All Episodes Multiverse Senior Director of Global Talent Veronica Salcido

Multiverse Senior Director of Global Talent Veronica Salcido


Multiverse Senior Director of Global Talent Veronica Salcido

Journey of Transformation: Corporate Success to Machu Picchu

Veronica Salcido, Senior Director of Global Talent at Multiverse, shares her transformative journey from declining prestigious job offers to climbing Machu Picchu. She encourages listeners to embrace life resets when opportunities arise. Veronica recounts starting her own business, gaining 21 clients in 30 days, and eventually transitioning to a role with greater social impact. The discussion delves into the influence of AI on talent acquisition, emphasizing the potential for meaningful work enabled by automation.

Episode Transcript

Rob Stevenson 0:52
I’m your host, Rob Stevenson, and you’re about to hear the best in the biz, Talk Talent to me. Okay, here we go. Recruiters talent pros, HR peeps, recruiting ops directors of VPs of whoever you are, however, you’re bringing yourself to this podcast episode. I can’t tell you how chuffed to my giblets I am to have you listening to the podcast. We’re back again with another classic installment of the show and I have a wonderful guest for you. She is the Senior Director of global talent over at multiverse. Veronica Salcido. Veronica, welcome to the podcast. How the heck are you today?

Veronica Salcido 1:26
Thank you. Thanks, Rob. I’m doing well. I’m doing well. I’m happy to be here.

Rob Stevenson 1:30
I’m going to paint a quick picture for the folks out there listening and that is that your background is not AI generated. Auto background it is in fact like a vision board that you made. And I love the vision board exercise. I do want every couple of years or so. But could you tell the folks at home a little bit about your vision board? Because I feel like it really explains a lot about who you are?

Veronica Salcido 1:53
Yes. So there’s a lot of as you can see from some of the visuals, there’s a lot of themes around outdoors. I think also a lot around other women leaders. I think there’s some Sheryl Sandberg, Frida Kahlo really diverse groups of women that have inspired me, and also the brain traits that I admire. And then a lot of like my life outside of recruiting and building talent, and multiverses outdoors, I do a lot of guiding in the Grand Canyon. I’ve had before I before I did it, I was on the spiritual Ward, but I’ve had three of the seven summits of the world. So that’s somewhere in here in this nice visual, and a little bit of like aspirations around like continuing to build spiritually, and mind and not not just physically Yeah, so those are some of the some of the things and adventures that are on on my vision board.

Rob Stevenson 2:51
I love it. Thank you for sharing with us. And there’s one I can make out, it’s sort of someone looks like they’re on a mountaintop, it says I didn’t come this far to only come this far, which is a good hiking mantra, or mountain climbing mantra as it were. But also I think it’s a good piece of perspective to view yourself in the context of like your total journey. And it’s like you wanted this job that you have now. And there was a time when this job was very, very aspirational for you. But then you get to it and like okay, well, what’s next for me, right? Like you can take a moment and appreciate how far you’ve come. But we’re not done right, like we’re not dead.

Veronica Salcido 3:27
Yeah, and a lot of a lot of the reasons I like Outdoor Adventures is because it actually is very applicable to what I do for work and how I approach life. And I think we’ve had some significant shifts and talent acquisition, the economy, the way we’re approaching things, and having built in that mental resilience around the way that you think and approach problems, especially on a mountain where there literally could be life threatening is very applicable on how you manage a lot of the things that are thrown our way and talent. So that completely disconnected from, from what we do day to day in talent acquisition.

Rob Stevenson 4:10
Is it just like the resiliency of knowing you can do hard things solve hard problems? Or is it also the perspective of like, okay, I’ve been in life or death situations on mountains, and my job is sitting in front of a keyboard going clicky Clicky. So I don’t need to be that afraid.

Veronica Salcido 4:25
A little bit of both. It gives me a little bit of the home, within the storm sometimes of like, I’ve actually been in like life or death situations. And this isn’t that we’re not going to die. I always say to my team, we’re not going to bleed or die out from this. And then the second piece is when you take that approach, and one of the things I love about mountaineering, climbing mountains, which most people are like, Oh my gosh, no way. Good luck. That’s not what I want to do with my money or my time off, but it’s about really falling in love. But the journey, and like taking an approach of curiosity of this isn’t something annoying in my work, this isn’t something annoying in my day 10 of climbing a mountain, this is probably going to give me a really cool opportunity to learn something new about myself about my teammates about how to solve something. And on the other side of this is a really rewarding feeling of the outcome. Right? And it’s kind of falling in love and being obsessed with that feeling. Like I feel it in my biology right now. It’s like, let’s go. Right? It’s so it’s a very different, it’s tapping into a very different association with my brain around challenges. And so now they’re opportunities. They’re being seen as like, wow, I’m gonna come out stronger with a really cool story to be on a podcast with you rob to be telling it right.

Rob Stevenson 5:51
Well, yeah, I mean, I’m pleased you see this as a challenge or an opportunity. But I’ll remind you that you didn’t come this far to only come. That is, however, a really great way to feel about work and a great outlook to have I feel as though many people don’t feel that way about their job. Is it a matter of the company you’re at now? And the current opportunity? Or is this just a perspective you tried to bring in everywhere?

Veronica Salcido 6:17
I think it’s well, I made a very intentional decision to join multiverse because of the people, the culture, what we do as a company. And I think, at a certain point in my career, I decided to stop pursuing or taking opportunities because they came my way. And I started thinking about my values and defining my leadership style, what I wanted out of opportunities and being very intentional in the way that I said very politely No, and the way that I proceeded, and so I decided, I made a very intentional decision to as I looked at the opportunity of multiverse to make sure that I was signing up to an opportunity in a team and people that were very values aligned for me. And then on the other end, I think it also the approach and the attitude towards work and being a scientist and talent, and like taking it as an opportunity for always learning and seeing the opportunities and learning in my day to day and having a hat on. I have like, I’ve been doing this for 20 years, but I’m still new at this. And I’m going to take that approach. And it’s about curiosity and not about I do this job just to do a job. I think that’s a mindset shift. And I think that comes with time, and it comes with experience. And it comes with opting into challenging yourself outside of work. And for me, it’s like it’s that it’s mountaineering. It’s having really cool outdoor experiences that really connect and it’s an experiential experience. That then connects my brain to how I approach and how I see life and my work. So I think it’s a combination of both from,

Rob Stevenson 8:04
I’m glad to hear you explain your job hunt process as so deliberate, because a lot of the ways people find new jobs is, oh, no, I’ve been laid off or fired, or I had to quit a bad job. And now I need a new job, right, I gotta get paid, I can’t afford to really spend a long time looking for the perfect job, I need a paycheck. The other way is you’re reasonably happy at a role. But you could be happier. And one of the friendly neighborhood recruiter comes along at just the right moment. And you’re like, okay, maybe I will change jobs and work at your company and get a nice little reason, a change of scenery. That is a fine way to get a new job. And there’s reasons why that should be the way you get a job. But I do fear if that is the only way that you change jobs. It doesn’t feel like you’re the captain of your own feet, it feels like you’re sort of reacting to other circumstances that are maybe a little out of your control. So I want to push people to be a little more deliberate about the moves they make and do it for reasons other than happenstance. Was there a moment for you when you were like, Okay, I need to not merely just take the jobs that are the opportunities presented to me I need to reflect and decide what I want and go through those specifically.

Veronica Salcido 9:17
Yeah, I took a deep breath in and out just now because it just I can tell you exactly where I was standing when when that moment happened. And I was working in the Bay Area. And we had just had an IPL. We were hot in the market. I had built the entire revenue generation team globally at that company to have a very successful IPOs and ad tech at the time. And it felt like I was at a peak. In my career. I felt like it was a it was a summit of my career. And then I had so many calls so many opportunities come my way. So many offers, I remember being flown out to LA put up on a beachfront hotel, wine and dine like it was a really cool moment in my career. And I had a couple of job offers that were very generous and, and I had a moment of, I’m being pulled in so many directions, there’s so much noise. And I had opportunity within my company and I had a great relationship with my my CEO at the time, and you know, the founders, and when you have an IPO journey, you’re working very closely with the exec team and the founders. And so it’s a labor, it’s a labor of love, right getting through an IPO. And, and I remember just feeling like, there was a lot of noise. It was everybody else’s motivators. And it was everybody else’s agenda that was being driven and pulling me in different directions. And I wanted to shut that down. So I could listen to myself and what vi wanted, and where I was meant to go next, right, and who I was as a person, and how I wanted to show up in my next role. I don’t know what how I came up with this, but I did and I love. This is terrible. I love spreadsheets. I love spreadsheets. So I created this spreadsheet. And on one side of the spreadsheet was all of the ways that all of the things that are important for me in my life. Like these are the core things that I want out of my life experience. And it was like, time was family, financial freedom, but only so that I could have time freedom as well to spend with people. I wanted to spend a certain amount of time with my parents, for example, right that we’re getting older. And so like I lined up all of these things that were these are the things that I want in my life and life experience. And then at the top on the other columns, I wrote out all of the opportunities that had come my way, including my existing opportunity and how that was evolving. And I started to fill in, you know, and do an assessment of how these lined up against the core things that I wanted out of my life experience. And so I worked in the direction of putting front and center what I wanted out of the experience and how these opportunities companies and all of the things that came along with it or either supporting it or not supporting it, right. And what came out of that is I actually decided to decline all offers. This was a such a moment where I’m like, did that just come out of my mouth? Because I decided to quit my job. Hell yeah. I had a one way ticket to Machu Picchu, to Peru. I had never hiked in my like, I had never count before as an adult. And my friend’s reaction to me doing that was you understand? You can’t wear heels to match a picture, right? That’s why I was then. And why? Why did I do this, I got rid of all of my belongings. Everything that I owned, ended up fitting into half of one of those small pods. I have a picture of it. And that was a life defining moment. I took a big huge risk. I remember so many people told me you are at the height of your career. You are hot right now. Why would you quit everything that you’ve worked so hard to have this like ultimate peak moment in your career, and now you’re throwing it all away? Right? That’s that was a messaging. And what happened was better than I expected. And I did I ended up having no inbox no plan. I hiked Machu Picchu, I went off the grid, I had a total reset. And I launched my own business after that. And I had 26 clients within 30 days of launching my own business. I had the support of all the great leaders that I worked with. And it was a really cool, pivotal moment because I chose to get in the driver’s seat of defining my life and how my career and the opportunities and what I was signing up for. We’re going to support that. So I was not a victim of the experience. Now. I want to also call out that there’s some level of privilege, you need to be able to financially be able to make those decisions, I have a lot of empathy for folks that aren’t in a financial decision, or have that I didn’t have family at the time, I didn’t have a significant other, right. So there was, it was a lot of timing. And it was, you know, I want to call out the privilege of having a job in Silicon Valley, an IPO that just happened very successfully, and having a lot of financial freedom to be able to make those really bold moves and decisions. But all of those things, all of those things, I moved to Silicon Valley, I bet on a I bet on the horse that IP owed, right, all of those were also intentional moves, leading up to those moments. So I think sometimes taking calculated risks, not just risk, calculated risk, managing what is your risk, in that given moment, and acknowledging that it is for some folks, your calculated risk is going to look very different and not as glamorous. That’s a big, big life moment. But again, I think the takeaway here is around defining what is really important for you and your life, and how do opportunities either support that or don’t support it?

Rob Stevenson 16:19
Yes. And it is worthwhile to call out the privilege of being able to take that time, even though the privilege came from your own hard work and correct decisions and calculations you made, right. But if someone was in a position where they’re like, Well, I can only make a career choice based on the best financial option for me, that’s the main lever I have to pull right now, given my life circumstances, fine, but maybe the value on your spreadsheet should be, I want to get to a point where I don’t have to do that. And then you can back up to that goal. But okay, well, how much money would I need? How much personal runway before I could feel comfortable? This not being the only lever. So, you know, there are ways out I would recommend, but I am obsessed with this moment, Veronica, where you rejected all these cushy job offers and took off to Peru. Because that’s not merely a thoughtful career change. That’s kind of like a pouring kerosene on your LinkedIn profile, you know, and lighting the match. So were you just at your wits end? Were you feeling burned out? Why did you feel like you need to such a dramatic change?

Veronica Salcido 17:22
Yeah, if I can describe it, it was I felt like I was on a treadmill. And I did not have control over the speed. And it was like from every aspect of externally, I looked like I was crushing it. I was thriving in my career, from every aspect externally. But how I felt was it was so noisy, I didn’t know if this necessarily was making me happy. And feeling like you’re not in control of the speed on this treadmill, you’re locked into it. It’s not a it’s not going to be a good place to be in and I think I needed I definitely knew I needed a moment to really silence things down and understand me and understand what was going to be important for me next. And so I am you know what, in retrospect, I couldn’t tell you in the moment I was burned out. I was managing global time zones. For nearly two years, I felt like I was only napping, I would wake up in the middle of the night. And no, it was 8am in London, and that there was offers to be sent out. And on Sunday, I was closing offers with Singapore. I know. And so like, there was a it was a very big output. I’m glad I did it. It’s a really cool moment. I’m still friends, I still have mentors, from that time. And what we did together. It’s a very special thing in my career, and I treasure it. But it also was there was a time and a point to say, I need a moment for me. I have created a financial ability to do that. And I’m going to take that I’m going to choose me in this moment. And it was absolutely the right thing to do for me.

Rob Stevenson 19:20
What was the company if you were able to drum up all these clients have asked when a recruiting podcast so I have a feeling I know. But once you tell me anyway.

Veronica Salcido 19:28
Yeah, so I actually offer two things. One is traditional, mostly exact search. And because of the work that I did in ad tech and having an IPL and going through, you know, joining under 100 employees scaling to 500 through IPL and then actually very nicely while I was traveling and launching this company, we were acquired by Adobe, which was a very significant moment and good. Nice branding. of getting and building talent and a team through that. And so I had seen, and this is it’s the second time in my career, I had this happen. And my first job in recruiting is I have seen now twice, what talent acquisition does, how we do it, and how we evolved through those multiple phases of growth in our company. And that was very attractive to small startups either pre seed funding series A be where they can’t afford to hire a me full time or an entire team full time. So what I did is I basically built a consultancy model to be able to help founders and work with founders start to think about building the foundations of a scalable, repeatable tone acquisition strategy, before they even got to the point where they absolutely were behind and needed that right. So that start build some fundamentals before they were so large. And oh, yeah, we forgot we should probably hire a head of talent to fix this because we just keep doing at the flight whenever we need it. Oh, we were so behind, we should have hired this person. And or you’ll end up which we’ve seen is you over hired and we’re doing a QPR or we’re beating with the board. And now we’re figuring out where so before you get to those structural dysfunctions, and talent is I was coming in, and I was advising around how to prevent that, how to build systems, how to build foundations. And then at some point, I was even, you know, replacing myself with actually bringing the head of talent and giving them the keys to this, what I was calling at the time recruiting in a box, right that I was bringing, and I was even bringing in consultants to actually execute on the actual hiring piece. But the value was me bringing infrastructure and things that they were taking away. And that was being involved in Bobby with the company once I was gone. So that’s what we did as a company.

Rob Stevenson 22:10
It sounds like it was a rousing success, right? If you’re able to drum up so many clients right away, and I can see from you explaining of why people would want it, you know, but I feel like, man, we could probably spend the rest of the episode talking about that company. But I do want to make sure we we catch up to where you are now. Eventually, you took this role, and multiverse. So what happened to make you think, Okay, I’ve done the entrepreneurial thing I’ve done what I want to I’m ready to go back in house.

Veronica Salcido 22:43
Yeah, what a weird, what a weird thing, right? It makes me think of I think I read it and Sheryl Sandberg book around, that really stuck to me, which is it’s not a career ladder. It’s a jungle gym. So I jungle gym back back in house. And why I did that it was around 2020. And it was another reset. Right? It was a life reset for all of us collectively as a glow. Right? And I really started to think about I’ve been doing at the time for gosh, over a decade of for profit tech, started thinking about what about the footprint I’m leaving behind. And this is great. And I’m financially well, and I’m thriving. I love what I do. But so what? So I started asking these like meaningful life worth, again, thoughtful questions. And I started getting curious. And we were very, were in a niche, a little bit of like ad tech martech, because of the work I had done and the network I had built in house and I wanted to explore and i i Actually I read Simon cynics, the infinite game. And I started getting really curious and obsess over a double bottom line, triple bottom line and on my cool, haven’t really thought about like this is this is great. It’s like marrying my passion for for profit tech and all of the cool stuff that I built in my career that I still love. But then it brings in the meaningful piece the mission driven the How am I connecting this to the footprint I’m leaving in the world? And a kind of marries those two things. And I am absolutely fascinated and now curious. So I set out to look for like health tech companies, at tech companies bring technology companies and started to play with those within my own company and build out an extended portfolio beyond ad tech to Ed Tech. Now right on what I did, but one of the clot one of my clients made an introduction. They were deeply interested in the work that I was doing and they were like, will you come in house right A but a couple of the people it was very, very general and then eventually was so curious and because of my DNA because I’ve been on the teams that I have built and have gone through the journey of these pre IPOs, and acquisitions and all of that, I was like, What a cool moment to be a part of the team and built it in house again, and see what this double bottom line is all about. So I ended up in ed tech and eventually ended up at multiverse and, you know, really fell in love with the journey of how we were creating a net alternate route to education. I’m first generation in this country, we came here, my parents made great sacrifices to come to this country, for us to have better opportunity. And in the US, that means going to a really top university, right, and education, education was really driven in my household. Whereas now multiverse is coming in and creating this, access this equitable access to multiple communities to be able to create this net new route to university and college. And for me that spoke deeply and closely to my own experience and why my parents have made great sacrifices to be in, in this country. So it’s very, like this really deep identity piece, values piece. And then all of the work that I have done in my career leading up to this point,

Rob Stevenson 26:32
do you quickly before we move on, explain what the double triple line thing you were talking about is?

Veronica Salcido 26:37
Yeah, so usually, when we think of for profit, it’s the bottom line, there’s only one bottom line, right? What is it revenue, a double, triple bottom line means that there is revenue, so for profit, and then a double bottom line means there is an equally important and probably tied to revenue, mission or social component to the organization. And then the triple byte be that at the same time, there’s, for example, a green kind of or B Corp, right? Something that is a third component of how there’s a either a circular economy contribution or a social contribution that is a byproduct of both the for profit and the mission driven tech. Right. So that’s what a double, triple bottom line company.

Rob Stevenson 27:38
Got it. Okay, that’s helpful. Thank you. So you designed that multiverse is going to be a double or triple line opportunity for you. And you join the team. And I imagine because you have seen this one before, right? You’ve got you know, the playbook for setting up a TA team and what it kind of takes, but bearing in mind that that got you to this point of feeling very burned out, you probably didn’t want to do things exactly the same. So when you get to multiverse, did you want to, like reinvent the playbook and and do things differently, or were you like, I know what works. And I’ll stick to that.

Veronica Salcido 28:12
Yeah, I wanted to build a different experience. I did not want to build the playbook of the last 20 years. I also knew that wasn’t gonna work. Because of the timing we’re at we are at the precipice of a reset in tech in general. But for talent acquisition, specifically, we It is no secret generative AI like oh my gosh, like we hear it everywhere. It’s kind of you know, the way that I said it is accurate. But it is no secret that our world is shifting period. But in talent acquisition, we’re going to experience a deep shift. So almost two years ago, when I joined multiverse, I wanted to embrace that versus have a level of resistance around that. Because I wanted to be prepared with having intentionality around how we were going to approach AI, how we were going to embed it in our strategy, how we were going to rethink our org structure, knowing that how we were going to think about systems and processes. And to have some level of agility and predictability around the way that we were going to think about embracing AI and being the scientist of talent. Again, like I keep saying, scientists because I’m not an expert in AI. I actually never want to be an expert in AI. I want to be an expert on how AI can apply to doing our job even better and have better level of fulfillment in the experience. So I am experimenting with AI all the time and learning a lot through it and getting it wrong sometimes and that’s part of experimenting. So that’s what I wanted to do.

Rob Stevenson 30:00
And when you say that you knew it wouldn’t work because of the timing, what specifically were you like, Hey, this is old hat, like the game has changed when work.

Veronica Salcido 30:11
So thinking about this, it was an early on, but like, thinking about our ratios of like, even people to outcomes in talent acquisition, and this is like not new, like we’ve been around the block. Other than showing hires, like in the most simplistic and sorry, tone acquisition, people listen to this, this is so annoying, but like the most baseline of metrics, right hires everybody, that’s what every founder or you know, executives going to care about, think about. But thinking already about, like, how do we optimize? How do we start to think about automation? And how does that gonna impact the skill set of people on a talent acquisition team? And how is that going to make the our org structure and the way we think about how many people we need on the team, and what type of skill set we need on the team, like, those were all pieces that I started to really think about pretty early on. A great example of that is the, you know, recruiting coordinator role, for example, which near and dear to my heart, I started as a recruiting coordinator went into the sourcing piece, and then ended up in a talent, partnership role or recruiter role. And we started to rethink about we need this many coordinators in order to do scheduling, for example, one of the things that both recruiters and eventually coordinators don’t want to do, right. So we knew that we were gonna go with a system that was going to completely automate this component. And no, we didn’t bring on a team of coordinators, we don’t have a formal which I had in the past, right. And a lot of teams have had an in the past of having an entire coordination team, because we have really clunky or no systems around the way that we do really complex scheduling. And it’s so annoying, it’s time consuming, somebody has to do it. We have automated all of that.

Rob Stevenson 32:20
You know, when we spoke about how AI may displace some talent in the TA function. In a live show we did last summer, I asked my guest who runs the sourcing team at Dropbox, if AI was coming for three jobs, and he was like, If you love scheduling, then probably. But the joke is like no one loves scheduling right? To the point I’m trying to get at as like there are these parts of basically everyone’s roles that AI is coming for, and we should not be scared is my take. I would love to know from you, Veronica, like for the folks out there who are in recruitment, how can they look at their roles, and try to understand the things that can be automated that they can use technology to do and then put off of their plate so that they are seen as someone who has leverage technology, not someone who can be replaced by technology?

Veronica Salcido 33:08
Yeah, yeah. I love that framing, by the way. And that’s exactly right. And that’s a lot of what we are upskilling for on my team. And just in general, like embedded into the multiverse CNA is like the upskilling reskilling component, it’s what we do. It’s about I think it would be one it’s very easy to think about the things that we don’t want to do if you’re I’m going to assume that you are in this industry, because you’re an engaged individual and really care about some of the really cool things that we love in recruiting, which is, you know, can making human connections, learning about someone you and I Rob talked about, like how cool it is to you’re so fascinated and curious about people like that. Those are the areas that are probably really engaging about your role and why you love your role. Those are the quarters, that’s the art of recruitment, right like that is it takes a human being, it takes human connections and interactions to create that piece of what we do in recruitment. Now, when you remove that, what are all of the pieces that are left? It’s likely the other piece is pretty administrative. And those are the pieces that are not meaningful interactions that are going to make a significant difference in building a relationship or having someone say yes to joining the opportunity because of the experience they had with you personally. But it is the administrative things that takes us hours to do that does isn’t rocket science for us to do and that are sincerely negative affecting the engagement of us and our teams. And so those are the areas that we want to figure out how are we leveraging technology to be able to automate those pieces? And that’s really exciting. That should be exciting to all of us because that means means that we’re gonna be doing way more meaningful work if we automate some of those pieces that’s creating a significant amount of our time and energy and brainpower and juices to be able to innovate. And that’s where I want to get to right like that is the meaty juicy part of why we do what we do, especially as a leader in talent acquisition, innovation.

Rob Stevenson 35:22
I don’t think we’re going to find a better book into this episode than that, Veronica, normally, I asked the guest to share some parting advice as we wind the episode down, but you’re kind of a a advice dispensing machine. So this episode is full of it. So at this point, Veronica, I would just say thank you for being here. This has been a really great conversation. I must have you back for round two at some point because I feel like there’s lots more for us to talk about. But for now, thank you so much for being here. This has been a pleasure. Really

Veronica Salcido 35:47
cool. I really appreciate you having me here. Thank you Rob really enjoyed it.

Rob Stevenson 35:55
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