This is a series of Transform speaker spotlights ahead of Transform Virtual June 22.
12 years in talent acquisition (a reformed HR lady)
Head of HR, Anheuser Busch: Always parked a Budweiser truck in eyesight of the interview window to make sure driver candidates really understood the job behind the “hype”
6 years at AT&T: Many years of focusing on talent attraction and employer brand before it was a thing and set up a marketing model similar to consumer brands. Biggest challenge was merging together 3 legacy brands and overcoming the stigma of AT&T as a traditional utility company.
Currently, Head of Talent Attraction, Employer Branding and Diversity Recruiting, American Airlines: Post-merger, build an employer brand separate from a very visible consumer brand. Leads a team (none of whom have any reqs!) that focuses on strategic hiring initiatives and a proactive marketing/media strategy.
Quote You Should Tweet: “Employees have the strongest investment in your employer brand. THEY are the most important stakeholders.”
“Employees have the strongest investment in your employer brand. THEY are the most important stakeholders.”Click to tweet
MBA, Human Resource Management
Describe yourself in 5 words/adjectives.
Mom, wino, Sooner girl, speaker/consultant
Describe your role in a sentence.
My team is the marketing arm of recruiting: candidate attraction through new hire experience.
Why talent acquisition?
It wasn’t planned. I started in the workforce young, as a single mom still going to school. Naturally, it was the evolution of the path I took. At 21, I was hiring people at the University of Phoenix. I saw the stigma of “online degrees,” but U of P has been around since the 70s. They only hire faculty with a master’s and 3 to 5 years of experience in the field they’re teaching. These people are more qualified than teachers at some state schools. I fell in love the mission and purpose of recruiting the right people, and I learned so much about the industry as I dove right into hiring people.
I love giving people a true picture of the job, that authentic vision, and finding the ones who still want it. When I worked for Anheuser Busch, we struggled with extremely high turnover with our drivers. I would park a truck outside the interview room, in view, and challenge candidates: See that truck over there? How do you feel about doing this 12 hours a day in the Midwest heat and snow, lugging around the equivalent of hundreds of 25 lb dumbbells? Giving people that true picture, even the ugly side (the real side), and seeing if they still really want it is how you hire quality.
Brand that inspires you.
Right now, Shaunda Zilich’s work at GE. She has been able to use her marketing background to focus on the job seeker in a new way. The Owen commercials, the Millie campaign. Love them.
Best piece of advice you’ve received.
“Always do that which you do not know in order that you may learn how.” To me, that means taking a risk and figuring it out. I tell this to my team, and I think it’s helped propel me in my career.
Crucial Conversations. It’s a business book that can also have a huge impact personally. Essentially, it’s the steps of how to manage conversations. So many people are scared to have tough conversations at work because they don’t want to rock the boat or have a confrontation. But if you know how to approach the issues, they don’t have to be confrontation. I have bought this book for many a person.
If anyone could play you in a movie, who would you pick?
I have been told that it would Kate Hudson.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I was divorced by 23 and had a 3-year-old daughter. Shortly after, I moved to a new apartment, and it was hit by the one of the biggest tornadoes in Oklahoma. We weren’t hurt, but we lost everything. I was as a newly-single mom, working full-time and going to school, with nothing to show for it. Within 5 years, I had finished my BS, MBA and PHR and bought my first house.
I didn’t even realize in the moment all I was doing. Looking back, I see how driven and motivated I was to succeed.
Bucket list item.
I want to travel everywhere. My favorite place so far: Costa Rica.
Mountains or beach.
One thing you can’t live without.
It used to be cheese until I had to go gluten-free. So I proved myself wrong: I can live without it, unfortunately.
Will robots take recruiters’ jobs?
No. I think they’ll help. That brings to mind another good book: Googled: The End of the World As We Know It.
Transform Virtual Session: