This is a series of Transform speaker spotlights ahead of Transform Virtual on June 21, 2018.
Julia At a Glance
Title: Director of Talent Acquisition & Recruiting Operations, Fiserv
Favorite rainy day activity: I have 2: obscure board games, and riding the Peloton bike.
Favorite guilty pleasure song: Something 80s. Probably “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley, because I love Rick Rolling people.
Favorite snack at the movies: Popcorn and Twizzlers.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background and how you got into the recruitment marketing world?
I’ve always been fascinated by the role a person’s job plays in their life. I have a Master’s degree in Career Counseling and I’m a recruiter at heart. The marketing hat is one of many that I wear when working on Fiserv’s talent acquisition strategy.
I’ve been lucky enough to turn my passion into a job. It’s meaningful work because I help people find jobs that they enjoy. When I look at candidate satisfaction data or read Glassdoor ratings, or even just hear anecdotal feedback that a candidate had a good experience with us, I get really excited about what I do.
What has been the biggest change in talent acquisition since you started your career?
Definitely the recruitment marketing aspect of it – we think of the candidate as a consumer.
Back in the day, companies were just starting to feature career information on their corporate websites, let alone on dedicated career sites. When I started recruiting, my tools were a fax machine and a rolodex. Technology was just starting to come to life with the first and second generation of job boards and ATSs.
Candidates didn’t have the information they do today. There was no Glassdoor, no Indeed, no robust career sites with videos and stories. News about a company’s CEO or innovation wasn’t at candidates’ fingertips. Access to all this information has created a candidate-driven market, and we’ve had to adjust our strategies accordingly. We’ve become more proactive.
What was your proudest accomplishment building the RM function at Fiserv? Was there a moment where you felt like it all came together?
There are two moments that come to mind. First, hiring Alex – repurposing headcount and creating a role for someone to focus entirely on recruitment marketing and candidate experience. Being able to do that told me I was at the right place because I had been at other organizations that didn’t see the value in that yet. It’s amazing to be at a company that identified ahead of time that this is important.
The other big accomplishment was the first iteration of our new career site. When I got to Fiserv, we had a career site, but it was all stock imagery. Our hero image was of a diverse group of people in their mid-20s, all wearing suits. That was crazy to me, because walking around the office, I would see people from 20 to 50 and older wearing dresses, polos or Fiserv t-shirts. Redoing this site was the first opportunity to showcase our people. Alex and I did 2 rounds of photo and video shoots with a goal of giving an authentic look into working at Fiserv.
Finishing this project was like giving birth to my first and only child. Literally – the videos took 9 months to produce.
What is the biggest challenge you’re up against currently?
As a technology company in financial services, we’re in a unique situation. We’re constantly treading this line between being a risk adverse financial services partner, and an innovative technology company.
For example, we want to get into live video and user generated content. For some brands, that’s as simple as giving the Instagram password to an employee and letting them take over for the day. We aren’t in a place to just do that, then beg for forgiveness. It’s a journey – we have to build a business case and test it out. We have to crawl, then walk, then run.
It’s all about working with internal partners to be creative within the brand standards. I don’t know that we’ll ever be first or inventing something, but I want us to be pretty darn close.
You’ve been involved with Transform since the start – what is it about this community that has kept you around and engaged?
For me, it’s the community (the recruitment marketing tribe). I’ve been in the industry for a while and I’ve seen lots of changes. When I’m stuck, I love being able to go to my tribe and ask them to tell me the good, the bad and the ugly of what’s going on in their world, and I want them to be able to come to me as well. While there might be a company listening to me that’s a direct competitor, I think being transparent is still valuable because I don’t have the answers for everything, and I know they don’t either.
Although Fiserv sees the value in recruitment marketing, I’ve been with organizations that didn’t. I know what it’s like to feel like MacGyver – figuring out creative, low cost, low frills solutions to do recruitment marketing without the budget or tools. I’ve been in environments that were so risk adverse that I had to figure out how to do this with little support. Remembering these experiences makes me want to share what works for me now that I do have the budget and support to take on larger initiatives in the hopes that it can help someone else.
What’s one piece of advice you want to share with recruitment marketers?
I would say network – reach out to Transform Virtual speakers and other practitioners. Really take part in the tribe, in this community. Make those connections – reach out to people, have conversations, ask questions that you’re dying to have answered. I think a lot of people are scared to email people and ask, but I’ve found that most times, people are happy to share. So put yourself out there and learn from your peers! This is an evolving discipline, and no one has ALL the answers.
Be sure to catch Julia’s session, Stickiness as a Strategy: Fiserv’s Vision to Build and Adopt a TA Ecosystem at Transform Virtual on June 21, 2018.