EP 23: Talent Development and Succession Planning with Derrick Carter

Talent Development and Succession Planning

Have you ever been left wondering about your path through an organization? Hopefully, this episode will make certain your employees never feel that way. Today we are speaking with Derrick Carter, Hendricks CareerTek Director, about how you can create meaningful talent pathways within your organization and ensure your staff actually recognize that they exist.

Listen in as Derrick explains how you can recruit great talent, as well as why recruitment needs to be an ongoing process, not a split-second decision. You’ll learn the importance of setting expectations with your staff from the beginning and how to portray the culture of your company so your staff (and potential hires) can understand how they may fit into that workspace.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • Derrick’s mentors throughout his career. (3:39)
  • How to recruit staff and ensure there is a pathway they can see. (6:05)
  • The importance of having mentors and/or expectations within your organization for the new hires. (10:09)
  • Why allowing students or staff to explore their options is key. (16:24)
  • The difference between training and developing. (17:45)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals:

  • Ensure that communication is consistent and executed properly for staff. (24:20)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives:

  • Understand that you are the key to making this successful. (22:20)

Ideas Worth Sharing:

“I think it is important that HR leaders see that recruiting is an ongoing process.” - Derrick Carter Click To Tweet “Culture is extremely important for a company.” - Derrick Carter Click To Tweet “Explore as many things as you would like.” - Derrick Carter Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode:

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: Have you ever wondered what the heck is my path through this organization.

Traci Scherck: Welcome to talent optimization with Tracy Scherck and today we are having a conversation about how do we create meaningful talent pathways through our organizations.

Traci Scherck: And how do we ensure that our staff actually know that they exist so with me today is Derrick Carter and Derek is with us from Hendrix career tech Derek welcome.

Derrick Carter: Thank you Tracy glad to be here.

Traci Scherck: Thank you so much for being with us, and I have to say i’m just thrilled that you’re joining us, not only because of the position that you hold right now at Hendrix career tech of really partnering with.

Traci Scherck: Education partnering with students that are you know middle school high school age, along with employers in our region, but also because of the path that you’ve taken to kind of get to where you’re at as being that that regional marketing.

Traci Scherck: Marketing role with ABC supply company really ensuring that for that sales and marketing organization, you had the talent pathways in place to have the right people in the right seat at the right time.

Derrick Carter: Yes, it’s been very interesting my career in terms of being able to be in sales and marketing and, as you said how I got here and started out.

Derrick Carter: With a job, just in sales and of course learned a lot early on in my career and always have had a passion for sales and.

Derrick Carter: Potentially work with a spies regional sales and marketing manager, and there I think pretty instrumental in terms of helping people develop their skills and increase their customer base in helping managers grow their sales and profits.

Traci Scherck: awesome Thank you so much, Derek so i’m curious, if you think all the way back to your days at uw eau Claire and you know that very first kind of position for you did you know what your career pathway was going to look like.

Derrick Carter: know quite frankly I actually went into the eau Claire as a computer science major.

Derrick Carter: And I was very fortunate to get an internship when I was a sophomore I had an internship with creative research.

Derrick Carter: And was in their data processing department and it started as an internship and then after a year doing that they actually hired me full time so I actually worked and went to school full time for two and a half years.

Derrick Carter: But it was there that I kind of felt computer science really wasn’t the path that I wanted to go because, being in front of a screen all day and it’s quite ironic that we kind of do that now because we’re using computers so.

Derrick Carter: My but I felt like i’ve always really enjoyed working with people and so decided to look at a business and focus more on marketing and really changed my direction from computer science to to marketing.

Traci Scherck: So i’m super curious as you looked at, you know changing that direction was there anything laid out within cray or a mentor within cray that really helped to kind of see what that vision was not only for your career, but for that next position within the organization.

Derrick Carter: Well, I created research no there wasn’t really a mentor there from the standpoint of developing my career at that point in, but I did have mentors outside of brain I had two very instrumental individuals, both of whom were in sales and marketing.

Derrick Carter: interesting but.

Derrick Carter: They had a very significant influence on me and I really loved how they approached.

Derrick Carter: LIFE I love you know their career path and talking about the things that they had accomplished, I think that that kind of influenced me to really go down that path in terms of sales and marketing so while that crazy there wasn’t really.

Derrick Carter: A mentor per se, it was more of a job, I think, at that point, it turned into helping me get through college and help me pay for college.

Derrick Carter: Because I want to believe, as maybe around my junior year second semester, that I really begin to think about going into a different direction so.

Derrick Carter: Having that job, it was a very good paying job for someone in college and like I said it was more about them just trying to help me pay to get for school, as opposed to a career with that organization.

Traci Scherck: Thank you so much for that, because I think something that’s really important is.

Traci Scherck: As employers we’re looking for certain things within with individuals, and it may be hey we’re looking for someone for what are two years we’re looking for someone that can build their career with us.

Traci Scherck: and based on kind of those seats that we have what the organization needs and what the job needs, we can then start to target our recruitment to that, but also know that hey here’s where these next steps are to ensure that we have those pathways into and through the organization.

Traci Scherck: So Derek i’m really curious about you know there’s three key things that we had chatted about a little bit earlier when we talk about talent pathways.

Traci Scherck: And I know that you implemented these very successfully at ABC supply in your 14 years there and I know that this is something that you’re working really closely with the employers now as you’re partnering with students, and that is.

Traci Scherck: recruiting staff training staff and and developing them, so I just want to break these down into those steps tell us a little bit about how you can recruit staff, all of the time and ensure that there’s a pathway that they see.

Derrick Carter: Right yeah I think it’s really important that HR leaders understand that recruiting is an ongoing process that if you just simply hire someone when you need an individual to fill a.

Derrick Carter: spine sometimes you don’t make a good decision find the right person to fill that seat because it’s more of a.

Derrick Carter: need right now, as opposed to trying to find a person that’s going to really have an impact on the business or within that position.

Derrick Carter: And so I think that with having a mindset of recruiting both externally and internally, should be a consistent mindset and it depends upon you know what type of.

Derrick Carter: Very end but it’s it’s about asking customers it’s about asking family members and friends about people that they know who may have been interested in that type of of opportunity.

Derrick Carter: or understanding, who your competitors are and who is the best person in that position.

Derrick Carter: So that when there is a need, maybe you can reach out to that person to start talking or create a dialogue about those opportunities.

Derrick Carter: And I think from the standpoint of recruiting as well it’s about how that company convey their message and talk about their culture.

Derrick Carter: And what’s important to the company and so that students can add more students or people can understand how they fit in with it within that culture culture is extremely important for a company.

Derrick Carter: And i’m also really into branding I think you have to brand your company have to brand your message so having that information that’s in a package so that people can totally understand.

Derrick Carter: Who, you are what you stand for Where are you going that’s extremely critical in.

Derrick Carter: The recruiting process, because people need to be able to identify with that, to make sure that they’re a good fit right it’s about the company trying to decide if that person is a good fit but it’s also.

Derrick Carter: That individual have to decide if the company is a good fit for them, and I think once those two things come together that’s the starting point of really making a great.

Derrick Carter: relationship and being able to then look at how do we train and how do we develop that individual along the proper pathways.

Traci Scherck: I love what you just stated, about bad that it definitely isn’t two way interview versus just that one way interview.

Traci Scherck: But it’s also you know when we’re interviewing here at elevated talent, we like to look at this as the head the heart and the briefcase right so that hat is essentially what are those behavioral traits that you naturally have.

Traci Scherck: And when we look at those those are things like hey I naturally and I.

Traci Scherck: Am an independent driven leader versus I am naturally a leader, that really works through my team right.

Traci Scherck: So, knowing that really knows hey here’s a behavioral trait that this specific position needs and knowing what our talent pathway through the organization is.

Traci Scherck: As I grow I may need more detail orientation or I may need more independent leadership.

Traci Scherck: So we can know hey how individuals grow based on that right so that’s the head when we look at the heart that’s really looking at the culture.

Traci Scherck: What is the culture of the organization What are those shared values, beliefs.

Traci Scherck: That they’re serving, are we really Community oriented are we, you know family oriented where we want that blend or are we want we’re hate 80 hour weeks here is normal.

Traci Scherck: And you know both of those are okay, but we just need to know what the individual wants for this stage in their life is.

Traci Scherck: aligned with what the company needs for them reaching their business goals based on their current business strategy and then third, of course, is looking specifically at.

Traci Scherck: The education, the experience, etc, so thank you so much, Derek for lining that out and allowing me to kind of you know we through you know how we do that with our clients.

Derrick Carter: yeah absolutely and I think that way to really be able to develop that and understand, particularly the heart is the company have to have the structure in place where someone a mentor.

Derrick Carter: is working closely with that individual so that they get a chance to really understand.

Derrick Carter: What how that individual feels and what their behavior patterns are because it’s not a one size fit all it’s a one to one relationship.

Derrick Carter: And until that takes place it’s very difficult for perhaps the employee and the employer to really accomplish their goals, so I totally agree, I think it is extremely important that those things are identified and.

Derrick Carter: That, I think kind of fits into the training piece as well, so with the training it’s about setting clear expectations for the employee because oftentimes when an employee comes into a new job.

Derrick Carter: they’re not really sure about what to do and that uncertainty for cause a little bit of frustration, so the expectations are set.

Derrick Carter: Then I think it’ll make it a little bit easier assigning a mentor to help them through that process, but I think the another critical piece in fact.

Derrick Carter: I would even submit to you that I would probably have that person identify early on, before that new employees hired.

Derrick Carter: So when they get brought on board, there is someone to introduce them and say hey here’s an individual is going to talk you through the process.

Derrick Carter: And then understanding that timeline for as they go through the training, because the training is about you know what are they going to learn tactically important instructional me to do the job.

Derrick Carter: So understanding what the timeline is at each station or areas that the employee is going to work in in order to understand their job.

Derrick Carter: And I think you know the elements are the components of the job, making sure that that’s detail or the employee as well, and then I think that there is a need for periodic meetings between.

Derrick Carter: The employee and that mental or their Supervisor to sit down and talk about hey what’s working for them what’s not working, where can we improve.

Derrick Carter: What do they need how having that structure kind of a sit down meeting I think really gives the employee an opportunity to share their thoughts as opposed to wondering.

Derrick Carter: Who do I go and talk to about this i’m really challenged, right now, but I think just having those kind of guidelines in place will make that whole process much easier.

Traci Scherck: I love what you just said about the intentionality of the planning for that training, you know and i’m going to circle back to the recruitment conversation earlier, I know, one of the questions that is so often in.

Traci Scherck: In interviews is where do you see yourself in five years, right and one of the challenges that I always have for managers, is, I want you, as the manager and leader inside the organization to answer the question of.

Traci Scherck: Where do you see this individual in five years, as far as their career path planning what promotion opportunities do you see for them and actually sharing that with the individual.

Traci Scherck: Because so often as mentors and managers, we have the ability to see individuals, bigger than they see themselves and then that floats into those mentoring, training, coaching conversations with our staff so i’m curious Have you ever done anything like that, with your experience.

Derrick Carter: yeah I think that that’s a very important point, because one of the things that happens on particularly with managers so, for example in sales managers can have a.

Derrick Carter: driver who basically has great communication skills i’m very great with customers, but at the end of the day, they kind of see.

Derrick Carter: something bigger for that driver right oh my God that driver you really need to be in sales well that may or may not be the case for that driver but sitting down and talking about that.

Derrick Carter: and introducing that concept to the driver and it may be a situation where hey, no one has ever really talked to me about it, I like to learn more about it and.

Derrick Carter: Through that that could really be a career path for that driver and, quite frankly, it was never even considered when he came or she came on board right, so I think that you’re absolutely right.

Derrick Carter: Those situations are critically important to have that kind of dialogue to recognize those talents and put it lays a game plan.

Derrick Carter: Of what is that next step, where did you want to go and how do we help you get there, I think that that’s a very salient point is how do we help you get there and helping that person reach their career goals and aspirations.

Traci Scherck: yeah and sometimes things aren’t as obvious right, so we utilize and most of our listeners utilize a tool called predictive index where there’s actually a job match there.

Traci Scherck: But i’ll saying hey this person’s an eight out of 10 match where we can then take a look at those and actually bring that up in the conversations because it’s something many times the managers and the employees don’t see either.

Traci Scherck: But sometimes when you have that independent tool that’s looking specifically at those behavioral traits you can go oh my gosh, this is the easy button to at least solicits the conversation and having another way to look at it, so thank you so much for that, and I want.

Traci Scherck: Thank you so much for sharing that because that leads us right into this developing right is is how do we develop our staff.

Traci Scherck: and one of the key things that you know you just talked about is hey we’re giving opportunity is, and I think so often.

Traci Scherck: that when we look at what you want to do what you not want to do is as, if not more important than what you do want to do.

Traci Scherck: So I want to tell a story before we jump into this specifically to your position at Hendrix career teck where you’re really working with middle school and high school students.

Traci Scherck: and introducing that much like you just said that you were doing at ABC supplied to a myriad of different companies and opportunities.

Traci Scherck: But both of my boys have gone through Hendrix career tech programs, and you know.

Traci Scherck: My son quintin is like mom I will never do computer programming, I absolutely hate it but i’m glad I have the experience and the welding you know, maybe I want to know it, and do it on the side, but I never want to do it as a career.

Traci Scherck: But man when I got to get into the hospital stuff and the medical stuff that’s what I want to do, and can I get more experiences like that.

Derrick Carter: yeah that’s awesome i’m so glad to hear that, because one of the things that we really try to do here at career tech is we want students to explore.

Derrick Carter: We don’t want them to have to come in and feel like they know exactly what they want to do and I submit to you that the majority of.

Derrick Carter: kids feel that way right there are those outliers that know exactly what they wanted to do like when they were six years old, they want to be a firefighter because their dad was a firefighter their uncle.

Derrick Carter: But many kids don’t have that luxury and so what we try to say is love explore as many things as you would like it and.

Derrick Carter: get a chance to see you know is that something that is appealing to me, and if it isn’t like you said it’s equally important to identify those things.

Derrick Carter: That aren’t and so we’re really proud of the way that we approach it and to give students those kind of opportunities, so that they can see what direction, maybe the best for them.

Traci Scherck: awesome Thank you so much for that.

Traci Scherck: Now leaning back into how we develop individuals through organizations, I know you have a ton of experience with this specifically and I think having that roadmap of hey I can see that there’s a leadership track, I can see that there’s potentially a specialist track.

Traci Scherck: inside of an organization tell me a little bit more about how you’ve seen that done super successfully and how you’ve kind of.

Traci Scherck: You know, done that as well.

Derrick Carter: yeah The one thing I wanted to say before I get into that is.

Derrick Carter: want to make a very clear distinction that there is a real fine line between training and development sometimes I think those kind of get.

Derrick Carter: merged together but developing this is taking it to a whole nother level it’s about really, as you said, recognizing that talent, but sitting down.

Derrick Carter: And having those discussions with the individual and trying to understand where do they see themselves where would they like to go, and I am.

Derrick Carter: on a continuous basis you know, during in or not interviews, but during reviews employee reviews that’s a great opportunity to really start talking about where does.

Derrick Carter: That employee see themselves as you said, going back to that three to five years during the interview that should be something in my opinion that’s constant throughout your career.

Derrick Carter: Because it’s a such it’s about growth and how are we going to know how that person is is is going to grow unless we have some idea of where they want to be, three, four or five years down the road.

Derrick Carter: And I think it’s also about recognizing how well they’re doing in their current position, what are some of their strengths, what are some of their weaknesses.

Derrick Carter: And how are we maximizing those strengths and how are we trying to improve upon those weaknesses so to me it’s an ongoing process in that manager and then employee working together.

Derrick Carter: and creating that roadmap along the way, so that they know exactly what needs to be done to achieve that next goal.

Derrick Carter: And I think that it’s important to that employee should never be surprise right if something happens, it should not be a shock to him if there is that clear communication along the way.

Derrick Carter: Both parties will know whether or not that individual is either exceeding those expectations mean those expectations are falling short of those expectations.

Derrick Carter: And I think that that also is going to be able to draw nigh the role of where that individual goals, because, while we may recognize in the beginning there certain talents.

Derrick Carter: But it also is going to depend upon the position in the future right we’ll go same talents be applicable or skills, be necessary for that next position.

Derrick Carter: In not what do we need to do to try to make sure that that person has those additional skills in order to reach that next level.

Derrick Carter: So this is a situation where it gets its ongoing and that’s one of the things I really liked about my position at supply is that, being able to work with salespeople and managers on a continuous basis to try to help them really.

Derrick Carter: get to where they wanted to be that’s was perhaps the most rewarding in that in that role.

Traci Scherck: Thank you for doing that differentiation between training and development, because that is a really key point that so often just gets jumbled into one.

Traci Scherck: And I know you’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of folks over your career, so do you have an example of when a young person found early success, because the company had a very well defined process.

Derrick Carter: Yes, as a matter of fact, we just play someone with a company on this past December, a young lady a single mom and looking for career and because of the company structure.

Derrick Carter: They basically allowed that individual to work in different areas of the business and.

Derrick Carter: She found her niche and absolutely loves it and she’s thriving right now doing an extremely great job, but I think it’s again because the.

Derrick Carter: Big company allowed her the opportunity to kind of get a flavor of different positions within that organization.

Derrick Carter: To make sure that she was in the right seat on the bus, if you will, right because that really allowed her to have the confidence that she needed in order to be successful if they would have just maybe hired her put her into one.

Derrick Carter: position major it wouldn’t work, maybe not, but I think because of that situation of experiencing those different areas was really the catalyst for her being successful, and I think on a way to a very good career with this particular organization.

Traci Scherck: What a win, not only for her but that’s a huge one for the organization of increasing your retention but also ensuring that your business strategy.

Traci Scherck: is aligned to your business results by creating that well defined people strategy so that those outcomes are met, and not just based on what the HR leaders idea of that is but the managers.

Traci Scherck: And the executive team, so thank you so much for that story, and as we wrap up you know there’s always two questions we asked what do you believe is one key takeaway for our executives listening in today.

Derrick Carter: I think the key thing is that executive should make sure that they understand that they’re going to be the key.

Derrick Carter: to making this happen and making it successful that there needs to be that structure built around the recruiting around the training and the development.

Derrick Carter: Of the employees, if that structure is in place and metrics are set, then you can begin to see whether or not it’s working and if it’s not working, where the deficiencies.

Derrick Carter: Right and so at that point, one can put in countermeasures as well, but I think the leadership in terms of the CEOs they have to make sure that this pathway and strategy approach is develop and it’s.

Derrick Carter: It permeates throughout the organization that everyone knows in middle management, how important it is and how they’re going to be measured.

Derrick Carter: let’s face it, people that’s the greatest asset for company and oftentimes I think individuals get so wrapped up into their jumping forget that and they forget.

Derrick Carter: that it really does take an investment of time to make sure that these things happen, but if you don’t have good quality people.

Derrick Carter: In the right seat on the bus to be able to perform their job at a high level that’s really going to have a negative impact on the confidence so it’s important.

Derrick Carter: That each company does that, to make sure that those key things are in place, and I believe, if they do, and like I said develop metrics that you can hold people accountable I think that’ll make things much more easier for the employees to come in, or it has a potential pathway of success.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, because what gets measured gets managed right and ensuring that those timelines are there as well, because there are certain things that need to happen within a certain period of time, but then there’s some longer timelines that are definitely needed right.

Traci Scherck: Exactly, so what is what’s one key takeaway for our HR professionals listening in today.

Derrick Carter: Well, I think.

Derrick Carter: HR executives and the personnel need to be in a position where they’re executing these.

Derrick Carter: You know strategies or this process, and they have to make sure that the people that are involved in terms of the managers and supervisors.

Derrick Carter: That their constant communication with them as well right again, I think that having some type of quarterly meeting to make sure are we on the right time.

Derrick Carter: Looking at attrition what’s going on with attrition are we at a level where.

Derrick Carter: we’re able to retain our people at a high level once once the industry standard right, how do we index against that industry standard.

Derrick Carter: And again, what are the contributions that we need to put in place, and this is something that.

Derrick Carter: I think, is always should be in the forefront continuous improvement.

Derrick Carter: I think if someone looks at their model today that may not be or should not be the model of tomorrow because there’s external stimuli that’s constantly changing things, and you have to adapt and I think HR has to lead the way to meet the needs of the current.

Derrick Carter: situation with potential employees right you mentioned communication how we communicate with young people a day is extremely important.

Derrick Carter: Right and we have to make those kinds of adjustments, but I think.

Derrick Carter: There has to be someone who really oversees that process and make sure that the folks that are responsible for developing these individuals that that’s happening and we don’t let people fall through the cracks.

Derrick Carter: Because I think that oftentimes we look at the individual as the one that really well they left because they weren’t a good fit well sometimes it’s the environment as well.

Derrick Carter: Right and the.

Derrick Carter: human resource department and the managers they’re responsible for that environment they’re responsible for that culture right it’s easy to point the finger at someone else but anytime you lose a person, I think the question should be What could we have done differently.

Derrick Carter: I do it yourself to see if there’s a way.

Derrick Carter: To take that situation and make it improve it, so that it prevents another person from lead.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, you know and we say here at elevated talent all the time we believe every individual, has a right and twice to be fulfilled in the work that they’re doing.

Traci Scherck: And the leadership team inside of organizations, has an obligation to create the container for individuals truly to be fulfilled in their work as aligned to what that business strategy is to reach those business outcomes.

Derrick Carter: Absolutely, I agree wholeheartedly.

Traci Scherck: So thank you so much for listening in today, if you want to learn more about Hendrix career tech or Derrick Carter you can find him on linkedin and in the show notes, we do have links to Hendrix career tech.

Traci Scherck: You know if you’re interested in an in a program that is really leading edge, as far as creating.

Traci Scherck: opportunities for young folks in our communities and really partnering with organizations to create those talent pathways.

Traci Scherck: Take a look at what Hendrix career tech is doing, because they’re doing phenomenal phenomenal work.

Traci Scherck: So with that if you are interested in learning more about how you create those talent pathways in your organization.

Traci Scherck: Please join us for upcoming webinar within our talent optimization foundation program where we will lay out these key steps to building those step by step for you inside your organization thanks so much and have a great rest of your day.