People often ask us how The ALS Group is able to attract and retain such a high degree of talent among our leadership and staff. We were recently invited to share some of our secrets at the Ninth Annual “Assessing & Developing High Potentials Summit,” which was sponsored by HRO Today and held (virtually) September 16-17, 2020.
The summit brought together HR professionals from across the country to address the challenges faced by organizations looking to succeed in today’s turbulent business environment. The key? Developing agile leaders, using updated leadership-development models and approaches. That’s what’s needed in a fast-paced environment like ours marked by uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
The ALS Group’s own Vice President of Talent Management, Jessica Aviles, joined HR professionals from Pfizer, EY, PepsiCo, Columbia Business School, and the Atlanta Braves (among others) to lead a special session on “Developing and Nurturing ‘Home-Grown’ Talent in a Specific Industry.” Jessica has 12 years of people management experience and now actively spearheads The ALS Group’s internship program which has a “grow-our-own” staffing model for entry-level candidates seeking to establish a career in Risk Management.
Here are some of the insights Jessica shared with the summit attendees:
- Fit is tricky. Finding the right talent at the start of their career when they possess little to no experience can be difficult when you’re trying to create the next generation of leaders in your organization. How much potential, or engagement, do they bring? Are they right for you? Are you right for them? The commitment between employer and candidate is a two way street.
- Shaping the journey is essential. What is the goal of your internship program? How does it align with the intern’s goals? Do you have a structure in place to hear their thoughts on whether your organization is the best choice for them, long-term? Some kind of ‘entry interview’ is important in a program like this.
- Remote work adds another layer of complexity. It’s never been more important for you to identify the critical-thinking skills necessary for your interns to succeed in their roles, and when they’re not sitting in your office it makes it that much more important for communication channels to stay open.
The ALS Group has addressed all these questions and incorporated the answers into our internship program. That’s why it’s been so consistently successful. It includes elements such as:
- Training structures; that are established well before an intern starts at The ALS Group. This provides them with the tools they need to succeed and creates a clear path forward.
- Project spec sheets; by which multiple leaders can contribute what they aim to accomplish for a given initiative.
- Project progress presentations; which are conducted weekly and/or bi-weekly to keep projects moving forward efficiently and allows the interns in the program to present to leadership in the firm as they would if this was in front of a client. Many valuable lessons come from these presentations shaping their skills on how to run an effective meeting.
- Evaluations; which are provided to ensure that all interns get the feedback they require to stay on track, maximize on successes and improve on weaknesses. This is also a good time for The ALS Group leadership to receive feedback on where the interns feel there are struggles and how their experience is progressing in the program.
Many intern candidates will be able to “talk the talk.” But to find out if they can “walk the walk,” you need to identify their work ethic and cultural fit within your organization. This is why The ALS Group’s internship program has been so rigorously structured... and so successful. Each candidate is hand-picked to ensure they will fit within the current team.
If you’d like to take advantage of The ALS Group’s team approach to risk management, contact us today for a complimentary initial consultation. You can also follow Jessica Aviles on LinkedIn for updates on the firm and career opportunities.