ERE Editor Vadim Liberman

Vadim LibermanEditor at TLNT and

Vadim Liberman, editor at ERE, shares some of the most insightful highlights from ERE’s recent publications as well as featured speakers from ERE & SourceCon conferences. Vadim explains what the most exciting pitches he hears have in common, and what he wants to see the recruiting space cover in more detail.

Episode Transcript


[0:00:06.1] RS: Welcome to Talk Talent to Me, a podcast featuring the most elite talent leaders on the frontline’s modern recruitment.

[0:00:12.8] FEMALE: We actually want to understand the themes of someone’s life, we want to understand how they make decisions, where are they willing to take risks and what it looks like when they fail.

[0:00:22.7] RS: No holds barred, completely off the cuff interviews with directors of recruitment, VPs of global talent, CHROs and everyone in between.

[0:00:31.1] FEMALE: Once I went through the classes and the trainings, I got the certifications through diversity and inclusion, I still felt like something was missing.

[0:00:39.7] MALE: 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.

[0:00:53.0] RS: I’m your host, Rob Stevenson and you’re about to hear the best in the biz, Talk Talent to Me.


[0:00:59.6] RS: Here with me today is the editor over at ERE, the Liberace of HR himself, Vadim Liberman. Vadim, welcome to the podcast, how the heck are you today?

[0:01:09.0] VL: I’m good Rob, good to be here today.

[0:01:11.2] RS: You are fresh off of an excursion, shall we call it, in Nashville put to the people out there and need to know about the mean, fun, honkytonk streets of Nashville Tennessee.

[0:01:21.1] VL: That Nashville is probably the best place that you can go to make amazing memories to forget for a lifetime, that good.

[0:01:30.9] RS: So how many of those did you make? Was this a lot of just a blur, were you in and out of rikshaws, on and off of stages, what was the manner of your chaos there?

[0:01:39.8] VL: You know, there were a lot of vodka shots involved so there’s a bit of haziness to my memory but from what I remember, I heard lots of cover bands doing Bon Jovi and White Snake and Steve Perry and I was just rocking out, living my best-worst life in every bar on the strip.

[0:01:58.0] RS: An 80s boy’s dream come true it sounds like.

[0:02:00.3] VL: Oh my God, the best. I mean, I was reliving my youth in the way that I never actually got to live my youth. It was great.

[0:02:07.4] RS: I love it, a second chance at a fun, youthful time out in Nashville. So I love it, I love that you got to rage a little bit. I would talk to you about Broadway and all of the multi-story honkytonks all day but I think I’m supposed to talk talent to you. That’s, I guess, what is on the side of the truck here. So, most of my listeners I should think will be familiar with ERE. I certainly am familiar with ERE being in the space for as long as I have.

I can’t tell you how many rejection emails I’ve gotten back in my blog writing days from the people at ERE where I was like, “It’s me again, Rob.” And they’re like, “It’s no again, Rob.” But anyway, I would just love to hear maybe for anyone who is not familiar, which they ought to be because you put on these conferences as well, ERE of course, SourceCon, there’s a bunch of them but for anyone who is maybe not familiar, would you mind sharing a little bit of context around the company and then we’ll get into the Vadim of it all as well?

[0:02:59.9] VL: Yeah, sure. Well, so the company overall is ERE Media and we have different brands under t hat so one of them, as you mentioned is SourceCon, which has an online publication as well as events related to SourceCon. My role though at the company is managing the ERE part, right?

So we have, an online publication for talent acquisition professionals featuring news and insights and how to articles that’s spanning the whole gamut of TA, right? But my role is also programming our big events that we have throughout the year. We have two actually, we just had one recently in Atlanta.

So working with speakers, planning the editorial content around that and it’s just really, it’s a great experience for talent acquisition professionals who attend to really connect with people, connect with ideas and like I say for me personally, I don’t want to work. I just want to talk about work and a lot of my job is exactly that, so I love it.

[0:03:54.4] RS: Well, you and I have the exact same role it sounds like because that is my job as well. How is the last conference in Atlanta?

[0:04:01.3] VL: It was really good, I wasn’t sure exactly how it would be because this was my first in person event. I was hired at ERE in 2019 at the very end. So all of the events that I’ve been involved in have been virtual up until recently.

So that was the first in person one at the Georgia aquarium in Atlanta and we have a good turnout. There was such a good vibe there, you could tell that people were really engaging with each other with the content, it was just a very engaging and dynamic experience. I thought it was great and you know, the survey responses sort of validated what I’m saying too. So there you go.

[0:04:36.7] RS: That always feels good to have some positive feedback from all the attendees, that’s why you do it after all, I’m sure. What were these speaking sessions like, were there any that really stood out to you?

[0:04:45.6] VL: There were a bunch. This is like, kind of a Sophie’s choice, like, which ones do you like the most? I truly like them all for it but for totally different reasons. I will say, one of my favorites was the closer, which was by somebody from Credit Karma, his name is Rafael Rice and what he talked about was how Credit Karma got through the pandemic, in terms of saving all of its recruiters.

They did not lay off any recruiter. What they did was, they dispersed their recruiters throughout the company based on their skillsets, et cetera, really, internal mobility, we talk about that a lot in talent and this was how it applies to recruiters. So it was really interesting hearing how they determined who went where in the company and then what was really interesting too is, who came back.

[0:05:32.0] RS: Yeah.

[0:05:32.5] VL: The recruiting. That’s always really interesting but, it was just a really important and relevant talk because as we know with all the layoffs happening and especially in tech and just the economy and generally being uncertain. That is a really relevant, important topic and that was one that really stood out, I guess.

[0:05:49.8] RS: Yeah, I have their VP of talent, Ashley Anderson on this podcast sometime ago and she shared that with me as well that rather than just furlough the team, which is what a lot of companies did, that’s just an easy guillotine to drop, right? “Oh, we’re not hiring, bye-bye talent.”

But they knew, “Look, we will hire again and when it’s time to hire again, we don’t want to always want to refer so rehire the entire talent team” right? So they find roles for these people out in the company elsewhere and so to hear some more commentary and that people can go back and check out that episode.

But the same thing that stood out to you was what stood out to me, which was that when it was time to rehire again and it was like, “Okay, rally the troops, bring the talent chickens home to roost” right? Some came back and some found that they really love their new job and there’s a couple of ways to spend that, right?

It’s like, “Oh, they were happy to leave recruitment” is one way to spin it. The other way is that, they found a job they liked more and isn’t that the whole point of the talent function? So I thought that was really encouraging, that’s like, “Okay, we found people roles that they may not have wanted to look at otherwise but that they really did enjoy.”

[0:06:50.8] VL: Yeah, you know and I’m so sick of using or reading, you know, I’m going to use it myself right now, the term, the future of work, right? But let me just say, this really does speak to that where you’re taking jobs in a company based on what your skills and what your interest are, forget about the box of a job description.

So that is definitely a way to look at it where here was this opportunity, here’s another way for me to leverage my skills. It’s not about being a recruiter, it’s not about being an engineer or whatever. It’s just about me using my skills.

[0:07:22.2] RS: Totally and in the example where people find roles they really. Through this completely different approach to finding a job, right? It does beg this question, “Okay, is the way that we select people for roles fraught?” I’m not going to say what I’m sure is in your inbox right now, the pitch, job description is dead, job posts are dead.

But they’re at least not perfect because people are finding their way to roles in completely other fashions and ways to roles that they would not have ever found if they have gone through the traditional means of finding it.

[0:07:54.2] VL: Yeah, that’s totally true and you know, a lot of this is related to or pertinent to where some of HR tech is going as well, which is to better match people with roles. And like you just said, it’s still very imperfect but I at least am happy that this is no longer some idea that’s on the fringe.

I think that it’s great that companies are focusing on this more, that like I said, not a fringe idea but I do think that it’s not really being embedded effectively, efficiently, impactfully just yet. So there’s a lot of work to do, I think tech has a big role in helping to make that happen as well.

[0:08:35.2] RS: Do you think it’s not embedded because it’s just new or because talent leaders are more used to doing it the old way? Why is it less common to see?

[0:08:44.2] VL: Yes to all of what you said. I think that any time something still feels new, there’s going to be resistance to it. So when you mention talent leaders committed to doing it the old or traditional ways, I mean, that’s just general resistance to change, you know? Everybody hates change. I don’t care what people say, I don’t care how they lie about change, everybody hates change.

But that said, I think that as there are success stories coming out as incremental, even small steps are taken to make this happen, this is how change does happen. It doesn’t happen with a big, huge, bang overnight. I think that it happens small with something like this and who knows, maybe in five years, this concept won’t just be a concept but embedded a little bit better, at least in practice.

[0:09:31.6] RS: Yeah, yeah. Change is good but I think it hurts, to your point, even when it’s the right thing to do and also maybe another reason why the internal mobility hasn’t really taken off is because you haven’t necessarily solved the problem of the open role, right? Like say, you move your recruiter to a role on your customer service team. Guess what? You have an open recruiter role.

So you filled one role but you played a whack a mole a little bit so I can understand why people would be like, “Okay, keep the people we hired, in the thing we hired them for and then stop shuffling them around” but that feels like a short-term kind of solution to someone who might move anyway.

[0:10:03.7] VL: Well, the other elephant in the room is that when you have a good employee on your team, as a manager, you don’t necessarily want to lose them.

[0:10:12.1] RS: Yeah, yeah.

[0:10:14.4] VL: So there’s the issue of having the right mindset about talent mobility to begin with. We just had an article actually on ERE about how LinkedIn has a new internal recruiting tool or features related to it, right? And that’s all great and all but is that a real solution to underlying problems in an organization related to talent hoarding and all of that, right?

[0:10:40.9] RS: I’m glad you brought up these things about the future of work and an internal mobility because it’s really one of the reasons I was excited to speak with you because you see all these pitches, every day, not just from HR tech vendors but from writers in the space and people who are trying to draw a circle around where the whole sector is going.

So I’m curious, what kind of stands out to you? When you are looking at the topics that ERE in your opinion should be covering, what are the things that really peak your attention?

[0:11:08.6] VL: Yeah. I mean, I like anything that feels different, that feels contrarian, that piggy backs off of current news. For example, all of the layoffs that are happening right now, particularly in tech. What does that mean for recruiting departments? How should they be doing their work differently, how to adjust their roles, their processes?

We had an article recently about recruiting when your company is doing layoffs, right? That was an example of a very timely, relevant, valuable piece for our audience or just for example, this was sort of a semi-trend maybe a little while ago that was being talked about but pulling offers from candidates is another example, where companies really have to weigh, “Well, is it better to pull the offer now or hire a candidate?” you don’t want to then layoff someone that you shouldn’t have hired.

So there’s really this grey tension and that’s the other thing I want to say, I love a piece that traffics in the grey where there’s tension, where you can kind of sort of see both sides of a story and then really, that helps spark further thought into how to think about the topic and what this might mean at your organization, so I love articles like that.

I love articles where there is a true investigative element to it. Honestly, we don’t see that enough on ERE. I recently or not that recently, actually, everything feels recently to me, it all a blur but I read an article about SHRM. This wasn’t for ERE but for TLNT, which is another website that we run, is our other brand that’s geared toward challenge and HR professionals.

But I wrote about the growing massive dissatisfaction with SHRM among talent professionals, and why that is and what’s been SHRM’s response, right? So I love something that really dives into an issue really deeply, not just at the surface level and unfortunately, you know, a lot of the pitches I gather, very general, they’re very generic, they’re not specific and narrow enough like, I don’t need an article talking about how to improve the entire hiring process.

You can write a book on that. What I want is an article like, “Let’s focus on one aspect of the process, what’s going on, what’s wrong, what’s the challenge?” and let’s talk about why that is and perhaps what can be done to fix that.

[0:13:31.4] RS: Covering the grey is kind of revolutionary for an editor in your position because in my opinion, it depends is almost always the answer to any sufficiently complicated problem, which is not a very clicky headline to write. You get much more clicks saying something like, “This is definitely the case,” or “The job post is dead, the resume is dead, you’ll never see another resume again in your entire life,” which is just false, right? But you know, click. So to invest something and to really experience a nuance is to get at the heart of a matter, so I commend you for doing that.

Can you think of any examples of things that came up recently where you’re like, “Okay, let’s hear both sides, here’s sort of a nuanced issue for talent professionals to investigate.”

[0:14:11.2] VL: Yeah, I feel like when it comes to something like onboarding. With onboarding, it’s sort of this step child that nobody wants to talk about. In talent management and in talent acquisition, who is accountable for onboarding? And it’s the kind of thing where publicly, publicly, people say, “Yeah, onboarding is important” and et cetera. Let’s just cut the crap though.

[0:14:39.1] RS: Privately, they’re like, “Ugh, at the onwards person, that’s not my job, that’s HR job.”

[0:14:43.8] VL: That’s HR job, right? So, there’s this line, you know, we talked about the grey, there is this line and I don’t know where that line even is. I don’t think anybody does between what is the responsibility or accountability let’s say, of talent management versus talent acquisition and that is, itself, and old school way of thinking about work too.

Here’s the box that you manage here, here’s the bullets in that box that you’re responsible for. But nobody wants to be responsible really for onboarding. So how do you elevate that? At the ERE conference, we had a poll and the poll was, what area of talent acquisition do you feel like HR tech is failing the most in? And I believe the number one answer was screening and applications.

Onboarding was not number one and as Mark Faulkner, who was a moderator on a panel there but also ERE strategy columnist pointed out, the fact that onboarding wasn’t number one, right there says that people aren’t paying enough attention to it. So when you asked me, “What topic traffic’s in the grey?” right? Onboarding is a big one and I know it’s not a sex y one but it’s an important one.

[0:15:51.1] RS: Yeah and here’s the thing, they didn’t rank onboarding because if there was a really flashy onboarding product that people could buy, now, they have to focus on onboarding. Now, they have to worry about it. And to investigate the challenge a little bit, it is sufficiently large organization, you can maybe break out talent acquisition, talent management, HR and then you can sort of be, I guess, you would pass someone off, right?

Like, at what point does candidate experience turn into onboarding, turn into like retention, which okay, maybe you have individuals responsible for all those things. Terrible experience for me as a candidate to speak to a sourcer and then a recruiter and then a hiring manage who managed my whole process and then before like pre-start date, post-offer, pre-start date, I get hand it off to someone else and then post-start date, six months online, someone else.

I was interfacing with all these different people and none of whom have the full story of my journey because it’s like, you ever go through automated customer service and you have to explain your issue to like, nine different people? That’s kind of what you’re having your candidates do if they’re handed off from department to department, right?

[0:16:53.9] VL: Yeah, and you know, related to t hat as we’re talking about onboarding. Another topic where there’s a grey area, maybe one of the biggest grey areas, quality of hire. What does that mean? There is no universal definition for that.

I think the most important definition is however your company wants to define that but keep it consistent so that you can benchmark at least but what does quality of hire mean and how do you measure it and how shouldn’t you measure it and how are those measurements even relevant?

I think that is another really great ideal example of trafficking in the grey and really picking apart this idea. I love anything. I love a great idea, I love anything that just picks apart an idea and demolishes it, rebuilds it, et cetera. So yeah, that’s another example, quality of hire for sure.

[0:17:44.8] RS: Yeah, that is a great example because there’s probably like some stock quality of hire measurement you could find right now if you Googled how to calculate quality of hire but it would not even be close to telling the story about your team, right? As an example, like you have a player like your point guard on your basketball team is not judged on their ability to make rebounds, right?

If you were like, “Oh, you didn’t make any rebounds so you’re a bad point guard” like what? No, but they’re on the same team, right? There is – so you can’t just blanket quality of hire as a metric. So I don’t have the answer to that but it’s a good example of they’re not being a clean solution and I do think recruiters need to kind of figure it out on their own. There is some best practices you can ask people in the space but it is going to be different for every company and every role, right?

[0:18:29.8] VL: Yeah. No, I totally agree with you. I don’t know that we’ll ever have a universal metric around this. I don’t even know the quality of hire itself should be a metric. Perhaps it’s the metrics that we think of that we associate with quality of hire that are the important ones and let’s maybe not even talk about quality of hire. That would be very different for people.

[0:18:48.2] RS: Yeah, if you identify all of these attributes of quality of hire, what is the need to then roll them up to a top level metric? Do you give someone a score out of a hundred? What if they were a really high performer but then they quit after three months, was that not a good hire to make because they left? So I mean, just illustrating the issue but that’s a good example too.

[0:19:06.6] VL: Yeah and ultimately, right? It is actually your goal wouldn’t necessarily be to influence quality of hire. It would be, to your point, to let’s talk about what metric is falling short. Which one of those metrics that you consider under the umbrella of quality of hire, that’s where you’re going to maybe perhaps find a problem and that’s what you would address but you can’t address quality of hire overall because it’s too top level and too broad.

[0:19:29.0] RS: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Vadim, can I ask you to beat up the recruiting contentasphere a little bit? What are the pitches that land in your inbox that make you roll your eyes or maybe if you see them posted elsewhere, what do you think is just kind of been done to death or that we shouldn’t be talking about that kind of turns you off?

[0:19:46.1] VL: Anytime that I get a pitch or just see an article elsewhere that starts with a number, I’m already turned off and what I mean by that is, “X ways to do Y for Z results.” I still get pitches that are, “Five ways to improve the candidate experience,” right? Invariably, it’s so general and generic. Don’t ghost candidates. Transparency is a big term, right?

[0:20:15.9] RS: Can I tell you the first post I got published on ERE? It was, “The Top Four Things that Engineers Hate about Recruiters.” The year was 2013, it was a long time ago.

[0:20:27.7] VL: I’m going to have to go back and look at that article and see if I hate it or love it but I was going to add a caveat that I don’t think that every article that is like that is horrible. By the way, I myself have published some articles that are starting with a number like that but if you’re going to do that, you’d better have some really different takes on the issue. They can’t be the same generic recommendations.

So what often happens particularly from vendors is that they will pitch articles where they’re “innovative” suggestions are just standard and boring and common sense or often, what they’ll say is what is important. I’m not interested, our readers, our conference attendees already know what’s important in recruiting. What they need is the information and the nuance like you mentioned, to figure out how to translate that into action.

So I’ve said for the event for the publication, I will not have any event sessions or articles on the importance of diversity hiring and I still get articles talking about diversity hiring is important. Well, yeah, of course it is. We all know that and if you don’t know that by now you never will. Fine, we don’t need another Mercer report talking about diversities, impact on the bottom line, blah-blah-blah.

We have seen all of that enough times. What people really need are examples of what are companies doing, what can be done to truly move the needle, based on actual experiential data and by the way, data is almost always missing from a lot of these pitches. I want data, I want numbers. I want numbers, how those numbers were influenced, all of that and I don’t see that enough.

I also don’t see enough even when there are numbers, maybe a vendor conducted the survey, right? Interesting but then there will be some weird findings in the survey and I’m like, “Well, how did you get that? Let me see your raw questions.” And it’s crazy how many vendors will get back to me and say, “That’s proprietary.” And I am thinking, “Well, I don’t know how you asked that question but that seems really weird and I think you screwed up your survey.”

[0:22:34.3] RS: Yeah, I remember when my algebra teacher used to tell me to show my work on my test, I would say, “That’s proprietary information. I’m not allowed to show you that.”

[0:22:41.6] VL: That’s a great answer. I mean, how old were you? Were you like in what, elementary school for that?

[0:22:46.7] RS: Oh yeah, just a wee lad but that’s the point. There is no transparency, there is no like, “What is the methodology? Why should I actually believe this? Because all you’ve given me is an outlandish blog claim, you haven’t given me data.”

[0:22:56.6] VL: Yeah and as you mentioned earlier too, it is that outlandish claim that gets the clicks, right? Of course like any good editor, I want people reading our content. I want people clicking on it but I also don’t want to put up stuff that is just outlandish for the sake of being outlandish without real substance behind it. Like prove, really truly prove what you’re saying, be able to defend your research, be able to defend your opinion with data.

[0:23:24.4] RS: Yeah, of course. I love what you said about diversity earlier that the answer to that is you assumed now like we’re not going to try and convince you that you should care about diversity hiring, right? We are going to move past that and we’re going to move to how you actually do it, which I think is great. Like let’s not spend any time convincing people anymore. We are moving past that, we’re actually getting shit done.

Are there other examples in our space where you think, “Okay, let’s stop having the argument about whether or not this is a problem and let’s just leave those people behind?” And while the rest of us move on to solve the problem?

[0:23:54.8] VL: I mean, I – in a way, I feel like the same issues that I mentioned with diversity, we still talk about candidate experience this way. We talk about candidate experience, let’s elevate candidate experience. Candidate experience is important but we all know that but the thing is the ideas, the recommendations around elevating candidate experience haven’t really changed much and I don’t know how many years.

So why are we still talking about this? You know, we still talk about ghosting and by the way, recruiters ghost candidates too, let’s be honest.

[0:24:28.4] RS: Oh yeah.

[0:24:28.9] VL: So you know, we’re talking about the same topics and I can’t help but feel like we keep talking about them because we’re not talking about them in a data driven way. Here’s the thing, the average recruiter at some random company in Iowa, Idaho, even New York, whatever, I don’t want to scapegoat any states. You know, we don’t need haters from Idaho, what I often say is there’s a difference between –

[0:24:55.2] RS: Top four reasons Vadim hates Idaho.

[0:24:57.6] VL: Top four, right? Four? I don’t know if that’s the right number.

[0:25:00.9] RS: Why stop at four?

[0:25:02.8] VL: Why stop there? No, I’m joking, joking everyone. I love Idaho, I have never been to Idaho but I love Idaho, Liberace of HR loves Idaho. But there is a difference between I often say, conference world advice and what happens in the real world. Let’s be honest.

[0:25:17.9] RS: Yeah.

[0:25:18.6] VL: Not that the conference world advice is not important and relevant but it doesn’t always translate to people’s work down in the trenches at some company that isn’t Facebook, isn’t even Walmart, right? Isn’t big name companies and we see that I think a lot when it comes to a lot of these trendy and by the way, when I say trendy I am not even putting a negative connotation to it because I think these are valid recommendations and thought leadership around this but you know, de-emphasizing for example, experience for certain roles, education, right?

We see that a lot as a trend as an idea but I don’t really feel like that trend has really percolated all the way down to a lot of these companies where people are still doing recruiting and talent practices in very traditional ways. So I think and I don’t have a magic answer or bullet for this but I would like to see more of a connection between what gets said in our articles, at our conferences to really translate that into the work of the everyday recruiter at some no name company.

Again, I don’t say no name company with any negative connotation, right? But this is the majority of what recruiting looks like and talent looks like. How are they going to adopt these ideas particularly if they don’t have budgets for crazy technologies and that costs millions and millions and millions of dollars?

[0:26:41.5] RS: Yeah and as you say, the no name company, that is where recruiting really happens because if you’re at a name company, then it is a lot easier to get your sourcing email opened, right? So the real hard work of like you have a company that maybe has an exciting product but no name recognition that is a real challenge and I think to your point, that’s where a lot of recruiters do find themselves.

What do you think is the gap between what is said on stage at a conference and then what the reality of a recruiter’s life is?

[0:27:09.5] VL: Sometimes it’s resources. A lot of the big companies have a lot of money. You mentioned sourcing, sourcing email. Sourcers to begin with cannot be found at companies with fewer employees. So that right there, we can talk about sourcers doing this and then sourcing, et cetera, who is going to do it with these companies or just improving the hiring experience, making it more efficient with this technology or that technology?

I mean, these companies are using basic technology to get stuff done, so what can they do? What can their takeaways be? So to some extent when I plan our conferences and I plan the content around that, I at least try with a good amount of the sessions to at least make what the speaker is talking about applicable to midsize companies too. I mean, most of our audience is midsized and large.

We don’t get too many super small companies but even at midsize, resources are limited so what can they do? What nuggets can they take? You don’t have to and I often say and I said this before, you don’t have to overnight recreate your whole hiring process. There are things that you should be able to do tomorrow. In fact, one of the questions I ask of speakers during Q&A time is tell me what is the most impactful yet simplest action that somebody in the audience can take tomorrow to improve recruiting at their organization?

By the way, that is almost never technology based because nothing happens overnight in technology.

[0:28:40.8] RS: Yeah, I’m stealing that question by the way, thanks for that one.

[0:28:43.3] VL: Take it.

[0:28:43.9] RS: Maybe you’ll edit this part out and people will think I found this question. No, that was a good point though, that’s not technology. Usually the answer to that question is something like really hone in on your data or really try and forge relationships with impactful people at your company or take stock at how you’re interacting with candidates. Usually it is something about yeah, funnel velocity or stats and data.

No one is going to be like what you need to do today is go out and spend two million dollars on a vendor. That is never going to be like for your aspects.

[0:29:12.3] VL: Yeah. I mean and it could really be something as simple as let’s ask candidates in a survey question A or question B, you know? Just to get that data that we may not be getting now as long as it is actionable, right? Like you know, the cliché you don’t want to ask a question that you have no intention of acting upon. So it could be as simple as that. That is something that can be easily inserted into the hiring process to improve it.

[0:29:35.8] RS: Yeah, that’s absolutely true. Well Vadim, we have spoken about the what of articles in terms of investigating nuanced. We have spoken about the ones that you hate. Let’s end on a high note, what do you think are the topics that you would love to see covered more in depth at ERE or just in general that industry is not speaking about as much that they really should be?

[0:29:58.0] VL: Yeah, I mean I think so first let me say that I want to cover it all on ERE, you know?

[0:30:05.6] RS: And I want it now, yeah.

[0:30:06.7] VL: And the full, truly, the full gamut of talent acquisition from screening to gosh, to employer branding, to diversity, right? Covered in the right ways, so that said though, I think it’s less about which topics and I think it is more about like I said before, how they are covered. I just want to see more data around topics. I want to see experiential data, quantitative data when it is not available, some kind of qualitative data.

I just really want to see ideas explored in ways that can be backed up better but I mean, if we’re going to talk about specific topics, we talked about this before, I think internal mobility is still an important topic. It is a hot topic. I know it is a hot topic in talent but as we started the conversation, it’s not truly being done in the way that it could. There is a lot of potential, that’s what I’m saying to do it better.

So let’s all learn from each other, let’s learn from different companies, how are different companies doing this? What are they doing differently? Again, through that data. I also want to see more companies be open about talking about failures and their mistakes. I will often tell speakers, “You want to connect with the audience. Don’t just talk about how you succeeded. Talk about the surprises that you discovered along your journey in whatever you’re talking about.”

What mistakes did you make? That is way, way, way more relatable I feel like but also you know, I mentioned the term of mobility and I mentioned this at the beginning too, particularly in today’s economy and predictions for the future, how should the role of the recruiter evolve? What would that look like? Which is a very broad topic so any pitch on that should still be specific enough but how are talent acquisition department is supposed to navigate all of this?

All of these uncertainty, all of these change, all of these economic pressures and just this whole downturn, what does that mean for their departments? One of the things I said at the conference, at the ERE conference was that a lot of the sessions had an internal focus kind of based on this notion, before you can invite people into your house, you got to get your house in order first.

So get your internal processes down even before things like employer branding, before attracting candidates. If your internal processes suck, then that’s a really poor foundation for all of those other external processes around connecting with candidates and bringing them in. So let us really look at how to look within our departments to really improve processes around engaging with hiring managers to begin with, right? Or just making a process more efficient.

There is so much, the bigger company gets, the more bureaucratic it gets, the more garbage gets put onto the process.

[0:32:55.6] RS: Yes.

[0:32:56.2] VL: iSIMS just released a report. The average time to fill is 41 days. Is that good news? Because it was 43 days last year according to their research anyway but 41 days, that’s like a month and a half and again, it depends on how you measure time to fill. Is it from the time a job is posted to whatever but candidates will drop out within 41 days.

[0:33:17.6] RS: I don’t have 41 days, yeah.

[0:33:19.4] VL: Yeah, so I think that there is a lot of work to be done particularly around efficiency too. People love, love, love articles and sessions on creating more efficiency like the last ERE conference we had, not the most recent one but the one before that, we had a session from a speaker, Cod Cunningham, who at the time worked at US Express trucking company, talking about how they were removing hiring managers from their hiring process completely for a large number of roles altogether, right?

That talk about trafficking in the gray, you could see how hiring managers might think, “Well no, but I want to meet the person who is going to work for me.” Well now, by the time you do that and schedule that, that candidate will be gone and so it was really interesting to hear how they were doing that from a technological perspective, from a people perspective, not to sound hokey but from a purpose perspective like what are they accomplishing? What’s happening with that? Those are the kind of ideas that really are worth exploring more.

[0:34:14.1] RS: Vadim, that was really well put and I don’t think we’re going to find a better way to end this episode. So at this point, I would just say thank you so much for being here. I’ve loved learning from you. You have such an interesting view on the industry because of who you had to interface with and this episode has been packed with awesome insight and advice. So thank you for being yourself, thank you for being here. I’ve loved chatting with you today.

[0:34:34.3] VL: No, it was great chatting with you too. I don’t know if I was my real self but I tried to be my best self, my real self sucks.

[0:34:41.3] RS: I hope I meet him someday.

[0:34:42.2] VL: No, thank you.


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