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. 

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?

Business is Up, But Holiday Parties Are Flat: The Time-Honored Tradition is Changing

New York, NY, December 1, 2014 – An ongoing rebound from the recession and expected growth in 2015 are no reason for celebration, according to the annual survey of corporate America’s holiday party plans conducted by Battalia Winston, a leading global executive search firm.

The survey, now in its 26th year, reports that only 88 percent of companies polled will have a party this holiday season—down from 96 percent in 2013 and 91 percent in 2012.

Is the dip in parties the result of a recession mentality, similar to what we saw in the post-Great Depression years? Battalia Winston Chairwoman and CEO, Dale Winston, thinks so. “Companies became more economical during the recession, and it’s possible that financial restraint, even when it’s not required, will be the new standard.

The dramatic decrease is particularly unexpected considering that respondents—senior leadership from companies across the nation—indicate that their companies are performing very well. Over 60 percent of respondents said their company was on track to grow and hire in 2015, and nearly 25 percent said their company’s size would remain consistent. Only a meager 7 percent of companies expect to consolidate next year. Furthermore, 58 percent of companies said that even though their business had grown since 2013, their parties would not be any more lavish than last year.

The decrease could also be attributed to a continued increase in teleworking. The survey found that a growing number of companies are foregoing parties because their employees work remotely. There was a noticeable increase—from 5 percent to 14 percent—in respondents reporting that a dispersed or remote workforce made holiday parties impossible.

The renewed sense of frugality extends beyond the party budget. About 70 percent of businesses will limit the guest list to employees only (no spouses or guests) and 62 percent of companies will decline from giving their employees a holiday gift.

While companies continue to participate in charitable giving during the holiday season, well-performing companies aren’t being any more generous than their struggling counterparts: 65 percent of both consolidating and growing companies are donating to charity, and about 15 percent of both groups will participate in company-sponsored volunteer activities.

Key Survey Findings

Business is Up, But Parties are Flat.

Nearly 79 percent of companies will refrain from throwing a more lavish party this year, even though 72 percent experienced improved performance in 2014 and 60 percent expect growth in 2015.

A comparison of companies that consolidated versus those that grew in 2014 shows that both groups are having similar types of parties, despite the performance differences. About 50 percent of both groups plan to have their party at a restaurant. A slightly higher percentage of consolidating companies plan to have their party at the office (25 percent, as compared to 18 percent of growing companies). While fewer consolidating companies are serving alcohol, the difference is not overwhelming: 73 percent of growing companies versus 65 percent of consolidating companies.

Budget Choices—Not Economic Climate—Prevent Parties.

Of the 12 percent of companies not holding a holiday party this year, 40 percent cited “budget reasons.” Nearly 14 percent said that employees were not interested in a party, while only 5 percent said that they thought having a party was inappropriate because of the economic times, a drastic dip from 2013, when 50 percent of party-foregoers said that a celebration would be inappropriate.

The Daytime Party Trend Holds Steady.

Of the companies holding parties, 56 percent will celebrate in the evening, while 43 percent will celebrate at lunch. The trend toward lunchtime parties continues (43 percent in 2012 and 47 percent in 2013).

Bottoms Up! Day Drinking is on the Rise.

Similar to years past, drinks will be served at 73 percent of parties (up just 1 percent from 2013), while some companies continue to abstain (27 percent). However, many companies will be participating in some day drinking this year, with nearly 40 percent of lunchtime office parties offering adult beverages.

Companies Will Use Non-Pay Incentives to Boost Morale.

A majority of companies (61 percent) are taking steps to boost employee morale in the year to come, down just 5 percent from 2013, but most (over 50 percent) are using non-pay incentives to do so, i.e. offering flexible schedules, training and team building, and public performance recognition. Only 14 percent said they would give pay raises.


Last year, after two consecutive years of 90+ percent of companies having holiday parties, Battalia Winston asked if throwing holiday parties was returning to a regular part of corporate life. The data this year indicates that corporate leaders are resetting expectations, says Dale Winston: “The high percentage of holiday parties in 2012 and 2013 was a signal that the economy was rebounding, but now that growth has been steady for a few years, companies are reestablishing a baseline. A successful year and a normal rate of growth are becoming the norm, not an anomalous event that calls for a lot of hoopla.”

The 2014 Battalia Winston nationwide survey was conducted among a cross-section of 114 companies.

About Battalia Winston:
Battalia Winston has been successfully meeting client needs in executive recruitment for more than 50 years and is currently ranked as one of the nation’s 20 largest retained executive search firms, as well as one of the world’s largest woman-owned search firms. Headquartered in New York City, the firm also has offices in Edison, NJ, Flemington, NJ, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Battalia Winston is an agile and uniquely flexible firm and their culture is focused on providing highly personalized, responsive client service.

Media Contact:

Cara Silverman

Peter Gomez and Susan Medina Deliver Keynote Address at Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum

Today Battalia Winston Partners Susan Medina and Peter Gomez delivered the keynote speech at The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum.

The forum was designed to help Michigan businesses and non-profits learn key strategies for diversifying their talent pipeline and growing their consumer base by engaging diverse talent.

Drawing from their experience helping hundreds of companies across the country recruit diverse executives and senior leadership, Susan and Peter discussed best practices for attracting and retaining diverse talent, trends in diversity and inclusion, and shared how many forward-thinking organizations are driving company performance through diversity-building initiatives.

Overcoming the “Talent Shortage” With Analytics

by Gilbert Carrara, MD

Despite an enormous pool of unemployed talent looking for work, some of the best and largest companies in the United States (and even worldwide) are consistently unable to find high-quality talent. Why? Across industries, executives and HR leaders are realizing that they are often poorly evaluating employees, leading to undervaluing or mis-valuing their teams.

The tendency to misjudge employees’ value may originate in outdated hiring and performance evaluation methods. A mountain of scholarly literature shows that the intuitive way companies now judge professional potential is rife with snap judgments and hidden biases, rooted in our upbringing or in deep neurological connections that doubtless served us well on the savanna but would seem to have less bearing on the world of work.

A survey by Corporate Executive Board, a research firm in Virginia, showed that 74% of the 500 hiring managers surveyed reported that their most recent hire had a personality “similar to their own.” Another study from Northwestern University that analyzed the recruiting, interviewing and evaluation practices of professionals from elite investment banks, consultancies and law firms concluded that among the most important factors driving their hiring recommendations were shared leisure interests.

More and more organizations are beginning to see how damaging these unscientific methods of evaluation can be for company performance, and big data and analytics providers have responded by developing new solutions specifically designed for talent assessment. For example, Knack, a company funded by Israeli entrepreneur Guy Halfteck, designs tests that examine specific cognitive skills that employer’s desire by drawing on the latest cutting edge behavioral and scientific research. These skills range from pattern recognition to emotional intelligence, risk appetite and adaptability to changing situations.

Google’s understanding of the promise of analytics for talent assessment is probably better than anybody else’s, and the company has been changing its hiring and management practices as a result of its ongoing analyses. For example, Google no longer uses brainteasers in their interviews, because they do not correlate with job success; GPA is not considered for anyone more than two years out of school, for the same reason—the list goes on. But for all of Google’s technological enthusiasm, these same practices are still deeply human. A real, live person looks at every résumé the company receives. Hiring decisions are made by committee and are based in no small part on opinions formed during structured interviews.

While tried-and-true methods of evaluating candidates for the necessary personality traits and culture fit shouldn’t be completely abandoned, HR executives and CEO’s around the globe need to start injecting analytics into their hiring processes and performance management programs. Corporate leaders should be making sure that they are developing and rewarding employee skills and valuing employees who are there to help achieve their organizations’ business goals. By adapting analytics and new methods of assessment, leaders will build higher performing teams with decreased employee turnover and increased employee engagement.