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Global Talent Leader Chloé Rada

We are joined by Chloé Rada, a Global Talent Acquisition Operations and Talent Attraction Leader.  Our guest is passionate about data, and today, she shares what kind of data you need for hiring, who can help you access that data, and what her process of creating goals around that data entails.

Episode Transcript

Rob Stevenson 0:05
Welcome to top talent to me, a podcast featuring the most elite talent leaders on the front lines of modern recruitment. 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. No holds barred completely off the cuff interviews with directors of recruitment to VPs of global talent CHR OHS and everyone in between once I went through the classes and the trainings and got the certifications through diversity inclusion, I still felt like something was missing. 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. I’m your host, Rob Stevenson. And you’re about to hear the best in the biz. talk down to me.

Rob Stevenson 0:59
The beat goes on from the expo floor of TA week and I am joined by Chloe Rita. She is a senior operations ta leader with a whole bevy of titles across companies that you will know she’s here in San Diego speaking, schmoozing, networking, doing her thing, clearly, welcome to the podcast. How the heck are you today?

Chloe Rada 1:14
Great. How are you? I’m trying to stay classy here in San Diego. So far, so good, but it’s early.

Rob Stevenson 1:19
So we’ll see if we can maintain this level of class the sport coats might come off. We’ll see.

Chloe Rada 1:23
All right, yes.

Rob Stevenson 1:24
Let’s see what’s going on. What are you thinking about right now what’s keeping you up at night from a tie?

Chloe Rada 1:28
First of all, I’m super excited to be back here in person. We haven’t had this conference in real life here in about two years. So it’s great to see everybody new people like yourselves, and kind of talk about what’s changed and what’s different in the TA space. Right? We are now post pandemic but we’re still dealing with and reeling with a lot of the after effects of that and hiring and TA. And obviously, there’s a lot that’s been happening in terms of like layoffs and structural changes, and companies buying and selling. And I think we’re in a really unique space right now. So that’s kind of what’s on my mind. And the things I’m thinking about is my next career move to and where I’m going to go. So there’s a whole host of things. That’s why I love being here and talking to leaders, and just kind of shooting the breeze too.

Rob Stevenson 2:08
What is next for you. How are you structuring your current career?

Chloe Rada 2:11
Yeah, so I grew up as a marketing and advertising professional, a lot of people don’t know that I actually was literally born into this industry, working for my family business of recruitment advertising, my dad had a company for 35 years. And that’s really where I cut my teeth and learned all about customer service and what it means to deliver really good hiring experience and how to find and attract talent, like we were doing that before, even including brandy was even a term right? That back in the day when you were running ads in the newspaper, literally. So wow, looking back, like, wow, Have things changed. You’re meeting now the candidates are so sophisticated in terms of what they want, and how they find out about the company culture. And really, I’m still so passionate about that. But I’ve actually more shifted my career now more on the operation side, really like kind of the inner workings of the hiring process of how do you make it more candidate centric? How do you meet the candidate where they’re at, for example? And how do you like release the friction between hiring managers and make it easy for recruiters in telling the story about the company and finding that person? That’s a really good cultural fit?

Rob Stevenson 3:13
Is that how you kind of view the responsibility of a TA leader removing friction, allowing people to kind of ultimately do their jobs better?

Chloe Rada 3:20
Yeah, absolutely. So I’m all about the Kaizen approach that Japanese philosophy about continuous improvement in your working practices. And that’s really what I feel like my role is now as a as a leader is coming in and making things easier not just for the candidate, but also for the recruiters for the hiring partners for the organization, in terms of what that good candidate experience looks like, but also just how to make it easier. And even just basic interviewing, like teaching and coaching people how to interview for cultural fit.

Rob Stevenson 3:50
Yeah, I do think you can’t assume anyone is like really, really good at that. One thing is particularly interviewing with cultural fit, how are you coaching people? Or how do you go about coaching people to be better at that interviewing part?

Chloe Rada 4:02
Well, it’s actually funny, I was working on a project just recently, before I left Nielsen, about creating an interview guides, right. So traditionally, that hasn’t been a role that like a recruitment marketer or TA leader has been responsible for. But it’s so important because a lot of people fundamentally, they’ll just go right into the questions. And they’re like reading from a script. And there’s no human connection there. But you’re making a choice to join a company, which is very personal, right? So you have to get a little personal but you also need to be able to be compliant to write with your hiring process, make sure it’s equitable and fair to ask me the right type of questions. So there are questions that you know, and I developed some questions that tie back to the company values and and I incorporated that into an hiring like a best practice playbook guide. And so I love doing that type of stuff. I guess that’s like the inner workings behind that’s the operations mind. But also you can flex and be a little bit creative, too, right? Like, why is this position open? Talk a little bit about yourself first before you go right into the question about like why do you want to work for this company? Right? It’s a two way interview. Right?

Rob Stevenson 5:02
You have to match that emotional bid, right? You can’t just extract from people, because that’s no way to build rapport. What do you offer about yourself to make sure that you’re building rapport that way?

Chloe Rada 5:11
Yeah. I mean, I like to kind of peel back the layers of the onions and show people hey, this is my approach, like this is how I approach a problem solution. This is where I look for obstacles and how I overcome. So really, that’s kind of what I offer, in as well as you know, practical examples are and tactics, right? The tactics you can learn. But it’s like that approach. It’s like that methodology that you practice time and time again, and I bring that same philosophy for every company that I’m at, right? That continuous working process excellence, it’s kind of like that design behind it. And I apply that to recruitment marketing, I apply that to even like managing the background process, right, there’s certain ways to make it smoother, right, and also more cost effective for an organization. So obviously, like cutting costs and optimization of costs, that’s also really important as a role as a as a TA later to,

Rob Stevenson 5:56
When you begin and a new organization as a TA leader. How do you start? Do you just like go into listening to? Or are you looking for a quick win that you can execute on? How do you kind of make your your presence felt when you begin the role?

Chloe Rada 6:08
Yeah, I think one of my mentors, and she’s a former boss, and she has been a boss now twice, it is going for the quick win. But it also is listening and learning. Right. So I think people need to be heard. And I think a lot of the friction between the hiring managers and the hiring, the folks in the field, they don’t feel like they’re being heard, and they don’t feel like we understand what they’re looking for. So it’s actually been a really good interviewer and listener. Right. So you’re asking, you’re interviewing your hiring partner? What is it that you’re looking for? Tell me exactly, not just the words on the piece of paper on the job description. But what is it that you need? What is missing in your function in your team today that you really need to to find right? And maybe they don’t know? So it’s those probing questions, right? That you have to ask. So I think it is going on a listening tour and meeting as many people as possible having a cheerleader, somebody that’s going to support and elevate you to get you the exposure that you need to understand the business, understand the challenges, and then understand those unique personal attributes of your stakeholders.

Rob Stevenson 7:04
So you’re sort of taking stock of the reality of the organization, right? It’s not always the same as it wasn’t the interview process. And you’re also trying to figure out how can I help these individuals whose performance is going to affect my ability to do my job? Is that a fair characterization?

Chloe Rada 7:18
Absolutely. So they always want somebody hired like yesterday, right? So speed, but you also want the quality of the candidates to come through as well. So how do you do that? How do you optimize the technology? How do you empower your your recruiters to be better talent advisors, as well. So I think that kind of all kind of wraps up and the responsibility of the tea organization?

Rob Stevenson 7:38
Have you found yourself in a situation where you interviewed and took a role? And then the reality of the company was a lot different? Maybe they said they were open to change, or that they were heavily invested in talent? And then they weren’t?

Chloe Rada 7:52
Yeah, definitely. And I think a lot of us have found that sometimes it’s just not the best fit. And that’s okay. And you learn from that, right? You learned from those experiences. And sometimes, you’re just a little bit too much, right? Or your, your way of approach. right? And you know, but that’s is like x kind of a little bit of a compliment, right? So like, I always try to strive and improve and be my best self and bring my best self at wherever I go. And sometimes it just doesn’t work, right. Some organizations are not necessarily resistant to change, but they don’t know how to see change through, right. But I didn’t go to school to be a change manager, right. But I’ve learned the the philosophy and the practices behind change management. And a lot of it is like removing those obstacles, right? What prevents you from getting to that solution? And so it really it is that inner workings of like, what’s going to make things different and better. And sometimes, you know, those things just don’t match up at an organization.

Rob Stevenson 8:45
Can you elicit some of that stuff? Once you’ve had the experience of going through it? Can you start to figure that out from the interview process when you’re still a candidate?

Chloe Rada 8:52
Yeah, you know what, that’s actually something that I’m dealing with right now. I’m trying to think about how can I, you know, in a very classy way, ask those questions about how do you look at change? Or how do you embrace a leader who wants to come in and be innovative, right, like, I’ve never been one to draw on the lines, right? So I’m a creative person, by nature, like, my ideas come to me through experiences like this at this conference, or just experience the things that I’m passionate about music, cooking, exercising my dog pets, things like that, right? And so that is all part of me and my persona, right? And I need to be able to play on to that right when I come into an organization. So and that’s do a lot of what I share too, when you’re getting to know somebody during the interview process. So I like to ask questions about what is a specific goal or what is it that you want? What is your ideal future state to be right? And this position, this role that you’re trying to fill? What is their responsibility as you see it, right? So I kind of like asked like, what are they trying to solve for? Not necessarily like selling myself, but tell me really what it is that you need done in this organization? And then you kind of listen and you read between the lines there to see what they have to say.

Rob Stevenson 10:03
Can you maybe give an example like when you want to read between the lines? What are the people say versus what they mean?

Chloe Rada 10:08
Oh, gosh, oh, we want an innovative leader that’s going to come in and elevate our brand presence and brand awareness.

Rob Stevenson 10:14
Right? What does that mean?

Chloe Rada 10:16
Right? Exactly. So it’s like, for as like a brand new professional at the company’s breaking into a new and emerging market, there’s not a lot of brand awareness of the organization, right. So they want somebody to come in and showcase and break through the clutter or break through the competition, right. And so you have to come up with unique in different ways that sometimes cost money, right? And then there is no money to be had. So they want you to achieve these high goals, but they’re not giving you the resources to do that. Right. So that right there is an example of okay, that’s not going to be a place where I’m going to thrive if I’m not gonna be able to have the resources to do those things to break through the clutter, right? That’s kind of what really what it’s all about.

Rob Stevenson 10:54
You just kind of connecting the dots for me that maybe there’s an opportunity as a candidate to flip the script a little bit and be like, ask the company, you’re interviewing at some behavioral questions, right? Like you trade on this as the recruiter like, Tell me about a time you blank, you’ve secured this type of project, you want to ask that of a company to to be like, Okay, you say you’re committed to all this change? Tell me about a time you made a significant investment, and it resulted in successful change. And if they stammer around, and they may not be about that action, right?

Chloe Rada 11:21
Yeah, that’s very true, right. Another example, I was just thinking about is not having access to labor market data really puts you at a disadvantage. That’s actually one of the very first things in any ta strategy. When you’re doing the intake questions with your hiring partners, as well, like you want to come to the table with some type of concrete data about what’s happening in the marketplace, the supply and demand at the talent, what companies are winning the talents, and I think that puts you at a very disadvantage, we don’t have access to that. You want to empower your recruiters to be that talent adviser and have that data, right and have that at their fingertips, and how are they supposed to do that, if they don’t have access to that, right, that makes them a lot more credible, and they’re gonna build that trust with, because they want to educate the, you know, these hiring partners, they’re running their business, they’re not the CEO em on recruiting, right, that is our job to help educate and train them. And I feel like a lot of these solutions that I come up with really lead back to re-education or training. And I love that part of my job. And that’s the operation side. And I just, I love putting together playbooks and trainings and really bringing them along on your journey, whether it’s a brand journey, or the journey of green on implementing a new piece of HR technology, for example.

Rob Stevenson 12:32
When it comes to getting your hands on data like that, I’m just putting myself in the shoes of a recruiter who was given that assignment like Rob, go get some data, figure out what’s going on in the talent marketplace. Like he rattled off some examples, you know, how much are people making? Who’s winning the talent? How many people are even available for this, etc, etc. But I don’t even know where I wouldn’t begin. Because say you have lots of offices like, oh, well, you want me to map the talent marketplace, but we’re hiring globally. And all these locations, or the flipside is like we’re hiring, we have like, 15 rolls open. So I mean, where do you even begin to figure out what data is going to be meaningful for you and then turning it into a

Chloe Rada 13:08
Yeah, so I like to, this is kind of like the nerdy side of me, I like to follow analysts in the labor space, right. So I think they give you a really good understanding of what’s happening in the labor market. So you know, you can Google all that kind of stuff, there’s a lot of really good resources. Now, AI seems puts out a really good monthly report, indeed does a lot of your like vendor partners. And I think that’s where you need to lean into the partners, because you’re only as good as what you know, I rely on my vendor partners so much to give me that information to make me a better leader. And they have this at their fingertips. And that’s part of their promise to you is to help you understand. So I lean into my partners as much as I can. Whether it’s LinkedIn or indeed or organizations like a tap, the thought leaders there are so smart, and they have these this information. And this one of the greatest things about this industry is everybody’s so willing to share best practices, what’s worked, what hasn’t share templates, share philosophies, and I think that’s where you really get smart.

Rob Stevenson 14:05
How do you benchmark when you’re looking at what everyone else is doing? Because it can be hard, they’re a different sized organization, they’re a different part of their career, they’re hiring different talent, how do you what do you glean from the best practices of others?

Chloe Rada 14:16
Right, So every industry is going to be different, right? The hiring nuances, even like management versus hourly, right? Like the high volume hiring is very different in a different space. So I think there are benchmark studies out there, like one of those coming to mind is the candidate Excellence Awards, right? So your benchmark against other organizations of your size, about the practices that you’re doing, right? And so you know, everybody’s trying to like take something and like make it their own. Really mean that’s what’s the beauty of it is right, like we’re not, I mean, sometimes yes, we are reinventing practices, philosophies, but hiring the tactical part of your job, right. So how do you flex and make that better? And then benchmark it against others? I think it’s having conversations with other like minded leaders or even learning from somebody new that you’ve never met?

Rob Stevenson 15:03
Yeah, yeah, it’s hard. And I asked my last guest, what percentage of a source of hire referrals should be? And I’m realizing that’s just a bad question. Because it’s depends on your organization. And a company can say, Oh, we have 50% referrals, but is that be getting heterogeneity because they nailed diversity. And so all the referrals look like their existing employee base. It’s just, it’s, it’s problematic if you keep looking at it. But when you benchmark for me, always my career I was looking at like, okay, I can only really control being a little bit better than I was last quarter last month, last time period. And I think that is a little bit related to what you were saying about Kaizen earlier, this notion of continuous improvement, you can take best practices from others. But really, if you just get a little better every week, every month, whatever it is, 1% x percent better, then you’re on to something. Can you speak a little more about Kaizen and how this drives you?

Chloe Rada 15:49
Yeah, so you talk about data, right? And so storytelling is a big concept that everybody wants to get on board with, right? People trust people versus people trust brands. So I like to take a spin on and do data storytelling, so extracting the data that you can get from your HR tools? And what kind of story is that telling you? Right? And looking at where are those roadblocks to improve the speed of your hiring, what is the bottlenecks, right? And so like, that’s where you can improve that little 1% year over year. And that adds up very quickly. And so data for me is the place that I always start before I start to then put some attainable goals, right and Mark myself as Okay, I want to improve our hiring speed by 3%. In this next quarter, or in the next year. Or maybe your your KPI is more acceptances of offers, right? So it’s a very, it’s very different. And I think that’s a conversation you need to have with the leadership of the organization, what is important to them, they’re going to say, I want to find the best talent. Okay, great. Well, let’s kind of break that down a little bit and make these attainable goals, right, by using the data and then looking to see how you can improve on it. Do you want more website visitors? And do you want to convert more of the website, visitors into candidates and then converting those into great hires that actually stay with the organization? So there’s so many different data points that you can look at that you want to improve?

Rob Stevenson 17:11
Clearly, before I let you go and send you off into the mayhem on this expo floor? What is the best career advice you ever received?

Chloe Rada 17:19
Oh, gosh, that’s a great question. Be curious. Always be curious. And you know, you are your own biggest advocate, right and surround yourself with smart people. And always be willing to listen and learn and then give back right?

Rob Stevenson 17:34
Clearly, you’re your own biggest advocate, but I’m your second biggest advocate. This has been a delight. Thank you for doing the show with me. I’ve loved chatting with ya.

Chloe Rada 17:39
Thank you so much appreciate it.

Rob Stevenson 17:43
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