Join us on Talk Talent to Me as we chat with Christina Pinheiro, VP of People and Talent at Sibros. Discover her inspiring journey from a passion for helping people to a successful career in HR.
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Rob Stevenson 0:52
I’m your host, Rob Stevenson, and you’re about to hear the best in the biz. talk down to me. Here with me today on talk down to me is the vice president of people over at Sibros Christina Pinheiro. Christina, welcome to the podcast. How the heck are you?
Christina Pinheiro 1:07
I’m doing well. Thank you, Rob, and excited for this opportunity to speak with you and talk about a few great topics that are so dear to my heart, and probably to a lot that is out there as well.
Rob Stevenson 1:18
Me too. And discerning listeners of the show will remember you from your cameo in the live podcast we did in San Francisco, when Justin asked who in the audience had a job description that they’d like us to feed through Chat GPT, your hand shot up. And so we went on and got to meet you. And it seemed like that was kind of kind of already what you had been doing. It was sort of like a gut check for you to be like, Okay, let’s see how he does it. Am I reading that right was sort of like, you know, it wasn’t like brand new information for you. You were sort of already doing it.
Christina Pinheiro 1:48
Spot on Rob. And I have a true passion for chopped abt and just AI in general, and how much of a big difference it’s made within the recruiting world. So therefore the opportunity just to hear Justin and the ability to see how it’s been able to be successful amongst him and his team, and the company that the represent within the talent acquisition. It was definitely in alignment of what we’re doing here at servers as well.
Rob Stevenson 2:13
Yeah, totally. And you know, we had that brief exchange. And then I got to catch up with you a little bit right after the show. And I knew that you were working on this awesome stuff. And I had to get you on the show to to talk about it more. Here we are with you on the show. You went from live podcast attendee to guest quite the character arc you’re having here in the tuck town to me, podcasting Extended Universe. Anyway, enough of me prattling on about whatever, Christina, let’s get to know you a little bit. Would you mind sharing about your background and how you wound up in your current role?
Christina Pinheiro 2:41
Yes, thank you, Rob. And, as you have shared, my name is Christina Pinero. And I serve as the vice president of people and talent here at servers. And I would say overall, for my journey has really begun right after graduating from San Jose State University. During my studies, what really led me to really choose this journey into this career is I hadn’t noticed that there is a large significant gap in many companies where employees back to voice or guidance for their own personal growth. And as always, kind of took a step back. And you know, it was really making some observations of companies where I was starting to apply at and do some internship fail. So observe that there was really a lot of broken HR systems, and that they really came across at a hindered effective communication. But most importantly, was that employee development, that is what lighted up fire underneath me, that inspired me to pursue a career path to address these issues, and ultimately improve the employee experience. So as I started that professional journey, I started joining organizations where I can make a huge difference in the people’s lives. And as we are here today, and over the years, I took on various roles focusing on really growing the companies in terms of headcount, while implementing effective policies and procedures. This experience really, ultimately allowed me to be comprehensive and understanding the HR landscape and the challenges that organizations are facing, while they’re really nurturing their talent. And throughout many of these roles that I’ve had, throughout my career, I’ve worked pretty closely with a lot of employees, managers and themselves and also leadership teams, and really, ultimately is really bridging that gap between their needs and the company needs. And I personally have focused on really building that culture of transparency. I believe that is music to everyone’s ears is having that transparency that correlates with that empowerment and continuous growth. But most importantly, employees felt valued and supported in their career aspirations. And today, we fast forward of you know, many of the companies that I was participating into different a variety of policies and procedures and that empowerment or growth within the company. And ultimately, my journey has been driven by a strong desire to make a meaningful impact on employees. lives, help organizations foster a culture of growth and development. And I will continue, I will continue to be motivated the opportunity to create positive change within the workplace and contribute to the success of individuals along with organizations.
Rob Stevenson 5:15
I love it. Thank you for walking us through all of that. And I’m glad to in particular, you called out the need to develop employees to offer learning opportunities, because the way I’ve seen that play out recently, is that l&d is often viewed as like a perk, it’s like, put it on your careers page next to free lunches, you know, it’s like, oh, we give you a stipend to take this Creative Live class or something, you know, but it seems like your view is a little more holistic, like you view as this very necessary thing to make sure that people stick around really? How do you view learning and development writ large as like a tool in the HR person’s tool belt? And then what does it look like? It’s the rose.
Christina Pinheiro 5:56
Yes, great question. And I am a true true believer of learning and development. And to your point, it really shouldn’t be as a perk, it should be really embedded within the company culture and having strong leadership that is behind it. And here at servers we do, we have our C suite, the founders of a company that truly believes in embracing and elevating our employees within their current role, or within roles that they want to be projected to be able to gain towards within their future while they’re here at Cerberus. So it goes back to really building a culture of that transparency, empowerment, that really fundamentally grows within the company where employees feel valued, but they’re supported during their careers about aspirations. So when I look at it, I take a step back and identify how can we really break it down? And how do we identify some of the learning goals? And we go ahead and start that by identifying what are those learning goals or areas of the development that are relevant to the company and to the employees. So as we build out quarter, over quarter, or even year over year, and we have our different all hands meetings with all of our employees, we hear it from leadership directly of where we’re really headed, and where is it aligned to the employees. And we choose relevant topics. And we select topics that are aligned with learning goals and interests into the employees. And those topics can cover various areas, such as industry trends, new technology, leadership skills, and professional development, or that is something that’s related to their job related skills as well. And then we go in and plan that schedule. So my team and I work directly on you know, really building out a training schedule that really determines the frequency and duration of either Lunch and Learn sessions, which is great, you know, to go ahead and clock in to a calendar where someone can come in, it’s more of a casual setting, they’re eating of their lunch. And having that open activities roundtable conversations, that gives us a considered how to really often those sessions should occur and maintain employee engagement without disrupting their regular work schedule. And we find internal and external speakers. So right now, we’re really primarily focused on some of the internal speakers where we have different individuals within the company, or within our HR people team, or even on our talent team that we embrace, to be able to be some of those guest speakers. Additionally, we considered inviting those speakers to be able to be a fresh perspective and valuable knowledge, we do a lot of communication and promote it. So that’s something that we do heavily on or whether it’s in our all hands call or through emails, or simple slack messages are, the best of what we can ask for is the word of mouth of the employees. So communicating that the lunch and learn sessions, the purpose of the schedule, the topics to all the employees. And we also use various lines of communication as I had shared as well. But I really emphasize on the benefits of continuous learning how to attend the sessions are contributed to the personal and professional growth. And we provide incentives, so considering offering incentives, so we do have that employee participation, we provide lunch, so there’s lunch that is provided here. So Sabres does provide lunch for all of the employees during those Lunch and Learn sessions. And we give that ability for the employees to be able to have the peace of mind that the food is there, they can just grab it and head right into our all hands room or a boardroom where we are hosting that session. And we’re really encouraged that employee involvement, we really don’t want it to be where it’s just a full on talking session where you have that guest speaker or that subject experts that is talking, we really do breakout sessions or activities. So therefore, it’s that engagement where employees are able to feel safe, secure with some of the things that they want to get off their chest or to be able to learn on some of the things that they may be experiencing as a bottleneck within their career or within their role within the company. And we collect feedback so immediately as we are in and Dean of that session, we do ask for feedback. And we’ll set anonymously survey where employees have that ability to speak freely what they learned and what they want to learn differently. But what we do before any of that as as we are building out some of that training is we involve others T stake leaders within the company to provide feedback. So therefore, we are aligned directly with them on what they’re working on with their employees, or within their team. So therefore, we can be able to be an additional communication channel to really deliver the message that they’d be working on with their employees. And we measure impact. We do that by assessing the impact of the larger months sessions by tracking those metrics, such as employee engagement, knowledge of retention application, learning the workplace, and analyzing that data to determine the effectiveness of the program, and how we really make it unnecessary adjustments as we do going forward on any lunch and learn sessions. And lastly, is always having that area for improvement, right? We don’t want to become complacent or coexisting within those lunch and learns. And they are just, you know, another thing that’s on your calendar, we want it to be a meaningful item that’s on your calendar. So we use that feedback, we evaluate some of those surveys. And we’re always looking for continuously improving those lunch along programs and really adopting those topics and formats. And delivering that that’s based on you know, those feedbacks that we do get from the employees.
Rob Stevenson 11:30
Man, Christina, you’ve really crunched all the numbers here, that was like rattling off blog posts here at my questions. I love it. I want to ask you about like a specific Lunch and Learns you’ve done because as you mentioned, right there at the end, there is like that concern that it’s just going to be another meeting, or it’s just going to be more work. And they are meant to be fun, right? They’re meant to like be kind of exciting to people they’re meant to want to go. It’s not meant to be like Mandatory Fun or something. So could you maybe share some examples of some of the Lunch and Learns performed by your own employees?
Christina Pinheiro 12:01
Yes, it’s a great question. And one of those really stand out or, you know, several of those, it’s really aligning its alignment, alignment to the learning goals, ensuring that the selected topics that we’re going to have those lunch and learns, is really aligned to the objectives within the company within that team lead, or what is an ongoing topic that we’re seeing within the company. So therefore, we can be an added advocate or an added resource that we can be able to be a benefit for those employees. And we want to ensure that we’re getting those employees needs and interests, we take into account that those needs and interests of the employees. We’ve done that through conducting a real surveys or interviews or informal conversations, we’ve gathered feedback and topics that would be valuable and relevant on we considered that. And also within those job roles and career aspirations and areas where we would like to enhance their skills and knowledge. So industry trends and advancements stay tuned to the latest industry trends that’s happening around within the tech world. And select the topics that are addressing within the technology are involving and best practices are changed within the market landscape. And we want to be able to have that ability to look at those job roles and departments and tailor those topics that are relevant to what is the goal for the company, or as we’re moving forward into the next quarter. What is the need for us to be able to embrace on some of those learning sessions so that therefore we can communicate that down to the employees levels. And we want to make sure that it’s practical, choose topics that are practical within the workplace, focus on actionable insights and tips, and that the employees can feel implemented immediately to improve on their performance. And they able to be able to walk away that they have additional gain knowledge that they were able to learn from during these Lunch and Learn sessions. And we want to have diversity and inclusion. We promote that here at servers, diversity inclusion by selecting topics that appeal to a wide range of employees, with different backgrounds, experiences and perceptions, including topics related to that diversity, and inclusion as well in sessions that we celebrate different cultures and foster that inclusivity and promote collaboration amongst the diverse teams. And we’re continuing asking for feedback. And during those previous sessions we ask during those surveys, what are some of the suggestions what are some of the things that you would like to see different or what are some of the topics that you would like to learn upon in the next upcoming learning sessions and really emerge those skills and future needs, accepting of the future skills and knowledge and requirements that you know, is needed for their job? What they may have started today in their current role in the work and develop over the next year and two years and how can they continue to enhance their skills the goal is that we want our employees to grow with us here at St. Rose, and that they are able to grow within their current position but able to be promoted into the next level, but how are we really embracing them? How are we equipping them with the right tools and resources for them to be able to have that career choice or directory within themselves. And I will do this by really considering this criteria by effectively, you know, being aligned at our all hands meeting and hearing directly from our senior leaders, you know, the direction that they are looking in terms of for the company, and we hear it on a monthly basis, you know, from our C suite, and we want to make sure that we’re definitely aligned, where the company is going, and how do we make sure that the employees are within that same alignment as well.
Rob Stevenson 15:45
So thinking back to some of the ones you’ve gotten to which were your favorites,
Christina Pinheiro 15:49
any day, you bring that up, as you just had one yesterday, and the one that we had was an interviewing bias. And that happened to be the most highlighted one were managers in the participations that was in there that they walked away with, they had that light bulb on that I learned something different. And it was aha moment for them, because they had that self reflection. And that’s when you know, you made a difference in those learning sessions, where employees are able to come back and say, I had that ability to know that I could have done this differently. And we are continuously looking at, you know, how can we improve, and we are continuing to grow. We’re continue to do hiring. But we wanted to ensure that, you know, our managers were equipped to be able to understand that, what does it mean to have that interviewing bias? And how do you be able to empower them to be able to have that self recognition of what they could do to continue to find candidates and hires that is not above a bias of opinion?
Rob Stevenson 16:54
So did you perform this one or this other people in the org that were doing the interview bias? One seems like you probably could have done it.
Christina Pinheiro 17:01
I did. So I did have a participation with my team. So it was in a collaboration with the talent team and myself, we were able to host this globally. So for our local office here in the US, and also for our India region as well.
Rob Stevenson 17:18
So at the risk of just having you re perform the Lunch and Learn, I’m just curious what you wanted to like, what what notes did you want to hit when you were making sure people were armed to combat their own interviewing bias? What did you make sure to focus on,
Christina Pinheiro 17:31
I wanted to hit home is that regardless of your role, or tenure within the company, we firmly believe that ongoing knowledge to understand that interviewing bias can really be out there. And naturally, you may not know that you are possibly having that bias when you’re doing that interviewing. So it was really embracing the managers that they were able to take a step back and understand what were some of those questions that they may have been asking that could be of a bias. And how does bias occurs, occurs when you unintentionally introduce certain errors, or project that to the interviewing process, which really leads to unfair bias for candidates. And these biases can stand from various factors such as personal beliefs, stereotypes, implicate biases and subjective judgments. So we all have biases we do at times, but while we may not be aware of them is how are we influencing us or making that decision on that candidate during an interview? So we wanted to ensure that, you know, we were able to break down what the biases looked like in terms of questions. And even furthermore, how are you even examining your resume when you did it from your recruiter? How to avoid having that bias of opinion, while you’re re evaluating that resume before you go ahead and have that interview?
Rob Stevenson 18:55
Where do you come down on this approach of anonymizing like resumes? Or someone’s like take home assignment for an interview, like taking off, you know, like their name, and you photo of them making it? So it’s just the information in in front of them? That there seems like there’s that approach. And then there’s the approach of like educating people on their own bias. I don’t know if people are doing both. But what is your take on the former?
Christina Pinheiro 19:19
So what we shared yesterday, is that really, ultimately, is you want to have that job description in front of you. And then you’ll also want to have that resume. And have those be both put together no different than what Justin had share at the meeting that we had in San Francisco. And is to have that side by side to see exactly what is needed for the role. What is needed for the role, what is the responsibility? And how does that correlate to the experience of candidate house but it gives you that black and white right in front of you where you’re able to measure up the roles and responsibility that is aligned to the experience of what that candidate has shared with,
Rob Stevenson 20:01
but how about that particular act of like, removing someone’s identifying information so that like, there’s not like even a name, you know can give someone bias right?
Christina Pinheiro 20:12
It can, it can. So I do like that approach how we’ve done it now we haven’t done it, I really feel empowered to really educate employees. So therefore we can be able to empower them on, you know, what is those biases? But how’s it been done before in the past and some of my career and roles and other companies? Yes, no different than outside agencies as what outside agencies? Do, they remove the name, and they’re really just putting the title of the agency, and this is a few candidates that we have. And let us know. And I strongly believe, you know, by having that, that gives you the ability to, again, Rob is not having that bias and being able to read over that resume and say, This person has some great skill set, it’s definitely aligned with the experience of what we’re meeting for this role. And let’s go ahead and schedule some time to go out and have that interview with them.
Rob Stevenson 21:03
Yeah, I tend to agree with you, I think I understand why it’s done the anonymization. But at some point, you’re gonna have to meet this person, right? You’re gonna have to learn their name and look at them probably. And so if you’re not solving that problem of their bias, and you’re saying, Oh, well, we’ll just create a situation where your bias can’t possibly creep in. Eventually, it will if that like, you can’t have the anonymity all the way through the process. Right. So I think you’re just kind of kicking the can down the road, a little bit of when this bias is going to take effect, it seems like a much more difficult, but probably better approach to actually educate people on their own biases, right? So yes,
Christina Pinheiro 21:37
absolutely. So it does work. It does work, having those lunch and learns, or any type of training sessions to enhance the interviewing skills for some of those hiring managers. And being able to have that central topic that we did yesterday on interviewing bias, it gives that ability for the hiring managers. And those interviewers have the ability to be embraced on the self acknowledgement that you know, what are some of those questions that they’ve been asking? That is may have been a bias? How are they revealing that write resume and was at some of that bias? So giving that ability to them to be have that aha moment, saying to themselves? Well, I didn’t know this? I didn’t know I was asking him this type of question that could be considered a bit of a bias type of way towards asking a question to a candidate.
Rob Stevenson 22:26
Yeah, definitely. Well, Christina, we are cruising here, we have so much I wanted to talk about and we’ve spent our time other places, which is fine, because it’s just, you know, what we ended up chatting about. But I want to make sure before I let you go, that we talk about the reason we met, which was AI in recruiting. And the reason why you tripped up to see what was going on in Justin’s mind, I would love to know what is your approach to using tools like Chat GPT and other AI tools in your own recruiting stack and how you’re kind of enabling your team to use them?
Christina Pinheiro 22:55
Yes, as one could say is I am a big fan of the AI tools. However, I do strongly share as well as do not allow that AI tool to take away from the own original content of what you may have written use it as an additional resource, use it as a nother opportunity for you to enhance you know some of your skills, but do not be reliant on it. Because we don’t want to take away from the natural human being of you know, the content that you may be writing, but gives you that ability to have the additional resources to yourself to be able to look at a different perception differently and have that ability to have that AI and it’s so quickly. It’s automated. And it gives you a pretty good industry response. If you ask that question pretty direct, and it populates, you know, some great scorecard answers, if you’re using it on the talent side, how to align a job description, or what Justin had shared is how to be able to be prepared for a hiring manager on some of the skill sets that they have. And these are yes, you know, copy and pasting the job description and crafting it to say, Can you please help me on building out some key notes that I can be able to build into a call with a hiring manager as well?
Rob Stevenson 24:17
Got it. Yeah, I think that is so important to call out that. Like, you want to hold on to the things that only you can do, which is your own style, your own personality, your own just like humanity, right? And to make it to sci fi, but like that’s what it is. You don’t want to just sound like a robot and that kind of came across in the Live episode, which was like, Look, in Leeson chat GPT case. It doesn’t give you like a full finished product. It gives you like 50 60% of the way there. It’s a great kickstart, but you treat it more like an assistant or a recruiting coordinator even and then you take it the final stretch yourself.
Christina Pinheiro 24:51
Absolutely. And again, keep that human judgment and expertise to it.
Rob Stevenson 24:56
Yeah, definitely. Well, Christina, before I let you go, I want to ask you you to reflect back on your career. And I want to know, what is the best piece of career advice you ever received?
Christina Pinheiro 25:10
Oh, and like that, there’s quite a few that I can think about. I’ve had some great mentors. And even today, my mentors are my circle of influence that, and I would say one of them is really achieving that work life balance within one’s career, but setting clear boundaries, and establishing clear boundaries between the work and personal life, defined working hours, communicate them to colleagues, and managers are even putting it on your calendars as well. And being able to have a strong circle of community support, whether it’s within your family, if it is within friends and family. So therefore, you’re able to still continue on your career journey and aspirations within your own career growth. And I will look at the next one is for myself is to really foster open communication, that is something that has been shared with me with many mentors is continue to have open communication and gain coaching, whether it’s constructive, or it’s coaching that is going to empower me or the better as well. So embrace it, and take those ability to really have that. And lastly, I would say is take that opportunity to develop and self care routines in order for you to, or anyone else, or even for myself to continue within that career drive that I do have is that I need to ensure that you know, I do that self care within myself, just as much as that I’ve talked about these lunch and learns, and really empowering employees and really fostering them in regards to that employee knowledge base so that therefore they can go ahead and have career mobility within their career. That’s the same thing for myself. So ensuring that, you know, I do that self care that I’m able to, you know, really equip myself with tools or resources, and different training initiatives so that I can continue to be a better people, leader for the team, for the company, and ultimately for myself as
Rob Stevenson 27:07
well. That is great advice. Christina. This has been a wonderful chat. You really brought the ruckus today. So thank you so much for being here and for being yourself. I’ve loved chatting with you today.
Speaker 5 27:17
Thank you, Rob. It’s been such an honor and I love the ability to be able to share my story and hope that it touches someone within the audience and being able to share some of my career journey that what we are doing here at servers as well.
Rob Stevenson 27:32
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