Many experienced employees know their role and responsibilities. But ask them to define it? That’s when the blank looks and shrugs of “I just do what I do” begin.
Enter Matthew West. The chief talent officer literally wrote the plan/do/review book at pharmaceutical advertising firm McCann Regan Campbell Ward, defining all systems and tracking the process from a staffer’s first inkling all the way to a published piece. The process wasn’t merely an exercise searching for a formula. Rather, West, 37, ultimately compiled a comprehensive training program so new employees could quickly assimilate into the company.
Even before his promotion to chief talent officer six years ago, West created training and mentoring programs as well as career tracks with defined milestones. Because of his time invested in training and mentoring programs, the company can commit to hiring from within—a big cost-saver on the open talent markets.
More than supplying and nurturing the company’s talent pipeline, “Mr. West is the keeper of our corporate DNA,” says Nelson Hunter, chief financial officer.