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Considering Specific Needs, We Avoid Generic Programs to Find the Best Solutions for Program

By Mindy Geisser, CHRO, Colliers International

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Mindy Geisser, CHRO, Colliers International

How have you relied on the best of breed solutions to steer transformational initiatives within your organization

We have  built a customized executive leadership development program called Elevate, in partnership with a number of organizations, and most directly with Harvard. After considering the specific needs of our business, we purposely avoided any generic programs to ensure that we were finding the best and most relevant solutions for each element of the program. We have also engaged our own senior executive  leadership who are deeply steeped in knowledge and history of this industry, and the culture of our company, to help us teach and develop others in this program.

"After considering the specific needs of our business, we purposely avoided any generic programs to ensure that we were finding the best and most relevant  solutions for each element of the program"

HR solutions to improve effectiveness

1. Taleo– We implemented this tool for our recruiting management solution in 2012, and it was also our first global HR system  implementation at Colliers International. We currently have more than 160 jobs posted globally. Worldwide at this time, we  have more than 50,000 candidates in our system.  
2. SharePoint– We developed the HRIntranet (Colliers Hub) and it has become an outstanding example of building global collaboration and best practice sharing, hosting information such as benefits, policies, templates, guidelines, tools,  training opportunities, and much more.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

Our top pick would be to have a more holistic and affordable HRMS solution than what is currently available on the market  today. There are many options available but all of them are strong in certain areas, and weak in others requiring us to make  compromises somewhere within our list of priorities and needs.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

Due to the highly distributed nature of our workforce and the fact that we are in 482 offices across 62 countries around the  world, it is increasingly important for us to be able to communicate to a wide audience, simultaneously. Also due to the fact that our employees are out in the field meeting with clients in a variety of settings, the ability to access information  on  their phones or tablets is critical  keeping the clients highly informed and educated. Additionally, we are heavily using  social media for recruitment, and also for enhanced transparency of communication to our employees.

My roles and responsibilities as a CHRO

In my opinion, there is an increasing need for CHROs to become more commercial. The function has been evolving away from a  focus on policies, procedures and administration towards looking to how organizations can drive the best commercial value  from our people resources. There is also a major shift in the way in which we are leading – ‘open’ leadership driven through  influence and collaboration versus topdown, command and control styles of leadership of the past.

Lessons learned and your advice for fellow HRs

My greatest lessons have come from working in a highly decentralized model. HR is supporting our internal clients to  facilitate and accelerate their success in working with our external clients. We need to be collaborative, innovative, and  out-of-the box, understanding their business and finding solutions to their biggest hurdles to enable them to move forward  quickly. I’m also constantly reminded of the importance of culture, establishing it and living by it. And finally, almost  verything we are doing involves change. So building expertise in the area of change management is a critical skillset.

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