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Accendi Talent: A Strategic Advisor to HR Leadership

Fawn Hentrel, CEO, Accendi TalentFawn Hentrel, CEO
In the not-too-distant past, human resource functions were restricted to administrative responsibilities like recruiting, recording employee details, and managing payroll. Today, with rising organizational complexities, the HR department’s actions have become more diverse, and its approach more premeditated than before. Present-day HR managers are expected to play the roles of a strategic business partner, an organizational visionary, and an advocate for both the company and its employees. In fact, HR leadership is presumed to tactically dictate a company’s leadership goals in the contemporary business landscape. The HR toolsets in use, however, are not enough to support the shifting dynamics of the HR world. Modern-day needs are demanding organizations to carefully remodel their HR infrastructure into a more progressive human resource management stratagem. Most of the time—due to lack of experiential knowledge in new-age HR technologies—this is where the companies take a backseat in carrying out this makeover. In the wake of these concerns, Accendi Talent brings a nexus of HR consulting services to solve the setbacks of a traditional HR management approach. Utilizing extensive experience in the HR arena to extend a counseling arm to its clients, Accendi Talent acquires the moniker of a “trusted advisor” among organizations as they attempt to redefine antiquated HR methodologies.

“While our primary role entails providing strategic guidance to organizations in fulfilling their HR vision and drive value, we also offer numerous boutique services like recruitment process outsourcing, and tailoring and implementing innovative solutions for learning and talent management among others,” says Fawn Hentrel, CEO of Accendi Talent. With a focus on business transformation and providing insight, Hentrel highlights some of the ways they have helped to advance the recruiting processes for one of their government agency clients. “The war for talent is strong even for government agencies and our client, was urgently seeking to increase the number of public safety officers in the city,” says Hentrel. However, their antiquated manual methodologies would have taken more than 11 months to recruit the officers. “When the agency reached out to us, we were able to streamline their hiring practice, automate their manual process, define their mode of applicants and provide insight to better understand the external environment for sourcing each type of applicant and building a brand focused recruitment plan by mode to compete against the war for talent with other agencies,” states Hentrel. As a result, the agency could complete the recruitment in just four months—a radical time leap that resulted in having an application rate that is 320 percent higher than previous classes. Accendi Talent also partners with government agencies to provide expertise to various industry sectors to advise them on creating structured training to grow their workforce, improve the skills and education of employees.

Apart from the public sector, Accendi Talent extends its expertise and services to other industry verticals like manufacturing, banking, and retail. Helping public and private sector organizations sieve a variety of technology vendors to arrive at the best HR solutions has been the motto of the company since its inception.

Utilizing extensive experience in the HR arena to extend a counseling arm to its clients, Accendi Talent acquires the moniker of a ‘trusted advisor’ among organizations


To make the process customer-driven, Accendi Talent does not have specific business partnerships with any technology solution provider. Explaining the significance of this approach, Hentrel says, “We do not advocate a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Every client’s needs are unique, and often cannot be fulfilled by a single vendor.” Therefore, Accendi Talent’s internal methodology is to consider the budget, growth prospect, and technological maturity of each of their clients and shortlist apt vendors. Sometimes, the suggestions for vendor companies come from Accendi Talent’s clients as well. “It is a collaborative process where we utilize the insights and expertise of both the worlds to select the best,” mentions Hentrel. Once the vendor is chosen, Accendi Talent guides their clients through the process of implementing the solutions to leverage those insights to drive organizational performance.

Hentrel also illustrates how her firm helps organizations improve their strategic advantage in hiring when there is a significant shortage of talents. She urges recruitment officers to move beyond the scope of a resume when it comes to making good hires. “Many companies have custom and off the shelf skills training development courses through their learning management system to inculcate technological and professional knowledge into new hires. Therefore, HR managers should not entirely focus their attention on the credential based hiring but on a combination of approaches focused on competencies and skills that evaluates the skills they have, determine the skills needed and put training in place to acquire them,” Hentrel elaborates. Diving deep, “By starting to identify the skills required, and prioritizing assessments to find those skills, we align recruitment to results. And to address the gap in talent, employers need to think differently, start small, pilot a hard to fill position to start making the shift which means mapping to competencies and dropping the credential and begin to reimagine what hiring can look like with this pilot position,” notes the CEO.

Further highlighting the diversity of Accendi Talent’s experiential knowledge in the HR arena, Hentrel mentions how they partner with law firms to conduct employee investigations. “In the age of the Me Too movement, we partner to conduct independent, prompt and thorough investigations of discrimination, and misconduct in the workplace. We recently partnered with a law firm on one of these matters,” says Hentrel. Accendi Talent was able to offer confidential and the best possible recommendations for the employer that would ensure a safe and secure workplace milieu. “The CEO was, thankful for our recommendations, later mentioned that the independent investigation helped them make the right decision which also helped them save their brand name in the market,” remarks Hentrel.

These instances indeed make it apparent that the DNA of Accendi Talent is not just solving transactional HR challenges, but also helping companies make more strategic and tactical HR decisions. “Our versatility in HR consulting is one of our greatest strengths,” expresses Hentrel. Striding ahead, Accendi Talent intends to roll out a software solution that can map the skill sets of applicants and determine the roles that fit them best, and how those proficiencies can be further augmented. “Concurrently, we are also seeking to build partnerships with other HR companies that can deliver additional services and value to our clients,” says Hentrel. Committed to walking hand in hand with organizations to understand the burgeoning HR needs, technological setbacks, and functional gaps, Accendi Talent is poised to bring a definitive change to the way HR teams operate in the future.