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In light of the recent Olympic games, the first-ever Recruitment Marketing Conference, SmashFly Transform™, and our love of recruitment marketing pioneers everywhere, our Recruitment Marketing Champion Series will highlight a lineup of big thinkers, bold leaders, and simply awesome people paving the way in transforming how modern organizations attract and hire top talent.


Name: Julia Levy

Tweet her: @RecruitingJulia

Title: Talent Acquisition and Recruiting Operations Director, Fiserv

Favorite Olympic sport: Gymnastics

Transform Session: Give Them a Candidate Experience They Can’t Refuse


Quick work credentials:

20+ years in recruiting

Applied undergrad and master’s degrees in psychology and counseling to a career in talent acquisition, starting at Georgia State in the Career Counseling office and worked from there

Now Director of Talent Acquisition Operations at Fiserv for a year, overseeing a team of 16 in social media, recruitment marketing, candidate experience, sourcing strategies, analytics, tools and technologies.


Quote of interview:

“Don’t be discouraged if your company doesn’t easily embrace recruitment marketing. You can still make strides in bite-size chunks.”


Six questions with Julia:

Do you feel that having a degree in psychology gives you an edge in talent acquisition?

When I spoke with people as a recruiter, I understood their motivations. I am always asking people about what they do and what they love about it and why – and considering how that might fit into an organization’s structure and culture. I’m a natural connector and sourcer, always thinking with a networking mindset and introducing people with common backgrounds and interests.


What was your biggest win in getting a company to embrace recruitment marketing?

I have never been at a company that fully embraces recruitment marketing, and I say this because of certain constraints that have always been present. I have worked with insurance and financial services companies that are inherently risk averse for fear of an SEC hit or some other penalty. I’ve had to work closely with compliance and legal departments to use recruitment marketing strategies within the constraints of the company.

Since I came on board at Fiserv, we have developed a comprehensive social media and recruitment marketing program. As a financial services technology company, we have a cutting-edge culture but a level of caution related to the brand. We use SmashFly for CRM and are starting to into expand job marketing with the platform. We have an SEO-optimized career site and do candidate remarketing. We are doing some cool strategies with Google AdWords and Facebook Sponsored ads, and we have a robust social media calendar. Our Chief Human Resources Officer supports all of our efforts – we just need to partner with marketing and legal to make it happen.


Do you feel that the challenges with recruitment marketing adoption stem from your industry or general unease about a new discipline?

Both, really. There is risk aversion, but if you think back to email or social media or even the move from newspapers to job boards, there was initial hesitation then as well. The other component is partnering with the marketing team, which is focused on the consumer brand. It’s important to gain their buy in and educate them about the employer brand and recruitment marketing.

It’s a constant evolution. Instead of posting, we are thinking about pushing jobs in front of people where they naturally are, like Snapchat or Instagram. We are also planning a multi-day photo shoot in order to have authentic videos and images of the Fiserv brand and employees that engage candidates.


What is your best piece of advice for someone struggling to push initiatives forward?

Stay the course! It’s about partnerships and education. Here’s an example: We are readying to launch a Veterans page and a Candidate Resource Center on our career site. Our head of marketing was asking whether we should be focusing on people globally vs. nationally. So, I went online to look at our competitors’ sites and spoke with some of our offices internationally. I learned that hiring “veterans” means past employees in many regions – where in the U.S. we call them alumni. I also have to really think about the creative and help marketing understand the differences in candidate vs. customer audiences.

I say stay the course because you can see how the CH2Ms or PepsiCos do the “big bang” stuff – but need to understand that those companies may have a brand with more leeway. Don’t be discouraged if your company doesn’t easily embrace recruitment marketing. You can still make strides in bite-size chunks.


Were you hired to bolster the recruitment marketing initiative at Fiserv?

Fiserv didn’t have a recruitment marketing initiative, but I was brought on to shake things up. I was afforded a larger budget than I was accustomed to and empowered to identify areas where we could make a big impact – so I’ve taken on transforming recruiting operations.


What’s next for recruitment marketing?

It’s looking at these emerging tools and technologies and blending things. I’ve joked that maybe we should explore a Fiserv Pokémon Go!

The next thing is extending recruitment marketing and social media practices beyond a small team. We need to roll out these practices to recruiters, hiring managers and employees as well. This year we are working on a candidate experience initiative. As a result, a big component of upcoming hiring manager training will involve social media and marketing training for managers – everything from the importance of your LinkedIn profile to job postings or interview questions. Best practices will soon be embedded into the DNA of thousands of employees. It’s exciting.


See Julia speak live at SmashFly Transform™ November 2-4, 2016.

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