been a success with approximately 75% of interns (which are generally new hires) have participated.

2. Get Out and Network Together

As a mentor, it’s one thing to provide contacts to your mentee. Introing them to a sales rep that you’ve worked with in the past, or giving them the contact info for the IT department are great first steps. However, networking needs to happen externally as well. Invite your mentee to attend a conference with you, a business lunch meeting or any professional networking event. 

3. Discuss Interpersonal Skills

This one is often overlooked, yet extremely important. Every person works differently depending on their environment and the people they are working with. Sit down with your mentee and find out what makes them tick. What are their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to working with others? Obviously, after finding out this pertinent information you aren’t going to advise them to avoid so and so. However, you can direct them towards other coworkers that you think will be valuable to their training.  

4. Volunteer Together

Does your organization have any charities they partner with? Is there a charity that is related to your organization’s mission or industry related? This is a great opportunity to break away from the structured mentorship program and do something a little different. Volunteering is a great way to build a bond and an opportunity to get to know each other better.

5. Cross-Lead

KMPG, a global professional services company, started a mentorship program called “Leaders Engaging Leaders” to diversify and grow its group of managers. This cross-mentorship program is definitely something that other organizations need to consider including in their current programs. The results of this program have been successful in that more leaders are taking on higher-level leadership roles. A study found that mentors in an employee mentoring program were promoted 6 times more often than those not in the program. Mentees in the program were found to be promoted 5 times more often than those not in the program. What does this mean for a cross-mentoring program? Everyone is getting promoted! 

Tweet This: Mentors in a mentorship program are 6 times more likely to be promoted.

6. Consider a Reverse-Mentorship Program

As baby boomers are set to retire and leave the workforce, Millennials are taking over with a nationwide attrition rate of 15%. The changing workforce highlights the need for a reverse-mentoring program in many organizations. Step out of the typical top-down mentor program and switch up the roles. Higher ups can learn from new employees too, and in turn it may teach the new hires a little more about themselves.

80% of learning is informal

Therefore, this fact should be used as a basis for your employee mentorship training program. Mentoring empowers employees and new hires to learn and develop in ways that complement your already established training program.

Cyber Train Demo

Tags: cyber train, training, Employee Training

What Are Good Communication Skills and Why Do We Need Them?

Posted by Mary Sue McClintock on Thu, Jan, 08, 2015 @ 09:01 AM

Recruiters and job seekers alike see the words “Communication skills” plastered on just about every job ad they read or write, and with good reason. It’s cited as the #1 desired soft skill among employers in a recent survey by the NACE. Everyone wants an employee that can communicate well in the workplace. But what does “communicating well” really mean?

Communication-Skills

Speaking Well

Online course-taking website Udemy’s blog offers a good rundown of what communication skills employers find most valuable.  They include:

  • Listening - using active listening to better understand what someone else is saying
  • Empathy - being aware of the needs of others through what they say to you
  • Patience - not losing your cool the second you send an email and don’t get a reply
  • Clarity - making sure your message gets across the first time
  • Honesty - be honest about your expectations of someone what they should expect from you
  • Self-improvement - being able to properly take criticism
  • Positive attitude - letting other people feed off your positive energy

We need to also consider body language, since it can often dominate a conversation more than our tone or words. Making sincere eye contact, dressing well, and having good posture can make the difference when asking for a raise, making a pitch, or working with a client, and employees aren’t getting a handle on it either.

Employers look for these skills because they can’t be easily taught in the workplace. The qualities that make up communication skills might seem simple to learn, but employers don’t see them in the workforce as much as they’d like to: 60% of employers noted in a recent survey that many applicants lack the communication and interpersonal skills needed to thrive in the workplace, and 44% noted in another survey that those same skills are the biggest skill gap they want to close. 

 

Tweet This: 60% of employers say many applicants lack the communication skills needed to thrive in the workplace.

 

Communication skills are valuable, employers know that, and not enough candidates have them. But why are they so important? 

The Importance of Communication 

Communication is vital to getting work done in any field, and employees are recognizing this as well. Of the people who’ve identified their workplace as a bad place for communication, 34% of them have cited communication as a bottleneck for productivity. 30% say that they don’t have the information necessary to perform their job as best as they can. 86% say a lack of communication leads to project failure. If your workplace doesn’t have enough people who recognize the value of communication, chances are they won’t be able to disseminate the right information to the people who need it on time, leading to people waiting on emails and time wasted on employees answering follow-up questions.

 

Tweet This: 86% of employees say a lack of communication leads to project failure.

 

It’s a problem that not’s going away, but not many employers are doing much about it besides actively looking for those skills when they hire. Only 27% of employees get communication training once they’re on board, and as few of them are confident about their ability to communicate in the workplace. It gets worse: only 18% of employees get evaluated for their communication skills during performance reviews. Employers clearly think communication skills are important to working in their offices, but they’re not affirming or reversing their first impressions of a candidate as much as they should. 

 

Tweet This: Only 18% of employees get evaluated for their communication skills during performance reviews.

 

Implementing communication skills training is more than just a small-scale solution. 60% of employers who train employees in People Management Practices (PMP) see a positive ROI within three years. Even executives looking at landing jobs need to evaluate their communication skills.

Share on LinkedIn: "I like to ask people what they’ve read, what are the last three or four books they’ve read, and what did they enjoy about those. And to really understand them as individuals because, you know . . . you have to probe a little bit deeper into the human intangibles, because we’ve all seen many instances where people had perfect résumés, but weren’t effective in an organization.” — Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Airlines (@Delta)

So we know that communication skills are, why employers value them, why employees need them, and have identified the problems they both have in learning, teaching, and developing them.

What’s the best way to find communicative clients and train the ones you have? 

See-Our-Solutions

 

 

Tags: Communication Skills

3 Tips for Great Software Implementations from #DTHR

Posted by Mary Sue McClintock on Tue, Dec, 16, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

In case you missed it, our very own CEO, Sean Pomeroy, was recently on the DriveThru HR podcast, where he covered a number of interesting topics regarding HR technology with hosts Bryan WempenNisha Raghavan and William Tincup including the false promise that alluring technology can often make, how to create team chemistry beyond technology, and the desire to get his open weekends back after having kids. But what we really loved was how he gave simple, smart tips about great software implementations (after all, that’s what we do).

Vintage-Car

 

1. Don’t Fall for the New and Shiny

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the show was people need to begin stepping away from the idea that a piece of technology alone will solve a problem, and that once they have the latest and greatest in whatever process they’re trying to optimize, the solutions will quickly arise. Your search should begin with a solution to a problem and how technology can help fix that, not what new piece of tech you can use.

Share on LinkedIn"I remember someone telling me one time, ’nobody buys a drill because they want a drill. Nobody says gosh, I want the best drill ever! They buy a drill because they want a hole.’" - Sean Pomeroy, (@Sean_Pomeroy)

 

2. Don’t Always Aim For Perfection 

One of the biggest issues the hosts cited when a group begins using a new technology is having to repeat part of the process after the company has become more well-acquainted with the tools. The core of the problem is communication, and neither the client nor the vendor are really at fault. Clients don’t always begin a project with a perfect strategy and can lose sight of the goal after seeing the bells and whistles. Better best practices brief, asking questions about what the client wished they had. The goal of perfection can interfere with the actual task.

Share on LinkedIn: “We’re getting ready to record a video library. We already have a lot of our items… and instead of trying to get everything perfect... I’m having my team try to have more fun with it. It’s okay if you cough in the middle, it’s okay if you have verbal slip here or there, or if something’s not perfect, and so I think these things help build a relationship between parties." - Sean Pomeroy, (@Sean_Pomeroy)

 

3. Establish a Human Relationship With Clients 

Vendors want to be considered collaborators, not just vendors. Can they ever become trusted advisors? According to Sean, they can. He looks at the process of a new hire as dating, and you have to give and take in a relationship. Visibility Software has what we call outbound tech support, where we ask a client if they have any questions about the software, or if anything’s bothering them. By letting the client know that the relationship works both ways, we're able to foster better relationships with our clients and earn their trust. Don’t just keep selling to them. Don’t confuse support with sales.

"As a software technology user, I get tired of having an account person call me every month, and I start to say I have problem — ‘oh, you can open a case, you can call, you can do that’ Then I get a new guy for the tools we’re using every six months and he says ‘oh, do you have twenty minutes to meet?’ and the first thing that he asks is 'how many more user seats do you need for this month, or this year?'” - Sean Pomeroy, (@Sean_Pomeroy)

 

Finally, the DTHR crew asked Sean where he thought HR technology would go in the next year. For us, it’s becoming apparent that LMS is up and coming, while ATS are already established. There’s also the historic battle between staffing ATS and ATS, which has now become a battle of auxiliary features. With more auxiliary technology, like posting and social media tools, cropping up everywhere, it’s becoming clear that these technologies don’t have core aspects of the trade like applicant or requisition management. The end result ATS will try to implement the auxiliary features and the auxiliary features will try to build a proper ATS. More mergers, more consolidations, more acquisitions, more startups are a guarantee as well, which, in Sean’s mind, will make for a much more competitive and interesting field.

 

See-Our-Solutions

Tags: Best HR Software, best software service, best software, Sean Pomeroy, #DTHR

Gender Gaps in Workplace Mentor Programs

Posted by Mary Sue McClintock on Wed, Dec, 10, 2014 @ 09:12 AM

Gender GapIt’s rude to let someone walk around with a piece of spinach in their teeth from lunch, right? Well, there’s a piece of spinach in your training and mentorship program. Although there have been great advances in closing the gender gap, it’s still present in some aspects of the workplace. Mentoring programs are still affected by the gap.

Women hold the majority of entry-level positions at 53%. However when they begin to climb the leadership ladder, they leave management positions upon reaching higher rungs. Currently, women only make up 14.6% of senior management and vice president positions in Fortune 500 companies. This staunch difference between entry-level jobs and higher leadership could be attributed to the underrepresentation of women in mentorship programs

Gloria Larson, President of Bentley University, said:

“As women get close to attaining leadership positions, they need someone to turn to for help reaching that next step. One of the reasons so many women drop out of middle management positions is they don’t see other female staffers in similar jobs around them.”

According to a study by Bentley University, 55% of the women surveyed agreed that women-specific mentorship programs have the potential to help women succeed in higher corporate positions. Another 52% said that women-specific networking could help women flourish in the workplace. The Bentley University study also showed that 57% of recruiters believe women are better candidates to begin with, so how do they drop so far in numbers as they climb the corporate ladder?

What’s being done to close the gap

There is still a disparity in the proportion of men to women in tech fields. However, Facebook, Pinterest, and Box have initiated a program to increase mentorship programs for women in tech fields. The program is called WEST – Women Entering and Staying in Tech. Facebook said in a recent statement:

“Mentorship can be incredibly influential in a woman’s career, and we’re excited to be tackling this challenge together. We believe that by working together and providing more direct support, advocacy, and space for community development, we can create an impactful, scalable, one-on-one mentorship program to help women build and grow meaningful careers in tech.”

Men must play a part, too

“Every company wants to know how to find and keep highly talented women in the workplace.” – Marcus Buckingham, founder at TMBC

While women are a key role in developing a stronger female presence in any given mentoring program, men must play a key role as well. Even 37% of men agreed that male leadership could be an active part of a female mentorship program. The one-on-one mentorship programs like WEST are a start to the change. However incorporating men as mentors takes the process one step further.

Women’s rights and gender equity in the workplace advocates, like Bryan Pelley, note that a large issue with men’s roles in female mentorship is the male motivation for equality in the workplace. They choose to treat them the same – despite the fact they have different needs in the workplace – in an effort to not coddle very capable women. Pelley said:

“I’m comfortable with the idea that treating people ‘equally’ doesn’t actually mean treating people the same. You sometimes need to make adjustments to make sure people have an equal opportunity to succeed.”

Although there should be equal opportunities for success in the workplace, mentorship opportunities for men and women are not the same. Strides are being made towards mentorship equity. Better-suited and one-on-one mentorship programs targeted towards women could help to close the gap for women in tech fields. It could also close the gap between high-level positions between men and women. 

Because many organizations don’t have the same initiatives as WEST put in motion, there is a large difference in the number of men and women in managerial and senior levels. Change the underrepresentation of women in mentorship programs to see a higher number of women in high-level jobs.  

Tools like Visibility Software’s Cyber Train can get your company on the right path towards a better mentorship program. You can track training and manage program enrollments for the ease of tracking employee success. The automated approval streamlines the process, so there’s no need to wait on communication between management levels.

Have you reevaluated your training program lately? We have all the blocks and mortar you need to build a new one. Give us a call to get started. 

 

Cyber Train Demo

Tags: cyber train, training