Blair Bennett

PepsiCo SVP of Global Talent Acquisition Blair Bennett

Blair BennettSenior Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition

We are so excited to welcome the Senior Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at PepsiCo, Blair Bennett. Blair shares her background in politics & executive recruiting, and how her career prepared her to lead the talent function at PepsiCo. You’ll also hear about diversity goals within leadership at PepsiCo, and the strategies the team has implemented in order to achieve them. We talk priorities, and chat about Blair’s day-to-day life at PepsiCo, with a focus on her amazing team, partnerships, and leadership. Blair believes that there is no better career than talent acquisition. Tune in today to hear why.

Episode Transcript

[INTRODUCTION]

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

[00:00:12] 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.

[00:00:22] RS: No holds barred, completely off the cuff interviews with directors of recruitment, VPs of global talent, CHROs and everyone in between.

[00:00:31] FEMALE: Once I went through the classes and the trainings and got the certifications through diversity inclusion, I still felt something was missing.

[00:00:39] 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.

[00:00:52] RS: I’m your host, Rob Stevenson, and you’re about to hear the best in the biz. Talk Talent To Me.

[INTERVIEW]

[00:00:59] RS: Joining me today on Talk Down to Me, is the Senior Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at PepsiCo, Blair Bennett. Blair, a fantastic, warm welcome to you. Thanks so much for being here today.

[00:01:10] BB: Thank you, Rob. It’s great to be here with you and your listeners. I do count myself as one of those listeners. I appreciate all of the great current and relevant content that you put out. It’s amazing and it’s a pleasure to be here.

[00:01:22] RS: I’m so pleased to hear that. It’s easy to forget when I look at download numbers that those are people, that those are pairs of ears connected to brains in a heart. Thank you for calling that out and for tuning in.

[00:01:33] BB: Absolutely.

[00:01:34] RS: I am so pleased you’re here. I have a million things to talk to you about, because you’re doing so many awesome projects in campaigns at Pepsi, but first, I would just love to know a little bit more about you and your background. Would you mind telling us how Blair Bennett became Blaire Bennett, SVP of Global TA at PepsiCo?

[00:01:50] BB: Yeah, of course, Rob. I always love hearing these stories of the people who are on your podcast. I grew up in the Midwest, in Illinois. I actually moved to Washington, DC to study. I got my degree in International Affairs and my first career was in politics. The fact that I now lead Global Talent Acquisition for PepsiCo is a bit of an unexpected career path.

However, I think that there’s a few different through lines through my career that bridge this story. If you think about networks and people and the importance of those in a career being open to taking risks and loving, learning and having a variety of things that definitely have created this interesting career path for me. I know we hear a lot of stories about people falling into recruiting and that’s true with me. I fell into recruiting over 15 years ago. What happened, Rob, was it was about six years into me being a political consultant. I did political fundraising. I was working with a lot of different Congresspeople, raising money for their campaigns. I was working with a great firm, had built a strong network and I just decided that it was probably time for me to try something new.

I thought that I would actually leverage my political career into becoming a corporate lobbyist, but instead, a friend of mine introduced me to the head of the Washington, DC office of Korn Ferry International, and subsequently I ended up joining Korn Ferry as part of their government affairs practice. That was the beginning of my executive search career. It might seem funny that this was how it happened, but I definitely think that when you look at fundraising and you’re constantly making connections of people to people and you’re building your network, that those types of skills and experiences lended themself well to executive search.

[00:03:57] RS: Now, as Korn Ferry, a think tank like a political consultancy?

[00:04:01] BB: Korn Ferry is an executive search firm.

[00:04:04] RS: Okay, got it.

[00:04:05] BB: Yes. Korn Ferry is one of the big five. I actually started there as part of the government affairs practice. I was recruiting heads of Washington offices, CEOs of trade associations. That’s the link to the political experiences and what actually landed me in that executive search business.

[00:04:29] RS: What executives were you searching for in those early days at Korn Ferry?

[00:04:33] BB: Yeah. As part of the government affairs practice, we were working with companies across all industries and it was really about finding their Washington representative, so their chief lobbyists. Then also, if you think about the trade associations that represent a multitude of companies, they were often coming to us to find their CEOs or their chief lobbyists or their head of policy.

My network that I had built up doing political fundraising actually parlayed very well into the types of talent that we were looking at, because we would recruit people off Capitol Hill, we would recruit people out of the White House, we would also recruit people from one company to another, who knew how to represent the companies in front of the political arena.

[00:05:22] RS: I’m sure it’s possible to do executive recruiting without a network, but it feels it’d be much, much easier to have already built up some rapport and a little bit of a relationship with these folks. I can see how having worked for on the campaign donation front, you knew a little bit about these folks, so it wasn’t out of left field when you said, “Hey, would you consider this job?”

[00:05:42] BB: Yeah. That’s right. The actual opportunity was a little bit out of left field, but looking back, it made a lot of sense. I give a ton of credit to the Korn Ferry team that recruited me, because they saw how my skill set could transition to executive search when at the time I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.
[00:06:06] RS: But you clearly liked it, right? Because here you are.

[00:06:08] BB: Yes. Actually, what’s interesting, Rob, is I fell in love with the executive recruiting and at Korn Ferry, and I met my future husband, so I found two loves out of the deal.

[00:06:20] RS: How about that? I love to hear it.

[00:06:22] BB: Yeah. But I will say that it is important to know that I met my husband there, because then that actually turned into me moving from Washington, DC to Arkansas, because my husband got recruited to Walmart, which its global headquarters are based in Bentonville, Arkansas. So we moved to Arkansas, and I ended up just admiring Walmart and the company, the leadership of the company, the role that the company played in the global community as well as the local community. So I ended up joining Walmart as part of the executive recruiting team and was with Walmart for seven years. I did a variety of roles there. I mentioned one of those through lines being learning and variety. It very much comes into play again in my Walmart career, where I was part of the executive recruiting team.

I also led the e-commerce recruiting team after we had acquired Jet.com. I was HRBP over our technology division for a period of time where the company was giving me a critical experience as an HR partner. I worked on an innovation project, which was super cool was a cross-functional business project where we were looking at what the super center of the future would look like. So I really had a lot of interesting opportunities there, both in leadership roles, as well as individual contributor roles, which helped me build a variety of skill sets that I think prepared me for the role that I’m in today as I came over into PepsiCo. I think that having learned how to navigate a big company at Walmart, having learned how to work across businesses, have all been really, really useful in my current role as well.

[00:08:11] RS: Walmart’s doing some amazing things on the talent development fronts. If folks haven’t heard the episode I did with Amy Goldfinger over there, go back and check that out. It’s one of my favorite episodes. But you mentioned that you added some skills here, your tool belt there that positioned you well for PepsiCo. What was some of that development like for you? What did you pick up at Walmart that prepared you for this role?

[00:08:32] BB: Yeah, so many things. I think there’s a few that I would highlight. One is I had my first real opportunities to lead teams at Walmart. So learning how to lead a team with a people and values centric approach was something that I feel like I really picked up on there, because Walmart is a company of strong values. Also, you’re oftentimes working not only with your direct teams, but also across teams and having to collaborate and having to bring people along in the journey.

I also think that I’ve been very lucky both at Walmart and my previous careers, both in politics and at Korn Ferry to have good mentors and sponsors. Those experiences have taught me to bring people with you, through breaking down some of the glass ceilings, as they say. Today, I mentor both people that work at PepsiCo, but also I serve as a mentor to interns. So helping people learn and develop as they go, just as people helped me learn and develop is important to me.

Then I also think that at Walmart, I was afforded the opportunity to work across different businesses, whether it was core businesses like merchandizing or emerging businesses like e-commerce, and so really having the curiosity to get into different types of businesses at different moments in time really taught me that it is always – you can never take what’s happening in the business for granted in recruiting. It’s one of the things that has kept me in this business, because you’re constantly, I’m constantly learning. I learn something new every day, whether it’s something about the business, or something about talent, or something about another company, or something about an industry. I think that keeping that sense of curiosity is something that has been very important to me and something that I’ve learned in both individual contributor and leadership roles.

[00:10:50] RS: When you say it’s important not to take something for granted, does that mean you prioritize understanding a business function intimately? Or is it just how the talent team and recruiters involve themselves? What does it means to not take something for granted in that capacity?

[00:11:08] BB: Yeah. I feel that Talent Acquisition drives the business. So being a student of the business is important in being a good recruiter. That’s something that I think is really important in how I lead the Talent Acquisition function and also how I think about building capability among the recruiting teams. Our Talent Acquisition teams have to go out and find talent that is going to fill a need of the business. So intimately understanding what that business is trying to accomplish, what the business leader needs to fill out the team, and also how the talent is going to come in and acclimate to the team and get up to speed as quickly as possible. Really, to me is the magic of what we do as a Talent Acquisition team.

[00:12:07] RS: Satisfying that curiosity sounds like it’s not just something for you personally, but that you’re also making sure your team pursues as well.

[00:12:17] BB: Yeah, absolutely. I often think that recruiters underestimate the value that they bring to the business. So I try to remind the teams of the importance of what they do in driving those business objectives, and it brings a higher purpose to what we’re doing than just trying to find somebody to fill a role. Everything that we do is driving a business objective, and that helps to bring bigger purpose to the work that we do and understanding the value that we have as a function.

[00:12:52] RS: What do you say to folks?

[00:12:53] BB: Don’t underestimate the value that you have in this [Inaudible 00:12:55].

[00:12:57] RS: Do people beat themselves up? Did they say, “Blair, I don’t know what I’m doing? What is my purpose? I feel like I’m a cog in a machine.” How do you inspire folks?

[00:13:06] BB: If I think about my role as the leader of the Global Talent Acquisition team, I try to find opportunities to whether it’s through town halls or whether it’s through small group meetings to introduce what our CEO is talking about, what our HR leadership team is talking about. So in my position, I have the true pleasure of being part of these types of conversations, right?

I feel a big responsibility to be able to bring what’s happening in our company to our recruiting teams. I can do that through communicating what I’ve learned and what I have exposure to. I can also bring business leaders to our recruiting teams through global town halls. I can also think about we just did a workshop actually where my COE leader for our Global TA, COE brought some inspirational facts about what other companies may be doing in the industry. Or there’s certain recruiters who enjoy listening to podcasts, so I can share what podcast I’m listening to. There is, because I’m somebody who likes to learn and, because I’m somebody who continues to have a curiosity about what’s happening in our industry. I try to find ways to bring that to the teams as well. I hope that people get some takeaways from it that they may not otherwise get in their day-to-day experiences.

[00:14:43] RS: Yeah. We talk on this show a decent amount about how talent can make sure it has a seat at the table. It can emerge as a strategic lover, as a strategic lover of the business. Well, we haven’t covered, however, is the responsibility for leaders having done that to pay it forward to their team, right? To use it as, you are at the table. You are in those conversations. Now, you can be transparent. Now, you can bring in your team and bring them with you on this greater mission of here’s how we touch every single high level business school.

[00:15:19] BB: When I think about examples of how we can bring teams along and how we can celebrate the successes of our teams. We have so many examples, because we touch every corner of the company. I think a good example of where we tend to highlight work that our team is doing, is as it relates to our diversity efforts. One of the things I love about the work that we get to do in helping our business meet its objectives is PepsiCo as a company has made very public commitments around our racial equality journey as well as building our female representation.

We’ve committed that we’ll have 50% female representation in our managerial ranks by 2025. We’ve also committed that we’ll have 10% black representation in our managerial ranks and 10% Hispanic represents in our managerial ranks. If you think about Talent Acquisition having a front row seat at the table. This is absolutely a place where our team is helping our company meet its objectives every single day. Our company feels a true responsibility to have a workforce that represents the local communities and the global community in which we operate.

We celebrate that, we are constantly talking about the diversity of our hires. We are making sure that our talent attraction campaigns are focused on diverse audiences So that they can see what a great employer PepsiCo is. We’ve brought speakers into our Talent Acquisition teams to help them understand some of the ways in which we can connect with talent at a deeper level when you think about diverse talent. So there’s a lot of opportunity here where we try to inspire our teams.

If you think about, Rob, our business is global leader in foods and beverages. We’re about an $80 billion business. We’re in over 200 countries worldwide. So our diversity of workforce is incredibly important for us to connect with our consumers and our customers in the right ways. So that’s one space that I think is a really good example of the Talent Acquisition team driving enormous benefit to the business and helping us as a company meet our objectives, but also play in the right space in our communities and our global planet as well.

[00:18:10] RS: Yeah, of course. I can see how your talent team, they can see themselves in that goal, right? This is a commitment the company has made. It’s not just for one department. It’s for the entire company as across certain managerial levels. Who is going to accomplish that, if not the people on Blair’s team, right?

[00:18:25] BB: That’s right.

[00:18:26] RS: Can we talk about those numbers quickly? It was 50% women in managerial positions. 10% black, 10% Hispanic, also in managerial positions was at the high level goal by 2025?

[00:18:39] BB: Yes.

[00:18:39] RS: Let’s fast forward. It’s 2025 and you’ve hit those goals. 50% female, 10% black, 10% Hispanic Representation in these management levels. I imagine you don’t just put up the giant mission accomplished banner and say, “We did it. We’re diverse now.” Right? That’s just the beginning. Why these numbers and how is this part of a long term holistic approach to DE&I. Where do you go once having hit these numbers, I guess is my question?

[00:19:09] BB: Yeah. I mean, look, I think it is more than numbers. It is about having it a culture that is inclusive and where you can bring your best self to work every day. I think it’s important to innovation, which is an important pillar to our company. We’re constantly innovating on brands. We’re constantly innovating on the technologies that we use in our business. Facts and studies show that the more diverse you are, the more innovative you are. It’s important in that regard. I think also as we think about our leadership and the way that we build our managers and we build our teams, being able to drive that inclusive culture is an important competency that we expect from our leaders.

There’s a lot within the entire talent and culture ecosystem that is more than just, “Hey, we’ve hit a goal.” This is, “Hey, we’ve built a company that represents diversity of thought that represents diversity that shows up in our communities and our consumers and our customers.” That helps us be a better citizen to our neighbors, right? To our overall – if you think about our overall value chain, right? We have from Farmer all the way through to consumer. So it is important that as a company were representative of that entire value chain. We have a big responsibility throughout that entire value chain to make sure that diversity is a key component of how we work, how we operate, and how we build our own teams.

[00:21:08] RS: What are some of the strategies to hit those numbers? In addition, I suppose, to the deliberate sourcing effort?

[00:21:13] BB: Yeah. Actually we do quite a bit of building opportunity around this. So if you think about how we partner internally with our employee resource groups, that is a very good way for us as a Talent Acquisition team to build alliances and ideas of how to connect with talent. Of course, proactive sourcing and making sure that we are present in the right places to be able to attract the talent. The campaigns that we have, I’ll give you an example, we just have recently done campaigns with women in operations, and that is important, because we know that if you think about PepsiCo, right, we make move so product and the roles and operations are incredibly important to the overall business that we run.

We also know that there are some preconceived notions that these may not be roles that are best suited for female talent. Well, we can actually go out and tell many good stories about females who have been incredibly successful in these roles. Who have had the leadership opportunities, the promotion opportunities, the entire growth and development cycle, where a female can come in and get leadership opportunities and can have growth opportunities to promote into different roles.

We also know that as we have built these campaigns, you’re also highlighting incredible leaders inside the company that have been the mentors and the sponsors that we’ve been talking about. It really does build on itself. I think that through that campaign we’ve been able to highlight leaders around the globe who are in incredibly important positions for the company, who are female leaders, and that gives inspiration to others who are looking to build their career in PepsiCo, as well as others who are looking to come into the workforce or a company like PepsiCo that offers these types of opportunities and can be an employer of choice.

[00:23:34] RS: Is this like a video content play or how does the campaign take shape?

[00:23:38] BB: We actually work across a variety of channels, whether it’s our own careers site where we’ve highlighted many different stories. Of course, we leverage other digital channels. We try to create an environment where people will share on their own channels as well, so multimedium, whether it be video, whether it be picture still content. We also have an opportunity, I think, when we show up on campuses to highlight this type of content. Or we’ve done during Women’s History Month, where we’ve done specific stories that can highlight our commitment to females and diversity. It’s not a one-time thing. We really try to thread it through our employer brand and opportunities throughout the year to highlight what an incredible career opportunity you can have at PepsiCo.

[00:24:39] RS: Yeah, yeah. I love to hear it. Brand spend can be squishy in terms of measuring effectiveness. How do you think about making sure that this is working or putting into ROI or just, I guess, justifying its place in your budget?

[00:24:54] BB: Yeah. We actually look at a variety of things from just general impressions to the click through, to the actual application and then all the way through to higher. We’re looking at multiple metrics throughout the campaign. The biggest thing that we want to make sure is that as we’re getting talent into the pipeline, if they’re coming in to apply that we’re then making sure they get a good experience as they come through the process, right?

We focus a lot on candidate experience, and it’s something that I think is important, because yeah, you can start with a campaign or you can go out and tell great stories, but you need that experience in those stories to come to life and the candidate experience. Then that threads through actually to how you want their onboarding experience to be, and how you want their employee experience to be. We also think much more holistically about what success looks like as we think about that talent who has taken interest in PepsiCo and then how we deliver on that experience for them.

[00:26:09] RS: The parallels to other departments approach to measuring effectiveness are there for sure, right? With the campaign to click through to application like this is a standard demand generation funnel, right? You have your content, you have your nurturing channels, and then you have a – you’re nurturing someone to the point of sale or to the point of demo, what have you, but you think more deeply about it on the marketing side, right? This is my language, so I’m translating it for myself here, but it’s not enough for a thoughtful marketer to just throw it to sales and then say, “My job is done.” Right? You start looking at longer term like, did this person convert? Did they stick around longer? Were they a long term like lifetime value is the ultimate customer acquisition cost over a lifetime value is like the ultimate metric in sales and marketing, right?

You’re conducting similar things, right? You have your content play, where you’re bringing people in, and you want them to apply and get the job, but then are they happy? Do they have a good experience in the in the recruiting process? Did they work for the company for a long time? These are the longer term things you think about, I’m sure, and because it’s – that first part, anyway, the sticking with this, the women in OP’s campaign part, this is like I said, it’s very standard demand generation funnel, but whose responsibility is it? Is this the output of PepsiCo marketers? Are you hiring people specifically for recruitment marketing or bringing in agencies? How do you get this work done?

[00:27:27] BB: Yeah. So I think we actually have an Attraction and Engagement Center of Excellence or center of expertise, right? Who is focused on how we, A, what our global employer brand is? Then B, how we ensure that our messaging is resonating with the talent in which we are trying to attract? That team works both in a global strategic model as well as helping to bring campaigns to life where the value is, where the value needs to be realized.

When I think about the efforts of that team and to what you were just talking about. The content creation, the messaging, a lot of that we do in-house. We also do partner with some agencies at times, but it’s on the basis of our priorities around PepsiCo being known as an employer of choice, and around our employer brand and the EVP that we have at PepsiCo.

We know that innovation, growth and development, our culture, our purpose, agenda, are all incredibly valuable aspects of having a career at PepsiCo and what talent is telling us they want with a career at PepsiCo. So when you think about how that translates to different audiences, that’s where our team is looking and saying, “How do we bring this to life for that audience that we’re trying to reach, that talent that we’re trying to reach and bring into the company.” So we do a lot of our team generates a lot of content. We’re doing it oftentimes both at a micro level, whether it’s for one particular function or one particular business. We can scale that up as needed to a more global audience, which is what we’re doing right now. We started the Women in Operations campaign across our Pepsi Beverages North America Business and our Pepsi Foods North America business.

We’re now looking at how we scale that more globally to our businesses, whether it be in [inaudible 00:29:51] which is our Middle East Africa sector or Europe or Latin America or APAC, which is our Asia-Pacific. There are some similarities in what our business needs and what the talent is looking to PepsiCo to provide. So we do a lot of that in-house working across a variety of our teams, but at the guidance of our global CEO.

[00:30:21] RS: You have such an exciting amount of resources. I’ll put it that way of it that way. A question I like to ask folks is, if you could wave a magic wand, and what is your pie in the sky recruiting campaign you wish you could do if you had the investment or the workers, or if we had the team members or the resources or what have you? I usually have some example, but you live in this world where you can do it, right? You have that ability. I just want to – I don’t think I have a question there. I was wanted to reflect on the benefit of working for a company that has the reach of a PepsiCo. The question I do have, though, is how do you spend your time given that the world is your oyster with talent processes and campaigns, you could try it out there. How do you just structure your work life to be as effective as possible?

[00:31:09] BB: Yeah. I mean, look, I think that it would not be fair, probably for me to say that we have everything we want and we get all that we asked for, because we still have a need to prioritize on a day-to-day basis of what we can and cannot do as a function.

[00:31:26] RS: There’s a politician player. You’re still going to ask for resources at the end of the quarter. So let’s make sure we’re clear.

[00:31:35] BB: We are blessed that all the way from our CEO into all of our businesses recognize the importance that Talent Acquisition has in the company. We actually do get a good bit of recognition for our work, but I will say that you’re constantly prioritizing. So when we’re looking at our priorities, we’re thinking about a few different things. One is, how do we make sure that we differentiate on our candidate experience? Or thinking about, how do we put ourselves in a position to be the employer of choice for the talent that we need? A lot of that is when we think about our emerging capabilities that maybe we don’t have internally. Then also, are there certain geographies where maybe we need to make a bigger splash, because we’re growing there or we’re opening a new facility or what have you?

I say that those are important as we think externally, Rob, because we also have a culture of promoting from within. So when I talk about growth and opportunity within PepsiCo, it’s real that we try to pull our talent through the organization. So our internal mobility is just as important as our external recruiting efforts, but if you think about being that employee of choice, if you think about differentiating on that candidate’s experience, and if you think about really prioritizing diversity, those are areas where we want to make sure that we’re putting our investments and we’re putting our resources toward, because they’re so incredibly important to the success of our company and the growth of our company.

Our teams, my attraction and engagement team, my global campus team, our executive talent acquisition team and all of our TA teams across the US and our sectors have similar priorities that they think about so that we can scale, so that we can make sure that we’re making our resources as focused on the priorities as we can.

It makes a big difference when we try to align on things across our teams, because our COEs are big. They’re actually lean, but if we’re working on the right things and we’re co-creating and we’re co-designing with our recruiting teams across the sectors, then we can all come together and amplifier efforts in a much bigger way.

[00:34:00] RS: It sounds like representation and building a more representative workforce is your true north right now. That’s guiding a lot of your efforts with whichever you rattled off a handful of the different teams that you interface with on a daily basis, but they were all in the interest of making sure that you meet these diversity goals. Is that fair to characterize your role that way?

[00:34:19] BB: It is a significant priority for us as a company, yes.

[00:34:23] RS: Got it. Just going back to, I’m so interested in just how you spend your day, because I’m sure you get a million emails, there’s people wanting to bubble their last email to the top of your inbox to try and get you to do a demo or appear on a podcast, so you could spend your whole life in meetings or responding to emails. I’m just very curious for you as just like a high producer where you, how you chop your day up and make sure that you’re effective.

[00:34:46] BB: Yeah. So to give you a sense of my broader responsibility, my team is made up of our centers of excellence across Global Talent Acquisition Strategy, our global campus, executive TA which recruits all of our VP talent externally across the globe, our Attraction and Engagement COE and then in the US, our professional recruiting teams that support all manager and about recruiting. We also connected to our global sector TA teams on our priorities, right? So my goal is that these teams and these leaders of these teams have the north stars defined, so that they can then elevate their work and their selves to help us meet those priorities. So when I talk about where I spend my time, it is hopefully empowering our teams, inspiring our teams to be able to deliver on this broader agenda that helps drive the business.

First of all, I have an amazing leadership team. When we talk about diversity, it is important to me that my own team is diverse and as I look at my team, we have gender diversity, more females than males. We have ethnic and diversity across nationalities in the team. We also have people who come with different experiences. Diversity of thought across the teams. I have members of my leadership team who have been at PepsiCo for months all the way to over 20 years. That brings a good bit of ability for us to be a team that in our own right is innovative and able to bring this agenda to the forefront, which I think is important, Rob, because it’s not – I can’t do it all, nor do I pretend that I’m the one who knows everything or has the ideas.

I lean on my team a lot and I have an incredible team and they deserve a ton of credit for how much we’re able to accomplish. The other thing I will say is when I think about our company and what our CEO and our leadership team is trying to accomplish, that’s where I try to spend my time to ensure that we’re focused on the right priorities right now. As you know, there’s a lot that’s happening in the external marketplace, so whether it’s around how we’re doing a lot of work on our employer brand, we’re doing a lot of work on making sure that we’re working with our Total Rewards team, that we’re working across our HR operations teams, and those partnerships and that collaboration is really important, because if we’re trying to drive top talent emerging capabilities into our company, we need to make sure that our experiences, our technologies, our rewards are all set up for success to be able to do this, so it takes teams beyond just our team to do that.

I spend a lot of time on those relationships and that collaboration. I do think it’s important to talk to people like yourself and to make sure that there’s an element of understanding, what a great place PepsiCo is to work and all the great things that our TA team is doing. So I do make sure I carve out time for that. I will say that there’s a lot of time spent in meetings and you answering emails. I think some of those things are avoidable or are not unavoidable, but let you know as long as they’re focused on our priorities and saying focused on that, that’s important.

[00:38:37] RS: Well, I may use that as a testimonial. According to a podcast that SVP Global TA from PepsiCo calls important to carve out time for.

[00:38:46] BB: That is important to carve out your time.

[00:38:48] RS: That’s a ringing endorsement. I do appreciate it. Blair, gosh, we’re well past optimal podcast length here, but I really could keep going. I guess I’ll just wrap up here quickly by asking you one last question, which is for the folks out there who see you in this role. Awesome, Enterprise Company, the ability to work on whichever campaigns you want to accomplish, these high level goals. What advice would you give to folks who want to wind up in a role, similar to yours?

[00:39:13] BB: Yeah. Look, I think that there in my opinion, there is no better career than Talent Acquisition for all the reasons that I mentioned where you can have curiosity, you’re constantly learning, know to days are the same. You have a seat at the table, you get to drive business outcomes. I think that my biggest piece of advice is to maintain that sense of variety and curiosity with every role that you work on, with every interaction you have with the hiring manager, and with every opportunity that you have to interact with a candidate, because it’s that meeting of talent and the connection to the company that really are the most rewarding part of what we do.

We give people an opportunity to advance their careers and to bring their passions to what they do. I couldn’t be more blessed than to have had my career in Talent Acquisition. I think that you can have a very fruitful one, if you continue to keep an open mind, to have curiosity and drive business results.

[00:40:26] RS: I love it. Blair, that is fantastic advice. This whole episode has been chockfull of fantastic advice. So at this point, I would just say, thank you so much for being here and sharing with me. I’ve loved chatting with you today.

[00:40:36] BB: Of course. Thank you, Rob, again for having me. Thanks to your listeners for tapping in to talk talent to me.

[00:40:44] RS: I love it.

[OUTRO]

[00:40:47] RS: Talk Talent To Me, is brought to you by Hired. Hired empowers connections by matching the world’s most innovative companies with ambitious tech and sales candidates. With Hired, candidates and companies have visibility into salary offers, competing opportunities, and job details. Hired’s unique offering includes customized assessments, and salary bias alerts to help remove unconscious bias when hiring. By combining technology and human touch, our goal is to provide transparency in the recruiting process and empower each of our partners to employ their potential and keep their talent pipeline full.

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