Cultivating the Project Lifecycle with Brilliant HR Talent Management

Cultivating the Project Lifecycle with Brilliant HR Talent Management

At Brilliant HR, we live and breathe Talent Management and the project lifecycle. These two important aspects of the project based business share certain synergies that are often overlooked. We are unique in that we have a targeted focus on solving the challenges that organizations like yours face every day and delivering solutions like Deltek Talent Management that provides the features and functionality to help you deliver even better projects.

So, how do you cultivate the project life cycle by optimizing your use of Brilliant HR/Deltek Talent Management? Not every project is identical, but the basic concepts are consistent and by using that as a starting point, we can begin the discussion.  It helps to think of a project that impacts us every day, but does not require a formal work breakdown structure and where, the process and requirements are the same.  I’ll use farming as my example.

field tractor mowing in the field


With farming the cycle is well defined, simple, repeatable, and reliable with a clear goal to produce a harvest of natural, organic goods. If we reduce the process to the most basic steps, you have to prepare the land > then plant your seeds > nurture, fertilize and water your plants > harvest your crop, then repeat the process for a new harvest.

Granted this is a highly simplified description of what goes into the process of growing food, but it gives us a good framework of the project from start to finish. Project planning can be that simple, as long as you have a clear and repeatable defined steps. You have outlined your tasks, considered the risks, created a contingency plan, and have the proper tools to accomplish the desired outcome. .

Now let’s shift that life-cycle model to talent management. Brilliant HR Talent Management is a critical piece in any project because your people are at the very heart of the project life-cycle. Talent Management is where the project begins by identifying, hiring, and cultivating high performance teams and then retaining that top talent for future project positions.  Without the right talent solution in place, your project could very easily crash before it even begins. 

Similar to the farming example, let’s take a simplified look at what the Talent process looks like when integrated with the project life cycle.

Recruit > Hire & Onboard > Review Performance > Teach or Train > Develop

A Talent Management solution can streamline the process by helping you:

  1. Identify and recruit top talent to build the high performance teams you need to win more projects
  2. Select candidates that best fit the project position(s) based on required skills, competencies and certifications to take the guesswork out of resource planning
  3. Onboard new employees faster and seamlessly transfer their data to your ERP solution without manually duplicating efforts
  4. Ensure employees assigned to projects are up to date on their certifications and provided learning opportunities to hone their skills. This will help you consistently grow the value of your most important asset, while minimizing risk exposure on your projects
  5. Review progress and provide continuous feedback throughout the process on performance and achievements, by using the solution to facilitate discussions and manage goals

These five easy steps can all be accomplished using Brilliant HR Talent Management and that is only the beginning. Once you have the basic framework in place, you’ll be able to implement an even deeper strategy by incorporating in-house learning programs, succession planning, career paths, and mentor-ship programs.

A great talent management strategy is like a road map, but in order to plan, execute, and measure the success of that strategy, you need to have the right solution in place. Think about it. Can you say today that your solution is enabling the success of your talent management strategy? Are you able to find, nurture and retain the best talent to ensure that you’ll be repeatedly awarded the projects your organization needs to continue to grow?  At the end of the day, are you able to measure how successful your firm has been in acquiring and retaining the very top talent in the marketplace? If you just shrugged your shoulders, it’s definitely time to start thinking about what an integrated talent management solution could do for your business.

I chose to relate project planning to farming because it is easy to identify with the common theme of cultivation. Doesn’t this sounds like what you do every day? Finding, recruiting, acquiring, developing and cultivating top talent? If you leverage and maximize Brilliant HR Talent Management in this way, you’ll position yourself to deliver more successful projects! It’s often said you reap what you sow – so get to cultivating!

4 Ways to Attract and Satisfy the New Workforce (AKA Millennials & Gen Z)

4 Ways to Attract and Satisfy the New Workforce (AKA Millennials & Gen Z)

happy graduates tossing caps in the air in celebrationHere are four tips for attracting young talent into your organization.

Tip 1: Create a Compelling Job Posting

When looking for jobs today, candidates want to get a really good idea from the job description what they will do every day, how they will contribute to the company, and what they will gain from working with your company. Simply posting a bullet-ed list of requirements and responsibilities is no longer enough to grab their attention. You could be missing out on some great candidates by writing descriptions that don’t address their major concerns. Are you giving them enough information and are you taking advantage of all of the new media that is available to you? Share graphics, videos, and other resources on social media to draw candidates in and pay special attention to focus on information important to them.

Tip 2: Look in Non-Traditional Places

Sometimes your best candidates aren’t those found through traditional listings on your website or standard job boards. Often the key to finding the right talent is making the most of all candidate sourcing channels available to you. Build and maintain your referral networks, reach out on niche job boards and leverage professional organizations to access candidates who may not be actively searching for a new position. Encourage your employees to leverage their networks and social media presence; it’s a great way to find candidates and to build your company brand.

Tip 3: Make the Interview Evidence-Based

It is important to know that the people you bring in can do the job – that they have the right skills and experience required to step in and successfully perform in their new position. Prepare a standardized set of questions to ask each candidate interviewing for the position. This is a good way to draw more accurate comparisons between candidates. An effective way to understand how someone might fit into the team is to ask detailed questions about their experience and how they would perform routine tasks.  Pose typical problems they might encounter on the job, and ask them how they would address them.  This can provide more tangible evidence of their experience and how they think on their feet.

Tip 4: Define Your Measures for Success

Let prospective employees know how your company measures success.  What do they need to accomplish to be a top performer, and what is your reward or recognition structure for those who do perform to your expectations? Are incentives both employee and team oriented? Is there a career path and what is it?  In order to hire and retain exceptionally talented people in the new workforce, you have to work hard at it. It’s a two way street. You must keep them motivated and inspired and give them work that fills their sense of purpose and lets them know they are valued.

Let’s Go Make Some Videos!

Let’s Go Make Some Videos!

group of team workers listening to manager give pep talk Have you heard? Gen Z (1996-2012) is already making their way into the workforce. While some of this generation are still too young to enter the workforce, the eldest of them are around 22, and may even be one of your colleagues.  How are Digital Natives different than the Millennial generation? That’s just it – they are truly Digital Natives. They don’t know a world without digital devices or social media. Their attention span can be shorter than Millennials; technology comes very naturally to them and they are used to switching between apps and multi-tasking at all times.  Which is why in today’s post I want to discuss your job descriptions, with a focus on the length of them. Did you know in a recent study by CareerBuilder that 60% of job seekers said they have quit an application due to its length or complexity? Looking ahead as more candidates begin to come from Gen Z – this is going to become even more relevant. Where are these Gen Z candidates now? They’re on social media, and especially on visual platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.  Expect your recruitment efforts for these new candidates to change. Lengthy job descriptions are not going to be a huge hit, as well as long email conversations. Short video and voice messages will be much more effective at keeping in touch. To get applicants excited about working for your organization, try making short videos of a job description, and keep the visual elements enticing. Post these on your company YouTube channel to encourage engagement. Remember that keeping candidates informed with constant communication about their status and potential next steps is critical. The iGeneration  doesn’t like being kept in the dark and appreciates real time feedback, especially in-person or video versus a text or email. Here are some more tips about how to make your video job descriptions stand out:

  1. Have someone that is currently in the position or very similar one talk about the role, that way the potential applicant gets a realistic idea of a day in the life.
  2. Create a corporate overview brand video as well, with an overarching theme that stays consistent with each video.
  3. Keep your video job descriptions around 2 minutes to 2 and 1/2 minutes long.
  4. Make sure there is a call to action in your video, such as “email us to apply” or “click the link in the description box to apply” or better yet, embed your video on the job description of your website so it is easy to apply after watching.
  5. Create a style guide/notebook that can be updated over time with phrases and tips on how you set up the last video to make it easier for the next video.
  6. Smile and enjoy the process!
What’s a Talent Tune Up?

What’s a Talent Tune Up?

 Do you feel you could be getting more out of your system? Has your organization recently gone through significant turnover in HR or recruiting staff? 

Consider a Talent Tune Up – an expert will work with you and analyze and assess your organizational performance among industry best practices. The goal of the health check is to identify potential improvement areas and better leverage technologies. With so many new capabilities and features in each release, it can be hard to know which will benefit you and the Talent Tune Up can help make the most of your investment. Learn More here or email me at today! 

Social Recruiting: Looking Beyond the Resume

Social Recruiting: Looking Beyond the Resume

Misconception about Social Recruiting:

Let us put away the myths and the misconceptions  around Social Recruiting – that partaking in Social Recruiting will attract and add to the amount of unqualified applicants already in the recruiter’s inbox. If anything, Social Recruiting helps attract more qualified applicants and it helps single out the best talent.  How, you ask? Let’s simply start by looking over some key stats to begin our appreciation and love for Social Recruiting:


93% of Recruiters review a candidate’s social profile (Source). This gives recruiters a more personal view of the candidate and can help them determine whether or not they will be a good fit for the company culture.

73% of companies have successfully hired using social media (Source). The ease of use that comes from social recruiting has benefited companies that more and more of them are following this trend. They are able to put forward a more personal view of the company, and are able to provide easier ways to apply for a position online.


42% of companies say that the quality of candidates has improved because of social recruiting (Source). These benefits often stem from employee’s referring their friends and family members to the job postings online, LinkedIn being the largest network  that people use for social recruiting and applications.

With this rise in Social Recruiting and the numbers that show an increasing demand for this method,what is the future for Social Recruiting? How should companies successfully apply this to their current strategy?


The Industry Future:

According to SourceCon, for the success and strength of Social Recruiting to continue to flourish as it is right now, recruiters need to develop a relationship with the people applying to the jobs. This might require talking to the applicants during off business hours like the weekend and after work, since this is when they are most likely available if they are currently employed.


To help recruiters with this, our companies should create an easy to use social recruiting atmosphere, an example being more mobile recruiting functionalities. Creating a more accessible way for recruiters and applicants will help with the development of your company’s social recruiting needs and is a crucial investment to the company.


Another investment to look into besides mobile recruiting is Employee Advocacy programs. Employee Advocacy is the new social recruiting trend that is taking over when it comes to bringing in highly qualified candidates. To better understand what an Employee Advocacy Program is, Bambu gives an easy to follow definition. They are employees who:

  • Generate positive exposure and raise awareness for a brand through digital media or offline channels
  • Recommend a company’s products or services to a friend or family member
  • Represent the best interests of the company both internally and externally
  • Can help build employee ownership of the organization
  • Are experts on your product or service and can be a credible spokesperson for your company

So, why wouldn’t we want our employees to talk about how great your company culture is and your business’ success via social media? How the employees perceive and talk about your company via social has a great impact on how the outside word sees your company and ultimately who will want to apply. The best employee advocacy programs help bring in the right outside talent that is both qualified and fits with the employee culture. This takes a huge load off the recruiter, providing them with a pool of qualified candidates right at their fingertips, candidates who already want to work for your company since they have heard so many great things about you.


Interested in hearing more about Social Recruiting? Listen to our webinar for more key statistics and the steps you need to become Social Recruiting savvy. 

Tracking Hiring Milestones and Recruiting KPIs – Part 2

Tracking Hiring Milestones and Recruiting KPIs – Part 2

 In last month’s blog post on Part 1 about KPI’s, we covered five crucial recruiting metrics that will help take your HR team to the next level. In addition to those five, however, we’ve compiled a few more that will allow you to be smarter about where you are focusing your recruiting efforts and judge the effectiveness of those efforts.

Qualified Applicants per Requisition

Qualified applicants per requisition is a good indicator of the effectiveness of your sourcing channels. It takes into account not simply the total number of applicants for a position, but, more specifically, the number of qualified applicants. One source may produce hundreds of applications, but perhaps only ten of the applicants actually made it beyond the screening questions or the minimum requirements, while a different source may produce only a few applicants, but a higher percentage of them become qualified candidates.

Once you know which sources provide the greater percentage of qualified applicants, you can focus your energy and resources on these channels. This saves companies from wasting time or money on expensive job boards when perhaps they receive their best candidates from employee referrals or social media sites.

The way that you determine what a qualified applicant means will vary based on the specific requirements that you establish for each requisition, but it is important to establish an average over all requisitions for a specific time period. The metrics to pay attention to are the number of total applicants, the number screened in, the number hired, the ratio of screened in to applied, and finally the percentage of the total hires from each source. Ultimately, qualified applicants are the only ones that matter and the ones that you will want to keep in contact with for future opportunities.

Recruiter Efficiency

Today, with technology changing and systems being put in place to help with Big Data, and the ability to monitor every aspect of the recruiting process, companies now have the ability to monitor and measure recruiter efficiency.

Recruiter efficiency takes into account several metrics, but really comes down to how effective a recruiter is at finding the most qualified candidate in the shortest amount of time, and ensuring that they are someone who will not only accept the company’s offer, but will become a valuable asset to that company.

This metric is very obviously tied to the bottom line, and thus becomes a highly scrutinized metric all the way up to the executive level. The level of recruiter efficiency can be directly tied to the cost of hire for any given position, and thus to the overall performance of a company’s recruiting strategy.

The following factors should be considered to determine one recruiter’s efficiency versus another’s:

  • Open requisitions assigned to them
  • Pending requisitions
  • Requisitions on hold
  • Requisitions in approval
  • Requisitions filled
  • Average days to fill

A successful recruiter will know the best sources for each requisition, will be able to realistically portray the company’s needs, and provide the organization with employees that will become top performers and contribute to a high retention rate.

Cost per Hire

For most companies, everything still comes down to the bottom line, which is why “Cost of Hire” remains one of the most important metrics to track in HR’s recruiting efforts. It is crucial to know exactly how much it is costing your organization to hire each position, and where you may be losing money. HR needs to be able to show executives cost-effectiveness when it comes to a recruiting strategy.

It is not uncommon to hear that the cost of hiring someone is more expensive than a full year’s salary for that position, and there are many articles that back up this claim (How much does it cost companies to lose employees?, The Cost Of Hiring A New Employee, You make $70k but cost your boss $88k, etc.). While not all of the costs are related directly to recruiting a new hire, there are many recruiting decisions that impact the overall cost. That is why it is crucial to know exactly how much it is costing your organization to hire each position, and where you may be losing money.

Cost of hire takes into account factors, which of course will vary based on the position being hired for.

The most common ones are the following:

  • Advertising and job board subscription costs
  • Relocation assistance
  • Referral bonuses
  • Travel expenses
  • Agency fees
  • Recruiter time and labor
  • Additional staffing expenses