The first Glassdoor Recruit event gathered over 400 attendees in Chicago on September 19, 2017 – and over 7,000 tuned in to the livestream from countries around the world.
For in-person attendees, the atmosphere was lively, and you could feel the energy from the crowd as well as from the locale. The event was hosted right in the heart of the Windy City, and guests enjoyed an hour-long breakfast in an airy modern space with lakefront views while meeting and getting to know other peers in the recruiting, talent acquisition and HR space.
Welcome, from Glassdoor CEO, Robert Hohman!
After breakfast, Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman gave a warm welcome to everyone in Chicago and to those tuning in throughout the world. He then went over how recruiting has changed through each of four industrial revolutions, and spoke to why now, more than ever before, transparency is so critical. He covered why an informed candidate is by definition highly engaged, well-researched and has the right expectations – they have the passion to work at YOUR company and toward YOUR mission.
Hohman then went on to speak to a new Glassdoor survey(1) revealed that 76% of hiring decision makers say attracting quality candidates is their #1 challenge. The survey also showed that 3 in 4 recruiters report challenges with passive candidates – it seems that the saturation and noise with passive candidates has come to mean they tune recruiters out. The survey also shows that 9 in 10 recruiters agree an informed candidate is a quality candidate. An informed candidate – like those who do their research on Glassdoor – are 2X more likely to be hired, which is why the event was all about winning over the informed candidate.
Next up, Winning with Informed Candidates
J.T. O’Donnell, founder and CEO of Work It Daily, kicked off this session asking about each panelists specific challenges in sourcing informed candidates.
Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at Hubspot talked about how they’re growing like crazy and the challenge is keeping the great candidate experience throughout their company, but adding local nuances. She talked about how hard it is to maintain that seamless experience while giving candidates what they need, while accommodating the local market – and, of course, doing it all at scale.
She identified content as her secret weapon for speeding up the efficiency of the process. By using a lot more targeted content at every stage of the funnel, it accelerates what candidates can find about the position, allowing them to self-select into the right roles for them. Burke also talked about specific strategic tests executed by recruiters at Hubspot, one specifically where applications were accepted via Snapchat and Instagram. She also mentioned a campaign where employees can use #hubspotlife as the hashtag on Twitter to share what life is like at Hubspot. She highlighted that it’s not always perfect, but feels worth it. She said she feels that far too many people worry more about the rhetoric than reality. The key, she said, is signing the entire executive team up for seeing alerts on Glassdoor – and to really use Glassdoor as gametapes to improve.
Keith Bevans, Partner, Global Head of Consultant Recruiting, Bain & Company, spoke about growing 14% each year – and how the biggest challenge is finding enough talent. He says he is continually updating new systems while also blocking and tackling. As new recruiters come on, they get trained and learn to use advanced analytics to find different ways to screen resumes. As a professional services company, the business model at Bain & Company is different because their people are their only asset. For this reason, at Bain & Company, they assess culture every two weeks, asking how do we get better as a team? If you can point to tangible things that led to that success, they build on that for positive growth.
Marty Pisciotti, VP of Employee Careers at T-Mobile talked about how the biggest challenge for T-Mobile is their broad based specialties – it’s all about finding who they need at the right time. This year they learned that they needed to recruit differently for each department. Recruitment strategy still lives at the enterprise level, but recruiters were embedded in the teams they were hiring for and renamed talent scouts. He talks about how in the interest of looking for the best players, social recruiting played a huge role. Since social is a huge part of their employer brand – and fundamental part of their DNA. It’s all about their experience working at T-Mobile.
Steve Gonzalez, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel – Labor & Human Resources, Major League Baseball talked about how one of his biggest challenges is fighting preconceived notions about what it’s like to work for a sports league. He calls out that it’s not one-size-fits-all. Partnering with Glassdoor has worked to get more people in the door who are familiar with mission and values – and thinking about how their skillsets align with that. 88% believe that an informed candidate is a quality candidate. Gonzalez’s advice on strengthening relationships was to really work at building relationships, establishing credibility and trust. He urged people to come at every problem with a client service mindset – to think about how you make them feel. To really try to get into the headspace of – I’m trying to fill this job because I’m trying to help YOU excel at your job and grow in your career. And on the topic of employer brand criticism, he doesn’t believe that candidates are even looking for a perfect workplace. They are looking for an employer who demonstrates an ability to listen.
Next up, we heard from Oscar Munoz…
A Turnaround Toward Compassion: United CEO Oscar Munoz
How does a company improve its Glassdoor rating from 3.3 to 3.9 in less than 18 months, while weathering a major PR disaster? It’s abundantly clear when we had the privilege of watching United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz speak to Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman. The session opened with a touching video of Munoz visiting the homes Houston-based employees who were affected by Tropical Storm Harvey. The company demonstrated its commitment to its principles by sending multiple relief flights to Houston after Harvey, raising $2.9 million for disaster relief with a Crowdrise campaign, and supporting relief for victims of Hurricane Irma. Munoz, the #18 CEO on Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEOs list, made a personal donation of $1 million to relief efforts from the storms.
All these actions are a natural extension of Munoz’ commitment to being a compassionate CEO. Just a month after taking the helm at United in October 2015, Munoz suffered a heart attack. A few months later, on the day of an executive strategy meeting (and his birthday), Munoz went in for a heart transplant. On that day, the team had decided that the company would focus on its employees. “We needed to regain the trust in our employees before we could do anything else,” he told Hohman. From a Wall Street perspective, this focus on principles ahead of profits may have sounded counterintuitive, but it worked.
“It’s really simple,” said Munoz. “Listen, learn, lead,” are the secrets to his approach. “It’s easy to think you know what’s wrong and then go fix it,” he said. Using an analogy, he continued, “you don’t need to be giving people an oil change when they need new tires.” Visiting with employees at every level of the organization, saying thank you, and reading employee mail and commentary gives him the learning he needs to lead the company in a more heartfelt direction. In less than two years this approach has proven to serve employees and customers – and by extension, shareholders.
The company weathered the storm of April’s passenger removal incident by owning up to its part. “As a leader, your people cannot see you giving up on your principles and blaming someone else,” he said. Munoz’ compassionate approach is a true demonstration of how to “provide proof, not promises” as an executive and leader of more than 90,000 employees. With an “ability to make everyone feel like someone,” Munoz is a true demonstration what it means to be a transparent CEO.
Rewiring Hiring for a More Diverse and Engaged Workforce
Acknowledging that “everyone wants to leave the room” when you announce a training on diversity and inclusion, Glassdoor Editorial Director Amy Elisa Jackson opened a fruitful discussion among three diversity leaders. Each company represented had different diversity challenges.
PR and Culture Recovery at GoDaddy
Katee Van Horn, Vice President, Engagement & Inclusion at GoDaddy shared how the company is still recovering from perceptions created by its SuperBowl ads that ran 10 years ago. Acknowledging that the company had “an extreme bro culture,” GoDaddy decided that they weren’t going to recruit for diversity until they had the right culture in place. As a brand for small business owners, 50% of whom are women, GoDaddy wanted to become more female-friendly.
Once the external marketed started to match the product-focused internal culture, the company could diversify its hiring—it moved from 14% female technical hires to 39%.
Van Horn spoke to the importance of weaving unconscious bias principles into other processes like hiring, performance evaluations and promotions, instead of offering explicit diversity training. GoDaddy also focused on hiring for values fit rather than the typical culture fit criteria that can result in homogeneity. An emphasis on employee storytelling through its social channels @GoDaddyLife and the blog GoDaddy Brave helps show just how quirky and diverse GoDaddy’s culture is.
Hospitality Careers Beyond Stereotypes at Hyatt
Tyronne Stoudemire, Global Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Hyatt brought up the unique challenges of moving diversity forward in an organization that is already diverse—but perhaps not in all the right places. Hospitality workers are now more sensitive to being pigeonholed into race-based roles, such as the African-American doorman or the Latina maid.
Another unique challenge in hospitality is how to move people ahead in a company for which promotions often mean relocation. People of some backgrounds are more reluctant to relocate depending on their cultural focus on family. In addition, women in some cultures may not think to ask for a promotion or even communicate their ambitions.
An approach of “mindful inclusion” helps Hyatt employees understand the influences and biases for themselves so that they can accept and adapt to others. Internally, the company emphasizes career progression and highlights employee stories at appropriate times such Hispanic Heritage Month.
Encouraging Innovation at The Washington Post
Most people don’t think of The Washington Post as a forward-thinking technology company. Changing that perception was challenge Brenna Child, Head of Talent Management & Employer Branding had when revamping the the Post’s employer branding strategy. The newspaper and online media organization set out to authentically show how its organization was innovative and diverse. Rather than having a separate diversity page, diverse voices are naturally woven into its communications.
The company also partnered with local groups in the community like Girls Who Code in order to build the candidate pipeline. Recruiting events and community efforts also help increase employee engagement.
“Talent acquisition is now talent marketing,” said Child, encouraging recruiters to think outside their roles. The Washington Post’s talent marketing efforts include a Twitter channel @WashPostLife and a Facebook page, which tell employee stories and highlight the company’s technological innovations.
Using Data to Improve the Candidate Journey
Data has the opportunity to either prove our assumptions, or show us where our assumptions are off. Either way, a good look at some of the statistics shared by Andrew Chamberlain, Ph.D.,Chief Economist, Glassdoor at Glassdoor Recruit will shed some light on issues facing talent acquisition and human resources. Here’s a quick summary:
1. A recent academic study showed that positive reviews improve job seeker interest in applying. And not surprisingly, those who saw a negative review want 20% higher pay. In short, if your company culture is flagging, it will cost you.
2. Job interviews that are challenging–but not too challenging (a 4 on a 5 point scale) will lead to more satisfied employees later on. Adding an interview or screening component that mimics what it’s really like to do the job will not only help you select the best candidates, it will help your employees feel that they’re valued for their skills after winning out over others on a challenge.
3. To retain employees, offer a great culture, transparent leadership, and career opportunities. Employees are more likely to leave for a company with a better culture and better management. Getting your culture rightand having inspirational leaders is more important that offering big raises.
4. Employees that stagnate in a role too long are more likely to leave. The average time between roles was 10 months, so if you’re not discussing career growth at least every year, employees are more likely to go somewhere else to get ahead.