Employment Strategy Is a Necessity: Susan Strayer LaMotte, Founder of Exaqueo and John Hall, CEO of Influence and Co.

Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – Talent Talk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  Talent Talk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues, such as employment strategy. 


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Today’s guests are Susan Strayer LaMotte, Founder of Exaqueo; and John Hall, CEO of Influence and Co.

Identifying culture and how that translates to both your employment brand as well as your talent management is what Susan Strayer LaMotte helps her client do every day. Today’s second guest, John Hall, brings a distinct “collaborate versus delegate” culture to his company, Influence and Co.  Both understand that having a strong employment strategy is what a company needs to create a balanced and successful culture.


As communications major and two-time entrepreneur, Strayer LaMotte founded Exaqueo as a workforce consultancy on culture and employer branding, primarily for startups and high-growth companies. With a corporate HR background with companies such as The Home Depot and The Ritz-Carlton, she realized that, despite the consistent need for companies to figure out their unique DNA from a culture perspective and then build employer brands around that DNA, many did not have the time to do so effectively. That’s why Exaqueo’s services thread all the way through from culture to brand to talent.

The 4 C’s

Every engagement Exaqueo conducts is customized but follows a consistent process Strayer LaMotte has dubbed “the 4C’s.”

  • Identify the culture of the organization: interviewing every leader and looking for alignment;
  • Clarity: meeting with employees to see gaps and alignment on culture exist;
  • Comprehension – going back to the leadership team with their findings; and
  • Cultivation – forming new strategies around talent.

Two Top Pitfalls

The two most common talent mistakes she sees for small and growing businesses are:

  • CEOs/founders leaning on peers in their network to direct their talent and employment strategy. For startups, she believes in the strong need to figure out from day one what your talent needs will be as you grow and what the best ways to spend your money on talent are.
  • A lack of strategy. For instance, sometimes companies look to adopt hot HR technology without mapping it back to their objective. Instead, Strayer LaMotte can guide them to start with the objective first and then to identify technology and other tools that make the most sense.

What are You Reading?

Strayer LaMotte is reading Give and Take by Adam Grant on how success comes from the ways we interact with each other.

How Can I Connect with You? At www.exaqueo.com, via Twitter @susanlamotte or on LinkedIn.

JOHN HALL Employment Strategy

As CEO of Influence and Co., Hall focuses on building his clients’ reputations as experts in their space through creating and placing high-quality content. Recently recognized on the Forbes “Most Promising Companies” list, Hall’s company’s growth stems from the pervasive need for executives to raise their profile as experts but simply lacking the time to do so themselves.

Executives as Resources

The benefits of putting out great content is that executives become noticed as leaders in their space and people “naturally look at you as that trusted source of information,” comments Hall.  Beyond that, he believes executives must truly be helpful through their content, so Influence and Co. channels that approach in their writing for clients. Hall asserts that being a resource in writing makes content more organically shareable. “People are going to respect you more as an industry leader if you actually care about their well-being and you are going to do anything you can to help them.”

Collaborate vs. Delegate

When it comes to engaging talent and creating an effective employment strategy, Hall doesn’t take authoritative approach to leadership deeply rooted in hierarchy. Instead, his attitude toward employees is: “It’s our goal to be a resource for you.” This is a stark shift from the leadership model he saw earlier on in his career, where senior executives had to overtly exercise their authority and seniority. “I don’t want to be the person that people have to work with,” comments Hall, and instead chooses a more collaborative leadership style where every employee is seen as equally valuable.

What are You Reading?

Hall opts for online articles and e-books, via platforms like Zite, to stay up-to-date on industry trends.

How Can I Connect with You?

Find him on LinkedIn or via Twitter @tweetJohnHall.

Tune into the show next week, and remember, do what you love….and show the world how talented you can be, today.

Air Date: February 18, 2014