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Global Recruiting Strategies for eBay, PayPal, StubHub... and More

Exclusive Interview with Shannon Bravenec, Sr. Manager, Global Talent Acquisition Programs and Operations at eBay Inc.

 
Shannon Bravenec, Sr. Manager, Global Talent Acquisition Programs and Operations at eBay Inc.Shannon Bravenec

Over the past 9 months, eBay, Inc has hired over 8,000 new employees. Shannon Bravenec gives us a behind-the-scenes look at their recruiting process.

Shannon Bravenec is Sr. Manager, Global Talent Acquisition Programs and Operations at eBay Inc. She is a recruiting professional with global, high tech and internet industry expertise.

Founded in 1995, eBay of course, connects millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. The company owns specialized marketplaces, such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace and eBay classified sites which together have a presence of more than 1,000 cities around the world.

"We do have a global talent acquisition team. We're about 260 people globally, sitting in all parts of the world. The team is recruiters, sourcers, coordinators, all levels of support, working together to deliver talent to the business. But in addition to the people side, we do utilize different strategic tools and attraction campaigns to drive talent to eBay."

Shannon Bravenec TotalPicture Radio Interview Transcript.

SelectMinds delivers an enterprise social recruiting suite that helps corporations source talent through the online connections of their current and former employees. Delivered as SaaS, SelectMinds' TalentVine, helps companies automate and scale the benefits of enterprise social networking for recruiting and employment branding.

Welcome to a Talent Acquisition Channel special edition of TotalPicture Radio. This is Peter Clayton reporting. Joining me today is Shannon Bravenec, who's senior manager of Global Talent Acquisition programs and operations at eBay.

Founded in 1995, eBay of course, connects millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. The company owns specialized marketplaces, such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace and eBay classified sites which together have a presence of more than 1,000 cities around the world.

Shannon, thanks so much for talking with us today on TotalPicture Radio.

Shannon: Thank you for having me. I'm looking forward to speaking.

Peter: Me too. Tell us about your role at eBay. I know you've been with the company since 2007 in various positions including head of international recruitment?

Shannon: Yes. I am currently the senior manager for programs and operations for talent acquisition. That basically encompasses all of our attraction campaign, our tools, our systems, our processes and our policies for our talent acquisition group globally. I've been in this role about 18 months. Previous to this role, I did work internationally. I headed up European recruitment out in EMEA, and prior to that, I did about a year in Asia, in Singapore. So I've had a very international experience with eBay.

Peter: Yes, you certainly have and that's a great résumé and background. What's different in recruiting in Asia or EMEA from in the United States?

Shannon: Asia is very different, (1) because they're such a relationship-based culture. A lot of networking tools that we use here in the US that are very popular for recruiting had not taken off yet when I was there. So it was still meeting for coffee and lunch to interview and get to know candidates, very, very formal. They are starting to get into the technology age more and getting into social recruiting, which is great.

EMEA, same way, I think they're a little bit different from a privacy standpoint. Sharing information across the internet - they're a little bit more reserved. So that made it a little bit more challenging. But all very good experiences and they just find other ways to connect with talent.

Peter: From what I understand, Shannon, eBay has been doing a lot of hiring, meaning 8,000 people over the last 9 months. Tell us how you handle that kind of volume.

Shannon: We do have a global talent acquisition team. We're about 260 people globally, sitting in all parts of the world. The team is recruiters, sourcers, coordinators, all levels of support, working together to deliver talent to the business. But in addition to the people side, we do utilize different strategic tools and attraction campaigns to drive talent to eBay.

Peter: Do you recruit differently for the different brands, like PayPal and StubHub for instance? Or do you have a centralized recruiting function?

Shannon: From kind of a structure process, we do have a centralized function that reports into a global leader. But within that central function, our talent acquisition leaders are aligned by business unit. So we have an eBay marketplaces talent acquisition leader. We have a PayPal talent acquisition leader. So how they go out and attract talent may differ based on the talent they're trying to attract, but also just their different types of businesses.

Peter: Right. Do you have a coordinated college recruiting effort with all your brands?

Shannon: We do. Yes. That actually reports to me as well.

Peter: Great. How important are referrals to your recruiting efforts?

Shannon: They're very important, especially for our volume hiring. So we're in our call center environment and operations environment where we're hiring a few hundred people every quarter. Those hires are predominantly coming from employee referrals because the type of job that it is, we need to know where those people are. The employee referrals have really helped with that very high volume in that environment. But in general, we see employee referrals as a known commodity and it makes our jobs from a sourcing side a little bit easier. It makes the screening process a little bit faster for getting someone who's coming known talent. We don't know this yet. We don't have metrics behind it but we are suspecting that our quality of hire is better when it comes from an employee referral.

Peter: How do you engage employees across the various brands to help with referrals?

Shannon: We have a really good internet and we have various really good employee communications department who we work very closely with, as far as employee referral campaigns, promotions and newsletters, and really try to drive our employees to our internet site where they can learn more about the program, learn how to refer talent, track a referral. So a lot of it is just promotion and campaigning with our communications department.

Peter: I know one of the tools that you've been using is SelectMinds TalentVine. How long have you been using that?

Shannon: We're coming up on a year actually. As soon as we saw the demonstration of the tool, we thought, "Wow this is so innovative and easy to use from both a recruiting and employee standpoint, who's making the referrals." So we've had really good success with it.

Peter: What was your referral program like prior to using TalentVine?

Shannon: It was okay. We were probably getting about 20 to 25% of our hires from employee referral. But it was a very manual process. Just one communicating opportunities out to our employee base to solicit referral and how they had to go about it and submit résumés or referrals, it was a little broken process. Tracking the referrals and all of that was difficult. TalentVine has made it much more streamlined and easier, both for the recruiters and employees.

Peter: So your referral program has really improved?

Shannon: Absolutely. We've increased our referrals probably about 10%. Our source of hires coming from employee referrals has increased about 10%.

Peter: Wow, that's pretty amazing when you consider the number of people you hire.

Shannon: Yes, very exciting.

Peter: I understand that since you've been using TalentVine, you've been able to make 158 hires over 9 months.

Shannon: Yes.

Peter: That's great. Why do you think it's been so successful? What have you guys done to encourage employees to use this?

Shannon: When we were first launching the tool, we did a lot of demonstrations, communications, just pointing people to our site to kind of explain what TalentVine was. We did a lot of pre-work so then when they started getting me emails from TalentVine, they would know what it was. I think primarily why it's so successful, is that it makes so easy for the employee to refer people in their network. They don't have to get a résumé. They don't have to contact the person. They don't really have to do a whole lot other than a few clicks and forwarding it out to their network. This sounds like a great job for you, and they forward it out and there's not a whole lot of work on their end, other than just tapping into their network with a few clicks. I think the other thing that's been very successful is that the emails that go out to our employee base are targeted.

So if you're a software engineer sitting in San Jose, if we have software engineer positions open in San Jose, those are the ones you're going to hear about because as a software engineer in San Jose, you probably know other people like yourself. So we try to make sure that our employees are getting relevant employment opportunities that make sense for them to refer. I think the relevant referrals plus the ease of use of the tool has been why the tool has been successful for us.

Peter: Do you market particular jobs to particular people, departments or brands?

Shannon: Yes, we do. So TalentVine has the capability - we did this in two ways because they have the capability of pulling our jobs off of our job site and using an algorithm to make sure that they're targeting specific jobs to the right employees that are relevant to them. But at the same time, we have the ability to send campaigns out through the TalentVine tool. We can say that we're looking for an architect in Boston but we're willing to look at anyone around the country. We may target it to our architect population, just because we, again, know that they're probably going to know other architects. We'll target our roles to specific departments, locations, skill sets. There's all these different ways that you can do it and that makes it very easy.

Peter: That's great. It does make sense because if you've got a campaign recruiting for a call center, those are the kinds of folks that you want to target, right?

Shannon: Absolutely.

Peter: I'm curious, do you use TalentVine to recruit globally and if so, how has it worked in international markets?

Shannon: We do use it globally. It's working great. In some countries, more than others obviously, our top TalentVine performers I would say are both in Europe and Asia. Our Irish market uses it a lot and they've gotten some really good successes. Our India development center as well has gotten a lot of successes. China is just now starting to use it and making some placements. So we're seeing definite traction in the international markets.

Peter: That's great. It's great that it's being adopted across all regions. So how important are metrics to you? You had mentioned this earlier. Do you track referral activity?

Shannon: We do. So the great thing about TalentVine is when a referral's been made by an employee, that referral is tagged as coming from TalentVine or from some sort of the employee referral source. It'll come into our database with that tag so we do know how we found that person or how they came to us. We're able to track source of hire by that.

Peter: That's great because the source of hire thing is one of those mystery things. For a long time, it's been really hard to track because a lot of companies will say, "This person came right off of our website, career portal." Actually they came through Indeed or something.

Shannon: Right, exactly.

Peter: Referral through LinkedIn. I think it's being able to have those kinds of metrics must really be helpful to you.

Shannon: Absolutely.

Peter: Do you set goals around referral hires and participation percentages?

Shannon: Yes we do. So as I mentioned before TalentVine and when I first came in this role, our employee referral was running 20 to 25%. So our goal was to obviously increase that, but we've definitely set a goal for ourselves to get it to 30%, was our first kind of benchmark goal and then to see how fast can we get to that. Then we'll start raising it from there. But happy to report, actually we just got our scorecard for January. We were at 32% source of hire for employee referrals. So we are ahead of our goal. We'll just keep increasing that, hopefully.

Peter: That's fantastic. You mentioned this before and I imagine now, you're going to start tracking how referrals really rank in terms of the quality of hire.

Shannon: Exactly. Like I said, it's one thing that I think we all assume, that an employee referral is a quality referral. We do want to start matching those that our source of hire is coming from employee referrals, to look at performance ratings and tenure with the company and that sort of thing.

Peter: I've been doing a lot of interviews lately around corporate culture. So how is corporate culture at eBay and is it an important indication of the kinds of candidates that you try to track?

Shannon: Yes, absolutely. That's why employee referral is again another good source for us because you can have the technical skills, a great amount of experience, but you definitely need to fit into our culture at eBay. eBay is interesting because we're such a diverse group of companies and eBay's culture is a little bit different from PayPal, etc. So when we hire somebody into our organization, we're not only looking at them for the role but we're looking at them for their ability to adjust and align with different cultures and communities. Even within our own organization, we're pretty diverse. So it's very, very important.

Peter: One thing I'd like to ask you as sort of the last question here is, in your landscape and the people you're trying to recruit, it's highly competitive, is it not?

Shannon: It absolutely is.

Peter: Because you're there in God's country.

Shannon: In Silicon Valley, the challenge too that eBay feels - and I hear this from our recruiters every day. eBay is just - I don't think people think of us as a technology company. PayPal's online payments and people understand that that's a technology. eBay I think people still think it operates on its own and still being built out of a garage somewhere but it's powered by very complicated code and technologies that we hire very senior level technology people from all over the country and vast industries.

Peter: You need the same kind of folks that Google, Facebook and Apple is recruiting.

Shannon: Absolutely.

Peter: It's no longer just little Pez dispensers that you're trading online.

Shannon: No, no, no. We are a global e-commerce company, absolutely.

Peter: Shannon, thank you so much for taking time to speak with us today on TotalPicture Radio. It's been great to have this conversation with you.

Shannon: Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciated it.

Please visit Selectminds.com to learn more about TalentVine, or call 877-276-3978 set-up a free demo today!

This is Peter Clayton reporting. Thank you for tuning into TotalPicture Radio, the source for the latest news on innovation in talent acquisition, HR, business trends and career advancement.

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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