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Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business

Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business

by Hank Stringer

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Only one thing really differentiates your business from your competitor: your people. Do you have the right talent in the right place at the right time? It's no longer enough to have a 'workforce': you need a high-impact Talent Force.  The authors first identify the massive social, cultural, and economic shifts that are transforming hiring as we


Only one thing really differentiates your business from your competitor: your people. Do you have the right talent in the right place at the right time? It's no longer enough to have a 'workforce': you need a high-impact Talent Force.  The authors first identify the massive social, cultural, and economic shifts that are transforming hiring as we know it.  We are a smaller, closer, and more competitive world, as Baby Boomers are retiring in the US, India is flourishing due to outsourcing and educational development, and China is a strong new economic force. Add to that the fact that today's best people have radically new expectations and approaches to work; this book reveals what they want and how to meet those needs while building your business. Learn how to develop and implement a worldclass talent plan that aligns with business objectives, and define metrics to track and optimize success. Discover how candidates are using technology to evaluate new opportunities, benchmark compensation, and create new back-channels of communication about worklife. Maximize these new technologies to grow Talent Force, tap into new sources of competitive intelligence and stay ahead of the pack.


Foreword  xi

Acknowledgments  xiii

About the Authors  xv

Preface  xvii

Introduction  xix


Chapter 1:  The Quality Talent Imperative  1

Chapter 2:  Talent Market Demands  11

Chapter 3:  Building a Competitive Talent Organization  35

Chapter 4:  The Cultural Obsession of Work  59

Chapter 5:  Building a Talent Community  77

Chapter 6:  Tangible Talent Measurement  93

Chapter 7:  Talent Goes on Offense  115

Chapter 8:  Relationship Recruiting (Still) Rules  133

Chapter 9:  Talent Forces of Tomorrow  151


Index  163


Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business
When Rusty Rueff was in charge of human resources at Electronic Arts (EA), the top global video game company, his skills made him a recognized leader in talent management. Today, Rueff uses those same skills as the CEO of a copyright management firm. In Talent Force, he and Hank Stringer, the CEO of Q Talent Partners and founder of Hire.com, tell other company leaders what they need to know about the people who keep them in business.

First, they explain that building great teams should be the highest priority of every company, and great teams require talented people who have the specific skills and know-how to get the job done. They add that talented employees must get the resources they need, such as money, people, time and executive support, and strong feedback mechanisms that can help them track their results so they can quickly change course when necessary. As advocates of building teams by putting talented people in the right place at the right time, the authors explain that “great teams must be empowered with the freedom and flexibility to find and execute great solutions — and do it now.”

High-Quality Talent
In Talent Force, the authors describe how company leaders can find, attract and retain high-quality talent for today's global economy. They explain that by working to recognize, attain, nurture and develop the spectrum of talent in an organization, leaders will be able to realize the true potential of the organization and make it more successful.

To remain competitive, the authors write, every organization must create a plan to get the right talent and ensure that talent is available for the work that needs to be done today and in the future. By showing the talent market demands around the globe, the authors explore the evolving demographics, technologies and economies that create challenges and opportunities for companies in their search for quality talent. They point out that certain industries worldwide are moving toward a talent shortage, including medicine and many other science-related disciplines. They predict that the United States will see local shortages of talent in technology, accounting and finance industries, as well as in jobs that require science and math expertise. The authors add that the market for skilled, educated, high-quality talent always remains competitive.

Once the authors have described their vision for the future of companies and their need for high-quality talent, they show company leaders how their strategic recruiting capabilities can become a critical component of their business. After showing them how others have developed long-term goals and adopted a more strategic approach to attracting and retaining the best people, the authors outline the role of the “Chief Talent Officer.”

The authors write that if a company wants to ensure its success, it must have a strategic integration point person for its talent objectives. This Chief Talent Officer, the authors explain, ensures “that the talent organization is empowered with the responsibility, knowledge and tools to add strategic value to the business and achieve bottom-line results.” To be successful, they add, this person should be an executive, be respected in the organization, possess a strong business background, have CEO support and be able to communicate directly with other department leaders.

Support Roles
Next, the authors describe the roles of the people who will support this executive. These roles include the recruiter who “sells” the company's employment experience with compelling messages, the administrator who keeps tabs on everything, the technologist who can implement the company's employment messages online and the data analyst who ensures the company is reaching the right people with the right messages. The authors point out that Novotus, for example, uses these roles to recruit talent for its client companies. While demonstrating how the roles interact, the authors show HR leaders how excellent processes and technology can support a team environment.

A section that describes how companies can create the right talent brand offers the interconnections that need to be made between a company's marketing team and its recruiters. To determine the compelling link between the company, its philosophies, goals, principles and talent, the authors urge company leaders to ask themselves, “What is the essence of the company, and what is it about that essence that makes candidates feel like they want to be part of it all?”

Why We Like This Book
Talent Force explains more than the creation of a new executive role for HR leaders: It also describes the competitive advantage that relationship recruiting creates. Although the technology of automatic applicant filters is discussed, the authors write that the human element must remain in the screening process. By outlining the attributes of great recruiters and the new resources they can use, the authors build a firm foundation for talent success. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Pearson Education
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Read an Excerpt


A few years ago, we started talking every Wednesday—two executives, two former recruiters—just talking for an hour, an hour and a half, with no agenda, because we share many of the same values and are passionate about what we do. During these discussions, we kept coming back to the same topics: the changing employment landscape and innovative ways that organizations are responding to build their talent capital. After a while, we decided: Someone needs to go out and say some of these things, because it's time. These ideas are so important that they should be shared with a broader audience.

In case you are looking for it, this is not a manual. This is not the book for a person who is looking for a checklist or a recipe or the next initiative to launch on Monday. In the spirit of James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras's book, Built to Last, we are not attempting to tell you what time it is or make you a time-teller, but instead to give you the raw materials and the tools to build your own clock.

What we have tried to do is write an "easy read," a simple book with powerful ideas that provokes your own insights and provides a framework that you can apply to almost any organization. We hope it helps you build relationships with your prospects and talent communities, get ahead of your sourcing needs, avoid the inefficiencies of the traditional "reactive" approach to recruiting and, ultimately, put the right person in the right place at the right time, all the time.

Rusty Rueff, Hillsborough, California
Hank Stringer, Austin, Texas January 2006

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Hank Stringer

Chief Executive Officer, Q Talent Partners

Hank Stringer has over two decades of experience as a successful high-tech industry recruiter, entrepreneur, and innovator in the use of information technology in the recruitment and employment process. Today, Stringer is CEO of Q Talent Partners, an executive search services and consulting firm based on the philosophies and best practices of this book.

Forecasting a talent shortage in 1996, Stringer applied his energy and experiences to start Hire.com. There, he and a team of entrepreneurs created an early ASP business model, utilizing the Internet to scale and automate interactive recruiting relationships and processes. Under his tenure, Hire.com dramatically changed the way companies recruit, hire, and retain talent. Today, global companies, such as Federal Express, BP, Allianz, Raytheon, and Prudential, have adopted Hire.com’s revolutionary approach.

Prior to founding Hire.com, Stringer was president and co-founder of Pedley-Stringer, Inc., a high-tech recruitment firm. Stringer previously served as an internal recruiting consultant for Tandem Computers and Dell Computer, where he was responsible for a number of special recruiting projects in the U.S. and Asia.

Stringer has authored many articles about recruitment and the future of talent management in the workplace, and is an accomplished speaker who has appeared at numerous international industry-leading events.

Stringer holds a B.A. in Journalism and Government Studies from Texas State University and currently serves as President of the Advisory Board for the McCoy School of Business at his alma mater. Hank resides with his wife and kids in the hill country outside Austin, Texas.


Rusty Rueff

Chief Executive Officer, SNOCAP, Inc.

Rusty Rueff joined SNOCAP as their CEO in 2005. SNOCAP is the world’s first end-to-end solution for digital licensing and copyright management services, enabling record labels and individual artists to make the full depth of their catalogs available through authorized peer-to-peer networks and online retailers.

Prior to his position at SNOCAP, he was Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Electronic Arts (EA). Joining EA in 1998, he was responsible for global human resources, talent management, corporate services and facilities, corporate communications, and government affairs, reporting to EA’s Chairman and CEO. EA is the world’s largest, and leading, interactive entertainment software company, with revenues of over $3.5 billion and 6,500 employees. In 2003, Fortune named EA one of the “Top 100 Places to Work For” in the United States.

Prior to joining EA, Rueff held positions with the PepsiCo companies for over 10 years. He concluded his career with PepsiCo as Vice President, International Human Resources.

Prior to his tenure with PepsiCo, Rueff spent two years with the Pratt & Whitney Division of United Technologies. In addition, he spent six years in commercial radio as an on-air personality.

He holds an M.S. degree in Counseling and a B.A. degree in Radio and Television from Purdue University. He was given the honor in 2003 of being named a Distinguished Purdue Alumni. Rueff and his wife are the named benefactors of Purdue’s Patti and Rusty Rueff Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

He currently serves on the Corporate Boards of SNOCAP, All Covered, and Sports Potential. He is on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of San Francisco-based American Conservatory Theater (ACT). He is the majority owner of R-Squared Stables, based at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY., and a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). He and his wife, Patti, reside in Hillsborough, CA.


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