Kelley Reinhardt
Author Archives: Kelley Reinhardt

Leadership Traits Growing the Leader From Within

Leadership Traits NextGen Global Executive Search

Leadership Traits  Growing the Leader from Within Yourself

Leadeship Traits Growing the Leader from within

Leadership traits are defined by what we do, not the role we are in. Leadership is action, not a position. Some people in leadership roles are excellent leaders. But too many are bosses, "snoopervisors," technocrats, bureaucrats, managers, commanders, chiefs, and the like. Whether in enterprise mobility, manufacturing, or consumer devices, strong leaders are well-rounded and constantly expanding their personal leadership traits across these key areas.

Leadership Traits in Functional Management Roles

To lead is to show the way by going in advance. To lead is to guide or direct a course of action. To lead is to influence the behavior or opinion of others. We all need to be leaders, regardless of our formal title or role. This starts with inner leadership traits in self-leadership and moves outward to influence, guide, support, and lead others.

The process of becoming a leader is the same as the process of becoming a highly effective human being. Leadership development is personal development. Effective leadership traits ultimately shows itself in what we do "out there." But it starts "in here."

It would be easy if we could all become leaders by following a simple set of steps. But the journey of personal growth means finding our own way. There are, however, critical areas of personal development based on timeless principles. The distance we need to grow along each of the leadership traits dimensions will differ for each of us, but defining and continually growing along each of these paths is the way of the leader.

Expanding Key Personal Leadership Traits

Strong leaders are well-rounded and constantly expanding their personal leadership traits across many areas, however these areas are key:

  • Choose Not to Lose. Whether we choose to focus on our problems or our possibilities is a key leadership issue. When we are faced with obstacles and failure, those with the leadership traits who can overcome adversity and learn from their experiences, turning them into opportunities, are the ones who will be truly successful.
  • Focus and Context. The core of my being: This is central to our growth along all the other leadership traits dimensions. Our Focus and Context is shaped by three vital questions: Where am I going? (my vision); What do I believe in? (my principles and values) and; Why do I exist? (my purpose or mission).
  • Responsibility for Choices. If it's to be, it's up to me: Good leadership traits means accepting responsibility for our choices in life. Leaders realize that life accumulates, that choice more than chance determines their circumstances. They refuse to succumb to the "Victimitus Virus" ("it's all their fault" and "there's nothing I can do").
  • Authenticity. Getting real: Leadership isn't just what we do, it's something that we are, which then drives what we do.  Great leadership traits are authentic, and based on honesty, integrity, and trust. We must ring true to ourselves by exploring our inner space, gathering feedback on our personal behavior, and ensuring consistency with our stated values and principles.
  • Passion and Commitment. Beyond near-life experiences: Successful people are energized by a love for what they do because it brings them ever closer to who they are. They have the leadership traits that overcome apathy and cynicism, develop a burning commitment to their cause, and with discipline achieve their dreams and desires.
  • Spirit and Meaning. With all my heart and soul: What is the purpose of our work? Of our lives? Material success alone is not enough. Leaders seek within their leadership traits and find something more. In what is too often a mad dash from cradle to grave, we need to take time in work and life to nourish our inner selves.
  • Growing and Developing. From phase of life to way of life: The popular goals of security, stability, and predictability are deadly. The closer we get to these dangerous goals, the more our growth is stunted. Good leadership traits will reflect true and lasting security comes from constant growth and development, based on regular reflection and renewal.
  • Mobilizing and Energizing. Putting emotions in motion: Leaders don't motivate with rewards and punishments. Whether at home or in the workplace, they energize people to motivate themselves. Highly effective leaders who possess ethical leadership traits boost the energy of others with their passion and appreciation. They engage people's hearts as well as their minds.

Effective Leadership Traits Make a Difference

The more the world changes, the more leadership principles stay the same. And effective leadership traits apply to all of us; no matter what role we play in society or organizations.  NextGen Global Executive Search uses a proprietary Performance Based Retained Search to recruit exceptional executives with good leadership traits. Contact us today for a free consultation or demo of our proven executive recruitment process.

NextGen Global Executive Search

Job References Making Calls vs. Automated Software for Employment Checks

Job References - Making Calls vs. Automated Software

job references making calls

All companies expect job references, aka professional and employment references to be conducted prior to making an offer of employment or shortly thereafter. Nine times out of ten these are pre-determined references provided by the candidate. Some may well include former bosses, former or current colleagues, and industry references.

That is the real question. Many of these are in fact “personal relationships” where the person(s) providing the employment references will give a glowing reference (call it pre-defined or pre-arranged) that is neither spontaneous and often times misleading. Since I am obligated to deliver a short list of candidates, I do not wait for a pending offer to conduct employment job references and comprehensive background checks.

Most Companies Use Outdated Process for Job References

In the 21st century, we live in a constantly moving and increasingly social media world.  Employees’ reputations - both professional and personal – can impact a company’s corporate image, affect how they are viewed by customers and vendors, and can project either a positive or negative social image of the company.  With that in mind, the employment verification call that includes employment references aka job references directly from Human Resources or the supervisor of said former employee is useless fodder.    Same goes for accepting verbatim without question those provided by the candidate as they are so often former colleagues who are great friends unwilling to look past a biased lense. 

After identifying a target list of potential candidates through my Rolodex, networking, and referrals, I conduct one to two pre-screening interviews with the objective of understanding the motivations, skills/experience, and accomplishments of those potential candidates. If I am satisfied, they move forward to deeper interviews on my INTERNAL candidate shortlist.

Use Behavioral Analysis Prior to Making Job References Calls

I have the potential shortlisted candidates take an online 10 minute behavioral survey. This customized testing produces a Behavioral Analysis on a candidate’s motivations, values, decision making traits, aptitudes, communications style, and whether they are a Natural Fit with the team AND the role.

Once armed with that analysis, I have sufficient data needed to conduct professional job references calls that are relevant to the role itself. Most search firms simply accept employment references provided solely by the candidates. What I ask from each candidate is for two each of the following current or former (within last 5 years) by name, phone, email, title, and relationship as follows:  superiors/managers they reported to, subordinates that reported to them, internal customers in their respective positions, external customers, peers or colleagues (professional references NOT like any of the above), and personal and/or community

I go one step further in validating the list of these employment job references requested of the candidates. I research, identify, and cold call former internal/external customers, colleagues, and vendors that were NOT supplied. These validate the professional references the candidate provided while at the same time reveal the best unscripted job references possible.

There are a growing number of companies who save time by automating job references checks. Some are pre-defined standard Human Resources types of questions. Others allow you to add your own questions for professional references checking. Thee system sends out emails, the contacts answer the questions online, and you get the results.

The problem here is that the human factor does not exist. You cannot hear and ask additional questions based upon what you actually hear and perceive, as well as lacks ability to build a relationship with these professional employment job references.  The truth is that I gain new relationships, fresh perspectives, and sometimes additional retained searches by conducting professional job reference calls the best way possible.

Avoid the Risk and Pitfalls of Hiring the Wrong Person

NextGen Global Executive Search has six practice areas that interconnect with each other.  These include artificial intelligence and augmented reality, aerospace cabin power systems and military stealth aircraft sensors, cyber security and cyber defense,  industrial automation and industrial power systems, medical devices and electronic health records, mobile networks with digital media and wireless systems.  

NextGen Global Executive Search


Candidate Video Interviews the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Candidate Video Interviews - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

candidate video interviews the good the bad and the ugly

Candidate video interviews in recruiting creates manageable content, and with cloud services the benefit of being able to edit, store, and convert to the appropriate information format for evaluating candidates or future consideration of a new opening.  The three types of candidate video interviews are:

  1. One-Way Video Interview: whereby the recruiter posts questions in the form of yes/no, multiple choice, or requiring a direct reply and the candidate can answer the questions.  Most often, the candidate can review the questions and rehearse/formulate their answers in practice sessions.  These are always recorded.
  2. Two-Way Video Interview: whereby there is a live interaction between the recruiter and the candidate and is often recorded.
  3. Group Video Interview:  whereby the candidate faces an interview panel and the entire interview is recorded.

Candidate Video Interviews can be Useful or Worthless

The one-way type is very basic and for lower level positions where a body or limited skills and experiences may be all that is required, this method certainly enables a pre-screening of dozens of applicants.  In the one-way video interview in recruiting, there is no live interaction between the recruiter/interviewer and the candidate/interviewee.  While many believe the one way video interview offers unique advantage of enabling the candidate to likely provide honest answers without panicking or being under undue stress, this is folly. 

The problem is not dishonesty, rather skewered embellishments.  Secondly while the idea is that by not seeing the candidate first, this preempts some type of discrimination or bias, those subconscious biases will come into play once the recruiter views the recorded video interview.  Finally, a major disadvantage is that the recruiter cannot challenge the candidate’s answers nor visually see eye/mouth/facial and body movements and tonal differentiation in the challenges that recruiters trained in behavioral interviewing techniques could make a proper assessment of.

The two-way candidate video interviews in recruiting has the advantage of the recruiter witnessing changes in body movements/expressions (hands, eyes, mouth, sweating) and tonal changes. The ability to challenge answers and delve deeper into particular areas of the interview is a huge benefit over one-way interviews.  There are two disadvantages:  one is the limited time that recruiters have  to conduct an X number of two-way video interviews each week; the second is more difficult to measure as it is preferable to have more than one interviewer whose style, technical or behavioral assessment skills may be better suited for certain types of questions and interaction.

The group candidate video interviews in recruiting is the most difficult to schedule and if not planned properly can result in a disastrous outcome.  A group video interview is similar to a panel interview in-person.  In my 25 years in executive search, sadly 70% of all panel interviews are poorly structured and result in sometimes unfair evaluations.

Time  and time again I had clients fail to collaborate to give me the foundation and structure of the panel interview and the personalities involved leaving me in the sad situation of not being able to fully prepare the candidate for the panel interview or relying solely upon the client’s group decision about which candidate to hire.  

Properly Plan the Candidate Video Interviews in Recruiting

It took me several years to come up with the right solution.  Before a candidate is presented on the shortlist, we have already conducted psychometric testing and weighted against the team profile the candidate hired will be working with, having surveyed those internal customers at the beginning of the search.  By formulating a composite team profile which measures the cultural values, relational communications skills, and decision-making traits, we are certain the candidates who best fit the team are presented.

The added benefit is because we know the individual client members traits, as recruiters we are in a unique position to advise on the structure and responsibilities of the individual panel members as well as the overall group concerning candidate video interviews.  What we find is that the panel video job interview in recruiting structures are often hastily organized or dominated by one person.  A senior recruiter’s expert advice in group/panel interviews is greatly appreciated by clients.

Solutions for Effective Candidate Video Interviews in Recruiting

The benefits and disadvantages of the candidate video interviews in recruiting that are outlined above do showcase that these are evolving tools which confer a company or business entity with the advantages of cost-efficiency and excellent time management which in turn reduce the losses (and some overhead costs) thereby optimizing the overall value of the company.   

Retained search firm are diligent in not just unmasking and assessing the best candidates, but they present a shortlist of candidates with complete dossiers including analysis of skills/expertise, relevant accomplishments and problem solving methods, documented contacts and relationships, behavioral and team fit analysis completed, social media reputation report and comprehensive background checks. This means that the in-person interviews are more forward-looking rather than wasting time to attain information a contingency recruiter failed to acquire. 

Since the Hiring Manager now knows everything about the selected candidates presented, the lead recruiter develops a short set of hypothetical and situational questions for those candidates.  These are designed to bear witness the candidates’ reasoning and thought processing skills in how they would handle a known situation or a possible issue/trend.  Those finalists’ candidate video interviews and assessments are delivered to the client.  

This also best prepares the Hiring Team to properly structure a group panel video interview for recruiting when scheduling conflicts and time differences preclude a 1st round of face-to-face interviews.   In this digital age, new challenges in utilizing candidate video interviews in recruiting will arise, but this will never eliminate the need and human touch of forward-looking face-to-face interviews.

Award-winning Recruitment Search Processect

Leadership Vault, the award-winning recruitment search methodology created by the managing partners of NextGen Global Executive Search, has consistently proven to result in what clients often describe as the best hire they have ever made and that the candidates brought forward met or exceeded their expectations.  Click the image below to discover our unique search process.   

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IoT Medical Devices Security Vulnerabilities on Wi-Fi Networks

IoT medical devices security

IoT Medical Devices Security Vulnerabilities  on Wi-Fi Networks

IoT medical devices security vulnerabilities

IoT medical devices security vulnerabilities affects many different types of in-hospital equipment including diagnostic equipment (e.g., MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machines and CT (Computerized axial Tomography) scanners), therapeutic equipment (e.g., infusion pumps and medical lasers) life support equipment (e.g., heart support machines), internet-connected devices for monitoring patients vital signs (e.g., thermometers, glucometers, blood pressure cuffs, wearables), as well as novel, intelligent and disruptive devices which can keep track of medication schedules (e.g., GlowCap outlets and AdhereTech wireless pills).

The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is gradually realizing a radical transformation of healthcare services based on the deployment of numerous medical devices, which already represent a considerable segment of the billions of internet-connected devices that are nowadays available.  

These devices are used in conjunction with mobile terminals (e.g., tablet computers, smart phones) which enable health professionals both to configure them and to visualize their data. Moreover, several IoT applications integrate RFID tags, as a means of uniquely identifying and associating with each other devices, patients, doctors, drugs, prescriptions and other artifacts engaging in the care service provisioning process. While several of the above listed devices can be deployed in the patients’ homes, the majority of them are deployed in the hospital environment.

In principle, IoT technologies enable the processing of data and the orchestration of services from all these devices in order to facilitate health professionals to access accurate and timely information about the patients’ status, but also to configure disease management processes for prognosis, diagnosis and treatment. Beyond disease management, the deployment of IoT medical devices security in the hospital can be also used to boost the efficiency of hospital operations.

As a prominent example, the continuous monitoring of IoT medical devices security can serve as basis for reducing their downtime. Likewise, devices emit notifications that can trigger proactive maintenance and replenishment of supplies. Furthermore, information from medical devices can be exploited in order to optimize resources utilization and patient scheduling. Based on these processes, healthcare will become a setting that will annually contribute over $1 trillion to IoT’s business value by 2030, as projected by a recent report of McKinsey Global Institute.

IoT Medical Devices Security Risks

The expanded use of IoT medical devices in hospitals raises serious privacy and security challenges, given the proclaimed and widespread vulnerabilities of wireless devices. IoT medical devices security vulnerabilities has always been a concern for applications, but in the case of healthcare it is a matter of life and death. Indeed, beyond compromising patient’s data confidentiality, security vulnerabilities can have life-threatening implications, as IoT devices are used to control medication or even to drive surgical interventions and other therapeutic processes.

Since commands to several devices are transmitted wirelessly, hackers can invade the wireless network in order to gain control over devices and transmit unauthorized commands with fatal results. For instance, a malicious attack against an insulin pump can lead to a wrong dose to a diabetes patient. As another example, the hacking of an electrical cardioversion device could instigate an unnecessary shock to a patient.

There is a host of different IoT medical devices security vulnerabilities  easily include a non exhaustive list of common attacks includes:

  • Password hacking: It is quite common for medical devices to be protected by weak passwords that can be hacked. This is the case when the built-in passwords provided by the device vendors are maintained.

Hackers can easily discover such passwords in order to gain access to device configuration information. Moreover, in several cases, hackers are also able to control the device and use it to launch more advanced attacks.

Poor Security Patching: Some medical devices are poorly patched, either because some patch has not yet been deployed on the device or because the device runs an “old” operating system (e.g., an older version of Windows or Linux). Poorly patched devices are vulnerable to malware and other attacks, which makes them an easy target for hackers.

Wi-Fi: The weak link in IoT Medical Devices Security Vulnerabilities 

Denial of service attacks: Medical devices are usually lightweight and resource constrained, which makes them susceptible to denial of service attacks. The transmission of simultaneous requests to the device can cause it to stop, disconnect from the network or even become out of order.

 Unencrypted data transmission: It’s quite usual for attackers to monitor the network in order to eavesdrop and steal passwords. The transmission of unencrypted data can therefore ease their efforts to gain access to the device in order either to extract information or even exploit the device for transmitting malicious commands.

IoT medical devices security is serious business, as most of the medical devices are Wi-Fi enabled, which renders Wi-Fi the technology that carries the vast majority of the traffic that is exchanged between medical devices. However, Wi-Fi networks are conspicuously associated with IoT Medical Devices security vulnerabilities , which make them the weak link.  For example, the WEP (Wireless Encryption Password) mechanisms that empower Wi-Fi security are weak, as WEP passwords can be easily stolen.

This can accordingly enable hackers to launch attacks based on the sniffing of unencrypted traffic. In order to alleviate WEP problems, IEEE and the Wi-Fi community have specified and implemented Wi-Fi standards and protocols (e.g., WPA2, WPA2-PSK (TKIP/AES)) with much stronger encryption capabilities. Nevertheless, not all IoT medical devices security vendors provide proper support for these standards, putting the operation of devices and their interoperability with others at risk.

In recent years, special emphasis has been given in producing standards and best practices for securing wireless medical devices, on the basis of the implementation of appropriate authentication and encryption mechanisms for IoT medical devices security.

This has led to the specification of IEEE 802.1X, which is a ratified IEEE standard for network access control. 802.1X is flexible and supports a variety of Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), including EAP with Transport Layer Security (EAP-TLS) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. The latter provides two-way authentication between devices based on the installation and use of X.509 certificates.

IoT medical devices security challenges

Alleviating IoT Medical Devices Security Vulnerabilities 

IoT medical devices security deployment considerations

The vision of IoT enabled hospital care cannot be realized without very strong security. CIOs and IT managers of healthcare services providers cannot therefore afford to treat security investments with caution, in an effort to reduce budgets which could ignoring low-probability risks.

Rather, they should adopt a holistic approach to IoT medical devices security and their operation, spanning technology, processes and security policy aspects.

At the technological forefront, latest Wi-Fi technologies offering strong security and encryption features should be deployed and tested.

This may involve purchasing technologically advanced equipment and testing it in terms of IoT medical devices security features, configuration problems, wireless stability and more. There is also a need for medical engineering processes in order to ensure that IoT-enabled process provide high security levels.

IoT medical devices security vulnerabilities is particularly important in the case of the trending BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) services, which involve the deployment and use of third-party devices as part of healthcare processes.

Moreover, as part of the holistic security approach, hospitals must tweak their security policies in order to keep up with IoT-related technological developments.

The right technology, the proper processes and an IoT-aligned security policy provide a sound basis for hospitals to adhere to security and privacy regulations, to avoid relevant liabilities and ultimate to maximize returns on their IoT investments.

Next Generation of IoT Medical Devices Cyber Security Recruitment

The NextGen Executive Search cyber security team is intimately familiar with the newest IoT medical devices security over WiFi networks. We identify and develop candidates so that in the shortlist we deliver to clients those who not only meet, but exceed your expectations. We target only "A players" who produce 8 to 10 times more than "B players, backed by an industry leading 12 to 36 month replacement guarantee. For more information on recruiting cyber security professionals for in-hospital medical devices using ioT device and data network connections, speak with the cyber security practice lead, click on the image below.

Cyber security executive search firms

Job Boards Impending Death – Recruiting Insights

job boards impending death

Job Boards Impending Death - Recruiting Insights 

job boards impending death

From an executive recruiting standpoint, job boards impeding death is apparent.  Job boards have always been a non-issue. The voluminous lists of pedestrian “McJobs” offered on job boards are targeted towards “active” job seekers – by and large all “C players” that make up 55% of the workforce and could easily be replaced by automation, software, Ai, or robotics.

While they can actively show up and do a job, they add no real value in terms of contributing to or developing IP (intellectual property), fixing or resolving key issues or revenue rainmaking.  In essence what stockholders call overhead. 


To further our assumption, there is empirical evidence that job boards impending death is near suggest they have lost value even for active job seekers, some of the primary reasons being:

  1. Companies using job boards rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) or HRIS systems to house, sort, and store applicants and employee records.  This means that your resume must be optimized for keywords, skills, and experience to get past the 3-5 second look to be noticed. 
  2. Because of the sheer volume of responses most companies receive, many will only look at the top handful of qualified results, so active job seekers are competing with hundreds, or even thousands of other people for the same job.
  3. A job board submission rarely goes directly to the decision maker or Hiring Manager.  You first must get through the Human Resources or corporate recruiter gauntlet - many of these are simply not qualified to screen and assess for key roles.  
  4. Quality positions are just not posted on job boards.  In fact estimates are that as much as 80 % of new jobs are never listed but are instead filled internally or via networking.  Referrals on the other hand, make up 40% of new hires. 

Who or What Caused Job Boards Impending Death?

Suspect number one: Social Media

One of the key trends that is driving job-seeking talent away from job boards (besides the sheer volume of dreck) is the rise of social media networking. With the right research and approach, a job-seeker can generally locate and connect directly with the people and companies they want to pursue on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.  Job boards impending death and probably a big bonus for job seekers everywhere – but in terms of executive recruitment, it’s a non-issue as the passive candidates we seek won’t be lurking about in either locale.

Suspect number two: the companies themselves

Of the thousands of job boards that are out there – from Monster, Indeed and Career Builder to LinkedIn and all the niche sites dedicated to specific industries – there is not one that successfully connects with passive candidates. These A-players, who make up approximately 14% of the workforce, are rarely, if ever, unemployed, and don’t ever use job boards or post their resume’s online, even if they are searching for opportunities. Of that 14%, only 15% don’t want to move at all, and almost half of them are open to dialogue with a recruiter.

There are a few boards that claim to target passive candidates, but they levy an additional cost on top of your paid recruitment campaign, and still the resulting applicants are (most often) not ideal: they are, in fact, active job seekers and not passive candidates. They now push the idea that new algorithms and predictive data based on utilizing artificial intelligence means they can attract and better match applicants to jobs, yet these are still targeted to those who overwhelmingly use job boards - active job seekers.  So basically, by buying into this thinly veiled cash-grab and stalling job boards impending death, you are wasting valuable time and money when you should be focusing on more traditional recruitment techniques such as networking and cold-calling to get the results you need.

Where are all the A-players?

The top players, known as "A players" who exist at every level from CEO to janitor, the candidates we actively seek out for recruitment, make up only about 14% of the workforce. They are rarely, if ever, unemployed, they are never actively looking for a job, they don’t post their resume online and they don’t ever use job boards – and for good reason.

For the most part, the job boards don’t do a good job of attracting A-listers. Jobs posted on job boards focus solely on responsibilities, skills required and corporate culture selling points. This amounts to mostly boring descriptions of positions that mention nothing about the actual opportunity in terms of learning or career growth. Further proof in the death of the job board is their postings also rarely mention “performance objectives.” They rarely, if ever, describe the “team culture,” preferring to use ambiguous terms like “corporate culture,” or “vision,” creating a huge disconnect between our A-players and any available positions.

Team culture is also important, but you’ll never see anything about that on a job board. Individual work groups are unique and have their own “team culture.” A team culture is defined according to the personalities and behavioral patterns of each individual team member, as well as how they all work together. The only way to determine whether a candidate will fit with a team culture is through personal connection – something you just won’t get with a job board.

When recruiting A-players, you must present them with opportunities that are significant. This could be reflected in title, objectives, location, an attractive company size, growth, and product/service market share, but at least one of these things must be present to assure that you are piquing their interest enough to even have a shot.  As for how and where to find the A-players, if you take away the online and the bulk of social media, traditional recruitment methods always win the day.

Numbers never lie

If you’re looking for proof that job boards impending death is near, look no further than your own ROI. Numbers never lie. For every job board you invested in over the course of a year, how many hires occurred? How much did each hire cost you? And most importantly, what was the level of the positions you placed from a job board candidate? Were there any critical roles filled? What is the retention rate of those hired from a job board?  Most evident is just to take a at Indeed, a job aggregator service and you will find that the same jobs are not only posted by the actual employer / company, but also by numerous contingency search firms.  Its juts recycling the same "C players" - that 55% of the workforce that are bodies and will show up to work to be paid, but contribute nothing to the bottom line.  Once you start crunching the numbers, the evidence will probably give you a clear picture of the unfortunate, unvarnished truth.

Personal connections always yield the best results

Retained executive search companies have always relied on interpersonal and industry relationships to bring about successful results. As anybody in this niche knows, the discovery of most A-players come from actual conversations that bring forth referrals. As much as technology has infiltrated our society, our industry, and the way the world around us turns, it is still the tried-and-true grass-roots efforts that win the day.

The verdict on Job Boards Impending Death

In closing, let’s consider the advantages that a niche, retained executive search consultant brings to the table:  If using a retained executive search professional, the hiring manager doesn’t end up with an inbox full of “flypaper” resume’s. They instead receive a shortlist of 2-4 “finalists” who not only meet the performance objectives of the position, but are truly A-players who will produce 8-10 times more value than B-players.

This proves that the result is well worth the placement fee and time investment, leading us to conclude with confidence that this is a far more valuable, viable and cost-effective solution over the waste in the death off the job board.

job boards impending death loom


NextGen: your partner in recruitment innovation

NextGen is a global executive search company with a focus on AI and robotics, IoT and wireless, medical devices and electronic health records, and power systems for aerospace and industrial markets.  With more than three decades of experience recruiting for leadership and key contributor positions. If you are interested in finding out more about who we are and what we do,

NextGen Global Executive Search

Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments

Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments

Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments

Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments

Mention a paper check to a Millennial, and you are likely to get blank stares. Before we address the benefits and pitfalls of mobile payments, first we must acknowledge that the idea of writing anything on a slip of paper for a payment is as anathema to them as a rotary phone.  ​

ow, the ubiquitous debit card may also be on the way out as mobile payments via older NFC such as Apple Pay and the new Google Pay, which combines Android Pay and Google Wallet (although the P2P transactions mysteriously are missing) and newer magnetic secure transmission (MST) like Samsung Pay service that uses both NFC / MST and works everywhere to transmit payment information

What about these Benefits and Pitfalls in Mobile Payments?

The more common NFC is the same technology found in Apple Pay and Android Pay, where payment information is securely transmitted between an NFC chip (found in the smartphone) and an NFC reader (usually installed near the point of sale machine) becomes more and more commonplace for transactions. But Samsung Pay with both NFC and MST has several advantages over the other two competing technologies.In a similar trend, shopping for groceries or in drugstores have changed as well. Most places require you to have a “shopper’s card” of sorts to receive the sale prices and values on posted items in the store. This also has changed the face of shopping, mostly in the favor of the retailer than the shopper, but in truth both can benefit from this.  This article will look at each of these mobile payment systems along with the benefits and pitfalls of mobile payments

Imagine leaving the house without your cell phone. It is no doubt you have instinctively just reached to check for it. Forgetting a cell phone today is almost taboo, and for the shopper, this is a true advantage. To pay for almost anything from a movie ticket to gas, wave the phone near the NFC symbol on the transaction terminal; the purchase is made quickly and easily.An added advantage is a paperless form of transaction. More and more people are paying bills on line and eschewing the postal service for monthly bills. Some choose to directly draft everything from mortgages and car payments to child support and utility payments. Receipts and bank information is posted immediately, while technologically-savvy check their banking on line or via an app.Those who cards are afraid of theft will find much of the NFC and MST technologies are highly secure and are easily turned on and off as necessary. Those who fear their information may be compromised will find stopping payments or canceling the card as difficult as a swift tap on an app. All that is needed is a LTE, data or wireless connection to make it happen.Another huge advantage is you can add all the major credit cards as of fall 2016, many bank credit and debit cards, gift cards, and member cards as well. With my Samsung Galaxy S8/9 Edge, I added BJs warehouse, Big Lots, CVS Pharmacy, Best Buy, Lowe’s. Walgreens, and Office Max – just to name a few. I simply put my phone over the credit card terminal and no longer have to pull out or even carry these cards in my wallet. And yes, thank goodness my wallet is now thinner and not causing a curve in my spine.Around the turn of the millennium, stores, particularly grocery chains, shifted from strict advertising sales to a card-based savings system. Signing up for the card was free and necessary to receive the sales benefits. It was slow to receive acceptance, but once the movement caught on, it was quickly accepted as the norm. More and more industries followed suit, and now most all chain store businesses have a card program.The card savings system seems to be troublesome to some, as it may lead to more collected information than some may like. The fear of ‘Big Brother’ has many nervous, although giving personal information is not necessary and there are ways around the majority of the requirements to receive the card and/or benefits.The other benefits and pitfalls of mobile payments deals with these cards often offer special deals and loyalty points for customers who shop regularly. Benefits such as cash savings, points shaved from gasoline costs and free items are only a part of the many choices available. The data the chains receive from the shoppers actually benefits the shopper as chains are more likely to have certain items on sale more frequently, including meats and high cost dairy, i.e. milk.   Millennials and Generations X and Y are certainly comfortable with NFC and modern technologies, but as the Baby Boomer Generation grows older and more and more removed from modern technological advances, convincing these generations to trust NFC is difficult. The fear of card readers or identity thieves taking personal information by simply walking near someone is virtually impossible. Convincing them, however, of this fact may prove to be a serious uphill fight.The card program too has its flaws. Many are reluctant to sign up but often feel forced. This can create resentment of the business, even in the face of good benefits and values. More still do not like the idea of filling a wallet with additional cards, particularly for cards used rarely.

More on the Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments

Note, however, the disadvantages of both are minor and can easily be overcome through simple education. For businesses to move to paperless, checks and account balance information, and card loyalty programs, each must aggressively market to those groups who are most reluctant to make these changes. Commercials and videos explaining the benefits while simultaneously downplaying the potential downfalls is vital to success. Fear of identity theft may be slightly more difficult to win people over but promises of insurance and security are often enough to assuage fears. Your thoughts on this issue are appreciated – what is your opinion on the benefits and pitfalls of mobile payments?

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Mobile Payments NFC and MST

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With more than 30 years of recruiting for MNOs, digital media, and mobile payments platform vendors, NextGen has worked for many US and European based banks. mobile payment platforms, ecommerce platforms, and security vendors for fingerprint and credit card encryptions development.  Our forte is in recruiting senior executives and functional leaders in sales, business development, ecosystem partnership development, software design and development, and product management.    Click on the link below to learn more about our expertise in wireless infrastructure, mobile networks, and digital media recruitment.    

Wireless IoT retained executive search firm CTA

Screening Candidates for Team Fit is BETTER than Corporate Culture Match

Screening candidates for team fit

Screening Candidates for Team Fit 

Screening candidates for team fit

Screening candidates for team fit is more fruitful and accurate than corporate culture match. Work is a lot like life in general in that screening candidates cultural fit is what many strive for.  While it is a lofty goal, it is also a bit of star Trek wishful thinking that all will be well in the universe and a perfect hire will happen.

 In life, we tend to mingle with people who are quite like ourselves. As an individual, a person would usually be drawn to another who expresses similarities, in language, music, and style are among the things. In a few words: we are attracted to the same culture. The same goes for the business world.

Companies have a selection process where they usually look for candidates who share the same values and methods of their organization, i.e corporate culture. Screening candidates for team fit takes more work but in the end it is about the performance of the team and the impact the individuals being considered for hire will impact team dynamics.  Each team has their own culture.  And teams are made up of individuals.  If everyone thinks the  same and has the same corporate culture and process methods philosophy, their is no innovation, no challenge to different thoughts as everyone is robotic in their thinking.  

And cultural fit should not be mistaken for one’s own prejudice. A candidate should be hired based on how they would make a positive impact on the team he/she will work within and how that in the end would be beneficial for the company without clashing with other employees and while at the same time maintain demeanor. If these are met  y assessing team fit instead of culture fit,  then that new hire is likely to fail. 

Screening Candidates for Team Fit is Essential to Team Success

While cultural fit can be discerned in the screening process, whether the candidates fit the team he/she will work within is one of the main purposes of utilizing psychometrics to asses a candidate’s impact on team dynamics.  The major problem is the reliance upon one-way behavioral testing that partially measures a potential candidate's potential behavioral patters, values, and motivations, but fails to take into account the team composite regarding relational communications style, decision maing and conflict resolution skills, and leadership/management style. 

Many feel that in  a panel interview they can discern within a few hours how a candidate will impact team dynamics and weigh heavily on Human Resources to provide the behavioral assessment.  the interaction established in the interview exhibits the candidate’s credentials to accomplish the job and an essential fit needed to perform efficiently within the role, but cannot measure team fit. 

Screening Candidates for team Fit is better than Cultural Fit

Behavioral interviews are often used; unfortunately, the standard practice does not work well. Organizations need to measure a candidate’s behavioral profile against the composite reading of the team’s behavioral profile. This type of psychometric measurement combined with the in-person interviews can accurately tell how the candidate’s approach and conduct are compatible with the ones practiced within the team, as well as within the company.

According to Entrepreneur, Corporate culture is “a blend of values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths companies develop over time.” In itself, a company has their own identity within its workforce and it greatly varies from one organization to another. Within a company, it is common that different people are working together.

Screening Candidates for Team Fit Means a Good Hire

Screening candidates for team fit assures that teamwork is common and important in a corporate setting. Employees who value working with peers and acknowledge the input of various ideas is most likely to work well in an organization that puts emphasis working in teams. Working with others is an important part in business organizations. However, when an employee prefers to work alone, he or she might be a good cultural fit in an organization that is more inclined in working in teams.
Screening candidates for cultural fit and team fit also measures the capability of an employee to embrace diversity and exhibits no qualms in working in an organization that is compatible to their own set of principles and ideals. Companies need to recognize and employ candidates who exhibit these traits. Employees who are happy in their work environment tend to perform better and stay longer.

Despite the diverse personalities within a workforce, a company needs to find balance in shaping their work culture that will assure its accomplishment. Working in organizations would mean meeting a lot of people with different backgrounds. Both cultural fit and team fit emphasizes an employees’ abilities in and characteristics that can contribute to the success of the company.

A Recruitment Process Unmatched

NextGen's award-winning Leadership Vault search process begins with the Discovery step where the objectives of teh role, how a candidate will use their skills, team dynamics, and value proposition are determines.  The target candidate profile includes researched competitor and company targets followed by documenting accomplishments, relative KPIs, depth of industry / customer relationships, and scientifically based team fit analysis.  Success based recruitment fees where majority is based on acceptable deliverables and the actual hire.  Backed by a custom onboarding plan and a 24 to 36 month replacement guarantee and a retention rate of 93% of our placements are working for same client at 3.5 years of service with 72% in 5 years.  You should expect NOTHING LESS than hiring an "A player" when you pay a recruitment fee.  

NextGen Global Executive Search

Employee Recognition Program 3 Reasons Why it Works

why employee recognition program works

Employee Recognition Program - 3 Reasons Why it Works

why employee recognition program works

A well designed employee recognition program results in higher levels of engagement have proven, repeatedly, higher levels of employee satisfaction, greater increase in productivity, greater company loyalty, higher profits, and better customer satisfaction.

Let's look at the facts. In 2013, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 87 percent of workers surveyed in countries all over the world were disengaged with their jobs. Only the remaining 13 percent stated that they were satisfied with their jobs and felt deeply engaged with the companies they worked for.


One of the best ways to increase engagement is to make sure that employees feel appreciated and that hard work is suitably rewarded both financially and in some other ways. Having a strategic employee recognition program in place is one of the most effective ways to get results and take advantage of the following three key benefits:

Employee Recognition Program Improves Business Results

It shouldn't come as any surprise that happy and motivated employees are better equipped to address customer concerns. Staff members need to feel that they have personal stake in selling the brand and its products and services, while also offering impeccable customer support. Around 40 percent of companies that have adopted a peer-to-peer employee recognition program claim to have increased customer satisfaction.

Many senior managers consider them an investment rather than an expense. People want to be rewarded for good work and they'll be mentally far better equipped to face the monotony of modern corporate culture if they know there's a good bonus and other rewards waiting for them.

Employee Recognition Program

Decreases Employee Turnover Rate

While money is obviously a primary motivator in almost any job, offering a pay raise isn't the most effective method to hold on to employees. In fact, studies have shown that about half of employees leave within two years after accepting a raise, a statistic that clearly indicates that salaries and job satisfaction don't always correlate.

Often as important is employee recognition, which has proven to lower turnover rate significantly. Employees who are widely recognized and rewarded for their work are about 30 percent less likely to leave the company.

Other benefits of an employee recognition program include increased happiness and productivity and reduced stress and frustration levels. A lower turnover rate also saves money, since a direct replacement cost up to half the previous employee's annual salary.

Increase Engagement and Productivity

An employee recognition program is all about clear communication, transparency, and having a solid rewards-driven system in place. Such a strategy leads to greater employee engagement, since it makes members of staff feel like they're a part of something bigger. An employee who has a personal stake in the direction the company is heading will be genuinely concerned about the day-to-day operations of the business. By contrast, someone who counts themselves in the 87 percent of people who claim to be disengaged with their jobs will be more likely to sleepwalk through each workday while looking forward to nothing more than the paycheck at the end of the month. Additionally, the Gallup survey showed that two-thirds of employees considered praise from managerial staff to be the top motivator.

Final Words on Employee Recognition Program

There are many ways to implement an employee recognition strategy and most of them don't require a huge investment. Some of the most popular methods include publishing the company's greatest achievers in email newsletters, using staff meetings as an opportunity to include praise, or preparing regular status reports. However, a more original and engaging employee recognition program might include an achievement- or score-based system complete with rewards and prizes for top workers.

Need an experienced executive search consultant with expertise in not only recruiting sales, business development, and product management, but also a talent acquisition and talent management advisor  Click below.  

NextGen Global Executive Search

Distributed Power Generation Balancing in Evolving Utility Grids

Distributed Power Generation-and-Distribution-MextGen-Global-Executive-Search

Distributed Power Generation Evolving Utility Grids

Distributed Power Generation balancing

Distributed power generation and other distributed energy resources (DERs) in the modern power grid is undeniable. It seems that electric distribution companies have two options: fight the inevitable rise of DERs or embrace them and benefit from new opportunities.

After years of resistance, the time has come to enable the deployment of DERs by restructuring not only grid infrastructure and technology but also rethinking utility revenue models.

Don’t Resist, Restructure Distributed Power Generation 

With the pace that DERs are being deployed it makes sense for utilities to embrace new technologies and their associated challenges, but there are still battles to be fought. It is unlikely that utilities will ever be comfortable with net metering policies that reimburse distributed generators at their billing rate.

Many states are changing their net metering policies to either add fixed fees to net metering customers or to reduce reimbursement to the wholesale distributed power generation rate, but that fight is far from won. It is obviously unsustainable and unacceptable for utilities to lose massive revenue streams to distributed generation and energy efficiency while also being responsible for maintaining an increasingly expensive system to support these DERs, but fighting net-metering and government subsidies doesn’t have to be the solution.

Although revenue is lost to power generators, there is also untapped potential from DERs that is not being exploited because of the way that utilities earn on capital investment. While utilities dismiss net metering as unfairly shifting costs, a similar argument of unfairness could be made for guaranteed return on capital investments.  Currently, utilities are incentivized to build distributed power generation infrastructure because they earn on those projects, but they are not incentivized to solve problems efficiently. Using grid-scale storage to offset an 18-million-dollar transmission investment is a nightmare for utility revenue despite being a simpler and cheaper solution. Perhaps it is time that utilities earn on the services they provide rather than the infrastructure they build.

Electricity as a Service

Electric power is bought and sold as a product. Customers pay for how much power they use. This model works very well until customers start making their own product. While utilities understand that they are providing the infrastructure that enables the customer to utilize their power, customers and legislatures rarely understand or care to see the difference. Since many of us already see grid infrastructure as a service that enables the consumption of power, it is only natural to formalize that notion and create new business models that align with selling a service.

Can control be localized based on utility specifications or should it be centralized? Will locational marginal pricing be calculated on a decentralized system and how will that impact the economics of DERs?  These are difficult questions, but utilities should play a critical role in answering them.

Adapting the Utility Workforce

Not many utility engineers have experience analyzing terabyte sized data sets and implementing drone-like distributed power generation control systems. The skillsets of utility engineers and analysts need to adapt in order to keep up with these changes. How can we expect a utility to transform into a DSP without a workforce that can help build and maintain the platform?

With such a massive disconnect between traditional utility operations and the way a modern grid full of DERs must operate, it makes sense for utilities to invest in tech startups. While larger companies are investing in these startups, it makes sense for any size utilities to utilize their skills and platforms.

Regardless of how much the utility workforce may evolve, there will still be an increased dependence on these third-party tech companies to enable many of the advancements that will allow DER integration. We will still need a traditional workforce to design substations, size equipment, manage projects, and maintain GIS records. Partnerships with startups and tech companies can help close the gap between the keeping-the-lights-on workforce and the grid-of-the-future skillsets.

Take a company like Enbala Power Networks, which enables utilities to “aggregate, control, optimize, and dispatch distributed power generation energy in real time”. Partnering with companies like Enbala to perform demand response, peak load management, and a multitude of other services can allow utilities to maintain a focus on their traditional skills while still enabling a completely modernized grid.

Distributed Power Generation in Disruptive Technologies

Disruptive technologies such as DERs are often seen as the downfall of the industries that they disrupt. But unlike many other industries, the role of the utility in the power grid is so critical to society that it is unlikely utilities will ever go extinct. However, it is up to utilities themselves to decide how to respond to the changing grid.  Is it possible to resist new technologies and revenue models and instead continue to focus on capital investments and regulated business?

Would it be better help enable these new technologies and reap the benefits provided by a paradigm shift in the industry?  Certainly, utilities will mitigate risk by combining these two strategies. Duke Energy, for example, continues focusing on its regulated business while ramping up investments in renewables and new tech. It is transitions like these that will allow utilities not just to survive, but to thrive in the modern distributed power generation industry.

Industrial Manufacturing retained executive search firm CTA

Network Function Virtualization – What NFV will do for Operators

NFV Network Function Virtualization for Mobile Operators

Network Function Virtualization is ready to take off

Network Function Virtualization blog

Network function virtualization, as Dylan would say, the times they are a changin’.  Network Function Virtualization has come to the mobile operator, and according to strategic business advisor Northstream.

It will be part of a “natural evolution of existing infrastructures” bringing greater efficiency and lower costs. But the key will be the creation of new services. “NFV in 2017 will be driven by services such as VoLTE, Carrier Cloud, Wi-Fi calling, service chaining, resource sharing and network slicing.”

Network Function Virtualization, aka NFV, was introduced to the world through a white paper that was delivered at the 2012 SDN and OpenFlow World Congress. Authors from thirteen different telecom providers contributed to the work. The paper highlighted several benefits of NFV, including reduced equipment costs, lower power consumption, faster time to market, scalability of services, and vendor interoperability.

The traditional approach to networking involved the dispatch of personnel, either to the data center or to the customer premises, to install the physical devices and cabling required to make the network services function. This sometimes involved a number of “truck rolls” until the network appliance was fully operational. But an implementation that might have taken weeks or even months through the traditional method might only take a few minutes with Network Function Virtualization.

Common appliances that can be replaced by virtualized network functions (VNFs) in the NFV architecture include routers, firewalls, switches, load balancers, and media servers. Instead of physical installs, Network Function Virtualization software can be used to simply “spin out” new services as needed. As traffic volume increases, the system may automatically create VNFs to meet the demand.

When things slow down, the infrastructure will automatically be reduced. Malfunctioning virtual devices will be detected and traffic will be rerouted through a new VNF created just for that purpose.

Replacing infrastructure is fine, but the real potential is in the expanding service portfolio of the NFV architecture. “By enabling service chaining and resource sharing,” says Northstream, “NFV allows operators to deliver network services to customers and enterprises through software instead of dedicated hardware devices. This represents a major step towards meeting the new demands of industry verticals that are just around the corner.”

Network Function Virtualization deployment is not without its challenges.

While the hardware part has become simpler – many implementations are using off-the-shelf blade servers – there are still plenty of obstacles to overcome. RCR Wireless News explores the key challenges facing ongoing SDN, NFV and cloud deployment models in an interview with Frank Yue, director of application delivery solutions at Radware.

Yue believes that the biggest issue telecom companies need to deal with is orchestration, the automatic deployment of resources in the cloud. Trying to bring things together is “still very targeted and piecemeal”. Providers seem to be in a rush to bring services to market. “Really to get orchestration and everything right,” says Yue, “you need to have all these tiny projects come together in one big cohesive unit, and I don’t think we’re there yet.”  Real time and automation are the key words, according to RCR Wireless editor Dan Meyer. For Frank Yue, the keys are agility and elasticity, terms associated with cloud computing.

Another major challenge is security. How do you maintain the privacy and integrity of your data across the cloud infrastructure? Industry standards have a bearing on security. Yue calls the situation a “big administrative mess”. Without proper standardization, particularly in multi-tenant environments, the potential for security breaches remains.

Network Function Virtualization Standards

One standards body, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), announced NVF Release 2 on September 27, 2016. The statement includes remarks from Telefonica’s Diego Lopez, the newly appointed Chairman of ETSI NFV ISG: “This represents another major step towards our objective of defining a comprehensive set of specifications that will facilitate the deployment of Network Function Virtualization throughout the telecommunication industry, with significant benefits being subsequently derived in many interrelated sectors.” Lopez says that the ETSI NFV Architectural Framework will form the basis for the security, reliability, and integration of NFV going forward.

How quickly will NFV revolutionize the networks of the world? That remains to be seen. It’s being looked at as a potential framework for 5G mobile deployments. Will service chaining fueled by NFV resources make large-scale network installations a simple point-and-click operation? How will Network Function Virtualization be used in the development of self-healing networks? What other innovations await us in the field of network virtualization? Get ready, because the virtualized future everyone dreamed about is well-nigh upon us.

Does your company plan to deploy NFV any time soon? What do you think about this new technology? How do you think it will affect telecom companies and their customers in the next few years? Please share your comments on Network Function Virtualization below.

Expanding NPV services for MNOs

Tier 1 and Tier 2 mobile network operators are expanding their 4G services as it is at least 5+ years before 5G networks are ready for early deployment.  ARPU, expanding data services, lowering power consumption - these are all needed to be competitive and maintain a healthy profit ratio.  If you require an expertise recruitment team to fill a key sales or engineering role or perhaps product management or a strategic leader, you can rely upon Nextgen Executive Search to not only meet, but exceed your expectations in delivering a candidate shortlist that is ideal for new hires.  Click the image below for more information on our mobile network, digital media, telecom services, and wireless connectivity recruitment and to contact us directly. 

Wireless IoT retained executive search firm CTA