Tomorrow’s Top Talent

We know that our people are the biggest contributor to our company’s growth and success, so why do the vast majority of businesses still have a reactive approach to hiring and recruiting? In today’s climate you can no longer rely on the right candidate actually applying, let alone applying when you need them.

Just like a great baseball coach has a bull pen full of pitchers with various strengths and talents ready to jump into the game at any moment, a great company should have a stable of interested, committed candidates poised and ready to take the reigns of any key role.

How do you set your HR department up for success? Your HR plan should always be on the lookout for tomorrow’s great talent. Who do you want to attract? Where do you find them? How do you keep them interested and engaged until you find the ideal place for them? Two key tools will help you answer these questions: A Talent Pipeline and a Talent Pool.

First, let's take a look at the talent pipeline. It focuses on building long-term relationships and alliances with potential candidates, and funnels them from every channel. Your pipeline is an extensive network made up of people you know and people you don’t. The friends, family, and associates of your employees and colleagues. People you find in physical locations, such as high schools, colleges, trade schools, universities, conferences, seminars, trade shows, exhibitions, job fairs, and recruitment agencies. It is also made up of people from online places, such as your followers on social media, LinkedIn, and industry-related forums and boards. It is made up of every quality applicant who has ever submitted a resume, or interviewed with your company.

Why wait for an employee to resign before searching for an exceptional replacement? The talent pool engages, grooms, and nurtures potential hires so they are ready to jump into the perfect role when a position opens up. A properly functioning pipeline dramatically reduces hiring time and cost.

How do I build a talent pipeline?

Define your ideal candidate. What are the characteristics, skills and traits that make up your perfect hire? What kind of education and experience would they possess?

Be proactive. Create opportunities for candidates to meet your amazing team. Host a friends and family night, open house, or similar networking event to allow potential applicants a firsthand glimpse into your company and the team they’d be working with. Maybe your industry isn’t the most glamorous. That’s okay. Every business has something amazing going on. Something fun, exciting, or interesting. Talk about it. Be talked about. Job seekers in your industry should know who you are, and what your company is all about.

"Your HR plan should always be on the lookout for tomorrow’s great talent."

Track your past quality applicants. Store and analyze resumes and applications. Keep information current, and remind them that you are still interested. Why invest all that time, energy, and money, getting to know candidates, then cast them aside? You’ve already shortlisted and vetted them--your work here is essentially done. Keep them engaged in your talent pool until a suitable position is created or becomes available.

Be the kind of company people want to work for, and showcase your corporate culture on your website and in your postings. It is simple, but effective. Just as your website should attract customers, it should also attract potential quality hires and give them a reason to return. A truly effective pipeline introduces the talent that your organization is lacking. While you’re taking a closer look at your website, apply for one of your own postings. Was it easy to apply? Were communication methods effective? How were you treated? Did you have to jump through too many hoops? Did you get a sense of your company from the posting? Is your hiring manager asking the right questions? Would you want to work for this company? Ensure that your website is funneling applicants to you as quickly and efficiently as possible.

A guilt-free social media platform that doesn’t require a formal application is a great way to attract the attention of people in the industry, currently working for your competition. It attracts the right kind of people and introduces them to your company on their terms. It can serve as a benign introduction, and eventually turn a passive applicant to an active one. It’s a ‘no strings attached’ method to reach individuals who haven’t leapt into the job search with both feet yet. These candidates need to be approached like prospective customers: identify them, target them, and sell them on your company, and eventually, the position.

Next, let’s look at the talent pool--that theoretical place you keep all these suitable candidates. Most people tend to think of the talent pipeline as active, and the pool as passive, but why shouldn’t your talent pool be active as well? Why wouldn't you want to have an up to date, engaged, and inspired group to draw from? Go-getters are pretty easy to spot at every stage and this is the perfect opportunity to address any skill gaps and provide ongoing training.

Coach prepare talent pool

The talent pool is an ideal place to:

  • Assess strengths and weaknesses
  • Organize candidates according to your company’s needs
  • Engage potential hires and let them get to know your company
  • Inspire excitement about a product launch or community initiative
  • Initiate onboarding and showcase corporate culture
  • Educate potential hires about advances in your field and current opportunities with your company

The way candidates interact with organizations and apply for jobs has fundamentally changed. A great HR manager is always on the hunt for top level hires, and ensures that the talent pipeline is driving candidates of the highest caliber towards the company at every turn. Your talent pool and pipeline will ensure you have the right person for the job when you need them.

Misty Mountain's Business is Mushrooming!

Misty Mountain Specialties – 2018 Winner “Business Excellence of the Year”
Award. – Mid-Size Category

Richmond, B.C. December 2018: Wardell International congratulates our client, Misty
Mountain Specialties
- recipient of the 2018 “Business of the Year” award at the 41 st Richmond
Chamber of Commerce event.


This annual event, held at the River Rock Theatre was attended by more than 450 guests
including government dignitaries and leaders from small local businesses to large global
companies. Misty competed against over 200 entrants and 3 worthy finalists for this prestigious
award. Winning is a true achievement!

Founder, David Lee Kwen started Misty as a one-man operation in 1997, selling specialty
mushrooms door-to-door to food service providers and high end restaurants. Today, Misty
Mountain is a leading global supplier of wild, exotic, organic and cultivated mushrooms and
specialty foods.

David’s vision is to grow a fully integrated farm-to-table business model so he came to Wardell
International for guidance on how to create the right organizational structure, work processes
and software systems that will enable Misty to grow exponentially. Wardell Business Advisor –
Joe Markovitch has been working one-on-one with David and Misty Mountain management to
implement the Wardell Growth Program.

With an expanded new plant location coming online in Coquitlam early January 2019 and a
restructuring and systems implementation program now in progress, Misty is in a great position
to meet the needs of a growing local, national and global marketplace for Misty’s unique
product line.

Learn more about the Wardell program and how we can help you achieve your
entrepreneurial dream!

Succession dilemma: Without the right plan, your business is doomed to flounder


Hardly a day goes by without my coming face-to-face with the issue of business succession. Every banker, lawyer, accountant, and financial planner I know talks about it. Seminar after seminar deals with this issue, and all for good reason. After all, thanks to the baby-boomer generation, more than two thirds of independent Canadian business owners are planning to exit their businesses in the coming years.

But what we aren’t hearing about so much is who is going to buy these businesses. Certainly some will be picked up by competitors, some will be bought by managers, and some will be passed on to future generations. However, the grim reality is that the product of many an entrepreneurs’ blood, sweat and tears will simply cease to exist.

To avoid this fate, many entrepreneurs have begun succession planning. And while planning of this kind is absolutely necessary, it’s also absolutely pointless unless the business owner truly understands what effective planning looks like for their business. In my experience, many don’t.

Succession planning done right, requires that the business owner develop and execute a road map that proactively “productizes” his or her business into a self-sustained, truly valuable organization. Value. This is indeed an elusive word and one that is much more difficult to measure than the revenues, assets and profits we’re all used to reading on our financial statements. It is, however, the key to what makes a succession, successful.

So how do we identify and ultimately drive value? To answer this question, we first need to understand that a valuable organization is one that is independent of its ownership. Therefore, the goal of an effective succession plan must be to transform a business from an owner-reliant organization into a genuine investment. After all, as a potential buyer, which would you pay more for?

Consider the following concept I call the “value pyramid.”

It consists of four stages, or levels, of business development. As a business moves from one level to the next, risk is reduced, and the business takes a corresponding leap in value. The pyramid is designed to help a business owner, during the process of succession planning, consider the value of his or her business from the perspective of a potential buyer.

Level One: an owner driven business. In this type of business, the owner makes it all happen. Because this level of business is highly reliant on its owner, the risk of a business losing its profitability following a succession is highest.

Level Two: a people driven business. In this scenario, key people in the company, other than the owner, make the business happen. At this level, succession-related failure is reduced, but still plays a role due to the fact that the key people could leave, and thus take valuable information, and even customers, with them.

Level Three: a process driven business. This type of business is run by systems, which greatly reduce the risk of failure after a succession. At this level, systems are in place to ensure that operations continue according to plan, with or without the owner or key employees, so the business is set up fairly well to run itself. This type of business has more inherent value than the first two levels.

Level Four: a culture driven business. In this environment, the culture (driven by both people and systems) make the business happen. Level Four is considered as close to a pure “investment” as a business can come. Its culture indoctrinates new hires into an environment of continuous improvement, based on systems. The result is a “culture of excellence”. This type of business has the least chance of successionrelated failure, and is therefore considered the most valuable.

Once a business owner determines which of the four levels they are at, they can then move forward in developing and executing a succession plan that will get them as close to a culture-driven business as possible. You can start right now by asking yourself, “Am I ready to give up some of my control?” It’s a tough question for many entrepreneurs, but it’s impossible to move your business up the value pyramid without addressing it. Once you’re comfortable, however, you may be surprised at how quickly the value of your business will grow.


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“Wardell has helped me systemize my business so I can travel with my family often and live the life I’ve always dreamed of.”

— Brad Haima, Founder, Circle Graphics

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