We’re excited to announce that Shanon Holley has joined the CCN HR recruiting team.
Shanon brings over 20 year’s experience in human resources for a variety of industries. She considers herself a “utility player/leader” and has led HR teams and departments to the next level, driving business outcomes through strategy and execution.
She speaks “HR” and has a unique ability to engage with candidates and continue those relationships through networking. She has a proven track record of successfully building high performing talent recruitment pipelines and optimizing workplace culture.
6 Questions about HR recruiting with Shanon Holley
1. What’s your specific experience with HR?
When it comes to HR, I’ve worked with everyone from large public companies to small startups.
I’ve done it all. I’m the “utility player” and leader. I worked my way from the ground up, so I’ve stepped into every single HR role. That means I know what kind of skills and personalities candidates need to be successful in those roles.
I’d say my sweet spot is employee engagement, culture, and coaching and development.
2. That combination is key isn’t it? how do you go about making sure that a candidate is the right fit for a client?
Culture is key to an organization’s success. CCN has tools and resources to determine technical qualification, but understanding culture-fit has to come with experience. We engage with candidates and conduct thorough behavioral interviews specific to the client’s culture to ensure fit. I usually know by the end of the interview if they are a good fit for the client.
3. These days a lot of companies are desperate for talent. We’ve heard stories of recruiters making job offers without even performing an interview. How is CCN doing things differently?
It’s all about due diligence and vetting, and to do that you have to have that deeper knowledge and expertise around HR.
We do a drill-in questionnaire before we even get on the phone with a candidate. It’s specific to HR and tailored to the client’s needs. That determines who even gets the interview.
By the time a candidate is presented to a client, they have been thoroughly screened by our subject matter experts and are qualified for the role and a fit for the organization. We’ve already done the homework upfront. We’re not going to waste their time with a candidate we don’t personally believe in.
4. In addition to serving clients well, I hear you also go above and beyond for your candidates. What does that look like?
I am not a traditional interviewer. I form connections with candidates that allow for direct, collaborative conversations. The candidates that I engage with may be my next team member or client, so it is imperative to make a lasting impression on behalf of the client and CCN.
If they get an interview with the client, I call them afterwards with feedback, being transparent and honest and delivering those messages. Nobody likes to hand out rejections, but I don’t hesitate to provide constructive feedback that will help them move on to the next opportunity. Even if they are not right for one particular role, I’m engaging and creating a relationship with them.
6. You’ve got the ability to do a lot of different HR work. Why HR recruiting?
Everyday I get to talk to like-minded HR professionals, and sometimes they are smarter than me, and I have clear takeaways from those conversations and relationships… I get to talk about what I love!
Let’s get started!
If your company is looking for exceptional human resources talent, Shanon is excited to get your HR recruiting search started! Call 512-900-2152 or send us a message.
Help us fight cancer by simply enjoying craft beers! We’re back with another Beer Beats Cancer event to help raise funds with the CCN “Light The Night” team.
We’re looking forward to a great evening filled with great food and local brews, live music, raffle, and auction from 6-9 at Hops & Thyme in Lakeway.
Each $30 ticket is a tax-deductible donation to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), and admission includes a commemorative pint glass with craft beer from local brewers like Twisted X Brewing. (Wine is available for our non-beer drinking supporters.)
Delicious food, ciders, and more are also available to purchase on-site from Hops & Thyme.
All are welcome, so please invite your friends and help prove that Beer Beats Cancer!
Freia was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 8. She and her family had just landed for a family vacation in Sweden when her parents noticed something wasn’t right. After several trips to the hospital, her family heard those awful words: “Freia has cancer.”
Today, Freia is almost done with her treatment and is already helping to encourage others as Austin’s Light the Night “Honored Hero.”
You too can help raise funds and support families and patients like Freia through Austin’s 2021 Light the Night event! Visit our event page to donate or sign up to walk with our team on November 6, 2021.
We also hope you will join us fun community event on October 14 called “Beer Beats Cancer.” We’ll gather at Hops & Thyme in Lakeway for great food and local brews, all in support of cancer research and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).Selling to the C-Suite: A Conversation with Tammy McCarty; President of Strategic HR Services at Cox Consulting Network
As we continue our blog series today, we're talking to Tammy McCarty, President of Strategic HR Services at Cox Consulting Network (CCN). Tammy has more than 24 years of experience in executive roles, ranging from leading HR organizations to various sales and marketing executive positions.
Thank you, Tammy, for taking time off your busy schedule to share with us your advice and recommendations on how sales reps can engage with executives effectively and add value throughout the sales process. I appreciated your insights and authenticity throughout our discussion.
1. Tell me about your background.
Spent 24+ years in leadership roles in HR, sales, and marketing. “My degree is in communications and organizational design. During college, I was focused on HR and completed an HR internship before graduation. I’ve been very blessed to have a fantastic career, spending 24+ years in leadership roles spanning multiple industries. Early in my career, I've stepped into large roles overseeing HR for companies with thousands of employees distributed worldwide. In addition to HR leadership roles, I also led sales and marketing teams for numerous organizations.”
"Throughout this journey, I learned that for me to be highly effective, I need to 1) understand the industry that I’m in, 2) the business that I'm part of, and 3) what drives revenue. So, I approach every leadership role with this mentality.”
2. Tell us about your typical day as an executive.
Includes internal and external focus. “My typical day as an executive is interesting because I'm running a business. I'm managing consultants assigned to projects, and I'm also managing clients by partnering with my client’s C-suite.”
Internal day-to-day-activities. “A typical day for me can be anywhere from being on calls with consultants, recruiting consultants, managing the business and the projects, and making sure things are going as planned. As part of the executive team, I participate in strategic meetings to determine, 'What is our messaging? What's our brand? And how are we positioned for future growth?’ ”
External day-to-day-activities. “Another part of my day also includes being in strategic calls as the HR executive for my clients and discussing strategic planning with their executive team members.”
3. Why do you typically get involved in deals?
Identify needs and gaps; ensure sales rep is a good fit. “I usually get involved in deals to 1) identify our needs and gaps, and 2) ensure that the sales rep, their solution, and their organization are a good fit for us. You can have everything that I need, but if there's no confidence and trust in the particular salesperson, I'm probably going to go with a different option. The old adage that anybody can sell anything is not true. I think that relationships are still critical in sales.”
Ensure organizational fit. “Also, the organizational fit is vital! When I purchase from someone, I’m partnering with them to achieve some goal, and I need to make sure that not only is the sales rep competent, but that I understand what their leadership team looks like; what their track record of success is; and how innovative are they?”
4. When do you typically get involved in the sales process?
Early phase; defining needs and requirements. “I’m involved in the early stages of defining our needs and the key requirements to move forward.”
Regular check-in with my team and in the final stages. “After that, I typically hand it over to my team so that they can identify some potential solutions or providers. I have regular check-ins with them to ensure we are in alignment. And then obviously in the final stages, I’m involved because I’m one of the final decision-makers.”
5. What are some preparation tips you have for a sales rep before meeting with an executive like yourself?
Research the organization and the people that are attending the meeting. “You need to research the organization. You need to know what we do, identify our strengths, and understand who the key players are. If you have a meeting with me, I expect, at minimum, that you've looked at my bio on the company site, which will lead you to my Linkedin.”
Use your network to learn about your buyers. “I would also expect that you looked to see if we have common connections and reached out to some of them to learn more about me. By doing your research, you will be able to position your offering in a way that matters to me.”
6. What do you expect from a salesperson meeting with you?
Don’t want to be sold anything! “I already mentioned the importance of doing your homework. I also expect not to be sold to by anyone. I recently sat in a meeting with a sales rep, and they were hard selling. They weren't listening; they didn’t ask questions; they came in selling and talking about how great their solution is.”
Actively listen to my needs. “I expect you to come in that first meeting knowing something about my business, as well as using that time to listen and learn about my needs, and then come back and share how your solution can help meet some of my needs. I want you to listen to me, and if you identify some needs as we're talking, that's great. But coming at me with solutions without understanding my needs and my problems, that's a hard sell.”
7. What questions do you usually ask sales reps during the sales process?
Rep’s tenure and their success in company & organizational structure, especially around post-sale. “I want to know their tenure and the type of success they've had in their role. I want to understand more about the organizational structure, especially around post-sale. I want to know, ‘Are you going to walk in and walk away as soon as the contract is signed and hand us over to someone else. ’ I want someone to be accountable if things don't go as planned; hence I don't particularly like the business model that says, ‘Hi, I'm Joe. I just sold you. You won't ever see me again, and I'm handing you off to someone.’ ”
Specific questions on how they address problems. “I also want to be able to ask the rep specifically, ‘How are you going to address X, Y, and Z?’ I want them to think on their feet when I have very pointed questions related to what my needs are.”
Examples of similar clients. “I also usually ask about other clients. If it's a system, I'm going to ask about their implementation process. I'm going to get specific. Based on my own research of their offerings, I'm also going to ask them questions to make sure that what I'm seeing is real and allow them to close any gaps.”
8. What have differentiated sales reps that have won your business versus those that lost?
Smart, know their product, transparent. “Assuming that the products are comparable, the sales reps that have won my business are smart, know their products inside and out, and own any limitations and bring them to the table so that I'm aware of it. Transparency is critical to me. A salesperson should not want to win every single deal. They should be as selective as a client is because not every customer is a good customer.”
Responsive and follow through with promises. “Another attribute of reps that won my business are those that are responsive and follow through with their promises; they're organized and on point, and they know my business and understand it.”
Accountable and cultural fit. “As I mentioned earlier, sales reps that won my business are those that stay on the account and hold themselves accountable to the outcomes. Another differentiator is culture fit. Just like there's a culture fit for organizations when they’re hiring employees, there's also a culture fit when you're buying. I need that rep to be a fit with my organization and my team. Culture is critical.”
Regular follow-ups. “Follow-up is also an important differentiator. Reps that have won my business conducted regular follow-ups using different channels (e.g., phone, email, etc.). They're the ones that check-in regularly and stay on top of their game, adding value to every interaction. My advice to reps is that you need to be relevant to your customers. If you're not, you're going to lose a deal.”
Good manners. "Finally, manners matter to me! How you treat people matters to me! It's important to me that I work with people that treat others with respect and empathy, and that applies to vendors I work with."
9. What would put a deal at risk?
Hard selling, not responsive, inaccurate information, sloppiness. “There are several things that sales reps can do to put their deals at risk. I've already mentioned a few, including hard selling and being unresponsive. Another thing that can put a deal at risk is when reps provide me inaccurate information. Sloppiness in anything they send me on the front end is going to cost them the deal.”
Pushy and doesn’t respect internal processes. “Also, reps that are pushy and don’t respect our internal processes can put their deals at risk. For example, when I give directions to a sales rep on our selection process and explain the steps we'll go through, I expect that rep to follow them. If they start copying other people in the organization, go around my team, or ignore the process I've outlined, they will lose the deal. That behavior is not a sign of a good partnership! It demonstrates to me that the rep is not invested in building a high trust relationship. All they want to do is sell that deal!”
Sales pressure tactics. “Another absolute that can place deals at risk is when reps put me on their timeline and their company goals instead of my timeline, and they use pressure tactics, such as: ‘Hey, we got to have this done by this date, or we're not going to hold this pricing.’ These types of behaviors backfire on the reps.”
Thank you, Tammy, for your time and for sharing your perspective and expertise.
Rana Salman runs Salman Consulting, LLC., focusing on partnering with sales and sales enablement leaders to achieve outcomes through people, process, and sales training. You can reach her at [email protected] . Follow her on LinkedIn & Twitter
Beginning this month, CCN has begun to set aside 50 cents for every billable hour and has already raised over $1000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Since 2013, CCN Founder Andy Cox has been involved in the fight against blood cancer, and today, he and his team are already gearing up to join the annual Light the Night event in October.
Below, Andy shares how he first got involved in LLS and how you too can join the fight…
How did you first find out about blood cancer?
Back in the late 90s, I was a regular blood donor. I agreed to be on a national marrow donor list, a database that helps get you matched up with someone who needs a transplant. They told me there was a super low chance I would be contacted, but about a year later, I got a call.
I found out I was a potential match for an adolescent who needed a bone marrow transplant in Europe. At first, I was 1 of 16 or so potential matches. I went in for additional blood and testing, then I was 1 of 8, 1 of 3, and then I was it.
“For me, seeing what the families go through is what really makes the difference. No parent wants to hear that their child has cancer.”
In February of 2000, the patient flew into Houston for the transplant. The thing you have to understand about marrow transplants is that they are usually a last resort — the last thing doctors will try to save a life. Once they start killing off the patient’s white blood cells, the donor is the only chance.
That whole experience really opened my eyes. I never did interact with the actual family, but in that hospital you see lots of parents really struggling.
The transplant successfully extended the patient’s life, but later he ultimately succumbed to cancer. After that, I got busy in my career and raising a new family, but it certainly left a mark.
What got you involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society?
It wasn’t until 2012 that I got involved with LLS in Austin. A coworker of mine just moved into the market, and she was a survivor of blood cancer. Her friends and family had formed a Light the Night team for her back home, so we created a team to support her here in Austin too.
That was a great experience, and it instantly refreshed my memory, seeing that there are a lot of people going through these incredible challenges. They could be coworkers or neighbors close to you, and you might not even know it. I wanted to continue to help out as much as I can.
After that, I was a team captain, then moved into the Austin Light the Night committee, and then joined their board three years ago.
What do you find so compelling about the fight against blood cancer?
For me, seeing what the families go through is what really makes the difference. No parent wants to hear that their child has cancer.
Kids are so resilient that they often continue to play through treatment. They’re still just kids and often keep that optimism, but behind every child cancer patient, there are parents who are on an emotional roller coaster. All you want is for your kid to have the best options, but it’s so hard to know.
You start empathizing with these families. You want to know how you can help, what you can do… well what you can do is end cancer!
Can we really end cancer?
It sounds like something that can’t be done, but we’re making incredible progress, and LLS is right in the middle of that research and innovation.
The amount of FDA approvals that have happened in the last few years is exponentially higher that it used to be, and these are treatments that can help avoid chemo or radiation.
“we’re making incredible progress [towards ending blood cancer], and LLS is right in the middle of that research and innovation.”
Recently a blood cancer survivor spoke at an LLS meeting. He was given a new pill, and literally within months, he was cured of cancer. He was almost embarrassed to say he had cancer, because he never had any ill effects—no chemo, no hair loss, or anything. It felt like a magic pill.
Stories like that don’t tug at the heartstrings as much as suffering families, but that’s exactly the point! That’s what we want the future of blood cancer to look like. That’s why we’re raising money for research.
How can others help in the fight against cancer?
Blood cancer affects all ages, all ethnicities, all age groups. Research is expensive; this is all about fundraising. We need money and we need volunteers.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a great organization that is leading the charge. An extremely high percentage of every dollar given goes to funding research and helping people locally. They run very lean and are very effective.
Money raised through Light the Night also goes to direct patient support services right here in Austin. Of course, cancer treatment is expensive, and hugely disruptive to family life. LLS has programs to provide financial assistance for medical bills, transportation, or even utilities.
I can’t think of anything better to do with my time than to help move this forward.
What is Light the Night?
Light the Night is an annual fundraising event that happens in Austin and other cities across the country.
“No matter where you are the mood is the same. Although there is certainly a memorial component to this event, it’s also festive. There’s a lot to celebrate… is a huge, awesome, emotional experience.”
The actual ceremony starts around dark. They present awards for teams, and they have the “honored hero” come up to share their story. Finally everybody has a colored lantern: white is for survivors, yellow is for remembrance, and red is for all the supporters. Everybody who is holding a white lantern moves into the center to the “circle of survivors.” They all raise their lanterns up, and it’s a huge, awesome, emotional experience. Then all five or six thousand people all do the walk with their lanterns with fireworks at the end.
How can we get involved?
I think it’s a no brainer for companies of any size to participate. There are a lot of reasons for an employer to do an event like this. It’s a great cause, a great opportunity to market if you want to, and a great way to bring your employees together and build comradery.
There are a lot of great charities in Austin, and I understand that. We want to find those people who have a passion and are connected in some way to patients and survivors. Don’t be afraid to ask around, and you will be surprised just how many people you already know who are connected in some way.
At the end of the day, we’re here to end blood cancer.
After many years in consulting and professional services, Andy Cox founded CCN to fix some clear problems with the traditional consulting agency model. Then and now, he believed in the simple idea that by serving people first, everyone ultimately wins.
Our hourly model delivers exceptional talent at a fraction of the cost, saving clients thousands of dollars on every search.
At Cox Consulting Network, you can choose from two different pricing models. The first is the traditional retained or contingent search model. The second, unique to us, is our hourly pricing model.
The traditional contingent search model
Contingent fees are expensive! The industry standard is 25% of a salaried role.
That means to you that if a senior accountant is paid $75,000 per year, you are going to pay $19,000 up front for that candidate search. And you pay the same amount regardless of how long it takes to find the candidate.
CCN's hourly search model
With our hourly search model, we find high quality talent and simply bill you for our time.
Our fees on the hourly search model are limited by either 12% minimum to 20% maximum. And keep in mind that that 20% maximum is still 5% less than the 25% industry standard for a contingent search.
Most of our clients only pay half of a traditional contingent fee. Why would you do it any other way?
You're going to get transparent invoices along the way, with reasonable fees that reflect our effort. You are making an investment in finding exceptional talent, and the ROI in our expertise and our pricing model is exceptional.
Start your search today
Regardless of which pricing model you choose, we are aligned with you. We work with you and for you, and we want to see you be successful.
Call 512-900-2152 or get started online today.
If you've used a recruiter before, have you ever felt in the dark? Have you wondered what they were up to or how they're finding the talent?
At CCN, we work as your outsourced recruiting department. We pride ourselves in our proactive communication and our collaborative recuing process.
Throughout the process, you will receive dashboard reports, which are going to show you who we've
looked at, who we have interviewed, and who we're recommending to you.
Recruiting shouldn't be a mystery! We're on the same team and we're working toward the same goal.
Start your search today
We invite you to experience our recruiting process for yourself. Call 512-900-2152 or get started online today.
Recruiting for finance, accounting, and HR is really a combination of science and art.
The science of recruiting qualified talent
The science is the ability to discern whether a candidate has the technical skills to succeed in a job.
You really can only assess whether the candidate has those technical skills if you have the subject matter expertise and have done the job yourself.
The art of assessing fit
The art of recruiting is figuring out whether this candidate is the right fit for your company culture, as well as for your team.
We work as your outsourced recruiting department. We're the experts in recruiting for finance, accounting, and HR. When you work with us, you can be confident that you are getting the best and most qualified person for that job. We're not simply selling your position to anyone who comes along.
Our process is collaborative and fun, and our recruiters are all great people. We are here to take the pressure off recruiting. We want you to be able to relax and get back to your other responsibilities.
Start your search today
Call 512-900-2152 or get started online today.
Sometimes with a traditional recruiting firm, you will find that they'll get your results quickly, but the candidates that they are putting forward aren't really what you are looking for. They are really just spinning candidates at you hoping that one of them fits.
At CCN, our recruiting department does things a bit differently. We take the most qualified leads, interview them, and put them through a stringent vetting process based on our industry expertise. Then we work and collaborate directly with you in this process before we put forward anyone for a job.
We focus on quality over quantity, which means that we actually vet all of the candidates, instead of simply flooding your inbox. When we review candidates, we're looking for the best fit for your company and for the role. We're not simply selling your position to any candidate that comes along.
We want to deliver great results to our clients, and you can see that in our high fill rates.
Start your search today
Call 512-900-2152 or get started online today.