Talent Acquisition Interviews
The five main aspects of talent acquisition that are being completely disrupted by social media
"Because 96% of the online population is on at least one social network, having a multi-channel sourcing strategy has never been more important."
One of the presentations at SHRM14 I was most anxious to attend was titled "How Social Media Has Transformed Talent Acquisition." The presenter was Will Staney, Head of Global Recruiting (Head Talent Warrior) for Glassdoor. I met Will several years ago when he participated in a podcast series I produced for Onward Search. This is a very sharp guy, and he did not disappoint the SRO crowd in Orlando.
Prior to Glassdoor Will held recruiting leadership roles at SuccessFactors, SAP and VMware where he established himself as a thought leader in utilizing next generation online recruiting strategies - SEO, mobile, employment brand, social media and data analytics.
Welcome to a special Talent Acquisition Channel Podcast on TotalPicture Radio with Peter Clayton Reporting.
As Will wrote, (see the link in the sidebar) "What used to be a world consumed by job boards, applications, automation and job hunters is now a place of social recruiting - one where referrals, analytics and integrated recruiting rule. Candidate expectations have shifted drastically, too. Today, 47% of workers were born after 1980. And by 2025, more than 75% of workers will be of the "social media generation" and will have grown up with real-time social communication as the norm. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Skype, YouTube and other apps, social networks and websites have reinvented the way that job seekers search for and apply to jobs."
The Candidate's Experience: The Journey from Moral Anecdote to Business Evidence
Attention recruiters, HR practitioners, hiring managers, and business leaders: Who you consider a "candidate" could be radically different from all of the actual candidates applying for your jobs. You know, the one's you ignore? Kick out of your ATS so you don't have to count? Yup, those folks. You might find out this is a very bad idea. Gerry Crispin will tell you why in today's podcast. And guess what? He has the data to back it up.
This is Peter Clayton from Total Picture Radio - although Gerry Crispin is a frequent contributor to TotalPicture Radio, this is not an interview -- rather a recording of his presentation at The SHRM Annual Conference in Orlando Florida, June 23, 2014. And this is actually Plan B. I was planing on video recording his presentation, but the lovely lecture hall SHRM assigned Gerry had a spotlight on the podium and the rest of the stage was dark, (to accommodate the projection system). I told Gerry, "I can shoot video, but you'll have to chain yourself to the podium." Any of you who know Gerry, know that was never going to happen.
Plan B is very good, actually. You will definitely get the core of the story, and if you scan the slides while listening, you'll feel like you're there! (Well, almost.)
The Candidate's Experience: The Journey from Moral Anecdote to Business Evidence, features Gerry Crispin, SPHR, chief navigator CareerXroads former practitioner, Co-author of eight books and over 100 articles, and a Life-long student of Staffing. Gerry is the co-Founder of the Candidate Experience awards -This session offers critical data about the recruiting process from when the candidate researches the company to the onboarding process, collected from the candidate's perspective.
Stay tuned... Gerry's SHRM presentation will air Monday, July 7th
A conversation with the co-chair of the 2014 SHRM Host Committee, Aimee Brun
Thank you for joining us today for a special Talent Acquisition channel podcast here on TotalPicture Radio, brought to you by Riviera Advisors, Strategic Talent Management Advisory Services...This is Peter Clayton reporting.
Our guest today is is Aimee Brun, Senior Manager Talent Acquisitions at Hilton Grand Vacations. Aimee served as volunteer co-chair of The 2014 SHRM Annual Conference in Orlando...
Stay tuned... A complete transcript of our interview with Aimee Brun will be available soon!
From the Recruiting Trends Conference: Under the ATS at Time Warner Cable - SEO, Talent Communities, Social, Mobile, and Metrics oh my!
It's not often a large Fortune 500 company is willing to share real data related to their hiring strategies. That's one reason I was impressed with our guest today from the Recruiting Trends Conference. Want Metrics? Time Warner Cable 55,000 employees, 73,000 keyword pages, 1500 landing pages designed specifically for talent acquisition/search engine optimization and conversion. Oh, and how about conversion? Indeed: 59 applicants per hire; Google (organic) 23 applicants per hire.
Welcome to a special Talent Acquisition Channel podcast on TotalPicture Radio with Peter Clayton. We're catching up here on a great interview I recorded at the Recruiting Trends Conference in Alexandria, Virginia - one of the many interesting people I connected with at the Hilton Mark Center you'll meet today - Travis Triggs, Senior Manager for Sourcing Strategy at Time Warner Cable
Travis is in a new role at Time Warner Cable. His previous role was Talent Acquisition Social Media Program Manager, where he was responsible for the development, implementation, and management of all interactive talent engagement strategies while advising TWC senior leadership on the latest HR technologies and recruiting tools.Travis lead a session at the Recruiting Trends Conference titled "Mind Altering Metrics." If you like numbers, you'll love this!
From the SHRM Talent Management Conference & Expo, conversation with Loretta O'Connor, Staffing Director at Princeton University.
"I liken our organization to a small city. We recruit for security officers, cooks, nurses, financial professionals, athletic coaches, fundraising professionals, research assistants, I've even recruited for chaplains in our office of religious life."
Thank you for joining us for a special Talent Acquisition Channel Podcast on TotalPicture Radio, this is Peter Clayton reporting. My guest today is Loretta O'Connor - the director of staffing at Princeton University, one of the largest employers in central New Jersey, with approximately 6,000 employees. The world-class teaching and research university comprises a diverse workforce in a broad array of occupations. Founded in 1746, Princeton is one of the nine Colonial Colleges established before the American Revolution, as well as the fourth chartered institution of higher education in the American colonies.
In her current role, Loretta leads a team of staffing professionals responsible for the full cycle of recruitment, selection, and onboarding of administrative staff for the University. She is currently leading the optimization and transformation of the staffing function at Princeton - to that of a more strategic, consultative talent acquisition model. Now, you would think that recruiting for Princeton University, an Ivy League school with an endowment of over $18.2 billion would be easy. But guess what? It's not. I was delighted to have Loretta O'Connor take time to sit down with me in the press room at the SHRM Talent Management Conference & Expo - for this in-depth look at recruiting in higher eduction.
Loretta O'Connor, Princeton University - SHRM Talent Management Interview Transcript
This is Peter Clayton reporting from the SHRM pressroom at the Gaylord Opryland convention center. Joining me today is Loretta O'Connor, Director of Staffing Princeton University.
A quick program note before we get started, you'll find a complete transcript of this podcast on Loretta's feature page, located in the 'Newsroom and Events' link on rivieraadvisors.com and in the talent acquisition channel of TotalPicture Radio; and if you're one of the first 10 listeners to tweet about this interview, using the hashtag #SHRMTalent in your tweet, we'll send you a copy of RecruitCONSULT! Leadership: The Corporate Talent Acquisition Leader's Field Book' written by Jeremy Eskenazi, SPHR, Managing Principal of Riviera Advisors.
Thank you for joining us today for a special talent acquisition channel podcast here on TotalPicture Radio. This is Peter Clayton reporting, my guest today is Loretta O'Connor. She's the Director of Staffing at Princeton University, one of the largest employers in central New Jersey with approximately 6,000 employees. The world-class teaching and research university comprises a diverse workforce in a broad array of occupations. Founded in 1746, Princeton is one of the 9 colonial colleges established before the American Revolution, as well as the fourth chartered institution of higher education in the American colonies. Before transitioning into higher education, Loretta held HR generalist positions in the corporate sector. She was employed in the pharmaceutical industry with Pfizer and in the financial services sector with Quotron Systems, a division of Citigroup.
She began her professional career in human resources with Drexel Burnham Lambert, a Wall Street investment banking firm. In her role, Loretta leads a team of staffing professionals responsible for the full cycle of recruitment, selection and on boarding of administrative staff for the university. She is currently leading the optimization and transformation of the staffing function at Princeton, to that of a more strategic, consultative talent acquisition model.
Now, you would think that recruiting for Princeton, an Ivy League school with an endowment of over $18.2 billion would be pretty easy, but guess what; it's not.
I'm delighted to have Loretta O'Connor here with us today at the SHRM Talent Management Conference and Expo for this in-depth look at recruiting in higher education.
Peter: Loretta, great to meet you here in Music City.
Loretta: Thank you Peter. It's a pleasure to join you.
Peter: Let's start off by having you tell me about your career and what brought you to Princeton University.
Loretta: Terrific. I first became exposed to a career in human resources while I was an undergraduate student at Rutgers University, and there, I had an opportunity to work part time in the HR office at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, assisting a nurse recruiter.
What appealed to me about the prospect of a career in HR was the ability to work across any industry. I wasn't sure that I wanted to be in a corporate setting per se, and so HR is a way to get exposed to a lot of different types of organizations. I found that HR was an area in which I could learn about all aspects of an organization, the different business units, etc., and I saw HR as an opportunity to build relationships with people across an organization and those were the reasons that I chose to pursue a career in HR and in many respects, it's what keeps me engaged in the profession today.
As you mentioned earlier my career, I worked in other types of industries. In addition to pharmaceutical industry, I worked in financial services on Wall Street in the late 80's, when things were a bit crazy there.
Peter: You know Loretta, I think everyone in the New York metropolitan area has worked in financial services at one point or another in their career.
Loretta: You're probably right, and in my experience I found that was a good foundational opportunity to really learn sound HR practices. However, I also quickly realized that I wanted to work for an organization whose mission, vision and values was more aligned with my personal beliefs, and began to seek out opportunities with nonprofits and higher education as an area of focus.
So I made the transition into higher education by joining Columbia University in Manhattan, a very large urban environment with over 20,000 students, both undergraduate and graduate students, a medical center and hospital, a really vibrant bustling community. There I managed the employment center at the time as it was known, and we did high volume recruitment primarily for nonexempt support services positions at the university; and we were very much engaged with the surrounding community, serving as a pathway for residents in Morningside Heights neighborhood and Harlem neighborhood in upper Manhattan to become staff members at Columbia.
Through professional networks I met the folks at Princeton, and an opportunity presented itself for me to join Princeton University. I knew I wanted to continue in higher education and found the appeal of Princeton to be in part, that it was in many respects the antithesis of Columbia University. For those who aren't familiar with the Princeton University campus, it's in a very small town in central New Jersey; it's a very idyllic setting in many respects. It's a much smaller organization and it had very strong sense of community and I found that that was missing for me, being part of a much larger organization.
Peter: I'm curious to know really, what type of roles you and your team recruit for?
Loretta: That's a great question. Often when I tell people I work in recruiting and staffing at Princeton University, they immediately assume that we recruit for faculty and teaching positions; and the reality is that that's a misperception and in fact, we recruit for a wide variety of positions.
In many cases I liken our organization to a small city, so we recruit for positions including security officers, cooks, nurses, doctors, IT professionals, finance professionals, athletic coaches - that was an area I never imagined that I would be recruiting for, a football coach or a lacrosse coach. We recruit fundraising professionals; our institutional advancement and development organization is critical to the university. We recruit research assistants; neuroscience is a hot field now. I've even recruited for chaplains in our office of religious life.
So I think that gives you a pretty good sense of how broad and diverse the opportunities are, for a career in higher education. So it's what makes it interesting and also challenging, because the positions in many cases are very unique, it requires that we source candidates for very specialized positions.
I think one of the other challenges we face, again because the positions are unique in their different populations, is that it's difficult to create a standardized process and standardized practices across the organization, because the needs can vary considerably.
Peter: Considering your experience, is the process of recruiting different than that in private industry?
Loretta: Some of the practices are, in fact, the same across higher education and corporate. Where I find the real distinction, is around decision making. In universities and it's certainly true at Princeton, we work in a very collaborative culture and decisions, particularly hiring decisions, are made through consensus building.
Many searches have search committees comprised of faculty, staff and sometimes students and they serve in an advisory capacity to the hiring officer. And as you can imagine, we have many people at Princeton who have very distinct opinions and can be very vocal about their opinions, and so reaching consensus in making a hiring decision can be a challenging endeavor.
Peter: Wow. So given that scenario that you just laid out there Loretta, who ultimately pulls the trigger, who makes the final decision on who gets hired?
Loretta: So like many things at our university, the answer is 'It depends,' and that's a favorite saying of our Vice President for Human Resources.
Peter: So it's political.
Loretta: It can be. In many cases, as I said, the search committees or other stakeholders serve in am advisory capacity and our recruitment and staffing specialists make it clear to those individuals participating in the process of that fact. So that our hiring managers ultimately do make a decision, but it's important for them to gain buy in from the campus stakeholders.
Peter: What tools and resources are effective for you? In other words, job boards, career portal, social networks, do you use things like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn in your recruiting process?
Loretta: We are using many of those tools that you suggested. Around job boards, we use both major job boards that many of your listeners would be familiar with, as well as a number of job boards that are specific to higher education; and depending on the nature of the role, we find that one source may be more effective than another.
We've also invested significantly in utilizing niche or industry-specific job boards with mixed success, again, depending on the nature of the position. We have made an initial venture into utilizing LinkedIn, and our early experience has been that it's been more successful for positions across industries, such as IT, finance, human resources. Surprisingly to many of your listeners, there are fewer higher education professionals using LinkedIn than you might imagine, and so that's been one of our efforts on campus, is to raise awareness among our colleagues around the value of using LinkedIn, not only for job seeking, but for professional networking.
Our organization is very much relationship based, and that extends beyond the campus community, and so our faculty and staff have many relationships in a more traditional sense. We've been working with them to transition those to online relationships and leveraging those more through social media, particularly LinkedIn.
We have not yet embarked on a more robust social media strategy and in fact, that's in part why I'm here at the conference is to learn a bit more about what some success practices have been in other organizations. So from my perspective, higher education has been much slower to embrace the use of social medial in recruitment and we're looking to change that.
Peter: Here at the conference what are some of the things you're trying to learn more about during the SHRM Talent Management?
Loretta: One of the other areas of interest to us is around metrics and data analysis. We have traditionally relied on anecdotal information to make decisions; we are now embracing the use of metrics and data driven decision making, and again I think higher education is a bit behind the curve as compared to other industries in doing so.
Peter: What do you think are the biggest opportunities for change in higher education recruiting and staffing?
Loretta: Overall I would describe the biggest opportunity for change is to evolve our staffing and recruiting functions from transactional customer service focus models to more strategic and consultative function and in fact, that was the impetus that led us to engage Riviera Advisors to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our recruitment and staffing function. So we've been working with them for about four months now to undertake this assessment, and as we embarked on the project, we quickly realized that we were leading within higher education in taking this on. We reached out to peers across the higher education sector and really couldn't point to any other colleges or universities that were doing this.
Peter: Interesting. Can you share with us, Loretta, perhaps some of the recommendations you've received from Riviera Advisors to improve your talent acquisition process?
Loretta: Absolutely. So those findings are still in a preliminary format, but I'm happy to share a few of those with you. So one of the a-has for us was, that we were under investing in our recruitment and staffing function; and I think we intuitively knew this but didn't realize the extent to which that was true. And I suspect that that's the case for many colleges and universities as well.
The university board of trustees convened a working group on diversity to look at the population across all segments at Princeton University - faculty, students and staff - and there was a comprehensive work that was completed over about an 18 month period, and the outcome of that report is that for our senior level staff positions we need to be doing a much better job in terms of recruiting more diverse individuals. We have a significant representation of women in our senior leadership roles and need to improve on our representation of minorities and other underrepresented individuals.
Peter: Loretta, employer branding has been a very hot topic at most of these HR and recruiting conferences over the last couple of years and of course, companies like Google and Apple and Facebook are the usual suspects. I would have to assume that Princeton University has a sterling brand, so what impact has employer branding had on recruiting at Princeton?
Loretta: Princeton undeniably has a strong brand as one of the world's top universities and we are able to attract top talent for many positions. Our university's reputation is that we are excellent in teaching and research, that we have a strong focus on the undergraduate experience, we have a long and storied history with many prominent alumni and the strong sense of community that I referenced earlier as one of the motivators for me to join Princeton.
That said, some misperceptions exist about Princeton University, because of the fact that we are a very old institution over 250 years old, so for many people that conveys notions of an old school population. We have the perception of being elitist, when in fact we're still a very competitive university in terms of admission for students, but that elitist label certainly does not apply to the vast majority of our population on campus.
So we need to do a better job of creating awareness of Princeton University as an employer, outside of the higher education sector, and frankly outside of our immediate geographic area in central New Jersey. So one of the changes that we've made to our recruitment practices is to expand our efforts to attract individuals outside of higher education. So when I was describing to you the variety of positions that we recruit for I mentioned IT, finance, etc.
Peter: Those are all highly competitive positions.
Loretta: Highly competitive, and that's true at Princeton as well. And for me in some respects I feel like I've come full circle; I started my career very early at a medical college, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey where they were having difficulty recruiting nurses. So Princeton does not have a medical school or a medical center per se, but we do have an on campus healthcare clinic for students and are still having trouble to this day recruiting nurses.
You mentioned IT and finance, so central New Jersey has a very vibrant corporate sector and we're recruiting against financial services companies, pharmaceutical companies to employ talent in those sectors. We're also within the New York City metropolitan region, so that adds another layer of competition for high caliber talent.
Peter: What are some of the things that you do in staffing now, that you would like to trade out for something else? What would be that something else?
Loretta: With the wide variety of positions that we recruit for currently, there is little differentiation in how we go about recruiting and staffing for those positions. We need to focus our efforts more on our high impact positions and figure out a more efficient way to recruit for our high volume positions, and Jeremy and his staff at Riviera Advisors have been instrumental in helping us to think more critically about how we can do that with the limited resources that we have. We engaged in an exercise with them as the first step in creating that segmentation and differentiation and will be developing a strategy for introducing perhaps, service level agreements or different approaches to recruiting for different types of roles.
I think in our organization, one of the real challenges that we will have is around change management, because we are an institution with many longstanding practices, change management can be particularly challenging. So we will have to figure out how to engage our stakeholders in bringing about the change. We have many long service employees; our average length of service is over 16 years. We recently held a staff recognition luncheon where there were several individuals who had over 50 years of service.
Peter: 50 years?
Loretta: Fifty years. So that, I think, compounds the challenges associated with change management. I think it also underscores the importance of investing in our recruitment and selection process, because people come to a place like Princeton and they stay for, in many cases, the entirety of their career.
Peter: One last question for you. What do university leaders have to say about the importance of recruiting and staffing?
Loretta: We have tremendous support from our Vice President for Human Resources and our Executive Vice President for Administration, who ultimately we report in to. They have been very engaged with the assessment project that we have been working with Riviera Advisors, and they are excited about the preliminary recommendations and the plan for moving forward. So we are in a very fortunate position to enjoy their support.
Also I mentioned the trustee's report on diversity is another opportunity where our senior university leaders have recognized the importance of recruiting and staffing. So as one of my colleagues has described it, it's the perfect storm for us right now. There is a lot of interest in our recruiting and staffing function, and support for bringing about the changes that we've been discussing.
Peter: Loretta, thank you so much for taking time to speak with me here at the SHRM Talent Management Conference in Nashville. It's been great to have an opportunity to meet you.
Loretta: It's been my pleasure, Peter. Thank you for the opportunity.
You'll find a complete transcript of today's interview in the Newsroom and Events link on rivieraadvisors.com and on TotalPicture Radio, that's totalpicture.com. This special talent acquisition channel podcast from the SHRM 2014 Talent Management Conference and Expo is sponsored by Riviera Advisors.
To learn more about how your organization can benefit from Riviera Advisors internal talent acquisition consulting services, visit rivieraadvisors.com or call 1800-635-9063. STARoundtable Press offers RecruitCONSULT! Leadership: The Corporate Talent Acquisition Leader's Field Book written by Jeremy Eskenazi, SPHR CMC, Managing Principal of Riviera Advisors.
Visit recruitconsult.net to download a free sample chapter from the book. Riviera Advisors is a member of the Asher Talent Alliance, a global alliance of talent acquisition providers working together to benefit the unique and individual needs of their clients.
This is Peter Clayton reporting, thanks for listening.
More Talent Acquisition Interviews Articles & Podcasts
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Kara Yarnot: Introducing the Recruiting Service Innovation AwardsThe 1st Annual Recruiting Service Innovation Awards (the ReSIs) Recognizing Innovators & Game Changers in Hiring in the New Economy
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