Steve Cadigan is a highly sought-after talent advisor to leaders and organizations across the globe. He speaks regularly to conferences and major Universities around the world and is regularly retained by Silicon Valley’s top VC’s for his talent expertise. Steve is frequently asked to appear on TV and is a regular guest on Bloomberg West and CNBC. Prior to launching his own firm, Steve worked as an HR executive for over 25 years at a wide range of top-tier companies including: ESPRIT, Allianz, Cisco Systems, Electronic Arts and capped by serving as the first CHRO for LinkedIn from 2009 through 2012. His culture work at LinkedIn led Stanford to build a case study for their business school. Today Steve serves on the Board of Directors to three companies and sits on the Advisory Board of several others. He holds a BA in History from Wesleyan and an MA in HROD form the University of San Francisco.
We are at a time when talent is what really differentiates companies from each other’s. Steve defines himself as a Talent Hacker and talks about how a healthy organizational culture is the “sweet” to attract the best talent. The attraction and retention of talent has become a strategic priority for organizations, we are in a battle for talent and to win it, companies must have a solid culture in the organization and develop a Value Proposition for employees where they feel inspired.
Nowadays, candidates can review information about any company such as its employee branding and employee experience in portals like Glassdoor or LinkedIn; these opinions of collaborators and former employees highlight the way of doing things within an organization and can motivate or demotivate them to take a certain job. Employees don’t want to be told about the culture; they want to participate in creating it. Steve recommends some questions when interviewing candidates:
– How do you want to be recognized for your achievements?
– How do you want to be rewarded?
– What kind of culture do you like to work in?
– Do you want to help us create that ideal culture?
Culture is the personality of a company, and as such, it is not static. Culture must change over time and for this it is important that each person in the organization feel inspired to participate in that transformation. Leaders in companies must aim to foster a culture that allows each employee to express their uniqueness and from there, identifying what creates greater value.
One of the indicators to know if there is a healthy and open culture in an organization is when employees feel free to ask difficult questions to the management, says Steve. For that to happen there must be a lot of communication and transparency from the leadership team. There is nothing worse for a worker than not knowing what is going to happen to their future in the coming weeks or months. It is not only a question of loss of focus, which is also a major problem, but it is a question of morale.
Why should someone make an effort in their work if they are not clear about what their objective will be? Why should someone make an effort without the certainty that that effort will be useful for something? It is at this point where leaders must be there for their people and help them visualize and work for their professional and personal future, giving them the certainty that as a leader will be there to help them be better than yesterday and inspire them to grow in their current company or any other company.
The search for well-being must be constant. Working from home has made it more difficult to find work-life balance, because it has become more difficult to take breaks to disconnect from work. Inspiring talent requires understanding the reasons that lead candidates to invest their talent in a company and want to actively promote the values, culture and opportunities that a certain company offers.