We’re all on track to live to 100. This, according to…me! (supported, of course, by what I read about and see all around me)

As such, people are going to work longer for two reasons;

First, they will need to in order to fund a very long retirement and possibly ailing health during their post-work years.

Second, they will want to because even if financially secure, they will want to continue working versus living a retired life for upwards of 40 years. There is only so much travel, bridge, gardening, etc that one can do.

The speed of change is happening faster than anyone living has ever seen. People are being sideswiped by the speed of change because many have already moved from pen/paper to computer, landline to smartphones, bank tellers to (now outdated) ATMs and then some. They (including me) all slowly but surely adapted to new realities, but the pace is picking up. And, jobs and requirements of the workforce are changing. Radically. We have seen this already and what is forecast to be come due to AI alone, confirms that we need to brace ourselves for more learning and adapting.

So, we got this, right? I’m saying yes, we do!

If you’re not keen on ‘new’, start warming up to it…we can do this. We all have to keep adapting and supporting each other, our colleagues, our communities and working together to learn and remain relevant to the workforce AND to the world around us.




As a manager, you need to hire people. If your hiring process and job descriptions are dull and stuffy (and let’s face it, most are), I suggest you freshen up the approach.

Here are some suggestions;

  • You manage it? Own it.
    • Identify what is needed for someone to be successful. Forget about the “nice to have” stuff, just put together a job description based on what is needed for you and your team to hit the business objectives. Everyone will agree they are a team player, so no need to mention it. It is implied that people can interact with others and this will come out in conversation.
    • Review profiles WITH HR so they can see which profiles you gravitate towards. Do the first few screening calls with HR so they can learn how you interact with the candidates and what you ask so they can be better equipped to find suitable candidates to present to you.
  • Say things like who you are, what you do and why you’re hiring
    • “My name is Kathleen and I am the manager of the Customer Success Team. We have 7 people on our team and we interact with our customers via chat, email and phone during regular business hours. Due to  a boom in business, we are looking for two new people to add to the team (OR “…due to one of our colleagues moving on to new adventures, we have an opening on our team”…you get where I’m going)
  • Give them some context regarding what they would be working on
    • “We have exciting projects underway including a new app which will offer more touch points to our customers. You would be part of this exciting initiative and in helping us with customer adoption”. 
  • Explain the hiring process and then stick to it. You are a leader. Show candidates that you lead responsibly and that you value their time.

Be transparent. Use real talk. If you aren’t sure how best to do it, ask you mentor.


I meet managers and business leaders with a common challenge. They have people on their teams who they describe as ‘average’.

When I dig a little deeper, I often find that description of ‘average’ is really due to the players being ‘yes’ people. When you lead a team of ‘yes’ people there is not a lot of creativity that flows because the team is busy doing what the boss wants versus what the business and customer needs in an ever changing business landscape.

If you find things getting stale on your team, look at who you are working with – are they ‘yes’ people? If so – and they may all be good contributors – just make a note not to hire a yes person next time around.

Shake it up. Your customers and shareholders need it.

Candidates post negative experiences regarding hiring processes and then, like an oil spill, others jump right in to recount their sob stories.

I don’t understand what we gain from this.

Can we take a step back here and consider the following;

First, HR is typically understaffed. Which business do you know that has enough people on the HR team to handle the overall work load and fill the open positions? Of course they fall behind!

Second, businesses often have hiring managers who are not great at creating job descriptions nor great at interviewing and assessing candidates. Can we all agree…that isn’t easy?

Third: Businesses continuously throw themselves curve balls. Today’s urgent need for Project Managers is easily sideswiped by tomorrow’s urgent need for Customer Service reps. But what about all the effort that went in to sourcing the Project Managers? As telephone operators use to say…”please hold…”

Candidates can have poor experiences in a job search. That’s a fact.

Candidates can also have good, or at least reasonable, experiences in a job search. That’s another fact.

I suggest we stop wailing on the experiences that fall short and start promoting the ones that go well (of which many do) regardless of whether or not we get the position. Let’s work together to make things better by sharing what works versus wallowing in what doesn’t.

You in?



As we all know…Networking is SUPER valuable!


  • All people both know things and need to know things
  • Most people genuinely like to help and be helped, teach and be taught…basically, be engaged with others
  • Opportunity is greater when people are connected

Businesses benefit from creating an alumni network.

How to get started?

  • Keep it simple!
  • Send a note to former employees telling them you are starting an alumni network and inviting them to your next company event (pizza lunch, 5 a 7, product launch, open house…etc or create an event just to kick it off and of course all your current employees are invited!)
  • What if only one person shows up?? Who cares! One is better than none and you need to start somewhere. Moving forward you can tell candidates you have started an alumni network  – which benefits all!

Go for it!

My clients (SMBs) keep telling me that employees don’t stay.

Correct, they don’t.

We know this. It is fact. And there is no indication that it is going to change. As such, I have pretty much reduced myself to begging business leaders to stop dwelling on the inevitable and start focusing on how to get the most out of their people while they have them.

Some suggestions;

Improve onboarding – the faster we get new people productive, the faster they will contribute towards the goals they were hired to achieve. Someone once told me projects don’t fail at the end, they fail at the beginning…meaning invest UP FRONT for best results at the end.

Management Development – effective managers develop strong teams. Strong teams deliver results. While employees don’t stay long they still want to learn, contribute and leave with accomplishments. Your managers are the ones who need to drive this. Make sure your managers are well equipped to be good at what they need to do. Most managers don’t want to manage and are not good at managing. Figure out how to get the most out of them too, including moving them to a different role if need be.

Build an alumni network – when employees leave, thank them for their contribution and welcome them to your company’s alumni network (CREATE ONE!). Invite them to your office 5-7s and other events, and see them as long-term ‘friends of the firm’. They will feel valued and will send good people they know your way…which will save you money on recruiting costs. Win/win.

Investing in your employees, regardless of how long they stay, will pay off. Add these costs in to your next budget and make it happen. Your customers will thank you and the results will make all your stakeholders smile.


A quote from a millennial who just left a Big 4, by choice, in a major NA city;

“Educated people will not work for these firms in the future. To work for them, people need to have no self esteem and a burning desire to please without having a stake in the bigger picture”.


A little taken aback by these words, I went to each of the Big 4 websites to see who is in charge. Shout out to Deloitte who seems to have the most diverse leadership team. KPMG’s website…well, I thought I hit the wrong site. Outdated and difficult to navigate. Why. It’s 2018. Honestly…

While young people may not stay long, they should not be speaking so poorly at what should be an A+ firm. They should be leaving saying they learned a lot, it was valuable and they would recommend it to others despite not being the place for them long term. That would be fine.

“Educated people will not work for these firms in the future” is just awful.

I have repeated this to several people and each one, without exception, has said that everyone knows this about these firms and that their current claim to fame is loosening the dress code policy.

Bravo, Big 4, Bravo!

What’s next, transparent billing practices?

Big 4, listen up; if smart, engaged employees are saying this about you, you know what’s coming next…or it may already be haunting you…your clients are going to question if you are the right firm for them.

Sounds like you need to act now.

Like…now….all hands on deck!



I started recruiting in 2008…just when the economic crisis was hitting. There were so many people looking for work and so few places hiring. It was tough.

I have come back to recruiting recently and happily the economy is in nice shape however it is tough to fill positions.


Well, not many people are looking BUT we know younger people move around a lot…so we might think that the movement would fill positions.

Not so much! That’s not what I am seeing in North America.

Young people are opting to work for themselves more today than they have in the past. That means, not only are there jobs available, I am finding that there are fewer people available to fill the positions.

What to do?

Businesses need to look at what they need and who they need to be to attract talent. It is not an easy shift but without doing this deep dive and making changes, the results will be concerning.


Disney creates a community and by extension a customer experience, like nothing I have ever seen before.

(Props, Disney, props)

 2018 is shrieking “COMMUNITY!”.  There are ongoing stories of people coming together through community, be it the Time’s Up movement, students mobilizing where adults have failed them or consumers gathering in retail environments that differ drastically from what we have seen in decades.


Look around, you can’t miss it.

Businesses who have had a community mindset from inception as a means to provide the best customer experience are simply carrying on as usual, while others scramble to create it. Shout out to my personal favourite customer experience through outstanding community, Disney.

Love ’em or hate ’em, Disney creates a community experience that in my opinion, is second to none.

On a recent visit, I looked at it very carefully to try and capture the ‘what is it that they do so well?’ What makes millions of people go back time and time again, and thousands of people show up to the parks on a daily basis dressed in Disney ears, t-shirts, carrying Disney knapsacks, sporting Disney jewelry? Marketing?Maybe. But I see it as something much much bigger.

Disney creates community.

They do it so well, that people flock to it, be it in person at a park or wearing Mickey Mouse t-shirt to school, it is totally astounding how they are able to provide an experience that triggers such consistent emotion in their customers.

Everyone is welcome in the Disney community. It is chill, clean, really fun, has something for all ages and stages and they don’t veer from their core value of providing an exceptional experience. Whether you are watching a Disney movie on your TV, visiting a park or boarding a cruise ship, the experience they deliver is the same.

Imagine if all businesses looked at the customer through the same lens?  The ‘customer comes first’ nonsense that businesses proclaim could not be farther from the truth. Most businesses are simply incapable of pulling it off and are doing little to correct it.

It’s now or never for you, businesses…now or never!

Your customers are watching you and deciding where to spend their money.

What are you doing to make progress on the customer experience front?