OwnBackup Director of People Ops and Total Rewards Shane Long

Shane LongOwnBackup Director of People Ops

The shift from an individual contributor into leadership is something that most people will face in their careers at some point, and it’s not always an easy decision. Director of People Ops and Total Rewards over at OwnBackup, as well as an accomplished opera singer, Shane Long is here to talk about his jump into leadership and takes us through how he arms recruiters to be more effective during the offer stage and beyond.

Episode Transcript





[00:00:05] RS: Welcome to Talk Talent to Me, a podcast featuring the most elite talent leaders on the frontlines of modern recruitment.


[00:00:11] FEMALE: 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.


[00:00:21] RS: No holds barred, completely off-the-cuff interviews with directors of recruitment, VPs of global talent, CHROs and everyone in between.


[00:00:30] FEMALE: Once I went through the classes and the trainings and got the certifications through diversity inclusion, I still felt like something was missing.


[00:00:38] 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.


[00:00:51] RS: I’m your host, Rob Stevenson. You’re about to hear the best in the biz, Talk Talent to Me. 




[00:00:58] RS: Joining me today on Talk Talent To Me is the Director of People Ops and Total Rewards over at OwnBackup, as well as an accomplished opera singer, Shane Long. Shane, welcome to the podcast. How are you?


[00:01:11] SL: Thank you. I’m great. I’m really excited to be here.


[00:01:13] RS: You thought I was going to just let this whole episode go by without calling out the opera thing, weren’t you?


[00:01:18] SL: I thought, maybe I would get a pass there. But hey, whatever – We’ll keep it interesting. You won’t be able to take it as far as to get some singing out of me, but it’s not what we’re here for. 


[00:01:28] RS: For that, people can go to your YouTube channel, I assume? I don’t know. I didn’t do that much research. I guess, let’s come out of the gate with the hard-hitting questions, before we get into how you wound up at OwnBackup. Can you just give us a quick high-level sprint through your opera career?


[00:01:45] SL: Oh, man. Yeah. I mean, listen, sure. I studied opera since I was probably 12-years-old. All throughout high school up through college, I was singing in Italy, and all over the country there. I made the logical decision. I said, “There’s not much of a market for opera in the States.” It was a decision between if I could find something else that I loved and make money, I would pursue that. I would always have the opera or the theater, is what it’s melded into now. I’d always have that on the side.


[00:02:15] RS: I don’t mean to make you blush, but I’m just so excited to speak with an opera singer, I never have before. I’ve met plenty of regular singers, but I’ve never had the chance to speak with a particular bend in persuasion that is opera, but it’s like most performance of arts. I’m sure it’s a narrow pyramid, right? 


[00:02:32] SL: Yes, yes. Sure is. 


[00:02:34] RS: You got into this really young. Do you begin training at opera specifically young? Or are there other more generic singing things you train with before you specialize?


[00:02:46] SL: No, opera is actually the base, it’s the foundation. If you can sing opera, you can really sing anything. I started out singing classical music at a very young age with a very renowned, well known opera singer, when I was in middle school. The opera comes first, that’s what I say, if you can sing opera, you can sing anything. As I moved into different styles, right, I always loved the opera. But as I got older and started experimenting with other styles, whether that be more modern styles, pop rock, or jazz, but as I was making the decision to move into college, when I was going to college and had to pick what I was going to study. Do I go classical voice or do I something that’s a little more logical? I decided to be logical, and I studied psychology and business. I still continued to sing and expanded that into dance, and acting, and all this stuff. I spread my wings when I was in college.


[00:03:42] RS: Yeah. How about that? Do you still have an opportunity to sing or perform? Do you keep your neighbors awake or go to a park and let her rip?


[00:03:49] SL: Mainly, it’s mainly, maybe like Wednesday night karaoke at a local bar –


[00:03:54] RS: Do you ever rip-off like Nessun Dorma at karaoke? 


[00:03:58] SL: No, no, I don’t. Oh, man. I’m not a big fan of the people who go to karaoke to actually say, “Look at how great I am, at singing. Here I am.”


[00:04:08] RS: Just to dunk on people. 


[00:04:09] SL: Yeah, no. It’s more about having fun. 


[00:04:11] RS: You would hate karaoke bars in LA then, because that’s all it is. 


[00:04:14] SL: Oh, I’m sure. 


[00:04:16] RS: Anyway, did that busy you – so you were studying business and psychology at the same time? Did that lend itself to your eventual journey as a recruiter and you know at People Ops individual?


[00:04:27] SL: Yeah. So I actually started out studying forensic psychology. I took one class and it realized that it’s a lot of paperwork and you’re not really BD Wong on SVU. It’s a bit more mundane than that. I took an IO class, industrial organizational psychology, and actually really fell in love with the whole team dynamics, motivation, job satisfaction. I thought it was really interesting. I focused in IO psychology, then added a minor in business and the logical, you either end up going for your PhD, your masters or your PhD, working for the government doing really cool experiments. Or you go into HR and you go into people, which is where I landed. I ended up with a really great internship for the last two years of college, working for an Amazon subsidiary. Gain a lot of experience there in general HR. 


Early on, I gravitated to the analytical and operational and technical side. I moved up in the ops analytics comp world. At some point in my career, I was making a decision whether I wanted to be a really highly skilled individual contributor who was project management and working on tech deployments within HR, or if I wanted to be a leader. For the longest time, I actually did not want to lead. Then I had a really amazing leader. I said, “Oh, this is what good leadership looks like. I could do this. This is actually really cool. You can have a great impact on people.” 


So I very strategically took a look at my resume and said, “Right, what am I missing here?” I was missing the whole business partner aspect of the job, I was also missing recruiting. So I went out and got some of that experience, went and grabbed experience here in recruiting, did that for maybe six months to a year. I’m by no means a rockstar recruiter, but I can put in place the tools to help empower recruiters.


[00:06:16] RS: You dabble. Yeah. 


[00:06:17] SL: Yeah. I dabble. I dabble. I got the HRBP work under my belt. Eventually, after I got some of that, I took those skills and put them into my tool belt. I moved back into the ops world. But more – I’d always specialized in the past, it was either HRIS, or comp, or analytics. In my current role, I was able to put those all into one role. I got to build out a team that was able to my team focuses in certain areas under that umbrella, whether it be HRIS, analytics compensation, total rewards benefits. So that’s how I made my foray into leadership. I jumped into leadership. 


[00:06:55] RS: That shift from individual contributor ship into leadership is interesting, because I think that’s something that most people will face in their career at some point. You have to decide, do I want to be responsible for folks? Do I want to headcount? Or do I want to keep crushing this thing that I’ve spent the first several years of my career getting really good at? It’s interesting that you felt one way and then another. First of all, we should call out that leader who used that inspired you to pursue leadership was none other than BlockFi’s Chief People Officer who we recently interviewed, right? Laura?


[00:07:28] SL: Yeah. She had a big impact on my career development. Prior to working under her, actually, I had at a previous company. It was where were working at, a different marketing technology company, where she said to me, she said, “You know what, I don’t know what happened to you in the past, but you’re just the type of person that I need to cut your shoelaces off and let you run.” It was some of the oddest, coolest advice I’ve ever gotten. It also gave me, it empowered me to take risks, make mistakes, fall on my face, and learn from them, to be able to build something better from falling on my face, scraping my knees, whatever, however you want to put that.


[00:08:03] RS: Was that the deciding factor, then? Was that the thing she did for you that you’re like, “Okay, I want to pursue that approach to inspiring folks.” 


[00:08:10] SL: Yeah, yeah. Sure did. Yeah, that’s it. That’s how I – I’d taken a lot from that experience. I take a lot of that in how I lead my team now.


[00:08:17] RS: I think there’s certainly lots of factors that go into whether one would pursue long-term individual contributorship or team leadership. I do wonder how much of it though, is just not having had a really great boss, right? If your boss has just been so-so and not really helped you, then you’re like, “Yeah, why would I want that person’s job? It seems it’s a lot more work for not a lot more money.” You would need to be exposed to the inspiring part of having a good leader. I think before you would decide, yeah, that does seem really rewarding. Maybe that is where I belong?


[00:08:48] SL: Oh, absolutely. For me, at least it all came back to, it’s about the impact that leaders have had on me. Early on, I had some leaders who might have been a little more micro-managey, or be controlling with how they want things done, which is fine. Some organizations need that and some people really thrive under that type of leadership. It wasn’t the type of leader that I needed. I was having a really negative reaction to that type of leadership. I saw even some of my colleagues had a negative reaction to that type of leadership. I saw the impact that this had on myself and other people. I thought, well, man is that really what this job is, is just making people’s day really difficult or miserable. I think that as leaders, we all have those days where that might be the case, but at the end of the day, for me, I want to have a positive impact on my team and on their development, and empower them to have the same impact on the organization.


[00:09:43] RS: Yeah. I totally appreciate that. I also am interested by how you added recruiting to your tool belt. You went on a little bit of a tour of duty to up-level your ability so that you could be a better leader. I think that’s important to call out, because I have a very, I guess probably a reductive way of commenting on the shift from IC to leadership, which is just the things that make you really good as an individual contributor don’t necessarily make you a good leader. That you get so good at doing a job that they take those things really good away from you. Now your job is oversee people, but I think thoughtful organizations do what happened to you, which is, you probably surfaced that to someone, your boss at the time. “Hey, I’m interested in pursuing leadership in my career.” Was there a frank conversation? Was it like, “Okay, that’s great. Here’s where you are deficient. Here are some areas that you will need to shore up before you make that jump?”


[00:10:33] SL: Absolutely, absolutely. I think one of the very frank conversations I had with a previous boss was, when we were having that conversation. I said, “What am I missing?” They were like, “Okay, first and foremost, Shane, you’re a powerhouse, right? You’re a workhorse. You move very fast. You get stuff done. But what you have to take into account is that you have this energy, that when you come into a room, you push that energy into everybody else. The sense of urgency is really amazing. But sometimes it’s going to create stress in other people. You come into this room, you’re like, we’ve got to get this done, we’ve got to get this done, we’ve got to get this done. That’s great for project management, that’s great for pulling things over the finish line, but when it comes to actually leading a team, that’s not going to be motivating. Eventually it’s going to have a negative impact on people. You’re going to see burnout, turnover, lack of motivation on the team.” 


That was one of the biggest, one of the best pieces of advice I got. One of the hardest things for me to actually tweak in my communication style, took a really long time for me to, a long time, but it took some time for me to adjust to that feedback.


[00:11:35] RS: Yeah, exactly. If your process of getting things done will only translate into leadership if your team is just all other Shane Longs. 


[00:11:45] SL: Exactly. Right, right. 


[00:11:47] RS: Yeah. I do appreciate that thoughtful approach to leadership. I want to get into your specific role, not just the Shane Long as a boss of it all. I guess you have total rewards in your title, I guess. Sorry, naive question. What does that mean? Is this role typical of companies your size?


[00:12:06] SL: So total rewards, it’s not a brand new concept or anything. We’ve just started branding it differently, right? It’s comp, its benefits, its equity, its recognition. It’s any way that we’re going to motivate a team member by giving them something to buy and sending them somewhere, right? So there’s monetary rewards, there’s incentives, so there’s commissions and bonus, this can get really creative with how you structure those internally, one of is Spiff programs. Equity compensation is huge right now, especially in this space that I’m in, in the SaaS industry, hyper-growth tech startups. But it all comes back to thinking about, all right, what’s the end goal of the organization? How are you going to motivate the organization through rewards and recognition? 


I think this starts to your question, is it typical of companies in size to have a role like this? It’s a newer concept, but it’s becoming more and more normal to have this at an earlier stage. It may start out as broader total rewards until eventually you enhance that team to have specialty areas of – you might have just a comp team, when you get to a certain size or complexity where you need someone just focus on comp, especially sales comp. Sales comp is super complicated. You may have just an equity team, a team dedicated solely to benefits. 


I think it’s actually, I do think it’s important to have this at – it’s easier to put this in place. It’s easier to prioritize this. It’s better to prioritize this at an early stage, because it’s easier to put something in place when the workforce is smaller, and then add enhancements as the org grows and as the market shifts. For example, it’s much easier to, let’s say, you’re going to go out and do a full blown comp analysis. You’re going to see where all of your positions are positioned in comparison to the market to see if you’re paying competitively. 


If you don’t have someone focused on comp and standardizing what you’re paying for certain roles, certain skill sets, things like that, as the organization gets wider, that structure gets more out of whack. It creates much more cleanup. It’s harder to get by and to actually address everything. You’ve got to be more thoughtful, maybe phase out, “We’re going to address these people at this time. Then six months later, we’ll address these people.” So it’s easier to put someone, put this in place when you’re earlier stage so that you can get in front of having those problems down the line. 


It’s also such a hot market right now in tech. I’ve seen it on backup, the tech talent that we’re seeing. The market exploded last year and in 2020. Everyone could work from wherever and you had a lot of companies just paying San Francisco salaries, no matter where the people were located. If you don’t have somebody in place, thinking about them, thinking about, what’s your strategy going to be to mitigate that? You’re going to go to market, you’re going to talk to talent, you’re going to have subpar comp packages that you’re going to be putting in front of them, you’re actually going to lose out on talent.


[00:14:54] RS: I’m glad you brought up the outrageous comp packages being thrown around. People delocating to low cost-of-living places, still getting Bay Area comp offers. This comes up all the time. You have someone in process. You’re really excited about them. But they’re also talking to one of these FANG companies who you know can drop 60K on top of your offer. 


People tend to land in a couple of different areas, when it comes to what you do with that person. Some of them are like, “You know what? Let them go. They’d be stupid not to take it, if they can get that much comp.” There’s other people who are like, “Don’t give up the fight, you have the rest of this package, you can emphasize.” Where do you come down when it’s time to be competitive with these companies who you know can just really, really outpace you, when it comes to base comp? 


[00:15:40] SL: First and foremost, it’s not just about comp you want to sell, you’ve got to sell the company as well. You’ve got to package the company in a way that’s going to be appealing to somebody. So when I talk to candidates who we’re talking to OwnBackup, and potentially they’re trying to make this decision between, hey, a big public company, who’s going to throw a ton of equity at them, or a company that were also throwing some equity at them, there’s cash, there’s incentive, we’ll talk about our awesome benefits programs. But sometimes you get to a point where you have a very real conversation with that candidate and you say, “Listen, you want to go to this behemoth that’s got everything in place. Yeah, they’re giving you this great equity package, but their equity is probably as a public company, that’s probably going to be this – it’s going to ebb and flow and go up and down a little bit over the course the next few years. If that’s what you want to join, something’s already in place, you’re going to be small fish in a big pond, maybe that’s right for you.”


“Now, if you want to join a rocket ship that you’re going to come in, you’re going to have a lot of exposure to the organization in general, you’ll be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. But there’s this awesome, awesome growth potential, and be able to have an impact from stepping, walking through the door day one. This is going to be the place for you. Even though you may be getting this outrageous comp package somewhere else, we can match that in the potential growth of what our company will be valued potentially down the line, right? Where we’re seeing exponential growth and it’s about the long-term investment.”


“If you’re confident in what we’re doing, like as confident as I’m confident in what we’re doing, this should be no question, because you can come in, you can build something. You’re going to have a little bit more of autonomy and a lot more exposure to the organization. The potential upside is so much bigger by coming to a company like ours, than it is by going to one of these big public companies.”


[00:17:24] RS: Yeah, yeah. That makes sense. I guess it comes down to revisiting the candidate motivations. There’s a reason why they’re speaking to you and a huge company. If they were only speaking to large companies, or only speaking to smaller startups, or like, okay, that becomes something to hone in on. They’re like, “I want the base comp. I want the small fish, big pond scenario.” But if they’re talking to both, then there’s a reason why they’re indulging on backup, right? Surely they want a piece of that upside, or they want a piece that ownership.


[00:17:53] SL: Yeah, exactly. A lot of times it’s people, sometimes there, you have these candidates who are leaving a bigger company or a company that recently IPO-ed or where they feel like they’ve plateaued somewhere. So they’re planning out their next move, so they’re talking to both ends of the spectrum, it’s really well established where maybe someone’s going to tell them exactly what they have to do, because everything’s in place or something that’s in this stage of hyper-growth. This is the stage we’re on backup is right now. There’s just this endless, endless growth. There’s no insight right now, right? 


I tell people all the time, I say, “Listen, we’ve acquired some companies over the past few years, we’ve increased our value this way and that way. This is nothing that we’re going to stop doing. We are nowhere near stopping. If that’s not motivating for you, maybe it’s not right for you.” But I think that it’s one of the best opportunities someone could take, if they’re jumping from a bigger company, and they want to really make their mark is to join a company that stage that we’re at, and put their stamp on something and potentially see a huge value gain down the line. 


[00:18:54] RS: Yeah. It’s a good pitch. You guys hiring a podcaster?


[00:18:58] SL: You can talk to my comps person.


[00:18:59] RS: Yeah. Let’s circle back. Are you then involved in the interview process? Are you brought in at final stages to talk over what the offer fully means? Or are you training recruiters? What’s that look like?


[00:19:10] SL: Yeah. Sometimes. I think that sometimes when we get into a conversation where it’s a little sticky about equity or people need, they want a lot of information or you have someone who’s really knowledgeable in the private equity space. Sometimes I’ll join candidate conversations. But I do think it’s really important to empower recruiters at this stage. This goes back to you. I think this goes back to OwnBackups value of building trust through transparency. A lot of companies keep equity structure, and logistics and calculations really close to the chest or really close to the top of the organization. I say that recruiters are the frontline, right? They’re the ones talking to these candidates. They need to be the most knowledgeable about it. They need to be one of the most knowledgeable people if not the most knowledgeable. 


I look at this in two different ways. I’ve been doing a series of enablement sessions with them to have them fully understand the structure of our equity plans or also talking through some frequent objections that we get from candidates, or frequent questions to have them understand what that talk track should be and how to address it in a very meaningful way. I also do, I like to ride along, right? If they have a candidate that they’re getting stuck in, they can’t answer all the questions. They say, “Shane. Hey, can you join this candidate call on the call. This candidate got a lot of equity questions that I can’t answer.” I say, “Sure, but you’ve got to be in the room, you’ve got to hear this. You’ve got to hear how this is.” Because it’s an art, it’s so complicated. Some people throw a lot of curveballs your way.


They’re not going to be able to answer those questions. That’s A, they have all the information of it. They know the plans inside and out. B, they hear somebody who’s been talking about this stuff for years, navigate difficult conversation with the candidate, and still be able to sell the organization, sell everything that’s so great about the plan to them.


[00:20:51] RS: Yeah. That’s so important, I think on both sides. One, obviously, you want the recruiters to be armed to meet that moment. But also, even candidates who don’t service those questions, I feel like recruiters ought to do more to walk them through what equity means. Because there’s so much that’s misunderstood about what really is going on there. When, if ever your equity will be worth something, how much you actually have, how will inevitable share dilution and the preferred stack that the investors have affect your possible outcome? These are all things that really go into a composition that, frankly, most candidates get their pants pulled down over. 


They’re just like, “Oh, I was issued 35,000 shares.” Like what does that mean? That means nothing on its own. It’s just a random number. There’s a bunch of follow-up questions you can ask to really assess what this value is. I would be more likely as a candidate to side with a company that was like, “Look, here’s what it means for you.” It doesn’t just mean that you get the stock, not like, “Now it’s yours.” That we like, what, give you a certificate that says you have the stock or something? I think that there’s a coaching that can happen with candidates and make sure they really understand what this equity means, as supposed to just being ready to meet questions. Do you agree?


[00:22:07] SL: Yeah. I do, because I think that there’s a lot of candidates that come to that conversation with questions that somebody told them they’re supposed to be asking, right? But they don’t actually know why they’re asking it or what they’re getting out of the answer. Some of the things as a private, some of the questions they come with as a private company, we just can’t answer. There are certain things you don’t share as a private company that some candidates think they want to know. It’s more about, when you say it’s, what does this mean to them? What it is, it’s like, hey. This means nothing. What it means, like the work that you put in when you get here, and the work that we all put in together is what’s going to drive the value of this package over the course of the next however many years. If we move to some liquidity, event, IPO or acquisition, whatever, that’s the value you want to worry about. 


What you’re doing is – so we’re investing in you by saying, here’s a starting point. You’re going to come to the store, you’re going to work just as hard as everybody else and really driving the value of that price up, so that when we do reach some – when and if, we reach some event like that, that pot is so much sweeter, and it’s exponentially larger.


 [00:23:11] RS: So that right along makes all the sense in the world, but as the team grows, there’s only one chain. You can’t ride along for everyone. Are you going to put some trainings into place, are you going to make sure that there’s a documented, codified approach to these conversations?


[00:23:26] SL: Yeah. I mean, I’m not we’re not going in recording the conversations, but what I do is I document some of the frequent questions that we get or freaking objections, especially the really tricky ones, so that the recruiters have a resource to reference as they go into these conversations. In addition to that, we’ve also partnered with our sales enablement team here. We thought there’s a lot of synergy there between sales enablement, and recruiting or sales in general and recruitment. We partner with our sales enablement team to have the entire recruitment team go through an objection handling training, which has been really impactful, something that I mean, they loved it, we’re going to continue to do the sessions to continue to hone in on that skill.


[00:24:05] RS: I am so glad you said that. I was just thinking about an objection handling seminar is probably too strong a word, but meeting that the VP of sales at a company I used to work for did and in addition to being the VP he was also the best salesperson in the company right off. Why they’re there in place. He just stood at the front. He said, “All right, why do people say no to you? Just hit me.” Then people would raise their hand and call things out and then he would just knock it out of the park, right? It was just really interesting. I was like, “Oh, yeah, this is how to not take no for an answer.” Why shouldn’t recruiters be so armed? What are some things that people bring up? When you get the – what are some of the objections you’re training your folks on how to handle? 


[00:24:43] SL: I can’t speak to what my sales enablement lead was going through, but things that I have, what I personally have gotten from recruiters is that somebody might be like, “Oh, well, I’m getting X amount of options at this other company.” That’s goes back to the education of how options work and this and that, but I think that what’s the most important is coaching the recruiters through figuring out what’s actually important to the candidate, right? They may be asking these questions, but you’ve got to think a little more strategically about what’s motivating them. What’s motivating this question, and how am I go – what do I have in my toolbox that I can be able to throw at them? Whether it be education, or something else that I’ve got in my back pocket to sweeten this deal.


[00:25:22] RS: It goes back to the candidate motivation part that you would surface early, right? Because they tell you what’s important to them about a role. Then if the end their objection is not related to that, then you can ask them, “Hey, did your mind change? Or was that not actually important to you?”


[00:25:36] SL: Right. I mean, especially now you have this, sometimes when you ask a candidate, this first thing you ask. You’re like, “Hey why are you looking? Why are you exploring this role? Why OwnBackup?” You ask them something, they’ll go through. “I just feel like I’m stagnating at my current job,” or “I got laid off, and I really need a job, and this just came across.” It could be as simple as that. I followed up with a candidate the other day, and I said at the end is like, “What’s the ideal in your next role? Circle back to the beginning of that conversation.” I got, “Well, I don’t think any of us are really going back to an office. I said, “Is that what your driving factor is right now? Is that really what’s motivating you to look for a new role?” It’s like, “Well, no, but that is important to me.” 


There’s figuring out the main reason that they’re looking for a job. Then other things that are, you’re going to find out that are really important to them that you can flex on, right? In that example, reflects on, “Hey, we’re open to – we don’t tell this, but we’re open to a hybrid work environment, but it’s not something that we say, everybody, everybody’s hybrid, or everyone works from home.” But that’s something that we’ve armed recruiters to be able to have that conversation at least.


[00:26:42] RS: Yeah, yep. Makes sense. I like how earlier you mentioned that your conception of what total rewards means any way a company might incentivize an employee to join/stay/do work, right? So compensation is obviously equity, standard benefits, medical and whatnot. Perks I guess. You also mentioned recognition, which I thought was interesting, because there’s some folks that just really need that, right? That’s been reported, like millennials need to be told “You’re doing a good job,” in addition to getting paid. That’s more of your business psychology leadership lean though, right? Or is that something that you are taking into your role as total rewards to tell managers be like, “Look, this is part of the full package, honestly.” Valuing the work someone does openly, vocally, to the rest of the company, makes people feel desired and valued. We’re going to do that deliberately. 


[00:27:36] SL: I don’t think that that’s something we’re going to roll out as a massive program. But in partnership with our business partners, we would work with managers to coach them through figuring out what actually does motivate their team. What motivates one person does not motivate another person when it comes to a reward. For some people, they want money, they want they want spot bonuses, they want branded Peloton, I don’t know, they want like a tangible thing. Other people, some people just really crave, “Great job!” or like, “This is my MVP of the month.” Having that title, some people thrive on that and actually really motivates them to continue operating a level of high performance. 


That’s different from person to person. There’s no blanket solution that’s great for every company. You could figure this out. You could do engagement surveys and throw surveys out there to figure out on the whole what does motivate the organization and figure out what that low hanging fruit is going to be, that you can say, “Yeah, 75% of the people are motivated by this let’s roll out this type of program.” Sure, you could do that, but you’re going to have 30% of people that start it’s not going to impact.


[00:28:39] RS: Yeah, yeah, of course. It’s probably more than that. Everyone likes to be told they’re doing a good job. But if you were to send out an engagement survey, and it would be like, would you rather be named company MVP, or get a spot bonus? No one’s going to say I want to become the MVP, right? Everyone is ultimately motivated by that. The recognition part feels that’s just part and parcel with having a wholesome culture that openly values people and makes them feel that way. In addition to the, “Also, by the way, here’s your little chunk of change for doing an extra good job.”


[00:29:14] SL: Yeah. Well, I mean, to the point, no, you’re not going to have anybody – you want a question. Do you want money? Or do you want this like –


[00:29:21] RS: Or a pat on the back, yeah. 


[00:29:22] SL: Yeah. A pat on the back, no one’s going to say the pat on the back. But if you were to go that route, you might partner with some IO psychologist to figure out, how do you get that answer without actually asking that question? Be a little more thoughtful about it that way.


[00:29:33] RS: Yeah. Makes sense. Well, Shane, here we are creeping up on optimal podcast length. This has been a fun one. It’s been a good ride through comp and arming recruiters to be more effective at the offer stage and throughout. At this point, I’ll just say thank you for being here and sharing your experience with me. I’ve loved chatting with you today.


[00:29:48] SL: Yeah. No, this was awesome. Thank you for having me. Sometimes it’s just fun to talk talent.


[00:29:53] RS: Yeah. You know it. You want to do a last-minute plug for OwnBackup. Are you hiring any recruiters or anything?


[00:30:00] SL: Oh man, listen. I have to go back, this always like, we are – I said this earlier, we’re just experiencing this endless growth. We’ve doubled in size year over year, that’s not going to slow down. That being said, we’re also hiring a lot of talented recruiters to help support that exponential growth that we’re going to see this year and beyond. Yeah, I would definitely say check out our careers page, check out our LinkedIn. Feel free to apply. You can also feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and I’m happy to entertain any questions you have about the organization and the awesome culture we have here. We have a lot of fun, but we’ve worked really hard.


[00:30:32] RS: There you have it, folks. If you want to see what OwnBackup is all about, Shane Long is ready and willing to fill all your questions and requests. At this point, I’ll just say thank you, Shane, for being here. To folks out there in podcast land, I’ve been Rob Stevenson, Shane Long’s been Shane Long. You’ve all been amazing, wonderful recruiters. Have a spectacular week, and happy hunting. 




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