Monday, July 18, 2016

Integrating Cultures After a Merger

Mergers often look great on paper – especially the dollars and sense of it. Not all mergers are successful. One of the reasons many of them aren’t as impactful as they could be, or even fail is because of company cultures that do not align.  It’s sometimes difficult, but possible to predict and proactively work to resolve. 

Management must decide which corporate culture to adopt or if they want some sort of combination of the two cultures. This is best done as closely as possible to the onset of the merger. Otherwise, the uncomfortable transition stage going from what life is for employees today vs. post-merger can lead to reduced productivity or even paralysis of the workforce.

Effectively combining two different corporate cultures requires management defining broad cultural objectives. Such objectives are laying out the ground rules of anticipated leadership structure and behavioral norms for employees. The ideal or the smoothest transition would be to try to change a little as possible. In most merger situations, one company culture will arise as more dominant than the other. It’s it important to protect that while also preserving certain parts of the other entity. Specifically, the focus should be on protecting the elements of the company culture that contributed to success.

Once the changes have been identified, management must communicate them as soon as possible. Again, with the focus on being as specific as possible. This will reduce confusion and allow for a quicker transition, avoiding unnecessary productivity losses. It is also important to allow feedback from the employees to gauge what changes are or are not working. This is the first step to deciding if further changes must be made.

If you need assistance navigating the tough road of combining cultures - let us help you! 

E-mail: info at  Twitter: @connor_caitlin

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mergers are nail-biters...

Mergers can be tough on leadership and employees alike. After a merger or acquisition, the organizational structure of the company the employees have become accustomed to can change in a flash. Change is typically off-putting to most people. Employees may become scared that they will be no longer needed or will have to impress a new boss. All of this can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety that can slow productivity or even paralyze your work force. Therefore, it's crucial to have a plan to manage anxiety (aside from Xanax) otherwise your team will be set up for failure. 

Communication is one of the most important ways to manage merger anxiety. Let your employees know what changes will be made as soon as possible. A lot of the fear of changes from mergers is due to not knowing exactly what the changes will be. Letting your employers know exactly what to expect can help them cope with the changes sooner, minimizing anxiety. If there is no communication, it's human nature for people to come up with the worst possible scenario in their minds, thus maximizing anxiety. 

It's also very important to be as honest with your employees as possible. If your company is the one being acquired, it is likely some employees will have to be let go due to redundant positions in the two companies. It is also likely some people will have to change their role or take on additional responsibilities. Being up front with your employees you feel will be most affected will give them more time to prepare. It will also lend to a better opportunity for all of you to manage the change, allowing for a smoother transition.

If you are anticipating rough roads again, but can't see the path - let us help you! 

E-mail: info at  Twitter: @connor_caitlin

Friday, March 11, 2016

Graduating College? Here is Something to Consider.

Getting hired right out of college is becoming tougher and tougher. Studies show that over half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. Many college graduates think getting a job out of college is all about your major and GPA; however, there are many other factors involved in getting a job fresh out of college.
Make sure you develop skills you won’t necessarily learn in the classroom. Employers are looking for graduates who are self-motivated, able to work in a team, and are willing to take risks. These skills can be learned through extracurricular activities and internships, so take advantage of these opportunities.

Don’t necessarily look for your dream job. Keep an open mind to all job opportunities and focus on what can get you to your dream job. It is not often that a fresh college graduate with limited experience will get the “perfect” position, you have to pay your dues and show employers you can the job. If you go for these stepping stone jobs, you will have a better chance of landing one, and still be on track to achieving your career goals.

Contact us at for tips and tricks to developing your business skills.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Look At That Confidence!

Have you ever noticed how most successful people are extremely confident? This is because in order to achieve your goals, you have to be confident in your own abilities!  People who lack that intrinsic confidence doubt their abilities to overcome obstacles, giving up on their goals too early. Finding ways to boost your confidence can be the key to achieving your goals whether they be academic, professional, or other.

Make sure you learn your strengths and weaknesses. Understanding what your strengths allows you to focus on tasks you know you can complete, boosting your confidence exponentially. Your weaknesses often are what bring your confidence down, but if you know what they are you can strengthen them, reducing their negative impact.

To build your confidence, you should find ways to celebrate small victories. While they may not seem like much, if you enjoy small achievements, you will have more motivation to complete future tasks. These compound, motivating you to complete even more tasks, and a series of these small victories can boost your confidence for months.

While confidence is definitely important towards achieving your goals, you don’t want to be arrogant. Confidence is based in reality and what you have actually accomplished, while arrogance is simply bragging about yourself. Being too confident makes you feel as if you can’t fail, significantly reducing your effort, which will inevitably lead to failure.

So have confidence in your own abilities, and continue taking the world by storm!

If you have any questions, or want some more development tips, please contact Connor|Caitlin Talent Solutions. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I Want to Change the World

In a recent LinkedIn article “10 Cherished Beliefs of Highly Successful People,” Read Here the tenth belief is “They believe they can change a small slice of the world – and will.”

Entirely too many people have decided they cannot make a difference. They think “What could I possibly do to change the world? I’m only one person.” Steve Jobs said, “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” So be crazy; believe you can change the world.

Whoever decided that in order to change the world you had to come up with the solution to world hunger or create everlasting world peace? Why can’t changing the world be as simple as volunteering at your local soup kitchen once a week, or becoming a big brother or big sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America? Heck, why can’t changing the world be helping with the fight for equal pay for women, or solving a reoccurring problem in your office?

Perhaps these suggestions are not as glamorous as solving world hunger, but we cannot all be Norman Borlaug. We can all make a difference though. Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Start there. Simply think about what you want to change in the world and what you can change in your daily life to help start that change.

At this point you may be wondering what on earth changing the world has to do with business or talent solutions. Change is constant. It is continuously happening all around us. If you are not the one influencing change in your company, community, country, world, who is? Someone is, there are people changing the world right now while you’re reading this. Just ask yourself, why not you?

Connor | Caitlin would love to discuss changes with you and your company’s talent changing the world. Contact us at

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Video Marketing; a Visual Strategy

The goal of all methods of advertisement is to make your business stand out from your competitors and be chosen by consumers. Most businesses constantly have the struggle of wanting to stand out, while keeping in mind staying within a budget for their marketing efforts. Advertising your business in such a divided market space today can get pricey.

A simple and easy advertisement strategy is video marketing. According to comScore, about 45% of Internet users viewed at least one video per month. This isn’t too surprising since the Internet has become so dominant in today’s society.  Video marketing captures the user’s attention and allows you to deliver your message in a way that everyone can comprehend.

There are many statistics that have proven video marketing is even more effective than the more popular forms of advertisement. First off, “90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60K times faster in the brain than text” according to Zabisco. About 52% of consumers state that they are more confident in the company or product after watching a video, according to Invodo. Now this number may be a bit surprising, but according to Orion 21 there is an 800% increase in conversation on websites with videos versus those without.

Video marketing encourages mobile users to share videos, use the video content, and take action. However, it’s important to remember to keep your video short and to the point. Your video should be about one to two minutes long, but nothing over two minutes because after that viewers often lose interest. Video marketing is a smart advertising tactic because it’s easy, inexpensive, and powerful.

Please contact for more tips on how to market your company.  

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Question Everyone Hates

“What is your biggest weakness?” This question is asked in almost every job interview. It is the question that makes most candidates lie, or at least give a very weak answer. This can be a dreaded part of any interview.   

I am about to drop a truth bomb on you, so prepare yourselves. Everyone is flawed. I know, it’s crazy that you are not the only not perfect person, but it is true. I realize that everyone knows this, but that raises the question why do we feel like we all have to be? It is perfectly fine to not be perfect. It makes you human, and it might even make you more likeable.

Being honest when you answer this question shows you have humility and know that you can make improvements on yourself. If you can talk about your goals to fix your weaknesses, that is even better. Now if you really want to impress the interviewers, tell them how the role you are interviewing for will help you fulfill your goals towards improvement.

It’s okay to have flaws, and it is okay to admit them. Whether you need some work on time management, procrastination, or even need to improve your planning skills, that is okay. The important thing is to be aware of your flaws and strive to become better. Play on your strengths and use them to help you in your weaknesses.

Next time you get the dreaded question, you will be ready to answer with confidence. Admit your flaw, explain your goal to fix it, outline your plan to meet the goal, and tell them how the new position will help. You will knock it out of the park!

For tips on how to better answer interview questions, contact us at