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Matthew Jeffery ERE Conference Chair Interview

Recruitment 3.0: Why Traditional Recruiters Will Be Replaced By "Emotional Marketers

Matthew Jeffery Head of EMEA Talent Acquisition and Global Talent Brand at AutodeskMatthew Jeffery

"If your employees are not being headhunted by a recruiter - what is wrong with your employees?" Matthew Jeffery

Welcome to a special Talent Acquisition Channel Podcast on TotalPicture Radio with Peter Clayton reporting from ERE Expo 2011 Spring in San Diego, California. Our interview with Matthew Jeffery is sponsored by Riviera Advisors.

Can a recruiter make you cry? Traditional recruiters are in danger of becoming obsolete as companies look to build emotional relationships with both employees and external communities. Recruitment 3.0 focuses on the building of communities of talent that modern recruitment marketers will need to engage and nurture. Recruitment marketers who can inspire their communities will be at a premium in the online age as social media starts to replace traditional media and traditional recruitment attraction techniques as the strategy of choice. Matthew Jeffery, voted "Recruitment Personality of the Year," is an excellent case-in-point. Two weeks ago, he was Global Director of Talent Brand, Electronic Arts  today, he's Head of EMEA Talent Acquisition and Global Talent Brand at Autodesk.


Matthew Jeffery Head of EMEA Talent Acquisition and Global Talent Brand at AutodeskMatthew Jeffery Head of EMEA Talent Acquisition and Global Talent Brand at Autodesk


Matthew Jeffrey TotalPicture Radio Transcript


Welcome to a special edition of TotalPicture Radio, from ERE Expo 2011 Spring in San Diego, California. The 11th annual ERE Conference is brought to you by Riviera Advisors, a global human resources consulting firm that employs sophisticated levels of expertise in talent acquisition, helping organizations improve, enhance, and optimize their corporate recruiting and staffing capabilities. To learn more about how your organization can benefit from Riviera Advisors real-world experience and expertise, visit rivieraaadvisors.com or call 800-635-9063. Do it today!

This is Peter Clayton reporting from the ERE Spring 2011 Expo and Conference here in San Diego, California.

I'm delighted to have with me Matthew Jeffrey, head of EMEA talent acquisition and global talent brand at Autodesk. Matthew is the Conference Chair here at ERE, and he kicked off with a really fascinating presentation entitled :Recruitment 3.0: Why Traditional Recruiters Will Be Replaced By "Emotional Marketers".

Prior to joining Autodesk, Matthew was global director of talent brand at Electronic Arts. That was not too long ago because that's the title that's here in this program!

Matthew, Thanks for joining me on Total Picture Radio.

Matthew: Two weeks ago I moved on to Autodesk side. I had a great eight years at Electronic Arts working with people like Cindy Nicola.

Peter: I know Cindy. I've interviewed her.

Matthew: Brilliant. I've seen her on the show. Brilliant to start a new challenge and some great things to try and achieve with Autodesk.

Peter: Tell us about Autodesk. What does your organization do and what were you really brought in to take care of?

Matthew: It's utilizing 2D and 3D software which is used to visualize and create things like cars, bridges, and it works in entertainment in terms of creating the special effects behind films like Avatar, Inception... all of the last major 15 Oscars for visual effects were used creating Autodesk technology - also used in video gaming. It's pretty much everything in the sort of the day in a life which needs to be designed in created buildings, etc. - use Autodesk technology.

In terms of coming in to Autodesk, the key thing there is recognizing that we need to build a credible and strong employment brand to reach out to new talent communities and attract those killer people in to take us unto the next level.

Peter: Is that a particular challenge? You're based in the UK. Is recruiting in the UK similar to what is going on here in the States?

Matthew: Pretty much, pretty similar to be honest. The key for us is that we've learned a great deal in Europe from what the US has been doing for many years, particularly in terms of doing a lot of the direct sourcing utilizing technology. But you know, in an interconnected age, being in the UK is really perfect for a global company slap on the middle air between Asia (obviously a huge growth area) and obviously the US, the powerhouse of the world economy.

Peter: Back to your keynote presentation, you started out talking about recruiting 1.0. Matthew you know, most job candidates out there, most people who don't work in HR, don't work in recruiting that's, I think, still the perception most people have of what getting hired at a company is. 1.0 as you described is a lot of post and pray, you throw a job req up onto Monster or Career Builder, and you sit back and you wait for the résumés to come in or you go hire a third party recruiter or you use your own recruiting team in-house to go out there and use basically their database to source candidates. What's wrong with that model and what do you see as the current model?

Matthew: So in terms of what's wrong with that model, is that we've got to look at the talent landscape out there. So there is whatever terms you use it - global war for talent; whether that's overused and too cheesy - whatever you want to use. We're all competing.

The amount of skilled people in the experience talent pool is pretty much contracting. Markets are converging and we're all trying to attract those key individuals into our company. So it's pretty brutal out there.

If we're reliant on the traditional methods, it's going to be tough and we're seeing if an individual is out looking for a role and being pro-active and registered on a number of agencies and a number of job boards, getting into, being into a salary and a negotiation going. One company will give them an offer then the other five will, then you're using sign on bonuses, relocation, etc. And then you're not really building that relationship and that sort of emotional connection with the candidate that's going to keep them there for a long time.

So recruitment 1.0 is a very reactive model. Post and pray, using the agencies... and when you consider that sort of talent pool for your role, 90% of the people who are best for your role are not looking at that moment in time. So if you're relying on that 10% who are actively looking and then trying to fight amongst them, that's not really a feasible model. You've got to get out there and say who are the best people for our company, what is the talent, how do we build relationships with them - and that's what recruitment 3.0 is all about.

Peter: Give us a roadmap of recruitment 3.0. Again, back to your presentation, a lot of companies think we're going to start a Facebook page and we'll just scrape all of our jobs off of our career site and put it up on Facebook. Now we're into social media.

Matthew: That's true. It's a frightening thing that a lot of companies are really beating their chest, even here at the ERE Expo, they're the social media kings. But as you know when you go to a Facebook page or a Twitter feed, if it's a list of jobs, that's boring; recruitment in that perception is fundamentally boring. What people want to know is about your company.

Now the product PR team and corporate marketing are brilliant at actually revealing about the company and the product. What they're not good at and what they don't do are who are the people behind the corporate firewall, what do they do... how do they have fun... what is the culture - all of these elements are humanizing the brand.

So if you're going to put up a Facebook page, this is what people want to know about. Who are the individuals? How do you have fun? What are the silly things that go on in your office? That reveals the transparency. Then in that, you've got to actually communicate in real time and actually be transparent, and that means a two way conversation.

Peter: The other thing I find quite humorous about this whole thing is all of these companies now have Facebook pages, they have Twitter, somebody tweeting for them, but in the meantime, they're blocking their employees from going to Facebook, going to LinkedIn, going to Twitter from their corporate firewall.

Matthew: And that's pretty scary. What I would push back on those companies is about trust. If your individuals are working hard and they've got specific deliverables and they're delivering, why don't you trust them to actually have that time and they want to go into Facebook and say something.

Peter: Because they're going to do it anyway. They've got their smart phone with them; they'll just go in the bathroom and go on Facebook.

Matthew: It's happening. You know that's the thing and the companies have to realize that it's great. These are brand ambassadors. If they're talking they're having a great day at work, brilliant, let them go out there onto the Facebook pages and say it.

Peter: One of the comments you made that I found really interesting is, if your employees aren't being headhunted, what's wrong with your employees?

Matthew: Exactly. Again, CEOs will also say let's stop our employees from being headhunted; how can we block them off the phone? Let's see if we can block them off on the email addresses and all this sort of thing. But at the end of the day, if you have great talent and they are happy, and they are well remunerated, they've got good training and development prospects, they can see that they can get promoted if they perform well, they like the culture, they're happy, they're staying in your company. If not, they're going to be headhunted. So companies have to realize and think to themselves, wow, we are being headhunted from... that shows the quality of our staff. We're bang on the money when we're recruiting.

Peter: Another comment you made that I find kind of frightening is the average job now is about two years, right?

Matthew: Yup. There's not a lot of loyalty. Again it's because that experience talent pool is shrinking, we're all competing and those guys know that they can get a bigger salary or other elements if they go elsewhere. So less than two years in that role and a company has to make sure and think how are we retaining these people, how are we going to keep on these people and make sure that they don't leave; and it's a tough thing to do.

Peter: How do you approach university recruitment?

Matthew: The key thing with university recruitment is again, you have to select and partner with the key universities which work for your company. By that, it's a matter of actually going in there and working with the professors on academic course content, having keynote speakers going in there, and getting to know key individuals and students within the universities.

In an ideal world, we could cover all that the universities across the world - we can't. So it's better to select those universities which are best for your company, go deep in them, and then again you can get to identify the key talent and build those relationships with professors and talent.

Peter: One of the things I find really fascinating is that there are a lot of large organizations who still somehow feel that they can control the message that everything goes through their corporate communications and public relations department and they somehow have missed the Twitter boat, the Glassdoor.com boat, the Vault boat. As you said earlier, what's going on now is transparency and authenticity, right? Those are the two words I think that are in 2011 I'm hearing the most at these kinds of conferences. And of course, Gen Y'ers, that's what they're looking for. They want to work with an authentic company that's transparent, that puts their values out there and really lives those values. It's not just - as Julie Fletcher said in her presentation - it's just not something that's posted up on the walls somewhere.

Matthew: Again it's interesting, because if you look at the key function of corporate marketing in PR, it is to control a message about the company. Not to engage in any discussions, not to engage into debate, how do we control that message and get it out there, etc. We know that that doesn't work in today's interconnected world. You can leap on any Google site, etc. and search working at your company or the corporate brand; people are talking about this day and night. If you're a great company, if you're a bad company, they'll be talking about it. So why not have it on your official channels and be able to engage in conversation.

If you've got those skeletons in the closet, be authentic as you said, be real. Say "okay, we're learning from how we've done things in the past. This is how we're going to move forward." That population is going to respect that. If you go out and say we're the best thing since slice bread and you know that all the blogs are actually being very critical, that's not authentic and you're going to get shot down, you're going to lose credibility, and your candidates are going to be using Google, they're going to the blogs, and they're going to see that mismatch and they're going to think, "Wow, that is a disconnected company. I don't want to work there."

If there are those skeletons and candidates see wow, this company is being real. I like this. They're open, they're transparent, and they're honest, I respect that and they're trying to actually improve something. As individuals we all make mistakes, but it's about how we go about moving forward from there and being authentic.

Peter: To your point in your presentation about if you're going to have a Facebook fan page, if you're going to be on Twitter, you can't go in there and edit things. If somebody posts something negative about your organization - as you well know a lot of companies just go in delete those. Well, guess what?

Matthew: Yup. If you delete that, they're going to be said elsewhere. But the interesting thing again, is that you've got to trust in your community. If you're doing the right things, proving a good direction, and if someone puts something negative up on your Facebook page, you don't have to have corporate marketing or HR go in and delete it; you can actually watch the community respond on your behalf. There is nothing more that makes a company proud is to sit there and think, wow, okay there's a negative comment, the community are defending us. They're saying what we're trying to do. They get it. And that's a great, great proposition to have when you can sit back and leave your community to get out there and promote what you're doing.

Peter: It's all about opening up a conversation, right? If you're trying to create a talent pipeline, what better way than using social media to be able to do that where you have these very authentic conversations, very open, very public conversations going on with people, and I think they really respect that. Then there is an opportunity to reach out to them about a job opportunity.

Matthew: Yup, that's true. I think the key thing about all of this is how do you humanize your brand, humanize the proposition. Humanizing it means revealing what's to know and what's going on. But then you start to build that emotional attachment and I sort of rather, sort of glibly in a way proposed yesterday that the best recruiter in the world at the moment is Simon Cowell.

But again when you look at those shows like American Idol and the X-Factor, what is it all about? If it was a pure competition of people, just singing into the mic and walking array, people would get bored with that pretty quick. But they know is that they need to build that story around an individual. Even the singers who were not as good, you know there are things that could have happened; they could have lost a relative, they may have had bad breaks in their life, they may not be able to afford to pay for their daughter and son's education... then suddenly, we're starting to get hooked in. We're feeling emotionally. We feel like we know them. We're going to pick up the phone and actually spend money to vote for them and we're going through. Recruiters can learn a lot from that; how do you build up that emotional connection?

Peter: You have to tell stories, right?

Matthew: Stories is what it's all about. But companies are not willing to often sort to go there and tell a story and reveal what's happening. You get it. I get it. We're all humans and we enjoy that good great conversation down the pub, one-to-one, etc., having fun. How do you use the web to have that sort of degree of conversations that you're transferring the pub conversation into a workplace and revealing a great humanized consistent transparent brand.

Peter: How does Autodesk use social media to reach out to these very skilled passive candidates that you're trying to attract to your organization?

Matthew: The key thing is that, one of the great things at working at Electronic Arts was actually helping them build up their whole social media proposition from a recruiting standpoint; so building up the Facebook community to over 150,000 within 12 months was sort of a great win.

Autodesk are at the position at the moment there, not as far ahead in terms of social media. So that was one of the key reasons why the head of talent acquisition there, Amy McKee, brought me on a week ago. So the key thing for me is doing exactly what I've done previously in the past, and what you're talking about is taking what Autodesk have got, humanizing it, reaching out and building those communities.

Watch this space and watch what we're going to do in the next few months.

Peter: What has been the buzz here at ERE? What are you going to take back to the UK with you?

Matthew: What I'm taking back is recruiters are now realizing that they are key to the success of a company. Previously there was that sort of perception that recruiting was just a lowly profession; there wasn't a career structure or that it was just a sub-function of HR. Now you can really see that we're actually leading the way in many ways how we use social media, how we build up relationships. We are becoming sort of de facto sales and marketing PR people. These are new skill sets for recruiters, etc. How we're using technology, how we're actually mapping companies and sourcing; we're using a lot of complicated things. Career structures are well in place now. It's a great buzz to feel people thinking, wow, those FTSE 100 and those Nasdaq companies, etc., are asking the questions now, how can you fill those top positions? Who are going to do that? It's the recruiters can make or break organizations. That's the buzz around the whole now. We're in great times in recruitment, and we're actually surging forward and making a difference.

Peter: Matthew, thank you so much for taking time to speak with me today on TotalPicture Radio.

Matthew: Great, thank you Peter. Good stuff.

We've been speaking with Matthew Jeffrey, head of EMEA talent acquisition and global talent brand at Autodesk. You can find this podcast in the Inside Recruiting Channel of TotalPicture Radio, that's totalpicture.com.

TotalPicture Radio is interested in hearing from you, our listeners. Please share your thoughts and opinions on our podcast today. Visit totalpicture.com to add your voice to this discussion. And be sure to bookmark rivieraadvisors.com/podcasts for a growing library of thought-provoking in-depth interviews focused on the emerging issues surrounding talent acquisition -- confronting HR leaders today. And remember, on our websites, you find the complete transcripts from these informative interviews. To learn more about Riviera Advisors real world experience in leading and managing corporate internal recruiting and staffing functions, please call toll free 800-635-9063 or visit rivieraadvisors.com.

Riviera Advisors is a member of the Asher Talent Alliance, a global alliance of talent acquisition providers working together to benefit the unique and individual needs of their clients. To learn more about Asher, visit ashertalent.com.

This is Peter Clayton. Thank you for tuning in to TotalPicture Radio, the voice of career and leadership acceleration.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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