• Using the STAR Method: Six Tips for Hiring the Right Talent

    By Rob Carey

    For critical positions that need to be filled, a middle market firm does not have much room for error. Any hire that doesn't work out, even if that person is on the job for just a few months, sets the firm back considerably, both in terms of wasted compensation and wasted opportunity. Furthermore, it indicates that there are deficiencies in the firm's hiring process.

      Read More >
  • Professional Business Coaching: Understanding the Pros and Cons

    We all know that you can't keep doing the same thing and expect to get different results. One of the best ways to shake up your management habits and move to the next level is through professional business coaching. Other forms of professional development are helpful, but they're often skills-based (teaching about new regulations, for example, or how to negotiate better). Coaching offers something different: "Coaching is a method of helping clients find their own answers," says New York City-based executive coach Michael Melcher. He provides the lowdown on what you need to know about the pros and cons of professional business coaching.

      Read More >
  • 10 Great Situational Interview Questions to Identify the Best Job Candidate

    Shakespeare once wrote, "What's past is prologue," and situational interview questions are based on the same idea: the way job candidates behaved in the past is the single best predictor of the way they'll behave in the future. A situational question allows interviewers to get their subjects away from canned generalities and prepackaged answers, forcing job candidates to offer specific examples of how they used job-related skills to solve real-life problems in the past. They offer the interviewer a fuller picture of the candidate's capabilities and experience far beyond the sweeping abstractions of a typical résumé.

      Read More >
  • 7 Employee Retention Strategies for Keeping Your Talent

    A recent survey from consulting firm Watson Wyatt showed that more than half of all companies have no employee retention strategy. With the economy improving and the job market heating up, especially for middle market companies, you may find that employee retention, especially of your top performers, has become increasingly difficult. Losing your best people not only damages your productivity, disrupts current and potential leadership, and reduces company morale, it also helps your competitors. Having to match a competitor's job offer in order to retain your top performers is NOT a retention strategy — it only incentivizes employees to seek outside job offers and ask you to match them.

      Read More >
  • Four Strategies to Create a Business Culture of Success

    How can you develop a business culture that supports ongoing growth, even through the worst economic crises? That's what the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) set out to identify in its recent comprehensive study. It turns out that fewer than one percent of firms are what the NCMM terms "Sustained Growers" – those that grew even during the recession and then doubled sales post-recession. How did they do it?

      Read More >
  • Staff Development: Develop an Approach That Works for You

    Staff development is a critical issue for middle market companies. A growing so-called middle skills jobs gap leaves companies in all industries at a strategic disadvantage as they scramble to find talent that is not readily available. Finding people with the proper leadership skills for the future is also difficult and leaves businesses in danger of not obtaining the management they need to grow and thrive. Companies also have the need to develop in-house talent for additional responsibilities and to help support a succession plan.

      Read More >
  • Trump the Business Skills Gap and Free Your Business

    Ultimately, a business is the people who work there. Whether you look at the employees on a manufacturing line, people sitting in accounting, or upper management, a company is limited by the business skills of those working day in and day out. In many areas, companies are facing a growing skills gap, and middle market businesses can be hit particularly hard by what they don't have. The good news is that they can develop talent and skills, hire for additional skills, and reap great rewards, both in competitive positioning and in opportunities.  Read More >
  • How to Spot High-Potential Entry Level Employees

    Who's your next superstar employee? It's not always easy to pick out future leaders early in their careers, but with practice, you can hone your talent spotting abilities, says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, author of Talent Magnetism: How to Build a Workplace That Attracts and Keeps the Best. The advantages of talent spotting at the entry level is enormous for middle market companies: if you can identify, promote, and reward top talent, that means you're less likely to lose them to the competition. Here are Matuson's top tips for finding great leaders early in their careers.

      Read More >
  • How to Motivate Employees at the End of a Long Winter

    In much of the country, it's been a long, hard winter. Record-breaking cold and incessant blizzards have left many employees feeling run down and dreaming of beach vacations. Most likely, you can't provide an office getaway to the Caribbean, but when it comes to how to motivate employees, there are still a number of effective strategies you can use, says Meghan M. Biro, a talent strategist who runs the blog and social community Talent Culture. Here are her best tips.

      Read More >
  • Family-Owned Businesses in the Middle Market

    According to a report from the National Center for the Middle Market and the Economist Intelligence Unit, family-owned businesses make up 25 percent of the middle market's nearly 200,000 companies nationwide. To promote the important contributions of these businesses to the U.S. economy, the NCMM joined the Family Business Seminar at the School of Business, University at Albany.

      Read More >
  • C-Level Succession Planning: 5 Things to Remember

    Every company must be ready for C-level succession planning. Someone might leave voluntarily because of a career opportunity, shift in life circumstances, retirement, or even illness or death. Or a company might remove an executive for unsuitable action, lack of chemistry with the rest of the management team, or a lack of experience and skills to manage the next level of corporate growth.  Read More >
  • Build an Effective Open Door Policy

    By Rob Carey
    Having an open door policy, where employees are free to approach upper-level management regarding any issue, seems like a winning position for a company to take. It promotes employee engagement, improves morale, and reduces turnover while allowing the firm access to internal knowledge and inspiration that could improve efficiency, productivity, growth, and adherence to ethics. Right?  Read More >
  • Tackling the Middle Market Skills Shortage

    Talent management has long been one of the greatest challenges facing Middle Market companies. Not only do mid-sized firms typically lose out on quality staff to larger companies with established employer brands, they also struggle to retain staff due to less established company cultures and personnel management practices that have not kept up with the latest trends.  Read More >

In Collaboration With