SmartBrief is talking directly with small and medium-sized businesses to discover their journeys, challenges and lessons. Today’s post is from Matt Straz, the founder and CEO of Namely, the HR and payroll platform for the world’s most exciting companies. Connect with Straz and the Namely team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Are you a small-business owner and would like to share your story? E-mail senior editor James daSilva at jdasilva [at] smartbrief.com.

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You know when something’s not quite right. Your new employee is the black sheep of the bunch, and you aren’t sure if they might be the wrong fit for your company or it’s just the learning curve.

Employee fit is influenced by both skill and culture. Skill is the easier aspect of these two, because it’s more tangible and you can always train someone to master a skill. (read more…)

Even in retail, an industry that might more often be associated with women rather than men, women executives are hard to come by. But Kim Strong has navigated her way to the top, becoming Target’s first vice president with diversity inclusion in the title.

Strong stopped by SmartBrief’s offices this week to talk about her experiences as a woman in an executive leadership position. She recounted her career and the challenges she has faced along the way during, talking about her professional life and personal life and how they did (and sometimes did not) mesh.

Strong has been with Target for her whole career, starting out in operations and human resources for former Target division Marshall Field’s and eventually moving up to become director of human resources for Mervyn’s, another former Target division, vice president of human resources for Target’s southern stores and vice president of diversity and inclusion for all of Target, the position she currently holds. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by SmartRecruiters.

Finding the right candidates for your organization is no small feat, especially in today’s saturated job market. To stay on top of this, a growing number of organizations are turning to cloud hiring platforms as a way to recruit and vet potential talent.

But what should you look for in a hiring platform? In its white paper, Guide to Cloud Hiring Platforms: 6 Requirements, cloud provider SmartRecruiters outlines the six keys you need to consider when choosing a hiring system.

A delightful candidate experience. Make sure you can offer job hunters a simple, efficient engagement experience. Candidates should be able to apply for or get information about a job opening with one click, from any device. The system should integrate with the major social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and pre-fill forms with the candidate’s information. It should also provide timely communication — personalized to the candidate’s job profile — and allow recruits to respond to invitations for interviews. (read more…)

Shawn Heidel, DVM, PhD, is Executive Director, Global Lead Optimization and Program Management at Covance. In this role, he is responsible for scientific and business strategy for the pathology, toxicology, pharmacology and imaging groups involved in preclinical development. He also works across Covance’s business units to ensure delivery of client solutions for nonclinical development. In this post, sponsored by Covance, Heidel talks about the nonclinical challenges of developing biologics and other industry issues.

Question: We’ve seen the new Covance advertisement with the slogan that “No Two Are Ever the Same” for biologics. What does this mean?

Answer: Biologics are medicines that are manufactured in living cells and are structurally unique depending on the conditions under which they are manufactured. You can manufacture the same biologic in different cell lines and get a structurally different biologic because the manufacturing conditions can change them.

Biologics [today] have varying degrees of human gene sequence. If you go back 20 years ago, most biologics had substantial non-human sequences. (read more…)

I was recently listening to a spiritual talk when one of the speakers said something that struck me: We must always try to do the right thing, and when we do, not only does it help others, it also helps us to feel good about ourselves and what we do.

John Fontana, a management consultant and the director of the Arupe Center of Ethics in Business, believes that grace and spirituality in the workplace can be transformative to an organization’s culture and spirit. While not everyone may embrace the idea of spirituality, many people would appreciate a culture that is about a lot more than revenues.

What I mean by spirituality and grace, really, is the idea that the people of an organization, including the senior leadership, strive for a greater purpose, such as honoring people’s personal goals, their families, their traditions and their personal and professional growth. It’s about honoring the whole person in each team member in their company. (read more…)