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Mayor's Office

2006 Media Releases

August 18, 2006
For More Information Contact:
Mark Bowen, Mayor’s Chief of Staff, 441-7511


Mayor Coleen J. Seng announced today that the City of Lincoln will contract with Talent Plus, a global human resources consulting firm with over 200 world-class, quality, growth-oriented clients, locally, nationally and internationally, headquartered in Lincoln, to conduct a management assessment of the personnel and administrative procedures of the Lincoln Fire and Rescue Department.

Talent Plus will focus on three items in working with the City. First, conduct individual assessments of administrative, management and supervisory positions within Lincoln Fire and Rescue. Second, conduct an assessment of the management and administrative polices of the Fire Department and identify changes to improve the business operation of the department. Third, identify an ongoing management and leadership program for the personnel in the department to enhance ongoing management practices and performance.

“This assessment, and the implementation of changes it may recommend, will establish a business administration plan for the department and provide management development for its supervisors,” Seng said.

Talent Plus has assigned John Becker, a senior consultant, to be the project manager of this six month contract for the three purposes stated by Mayor Seng. “John has a broad understanding of city government having worked for the Lincoln Police Department for 31 years prior to working for Talent Plus. He will lead a team of Talent Plus associates who will assist with the assessment and interviews. As project manager, John will serve as the management consultant to the Fire Department Administrators,” stated Kimberly Rath, Managing Director and President, Talent Plus.

“Talent Plus made a very strategic decision several years ago to continue its presence in Lincoln and built the building we are standing in today. Talent Plus continues to look for ways to strengthen the community, not only by employing nearly 120 individuals, but by improving opportunities and life outcomes for all citizens in Lincoln and its client cities through financial contributions and community outreach. By partnering with the City in this cooperative venture, Talent Plus is again extending itself.”

Talent Plus will begin Monday working with the Fire Department Managers on these initiatives. Initial assessments will identify the best-qualified individual to serve as interim Fire Chief. Advertisements for a permanent Fire Chief will begin by September 1. Talent Plus will consult with the City Personnel Department to interview finalists for this position. As well, the six-month contract should allow Talent Plus to assist with the transition of the permanent Fire Chief selected.

Offered John Becker, Senior Consultant, Talent Plus, “Talent Plus is an organization that works with companies across the globe. In fact, last week alone found Talent Plus associates in Singapore, Hong Kong, Moscow, Grand Cayman, as well as locations across this continent. Each day we are working to help our clients retain and acquire top talent.”

About Talent Plus

Talent Plus' focus is on strength development and is recognized as a company that assesses a company’s current bench strength thinking about cast and fit, looking at current operations and then operationalizing a process that continues to build on that strength. They look at talent – the recruitment, selection, recognition and development of that talent – through a process that builds upon an organization’s current strengths, enhancing it to fully utilize the talents of those within, building a talent-based culture.

Talent Plus does this through the utilization of a time-tested, scientific approach of studying top performers, first developed by Dr. William E. Hall, a Talent Plus co-founder, University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor and the co-founder of what is now the Nebraska Human Resource Institute (then Nebraska Human Resources Research Foundation). Today, client partners are able to further define their culture through the acquisition, retention and recognition of top talent.

Through the series of proprietary, structured interviews, Talent Plus is able to:

  • Analyze top performers to define success criteria.
  • Scientifically measure an individual’s talents against industry and corporate benchmarks.
  • Predict an individual’s aptitude to perform a specific job with excellence.

Talent Plus has worked with numerous large private and publicly held businesses, as well as state and federal agencies in identifying and selecting talent and once selected, assisting clients with plans to further develop, reward and recognize that talent, working to create a Talent-Based OrganizationSM. Client companies have found that this increases not only the individual performance of an associate, but the overall performance an organization by shifting to a culture that selects, recognizes and rewards talent.

Talent Plus associates moved into the company’s current corporate headquarters in December 2004. The three-story, all-glass building “Showcases our associates and clients and is a building of museum quality. Through the simplicity of its clear exterior and interior walls, the heart of our business and its inner relationships can be reflected,” offers Talent Plus Chairman Doug Rath.

Of importance in the design phase was the culture of Talent Plus. “We want visitors to feel the warmth and welcoming nature of this space and have opportunities to interact.” The building was designed to promote interaction and communication consistent with Talent Plus’ Mission, Vision and Values. The building allows Talent Plus to accommodate planned growth – with plans to more than double its current size.

Talent Plus’ decision to build in Lincoln came after looking at alternative sites in Chicago, Dallas and Colorado Springs. Rath and his wife, Kimberly, Managing Director and President of Talent Plus, have called Lincoln home since the 1960s. “The number one reason we stayed is the people; the human capital in Lincoln is extraordinary.”

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