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Everybody is open to an hour of intellectual generosity anytime. If they are going to register for that with us. I will guarantee that they can have a full 90 minutes to two hours from this program. We love the conversations and sometimes you just need somebody to hear you.
Jason: Hello, and welcome to the cavnessHR Podcast. I'm your host, Jason Cavness. Our guest today is Elaine Orler. Elaine, are you ready to be great today?
Elaine: I am ready.
Jason: One of the talent acquisition industries most sought after thought leaders. Elaine has helped global organizations transform their recruiting processes with actionable strategies and technology implementations to optimize talent acquisition for HR professionals, hiring managers, job candidates and the company overall. Often quoted in leading HR and business publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Human Resource Executive, and Talent Management. Elaine is well-respected as a talent acquisition and talent management expert and takes an active role in industry events and associations. She is always tuned into the latest trends and is currently the Recruiting Trends and Talent Tech Conference chair. She continually works with people and serves as an analyst to the solution provider community to shape the way talent management and recruiting solutions are delivered. She is invested in all aspects of the market that improve recruiting performance from candidate experience, co-founder of the Talent Board, the founding organization of the Candidate Experience, to optimal candidate selection with Tele Vista.
Jason: Elaine, you have quite a busy role there, don't you?
Elaine: I do. It's much like having multiple children. I seem to have multiple jobs in my life, which keeps me young, is my best description.
Jason: Yes, I agree with that totally. Elaine, can you talk about your company a little bit. You're doing a lot for the HR community but how about your own company, how's that working, how's that going?
Elaine: Sure. Talent Function, I'm super excited we're coming up on our 10th anniversary, which, if somebody would have told me when we started this organization 10 years ago that we would be coming up on our 10th anniversary I would have thought they were crazy. The facts that the things that we've been solving for will have evolved with the new technology, it's still oftentimes the same problem that we're helping to solve for, and we're super excited though. The team that we have loves doing this work, continue to work with some amazing organizations, everything across the board.
Elaine: I don't think there is an industry or type of company we have not yet worked with in the 10 years. But I'm super excited about what's coming, super excited about the trends in technology for us, for sure. We love seeing our clients successful, so, 10 years in, had no idea we'd be here this long. But we have no end in sight, which is also encouraging.
Jason: Elaine, as you know people talk a lot about recruiter ghosting, a candidate does not hear back from the recruiter. But I want to talk about something different. Can you tell me about candidate ghosting? There's a lot of times when you're a recruiter, and you have a job, you set it for a candidate and they don't show. You call and they'll be like I took another job or just flake out on you. Can you talk a little bit of a candidate ghosting?
Elaine: Sure, I think my phrase to that is that what goes around comes around in many cases. We are in a position now where the candidate really is in the driver's seat, and they get to make the decisions. So many organizations are competing for very specific talent. I'm not going to go on a limb and say there's a full talent shortage. But there's talent in certain disciplines and areas that is a shortage and the candidates own the decisioning process. So, their opportunity to skip out or to use our old HR phrases back on ourselves when we used to post and pray the jobs out there and hope somebody would respond. Candidates are doing the same thing now with post and spray their resumes and then choosing if they do or don't want to follow up. The opportunity for them to make those decisions is strong and is difficult. I think it's especially in different types of jobs. If you are competing for talent to be in an hourly workforce or in a first time job workforce where there are 10 other employers that are all asking the same thing of the candidate. The first one to get them to show up with the whites in their eyes is the one that wins and there's a lot of missed opportunity there. There's the communication of relationship. The expectation between that engagement of decision is still right for some reinvention.
Jason: Elaine, how much do you think employer branding plays in that?
Elaine: I think employer branding sets the pace for what to expect. I think where employer branding fails is when branding far exceeds the actual experience with the employer. I think there's a balancing act that we actually have to accomplish. That is making sure that our branding is true. Not so aspirational that it sounds perfect. Yet we fall short in the experience that we provide in the recruitment process or even in the employment process. Because the employees that exists within our organization are the true representation of the brand. They're going to be the ones that any future talent is going to look to, to tell us what's true and what's not.
Jason: Elaine from your point of view, how important is it for HR people to attend the talent conferences that go around the nation?
Elaine: I am a strong advocate of conferences, having run a few, having attended a few, have spoken at many. The opportunity to learn and to network is always the reason I want to be at a conference. There is no better place to connect with your peers. But to go to a conference to just get out of the office is a big mistake. To go to a conference hoping that all the speakers are going to be perfect, that's also false. But you need to go with the mindset to build relationships. The mindset to connect with other organizations, and for me to explore what's out there. So often we are labored with the technology and the process that we have designed.
Elaine: But the conference is an opportunity to really rethink, reevaluate vision for some other things that might be coming, and get to know the newer products. Get to know what's crazy because whatever might be crazy on the market today is likely going to be mainstream by next year.
Jason: Elaine, how would you recommend someone to pick a conference to attend, because I know there's a lot of them out there.
Elaine: I tend to stay closer to the conferences that are within my domain and discipline. Then really focus on those that have a really truly diverse slate of presenters. The presentation content when you hear the same speakers at every conference, you're going to get the same content. So, I'm constantly looking for the conferences that have new speakers, resources or people or content that is different or unique. I know from the conference side and having done the coordination. It is difficult to get practitioners to present. I would encourage anybody who's in an HR role. No matter how small you think your story is, I guarantee somebody else wants to hear it. So, where you can your best way to attend a conference Is to offer to present at the same conference as well. Your ability to cover travel and cost and all those other things that tend to come up as to why we can't go to conferences. Becomes a moot point when you choose to also share your story. I'm not saying share the secrets that legally can't be shared. But the journey is always something somebody wants to listen to.
Jason: Elaine, do recruiters have some kind of sort of certification that can take, like the HR certification that is specific to a recruiting certification.
Elaine: There's a lot of opportunity right now. Recruiter even as a title Talent Acquisition professionals as a title is still being established in such a way. ATAP, if you've heard of that. The Association for Talent Acquisition Professionals is really going after credentialing in a way that I think is going to, to make this what we call our craft and our profession. All in one and really set us up for a degree program and even a way in which that we can measure and hold people accountable to the performance that they need to for those roles. Do we have a universal certification? There's a number of other programs and tools that are out there. Including product certification or specific discipline certification. But I'm looking forward to seeing how ATAP and some of the other organizations pull forward much more of a profession.
Jason: Elaine, should the small business owner or a startup founder outsource recruiting or bring in the own internal recruiter?
Elaine: Such a delicate balance. It depends on the volume of work. I think that there's some huge opportunities to partner for your recruiting especially as a small business. Hey, I am one and in our space for the 10 years and consulting. We've always relied on a strong network of relationships and more need be partners to help us identify the next talent that we need for our organization. But I see different companies go different directions. There are some great opportunities in the companies that are doing outsourced HR. The agency models that will deliver on different levels. Balance becomes how many people do you really need to recruit for? Do you already know who they are? Do you just need to convert them? Or do you need somebody that can go out and find them all the time? At some point in time, there's an ROI for both cases. It just really depends on what business direction that small companies going, if it's on straight, rocket growth. Having the resources internally to manage those can be a huge asset. If it's not quite rocket growth, but it's much more staggered in the fact that it's not a direct discipline. Then having a partner that can fill in the gaps with those disciplines are needed. Could be a stronger approach as well.
Jason: Elaine, as a recruiter, is there a difference between how you approach recruiting if you're an agency, or you're outsourced or if you work internally, or is recruiting, basically recruiting?
Elaine: Great question, and I think one of the biggest challenges with the term even recruiting is, there is as many definitions as there are people doing the work. When you think even from the evolution of moving it from personnel into recruiting, recruiting into Talent Acquisition from an internal perspective. Even the definition of recruiter right now could be debated a million different ways from a recruiter. Somebody responsible for sourcing future talent to a recruiter, somebody responsible for managing applications. I see every organization with some slightly variants on the definition. At the end of the day, I think recruiting is responsible for figuring out what is the right resource to fill the need of the business and making that connection happen. So anytime where there's connection and engagement, that recruiter is going to, that's where they're going to bridge across all the definitions.
Jason: Elaine, as you know right now the hot topic, and actually the hot topic for a while is diversity and inclusion. How important is it for small business owners and founders to focus on that early on?
Elaine: Yes, the component of diversity and inclusion, I think is absolutely critical. So important that I went and bought a startup that delivers diversity inclusion capabilities in the recruiting space. Because I think it's far too important to let go. But for every organization of every size. We need to be thinking about this from the very beginning. Not because it's a risk of getting in trouble, it's because it's an opportunity to really help our organization succeed.
Jason: Elaine, so two-part question. The first part is, as you know a lot people graduate college soon and just for people looking for a job. What advice do have for them to find their next job? Second part, for those companies hiring, what advice you have for them to find the talent they need to fill those positions? I think there's a disconnect going on right now between those two.
Elaine: There's always been a disconnect. While I think it's getting narrower. It's still leaves a lot of casualties. I will give the advice to anybody who's definitely in college, coming out of college or even somebody who's in a career transition. I'm going to give you the advice that my son chose to do himself before mom knew to give them advice. It has proven to be one of the, it's brilliant in this probably just more common sense. As he was graduating with a degree in sports management from Temple University two years ago. He set out through the program to get to know the position or role he wanted to be in in five to six years. He spent more time researching what those opportunities were not the first job is going to get but what's the job he wanted to have in five to six years. Then he started to use them. Because most anybody who's in college today you get one I believe it's a month of free LinkedIn professional or some kind of something. But he calibrated on his LinkedIn professional account and started looking for those titles and researching those people. He sent out probably 15 to 20 LinkedIn messages. Now this is the best part, and I wish I could have said I taught him this because I'm a proud parent anyway. But I would be selling books if I had been the one that taught him this. Instead of sending the Hey I want to connect with you I'm looking for a job. He sent a variable set of messages that included 'I'm in the same degree in profession wasn't even the same school I'm in the same profession. I'm down a path to look for opportunities that are gonna take me to the role that you're in. Is there anything you might tell your younger self or is there anything you might have done differently in your career path? Or is there anything you would advise on somebody who's looking forward to taking the same journey. Anytime you ask for advice, the reality is you might actually be offered a job. Anytime you ask for a job, you're going to get advice. If you say, 'Hey, I need a job', somebody's going to say, 'Hey, well, maybe you should think about calling these people are touching these parts in your resume'.
Elaine: I think that is a big miss and what we teach new grads and anybody in the employment cycle. We're so desperate to find work that we forget how to engage in a conversation. 15 LinkedIn messages, 8 LinkedIn conversations back 7 direct emails back with feedback and recommendations. Two of those led to deeper conversations. One of those led to This is the best advice I ever go', which he responded to thank you, this is exactly what I'm going to d'. I'm going to look for those entry level jobs because I want to know all of the operations before I take on leadership. That same person came back to and said, wait a minute, I have those openings. He ultimately worked with the Houston Rockets for his first year out of school, because that was his approach. He's since gone on from the Rockets to the San Diego Padres. He's going back to grad school next year. So, the opportunity is be willing to ask an open ended question, be willing to take on that approach, is my recommendation to anybody who's looking for a job. Ask for advice, you might get a job. On the flip side, on the employer side. We need to find ways to be more compassionate about candidates that don't know exactly where they fit and find ways in order to make them better understand what it is of the job that we have available and why they're not a fit. But also, being able to just listen, I think, looking for a job. Especially when you're out of work, and you need a job is one of the most stressful things we can do in life. It's right up there in the top five things of things that happen from marriage, birth, children, relocation and jobs. The more we can have empathy on the fact that, that is such a stressful moment, the better we're going to leave that candidate than the way we got them. For every employer, I think that is our social responsibility.
Jason: Elaine, moving on, can you tell about your success in the past, what you learn from the success and what we can learn from it?
Elaine: Successful for me, it's a lot of practice. I look back on the things that were successful, and I think, there are many times where I really thought things weren't going to work out so I again for me success. 10 years leading and running a consulting practice in the space just specifically around recruitment, process design and technology. That to me, I'm going to count as successful. I also count the fact that both my children graduated from college in four years and they're off of parent payroll as a huge success. So those are the two, but beyond that, I think it really has been seeing the market change if I had to, if somebody says look back on your career and say, What are you most proud of? I think one of the things I'm incredibly proud of is the fact that I got to be one of the founding partners to the Talent Board and the candidate experience research that has been published.
Jason: Elaine, in your time in Talent Acquisition, what are some positive things that have changed and some negative things that have changed?
Elaine: In this industry, I think the positive things that have changed is we've gotten better as a profession, about holding to what's really necessary for the relationship. So, in our technology and tools, we're moving into true engagement into collaboration, not just transactions. I think that, that's finally where we need to be. We're starting to see, instead of being told how to recruit, handle talent acquisition and people that have been in the industry longer. Being able to define strategy on what the business needs are and hold to that strategy. That, to me has been an exciting evolution. I think we're going to continue to see more and more that.
Jason: Elaine, next to tell about a time you failed in the past, what you learn from this failure and what we can learn?
Elaine: I don't know if we have enough time to talk about all my failures. I think for me, I think we're in the world of #MEETOO and women coming into equal rights. A lot of the things that are really predominant in our news and our market today. I've never really felt so much of that separation. But as I look back on my career especially starting in the companies that I have in each of the cases where I've started a number of things I found out, I'm a perpetual entrepreneur. But in that, I've always felt the need to always have a partner. That has been my achilles heel. I've learned very quickly, I finally have learned that it's actually okay to say that I can stand up on my own that I can stand up in front of the stage without feeling the need to be behind somebody else. My failures have been the number of times where I have assumed that I had to stand behind somebody else. Where in fact, I actually I had the capabilities, and the right to stand in front first. I still have to learn that every day.
Jason: Elaine, can you talk a little bit about how you find customers for your company? Do you have a marketing program, is it all word of mouth, organic? How do you go about doing that?
Elaine: Sure. Majority of our work has been organic and it is word of mouth relationships. Almost all of our customers are still referenceable even customers from the first round of cycle of implementations and things we did in 2009. So you see a lot of returning customers, a lot of it is referral, so and so told me to call you. We have a unique program, with our website and any one of our consultants. We will actually do what we call an hour of intellectual generosity with anybody for anything related to talent acquisition. No service agreement required no contract expected. We find that, that in and of itself, a lot of times with companies that are either shy of consultants have never used them in a large capacity. Or just don't have the budget that will take that hour and answer any questions, give them templates or tools or whatever we can to set them up for success. That tends to turn into a while it may not be that project that month. I would say three years from now something else turns up and that person remembers that generosity. They're back for another hour and there's a project usually involved at that point.
Jason: That actually segues perfectly to the next question. Will you have any kind of offers or kind of discounts or a free service center you like to provide?
Elaine: Everybody is open to the hour of intellectual generosity anytime. If they are going to register for that with us, I will guarantee that they can have a full 90 minutes to two hours and from this program, and that's not a problem for us at all. Again, we love the conversations and sometimes you just need somebody to hear you. Other times it might just be a template or tool you didn't know could be handed over. So we'd love to have all those conversations with anybody.
Jason: Elaine, can you share yours and your company’s social media links? In case people want to reach out to you.
Elaine: Absolutely. I'm the easiest. It's just Elaine Orler on everything. So E l a i n e O r l e r and you can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and anything else that comes up as a social media platform, it's always going to be Elaine Orler. then Talent Function is the same thing it's just Talent function on everything.
Jason: Elaine, we are coming to the end of our talk. Any wisdom or advice or any subject you want to talk about?
Elaine: I have two things that I tend to tell my team always, the answer is always no, if you don't ask. That's my best piece of wisdom for the year. If the number of times that we mentally go through the exercise of just assuming that something's going to be no that it is no. Because we didn't even ask. So I encourage everybody to ask, maybe sometime the answer won't be no. The second thing is, I am very much a strong proponent of ask forgiveness, not permission. We're in an industry has space or sometimes you just need to get in front of it, and take that risk. So calculated risks are awesome.
Jason: Elaine, thank you for your time today. I really appreciate I know you're a busy person doing a lot of great things. So thank you very much.
Elaine: Thank you!
Jason: To our listeners, thank you for your time as well. Remember to be great every day.