HCI Summit – Susan Slater of McKesson Corp Talks Talent!

Posted on March 11, 2008. Filed under: HCI Summit, Speakers |

Amanda, live blogging on the Newman Groups session, the last in today’s Talent Management lineup.

Susan Slater, the Vice President of Talent Acquisition for Mckesson Corporation is talking about “What Does it Take to Compete for Talent? Lessons from an Industry Leader”. This session is sponsored by The Newman Group, a Futurestep Company.

Mitzi Adwell, the Talent Management Practice Leader for the Newman Group introduces Susan – Starting off with a bang as usual. 00000006

So Who is McKesson?

Susan asks: Who really knows McKesson? Don’t worry, if you’re not sure she’s not offended. TMP their partner has actually gone on the road with a camera crew asking people on the street if they know who McKesson was – no one did – and they kinda’ like that. They are 175 years old and the largest pharmaceutical distributor in NA, they are the nations leading health care IT company and employ more than 30,000 people around the world (although they don’t consider themselves a global company).

Lets start from the beginning – After doing a systems audit of their company they were told that 70 % of what they do is pushing paper – that’s good right? No, because hiring is administrative in nature and they weren’t doing it correctly.

So what did they do about it? 00000005

The Challenge to Evolving Talent Operations

Too many moving parts

Constantly evolving technology

Changing business needs

Lets talk about the four fundamental elements that drive talent success

Branding (9-12 month process for them)

if your branding is real and done right you will have bottom line impacts. Employees should get excited, customers should get excited when they see your brand! If you can do something and get it done right you’re there states Susan! EVP brand – You have one whether you know it or not. It’s more than a logo or slogan it’s a disciplined approach. The implications? A well defined EVP gives you the ability to reach relevant talent, support changes in your business model and stay competitive.


Strategy effects everything and it’s much more than talent acquisition, in fact they want to change it to talent management. Evolution is critical and you have to keep looking at what’s next and never settle. Are recruiters getting lazy? You can’t just post jobs on boards – get out there! It boils down to best practices vs. next practices. The key focus remains fundamental: Building relationships and knowing the candidate.

Organizational Structure (it’s about)

Bringing the strategy to life

Centralized or de-centralized – the pendulum shifts

The reality – combining elements of the two (centralized and de-centralized)

Supporting Technology

You have to have a sound technical infrastructure – if any click takes more than 5 seconds to display the page, it’s too long. Alignment with the people and the process – as people use the tool all necessary data is captured. No extra steps. These are important pieces to the puzzle.

You HAVE to have the ability to get data for reports and metrics…or else the spreadsheet becomes the system of the record. A continuous change management process, also key – communication, training, problem solving, tailored to each stakeholder (not one-time, not one-size-fits-all).

Lessons for Success

Never stop improving

People drive the process

No shortcuts – Don’t email a candidate, build a relationship

There are no black and white answers.


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