– Survey suggests that the “War for Talent” has returned with renewed focus on retention –

New York, NY – November 17, 2015 …everH According to an annual survey conducted by Battalia WinstoneverH, one of the nation’s leading executive search firms, 92%  of businesses will be conducting some type of holiday celebration this year, up from 75%  in 2014 and within reach of the near all-time high of 96% in 2013.   This may be due to the fact that 89% of the respondents expect business to remain the same or grow in the upcoming year.

“The Battalia Winston survey has served as a bellwether for the economy over the past 27 years, so the fact that the percentage of companies having parties is up is a sign that the economy has stabilized and is poised to grow,” said Battalia Winston CEO, Dale Winston.  “Despite the cheery outlook there is clearly an eye towards managing or containing costs.  96% of the companies that are having parties said that they will remain the same or be more modest.”

Another significant trend is that 70% of the firms polled indicated that they have initiatives planned to boost morale and employee engagement in 2016.  This finding indicates that retention has become important again.  The trend is noteworthy in that it suggests that the “war for talent” is back on.  Team building and training was cited by 54% of the respondents while 40% planned on pay raises and 35% intend on offering flexible work schedules.

These are just a few of the findings of Battalia Winston’s Annual Survey on Corporate Holiday Celebrations, a nationwide survey conducted among a cross section of 118 companies. 

Other interesting findings of this year’s survey: 

2015 Planning:  50% of respondents said their company was on track to grow and hire with 40%  remaining the same.  Only a meager 7% of companies expect to consolidate.

What’s the reason this season?  Over half, 52%, are having holiday parties to boost employee morale while 40%, are holding a party to celebrate 2015 as a good year and 8% to show employees and clients that they are optimistic about next year.  

Corporate Gifting.  48% of respondents say they will provide a holiday gift to employees this year.  44% of those will be under $25 with the remainder 52% being over $50.

Where and When.  Of those conducting holiday celebrations 50% will be at lunch and half in the evening with 23% at the office and 77% at a restaurant or hotel.

Do unto Others.  70% of companies will participate in charity efforts this year with most of those donating funds or goods and 10% donating time.

Steady on the Alcohol.  70% of the businesses surveyed indicated they will be serving alcohol at their holiday parties, a figure that has remained steady in recent years.

No Scrooge this Year.  60% of companies surveyed plan on pay raises or non-paid performance incentives.

Terry Gallagher spoke at New York Chapter of Financial Executives International on October 1st.

Terry Gallagher, President of Battalia Winston was asked to speak to the NYC Financial Executives International organization on October 1st about recent trends in recruiting CFO’s and financial executives.

Gallagher also discussed critical skills and competencies that are in demand for financial executives as well as shared career development advice for CFO’s who desired to become CEO’s.

Click to view article

Dale Winston Featured in Smart CEO magazine

Dale Winston, chairwoman and CEO of executive search consulting firm Battalia Winston, has spent her entire career matching people with new jobs, while she herself has been with the same company for 32 years.

But, like a candidate she might have successfully placed, Winston loves her job enthusiastically, is passionate about doing it well, and is focused on making the company bigger — without outgrowing its position as a premier mid-size search firm.

“When you’re working with Dale on something, you don’t get the feeling she’s working,” says Sheila McLean, former president of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), who has known Winston since the early 1990s. “She’s very, very happy with the profession she chose and she wants it to be a great profession.”

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Companies Nationwide are implementing Diversity and Inclusion Strategies

Susan Medina, partner and Peter Gomez partner were recently interviewed by Hispanic Executive Magazine to discuss diversity recruiting strategies that major companies are implementing.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

Recruiters, take note: companies nationwide are implementing diversity and inclusion strategies, offering Latino job candidates more options than ever before. Battalia Winston’s Peter Gomez and Susan Medina are leading the charge by leveraging their collective relationships and experience to connect top candidates with corporate employers. The two sit down with Hispanic Executive to talk about their passion for recruiting and explain how they are shifting the conversation about diversity within companies across the United States.

Please click on the following link for the complete article

Battalia Winston adds Partner to Not-for-Profit Practice

New York, NY, April 6, 2015 – Battalia Winston (BW) announced today that Ellen Romberg joined the firm as Partner within the Not-for-Profit Group.  She will be based out of the firm’s Chicago office.

A seasoned executive, having more than 25 years of experience in recruiting and talent management in the Not-for-Profit sector, Ellen brings deep human resources leadership and recruiting experience in philanthropy, higher education, cultural organizations and human services.

“We are excited to have Ellen as part of our team. Her breadth of experience in search and human resources will significantly enhance our Not-for-Profit Practice group,” said Dale Winston, Chairwoman and CEO of Battalia Winston.

Prior to joining Battalia Winston, Ellen was the CHRO at the MacArthur Foundation.  Her career includes significant leadership roles with other non-profits as well as executive search.  As Vice President for an executive search firm, Ellen successfully led searches for C-Suite and Director level Not-for-Profit leaders.  Her executive search and recruiting experience is supplemented by expertise in cultural assessment, organizational effectiveness, job design, performance management, compensation systems and international HR in seven countries.

Ellen earned a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Loyal University of Chicago as well as a Bachelor’s Degree from the American Conservatory of Music and a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from DePaul University. She also holds several certifications in HR including SPHR, ProSci Change Management, and several performance assessments such as MBTI and Center for Creative Leadership Benchmark series.

About Battalia Winston

Battalia Winston was founded in 1963 and today is one of the world’s largest woman-owned executive search firms and is consistently ranked as one of the top fifteen executive search firms by Kennedy Publications. The Firm is headquartered in New York City with offices in Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Woodbridge, NJ; and Washington, DC.

Advice for Working Parents: Redefine Success

Dale Winston recently shared her expertise with  Business News Daily in an article that explores how working parents are having to re-evaluate what it means to “have it all” in order to achieve a successful work-life balance.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

“If your definition of success is being a loving parent and a successful executive, then you’ll likely be able to achieve success,” said Dale Winston, CEO and president of woman-owned executive search firm Battalia Winston. “However, if your definition of success is meeting all of your professional goals while being a parent who never makes a mistake, never misses a single special moment and always makes it home in time for dinner, you may be in trouble.”

Read the full article here. 

Winter Storm Juno Proves the Value of Flexible Working Arrangements


Though New York didn’t get nearly as much snow as we predicted with winter storm Juno earlier this week, businesses across the city closed their doors and told their employees to work from home. A decade ago, this type of storm would have had a significant effect on the productivity of many companies, but with today’s technology-enabled workplace, most companies likely felt very little impact.

It’s times like this when the true value of workplace flexibility becomes clear. According to the Families and Work Institute, 38 percent of employers allow people to work from home on a regular basis, up 23 percent from six years ago.

Work-life balance and the need for flexibility used to be something that we exclusively associated with working mothers, but this is no longer the case. Flexibility during times of unforeseen circumstances—bad weather, last minute family commitments, unpredictable public transit—or even realities of everyday life—broken down cars, sick children—just makes business sense.

First, flextime (and flexible working arrangements) leads to better retention of talent. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, 89 percent of companies reported that offering employees flexible work schedules improved employee retention. A flexible schedule is an intangible benefit that has concrete value, and one that employees are often reluctant to give up.

Flexible working arrangements can also improve employee performance and increase productivity. In their global study of the value of flexible schedules in the workplace, Regus found that 72 percent of businesses saw increased productivity after implementing flexible working policies, and both small and large businesses agree that they generate more revenue as a result of flexible working arrangements.

But employers’ definition of flexibility should be, well, flexible. What works for one company’s employees may not work for another. Employers might adjust schedules for your slower season—the holidays, summer, etc. Or they might allow employees with school-aged children to align their schedules with the school day. To maintain and facilitate collaboration and teamwork, employers may choose to allow all employees to work from home as they choose, but require all employees to be present in the office on one designated “all hands” day each month. It’s important to tailor flexible working conditions for the needs of a company’s unique employee base.

While I hope the remainder of the winter season won’t test our limits, the bottom line is that workplace flexibility can no longer be considered a perk or a reward—a necessary evil—that employers dole out to appease their staff. Flexibility is a mission-critical component of the most successful company’s workplace cultures.

How to Attract Mid-Level Talent to Your Company

by Rich Folts

Millennials will compose 75% of the workforce by 2025 . As this generation grows up and gains more experience in the workforce, employers are struggling to attract and retain a high-value segment of this generation: mid-level talent. This segment – made up of employees who have 8-10 years of experience and are at manager level – is critical to any company’s success.

Like their younger counterparts, this mid-level group is technology savvy and determined to advance quickly in their careers, but they’ve developed the ability to effectively manage teams and mentor younger members of their generation. As baby boomers retire, mid-level employees – armed with ambition and technical skills – will be the key to propelling companies forward.

This is a particularly pressing issue for businesses in my home state, Michigan, which will see 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age each month until 2020.  After 2020, the numbers only accelerate. Each year, thousands of millenials gradate from Michigan state universities—literally in the backyard of Michigan-based businesses. While some of those millenials, especially those that grew up here, will stay close to their stomping ground, many will leave as they gain more experience.

If companies in Michigan–or any state– want to stop exporting the talent they develop, they should implement the following best practices:

  • Branding Your Company (and Corporate Culture) as a Source of Big IdeasMillenials in the mid-level range are not only looking for meaningful work, they’re looking for a company where they can leave their mark. Michigan companies must brand their corporate cultures as forward-thinking and open to new ideas if they want to retain this key demographic. This can be challenging for “non-sexy” industries like manufacturing and automotive, but companies like Troy’s Altair Engineering, one of the winners of the Economic Bright Spots Award, have managed to do it. The company employs over 700 local employees and emphasizes its big-thinking culture in its recruitment efforts: “You’ll find a different culture at Altair in the way we work, how we interact, and the collaborative approach we bring to projects. Your ideas are heard, your efforts are visible, and your work impacts company growth.”
  • Prioritize Professional DevelopmentAccording to the Center for Economic Studies, the median length of job tenure for 25-34 year olds was 3.2 years in 2012. Though mid-level millenials change jobs at a slower rate—most likely because they often have families or own homes—they have the same need for constant change and professional growth. Making professional development a critical component of your company culture, allowing for lateral promotions, and encouraging employees to pursue additional skills training will encourage mid-level employees to find the growth they crave within your organization.
  • Encourage Work-Life IntegrationMid-level millennials are looking for a different type of work-life balance. While they want time for their families and personal pursuits, they also want to be passionate about the work they do. In other words, they are willing to work long and hard, as long as they love the work and can do it on their own schedule. Work-life integration is about flexibility, not necessarily less hours. In fact, according to research by the Intelligent Group, 74% of millennials want flexible work schedules. Developing a culture that allows, for example, working parents to leave the office at 3pm and finish projects later in the evening after their kids’ bedtime, will be highly attractive to talented mid-level professionals.

3 Questions to Ask at the End of Your Interview

by Gilbert Carrara, MD

At the end of an interview, when an interviewer asks you if you have any questions, he or she is not just giving you the opportunity to clarify job responsibilities. On the contrary, the interviewer is actually gauging your interest, your engagement, and your knowledge of the company (i.e. how well you’ve done your homework). By asking the right questions, you can learn more about the potential position andfurther demonstrate your expertise, interest, and qualifications.

So when your interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” make sure you have several questions prepared. You can start with these:

  1. Who is your company’s core customer?
  • What attracts them to your company?
  • What does the customer know about you?
  • What challenges do they face?

2. Who is your company’s chief competitor?

  • What do they do well?
  • What do they do not so well?
  • How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?

3. What do you think your company does really well and helps contribute to the success of the company? Or, if it is a new position, how do you see this role contributing to the success of the company in 2015?