Call for Free Labor Market Analysis

(303) 627-9189

There’s a Solution for Shadow IT

There’s a Solution for Shadow IT

December 5th, 2013

tonyArticleA few days ago I wrote about how Shadow IT is the next big issue for CIOs to tackle. We’re all realizing it’s a problem — but how do we fix it?

A client of mine – a software company based in Denver, has recently launched an elegant SaaS solution for Shadow IT. Their solution helps organizations make better and faster technology buying decisions while enabling a more effective governance model to deal with decentralized technology spend and Shadow IT. The company is SelectHub.

SelectHub saves IT and Business users months of work during the requirements compilation, vendor research and RFI/RFP process. You can also leverage the community within SelectHub to help you evaluate technology vendors based on their previous experience with them.

Here are a few statements from CIOs of prominent companies on their website:

“SelectHub is huge! It takes the unstructured process of ad-hoc decision making that companies use in expensive technology selections and turns it into a fine tuned methodology.” —Rajeev Ankireddypalli, CIO, Advanced Energy

“SelectHub is the only product of its kind in the market that has a real time system of record, optimizes spend, and improves the time to market for the business around the enterprise IT vendor selection process.” —Jeff Kuckenbaker – CIO, Stanley Black & Decker , Inc.

“SelectHub fills a real void around Shadow IT Projects and IT Procurement best practices. It provides real time insight and visibility.” —Keith Sherwell, CIO, Sears Holdings Corp.

“SelectHub provides the speed of real-time collaboration on technology procurement in a world where the old pace of doing things won’t get the job done. SelectHub accelerates IT unlike any other tool.” —Rob Meilen, CIO, Hunter Douglas

Would your organization be interested in seeing a demo of SelectHub? If so, please let me know and I would be happy to provide an introduction.


Finding top talent for your team is key to meeting your business objectives. Let me know if want to discuss your challenges in that area.


Tony Bengtson, SPHR

Precision Recruiting, Inc.

CTRN Founder and President

Coors Corporate Gold Supplier Award Recipient

(303) 627-9189

Posted in Advice, IT, Technology

By 2016, Most IT Spend Will Be in the Cloud

By 2016, Most IT Spend Will Be in the Cloud

November 2nd, 2013

“The use of cloud computing is growing,” reports Gartner, “and by 2016 [it] will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend… 2016 will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.”

Those are ambitious predictions, considering many enterprises are barely past their first few deployments. Technology is changing fast, and the number of vendors who are playing in the market is overwhelming. It’s next to impossible for IT to know who these players are or will be.

CIOs tell me that whenever a business partner shows them an exciting new SaaS product, IT finds itself playing catch up. “Unfortunately IT is always behind the eight-ball” one CIO told me. It takes time for IT to do due diligence: Is the SaaS product truly the best product for the business, what other products can we compare it to, and will it comply with the company IT standards?

To further complicate things, the domino effect begins once those cloud services are implemented. There must be additional technology and services in place to integrate, secure, manage and govern those services. Otherwise guess what? Even more “Shadow IT” projects will sprout up and/or you’ll have more governance committee meetings to attend around your business partners’ future technology deployments. Just what you wanted, right?

You can read the rest of the article here: “Cloud computing will become the bulk of new it spend by 2016: Gartner

How do you think the industry can start moving faster while still doing the necessary due diligence? Let me know what you think of this article and if there is anything I can help you with.

Kindest Regards,

Tony Bengtson, SPHR

Precision Recruiting, Inc.
CTRN Founder and President
Coors Corporate Gold Supplier Award Recipient
(303) 627-9189

Posted in Advice, IT, Recruiting, Technology Tagged with: , , ,

Now, Tell Me About a Time When You Screwed Up

Now, Tell Me About a Time When You Screwed Up

October 31st, 2013

tonyArticleThese days most of us are familiar with “Behavioral Interviews”.  These interviews use job related past-event questions to gauge how well the candidate will perform in the position for which they are interviewing. Research has shown that past performance is a good predictor of future performance.

I recently had a conversation with Stephen Moulton of Action Insight about how to get a balanced picture of a candidate’s weaknesses as well as strengths in a behavioral interview

So here are two questions. How often do you dig deeper when asking behavioral-based questions? Do you ask candidates to provide “contrary” examples of past performance to those same questions?

For instance, after a candidate tells you how well they handled a certain problem, do you ask them to tell about a time when things didn’t go well in the same or similar situation? And what they learned from it?

If they say they have never screwed up they may be lying or do not have enough experience. Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. These “learning opportunities” can make us wiser and smarter. Answers to these “contrary questions” give insight to how well your candidate learns from their challenging situations.

Change is a constant. You want to ensure that the people you hire have the capability to learn, adapt, and keep up with an ever evolving environment.

You can learn more about these topics and Stephen Moulton and Action Insight at

Let me know your thoughts and experience about this, and if there is anything I can do to help you.

Kindest Regards,


Tony Bengtson, SPHR
Precision Recruiting, Inc.
CTRN Founder and President
Coors Corporate Gold Supplier Award Recipient
(303) 627-9189


Posted in Advice, Recruiting

Winning the Executive Selection Challenge: Finding Talent with the Right Attitude, Alignment, and Aptitude

Winning the Executive Selection Challenge: Finding Talent with the Right Attitude, Alignment, and Aptitude

September 17th, 2013

By Stephen Moulton – Chief Insight Officer, Action Insight

Do you consider yourself a connoisseur of talent? Do you always select class “A” candidates? What do I mean by “A” candidates? Candidates who can bring success to the table, you need to Hire the Best and Avoid the Rest.

There are three “A’s”to consider when hiring a candidate: Attitude, Alignment, and Aptitude. Without a good match in each, a candidate will be a disappointment or maybe even a costly hiring mistake.

attitudeAlignmentAttitude is probably the most important of the three “A’s” and here is a short story about why. Years ago before I began my quest to create a system, I was given a task of hiring 1,000 people in six months.

It didn’t take long before I started getting managers stopping me saying that so-and-so I hired was technically good but they had a bad attitude. I’d ask them to elaborate and whether the issue was that they didn’t pay attention to details, work well with others, follow instructions, fulfill commitments, or a host of other “attitude” issues. I began to get a better picture of what my managers needed.

The “attitudes” we are really talking about are made up of Behavioral Competencies and the smaller subset of Emotional Intelligence Competencies, which are even more important for executive selection.

You’ve seen the leader:

 who lacked decisiveness and frustrated their boss, peers, and employees.
 that struggled with collaboration and preferred the “my way or the highway” approach.
 that ruled with an iron fist, that no one liked working for, and generated high turnover.
 that had a “not invented here” approach.
 who lacked the trust of their peers or subordinates.

I’m sure you could create your own list as well.

Here is the rub. There is no single set of interview questions that fits every job and effectively helps you make great hiring decisions. Every position requires a different set of Behavioral Competencies for success. The top six or eight competencies necessary for a successful CFO are going to be different than those for the CMO or the VP of HR.

Having identified the criteria for assessing Attitude we are now able to assess for Alignment and Aptitude.

attitudeAlignment – In my training programs I ask leaders if their organization has a culture. They always answer yes. Then I ask how important is it to hire people who will fit their culture. The answer is that it is important. This is where interviewers need focus.

For instance, take two different hospitals. The first has a collegial non-confrontational culture. The second is an autocratic, confrontational culture. Let’s say you were interviewing candidates for a project management role and asked them for an example of how they got projects done. The candidate says they would get buy-in from Sam, Sue, Peter, and Rebecca and get things moving forward. That candidate would probably be successful at the first hospital and a failure at the second.

If the second candidate barked orders to Sam, Sue, Peter, and Rebecca, then held their feet to the fire, took names and kicked tail. They would probably succeed at the second hospital and fail at the first.

Both project managers can be very successful in the right situations and a flop in the wrong situation. The key question to ask: “Is this the way I would want this kind of situation handled here?” Interviewer focus on fit is so important, fit is just as important as skill.

aptitudeAptitude – has to do with the ability to learn. Here is the rub. You can teach the technical skills and competencies far easier than you can teach the behavioral competencies.

Which of the following would you rather try to teach and effect positive change? How to read a spreadsheet or integrity? I would rather teach someone to read a spreadsheet than teach someone that lacks integrity.

To me, trying to teach someone to act with integrity, to maintain self-control, to deal with ambiguity, to be dependable, etc. is futile.

Yet in the interview process we can learn whether or not the candidate has demonstrated the aptitude for learning, growing, and changing in the past, in a way that will help us predict their ability to move forward.

I was talking with an executive coach that observed all too often organizations call in coaches to try and help individuals that are on the verge of failing.

Let me share a story
Not long ago, I was working with a Hospital System CEO wanting to hire a new COO. The process started with an hour long one-on-one telephone Strategy Session. The second step was to conduct an hour long session with the selection team identifying the key behavioral and technical competencies for the position. We then created a structured interview for the next step.

A few weeks later the CEO lined up three candidates and we scheduled an onsite interview for the first candidate. On the day of the interview, we conducted an executive briefing in the morning on how the process would work. That afternoon I sat with the interview team and coached them through a live interview with their first candidate. Finally when the interview was completed, we debriefed the interview and rated the candidate’s level of competence for each competency and to determine Attitude, Aptitude, and Alignment.

One of the three candidates was a standout. The CEO took the top two candidates to the board for their approval. The Board asked that the candidates be assessed by an organizational psychologist. The reports came back and the psychologist mentioned that only about one percent of the candidates he has assessed, have what he calls the leadership “IT” factor, and the candidate I had said was a standout, had that leadership “IT” factor.


Most leaders want to hire class “A” candidates, candidates that can bring success to the organization. Great leaders recognize the importance of hiring the best and avoiding the rest. Plus, hiring mistakes at the executive level often have far greater consequences because of error than hiring at any other level. I’ve seen executive hiring mistakes cost organizations millions.

The typical interview that most people use has a reliability of about 15% in predicting a candidate’s potential for success. Those are pretty dismal odds. Yet, there is a solution. Following a structured process that assesses Attitude, Alignment, and Aptitude could raise your odds to about 90%. Which odds would you prefer?

stephenStephen Moulton is the Chief Insight Officer of Action Insight, he is also the author of the CEO’s Advantage, 7 keys for hiring extraordinary leaders and the forth coming book Engage – Leadership and Building an Engaged Team. For a free copy of a new report Seven Costly Interviewing Mistakes for 2013 – Leaders Need to Avoid! Go to If you have questions, he can be reached at 303-439-2001 or


Posted in Recruiting Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Subject: In case you haven’t heard…

Subject: In case you haven’t heard…

September 3rd, 2013


In case you haven’t heard, on Monday Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Key West without a shark cage.

What’s even more impressive is that Ms Nyad is 64 years old and this is the fifth time in 35 years that she has attempted this 110-mile swim through the Florida Straits, notorious for its strong currents, sharks and swarms of stinging jellyfish.

After completing the 53-hour feat, Ms Nyad shared this…..

“I have three messages…
One – we should never, ever give up.
Two – you are never too old to chase your dreams.
Three – it looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team.”

Read the New York Times Article here

Recruiting Top Talent for your company is much the same as the messages Ms. Nyad gave people to inspire them.

“We should never, ever give up”.

Recruiting Top Talent is much different than just selecting the best person who applied for your position. It takes a lot of time to gain their trust that working for you and your company is the right career move for them.  The candidate engagement process usually takes longer as Top Performers can always get a job, but if you have something that they feel would enhance their career then you have a chance of getting them. Remain engaged with Top Performers that turned you down and reach out to them again when another opportunity comes open at your company.  Perhaps the timing may be better for both of you the next time around.

“It looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team”.

It really does take a company wide effort to effectively recruit Top Talent to your company.  Remember the saying “First Impressions Are Everything”.  Well how many of you inform your front office people when you have a candidate coming in for an interview?  How many of you have polled your top performers on your team to find out what attracted them to come work for you, and what they like about working for your company?  That information helps define your company culture that you and your team can discuss during the candidate interview.  It really makes a great impression when the candidate hears the same message about what makes your company culture so strong from everyone they interview with.  Never assume that everyone on the interview team really knows what makes your company culture great.

Have you obtained collaboration and agreement upfront from your interview team and boss? Run the goals and expectations of the position that you came up with past everyone in your company that will have a say in who gets hired, and/or who will be on the interview team/committee for that position. This will save you time, frustration, and sometimes embarrassing moments by just making sure everyone is on the same page with regard to goals and expectations for the position you are recruiting for.

Do you have a senior company official lined up to help you recruit your top candidate?  Imagine the impact it would make if a candidate received a call from the company President, or department SVP to tell the candidate that they have heard great things about him/her and that they are looking forward to having them on their team.

Since Top Performers go about finding new employment opportunities differently you need to examine your process and team for recruiting them from beginning to end. How messages are written, how prospects are developed and nurtured, how their application process is designed, and how the best people who are not looking are interviewed, recruited and hired.

You can get other ideas on how to effectively recruit Top Performers by getting my free eBook:

“7 Killer Mistakes Stopping Top Performing Candidates From Ever Joining Your Company”

Let me know your thoughts about this article and if there is anything I can to do help you.

Kindest Regards,


Tony Bengtson, SPHR
Precision Recruiting, Inc.
CTRN Founder and President
Coors Corporate Gold Supplier Award Recipient
(303) 627-9189



Posted in Advice, Recruiting