SHIFT - September 2021





Trending Topics in the World of Work_

September 2021

Our September issue of SHIFT explores talent strategies to bridge skills gaps, location-based pay considerations, using crisis behaviors to evolve company culture, and trends that are defining 2021.


Trends That Are Defining 2021 – and Beyond

McKinsey & Company set out to identify some factors that business leaders should keep in mind as they prepare for what they are calling “the next normal.” They discuss how these trends will affect the direction of the global economy, how business will adjust, and how society could be changed forever.

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How to MixTalent Strategies to Bridge Skills Gaps

As improved job prospects, new skill needs and changing employee expectations threaten to reduce the availability of critical capabilities, companies must deploy the right mix of talent strategies to solve the skills gaps, advises a recent report from Gartner. The report identifies 11 talent strategies ranging from upskilling and reskilling to contingent hiring and outsourcing. The real challenge, however, is figuring out the right mix of talent strategies for the right circumstances, and Gartner outlines five steps to follow to do just that.

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Location-Based Pay Heats Up as Workforces Remain Remote

While geographic pay differentials are common, most companies don’t have policies that define what happens to pay when an employee relocates from a high to a low cost of labor location or begins working remotely away from any company location, according to a report from global professional services firm Aon. As this situation is increasingly common today, the report suggests that companies would be well-served to develop a more comprehensive policy around these situations.

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Using Crisis Behaviors to Evolve Company Culture

Leaders who struggled with cultural inertia while managing a remote work force during the pandemic are finding themselves in a surprising situation: Employees spontaneously adopted positive behaviors during the crisis. This comes from consultants at PwC who report that the bureaucracy that was common in previous times seemed to vanish.

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© 2021 Management Recruiters International, Inc.

Each office is individually owned and operated. An equal opportunity employer.

7 Negotiation Tips


7 Negotiation Tips from MRI Sr. Director of Vendor Management_

Negotiation is a daily practice within business organizations. We negotiate all the time — with clients and partners, vendors and suppliers, supervisors and colleagues, employees and recruits. As MRI’s Senior Director of Vendor Management, Beth Turner understands that the best negotiators are ones who are able to create win-win situations.

Being a good negotiator is central to Beth’s role at MRI. “Every day, I’m in discussions with third-party vendors with the goal of achieving positive outcomes that yield mutually beneficial results,” she says. “It’s not about beating the opposition out of the other party. In the end it’s about everyone feeling that the deal is a good one.”

Beth observes that the number of women working in roles requiring keen negotiating skills is much greater than in the past, when many believed that these roles required the toughness that men could bring to the table. “In my experience,” she says, “women tend to excel at reading people and building relationships, two incredibly important parts of negotiation. While the ability to aggressively get what you want might seem like a victory in the moment, the reality is that the lack of goodwill generated by this can cause problems down the road.”

Here are some of Beth’s most valuable tips to help all negotiators develop this make-or-break professional skill.

Do Your Research

“Always do your research, show up prepared, and demonstrate early on that you understand exactly who you’re negotiating with. In my role at MRI, I have to work across numerous industries from software companies, to telecommunications, to hotel contracts. You must be well-versed enough to understand the industry in which you’re negotiating — if your negotiation partner needs to educate you, you’ve lost credibility and leverage.”

Get Straight to the Point

“Especially when negotiating with men, directness is the best approach. I recommend keeping your focus on closing the deal, and your desired outcome, rather than spending your time on the minutiae in a very detailed discussion. Start out by sharing your goal to set expectations, and ask your negotiation partner a few succinct, pointed questions so you can understand what they want out of the negotiation.”

Show Consideration

“Often, early on in my negotiations for MRI, I’ll ask the rep or vendor what closing this deal would mean for them. For example, what would a win for them look like? Is there a time frame in which they’d like to get the contract executed?

“Almost every time, the vendor is caught off guard — they so rarely feel considered during negotiation. In my experience, this shows that you value partnership and a mutually beneficial outcome, right out of the gate.”

Stop Anytime

“Confidence is key to effective negotiation — and that includes the confidence to walk away. If for any reason, a negotiation is not going well, I will stop or pause the process altogether, no matter how badly I want the deal to close. You can always reopen the discussion later, but there is little to be gained by prolonging an interaction that is no longer serving you.”

Always Self-Review

“After every negotiation, good or bad, I spend fifteen minutes doing a quick self check-in. What went well? What do I wish happened? What could I have done differently? This moment of self-reflection allows me to assess my own role in the negotiation, and ensure that my skills are always improving.”

Keep it Honest

“If you cultivate honesty and strong relationship and communication skills, other people will trust and want to work alongside you. In my role, vendors know what to expect from dealing with me, and colleagues and Managing Partners trust that I am acting in good faith to get the best deal for them.

“Having strong negotiation skills will also help when you have to deliver bad news about the outcome of a negotiation to a partner or co-worker. Because you’ve established an honest, trusting relationship, they can be confident you did everything I could to get the best results possible — even if the outcome wasn’t exactly what they hoped for.”

How Beth Opens a Negotiation

There is no one right way to negotiate, and you’ll likely settle on an approach that feels comfortable and authentic for you.

However, if you’re looking for some guidance on how to get started, Beth often uses these three points to open her negotiations. Next time you aren’t sure how to start your negotiation, give them a try:

  1. Ask your partner why closing this deal is important to them and their company.
  2. Assure your partner that your goal is not to squeeze every last penny from them, but to find an outcome that is mutually favorable for you both.
  3. Set a boundary about your expectations. Communicate that you are not interested in wasting time trading multiple offers back and forth, and that you expect them to come forward with their best possible proposal once initial discussion is out of the way.

An Essential Life and Business Skill

Many professionals find negotiation difficult, stressful, or challenging, but successful negotiation boils down to a few simple principles: relationship building, strong communication skills, honesty, and transparency.

“We must have the confidence to put those skills to use in a persuasive style and build relationships on a foundation of honesty and professionalism,” Beth concludes.

Focusing on these areas while developing yourself as a negotiator will benefit you outside the office, too. Negotiation is a part of life, whether you’re debating with your significant other on where to go for dinner or attempting to get the best deal on a new vehicle. No matter your age, gender, or professional title, negotiating is something by which you should not be intimidated.

July 2021

2400 E. Commercial Blvd., Suite 718
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308


Recent MRINetwork Analysis

"Many clients are focused on bringing talent into their organization who can be transforming and multipliers. Past education and past roles remain important, and candidates who demonstrate and prove their drive toward their ‘intentional north star’ are increasingly in demand."

Bert Miller
President & CEO


Notable International Events

  • The Henley Passport Index, which has been regularly monitoring the world’s most travel-friendly passports since 2006, has released its latest rankings. As the index doesn’t take temporary restrictions into account, Japan is once again top of the leaderboard, with its passport offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 193 destinations around the world. But international mobility was still only 12% of its pre-pandemic levels. The passport top 10 remains virtually unchanged with Singapore remaining in second place and South Korea tying with Germany in third place. As usual, most of the remaining top 10 spots on the index are held by EU countries. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain are in fourth place; Austria, Denmark are at number five; while France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden are together at number six. Via
  • G20 finance ministers could rally the world’s top economies behind a global plan to tax multinationals more fairly in 131 countries representing 90 percent of world output. The Group of 20 – the world’s 19 biggest economies plus the European Union – have already backed the framework for global tax reform, but negotiations continue to convince low-tax EU countries such as Hungary, Ireland and Estonia, to tax global companies at a rate of at least 15 percent. The hold-out European countries have relied on low tax rates to attract multinationals and build their economies. Ireland, the EU home to tech giants Facebook, Google and Apple, has a corporate tax rate of just 12.5 percent, while Hungary has one of 9.0 percent and Estonia almost only taxes dividend payments. However, the support of these three countries is crucial for the EU, as the adoption of a minimum tax rate would require unanimous backing from member states. Via
    The Economic Times.
  • France’s pension system is back in the spotlight as President Emmanuel Macron prepares his final grand act before new elections next April. Macron had plans to change France’s pension system, where workers can retire at 62 – one of the lowest retirement ages in the world – but he was forced to put his plans on hold to deal with the pandemic crisis. Macron is now considering reviving his plans and make good on his 2017 promise to reform the pension system. It is yet unclear how and when he will choose to change the pension system. However, he met with leaders of trade unions to discuss the “demographic challenge,” and is expected to present his ideas soon. The main trade unions in France are reportedly against changing the pension system. Via
  • Mexico chose state-owned Pemex to run a major shared oil find over the private consortium led by a U.S. oil company that first discovered it, in the latest win for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s nationalistic energy policies. The disputed deposit, believed to hold some 700 million barrels of oil, is thought to straddle two neighboring blocks in the southern Gulf of Mexico, one belonging to Pemex and the other to a private consortium of oil companies led by Houston-based Talos Energy. It was the first major oil discovery by foreign companies after reforms spearheaded by Mexico’s previous administration opened up the country’s energy sector to foreign and private producers. Talos, which announced the discovery of the well in 2017, and argues that it should run the project, said that it would explore all legal and strategic options to maximize value for its shareholders. Via

© 2021 Management Recruiters International, Inc.

Each office is individually owned and operated. An equal opportunity employer.


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Four Ways to Update Your Hiring Strategy This Year

The new World of Work has compelled companies to take a fresh look at the way they do just about everything. And in the course of making necessary adjustments, they’ve come away with insights that will prevail well after the crisis has passed. From how they schedule meetings and manage teams to how they fill open positions and promote their culture, they are adjusting to the demands of the hybrid workforce.

“Remote working on a large scale and the evolving hybrid workplace are uncharted territory for most companies,” says Bert Miller, President and CEO of MRI. “But we are already seeing signs that business leaders are learning from the experience and pivoting in the direction of strategies that will successfully move them forward.”

Miller outlines four ways leaders can optimize their talent attraction and retention strategies for the new World of Work:

Clarify Job Descriptions

Job seekers are looking for security and safety, which often translates into work-from-home opportunities. “When you’re writing a job spec now,” says Miller, “the scope of telecommuting should be clearly outlined. Whether you’re looking for people to fill remote, hybrid, or in-office roles, be clear from the first touchpoint. Communicate expectations for the position and outline what you’re doing to keep your team safe and supported. You’ll build trust in the company and increase the likelihood that strong candidates follow through with the entire recruitment process.”

Update Priority Skill Sets

Recruiters and hiring managers are already closely monitoring the traits in employees that will determine long-term hybrid success — but those key traits are shifting as the World of Work moves increasingly online. “You need people who can communicate well and maintain a team approach even when they’re not able to be together in a communal setting,” explains Miller. Remote working requires discipline and a proactive, self-motivated approach — something all workers don’t necessarily possess. When reviewing candidate resumes, Miller suggests that it can be helpful to determine if candidates have worked remotely in the past, perhaps on interim assignments, and how successful they were in those situations.

Implement Digital Hiring Practices

As companies look to fill open positions, recruiters and hiring managers are turning to digital hiring tools to make the most effective decisions, including programs used to facilitate prehire assignments and virtual interviews. “Digital, remote-ready recruitment and candidate screening tools were in use before the pandemic, but now they can help you even more effectively seek out and engage talent,” says Miller. “Properly applied, they can also cut down on time-to-hire and encourage enduring employee satisfaction.” He points out that digital hiring and remote work eliminate geographic restrictions, giving companies access to a larger and more diverse talent pool than ever before.

Identify Reskilling Opportunities

The pandemic has accelerated the need for employees to undergo reskilling in order to meet the demands of our new World of Work. “It’s up to leaders to help their hybrid employees adopt the technologies they need to drive productivity by prioritizing their reskilling efforts,” says Miller. These may include company-wide training sessions on specific tools, individually selected courses, or one-on-one mentoring. There’s an added responsibility for managers to pay close attention to how their people are faring, including from a professional development standpoint, and to anticipate their needs before problems arise.

Flexibility and resilience are paramount in adapting to change. The companies that not only adapt to the new World of Work but also learn from it and improve upon their old ways of doing things are the ones that will survive, prosper, and grow.


© 2021 Management Recruiters International, All Rights Reserved. Each offices is independently owned and operated.

When Is the Best Time to Hire?

Article by Joe Mullings

One of the most common stressors for companies is knowing when to hire. Many build out hiring plans for the next year in late Q3 or Q4 while they’re deep in budgeting mode, and start hiring in Q1 when bonuses have been paid out vacation time has been used, and top talent is willing to make a move.

But attaching seasonality to the decision can be a major roadblock to finding the best talent for your team — especially if it means waiting until you desperately need to fill a position before starting the process.

Apply a Hum/Sing/Shout Approach

I’ve talked at length about how to implement a hum/sing/shout approach for your branding efforts — but the same framework works for hiring. Here’s how it works:

  • Hum: Keep the underlying rhythm of your employer branding at work at all times to ensure that your opportunities remain front of mind for top talent in your industry niche.
  • Sing: About 60-90 days out from when you actually need to have your new employee on board, get a little bit louder — not just about the open position, but about what it’s like to work for your company.
  • Shout: Within a 45-60 day window it’s time to shout about the position itself and the underlying opportunities associated with joining your company.

How to Build Your Hum

Most likely you already know how to focus your strategy to sing, or even shout, when a specific role is open and a hire needs to happen. But the best people — those you really want to attract to your company — are rarely seeking a new position actively, so no matter how loud you’re singing and shouting, they won’t hear you. Developing a strong hiring brand narrative in the public domain, with a heavy humming chorus, ensures that you’re always “on” from a talent attraction standpoint, and allows you to build recognition among top talent long before there’s a specific role in question.

People follow the brands that they feel they can connect with emotionally and learn from — and there’s a ton you can do in your “hum” phase to position yourself as a value-add in their feeds. For instance, professionals are always curious about topics and trends relevant to their industry or careers. By sharing meaningful insights, they’re likely to stumble upon you and begin following you for your analysis and perspective, without even thinking about a career transition. Then, as you continue sharing helpful and interesting information with them, their trust in your company grows long before you ever connect with them directly.

As you start to build your hum, focus on the four pillars of an effective corporate content strategy:

  • Market: Gretzky famously reminded us to “skate where the puck is going.” As people consider the next step in their careers, they want to ensure they’re placing their bets on a market that’s ripe with opportunity — where the trends are heading, not where they’ve already been. Talk about why your space will see success long into the future in order to build their confidence.
  • Product: Once you’ve established your market’s value, explain how your specific products or services align with that opportunity. The goal here is to highlight why your organization in particular is an exciting one to join.
  • Leadership: You are most influenced by the people you hang around with every day. Candidates know this and are becoming increasingly focused on opportunities where they know they’ll learn from a strong leadership team. Take the time to highlight the expertise at the helm of your brand so that they understand their development opportunities.
  • Mission: Your team doesn’t show up every day because of the product or service you provide, but rather because of the underlying problem they care about solving and the opportunities they’re excited to create. Communicate this North Star externally to illustrate to prospective candidates what could be motivating them every day.

By the time you move to the sing and shout portions of your strategy when you have a role to advertise, potential candidates are primed to pay attention. They already have a clear idea of who they can become when they work for your organization. And that’s what people really want: the chance to evolve and be part of something meaningful.

Take Timing Out of It

You should always be looking for talent, not just when you need it. Otherwise, you will only be getting the people who happen to be available during that very specific window — and they may not be the best people for your team.

Applying the hum/sing/shout approach gets you out of the seasonality trend that decades of hiring managers have established. Instead, you develop a bench strength mindset that encourages you to constantly be networking, connecting, and sharing the vision of your organization. By learning how to hum, you can add depth to your existing team and find the best people to grow your organization, regardless of when you hire them.


© 2021 Management Recruiters International, All Rights Reserved. Each offices is independently owned and operated.