April 19, 2019

Talent Acquisition Interviews


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Talent Acquisition Interviews

Jessica Miller-Merrell: I Like My Men Like I Like My HR Technology


Mark Finn, CEO of TalentBox Gets Personal with Jessica at the HRO Today Forum

Premiers on May 13 2013
Jessica Miller-Merrell -TotalPicture Radio InterviewJessica Miller-Merrell

"Signing a contract with an HR technology product that offers a full suite of services is a commitment, a marriage if you will. It's a relationship that has give and take. One bad decision can change your life and maybe even end your career at a company." Jessica Miller-Merrell

Welcome to a special Talent Acquistion Channel Podcast and vodcast (yes there's a video version of this interview - check the sidebar), recorded at the HRO Today Forum at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia. Mark Finn, Co-Founder and CEO of TalentBox, interviewed Jessica toward the end of the conference.

A little history: Our interview was filmed in the Rotunda building, constructed between 1904 and 1908 at a cost of over 1.5 million dollars. (That was serious money back then). When it opened as the Girard Trust in 1908, it was the largest dome in the western hemisphere, at over 100 feet in diameter. The oculas is 142 feet from the floor, the same as the Pantheon in Rome, which it was modeled after.

Jessica Miller-Merrell | Mark Finn - HRO Today Forum Interview. TotalPicture Radio

TotalPicture Radio's exclusive coverage of the HRO Today Forum at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia is brought to you by TalentBox, the leading talent focused digital interview platform. Save time. Cut cost. Improve quality. Share and collaborate with others. Four big reasons to start using TalentBox for your next hire. Visit www.talentbox.me and get started with a free 45 day trial today. TalentBox, where talent meets opportunity.

Hi, this is Peter Clayton. Welcome to TotalPicture Radio. According to our special guest today, Jessica Miller Merrell, signing a contract with an HR technology product that offers a full suite of services is a commitment, a marriage, if you will. It's a relationship that has give and take, one bad decision can change your life and maybe even end your career at a company.

Welcome to a special talent acquisition channel podcast and vodcast. Yes, there's video version of this interview on TotalPicture Radio, iTunes and YouTube, recorded at the HRO Today Forum in Philadelphia. Mark Finn, CEO of TalentBox gets personal with Jessica discussing her post on workology.com titled I Like My Men Like I Like My HR Technology.

Now, here's Mark Finn and Jessica Miller Merrell.

Mark: Hi, this is Mark Finn here at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia at HRO Today. I'm here with Jessica Miller Merrell or Jessica M2 for abbreviation purposes. Jessica, I was hoping you could tell everyone a little bit about yourself and who you are and what you do.

Jessica: Thank you. My name is Jessica and I have a popular human resources and a workplace blog - I guess several sites actually - where we talk about human capital topics, recruiting, social media, all those sort of things that practitioners in this space are dealing with on a day to day basis. I also work a lot with service providers and helping them be able to talk directly to HR because we spend a lot of time on the phone cold calling, emailing but there isn't really any meaningful conversations oftentimes that are happening in those interactions.

Mark: Jessica's a fantastic expert on a lot of the hot topics happening in this space. We were talking about some of them yesterday. I did read however one interesting blog that you wrote recently and the title of that blog was I Like My HR Technology Like I Like My Men. So my question is how do you like your men? ☺

Jessica: I like to do my research. The blog post which is somewhat personal, I like to have the sort of personal story that I weave into a business lesson or topic, and the story is that I had a failed marriage. It didn't go very well for me. I was young and I really took stock and kind of looked at what I'm doing, what I really want, and did a lot of research. And so I think that when you're selecting an HR technology product, you really need to understand exactly what you want and then spend the time prequalifying before you go down that road and make a commitment.

Mark: I was hoping you were going to say Australian but that's fine.

There's a lot of uncertainty out there given that there's a lot of technology and a lot of new directions on a lot of different things. I think HR managers and HR leaders and recruiters out there are really just trying to understand what to do or where to go. What tips would you provide those people?

Jessica: I think that there's a lot of information online. I think it's good to go online and talk to other practitioners. One of the things I like blogging so much is that there are so many great people out there who are sharing their stories and they're there in the folds of dealing with a workplace issue as a recruiter or HR person. So looking for those resources but then maybe sitting down with an expert in the space and kind of talking through it.

Thirdly, the most important thing in my mind is end users. As someone who has had to, you know, 17 clicks to be able to hire one person in an ATS, mind you, I have 150 people that I have to push through my applicant tracking system, that takes time. Senior business decision makers in HR and human capital, they don't think about those things because they don't have to do them. But these are the small things that they need to think about to really make the technology product friendly for the user, happy HR people.

It's kind of happy wife, happy life. Happy field HR person makes for an engaged workforce.

Mark: Jessica, you just launched a new-ish company called Workology. I was hoping you could just share a little bit more about that and how people find you.

Jessica: If you read my blog that I've had since 2007, it's Blogging4Jobs which is a little bit edgy; I love that we like to push the envelope over there and have a little fun. I have 24 writers on the site who are writing. I like having the diverse types of people that are there but I need a place just for me and I wanted to be able to talk to senior HR and recruiting professionals about some of the topics in human capital that we're talking about but put in a practitioner focused way so that as a senior business leader, you have something that you can print off - a white paper, infographic, something that's practitioner focused so that you can really make the business case to add social media or digital technology to your recruitment or HR plan versus just relying on analyst reports and other papers that are out there.

Mark: So it provides a practical way to look at what's out there and find a way to look at adapting or implementing those social media or the technology.

Jessica: Anything related to human capital, really. I'm going to be focused on technology on the site but I feel like we need to have more conversations for the senior HR folks in a way that's somewhat casual and not really technical and wordy but interesting for them to read because when you read some of the information that's out there it's hard to follow and it isn't really fun, because even HR people want to have fun. So we need to be entertained as much as informed about the topics.

Mark: I think that's an interesting point you raise about some of the senior leaders of human capital out there thinking about not so much the technology or exactly how things work but some of the more bigger demographic shifts and the global forces that are happening. What are some of the ones that you think should be top of mind for people that are planning their workforce over the next 5 years and beyond?

Jessica: There was an interesting session about millennials yesterday which I really enjoyed. I think the main thing to remember when we're looking at the younger workforce is not everybody fits into this box that we want to put them in. I am a Gen X but I have a lot of millennial tendencies, which I think a lot of people do. I have a really great friend who is a boomer that she's millennial through and through. The thing that I think is important for people to remember as far as age goes and experience is that these millennials, whatever their tendencies are, the helicopter parents - all the things that we're dealing with - they are now the majority workforce.

If you are marketing to that audience to have them come and work for you, you need to make sure that your messaging, the company culture, and all these things are aligned to work with those people. It's just like trying to sell a product or a service. Why would we sell Tide laundry detergent to men over 65? The audience is females probably 24-40. Your messaging needs to align with that.

Mark: And be relevant to the person you're engaging with.

Jessica: It's not about the senior business leader. They're not the target market, and I think that's the other thing; when you talk to the chief HR officer, the CEO, they're like "I don't get the social media. I don't understand...I don't use text messaging the same way." It's not about you. It's about the people that you're trying to reach, the best and the largest audience that you're looking for to come to work for you. The CEOs are not the target demographic. So what they want doesn't matter.

Mark: One of the interesting things for me in that session that you just mentioned was that there are a lot of actual common factors across all the generations and also delineating this sort of categorized generations which is the fact that people are in different stages of life. People at stages of life is very different from these generational traits that we sort of attribute to people. How do you feel about what do you see about the way different generations are working together and especially in this day and age where there is a democratization of work?

Jessica: I think that the main thing is just sitting down and talking to your people and honest conversations. A lot of times employees are giving the answer that they think that you want which is really not what they want. So getting to know your folks, talking to them on a regular basis, probably scheduled, to have an understanding of what their hopes and dreams are.

The other thing is too if you're building a strategy with a particular audience of people in mind, use your current workforce especially the newly hired folks and conduct interviews with them - focus groups, surveys - that sort of thing. Where are they coming from? Where are they spending their time and if that's the audience, the people that you're looking for, you can create a small strategy from that group of people and they have a real feedback that is as recent. You don't have to spend a lot of money using a large third party company to conduct the research for you.

Mark: I think it's a great point talking about transparency and increasing the dialogue or the two-way chat between employees and existing employees and also prospective employees as well.

Jessica: Social media is leading the way for that. We're use to having real transparent conversations with brands, with people online, so it's going to transition over into the workplace. Employees are expecting and want to feel empowered that somebody is listening to their problems, what they have to say and that they do in fact want to make a difference. Long gone are the days like my dad, he goes to work. He works on a printing press. He's done it for 35, 40 years. He is a machine - that's what he does. He can separate work from life. I, on the other hand, I don't operate that way. They crossover for me.

Mark: Right, right. That's an interesting point. I personally feel the same way as well. And you've got to have fun, right?

Jessica: Fun is important. I mean that's why we live, right? To enjoy the moments with our family, our friends and we spend a lot of time at work, more time than we do with our family, so it makes sense that we should enjoy the people and the work that we're doing.

Mark: It's interesting that you said we spend a lot of time at work rather than doing work.

Jessica: My impression of work for me like I spend a lot of time doing what I love with clients, on the blog, things like that it's not really work. My office is virtual so my commute is 15 seconds every single day. I have clients all over the world, so work for me is a little bit different than I think a lot of the traditional work.

Mark: Jessica, two words: San Francisco.

Jessica: I'm moving. We're going to be relocating in the next few months to the Bay Area. I feel like I need to be where all the evolution and the change and things are happening and especially with technology and that's really three places: New York, San Francisco, or Austin, Texas. My husband is a Sooner fan. I cannot go to Texas. It would be maybe the end of our marriage and I don't want to put him through that kind of misery in Austin being a Sooner. It's too cold in New York City. So the Bay area is a fabulous place and it's just the smell of possibility there. There are so many cool people doing amazing things in their garages.

Mark: Stay tuned for Jessica Miller Merrell or Jessica M2 in San Francisco coming to a store near you soon. Thanks, Jessica.

Jessica: Sure.

Thank you for tuning in to TotalPicture Radio's exclusive coverage from the HRO Today Forum at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania brought to you by TalentBox, the leading talent focused digital interview platform. Recruiters and hiring managers can use TalentBox to shortlist the best candidates for any type of role. All online, simple to use, interviews can include video-based questions, text based questions or multi-choice questions and can be fully customized to whatever role you're looking to fill. Visit TalentBox on the web at www.talentbox.me and sign up today for a free 45 day trial. We think you'll get the picture. Also, keep an eye out for new TalentBox videos and podcast interviews on TotalPicture Radio totalpicture.com. Thanks for tuning in.

Here's a excerpt from Jessica's Workology Blog regarding the HRO Today Forum: "Unfortunately, I've found that most employers and senior leaders including HR and operations don't understand how much information is actually available on the internet. Last week while attending the HRO Today Forum, I watched Matt Charney give a brief demo of how a much information is available using a free tool like Spokeo.com combined with the power social media platform's Twitter and LinkedIn. The air sucked out of the room as conference attendees gasped once they realized that information like your home address, personal phone number and email address is available easily online. When it comes to the internet, nothing is really safe and true privacy no longer exists. The idea while terrifying for myself is only intensified by the fact that I'm a mom a to a 4 year old. These tools, however, can also be used as part of your social recruiting strategy. Understanding that fact is where the power of social listening for employers really comes into play. Somes a little shock like Matt's drives business leaders to this reality."

Stay Tuned... A complete transcript of Mark's interview with Jessica will be available soon!


Emerging Trends and Opportunities in HR technology


The growth and sophistication of Video interviewing and mobile recruiting technologies lead talent acquisition trends

Premiers on May 08 2013
Dennis Finn, Vice Chairman, Global Human Capital Leader PwC interviewed on TotalPicture RadioBill Filip

"I've been to the HRO Today functions for several years and every year I'm impressed by the level of innovation that we're seeing. I think on the recruitment side and the sourcing side, we continue to see new innovation, new technology. I think what intrigues me coming out today is emerging big data, with ways to make it personal, and sourcing talent better and faster and more unique ways." Bill Filip

Welcome to a special Talent Acquisition Channel podcast and vodcast from the HRO Today Forum in Philadelphia, PA. We continue our video interview series from the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hotel with Mark Finn, co-founder and CEO of TalentBox.

Mark interviews Bill Filip, Founder and Managing Partner of Delancey Street Partners. DSP provides M&A and capital raising investment banking advisory services to high growth and mid market public and private companies within the business and technology services, healthcare services and industrial/industrial technology services sectors.

Bill has deep experience and expertise in professional services and staffing, human capital technology, business process outsourcing, financial technology, financial services and payments, business and consumer Internet services, data and information services, education services, IT Services, SaaS technology, healthcare services and marketing services among other areas. He is a former investor/board member with Pinstripe, Snagajob, and PayChoice.

Bill Filip & Mark Finn HRO Today - TotalPicture Radio | TalentBox Interview

Welcome to a special Talent Acquisition Channel podcast and vodcast from The HRO Today Forum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Welcome to TotalPicture Radio and our continuing video interview series from the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hotel, featuring Mark Finn, co-founder and CEO of TalentBox.

Today Mark interviews Bill Filip, founder and managing partner of Delancey Street Partners. DSP provides M&A and capital raising investment banking advisory services to high growth and midmarket public and private sector companies within the business and technology services, healthcare services and industrial technology service sectors.

Bill has deep experience and expertise and professional services and staffing, human capital technology, business process outsourcing and financial services. He is a former investor and board member with Pinstripe, Snagajob and PayChoice.

TotalPicture Radio's exclusive coverage of The HRO Today Forum at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia is brought to you by TalentBox, the leading talent-focused digital interview platform. Save time. Cut costs. Improve quality. Share and collaborate with others. Four big reasons to start using TalentBox for your next hire. Visit www.talentbox.me and get started with a free 45-day trial today. TalentBox - where talent meets opportunity.

Mark: Hi, this is Mark Finn here again at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia for HRO Today. I'm here with Bill Filip. Bill, you say you've had a long career and a very prominent career in the industry. What are you seeing coming out of today? What are some of the key take outs that you're taking away from this conference?

Bill: Thanks for having me. I've been to the HRO Today functions for several years and every year I'm impressed by the level of innovation that we're seeing. I think on the recruitment side and the sourcing side, we continue to see new innovation, new technology. I think what intrigues me coming out today is emerging big data, with ways to make it personal, and sourcing talent better and faster and more unique ways.

I'd say the biggest trend is how you get a unique insight into job seekers and really build a proprietary community, and I think you layer that with opportunities for employment branding, I think you've got really compelling models out there. We're seeing several companies that I think are very unique and innovative.

Mark: There's so much information out there today and big data's obviously a hot topic and so many places to source candidates. One of the things we were talking about earlier which is so important and will be going forward is how do you make that personal and human connection with candidates.

Bill: Yeah. I think it really comes down to that. I mean it's easy to source lots of volume, but what does it mean? In this level - I think one of the big trends is understanding the engagement you get in your workforce, a smarter workforce, more engaged, a lot of data around that is compelling. And how do you use that and source people in a more unique way? Find what they're passionate about, what really makes them want to come in to work. And we talk a lot about the new generation issues and the millennials. I think it transcends that personally, but people want more than just a job. They want a mission in life. And finding ways to evaluate people on that level and source them on the front end, that's what makes a sustainable difference in your workforce.

Mark: Right. And there's a lot of change happening there on the tech front on many levels. And I think the time from innovation through the adoption is sort of compressing. I think people out there are trying to understand - I need to engage with technology and there's lots of things out there. What should companies and hiring managers be thinking about when they're looking at these new platforms and how they use them?

Bill: I think it's different for all the employers. It's about really knowing your universe and your pool of talent and what resonates with them. I do think if a picture is a thousand words, a lot of the video-related technology creates a very unique perspective to understand those people.

We do assess them internally. I think the mobile side is really neat and for lots of elements of the population, that is a really intimate way to interact with them. You can kind of combine that technology with unique insider or differentiated registration pass and you can get some really unique ways to reach out to people and bond communities.

Mark: In the same way, I used this example earlier, when you're going to a restaurant, often the first way that you'll engage with that restaurant if you haven't been there is you look them up on your mobile. And if they don't have a nice mobile-optimized site or if the job application page, in that example, is not accessible to candidates on the mobile, that is something that is a big gap that companies aren't - sort of, it's lagging. One person told me that candidates or head of companies are mobile and thinking about where candidates engage them is on their mobile. It's very important.

Bill: It really is. It's one element of a very successful hiring platform. So I think great employers have to utilize many different ways to interact with their talent pools and also existing employees. So certainly that's a big breakout area.

What I'm really looking forward is what's really resonating, what's starting to work, how are you getting adopted? I do think that space, you've got to have more than just that. I think the assessment side is going to be really distinct. But I think we're still emerging. We're going to see kind of how this is really used. First generation adopters, kind of our experimental, and we'll see this evolve over time. So I don't think anyone really has the secret sauce yet.

Mark: The silver bullet, right. I think one of the points you just touched on there is it's very easy in this day and age with the interconnectivity of everyone, to access people and to get to people. So given that broadens the potential talent pool of people you might be looking at and the challenge may be more on the selection side than the sourcing side, perhaps.

Bill: I think so, definitely. It's some of the basics come back to play of where are you getting your best employees, what are the mechanisms and efficient way to get to them and building this level of trust with them is really important. Lots of different ways to kind of play referrals and references now that I think people took for granted. But referrals are one of the best ways to get new employees and you have a relationship there. So I think that's a really unique area and we're seeing lots of different ways people are playing that.

Mark: So it's from trusted communities, right?

Bill: When I think about what makes great companies, I think it's obviously great business plans and good ways in terms of business model providing value. But it's got to be more than that. People want more of a mission and they want to be a part of something bigger. So I think you have to start from the way you hire people, attract them, retain them, the whole way. So all these new technologies, I think they're really starting to - it's fascinating to see these things evolve.

Mark: And the contingent workforce, the freelance workforce is a big theme and how companies manage their existing full-time employees. And it's also, it's happened to this increasingly growing pool of contingent or freelance workers which are not people doing odd jobs; they're people who take a serious career on being a freelancer. It's becoming a much more accepted way to work. So how do you see this sort of rise of the contingent workforce and how do companies harness that talent pool?

Bill: It's a reality. It is a big and growing piece of the employment equation. I'd say in the US, we're probably at the forefront of that. It will be really interesting to see how that's spreading at a more global basis. Obviously a lot of employment laws are different around the world, but it's going to be a fundamental core capability for employers to understand what is the right level perm and contingent within the workforce.

We've seen these models for a while but it used to be within certain segments, high-tech areas or specific candidate pools, cutting technologists. It's now literally one of the ways you manage your workforce. I've seen very sophisticated models, particularly in the retail side, where they can maximize certain employee candidates or populations in many different and flexible ways.

So it's interesting. You marry that with kind of what you see in the scheduling world. And it's really almost getting to be, here's your production line and how you're going to match up the best talent at the time.

Mark: I saw a slide yesterday that talked about desegregation of work and where that goes to. Work is a thing and there's a lot of different ways that can take. If you're an organization, does that go into full-time employees or can you access the contingent workforce? Is there technology out there that can either do it by itself or some component of it? And that challenge of desegregating work to those components I think is very real now.

Bill: Absolutely. And I think it takes really kind of forward-thinking HR people to really figure out what is their business model and where it should be. But these are big issues and if you figure it out, let me know because it's a...

Mark: I'm trying. So just changing tune quickly, Bill. You've had a long and fantastic career in the space but recently you've set up a new business and I was hoping you can share a little bit about what you're doing.

Bill: It's Delancey Street Partners and it's based here in Philadelphia. I've spent many years on the banking side and then direct invest in a venture fund that I co-founded. And I think this is really just an evolution of what I think I have done well and where I want to compete. It really combines kind of a longer term partnership and being able to work with clients at any stage of their evolution.

So if it's a younger company, they're looking for traction, we have kind of a flexible approach for our business model to be able to help them grow to the next stage and hopefully really partner with them along the way.

So it's both a combination of what you would think of the more traditional investment banking, advisory work, as well as kind of the alignment you get from being an investor and knowing an industry. So we're really just trying to, it sounds simple but, make a difference in our client's success.

Mark: And you've obviously had a lot of experience growing companies and building companies and understanding the challenges that they face at different stages of their evolution, which is as you say a big part of the partnership.

Bill: I could talk a long time on this but what you see at a conference like this is many big opportunities, huge markets. Rarely are these entrepreneurs going after small markets. It's also about how do you get from this big end market today and what are the steps that kind of match your growth strategy and capital strategy together. And it's really systematic.

The thing I coach entrepreneurs a lot on is we get your big market - walk us through what are the milestones in the next 12 months, 18 months, 24 months that you're getting there. So you can measure them. And I think it's never been more difficult to raise capital right now. So I think it's really important that these companies understand from an investor's perspective, what are the risks and help mitigating those.

Mark: And breaking down, I guess that big pie in the sky, do you have tangible things that you can do along the way to get there; if you don't, at least end up somewhere that is successful?

Bill: Obviously we all know the huge success stories, LinkedIn and the big, big front of The Wall Street Journal business models. Those don't happen that often. You want to be able to say we're on a very capital-efficient basis, we can have a great outcome. We don't have to completely change the world but we have a path to a good level of success without doing everything right. But it's an exciting time.

Mark: Bill, thanks for stopping by here to have a little chat with us. I really appreciate you providing us with your insights into what's happening on the HR front and also with your new firm and what you're looking to do and what you're obviously passionate about as well.

Bill: Thank you very much.

Mark: Thanks.

Bill: Thanks a lot.

Mark: Appreciate it.

Thank you for tuning into TotalPicture Radio's exclusive coverage from The HRO Today Forum at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, brought to you by TalentBox, the leading talent-focused digital interview platform. Recruiters and hiring managers can use TalentBox to shortlist the best candidates for any type of role. All online, simple to use, interviews can include video-based questions, text-based questions or multichoice questions and can be fully customized to whatever role you're looking to fill. Visit TalentBox on the web at www.talentbox.me and sign up today for a free 45-day trial. We think you'll get the picture.

Also keep an eye out for new TalentBox videos and podcast interviews on TotalPicture Radio, totalpicture.com. Thanks for tuning in.

Stay tuned... a complete transcript of our interview with Bill will be available soon!

Managing the Social Media Madness: How Intuit's Social Recruiting Strategy Is Evolving


From the Recruiting Trends Sourcing and Recruiting Social Summit in Washington, DC, Peter Clayton interviews Gail Houston and Leslie Manson from Intuit

Published on April 15 2013
Gail Houston, Social Media Program Manager, Intuit, interviewed on TotalPicture RadioGail Houston

Most of us consider the use of social media for recruiting focused exclusively on external candidates, Intuit sees more: a wealth of opportunities for engaging current employees. With a strong 'internal first' mindset, Intuit's goal is to fill 50% of their job openings with current employees.

Like many recruiters, you have probably created your social strategy and you're learning to find candidates on social. But you wonder, where do you go from here? How do you measure your success, and get senior management buy-in for investing in social media.

In our exclusive podcast from the Recruiting Trends Sourcing and Recruiting Social, Gail Houston and Leslie Mason from Intuit share their social journey...what have they learned, what's working, and where they are going next.

Gail Houston is the Social Media Program Manager for Intuit's Recruiting organization and is the voice of Intuit Careers on sites like Twitter and Facebook. She has more than 20 years experience in the recruiting industry, both corporate and agency, and has spoken at both Sourcecon and TalentNet. Gail is the co-lead of the Crossroads Career Transition Workshop and speaks on various applicant networking groups in the Dallas-Fort Worth(DFW) area. She has received numerous awards during her career including Circle of Stars 2008, Trim the Sails 2007, DFWTRN/Monster Recruiter of the Year 2003, EDS Senior Recruiter Award and the Figment Award for Creativity in Sourcing.

Leslie Mason, Intuit, interviewed on TotalPicture RadioLeslie Mason

Leslie Mason is a Senior Recruiter and part of the award winning recruiting team at Intuit. She is a member of the Candidate Generation team where social networking plays a large part and her focus is on recruiting top talent for Intuit's Executive Talent Community. Leslie has been successful in both agency and corporate environments wearing multiple hats of project manager, sourcer, recruiter and account manager.

Gail Houston - Leslie Mason TotalPicture Radio Interview Transcript

TotalPicture Radio's exclusive coverage of the Recruiting Trends Sourcing and Recruiting Social Summit 2013 in Washington DC is brought to you by Talent Box - the leading talent-focused digital interview platform. Save time, cut costs, improve quality, share and collaborate with others - four big reasons to start using Talent Box for your next hire. Visit www.talentbox.me and get started with a free 45 day trial today. Talent Box - where talent meets opportunity.

Like most recruiters you probably have created a social strategy and you're learning to find candidates using social but you wonder where do you go from here? This is Peter Clayton with an exclusive Talent Acquisition Channel podcast on TotalPicture Radio recorded at the Recruiting Trends Sourcing and Recruiting Social Summit in Washington DC. Gail Houston and Leslie Mason from Intuit share with us their social journey, what they have learned and where they're going next.

Gail Houston is the social media program manager for Intuit's recruiting organization and is the voice of Intuit careers on sites like Twitter and Facebook. She has more than 20 years experience in the recruiting industry, both corporate and agency. Gail is the co-lead of the Crossroads Career Transition Workshop and speaks on various applicant networking groups in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Leslie Mason is a senior recruiter and part of the award winning recruiting team at Intuit. She is a member of the Candidate Generation Team where social networking plays a large part in her focus on recruiting top talent for Intuit's executive talent community. Leslie has been successful in both agency and corporate environments wearing multiple hats of project manager, sourcer, recruiter and account manager.

Gail, you talked a lot about in your presentation about how you are using leveraging all of these different social media, whether it's LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook. Give us a little background on Intuit's involvement in social media and sort of how you got the company to be as active as you really are in social media.

Gail: All of our products have their own social media managers and teams that are managing the product social media channels like TurboTax, Quicken, those types of channels. So the Intuit Careers channel had to come up with a strategy so we can actually manage talking about jobs, careers, the events the recruiters are at, things like that through our own particular channels.

We started off on LinkedIn creating groups, and then we took control of the company page. We do a lot of posting on different events that are happening and we work in conjunction with the product teams to also help promote their events and from there, it's just evolved. We've got a Facebook page. We have a Twitter account. We just put up a Pinterest account and we have SlideShare and YouTube.

Peter: You had talked a little bit about Pinterest, which I find really fascinating because for a long time I just thought of Pinterest as cats and recipes, but people are really using this and they are getting very good results from posting things on Pinterest.

Gail: We do a couple of different things. First of all, we pin things that people that are on Pinterest are interested in naturally. It might be recipes. It could be ideas for the holidays, maybe shoes or clothes or something like that - just the normal things you go to Pinterest for. But then we're also creating communities and destination points.

For instance, with our UX community board if you're working with an applicant in the UX community you can send them to our Pinterest board, they can see videos that our employees have done, SlideShare presentations. They can see all of the jobs there by just clicking one link. They can also see just things that are relevant to the UX community, some of the thought leaders and things like that. It's a destination site where they can get it all instead of me saying I want you to go to YouTube and check out this and I want you to go to SlideShare and check out this. It's everything in one place in a visual representation.

Peter: Leslie, one of the things that you were talking about that I found very interesting is you're not only using social media to try and engage passive candidates, but you're also using social media and sites like Yammer to engage your current employees within Intuit and inform them about current job openings.

Leslie: Exactly. At Intuit we have very strong internal first mindset and it is our goal to fill 50% of our open jobs with internal employees and so we've created a page on Yammer Career Advice and we talk to our internal employees. We tell them how to apply for jobs, how to rewrite their résumé, how to make sure that they've included everything, if they speak different languages, if they've spoken at events, anything special that they've done that they may not have on their page so that when we look internally for candidates as recruiters then that will pop up.

We also did a poll and asked them what they wanted to see on that page and the overwhelming response was they wanted to see jobs. So now we post our hot jobs on that page. We also post tips and tricks and events that are going on within the community and then also links to our internal personal growth and development sites. We offer one on one coaching, both private and public, and then we have a full day seminar for classes to show you how to manage and navigate your career.

Peter: How has the adoption been of people using sites like Yammer, especially like IT professionals who tend to shy away from social media and doing that kind of interaction?

Leslie: The IT professionals... everyone has their own page. I'm a part of a social media group because I'm interested in that. We have a mobile community. We have a Java developers community. There's close to 200, I believe, communities within Yammer and you can follow everybody or just certain boards. So we're really finding a lot of engagement. I know on the internal careers page we have over 400 people that are members.

Peter: Another site that you mentioned and a statistic that I found pretty remarkable, Gail, is SlideShare and how you are using SlideShare to basically get a lot of information out to candidates who may be interested and different roles within Intuit.

Gail: I consider SlideShare our fifth social media channel and I call it our accidental channel. We actually started using SlideShare as a parking lot after our Facebook video chat as a place to put the presentations instead of people sending me an email saying I need a copy of the presentation. It's like you can go here and get the presentation. We didn't realize it was going to have such a viral nature to it. We have over 117,000 views on our channel. It grows whether we promote it or not because we make sure that all of our different presentations out there are tagged appropriately. We also make sure that there's interesting pictures on the different presentations we have out there to capture that visual person's attention to try to get them to take a look at our presentations. So it's just continual branding of Intuit, whether we're actively recruiting or not. It's out there.

Peter: You are very active on social media. You spend a lot of time and you're getting very good results from it but you are doing it personally. It is people at Intuit who work for Intuit. You're not farming this out to an agency is that right?

Gail: That's correct, we do all of our own social media. We don't have agencies tweeting on our behalf. It's all coming from either myself running the Intuit Careers channels or it's coming from our recruiters individually running their channels.

Peter: Talk to me a little bit about metrics. How are you gauging the success of your recruiting efforts through different social media channels and what are some of the results you could share with us.

Gail: We look at metrics a couple of different ways. The first metric that most companies look at is the source where the applicant says they're coming from. So it's a self select source, and so some of the applicants are identifying that they're coming from social media channels but we also know that by the time the applicant finally comes to apply they may not remember where they actually saw the job.

So we're doing additional metrics on the backend. We do have an agency, TMP, that is able to capture data when they're coming into the jobs.intuit.com site. So they're capturing data for us on where people are coming from.

We also have Google Analytics on both the jobs.intuit.com and Intuit Careers where we can capture data and Google Analytics recently added the social referral tool. What that basically does is it says I came and I looked at your job, I left, I went out and I researched and then I came back to your job. It's tracking the last site they were on before they came back to the job. So it could be YouTube. It could be Pinterest. It could be SlideShare. It's capturing all of that data and it's bringing it back in house.

We recently did a test with a another measurement tool called Simply Measured. It's a very visually appealing measurement tool unlike a lot of the analytics tools that are out there and we saw, for instance, one tweet that we did had 874 clicks on it and we were able to tell that one tweet had that many clicks. We're able to tell if we do certain things on Facebook at certain times of the day we tend to get more interest. We can see keywords that most people are clicking on and putting in the system through this tool.

Peter: One thing you mentioned that I think is very important because most companies at least try to track where a candidate came from and if you asked a candidate 9 times out of 10 they're going to say "I came on to your career portal." Or "I came on to your job site," where it may have been through Indeed or Simply Hired or LinkedIn where they actually first made that contact but from their perspective it was on your career site. So I think that's really important that you're doing that kind of granular checking to see really where these people are coming from so you know where to invest your money.

Gail: Right, exactly. Because if a candidate's already in your career site they typically are going to be tagged that they're an Intuit career site candidate or company career site candidate. Even though they may have seen this particular job post from Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter it's not going to pick that up when they come in and self identify because their source is already there. So companies have to realize that you've got to track other ways, and we're working really hard to try to figure out how to do all of that tracking so that we can get some hard core real numbers.

Peter: You're very active with an alumni network. Tell us a little bit about that and what some of the statistics are and the reason that you have an alumni network out there that's so active.

Gail: We have an Intuit alumni group. We also have an Intuit employees and alumni group on LinkedIn. We run both of those as well as an Intuit Careers Channel. We wanted a place for our alumni to come and be able to talk with each other, update each other, let people know what they're doing, where they moved on to. We also post jobs to the alumni group as well in case people want to come back. Lots of people go off and do other things and then they want to come back home again, and so we make sure that the recruiters are available there to answer questions, to talk about the different roles they have, to talk about the different events, things like that. So we get just some really positive response.

We also had an alumni group, for instance, for our tax advisors. That's a really large campaign that we run every year and the alumni group for the tax advisors is great because they keep each other informed on what's going on, new laws that are passing, things like that. So that one's really active as well.

Peter: What about referrals; what kind of referral program do you have?

Gail: We have an employee referral program where we pay bonuses. For most of the positions at Intuit if somebody refers a candidate over, so for instance we'll use our social site like Yammer to put a call out to our employees letting them know 'Hey we need this type of sales person right now... we're hiring for this type of Java developer... who do you know... don't forget about the employee referral program... and oh by the way, if you're interested in this job yourself, please make sure that you go ahead and apply for it because again we're always encouraging that internal.' The amounts vary depending on the type of job.

Peter: One of the participants asked you, what I thought was a very interesting question, how has all of this activity that you're doing in social media impacted the more traditional ways of recruiting?

Gail: We still do all of the traditional ways of recruiting. We still post jobs on job boards, on LinkedIn. We still search for résumés on job boards and on sites like LinkedIn and things like that that when we're reaching out to the candidates social media is allowing us to enhance that initial reach. So for instance, if you're sending an email to a candidate you can actually put in a video of the hiring manager, or a video that's talking about the group or the culture at Intuit.

So you try to really bring the culture to the candidate so that they can get excited about it and they get an idea on what it is like to work there, the real world, not just what we say in a job description but 'here's people and gosh, they look happy working here and they're talking about innovation and they're talking about I had this idea for this mobile product and I told somebody about it and wow, now Intuit's developed it and it's really cool and it's a product and that's living and breathing.'

So we're trying to get them excited and social is allowing us to use traditional channels in a more engaging way.

Peter: You're using a lot of video.

Gail: Video gets managed a couple of different ways. Sometimes we will hire video editors to help us with the really critical videos that have to look professional. We know that we're going to be using those videos for a long time. Other videos are being produced with some of our recruiters going out and asking questions of the hiring managers and then we take it back and we actually edit the video in house with our recruiting team.

We've got a gentleman on our recruiting him who helps us a lot of that. He'll add B-roll footage in there to show the campus, to show the different teams interacting, things like that. He'll add music to it and then he hands me the video and I put it out on YouTube and we start promoting it.

Peter: What kind of traction are you getting out on YouTube? How many views are you getting on a typical video?

Gail: We have over 90,000 views on our YouTube channel right now. One of our videos, one of our technology videos that we have showcased on our YouTube channel has over 7,000 views right now. We have other videos with 2,000 or 3,000 views. For our tax advisor program we have four different videos that we have out there and they all have thousands of views a piece and we refresh those videos for the new year and updated them.

Peter: One of the things that both of you commented on, which I think is so important in this whole success that you've had with social media, is that the top leaders at Intuit have bought into social media and the importance of using social media and having authentic conversations out there with candidates.

Gail: Right. Brad Smith recently started a blog on LinkedIn and he's one of the top 25 influencers, out of the influencers on LinkedIn, and it's an incredible blog because it really gives you insight into what he's thinking and what he believes and that goes throughout the company. He believes in social. He likes some of our posts on our Intuit Careers page and things like that, so we know he's following what the recruiters are doing.

We've also recently done some social media training for hiring managers taking them through their LinkedIn pages, and one of the hiring managers was great because he told his team "LinkedIn isn't about me. I always thought it was about me but it's not. It's about the applicant." He was in the top 5% of profiles viewed on LinkedIn and he had to sit there and think about why, and he realized it's because applicants were coming to look at his profile to see what he was doing. Once he realized that he went and he told his team "LinkedIn is about creating great candidate experience and allowing those candidates to go out and research us and learn about us and get comfortable before they come in and talk to us."

Peter: One last question for both of you. What are some of your takeaways from this conference here today? What are you going to be bringing back to your team, Leslie?

Leslie: I really liked Carmen's last presentation on Twitter. She brought some really good insights in there, some of the list followings. I liked Ben's presentation about creating a social recruiting strategy. We do that but there were some certain things especially the mobile piece that I hadn't thought of very intently before. Also Laura's talk about mobile recruiting. We need to consider... when you think about it, candidates are looking, they're using their smart phones and their tablets to view your websites. They're using that instead of their laptops. So your website should be mobile friendly and you should have a mobile app for your careers page.

Peter: And Gail, what are some of your takeaways?

Gail: The key takeaway that I always find from these conferences is that you have to continually be innovative and you always have to be looking for what's coming next down the road, and I think that that's something that all of the speakers are talking about in their presentations whether it's mobile, whether it's Twitter, Facebook. It doesn't matter. We have to constantly be learning how to utilize these social media tools to engage with our audience. The key with social is while a lot of what we do is marketing, it is still social and so you've got to be in there and you have to be talking to your candidates and be willing to have that conversation with the candidates out on social sites and not be afraid of it.

A lot of employers are afraid to even get started because they don't know what the employee is going to say and they don't know what the applicant is going to ask. That's where I see a lot of the hesitation from people is, I don't know what to say and what if the candidate says something wrong or something that's not deemed positive. You apologize that they had a bad experience and you move on and you try to fix it if you can. If you can't, you say you're sorry.

Peter: Two things that seemed to be very prevalent this year in recruiting are mobile and the candidate experience. That's what everyone's talking about at these conferences.

Gail: Exactly.

Peter: Leslie and Gail, thank you so much for taking time to speak with us on TotalPicture Radio. It's been great to meet you here in Washington DC.

We've been speaking with Gail Houston, social media program manager, and Leslie Mason, senior recruiter with Intuit. You'll find this interview, including a complete transcript, in the Talent Acquisition Channel of TotalPicture Radio. You can subscribe to TotalPicture Radio on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and SoundCloud.

Thank you for tuning in to TotalPicture Radio's exclusive coverage from the Recruiting Trends Sourcing and Recruiting Social Summit 2013 in Washington DC brought to you by Talent Box, the leading talent-focused digital interview platform. Recruiters and hiring managers can use Talent Box to short list the best candidates for any type of role. All online, simple to use, interviews can include video-based questions, text based questions or multi-choice questions and can be fully customized to whatever role you're looking to fill. Visit Talent Box on the web at www.talentbox.me and sign up today for a free 45 day trial. We think you'll get the picture. Also, keep an eye out for new Talent Box videos and podcast interviews on TotalPicture Radio totalpicture.com.

Thanks for tuning in.

An event unlike any other, the Sourcing and Recruiting Social Summit 2013 in Waashington, DC, featured an agenda which included presentations where attendees discovered new technologies and practices to enhance their sourcing and recruiting performance and techniques through social media. TotalPicture Radio's coverage of the event is sponsored by TalentBox. You'll love their digital interview platform!

Meet Mark Finn, CEO TalentBox, Video Interviewing Solution


Is 2013 the year video interview technology reaches the tipping point with HR and recruiters?

Published on April 02 2013
Mark Finn CEO TalentBox-TotalPicture Radio InterviewMark Finn

Today, a story about showing up - and an in-depth interview with a new friend and show sponsor. The friend is Mark Finn. The company is TalentBox. Here's a little secret. Video interviews are about to become as ubiquitous with employers as phone screens. Get ready. I think 2013 will be the break-out year for this technology.

This is Peter Clayton reporting from New York with a special Talent Acquisition Channel podcast on Totalpicture Radio.

TalentBox is a video enabled, digital interviewing platform providing technology that allows companies, teams and groups to identify, shortlist and recruit top talent in an unusually effective, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

We spend a considerable amount of time on this show discussing and evangelizing the candidate experience (I'm a member of the Candidate Experience Council - CandEs Award for 2013). The good news for candidates is TalentBox delivers a far superior candidate experience than what is typical, providing talent with more opportunities to showcase their potential and demonstrate why they are the right person for an opportunity.

There's another part of this story, too. Video interviewing is about to go mainstream. Mark goes into detail in our interview explaining why: he recently published an article on TLNT (see the link in the sidebar), titled 6 Reasons Why Video Interviewing Will Soon Go Mainstream.

What about showing up? I met Mark at the NY Recruiting Meet-Up Network last month.  If I hadn't shown up, I wouldn't be telling you this story!

Mark Finn, TalentBox TotalPicture Radio Transcript

Today a story about showing up and an in-depth interview with a new friend and show sponsor. The friend is Mark Finn. The company is TalentBox and that's. Here's a little secret; video interviews are about to become as ubiquitous with employers as phone screens. Get ready. I think 2013 will be the breakout year for this technology.

Hi, this is Peter Clayton with a special Talent Acquisition Channel podcast on TotalPicture Radio. TalentBox - that's TalentBox.me is a video enabled digital interviewing platform that allows recruiters and hiring managers to identify shortlist and recruit top talent in an unusually effective and efficient and manner.

As you probably know, we spend a considerable amount of time on this show discussing and evangelizing the candidate experience. I'm a member of the Candidate Experience Council, the CandEs Awards for 2013. The good news for candidates here is TalentBox delivers a far superior candidate experience than what is typical by providing talent with more opportunities to showcase their potential and demonstrate why they are the right person for an opportunity. And Mark will speak more to this in our interview today.

The other part of the story is video interviewing is about to go mainstream. Mark recently published an article on TLNT. You'll find a link here on Mark's feature page on TotalPicture.com. The article is titled "Six reasons why video interviewing will soon go mainstream." You might ask what does this mean for you as a job seeker?

So what about showing up? I met Mark at The New York Recruiting MeetUp Network last month. If I hadn't shown up, I wouldn't be telling you this story.

And now, here's our interview with Mark Finn.

Peter: Hi, this is Peter Clayton. We're in New York City today and I am meeting with Mark Finn who is the cofounder and CEO of a new video interviewing platform called TalentBox. Mark, welcome to TotalPicture Radio.

Mark: Thanks Peter, it's great to be on the show.

Peter: Let's start by you giving us a little bit of your background and the background of TalentBox.

Mark: Sure. I'll start with my own personal background and how I came to TalentBox and then give you a bit of an overview on what we're doing and where we've came from on that front as well.

Peter: Great.

Mark: I spent many years consulting to large organizations in Australia and New Zealand around improving their organizational processes and systems at sort of a C-suite level. I was also working very much at the forefront of technology with a range of businesses as well. We actually came to the idea of TalentBox and the concept behind it through working with one of our clients around trying to find someone to be in a promotional video for their company.

The story really of the genesis of the idea, we put a brief out for someone to be in this promotional video and all of the responses came back and the questions were sort of do a dance, tell us about yourself. We got together with the team and sat around the screen and sort of played all the different videos, and it was a very collaborative process around looking at those videos and saying we think this person is good and we like that person, and maybe not so much this person... you get the picture.

We thought that was a great way to really look at candidates in a sort of application process generally and given that we had been working with these big organizations around some of the challenges they were facing on sourcing and selection and people issues as well, and we thought there isn't a product that we've come across that we feel really improves that process and provides a way for companies to better identify and select candidates, be it for a job or a promotional video or whatever that would be. We had and we have a great group of developers and UX people and HR people, and we thought we can build a product that we feel really meets a need at the moment.

There were also few big factors going in the world that we thought makes it the right time for something like this. Just to name a few quickly, the rise of the cloud, the rise of the mobile workforce, the fact that we're hyperconnected now and it's very easy to get applications in and sometimes you end up with résumé overload. We thought well look, companies also want to be much more efficient around their recruiting spend as well. There's a bit of a trend to bring some of it in house. And we thought let's build a product that allows companies to, I guess, digitize the interview process. We started two years ago and we now have offices in Australia, operations in New Zealand. Here today with you in New York. It's all very exciting and also really exciting that it's a topic that is very relevant at the moment in the HR community.

Peter: It really is, absolutely. Basically Mark, you had a need. You wanted to do these video interviews with candidates for this company you were working with, went out to the marketplace, didn't find anything exactly what you were looking for, and so you built it yourself.

Mark: That's pretty much it. We did have a look. We thought about well this seems like a great idea, why hasn't it really been done on a big scale today? We had a look around the world and thought what are the big changes that have happened that make a product like this in a relevant now and why do we think we can do it now.

T here needs to be better tools there for helping companies and hiring managers in the selection and assessment process. And we thought we sort of had the team to put that together.

Peter: You recently wrote a very interesting article that you can find on TLNT.com titled "Six reasons why video interviewing will soon go mainstream." The first reason you outlined was that the challenge was selection, not sourcing. Are you able to elaborate on that for us a little bit?

Mark: Sure. I think firstly, that comment was a relative comment. There are obviously challenges in both of those processes. What I was trying to allude to is now it's very easy to have résumé overload on the company side of things. If you're a well-known company and you put out a job ad, you can get 600 résumés back very, very quickly. Then the challenge and the time challenge and the cost challenge is really working out to of these 600, how do we sort of see through the volume here and really get down to the 10 or 20 that we're really interested in. So that comment was really geared towards the time challenge and the cost challenge around the selection process.

One of the things we're seeing companies do, because of that résumé overload problem, is companies will put in the job description specific requirements for what candidates have to do. Say for example, "Please say these words in your cover letter" just to make sure that the candidates are actually reading the job description. It's so easy now Peter, to just send through your CV and cover letter at the click of a button and really you want to weed out the candidates that really have considered the job that they're applying for and then interview and look at those candidates. So that comment around the challenges is selection rather than sourcing. is really a relative thing and we're focused on providing companies with better tools and capabilities to improve their selection capability and make it more efficient as well.

Peter: One of the points that you make in this article that I want to take exception with is candidates are comfortable using video. I think that's very true for candidates in your age group, the Gen Y'ers are very comfortable using video but when you get up into the baby boomer generation, they aren't so comfortable using video. But I think the point here is that you need to skill up in this area because this is the trend, this is where this is going. You are going to be asked to do a video interview if you are out there in the job market today, and this is just one of the skills that you need to develop.

Mark: That's a very true and relevant point, Peter. I'd also add to that, I see that as a design or a UX failure on the platform side of things. One of our key - it's actually called our TalentBox mantra and the principles that we sort of aspire to, I guess, when we're building our products and doing what we do, one of those seven points is that if it's not immediately obvious, it's not obvious enough. So we aspire to build products and platforms that are usable by people of all generations. If we're not doing that, then we're not doing a good enough job. We really try to make it something that it is inclusive for everyone. I agree with you that it's just a new challenge in the same way that you used to train and learn for interview skills. This is just another iteration or evolution of that, and I think people will become better and become more comfortable around what makes a good video interview.

Peter: In the last couple of years at all of these conferences, everyone is talking about the cloud and everything is moving to the cloud. Well, here is a concrete example of something that is facilitated by the cloud and wouldn't exist without it.

Mark: That's right. One of the reasons we think it's the right time for the space is not just the comfort with video, but just the cloud allows you to store obviously large amounts of video there that can be accessed at any point. If I was to do this four or five years ago, I would have to send you a 16-megabyte file that would clog up your inbox, which if you then wanted to send to someone else, it would clog up their inbox and it's a very clunky process.

The cloud in a lot of industries, not just HR, allows the content to be stored there which can then be accessed by anyone that you provide authorization to at any point at any time. Now, that's got a lot of benefits, operating efficiency benefits as well as the ability to collaborate on the review process, which is a key element of our platform. Video interviewing is definitely the buzzword at the moment but we're much more than that. We provide a platform that allows companies and hiring managers to collaborate on that review process remotely which just would not have been possible before the cloud.

Peter: Something else you mention in this article on TLNT, the cost per hire is relevant. There's been some articles out there that people don't really look at the cost per hire anymore. That's really not what's considered. But as you point out in your article, companies definitely do care about the cost per hire.

Mark: That's right, and it's not just bigger companies, Peter, it's also the smaller ones as well. I'm just going to give you a very basic example of why it is relevant, and when I talk about cost, I include time in there as well because time is money for someone running a small business.

If you're a small business looking to hire someone and you don't necessarily have all of the systems in place that a larger company has, you have to take the role, or someone within your company takes the role, of hiring to schedule all of the interviews one after another to meet with candidates to then provide the feedback back to other people within the company and get them to interview the candidates. Also on the candidate side that the time of going to the interviews that may or may not be successful, there's so much time in there that I wouldn't say being wasted, but could be done much more efficiently and quickly with new digital products that allows small business owners to focus more on what it is they actually are in business for.

That is something where if you can reduce that, then small businesses are able to focus on their businesses and get on with things, so to speak. For bigger companies, definitely it's not the greatest economy even still and anywhere where you can become more efficient around processes in an organization I think is something that should be embraced with open arms. The argument that cost per hire or not tracking or even being cognizant of those sort of metrics is not something that sort of really gels well in the current economy and what companies and shareholders are really after.

Peter: There are a lot of video interviewing platforms out there and a lot of companies have sprung up over the last couple of years bringing these kinds of solutions to market. What is different or unique about TalentBox?

Mark: Firstly, it's not just a video interviewing platform. Video is just one component of our digital interviewing platform. Video is great to be able to get a feel for a candidate, their ability to present themselves, to get a better understanding of who they are as a person. But there's also other parts of a candidate which I'm sure you're familiar with that you want to get an understanding of. With the TalentBox, it's not just about video. We offer companies the ability to create text based questions that allow you to assess a candidate's ability to write and structure answers to questions, as well as multi-choice questions which can test cognitive ability and those sorts of things as well.

So it's not just a video interviewing platform; it's a digital interviewing platform and we're constantly building out the range of tools that are available for companies to build great digital interviews. Video is a key part for sure and very relevant at the moment, but we're really focused on providing a greater suite of products in there for companies.

The other thing I would say is that we've really focused on the user experience of the platform and having something that is very intuitive, very accessible and very easy to use.

Peter: Back to what you were talking about earlier for smaller companies which I find really as interesting and appealing market for this product because when you get into ad agencies and architectural firms and design firms, a lot of those companies, they don't have in-house recruiters and when they hire someone it's the art director or the creative director who is tasked with doing that and it seems like this platform is really designed and built for organizations who don't have full time recruiters on staff but gives them a really cool way of assessing candidates and evaluating who the best fit is for their organization.

Mark: We've really focused on building products that are available to anyone. You don't necessarily have to have the biggest budgets to use our platform. In the case of the ad agencies and smaller businesses that you mentioned, we do provide an ability for companies to capture talent in one place in a very efficient way.

Peter: So you can focus like an ATS for them, an applicant tracking system.

Mark: Exactly. When we were having coffee before Peter, I gave you the example of ad agencies that will typically have on their website 'we're always on the lookout for great talent. If you're interested in working for us, please send us your résumé...' and there's just an email on the other side of that. They're constantly getting résumés through, it's not very organized. They can't see or hear from the candidates as well. With our platform, those smaller businesses can create interviews that they can easily hyperlink to their website and just capture people that might be interested in working for them on an ongoing basis.

Our vision is to provide these products to everyone and not limit it to big organizations exclusively.

Peter: I think a lot of people recognize the role that video interviewing can play in external recruitment. However, you see a much bigger role than that. Can you talk about some of those?

Mark: For sure. You'd be familiar Peter, obviously with the rise of the mobile workforce and the challenges that bigger companies are having to harness that in effective and efficient manner. To give you an example, if you're a global organization and you just won a project to do something and you're looking to staff that project with your best people from around the world, well how do you do that in an efficient way and in an effective way? TalentBox can play a role on the internal mobility side of things of getting your best employees or the right people for the right projects, staffed on those projects.

To give you an example, if say WPP won the account for Coca-Cola and they wanted to look around the world for the best people with the right experience to be on that, you could build an interview that's geared to why do you want to work on this thing? What makes you the right person, etc., etc., and use it on an internal side of things as well.

Other organizations that have big secondment programs for example as well, PWC I know has 170,000 employees around the world that they're moving quite a lot. If you're a partner in say Sydney, for example, and a manager in New York is looking to go over to Sydney to work for that partner, that partner doesn't know the person in New York but they could create a digital interview and say tell us what's your experience in New York, what kind of clients have you worked with, why do you want to move to Sydney? So, it's as much an internal tool as well rather than just an external recruiting tool, if that makes sense.

Peter: We've really focused from the company side on this interview. Talk to me a little bit from the candidate side, how effective is TalentBox for the candidate and how easy is it for them to use? Obviously to create videos, you've got to have a webcam to be able to do that. So, from a candidate's perspective Mark, how do they go about using your platform and can anyone go on there and start making videos?

Mark: I think firstly, the ubiquity of video cameras is it's everywhere. There's one on your laptop. There's one on my laptop. There's one on the phone. If you don't have one of those, you can very easily call up a friend or find a place to do that. I think people are comfortable with video in the use of webcams.

In terms of the candidate experience, I don't think people should shy away from these platforms because it does provide candidates with an ability to let the company know more about themselves, to express themselves, to make a clear argument as to why they should be right for the role.

I've personally had the experience where on paper I thought I was fantastic for a role. I didn't get the role, and I feel like if I could have expressed myself and presented myself, if I had the use of video then at least the company I know they've had the chance to assess me better or they maybe haven't missed something. So, I feel that you should embrace it and it should be a positive thing for candidates.

Another point I'll just make, Peter, is it's not one way video either. So, it's not just about candidates providing a video representation themselves or responding to questions via video. Out platform, for example, allows companies to record videos of themselves, expressing who they are and what their culture is which the candidates can see which we believe leads to better outcomes, because if the candidate can see who they might potentially be working for and if they like them, then that's great and they should go for the role. But then if they don't, that's not the person that I necessarily want to work for, then you don't apply for the role. So it's a two-way straight.

Peter: I want to shift gears a little bit as we're doing this interview we're just about ready to start with most of the large HR and recruiting conferences. You and I will be in San Diego in a week or so at ERE's, New Recruiting Conference and Expo and that follows up with many of the SHRM events and HR today and HR Tech. So what do you see as some of the hottest topics coming up at conferences in these events this year?

Mark: I may be a little bit biased but I definitely think video interviewing is going to be prevalent in the conversations for sure.

In terms of other big things happening, I really think companies are taking their branding much more seriously on the employment and the recruiter side of things. I think the industry has got a lot to learn from advertisers in creating unique experiences for candidates to really attract the best talent. So that's definitely one.

I think mobile recruiting is becoming more exciting and there's some good products coming to market around that.

I think also as well just the constant change, the change globally of the workforce and the key trends that we've been talking about for a while seem to be coming faster than we maybe thought and the challenges for big companies are how to put the systems and processes in place now to make sure they're ready for those demographic and global changes that are coming.

Peter: I think you're spot on with that because no one thought mobile was going to catch on as fast as it did, for one thing, especially in the recruiting and HR space and the importance now of having mobile optimized ways for candidates to apply for jobs using a smartphone. The speed of these transactions that are taking place today it's just phenomenal compared to what it was three or four years ago.

Mark: That's right, and we really have to embrace it and use it in the right context. On a higher level, companies hiring managers and recruiters that are early adopters of these new technologies, I actually include video in that as well because it hasn't yet gone mainstream. I think we'll, in the long run, do well and also attract the best candidates and be ahead of the curve. I think that's important because if you don't open yourself up to these things, you might get left behind.

Peter: Moving forward Mark, where do you see TalentBox going? What are some of your ambitions? Where do you want to be? What's sort of the vision for your company?

Mark: It's pretty simple, Peter. We want to fundamentally improve the recruitment experience for both companies and candidates through innovation and technology. That's a pretty broad statement and a pretty ambitious statement at the same time. But in the article that you mentioned that I actually quoted a Silk Road report which said that only 38% of HR systems were fully automated. We see a huge opportunity in the space as a whole to innovate and provide great products that make the experience better for everyone. We've got some big ambitions and we really do feel we can add a lot to the industry.

We started off in Australia as you know, and now here in the US, looking to be in the UK within six months as well. So we've got a long way to go and we're excited about some of the things going on in the industry and the attention, I guess, that video interviewing is really now getting, so it's exciting.

Mark Finn is the founder and CEO of TalentBox, a video-enabled digital interview platform that has over 100 clients globally. You'll find this interview in the Talent Acquisition Channel of TotalPicture Radio. That's totalpicture.com and included will be a complete transcript of our conversation today.

This is Peter Clayton. Thanks for tuning in to TotalPicture Radio.


Observations from a Talent Acquisition Leader


John Delpino is Senior Director of Executive Recruiting for the World's Largest Employer

Published on March 21 2013
John Delpino Talent Acquisition Channel Interview on TotalPicture RadioJohn Delpino

For over 20 years, John Delpino was Director of Executive Staffing at PepsiCo in Purchase, New York. Then... he moved to Bentonville, Arkansas.

"If you look at the Fortune 500, there are about 100 or 120 [senior HR] people who were trained, at some point in their career, at PepsiCo. No other company can come close, not even GE," says Hal Johnson, a managing partner for Korn/Ferry International who has recruited top HR talent for and from Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo over the years." Human Resource Executive

John Delpino is Senior Director of Executive Recruiting at Walmart. Prior to joining Walmart in 2009, John spent 20-plus years as director of Executive Staffing at PepsiCo. Welcome to a Talent Acquisition Channel podcast on TotalPicture Radio, with Peter Clayton reporting. I met John at the recent IACPR Global Conference in Philadelphia and, as a true legend in HR and recruiting, asked him to share some of his wisdom with us today.

"Some of our best recruiting is done when we literally don't have an open position... Aspire to be a chef not a short-order cook." John Delpino

John Delpino IACPR Interview. TotalPicture Radio

Reimagining, reinventing, meeting today's talent challenges. Welcome to Philadelphia and the International Association for Corporate and Professional Recruitment Spring Global Conference 2013. This is Peter Clayton reporting. TotalPicture Radio's official coverage here at the IACPR conference is brought to you in partnership with Riviera Advisors, a premier global human resources consulting firm specialized in helping organizations develop stronger internal recruiting and staffing capabilities. Visit rivieraadvisors.com for a wealth of resources focused on corporate talent acquisition issues and solutions.

John Delpino is Senior Director of Executive Recruiting at Wal-Mart. Prior to joining Wal-Mart in 2009, John spent 20+ years as Director of Executive Staffing at PepsiCo.

Welcome to a talent acquisition channel podcast on TotalPicture Radio. This is Peter Clayton reporting. I met John at the recent IACPR global conference and as a true legend in HR and recruiting, asked him to share some of his wisdom with us today. John, welcome to TotalPicture Radio.

John: Thanks. It's good to be here, Peter.

Peter: I want to quote from an article that appeared in Human Resource Executive several years ago titled Products at Pepsi. If you look at the Fortune 500 there are about 100 or 120 senior HR people who were trained at some point at their career at PepsiCo. No other company can come close; not even GE says Hal Johnson a managing partner for Korn/Ferry International who has recruited top HR talent for and from Purchase, New York based PepsiCo over the years. John, what was it about Pepsi that produced so many rock stars in HR and recruiting?

John: Peter, it really all started with a guy named Mike Feiner who was the head of HR at Pepsi when I joined them in 1988, relocating from the Frito-Lay division. Michael is a real visionary who effectively demonstrated the strategic value of HR being a key member of the executive leadership team. He set the bar for high standards for quality of hire. His many disciples became the keepers of the flame and for those of us that were around in the late 80s and early 90s, we refer to it as Camelot. You have a business standpoint where we were minting money on the business side, we were taking share from Coke, life was good.

We hired the best talent of the top ILR campuses, as well as experienced folks from people who had great programs like GE, GTE, Ingersoll Rand, and Xerox and put them pretty roughly through field and subsequently headquarters roles. It was during those finishing school assignments at headquarters where we evaluated their influencing skills and capabilities against increasingly complex and more sophisticated problems as well as senior client groups.

Peter: It sounds to me like even way back then in the 80s the C-suite recognized the real value and the strategic value that recruiting and HR could bring to the organization.

John: It's interesting that you mention that, Peter, because I helped this gentleman write the article and did most of the backup on who was where and it was funny, he was only interested in people that were in HR at that time, late 80s-early 90s, that were still in HR. He didn't care about people that went on to become a COO or a CEO or the Vice Chairman at Gateway. So he was very, very purist about his interest.

Peter: That's interesting to hear because obviously a lot of these people then did transfer into different roles within the organization.

John: Oh, yeah, yeah. Some stayed in the organization, some left but went on to be the Vice Chairman of Gateway, the CEO of KFC, the COO of Pizza Hut just to name a few. These are Fortune 500 companies.

Peter: Right. Exactly. Speaking about the article here's another quote from HR Executive:

Make no mistake; shared memories of the PepsiCo HR experience are anything but warm and fuzzy. Quite the opposite, in fact. Legend and personal accounts tell the story of an environment that was, at times, harsh if not downright brutal. "There's no lifeguard at the PepsiCo pool," was one popular expression at the time.

John from your perspective, is this an accurate assessment of what was going on then?

John: Undoubtedly Peter you're referring to the muscle building years, which were a very tough but necessary part of PepsiCo's evolution. So if we hired 10 folks, at the end of a year or two years, two or three would get promoted, and some of them would decide they didn't like the heat in the kitchen and others that didn't get promoted would leave. That was a really critical time of the growth of the organization, but as they over time built a critical base of bench strengths and the culture changed it became a very, very different place.

Peter: One of the things that's so interesting about PepsiCo is the culture of that organization and that you have a true competitor in Coke.

John: Yes.

Peter: Yeah. That makes that relationship sort of different from what exists in many corporations when they don't have that one true competitor that they're going to market against.

John: Yeah, we'd wake up every day thinking about if we could take a linear foot of space in a supermarket or poke them in the eye with advertising, that's a pretty good day. Yeah, Roger Enrico was once alleged to have said that if Coke didn't exist we'd have to create somebody to hate. But I think at the end of the day there was a mutual respect for the other guys. We wore blue, they wore red.

Peter: Right. Exactly. John, what did you learn at PepsiCo that's relevant today regarding talent acquisition that you can share with our audience?

John: Some things don't change, Peter. The importance of developing long-term relationships or in today's notion you'd call it CRM, I think having an unyielding standard on quality because like all the recruiters, we really like to live vicariously through the success of others that we helped guide into the organization. I would say what we call today the candidate experience I used to call it the courtship approach, because that has a far different connotation than a recruiting process might conjure up. But at the end of the day, whether a person did or did not succeed in getting the position, they were all consumers or customers. So ensuring the experience was as good on the backend as it was on the frontend was really critical.

Peter: Yeah, absolutely and like we heard at the IACPR conference recently that a number of, even the senior people who were part of some of these panel discussions were talking about the fact that once they got placed in a job they never heard from the recruiter again. Right?

John: It's important what we call service after the sale.

Peter: Yeah, exactly. What's the biggest change you've seen over your career in recruiting?

John: I think far and away probably going back into the late 90s was really technology. It serves as a real leveler of the playing field in large part providing many of the recruiters with much of the same access as our search partners.

Peter: In doing the research on this interview I went on your LinkedIn profile and one of your former associates at PepsiCo wrote this recommendation on your profile.

John is clearly one of the best staffing professionals in the United States. He has superb assessment skills and has a great bias for action. He has trained many HR professionals as well as line managers on the art and science of selecting talent.

Is recruiting great talent both an art and a science?

John: Peter, without a doubt and I try to instill that in over 50 recruiting managers who work for me at Pepsi and there's a quote that I'll use, it dates me a bit. It's phrase from Alvin Toffler's 1970 futurist book called Future Shock where he had a caution which was beware of high tech, low touch. I've asked people about this in a more recent audience and they said what was it email or the fax machine? No, it was ATMs. It was the advent of ATMs overtaking and replacing the friendly and ubiquitous bank tellers. Today's caution is to not let the science and technology forego the art of the deal.

To me, it's imperative to remember that there is another human being involved making critical decisions regarding their career, their family, their livelihood, which requires meaningful dialogue to understand their core needs and motivations and to engage in authentic and empathetic manner with their best interests in mind that things are not easily transmitted electronically nor discernible on a LinkedIn profile.

Peter: John, I have to ask you this question. How were you lured to Bentonville, Arkansas and Wal-Mart out of Purchase, New York?

John: That's a great story so after 23 years at Pepsi I had the opportunity to capitalize on a early retirement window, and I felt full well that I'd be working for a Manhattan based search firm. I was schlepping in and out of the city from Richfield, Connecticut on a pretty routine basis, and I was at the point where I was fielding several offers when I got the call. The call was from Fred Ley who is Senior VP of Global Talent Acquisition at Wal-Mart. Fred happened to be the same person who rehired me at Frito-Lay in 1986 and he asked me if I was relocatable and I said yeah, we're not kind of wedded to Fairfield. He said how about to Bentonville, Arkansas; and I said well I've never been.

Long story short, we made a trip down here, we're transitioned down and today after almost 4 years, I'm enjoying the pure satisfaction of globally recruiting executives to Wal-Mart and we affectionately refer to northwest Arkansas as suburban without the urban.

Peter: From what I understand, you have a pretty great museum there now.

John: Crystal Bridges is phenomenal. This past weekend we were over there because they've got a Norman Rockwell exhibit that was pretty spectacular. There was an article in Southern Living that I got a link to that the headline was Is Bentonville the New Cultural Mecca of the South? A lot of places in the Midwest and perhaps Northeast that are in decline, this place is on its way up.

Peter: I'm assuming the cultures are really quite different between PepsiCo and Wal-Mart but is the process of recruiting executives basically the same?

John: First of all I'll tell you Peter, the cultures are quite different, yes. And actually I think the process is easier at Wal-Mart. I work for Fred Ley and Fred over the last 8 years has done some pretty heavy lifting convincing an organization that was almost an exclusively promote from within organization to not solely rely on promotion from within in the executive ranks. While today we're still at probably 70% plus, it's done so in many cases with a snapshot into what the external market has to bear. We also have senior leaders quite willing to hire in advance of the need. They just have a best athlete on the bench and at the ready. So I'd argue that some of our best recruiting is done when we literally don't have an open position.

Peter: That's really interesting. So you're in a culture now that really looks at recruiters more as consultants than just order fillers?

John: Yeah, it's the old analogy of that I like to train my guys; you don't go into hiring authority with five résumés and ask him who he wants to see. You go in and tell him here's the three I'm bringing in. So you have to get that level of confidence and capability and confidence with the line managers to do such things.

Peter: John, what's changed in your ability and your approach to sourcing and recruiting top talent today?

John: I think I mentioned before Wal-Mart has a voracious appetite to know who the best and the brightest folks are out there and whether it's over the near term or the short term, it's developing those relationships of people that we want on our team and how do we induce the leadership team to be part that process, whether it's Mike Duke going out once a quarter with Fred Ley and having lunch or breakfast with various people that we just want to get to know.

Peter: I want to return for a second, you brought up the candidate experience earlier and obviously there's a lot of conversation today in HR and recruiting about that topic and Jeremy Eskenazki moderated a session at IACPR on the topic of the candidate experience as it relates specifically to the candidate experiences of executives in career transition I was surprised to hear as with all candidates it's not all that great. So how would you rate the candidate experience at the world's largest employer?

John: Actually and I say this humbly, I think it's pretty good and the reason I say that is we have in many cases an unknown geography and so we're like the Avis; we've got to try a little harder to make sure that people have an above average experience. So it's very, very hands on. I spend the day walking candidates from place to place and we get them out on area tours and those kind of things.

Having said that, there's always some room for improvement. I think where the challenges lie more readily, and this is perhaps pervasive across my colleagues, at the professional level it's that constant battle of trying to balance the high req loads that may not avail as much time to squire candidates through the process as you would like. On the executive level, the volumes are lower, the touch is higher.

Peter: What is the average time to fill an executive at Bentonville?

John: An executive, I'd say 90 to 120 days.

Peter: That's pretty fast these days from what I've heard.

John: We have a challenge that things move pretty quick around here and if you're not willing to in 60 days, all of a sudden the internal person can start looking a lot better. Our challenge is to try and get in front of that.

Peter: John, what was some of your takeaways from the recent IACPR conference?

John: I've been involved for the last 25 years at this point and Ed Walsh the former head of PepsiCo being one of the founding members of it, we've been very active over the years, and I first and foremost find that it's a terrific networking forum amongst peers. This particular year I felt the agenda was very rich and diverse. Two areas that I particularly enjoyed, not that I didn't enjoy all of them, but Soren Kaplan's talk about his book Leapfrogging, the implications for innovations. I've already turned on our innovations onto the book. I also to your point, enjoyed the Jeremy's session. He's always a great panel leader and facilitator. I think the sessions in many cases are somewhat validating when you realize you're not suffering in silence but actually dealing with comparable issues as many of your peers.

Peter: One last question for you John; what's the best advice you ever received regarding talent acquisition?

John: I'd have to say there's two. The first one is don't ever settle. Much of our jobs I referred to earlier with the 60 day window, it's to prevent the hiring manager from shooting low and making a suboptimal decision because the outcome is generally not good for any of the parties involved.

The second thing is - and I'll give full attribution of this quote from a colleague and friend Rusty Roof who's a true luminary in the talent acquisition space. The quote was "aspire to be a chef, not a short order cook." If you think about it for a second, a short order cook is in the moment. Long range planning is the length of their arm. Two eggs over easy, rye toast. A chef is creative, imaginative, innovative, proactive, always looking around the corner for new and emerging trends. The sort of things that differentiate a good recruiter from a great recruiter.

Peter: I think that's a great quote. John, thank you very much for taking time to speak with us today here on TotalPicture Radio.

John: Delighted Peter. Thanks for your time.

Peter: John Delpino is Senior Director of Executive Recruiting at Wal-Mart.

You've been listening to the official IACPR Spring Global Conference 2013 podcast series produced by TotalPicture Radio in association with Riviera Advisors. You'll find a complete transcript of this interview in the Talent Acquisition channel at totalpicture.com and a complete library of in-depth interviews featuring talent acquisition and HR leaders in the newsroom and events link on rivieraadvisors.com. Take a moment to visit Riviera Advisors and learn what makes them different. And please connect with Riviera Advisors and TotalPicture Radio on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

This is Peter Clayton, thanks for tuning in.

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