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Who are you going to call, Ghost Busters?

August 18, 2016

This is the summer after all, so perhaps some levity is needed. Everyone has their specialty in terms of what they know and what they do. Our specialty is people: people strategies, people processes, people policies, people structure, engaging people, developing people, finding the right people and yes, even handling people problems. The Mackenzie Consulting Group business focus is helping organizations with their people challenges from developing long-term people strategy to providing virtual or onsite human resources operational services, and everything in between. We focus on the Life Science industry because we have all spent much of our careers in those sub industries and understand those business needs.

Dissimilarity to Ghost Busters

  • We don’t have a theme song yet. But if anyone wants to write one for us we are happy to listen. No plans for a music video on the website either unless you tell us that is what you as a client really want to see.
  • We have current and past clients in various locations across the USA and Canada, but none based in New York City where apparently all the paranormal activity is centered.
  • We don’t wear hazard suits when we meet with clients, but usually show up in business attire. No proton packs either, even with the business suits.
  • We are not professional comedians but we do have a great sense of humor! While we have gravitas, we are not stuffy.
  • And lastly we don’t have Chris Hemsworth supporting us, which is really a shame.

Similarity to Ghost Busters

  • We are sometimes brought in to figure out what are the underlying issues. So we look into employee disengagement, higher turnover than desired, difficulty filling positions, unhappiness with the performance management or compensation systems, teams that need a reboot.
  • We have been asked to intervene when the early symptoms have become acute problems or when the proverbial sh** is about to hit the fan.
  • People try to handle the issues themselves internally before they realize they need some outside expertise.
  • Organization cultures sometimes take on a life of their own (like paranormal activity) but need an intervention to be renewed and refocused.
  • We are a b team of smart female advisors and associates who will do whatever it takes to help an organization meet their goals. (Guys, we are open to have men join the team as long as you are equally wonderful!)


Hope this brought a smile to your face. Now at least you know who to call!

The Pitfalls of Expediency

August 4, 2016

So what is getting in the way from you consistently hiring the best people for every job, every time? For many organizations is appears that it is a case of falling into the very tempting “Pitfalls of Expediency ”. So are you resorting to TBRS, TESP, and/or UCIP?

What I have experienced in all size companies, but particularly in small organizations and start-ups, is that once it has been determined that there is enough money to proceed with a position then a type of feeding frenzy ensues. Everyone suggests someone that they have known from a previous company and heads off to see they are interested. If they are unemployed even better, they can come and work sooner. Even if a job description has been created the requirements are often not closely compared to the individual’s skills or experience. If interviews are conducted at all, it is really to confirm that the person is ok and will “fit in”. If you look at this rationally, there are some major flaws with this type of process. You may get lucky and hire some good people in this way but it is not going to get you the best hires consistently and for the long run.

So what often happens in reality is:
  • TBRS: The Buddy Recruitment System- who does anyone know from before?
  • TESP: True Emergency Selection Process- we need this position filled next week!
  • UCIP: Uncoordinated & Chaotic Interviewing Process- we are under prepared.
TBRS (The Buddy Recruitment System)
The problem with using this method is it severely curtails your universe of candidates. Except for a few highly technical positions there are usually a multitude of people that would actually be qualified for the position and perhaps even better than just considering people who your folks know from their past. Your employees may not really know the quality of these candidates work level or their work values, and often times seem to have forgotten their “downsides”.

TESP (True Emergency Selection Process)
Everyone has wanted this position for some time, so now it is approved; you want someone to start NOW. This is one of the reasons companies resort to TBRS. Even LinkedIn and other social media recruitment seems like it will take too long. And it is perceived that search firms will take even longer. PLEASE remember that firing people who are performing poorly takes a lot of time and energy away from the business. Hiring the right people the first time actually takes less time and brings positive energy to the organization rather than the energy drain involved in having mediocre performers and certainly if it comes to firing someone.

UCIP: (Uncoordinated & Chaotic Interviewing Process) Having an agreed upon panel of trained interviewers and solid written questions are part of having a good process. We usually advocate 4 steps: interviewer selection, training or reminders if needed, development of key questions (mostly different for each interviewer), format for group discussion of candidates, and final hiring recommendation.

We have hired thousands of people and we know that it is very important to:
  • Cast a wide enough net at the beginning of the recruitment process
  • Spend enough time doing the interview process
  • Have a consistent and quality selection process
  • Have a good onboarding/induction process
These steps are not difficult to put in place with some guidance and effort. However, once incorporated, the consistent quality of your hires will be greater than using TBRS, TESP or UCIP!