Talent Acquisition Interviews
Exclusive Interview with Will Wolf, Managing Director, Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Development, Credit Suisse. This Big Data Play is for keeps.
"Contextually, banking is going through a secular change. Our CEO Brady Dougan and the head of all the Human Capital Functions, Pamela Thomas-Graham, have committed us to being much smarter about how we hire and grow people because it makes economic sense. We can't be in the habit, as banks have often been, of always just going across the street and poaching the next guy from the other bank that has the same title." Will Wolf
It's the big topic at every HR and Recruiting Conference this year. Here's real world information with William Wolf, a senior leader at Credit Suisse tasked with using Big Data to provide critical answers. For instance, who amongst our management and top performers are likely to leave? And... what can we do about it? In this exclusive TotalPicture Radio interview with Producer/Host Peter Clayton, recorded at The IACPR Fall Leadership Strategies Summit in New York, Will provides an insiders look at a world-class talent acquisition department.
"I think of the arrival of data into the dialogue we're having in HR to be much like what advertising was probably like 20 or 30 years ago, where people used to joke about how 'I know I'm wasting 50% of my advertising budget. I don't know which half.'"
"But advertising isn't like that anymore. They're much more targeted because they have data and they have analytics and they have the Internet and they can target their reach to micro segments of people. I think that HR is on the same threshold today that they were 20 or 30 years ago where because we have better ERP systems, we have intermediaries and tools like SuccessFactors and Workday. You get access to better reporting so business leaders are beginning to expect a more data informed, data rich conversation with HR professionals. Whether they be subject matter experts like we have in recruiting and talent development, or your basic business partners, who are generalists, they're advising folks on strategy and policy."
Watch the Video:
Will Wolf, Managing Director, Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Development, Credit Suisse, joined the global financial services firm to further enhance its people analytics - a role he performed for clients as a partner at McKinsey & Co. The HR department at Credit Suisse has collected data on employees during their entire life cycle for many years, but wanted to delve deeper into turnover.
TotalPicture Radio's coverage of the IAPR Leadership Strategies Summit 2013 is sponsored by Riviera Advisors, a premier global human resources consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations develop stronger internal recruiting and staffing capabilities. Riviera Advisiors is an IACPR Premier Sponsor.
Will Wolf, Credit Suisse Interview Transcript - IACPR Global Summit
Hi, this is Peter Clayton from TotalPicture Radio, in New York City today at the IACPR Global Leadership Conference at the Intercontinental Hotel. I'm very happy to have with me today Will Wolf, who is Managing Director, Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Development with Credit Suisse.
Will, thank you very much for taking time to speak with me.
Will: Glad to be here, Peter.
Peter: So you did a whole session just now titled Putting Big Data Into Play, and I have to say that in all of the conferences I've attended this year, big data is like the big topic; that and mobile. That's what everybody is talking about.
Peter: So a couple of the interesting things that you talked about is big data is such a buzzword in this industry, what's really different between what's going on now and say 10 years ago?
Will: I think of the arrival of data into the dialogue we're having in HR to be much like what advertising was probably like 20 or 30 years ago, where people used to joke about how I know I'm wasting 50% of my advertising budget. Ha, ha, ha, I don't know which half.
But advertising isn't like that anymore. They're much more targeted because they have data and they have analytics and they have the Internet and they can target their reach to micro segments of people. I think that HR is on the same threshold today that they were 20 or 30 years ago where because we have better ERP systems, we have intermediaries and tools like SuccessFactors and Workday. You get access to better reporting so business leaders are beginning to expect a more data informed, data rich conversation with HR professionals. Whether they be subject matter experts like we have in recruiting and talent development, or your basic business partners, who are generalists, they're advising folks on strategy and policy.
Peter: So you're a bank, what's the ROI on this as far as recruiting cost versus investment? Obviously, all large corporations today are investing a tremendous amount of money in their ERP systems, in tracking and all of the things that they're doing now, trying to get a sense of who is in their organizations and have a better pulse on all of that. As Jeremy Eskenazi brought up in your session, LinkedIn knows more about your employees at Credit Suisse than probably you do.
Will: A couple of points, Peter, on this. Contextually, banking is going through a secular change. Our CEO Brady Dougan and the head of all the Human Capital Functions is a woman named Pamela Thomas-Graham; they have committed us to being much smarter about how we hire and grow people because it makes economic sense. We can't be in the habit, as banks have often been, of always just going across the street and poaching the next guy from the other bank that has the same title.
Peter: Which traditionally is exactly how this has worked.
Will: Brady and Pamela call this grow your own and we're committed to it because we know it makes economic sense. We're building the capability internally to do analysis about our human capital practices and policies that are right for Credit Suisse, our bank. We think of LinkedIn as a valuable source of insight for the 70% of Credit Suisse employees that have a LinkedIn profile they have voluntarily created. We can't, however, use LinkedIn as a credible source of regulatory quality data. If regular wants from us - if they want to know that we are EEOC compliant, if they want to know that we are practicing appropriate pay policies, we have to provide credible data from our own resources and we have to provide it for everybody. So it's nice to have LinkedIn there and it's nice for us to be able to access Credit Suisse profiles when we want to fill an internal opening there but it is by no means exhaustive for us. So we have to also use our own analysis with our own data.
Peter: Right, like you said in your session, if somebody has on their LinkedIn profile that they graduated from Oxford University, you actually have to call Oxford and say hey, did this person really graduate...
Will: To make that distinction. Anybody can put what they want about themselves on LinkedIn.
Will: And maybe someday if they're exaggerating it, will catch up to them but for our purposes and for what we care about in terms of our own data quality and local laws. In London, if I want to put into our inside systems that someone has graduated from Cambridge or Oxford, I have to call Cambridge or Oxford and validate that that's true. I can't put it into our systems until I know it's true. That's why we have to have that higher burden of data quality, which consumes a lot of time, but in the end we think it's worth it.
Peter: One of the charts that you showed in your presentation, you were kind of looking over the past five years. We went through this recession, nobody was really leaving organizations and now in the last couple of years you're seeing a lot of movement again, a lot of attrition within your high performance. What are you doing to try to proactively manage that attrition?
Will: It begins with understanding the causes of attrition and then starting to put in place new practices and new policies to prevent unwanted attrition. There's always going to be a healthy level of - in the American economy we believe there's a structural level of unemployment. You'll never get below, right?
Will: People need to leave because they need to pursue other opportunities. They need to grow in their careers. We were trying to manage down a problem that we think is costing us some money. So we spend a lot of time analyzing the root causes of attrition so that we better understand a simple question like, what is the importance of a well trained manager on an employee population. We know that people react quite positively from a retention standpoint to good management practices. We can demonstrate this and this actually gives us more emphasis and more evidence upon which we can tailor our management training practices and our retention of better managers. We can even value good management to a greater degree in our performance reviews. The insight that comes from the data analysis completely informs changes we make to the way we manage our people and it affects recruiting to training to all aspects of the human capital, human lifecycle.
Peter: Another graph that you showed, Will. I've been covering this space for a long time now and I keep seeing this. High performers really pay for themselves. The amount a high performer brings to an organization is substantially more than just your average performer.
Will: That's true. We could debate for a long time how you could build an organization full of high performers or whether or not high performers are motivated by being different from everybody else and whether that's even possible but we always use - one of the charts that I showed was some external research that basically says there's value in this. The more complex the job the more differentiating a high performer can be so getting an environment where you can attract, retain, train and grow high performers is clearly important.
Peter: I want you to talk about - you really kind of broke this down with big data. The steps to improving insight through big data of people analytics, define taxonomy. So talk to me a little bit about that and how you approach this and the kinds of things that you were able to glean in really digging into this data.
Will: Sure, Peter. In my speech, what I attempted to do is maybe de-stigmatize the big words, big data. You have to have some sort of super computer to have better insight on human capital practices. I don't think that's the case although people like to use that term. What we're really talking about is what analysis of variables can do in informing our people decision making. How do you build the capacity to do that? You need to have a common language of human capital data and definitions. What do we mean when we say retention? What do we mean when we're talking about our screening effectiveness, our onboarding effectiveness? Companies need to have that taxonomy as a basis for problem solving.
From there, it's about getting data quality that is good enough to do analysis and it's not super computer driven analysis. We're talking employee records to run an analysis of maybe 30,000 to 40,000 people in our case, where we want to look at patterns among variables and how they relate to one another so we have insights. An example of that would be again, the relationship between a supervisor's performance rating and the attrition that they have in their group. What we've been able to show is that there's a clear relationship between well performing supervisors and retaining people. That won't surprise anybody. That's been well documented outside.
We have done a contextual adaptation of that to our own environment at Credit Suisse meaning we know how that works in Asia. We know how that works in Switzerland. We know how that works in the United States. We can inform our practices better based on that analysis.
Peter: So gather insights and priorities. Again, when people are speaking about big data and especially in a relationship to human capital and talent acquisition, a lot of what they're really talking about is predictive analytics.
Peter: It's a predictive analytics piece that really informs you on taking the actions that you need to take.
Will: Right. From there, presupposing you can find relationships between variables that allow you to predict human behaviors better, not perfectly but better, then the question comes, well, so what. For us, where we spend a lot of our time is moving from the insight to the analysis to the practical things we can do to actually address some of the findings. If we believe that after people get promoted they are susceptible to poaching from other companies, that's an interesting transition that we need to better manage. How do we actually welcome them in to their new role in our organization without recognizing the fact that they may be actually at risk and may have perceived in their own mind that they've hit a milestone where they deserve more access to our opportunity, more money or what have you. We need to be anticipating that stuff and it's those types of choices that we need to make based on the data that we have analyzed.
Peter: Talk to us a little bit, what does it cost Credit Suisse when a high performing executive leaves your company and you have to replace? What is one executive leaving the organization cost you?
Will: We've analyzed this inspired by a lot of academic research and then mapping those ideas to our own environment that I would say the interesting relationship here Peter is that the more senior you are, the more cost relative to what we're paying you. That's an important distinction. The more senior you are - if you're a junior employee, it wouldn't be unreasonable to say somewhere between 50% and 80% of your annual compensation might be at risk in leaving you. If you're a more senior employee, it could be as high as 150% to 200% of that much more expensive senior compensation because you're looking at replacement cost that includes search fees that are quite high and longer times to replace because it's hard to find and you lose productivity. The more senior the more expensive, even relative to their own compensation.
Peter: So something else you brought up is you have really started an initiative at Credit Suisse where you're trying to build up an internal senior level recruiting team to go out and actively solicit those kinds of placements. Tell us a little bit about how you went about doing that and some of the results that you're getting for having that team in place.
Will: As I mentioned earlier, Brady Dougan, our CEO, Pamela Thomas-Graham, who's head of all of our human capital branding and communications functions, they are committed to the idea that if we have an opening at Credit Suisse, first dibs go to an internal employee as opposed to the person from across the street. They call it grow your own. We're actively trying to foster a grow your own environment. To accelerate that, we've created an internal search function so when an opening comes and people want to post it, we have a rule that basically says you cannot post that job and go outside until our internal guys have had a couple of weeks to try to fill it from within.
First dibs go to insiders and we proactively reach out to people who are very comfortable in their roles wherever they're sitting and say if you have the right background, we'd like you to consider coming over and taking this new position. Would that be of interest to you? It might be a step up opportunity. What we've learned from experimenting with this in the United States is that people love when we call them and say we might have a new opportunity for you here. Would you want to hear more about it confidentially? So we don't run afoul of your manager yet. They love this idea.
Peter: I think that plays really well into the whole retention issue because people are always looking for - high performers look for opportunities, right?
Will: They love to know that we're looking out for them and if there's a place that they can go if they want to learn more.
Peter: What's so important about all of this, Will is when you have this data and you're able to really analyze. You were talking about the fact that you've only had an applicant tracking system Taleo implemented for a couple of years within your organization where you're able to really look and assess where talent is with different skill sets. When you have that kind of information that place such a huge role in the whole onboarding process, right?
Will: We study all aspects of the human capital lifecycle to better understand where we can be growing people faster, who we should be hiring, apples to oranges comparisons and so forth. One of the things we've learned is that the onboarding event is pivotal, showing up to a place where you're getting acclimatized to the culture. What steps we can take to actually make you understand the history of Credit Suisse? We've been around since 1856. We were founded by Alfred Escher, who was a statesman who realized that if he didn't fund the building of the Gotthard Railroad, that the entire European economy was going to pass by Switzerland and go straight from Germany to Italy circumventing the Swiss Alps. That was a social purpose. It's really interesting history.
If we're not bringing that to life for people, they miss the fundamental mission and the purpose of the company. We think it's important to help people understand that; at the same time, we think it's important for them to get a computer that works, a name badge that's spelled right. These are not trivial things. It's a complicated process. So through our analysis we've seen that that onboarding [inaudible 15:26].
Peter: Tell us what you've learned about millennials and especially around the topic of performance rating.
Will: It's interesting because we fight a very competitive battle with other banks over recent graduates of top universities. We hire hundreds of them a year and it is bare-knuckle competition to watch millennials then leave us to go to private equity or to other banks is heartbreaking because we're investing so much in winning these head to head competitions. We do think about millennials as a segment of our population that might require handling that is different from more senior populations. It's clear that they have different preferences and attitudes.
We actually have launched - we had an internal project group study the millennials question and as a result of that we've launched a training program called Managing Millennials for people basically my age who may not use social media or may believe that only - may have attitudes about performance ratings and coaching and feedback that don't map to what they're used to where they're coming from. It's a real difference but it's the kind of thing that really does lend itself to analysis and to study.
Peter: You have been watching like 30,000 people over five years and you talked about the analysis of key variables around the whole retention, hiring human capital process. Obviously, compensation figures largely in this whole conversation. So again, how are you using big data to analyze where you might have problems and how you're going to address those?
Will: So the project you're referencing, we have a database where we've tracked Credit Suisse employees over time and at the end of that period of time they either stay or they go. We've study the relationship of 50 or more variables with that actual outcome of staying or leaving to try to establish relationship. This is a classic big data analysis that looks for relations between variables and we've learned a lot. We learned much more that we would learn simply by doing an exit survey. That's also useful. We'd be crazy not to have some insight from people on the way out just to what would have kept them. But we also see things - we can't through an exit survey for example really understand the impact of say the size of the team that you're on. We believe that there is an actual sweet spot for team size that anybody would work on in terms of the cohesion and the likelihood of retention for the people on that group.
We have similar learnings about compensation, performance ratings. Those are the types of variables that we track and we believe that our answers are - in some cases they wouldn't surprise you but we believe that they are close enough and contextual enough that it's important to do that analysis in our own context as opposed to just taking best practices off the shelf.
Peter: Another data point on this and this is something we've talked about a little bit but I think is really important for people to understand that internal mobility, especially with Gen Y'ers, is really important and they look for those opportunities.
Will: That's one of those variables that we track again so that attrition and retention variable is how many times you've moved and what's the right frequency and clearly people value the ability to grow their careers in a bank as evidenced by the fact they've been able to take multiple jobs.
Peter: Campus recruiting is something else that you focused on that is, as you said, it's incredibly critical to your organization and yet it's so competitive and it's really difficult to figure out how to really make those attractions.
Will: We're not alone in the competition for top campus talent.
Will: We compete with consulting. We compete with technology. We compete with other banks and so we're always working on what themes work. We don't just do data analysis. We do focus groups with students who may have accepted our offers. They may have not accepted our offers. We always want to know - we're projecting what they are reading in the newspaper that's resonating with them and how we need to address that in the campus environment because it's hotly competitive. It's actually quite healthy because it forces us every year to reflect on what we can learn from last years' experience on how do we improve our game. Our guys are really good at taking those insights and then bringing them back into the campus recruiting environment.
Peter: One of the things I find so fascinating about what's going on today is that you're competing against not just other banks but Microsoft and Deloitte and other organizations for the same top talent.
Will: I think these things come in waves. In the dot com years it was incredibly difficult. I was in a consulting firm then and we thought we would never be able to get people to come and join us if we couldn't offer them bizarre equity packages that had no real value but on paper they were worth millions of dollars. Then two years later people were begging us for opportunities with things on their résumés you couldn't even understand, right? These things ebb and flow. We've been here since 1856 and we've been a top draw in America, in Switzerland, all over the world. So for us it's about tuning the machine as we go and we're going to be here, I don't know, a hundred years from now having the same conversation, hopefully better.
Peter: I really appreciate your time today, Will. Talk to me a little bit about your plans for 2014. What kinds of things are you going to be doing and especially in this whole aspect of big data to help facilitate talent acquisition and retention within your organization?
Will: Any professional that works in human capital could easily recite to you the things they like to know about how to create more value for the organization. We've been studying the attrition event exhaustively. We feel like we have a lot better understanding of what goes on there. The next obvious thing for us to be looking at is how we can acquire it better and how we can actually be sharper about who wants to come to us and who we want to have come join our bank. I could make you a long list of all the things we'd like to know current return on investment and in talent of training and development. There are so many interesting questions. There's a risk of actually learning too much and not being able to operationalize the insight so we're doing it at a steady pace.
Peter: So Credit Suisse, conservative European bank, are you using social media aggressively in your recruiting efforts? Are you using Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn?
Will: Yeah, from a pure comparable to other banks basis I think we're actually pretty smart at virtual recruiting. Anybody who's had a manager recruiting budget particularly on campus in recent years realizes that the numbers of schools you have a presence at drives cost. But the extent you can actually serve some schools well in a virtual environment, that's important. But we use social media in terms of how we do our recruiting. We certainly use LinkedIn as a source of ideas for who to - and that's how we've taken out agency cost as a result. Yeah, there clearly are huge applications for that type of media in our space.
Peter: Will, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us here in TotalPicture Radio. It's been great to meet you here at the IACPR Global Leadership Conference in New York and I look forward to seeing you again.
Will: Thank you, Peter.
Peter: Thank you.
Will: Thanks for the time.
Separating the Hype from the need-to-know. An interview with Kevin W. Grossman
The game-changing trends currently impacting corporate recruiting: LinkedIn, mobile, and Big Data.
Kevin W. Grossman, Director of Product and Content Marketing at Peoplefluent, and co-host of the popular #TChat radio show and weekly Tweet Chat, discusses research sponsored by Peoplefluent, just conducted by Recruiting Trends - a leading resource for the employee recruitment industry.The research confirms that LinkedIn, mobile, and Big Data are being leveraged for talent acquisition, but not as expected. Yesterday's game has already changed.
Kevin was interviewed at the Recruiting Trends Conference in Las Vegas by Peter Clayton, producer/host of TotalPicture Radio.
Watch the video now...
A Conversation with Melissa Murray Bailey, President, Americas, Universum
Differentiation. This is the response many employers offer when asked about their foremost challenge of talent attraction and employer branding. But an over eagerness to communicate has become confusing to students: many employers are associated with too many things. They are enthusiastic about communicating all their advantages, from benefits packages to great managers, education to clear career paths and teamwork. All of these advantages give students a general idea of a decent employer, but not one that is distinctive: they don't differentiate the employer from other employers. Young candidates are left with a broad, ambiguous image and their questions remain unresolved.
This is Peter Clayton reporting from the Recruiting Trends Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joining me for this exclusive in-depth conference interview is Melissa Murray Bailey, President, Americas, Universum - The Global Employer Branding Leader. Universum is conducting the world's largest research study on talent career expectations for the Millennial generation. Melissa joined Universum in 2012 to lead the business across the US, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.
Here at the Recruiting Trends conference, Melissa led a session titled Life Careerism - A Millennial's Career Path for Work & Life
Watch the video now
All Talent Considered: From the Recruiting Trends Conference, Peter Clayton interviews Keynote Speaker Lars Schmidt, NPR.
"I come from a school of HR that's probably a bit more progressive. I start at a foundation of trust. I start assuming people are going to make good decisions. I start from that assumption. If we're proven to be wrong and somebody makes a misstep you address that situation but you don't build a policy around that worst-case scenario that one person might do because then that really restricts you." Lars Schmidt
You would think a popular and beloved organization such as NPR: a media brand with a huge audience, would be in the easy seat when it comes to recruiting top talent. Think again.
Lars Schmidt, the Senior Director of Talent Acquisition and Innovation at NPR made it clear during his keynote at the Recruiting Trends Conference in Las Vegas... he's competing against other top media properties, as well as tech companies and start-ups to attract the talent NPR needs to stay competitive.
In his keynote, Lars provided the audience with a detailed account of his efforts to engage potential candidates through the use of social media. In our exclusive Talent Acquisition Channel interview, we discuss, in detail, the challenges Lars faced when he joined NPR getting management to embrace social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Here's the video...
Lars is responsible for providing leadership and advocacy for talent acquisition strategies that align with NPR's strategic mission and core values. Prior to NPR, Lars was the VP, Human Resources with Ticketmaster where he spent over seven years leading global talent initiatives. He previously held recruiting roles with a technical recruiting firm and several technology startups in Los Angeles.
Lars has over 14 years of recruiting and human resources experience across a broad range of industries including technology, web, media, non-profit, eCommerce and consulting. He's a fierce HR advocate with a strong track record in leveraging innovative talent strategies to fuel proactive recruiting efforts and building, developing, and leading progressive teams across a variety of HR disciplines. He's also a blogger and speaker on AmplifyTalent.com where he writes about talent and recruiting trends, social media, leadership, recruiting tools and technology. You can follow him on Twitter at @ThisIsLars.
Our podcast and video sponsored by Work4.
Proven makes it easy to apply for jobs over Craigslist, SimplyHired and Beyond - That's a Whole Lotta Jobs!
Using the Proven iOS and Android App makes it a snap to apply for jobs! If you want to apply for a job on Craigslist, through SimplyHired, or Beyond using your smartphone or tablet - download the free Proven App.
Pablo Fuentes and his team at Proven have solved the Craigslist Jobs problem. And the SimplyHired jobs submission problem. And the Beyond.com problem. That problem: Mobile Apply. More and more, job seekers are using their smartphones and tables to access job listings and career sites. If you were at the Mobile Recruiting Conference (#MREC13) last week in Atlanta, you heard the stats.
The is Peter Clayton with a Talent Acquisition podcast and vodcast on TotalPicture Radio. So take your pick: You can watch -- or listen to my interview with Pablo Fuentes, founder and CEO of Proven, recorded at MREC13 last week.
Mobile is the preferred device for job search AND job apply for a growing population of workers. Opportunities abound for companies that embrace mobile, and make it easy for job seekers and candidates to interact with them. Companies not paying attention to mobile, and NOT optimizing their career sites for mobile devices, will find themselves with a big problem, much sooner than you might think.... Like next year. This includes apply. Don't think by serving up a link to a website you're solving the problem. You're not!
If you're recruiting for healthcare, transportation, hourly, hospitality, and retail -- the only connection many of these workers have is their smartphone.
Here's the video of our interview:
More Talent Acquisition Interviews Articles & Podcasts
The State of Mobile RecruitingPresentation by Ed Newman, iMomentous, at the Mobile Recruiting Conference 2013
Tales From the Field: The Mobile ApplicantFrom the Mobile Recruiting Conference, Joe Essenfeld, CEO of Jibe
Sourcing Candidates Using Facebook's New Graph SearchA Conversation with Stéphane Le Viet, Founder and CEO of Work4 at the Mobile Recruiting Conference
A LinkedIn Perspective on Mobile RecruitmentLeela Srinivasan Group Marketing Manager, Linkedin Talent Solutions, and Rob Humphrey Strategic Initiatives Leader share LinkedIn research at #MREC13
People as Merchandise: Crack the Code to LinkedIn RecruitmentWhen you deconstruct LinkedIn from a computer scientist's perspective, interesting things appear.