For those looking for our “Best Of” tune back in on Monday!

This past week, I have been at the HCI Human Capital Summit in Orlando, Florida.  This event brought together a great collection of practitioners, companies and sessions that help move the HCM conversation forward over the past three days.

This post will be a collection of my thoughts as I’ve thought back on the past week.

For my recap of Day 1 of the conference, you can find the post here.


Steering Your Ship Through Rough Waters: Lessons on Leadership from Captain Phillips by Richard Phillips

One of the highlights of the conference was seeing Captain Phillips speak about his now Hollywood documented story about his cargo ship seized and himself taken hostage by Somali pirates.

His story is one of real leadership and his honesty throughout on why he took the actions he did provide a tremendous story for other leaders to follow.  If you have the chance, I highly encourage you to see him speak in person.

While I won’t provide a stage by stage account here (you can find some in this article), I did want to share his main message that I thought was very profound.

Throughout the struggle here and in his life, Phillips had come across obstacles to get where he needed to be and put into hard circumstances.  However, in all of these situations he also managed to make it out for the better due to perseverance and never giving up.  And it’s in this a great lesson came:

We can do more than we can ever imagine we can do.

As long as we realize this fact, hard decisions and situations become a lot less intimidating.  Every person is more powerful and skilled than they ever thought they are and we have to have confidence we can meet challenges head on.


Finding the Proper Dosage for Change: Examining Three Successful Initiatives at Humana by Kevin Stakelum (@kstake01)

Humana is a massive organization with over $39 billion in income and while most people associate them with insurance they have a much more diversified business in the healthcare space.  Started in 1961 as nursing homes, it now provides insurance, hospitals, integrated care, government, retail, health & well-being, corporate among others with over 40,000 employees (with around 21,000 hires a year done by 160 recruiters.)

This leads to having a diversified recruitment strategy to continuously bring in quality candidates to help drive the business forward.  In this session, Kevin outlined 3 unique initiatives for Humana that have been successful for the organization: Military, Video Interviewing and RPO.

Military Recruiting

In early 2013, Humana’s CEO agreed to hire 1,000 military as part of President Barack Obama’s challenge to organizations.  They have successfully met this goal with a multi-faceted campaign towards military veterans.

They have done this with a few key initiatives:

Talent Network: They’ve built a Talent Network specifically to meet the needs for veterans and their families looking for employment.  This site includes custom messaging towards veterans, job alerts on newly opened positions and tools to help them identify areas that could be a good fit for their skills as well as other information.

Identification of Business Units: A key to the strategy was identifying business units and position types that were well suited for the skills of veteran candidates.  The Humana team went through and identified several areas of focus when looking to match qualified veteran candidates with jobs at the organization.

Dedicated Recruiting Team: They have a few recruiters dedicated to Military recruiting.  This team acts as the liaison between veterans looking for work and recruiting teams.  Each recruiter would remain in contact with veterans continuously until they were no longer seeking employment and would also be tasked with educating internal recruiters and hiring managers about key terminology and details related to veteran candidates.

Video Interviewing

With Video Interviewing, Humana has been able to cut down overall interviewing and travel costs significantly as well as increase the number of interviews that can be done and screened by their teams.  It’s been a great way for the recruiting team to improve operational efficiency.

With Video Interviewing, they have been able to view over a 1000 live interviews per month which they’ve estimated as a 25% time savings for recruiters and considerable cost savings from not having to be in-person for initial interviews.


Humana uses RPO to augment their current recruiting strategy and meet overall hiring demand.  Most importantly, RPO enables them to anticipate and forecast the cost of acquiring talent better.  The key that Kevin mentioned is ensuring that you figure out where RPO fits in your strategy and what you will handle internally from a recruiting perspective.  This is essential to ensuring a positive partner relationship that helps you meet your talent acquisition goals.


Carnival Cruise Lines Sets Sail with Digital Recruiting for a Pipeline of Onboard Talent by David Brady

Out of all the breakout sessions, I thought this was the most engaging based on the energy and passion of the presenters.  David Brady helps lead the recruiting for the onboard entertainment for Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest cruise company in the world.  He’s constantly looking for musical and entertainment acts to ensure a great guest experience on Carnival Cruise ships.  And one thing you could tell is that he loves his job and was excited about how they’ve greatly improved their strategy by using Digital Recruiting through HireVue.

The Problem

In the past, Carnival Cruises entertainment recruitment used the same process as many other organizations.  They had people apply, they conducted phone screens and then had anyone that passed this low bar come in to show them their musical and entertainment talents.  The problem was that many times when they met acts in person, they were able to disqualify them quickly.  Either they didn’t speak English, were not all that good in person or lacked other skills that disqualified them.  In addition, one recruiter might have an act that is good but they don’t have an opening for and many times good acts were lost because matching them up with another liner was difficult to do.

The Solution

They knew they needed to “Up the Quality”.  With HireVue, they’ve been able to do that by using video interviews to apply for onboard entertainment positions.  This has helped them in a number of ways:

Talent Identification: First and foremost, it has helped them easily identify talented entertainment candidates who apply.  This helps them quickly pass on talent that is not yet ready to perform on their cruise lines.  It also has provided an enjoyable way for candidates to showcase their skills to Carnival in a setting that is familiar.  By screening talent earlier in the process, they’ve saved considerable budget on travel and other costs to find and verify performers.

Sharing of Qualified Talent: A big problem for them was also not having a centralized system to share acts that were good but didn’t fit what a recruiter was looking for in a particular Cruise line.  Now recruiters can easily share good acts with other recruiters so they don’t let as many good candidates go to waste.

Feedback: Just like in any career, musicians and performers mature and get better over time at their craft.  The system Carnival has put in place has also provided the ability for them to provide timely feedback to performers on what they need to work on.  By doing this, they are hoping candidates will come back to apply once they are more polished and ready for the opportunity.


HCI Human Capital Summit

Like any good conference, The Human Capital Summit left attendees with some answers and plenty of questions to take back to their teams and think about their strategies and potential initiatives.  Thanks to the speakers and attendees for making the show a successful learning experience.


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