Shally Steckerl, Founder & President of The Sourcing Institute and Jerry Justice, Founder & CEO of The Aspirations Institute, LLC Talk About Employee Engagement

Date: November 26, 2013

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Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2.  TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and employee engagement.

Today’s guests are Shally Steckerl, Founder & President of The Sourcing Institute; and Jerry Justice, Founder & CEO of The Aspirations Institute, LLC.

A common thread among today’s interviewees is the power of always learning and growing, even when that means taking risks and making mistakes.


Steckerl has been in the industry since 1996, having worked with more than 300 companies to optimize sourcing and recruiting. He also wrote the first textbook of its kind on these topics.

He identifies four major phases of the sourcing cycle:

  • Strategize – “Define what you are looking for. Where do the kind of people I want to recruit hang out online and offline?”
  • Find – “What search techniques should be used?”
  • Attract – “What marketing techniques should be used?”
  • Engage – “Having a conversation with the talent that is to become a candidate or applicant.”

The most common pitfalls Steckerl sees in this process is a failure to define the talent goals up front and not investing enough resources on the ‘find’ phase. “Very few are good at defining the strategy and even fewer are good at identifying that talent.” The Sourcing Institute conducts an assessment for all clients and then provides a customized training map based on current weaknesses, leveraging their more than 75 e-books.

Virtual is Here to Stay

His biggest leadership learning to date was working with and managing virtual teams. He recalls his time at Cisco, where he was part of a team that was “one of the first and certainly one of the few totally virtual teams in the recruitment space.” Steckerl observes: “This affected my leadership greatly in that I’m much better able to work with disparate, remote teams…and being able to collaborate with…experts from all parts of the globe…with a single task in mind.”

Succeed and Then Stretch

Steckerl encourages himself and others to never stop learning and growing.  “People tend to be afraid of making mistakes…because sometimes they associate the mistake with failure.  Make mistakes.  Integrity isn’t about doing what you said what you were going to do. Integrity is about doing everything within your power to do what you said you were going to do,” he advises.

In the case you fail, it’s humility that allows you to say, “That didn’t work out well. How can I improve?” But once you’ve achieved success, “continue to stretch,” encourages Steckerl. “If you sit on your laurels, someone is going to come around and eat your lunch.”

What are You Reading?

Steckerl is reading Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller’s Great Leaders Grow,” which is about making mistakes…and pushing the limits.”

 How Can I Connect with You? Steckerl can be reached on the company’s website at or via LinkedIn.



The Aspirations Institute, LLC provides management consulting services for non-profits and startups to large, multinational corporations on topics including SEC relations, IPOs, and mergers and acquisitions.

Best practices in talent management he’s gleaned across his clients include:

  • Getting the right people into the right positions. “People will only flourish when they enjoy what they’re doing.”
  • “Hire the best and brightest and get…out of their way and let them do what they do.”
  • Providing people with opportunities to be challenged, as with cross-training. “They want opportunities to step up and try something bigger than what they’ve done before.”

Better Every Day

“A job interview is a two-way discussion. Think of it like a first date,” says Justice. “You too are looking to say, ‘is this a person I want to work with every day?’

Justice continues: “It’s not enough anymore to hand someone a resume…You have to make a direct connection from what you’ve done what your potential is to the organization that is thinking about hiring you…That’s what makes you stand out.”

When it comes to passion in your career, Justice believes that life has to be about more than going to work, watching TV and doing it all over again. “Not all leaders love what they do; I think the most effective ones do though.”

What practical tips can he offer those looking to progress?

  • Never stop learning and growing. Take initiative to lead special projects. Find a mentor.
  • Get involved in non-profit organizations. “You learn to operate on very limited resources.”
  • What most people don’t realize, Justice says, is that “their best benchmark is themselves. We all have a different starting point, and we all learn and grow in different ways.” He encourages talent to ask, “‘Am I better than I was yesterday?’”

Always Adding Value

In the last several years, John Maxwell has been his most influential force. “I have a very close kinship with his philosophy,” namely that “everything rises and falls with leadership” and that “the very reason we exist is to add value to other people’s lives.”

What are You Reading?

Justice is reading The Resilient Life,” a book “full of practical advice” about “getting up every time we fall down.”

How Can I Connect with You? Justice invites others to reach out to him via LinkedIn.  He also has a daily motivational blog.

A big part of employee engagement is giving your employees the tasks to show that they can do it, and letting them see the belief their employer has in them.  Engage them to show that they can learn, grow and achieve greater things.

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