Ty Beasley

Chief Talent Officer Ty Beasley, RSM US LLP

Ty BeasleyChief Talent Officer Ty Beasley, RSM US LLP

Ty, at RSM US LLP, leverages his non-traditional background to drive change in talent acquisition. Focused on cultivating a thriving environment, Ty discusses his unique career trajectory, emphasizing how his diverse experiences have transformed the talent experience at the company.

Episode Transcript

Rob Stevenson 00:05
Welcome to talk down to me, a podcast featuring the most elite talent leaders on the front lines of modern recruitment.

speaker 3 00:12
We actually want to understand the themes of someone’s life. We want to understand how they make decisions where they’re willing to take risks and what it looks like when they fail.

Rob Stevenson 00:22
No holds barred completely off the cuff interviews with directors of recruitment VPs of global talent, CHRO’s and everyone in between. Once I went through the classes and the trainings and got the certifications through diversity and inclusion, I still felt like something was missing.

speaker 3 00:39
Talent acquisition. It’s a fantastic career. You are trusted by the organization. You get to work with the C suite and the security at the front desk and everybody in between and everybody knows you.

Rob Stevenson 00:52
I’m your host, Rob Stevenson. And you’re about to hear the best in the biz. talk down to me. Okay, hello again, all of you wonderful talent acquiring recruiting human resourcing darlings out there in podcast land. It’s me Rob Stevenson here again for top talent to me. Very excited about our guest today. I can’t wait for y’all to meet him. He is the chief talent officer over at RSM US LLP, the largest provider of assurance tax and consulting services to the middle market. And he’s here to chat with us today. Ty Beasley welcome to the podcast. How are you today?

Ty Beasley 01:25
I am great. Rob. I am great. How are you today?

Rob Stevenson 01:28
I’m really, really good. Thank you for asking. No one ever asks. And I’m really pleased because we are officially in happy to push this to the New Year season. And you did not do that to me. You. You stuck to your guns here. You stuck to the scheduled calendar invite which I appreciate. So thank you for being here with me as we start to wrap a bow on 2023

Ty Beasley 01:52
It is my pleasure, my friend. It’s my pleasure.

Rob Stevenson 01:55
Speaking of bow wrapping, what’s it like over there? Are you like doing reporting? Are you finalizing budget is now a hectic time for you or is now are things kind of winding down.

Ty Beasley 02:04
You know what, it’s always a good energised time of the year with respect to what we do as a profession. And we certainly have our peaks and valleys and things like that. Right. And so we have our clients that are very much so busy with calendar year in activities and things like that. And our calendar year end is not until April 30. Right. And so we’re busy right now from from just a different angle as we step into our third quarter. But But yeah, but it’s it’s it’s an energized time. But a lot of that relates to the focus we have on our clients as they head towards their year end.

Rob Stevenson 02:26
So all of the panic and anxiety is external. Is is the result of your clients not you know, the the normal ticking of Business at RSM.

Ty Beasley 02:51
That’s correct. That’s correct. Now, of course, there are some people inside the firm I might say otherwise, but everywhere.That’s right. That’s right. ..Absolutely.

Rob Stevenson 02:58
not on this podcast. You know, your calendar year doesn’t end till April, but you kind of can’t help at the end of the year, but start to look back a little bit. So how’s last year been for you?

Ty Beasley 03:08
It’s been great. Actually, the firm continues to be successful double digit growth for multiple years. Stepping into a new strategy, as we head towards, you know, was vision 100 For us, right as we stepped towards our 100 year anniversary and 2026. And then our global strategy, we call it global 2030. Right, as we start to lay out that vision and that strategy for moving forward as really a global firm that’s going to be more digital than we ever have been in the past. Right? So it’s just an exciting time at RSM good growth, great opportunities for people stepping into new areas in terms of services and things like that. So it’s just a it’s just a great time.

Rob Stevenson 03:53
Yeah, the digitisation that’s going to be a big project, but a necessary one an exciting one, because presumably, it’ll precipitate a lot of change or require a lot of change. So you are the chief talent officer. And that I think will be exciting to the listeners out there. Because we interview some CHR OHS. We interview some chief people, officers and some VPs of talent. Chief talent officer, I’m sure I’ve interviewed a chief talent officer at one point, but it’s been a long time. And so I’m just pleased to know that the title exists that there is a sea level talent specific person that’s not being lumped under HR as so often is. So I would love to learn Thai about how you conceive of your role. And then maybe we’ll we’ll Tarantino it. We’ll go back and then we’ll we’ll we’ll talk about how you got there.

Ty Beasley 04:43
Yeah, yeah, it’s no it’s interesting. I stepped into this role. It’s been just over a year now and dissemble one to be exact, and it does not align to my background in terms of the area of The business I grew up in. Now, it does align to my background in terms of a lot of the focus areas I’ve had throughout my career. Right. So but being the chief talent officer is a new thing for me in terms of the title in terms of working this closely alongside our CEO, and the executive leadership team. And it came by way of, again, how I how I grew up just in a different environment of the business. But you’re right. There’s a lot of different terms, right. There’s the chief talent officer, you have the Chief Human Resource Officer, you got Chief People Officer and in organizations, how they have this aligned up and aligned to that to their enterprise could be in different ways. At RSM. It is that role that oversees all things talent, including all of the verticals of what you might consider human resources.

Rob Stevenson 05:51
So you didn’t come through the traditional recruiting ranks? How did you wind up in this role? And and why do you think you were a good fit for it?

Ty Beasley 05:59
Yeah, so Well, well, good question. So I’d say it’s one thing for me to think I’m a good fit, and a good person for the role. It’s another thing for the CEO and firm’s leadership, right to think that I’m a good fit. And, and it just so happens that I humbly agree with them. It’s interesting. You’re right, I didn’t grow up in HR, which is why I actually refuse to be called a Chief Human Resources Officer. I think that’s an insult, actually, to the well credentialed men and women out there who actually grew up in the field of talent. With that said, my background in growing up in the business, in our case, in our consulting line of business, it gives me a unique perspective, in the role of chief talent officer. For one, I’ve been served and supported by the talent function my entire career. So so I know what the impact looks and feels like when it’s services are delivered with excellence. And I know what it looks and feels like when they’re not delivered with excellence. But equally important, I have a very diverse background in the firm, that includes strategic interactions with our talent organization, because I’ve always had a passion for the people side of the business, not now one of the roles I had was that of the North Texas market lead I live in, I live in Dallas, and I was responsible for office culture. So the talent element to the role was huge. I also held the role as consulting leader for talent, and my strategic connection to our learning and development team. And our talent management team gave me a deeper understanding of one of the critical pillars of a talent function on the client side because remember, I’m the one being served supported, impacted by what the talent function delivers. And being in a position to provide our people with skill building opportunities through traditional learning means virtual led training on the job experiences from the internal client interaction side, and its flavor to the perspectives I could bring in the chief talent Officer role. And in addition, like this, the this time last year, I was just finishing up a three year term on RSM as board of directors. So with all of that said, Rob, I’d know the business of RSM because I’ve been in many roles here at the firm. And I know where we have opportunities and where our leaders and teams face challenges as they work to serve our clients. And I was one of them. And the perspectives I bring from my numerous roles in the firm to the talent function cannot be overemphasized. And, and the fact that I’m passionate about the entire concept of talent is like the cherry on top. And with respect to my consulting background is my vision to have a talent function that is more consultative in nature. I grew up in consulting, I want my this talent function to be more consultative in nature, a business enabler versus just a support function. So my background positions me to bring this vision to life in the way that impacts the enterprise in a transformative way. Which is why as a telephoto, we’re focused on not just simply supporting the business, but enabling that success. We want to be first choice advisors to the business but through the lens of talent, right, and I strategically integrated for functions, talent, acquisition, HR learning and development, and actually, in our culture, diversity and inclusion group integrated that on the one unified Talent Team. So the team is strong and will be even stronger as we lead. We advise as we counsel as we guide, firm leaders as first choice advisors, consultants, if you will, with the focus on optimizing the talent experience.

Rob Stevenson 09:36
When you say you wanted to bring a more consultative approach, what was the previous existing version of talent, the non consultative approach that you were trying to upset I would love to beat it up and then send it the ambulance so to speak?

Ty Beasley 09:49
Yeah. Well, I gotta say, again, I’ve been served by our talent organization for many years, and they’re good like I tell them coaching is phenomenal. So even before me Stepping into the role, let me just make that clear, just phenomenal. And from the point of time where that organization has been formed, up to now, it was operating in a manner in which it needed to, in relation to what the firm needed. And that was really a support function to support the firm, as it continues to excel as it continues to expand as it continues to execute on strategy. But now we’re at a place in time where we want to get to the next level as an enterprise, we want to double in size over the next four to five years. And it’s just going to take a different level of interaction, a different interaction model from a very critical function called the talent function, because our our entire business is talent. That’s what it is. We serve clients with talent. I mean, that’s right. So so everything is right, so so to get to that next level, to actually enable the success of the enterprise to get to that next level, we had to take a look at our internal functions, including talent and say, Okay, is it the support model that’s going to get the enterprise to the next level? Or is it more of that advisory, consultative model, that’s going to do it, and the ladder is what we are executing upon. So that’s what I mean, Rob, by being more of a consultative function than Dallas supportive culture.

Rob Stevenson 11:21
It sounds similar to what I’ve heard a couple of folks in a similar position to you speak about, which is this idea of formulating talent as a business within the business. Because talent as a department is so unique, and you interface with every other department, right? in ways that no other side of the business does, like, you know, sales and marketing are like peanut butter and jelly engineering, and sales, we’ll have a little bit of, of work together. But talent has to interface with all of them. And so the really, really effective pros I’ve spoken to are viewing the rest of the business as a customer and the service they’re providing is filling their teams is that when you say you want to be more consultative is that kind of how you’re imagining it?

Ty Beasley 12:02
Yeah, it’s that and I go one step further, it’s that, but it’s also having a talent function that’s in the position of leading. So when we think about internal functions, like a talent function, we don’t typically think about it leading an enterprise, right? And so we are positioning our talent function to actually be in a position of leading so if you have a, imagine an Enterprise Initiative, or in or an enterprise strategy, instead of having a talent function, sit back and say, okay, enterprise, tell us what you want us to do. We are taking the lead, we understand vision, we understand the strategy, we understand the plan around execution. Now, where do we play to lead the organization to success, not a sit back and wait position, but a lead position? That’s all part of that consultative mindset and focus of our talent function?

Rob Stevenson 12:58
Okay. Yeah, that’s helpful. And this, this kind of fresh blood approach that you’re bringing to the role having not come to the ranks, is perhaps what enables you to do that it sounds like and that is interesting to another trend that I’ve kind of been speaking about in the show is this idea that you should step into a role. Not having done X percent of it before, right. And that’s what you should also be pitching to your candidates. Like, if someone has done the role 100%, before your new role is not an opportunity, it’s just an opportunity for them to do the exact same thing for maybe a little more pay. And so for something to be an opportunity, there needs to be something that you haven’t done before. So I’m curious what that was for you stepping into the chief talent role. You had all this other experience in the business that made you well suited. But what was the the new stuff that you needed to add to your tool belt here? Well, where are the areas you’re trying to level up to be effective in the role?

Ty Beasley 13:50
Yeah, that’s, that’s a great question. Now I can I can tell you and I look at that from two angles, and one is in relation to what the enterprise needed. Right? I can assure you what it did not need was someone else that fully understand and is baked in and has been doing for whatever how many number of years, the business of talent, and let’s say even HR and a compliance side of it, right? So so this, this, this move for the enterprise and for me, really was an alignment of vision, strategy, strategy, execution, and leadership to get to that next level. So Now granted, I think any type of role you take on there is something you’d know about it. And there’s something maybe even more so that you’re going to learn about it. Right? One of the I’ll say a lot of the learnings I’ve had it’s just really getting into the guts of a talent organization I keep in mind, I grew up on the other side. So I grew up being served by the talent organization, but not really into the guts of it, and the operations of it. All right, and so Now while I am at the leadership level, I don’t need to get completely deep into the guts of it all, there is a certain element of understanding there for you to just grasp efficiencies and making sure the function is appropriately aligned to benchmarks and an ability to have all the tools and people and effort you need to actually execute our strategy. That was a learning curve for me just getting into the guts of it. But the ultimate goal and the ultimate value I bring to the talent organization is not operating in the guts of it. It’s leadership. And that’s something I have done for many years in many positions throughout throughout my tenure at the firm.

Ty Beasley 15:41
Yeah, that difference between the managerial skill set and the icy skill set is so important. I think a lot of people overlook it when they sort of evaluate what’s going on around them in the organization like this is a cliched kind of cynical view. But it’s like my boss couldn’t do my job. Like, well, right. That’s why you’re doing your job, and they’re being the boss. But I mean, this is also it’s a fraud thing, where it’s like, Oh, if you become so good at being an individual contributor, you eventually get pulled out of it. And now your job is overseeing other individual contributors. Very different skill set, but you would have those experience leading teams leading departments, which I suppose serves you well,

Ty Beasley 16:17
yeah, it really has. And, and, again, that the vastness of my experience at the firm, and hats off to such an environment that allows you to do that, right, where I’ve had lots of opportunities to have different experiences, not just just in consulting, right, but even in other areas of the business. And that’s the type of environment you know, we want to create for everyone in the firm, where you have opportunities, you don’t have to have a stale career. And it’s just in a single line focus, that type thing where you have opportunities, really to learn new skills and step into new areas, right. And then if that’s part of your goal to be, let’s say, C suite, whatever, right, you have a background that would suggest you would be great being in a leadership role responding to the needs of an enterprise, whereby your leadership experience is the perfect match for it.

Ty Beasley 17:11
Yeah, certainly. Tie you, you strike me like you kind of want to shake things up a little bit. And you’re at 100 year old global company. And those things do not always agree. It sounds like RSM has been open to this. They’ve been receptive to your approach. Where did you want to try and make changes when you look at the way that talent has been historically sourced assessed? Were there ways you’re what I guess first, what are the ways you were trying to make changes? And I would be interested if there was any pushback or sort of feedback to that approach?

Ty Beasley 17:42
Yeah, you know what? That’s a good question. There is a an element of sameness to the accounting profession, professional services, the way things have been done, they’ve been done that way for for quite some time, right. And so but we’re in this this new age where change is like an advantage innovation, that that’s an advantage becoming more digital, that’s pushing into an advantageous situation. And someone like me growing up in consulting, who now by the way, our some, our CEO grew up in consulting as well. And having a vision and executing on a strategy to bring that vision to life. That does, in some respects, shake things up from what was normal is quite the thing. The cool thing about it is, we are in a period of time, where we have enough evidence out there that if you just sit in the same spot for too long, you will be disrupted to non existence. Right. And so a lot of the new things were bringing forth, not just as an enterprise, but equal specific to the talent organization, I don’t know 2530 years ago will be it will be tough to bring forth, because there is this in this profession, a way of doing things. And that’s just the way you do it. But now you can’t just sit idly by and just and just watch things happen. You have to continue to, to move progress to advance to innovate. And that requires you taking a look at doing things differently, and being more digital and moving cheese for the right reason. And that’s not always the easy thing to do, right. And although we have leaders in the firm that they get it, they understand it, they they embrace it, you still get to a point where you’re moving people’s cheese, and that’s difficult right now, the one thing I’ve learned is as long as you keep everybody focused on the prize, like what’s ahead and the big things about how it’s going to impact them. The fact that we’re not going to just support you as we just talked about before but we’re going to advise and counsel we’re going to enable your success right? We’re going to we’re gonna lead the way for you. It helps people embrace a lot of the change that we’re that we’re going through right now.

Rob Stevenson 19:54
What do you mean when you say moving people’s cheese?

Ty Beasley 19:56
Oh, that’s that’s just changed right. So if if I am accustomed to doing something one way, and I’ve been doing it that way for quite some time, it eventually becomes the only way to do it. And why would anybody think about doing it any any differently? And so when you create change, of course, it’s changed for the better. Maybe you’re creating more efficiencies. Or maybe you are discontinuing an obsolete process. You’re moving someone’s cheese, like you’re, you’re changing the way they do things. And that’s just not easy for a lot of people.

Ty Beasley 20:28
Yeah. Okay, that makes sense. So when you talk about supporting uplifting and helping people upskill, what sort of development opportunities are you putting in front of people? How are you kind of thinking about talent development?

Ty Beasley 20:39
You know that? That’s a good question. So Well, first of all, I gotta tell you this to answer that question, I will tell you, I got some thoughts on especially in our environment, what that really means like, like talent development, I can give you like an easy response that just says, Yeah, we align what our clients need to do skills our people need to develop, right? That’s just, that’s just too simple. So in our world, and professional services, the accounting tax consulting world, there is an early years to how we develop people. And in those early years, it’s more around there technical training, if you can wrap your head Rob, around our clients asking a question, can you do what I need you to do? What they’re asking you is, do you have the technical capabilities to do this, right. And that’s what the earliest so so we develop the technical skills, people need to do what our clients need them to do, right, an early years heavy focus. And then as they continue to grow in that, and they continue to hone their skills, I’m just gonna call that the growth years, where the technical acumen starts to shift towards advisory and knowledge and industry knowledge. And then we start to shift our development focus on those people in the in those areas. And then you get to their advanced years, where the client is now asking the question, Can you help me think through challenges? Can you can you help me see what’s on the other side? What’s, what’s down the road? Can you give me Industry Insights, right. So there’s early years as a development plan with respect to that there’s the growth years, where you start to, you start to make this shift, right, where maybe your technical skills start to wane a little bit, but your advisory skills in your industry knowledge starts to increase. And so our development plan aligns to that so it progresses in that way. So think in terms of do something, know something. So do something technical skills, and know something knowledge, business knowledge, industry knowledge, so I’ve developed a framework aligns to an increasing value proposition our people can bring as they advance in their career. So and then, Rob, Take me, for example, I grew up in the compliance and anti money laundering space and consulting. And my early years were heavily focused on the development of technical skills. And this space, your technical, like what you know that that skill is critical. And as I continued to hone my skills, I also was developing advisory skills as a complement. So in my growth years, I eventually got to a point where, in my career advancement where my advisory and industry knowledge was more sought after. So my progression included devoting time and energy, not just to my advisory skills, but to developing the technical skills of others, so they can have a similar journey. And so our learning plan development plan our development of our people, it follows that type of progression. And our strategic elements actually in talent, we got a strategic elements of talent. Two of them relate to this one is reimagining learning, where we are actually taking a step back and saying, in today’s way of work with today’s generation of Gen Z, and how they like to learn how can we reimagine learning and how we develop people and how we deliver training and those sorts of things. Right. It’s a big strategic element for us, in addition to modernizing talent management, and all that means in terms of having a specific focus on the skills people need, in relation to where they are in their career journey.

Rob Stevenson 24:13
Yeah, that last part is interesting to me, unlike the skills they need in relation to where they are, because we are sort of moving a little bit outside the standard idea of just like, the boxes, you need to check the experiences you’d have on your resume the the technical keyword you’re comfortable with, that is like the minimum that is like okay, table stakes. There’s this other sort of a amorphous piece of evaluating someone beyond the technical abilities that I’m obsessed with. It’s such a fascinating thing because it’s different in every company. And it’s also you’re, you’re trying to evaluate where someone where they could go where they could take their current abilities and like what what is the what is the unseen thing in them? Do you think about talent in these kinds of ways, like what is the what is it left when you take a weigh the technical abilities that they have to have, what is the thing that you need to hone in on to make them a success?

Ty Beasley 25:05
Yeah. So Rob, you’ve most likely heard of that term, the it factor, like some people have that it factor. And what’s interesting about people with the hit factor is that you know it when you see it, and the people that really have it, have it beyond the simple ways you typically describe someone that has, let’s say, potential, right? So the it factor folks have something you can actually feel in your interactions with them, I say they have the right of like, when you and I met, I was I was I was throwing that word at you like, they have the right oath. And I love the term because it signifies that they have something I cannot really explain. But if I tried to explain it, I would say things like this, I would say they seem hungry, not in an aggressive way more like in a in a curiosity way. They are eager to know more. They are comfortable with mistakes, because the curiosity leads them to want to know more about what went wrong. How can I do better? How can you help me write people would they have a story whether that story be of trials and tribulations of an upbringing that has an interesting twist and life lessons that that help you better understand how their uncle was derived or, or people along the way that somehow molded their unfairness. But there is usually something there. And it’s not always a skills thing. Right. So now notice, what I get you, though, Rob, are things that you eventually discover, after you hire somebody as you as you get to know them better, right? But in the identification and hiring process is that as I think about this is the curiosity that gives you that that initial indication of the person with the oath with the it factor and a curiosity, I gotta say this to curiosity is a big thing for us. So we believe in what we call the five C’s, I know some some other organization have have five C’s, and it’s different C’s, right? That are people out there caring, curious, courageous, collaborative, critical thinkers, that’s, that’s the five season or so. And these are what we call our desired behaviors, and they positively impact our culture and ultimately, the talent experience. And this is critical because we talked about the talent challenges, talent challenges real you know, you don’t always identify people with the right skills for everything a roll calls for. So you need people with of who you know that it factor who are teachable, trainable, able to be able to be developed, they can bring forth their curiosity like a sponge to, to overcome the gaps in the skills they have or may not have. And as you nurture them, as you guide them, you provide you provide mentoring and coaching, you give them opportunities to fail and learn as they go, you know, you end up with loyal, committed hardworking people that can make an impact on the organization. So it’s not just about skills, like like you said, it’s about identifying people that can learn the skills you need today, and level up to the skills you need tomorrow, and then and then be committed to their continuous learning and development. Now, granted, there are some roles where specific qualifications are actually needed. Like in our world of professional services, some roles require a CPA license, for example, right? So we have 17,000 people in firm, but not all 17,000 roles in the firm, require a CPA license, so and even the ones that do the impact on the firm, from the people that have that oath is noticeable.

Rob Stevenson 28:34
Yeah, and again, like technical proficiency is is table stakes, it is necessary to point but there is this other piece of it that is so important to getting a job and to making a good hire. And even like even in the roles where it’s like, oh, I want my I made this joke on an earlier episode. Like I don’t want my surgeon, you know, having like a stretch opportunity, like wow, this is a really new opportunity, like I want them to get every time. Here’s the thing, like, if you’re a surgeon, and you’re interviewing at a hospital, you’re you were in school for 10 years, you have your advanced degree in your medical degree in blah, blah, blah, and you’re a great surgeon, but you might not get the job. And it’s probably has nothing to do with your ability to cut someone up or not, you know, so what is the other piece even in the case of a really like, or an airline pilot, even in the case where you have a very high stakes job, and the technical proficiencies are must have truly must have, there is still something more to assess somebody on. And you I think put it beautifully when you spoke about curiosity. Curiosity feels like it is the foundation of this because if you’re curious, then you will grow like you will learn and you will get better at your job and you have to be curious and be willing to learn and try and fail and stuff. And it seems like more than just ambition more than like hunger more than being a winner. Like curiosity feels like it’s the it’s at the base of that value.

Ty Beasley 29:53
I could not have summarized that better. Rob, and I’ll tell you, you know, especially as you think about all All of the uniqueness of people, right? You also have to be cognizant of the fact that you still gotta look for more, right? There are some people who do not come off as curious. And then your mental bias could lead towards where they really don’t care. And that’s not that’s not what they intend to give off. Right. So there certainly are some other things that you need to just be kind of looking at looking for. But, but again, with respect to skills with respect to what is just that early sign of, you know, you potentially have someone that could be a solid performer you need, they need 100 things, but they only have 70 of those things. So then we’ll really have all the right skills to operate in the role. But that oh, that it factor makes up for that other 30%. That’s just not there. Right. And I think that’s the critical point. You’re right, the curiosity piece to it is the piece that drives people to say, and actually, they get to this point where they realize I don’t have all I need to do this well, but I’m curious enough to ask the right questions. And I’m courageous enough to acknowledge where I need some help and development, right. And then we as a firm, we lock on to that, and we just make sure they get all that they need to develop their skills, and especially their advisory skills as well.

Ty Beasley 31:17
More often 2024 More Earth and 2024 Yes. I don’t think we’re gonna find a better way to wrap things up. In that time. This has been really fun talking to you, you have a unique perspective and background and I really did love chatting with you about everything you’re up to over there. So, Ty, this has been great man. Thanks for being here today. Thanks

Ty Beasley 31:34
for having me, Rob. A pleasure.

Rob Stevenson 31:38
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