COVID-19 has been a disruption of epic proportions, and for the information technology sector, its impact rivals that of Y2K. Within a matter of days or weeks, organizations around the world needed to enable a fully remote workforce. Were we ready? If the rise in cyber security breaches around the globe is any indication – not all of us were.  


Many of you are likely asking how Software Asset Management relates to cyber security. For several of my recent clients, cyber security superseded cost management as the primary driver of their work to develop a comprehensive Policy, Process, and Governance (PPG) framework for their SW estate. They understood that an established SAM practice was a key pillar of their cyber security program.


There are some important ways that a SAM practice can help protect your organization from a costly cyber-attack:


1. Knowing what software and applications you have and where they are located


It’s often said that you cannot manage what you don’t measure. Establishing and maintaining a reliable book of record for your software assets is the first and critical step in your SAM journey.


2. Establishing policy and controlling access to risky applications


Your CISO and security team know that there is malicious software and in fact, the list of nefarious SW grows every day. By leveraging discovery tools, blacklisted SW can be removed before it causes extensive damage to your IT environment.

3. Streamlining Your SW Footprint


Not only is it cost effective, ensuring that your organization is using and supporting current SW means that there are fewer balls in the air and reduces the risk that a redundant application will provide an open door for cyber-attacks.

4. Taking a process first approach to mature your SAM practice


How long does it take to test, package, and distribute an upgrade or patch in your company? By designing and implementing a standard deployment process as part of your PPG framework, you can streamline the delivery of critical patches and increase your level of protection significantly.


If you’d like to read more about the critical link between SAM and cyber security, I have included links to some great articles below. When you are ready to make SAM part of your cyber security program, the experienced team at AntonGM will be there to help you on your journey!

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COVID-19 has had a profound impact on corporate North America—most notably, in our shift towards remote work, which most business experts agree is likely going to be a large part of our new normal going forward. But, as with any drastic change, this new reality has brought with it its own set of unique challenges, as well as some unexpected benefits. While there has been much discussion about the pros and cons of the remote workplace for employers and employees, there is only now a discussion starting about how the pandemic has changed the way we hire and attract talent.


Before, there were many more barriers when it came to sourcing talent, and one of the biggest came down to a matter of logistics. Companies used to have to narrow their talent pool based on location, and only candidates who lived near the office or those who were willing to commute or relocate were considered for the job. According to a LinkedIn article by New York Times best-selling author, Dan Schawbel (Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation), location has now become mostly irrelevant in the age of remote work. 


For those in charge of hiring, this has led to the creation of a truly global talent pool that allows companies to select candidates based on their skills, rather than where they live.  


And this is not the only benefit for those looking to hire.


According to a recent article published by Forbes, a talent pool unrestricted by location also levels the playing field for corporations of all sizes when it comes to attracting top industry talent. This means that any company, from a start-up to a multi-national organization, will have the same access to candidates, provided they have the necessary tools and infrastructure needed to support a remote talent pipeline.


The caveat above, however, is illustrative of the fact that the remote hiring processes that are being developed in response to the pandemic are far from perfect.


While remote hiring has increased the availability of candidates for those looking to hire, we have not seen this translate into a more diverse and inclusive talent pool. Many of the same inequities still exist and new ones are being created by our increasing reliance on technology, particularly on the use of video conferencing tools like Zoom during the interview process. This has left some candidates—primarily those who are older or who live in rural communities with less reliable access to the internet—at a disadvantage.


For employers, this means there is a potential that they will miss out on the most qualified candidate for the job because that individual is unable to even apply, let alone, be given an opportunity to meet with the hiring team.


That is why, as we continue to adapt to this new reality, we must keep asking ourselves how we can improve the quality and effectiveness of our hiring strategies, so that we can build more sustainable and inclusive talent pipelines for the future.

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As many companies know, having a successful recruitment strategy is integral to the growth of your business, but building and sustaining a talent pipeline oftentimes requires more time and resources than what is available in-house.


When this situation arises, companies often seek out recruiters or external agencies to help address the talent gaps in their organization. What many companies do not realize, however, is that all recruiters are not created equal.


In a recent article published by the First Round Review, guest contributor Peter Kazanjy speaks to the importance of finding the right recruiter for your company. While this article is more geared towards  the tech start-up community, it raises a couple of points that would be helpful for any company looking to grow.


First off, you need to have a good understanding of your needs when it comes to hiring and growth.

  • How soon do you need to hire?
  • Do you currently have vacancies that are negatively impacting your business?
  • Do you need to make strategic hires in order to scale your company?
  • How difficult is it to find the people you are looking for?
  • Where do you see your company in five years?

These are all important questions you need to ask before engaging an external firm.


Once you understand your needs, you are better equipped to find a recruitment firm who will be the right match for your organization. Finding a recruiter whose interests are aligned with your company—rather than with their candidates or their bottom line— is the key to a successful partnership. 


For you, this means that you will reap all the benefits of their extensive talent pipeline without the worry of losing top candidates to the highest bidder. This also means that the value added does not end once a position has been filled. By partnering with the right firm, you will be able to build an effective recruitment strategy and generate a talent pipeline that your internal team will be able to continue mining long after your partnership expires.


This is why finding the right match is so important. Any recruiter can put “a bum in a seat,” but only those who understand your business will be able to take your company to the next level. 

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At Anton GM, we have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to incorporating new technologies into our recruitment practices. From electronic CRM to LinkedIn, these new digital tools have become an essential part of the successful recruiter’s toolbox. 


The question remains, however—just how effective are these new tools? According to an article by the Harvard Business Review, technologies like AI can be highly effective, provided they do not become a replacement for the entire recruitment process.


Before implementing any new technology, a recruiter first needs to understand what it does well. For research purposes, LinkedIn can be an invaluable resource and often, serves as the first point of contact with interested candidates. AI and similar technologies are good at gathering basic candidate data and can isolate which candidates have the right skillsets to do a certain job. Where recruiters tend to run into issues is when they push these technologies beyond the function they were designed to perform.


Picture a toolbox. There are many different tools to choose from and each has their own specific function. Just as you wouldn’t use a screwdriver to hammer in a nail, you wouldn’t use an algorithm-based software to determine a candidate’s willingness to move.  


While new technologies have allowed recruitment professionals to streamline the process of identifying candidates, there are still some instances were more traditional recruitment strategies are more effective.


Consulting requires a human touch. Recruitment professionals need to be able to speak with candidates and understand their motivations and expectations. Candidates—and particularly, passive ones— need to be provided with the chance to explore new career opportunities in an objective way, where they can assess whether the opportunity will be leveraging for their career. For these things to happen, a relationship needs to be built between the recruiter and the candidate, and no tool on the market can do this for you.


While moving towards fully-automated recruitment is not the answer, neither is avoiding technology entirely. Recruiters must approach technology like their candidates approach new opportunities—with an open mind. Exploring new technologies and knowing what they can and cannot do is paramount to successfully implanting tools into your recruitment process in a way that will add the most value. 


It just comes down to understanding what’s in your toolbox.

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COVID-19 has had a profound impact on all of our lives, and we have had to find innovative ways to adapt to this global pandemic. For most of corporate North America, this has meant a rapid transition to remote work, which has come with its own unique set of challenges.


One of these challenges has been attracting top industry talent at a time when traditional hiring processes are no longer possible.


In an article written by LinkedIn contributor, Bruce Andrews, he explains how recruitment professionals and prospective employers have had to adapt to this ‘new normal’ by making the switch to online. In it, he argues that this transition is incompatible with what he calls the “very high-touch human process” of hiring and has led to fewer hires, as employers have shown a reluctancy to hire individuals who they have never met face to face.


While it is true that the new remote workplace has posed some logistical hurdles for recruiters and prospective employers—particularly when it comes to the interview process—it has not changed how recruiters find ideal candidates or their client’s willingness to attract key hires. This new remote workplace has not changed prospective job seekers willingness to explore new opportunities either, provided the move will prove leveraging for their career.


As corporate North America and the global economy cautiously move towards reopening, the staffing needs of companies will only continue to grow. So too, will the availability of new and exciting opportunities. 


In Canada, we have already seen evidence of this with the recent announcements of billions of dollars of infrastructure spending in Alberta that will see many companies scrambling to find key hires with not only the skills needed to do the job, but who also align with their company and its values.


Being able to fill staffing needs comes down to implementing a well-thought out recruitment strategy that takes into account candidate motivation and the needs of the client and promotes an objective approach to exploring new opportunities.


While COVID-19 has changed how hiring is done, the fundamental approach to recruitment has stayed very much the same.

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We at Anton GM have seen the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our local community and around the world.


From the beginning, our top priority at Anton GM has always been ensuring the health and safety of our staff, while continuing to provide the exemplary and essential service our valued clients rely on to meet their staffing needs.


While we have remained open for business throughout the course of the pandemic, it has been far from ‘business as usual.’


During the early days, we at Anton GM, like many businesses, felt that it was in the best interest of our employees to close our central location and have staff work from home.


With the recent announcement of the Phase Two reopening, we have taken all the necessary steps and precautions set out by the Province of Ontario to protect our staff as we resume in-person operations.


Our staff have all been provided with PPE, including non-medical face masks and hand sanitizer. We have also ramped up the cleaning and disinfecting of our workspace to maintain a safe working environment for our employees. For the time being, we have also limited access to our office to employees only and have advised our staff to stay home if they feel unwell. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make any necessary changes to our operations going forward.


Take care and stay safe!

The Anton GM Team

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It should come as no surprise that you will, at some point in your career, be faced with a “counter” scenario.


In today’s competitive job market, the counteroffer has almost become synonymous with the resignation process. But while it may be tempting to weigh your options—particularly if a long-awaited raise or promotion is being promised—it is best to keep in mind the inherent risks of your decision to stay.


One of the major pitfalls of accepting a counteroffer is a loss of credibility.


As we all know, trust is the foundation of good business relationships. When that trust is lost, it is hard to gain back. You most certainly will never get it back from the firm that was planning on hiring you. What many candidates don’t realize, however, is that the damage often extends beyond a rescinded job offer and some burnt bridges.


By placing your boss in a position where they are forced to make you an offer you can’t refuse, it is bound to leave a sour taste in their mouth. In fact, nearly 80 percent of business executives said they no longer considered an employee trustworthy after they took a counter, according to a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review.


This loss of trust will ultimately stifle your career. Your boss may think twice about promoting you or placing you on a high-profile project, because they are worried you may jump at the next offer that comes your way. It is no wonder then that most employees who take a counteroffer are back on the job market in six months to a year.


Before you decide to leave your current company, there are some things you should consider. If your main motivation for leaving is money, then it is best to have a discussion with your employer first to see whether a raise is a possibility. There will always be firms willing to pay you more, but not every firm will be able to offer you a potentially career leveraging opportunity.


This applies to your current employer as well. A counteroffer will not create opportunities where there are none to begin with nor will it resolve issues at your current workplace that are inhibiting your growth.


So, if you decide that it is time for you and your current company to part ways, it is best to make a clean break and move on.

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In this next installment of the Passive Talent Strategy series, the AntonGM Team talks about the importance of maintaining your Talent Pipeline.


We’ve all heard the saying, “save something for a rainy day.” This turn of phrase holds a lot of weight when we consider the importance of developing a Talent Pipeline. Arguably one of the most important aspects of an effective Passive Talent Strategy, Talent Pipelines are a way for companies to hire proactively, rather than reactively.  


An article published by Hello Talent speaks to the numerous benefits of cultivating Talent Pipelines. There are two that really stand out.


First and foremost, having a Talent Pipeline prevents or at least mitigates business disruptions that can occur if a key member of your staff leaves.


For many companies, hiring strategies are primarily focused on filling vacant positions. The main drawback of this approach is that by hiring reactively— that is, only focusing on positions you need to fill right now— you will always be in reactive mode and new vacancies will take a lot more time to fill. Eventually, these chronic gaps in your organization will lead to a loss in productivity, growth, and opportunity.


The pitfalls of a reactive approach are why developing a Talent Pipeline is so crucial, as it helps firms to anticipate future staffing needs by always having a pool of top industry professionals at the ready to fill talent gaps as they arise in your organization.


Another benefit is that having a Talent Pipeline streamlines your recruitment efforts when it comes to finding those “right fit” candidates for hard-to-fill positions.


In order to build a Talent Pipeline, recruiters engage routinely with selected talent pools, keeping your company top of mind for prospective job seekers.  Even if there are no current opportunities for candidates with a certain level of experience or skillset, it is beneficial to keep the lines of communication open.


When candidates are kept “warm” for a rainy day, they are more likely to consider your firm over your competitor, as they already know who you are and what joining your organization could do for their career.


While maintaining a Talent Pipeline requires some effort, the returns are yet another reason to integrate a Passive Talent Strategy into your recruitment efforts.

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Recruiters won’t be hunting for a new job in 2020. At least, that’s according to an article published by Entrepreneur magazine.


The rise of new AI-based software and recruitment websites have been billed as a way for companies to bypass executive search firms and create their own talent pipelines. But, as any traditional, pick-up-the-phone recruiter will tell you, these technologies have their limitations.


The bottom line is that computers can’t judge whether a potential candidate is the 'right fit' for your client's firm. It cannot compute company culture or core value-alignment.


That is not say that high-tech recruitment solutions are all bad. Quite the opposite, actually. They just can’t be the basis of your entire recruitment and hiring strategy. As guest writer, Paul Nolan, correctly asserts in this article, “. . . executive recruiting is more art than science.”


Professional recruiters spend time getting to know candidates. They gain a clear understanding of their motivation, their career aspirations, and whether the answers they provide align with the client’s overall direction when it comes to growing and transforming their business.


No algorithm is going to do this for you.


Identifying whether a candidate is the 'right fit' for your firm requires picking up the phone and getting to know them.  

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In this first installment of our new blog series, the AntonGM Team talks about the need to integrate a Passive Talent Strategy into your recruitment process.



When many people think about recruitment, they tend to only think about the end result—the placement. Rather than being a metric, a placement is an outcome of the recruitment process. By simply counting hires, we fail to consider the rest of the process that brought that candidate into the role.


According to an article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), corporate attitudes may finally be shifting away from that traditional “bum in the seat” metric when it comes to measuring the success of recruitment strategies.


That’s the good news.


But then what are we measuring, and how do we get there? One of the often-overlooked elements in an effective recruitment process is a structured approach to engaging with passive candidates.


In reality, top industry talent is typically not applying to your job board. In most cases, “ideal” candidates with the right mix of skills and alignment with your company’s culture and goals are already gainfully employed.


If you think that passive candidates like these are the minority, consider this statistic: seventy percent of the global workforce are considered passive candidates.


So, by not targeting these individuals, it significantly narrows one’s overall talent pipeline. This means that many potential candidates would be overlooked during the recruitment process, including those "right fit," passive candidates. 


Even though this strategy is part of the playbook for many recruitment professionals, it remains a challenge to justify the time and effort spent on cultivating a talent pipeline of passive candidates to clients.


Why is this the case?


The answer is simple.


Passive recruitment strategies are a lot of work and require a dedicated, consistent process to identify those candidates who are not active but who may be open to a career leveraging opportunity.


While a more aggressive focus on active candidates might fill your open positions faster, it doesn’t necessarily fill them with the right people for the job. When it comes to candidates, it is best to remember that active doesn’t always mean the best.



Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Passive Talent Strategy series, where the AntonGM team will discuss how this approach can help firms be proactive rather than reactive in addressing their staffing needs.
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