TotalPicture Podcast interviews thought leaders, practitioners, and vendors in HR, Talent Acquisition, Staffing, Leadership, and Innovation to provide cutting-edge content and actionable information to our listeners. We cover many of the important industry conferences including, SHRM, UNLEASH, ERE, TATech, and WOBI - World of Business Ideas. Currently, we are conducting all of our podcast and video interviews via Zoom.
The Future of Live Conferences – 2021
A Candid Conversation with George LaRocque, SVP Insights, UNLEASH
What to do if you're in the event/conference business? A lot of conference producers have tried to replicate their events on platforms like Zoom and On24. UNLEASH (of course) has a different idea and recently brought on George LaRocque as Senior Vice President of Insights.
Welcome to WTF-2020 How to Pivot in the COVID-19 Shit Show, with your host on the TotalPicture Podcast, Peter Clayton. Joining Peter is the new Senior Vice President of Insights at UNLEASH, George LaRocque. George has a long and distinguished career in HR and TA Tech.
"It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge fan of UNLEASH since attending their event in San Francisco in 2017. What a ballsy move for this little-known European company to make! You can see one of their mascots, Nancy, sitting on top of my applause sign. That’s why I was so happy and encouraged in this shit storm of 2020 when the email from UNLEASH CEO and founder, Marc Coleman hit my inbox announcing that after many months UNLEASH has been reinvented to become 'the new customer-first digital media platform for the HR industry,' and announcing George LaRocque as the company’s new SVP Insights."
* George, welcome. It’s great to see you. How are you and how is your family?
* I would guess that most of the people watching or listening to this know who you are, but can you please tell us about your professional accomplishments?
* Once I realized, back in February and March – that there would be no live events this year and I would have to completely reinvent my business model, I was thinking – what are the conference, trade show, and event companies like UNLEASH going to do?
* What was your reaction earlier this year, and what were you hearing from HR tech companies?
* So George, give us some SVP insights. How did this new reinvention of UNLEASH and your senior leadership role evolve?
* Are you focusing on building the UNLEASH brand here in the US?
* Talk to us about the relaunch of the UNLEASH website – which I guess you could now call a content platform?
* So as of today, the #HRWINS website is alive, and well, will this get merged into the UNLEASH platform at some point?
* Part of your LinkedIn profile lists Event Director of UNLEASH North America as part of your responsibilities, and on the UNLEASH website, when you click on the Live Events link, is listed UNLEASH//Europe March 2021 in London, UNLEASH//America in May 2021 in Las Vegas, and UNLEASH World in October 2021. Do you think any of those events will actually take place?
* How are your partners reacting to live events in 2021?
* What will happen to UNLEASH if there are no live events in 2021?
* I recently watched your interview with Jill Popelka, SAP SuccessFactors’ President – a nice get, as they say in the video podcast biz – are you going to be doing more of these? In addition to a number of leadership video interviews on the new site, there’s a lot of news articles and editorials – are you involved in developing and curating this content?
SmartRecruiters Announced its Best First-Half Results in its History. In the Middle of a Pandemic!
CEO INSIGHTS: “WHAT INSPIRES ME IS THE WORLD THAT EMERGES ON THE OTHER SIDE.”
Welcome to a CEO Insights edition of the TotalPicture Podcast. I’m Peter Clayton, and I’m excited to have back on TotalPicture, the Founder & CEO of SmartRecruiters, Jerome Ternynck. I first met Jerome in 2017 in San Francisco at UNLEASH. At the time, SmartRecruiters had about 200 employees.
Fast-forward to an August 2020 press release with the opening paragraph: SmartRecruiters is proud to announce it posted its best first-half results in company history, in the middle of a pandemic. While market competitors reduced workforces and scaled back operations, SmartRecruiters doubled down on uniting customers, pivoting R&D efforts, and spearheading innovations for remote work. The investment yielded positive results: over 200 enterprises joining the SmartRecruiters family.” I would say that’s pretty amazing, Jerome. Here’s another soundbite from your press release:
“Throughout it all, SmartRecruiters decided against furloughs and mass layoffs. Instead, the company leveraged the moment to recruit great talent from the market, expanding its sales team, investing in key leaders in professional services and sales, and growing its R&D team.”
* So first of all, welcome. Let’s go back to March/April of this year. What was going through your mind, and how have you been able to pivot the company so successfully?
* In some ways, the pandemic is something like an earthquake. You wake up, and overnight everything has changed. SmartRecruiters has employees across the globe. Were you able to communicate a consistent message? And if so, how did you do it?
* What have you learned about leading when virtually everyone is working virtually? How are you able to keep employees motivated and engaged?
* What have you learned about staying connected and engaged with your customers?
* Are you’re still hiring?
* How are you onboarding new employees?
* I believe I’ve heard that your company is going virtual forever. Is that true?
* What will SmartRecruiters’ San Francisco headquarters look like one year from now?
* If some of the members of your San Francisco team decide to move to say – Utah – will you adjust their compensation to reflect a much lower cost of living?
* Here’s an excerpt from our 2017 podcast: “SmartRecruiters is really built as the generational successor into the applicant tracking system, to the first generation of the applicant tracking system. We are an integrated talent acquisition suite, so think CRM + marketing + ATS in one modern platform that is fully mobile-enabled, that people love using, highly collaborative and it’s got a built-in marketplace.” Okay, this was three years ago. Bring us up-to-date on the advancement of your platform and capabilities?
* Let’s talk about the elephant in the corporate boardroom, shall we? You recently published an article on LinkedIn titled
The 10 Principles of Diversity Hiring
Published on October 14, 2020
And this article has your byline. I’m Quoting: “SmartRecruiters recently announced our plan to be an anti-racist force in the recruiting market. Today, I’m sharing the next step on this journey to drive anti-racist and overall diverse hiring practices.”
* Let’s face it, Jerome, most companies, especially, large publicly traded companies talk a good game, but that’s generally what it is. (I encourage our viewers to check out my recent conversation with Jackye Clayton on YouTube). So, what motivated, or inspired you to go all-in on diversity hiring?
* This is a remarkable,
Big Data Rules HR: Andrew Gadomski Aspen Analytics WTF2020
“Ego checking is not exactly a LinkedIn registered skill.” Andrew Gadomski
Welcome to another edition of WTF 2020 An Influencers’ Guide to Navigating the Shit Show. Today our virtual WTF 2020 Bus tour takes us to the Jersey Shore and the Captain of Data – A Workforce and HR Data Scientist and Analyst, my good friend Andrew Gadomski.
My motivation for starting this series was simple…
On many days, I just became consumed, distracted, disheartened, shocked, and horrified by the continuing shit show we are subjected to on a daily basis. I was feeling completely overwhelmed and decided to reach out to a group of doers, of influencers, of smart, successful people I’ve met and interviewed over the past 15 years to find out how they are able to tune out the b******t and focus on the positive. How they’re able to stay productive. And what advice they can share with mere mortals such as myself.
Here’s a brief on Andrew. And I scraped this right off of his LinkedIn profile because it’s so well written.
Andrew started Aspen Advisors in 2006 (name changed to Aspen Analytics in 2018) because he saw an opportunity to help the many recruiting and HR departments that were burning time and money on tools they didn't understand, using training that was taught once and forgotten, and engaging vendors who could not prove their service value (let alone find and respect candidates consistently).
Most of HR and the C-suite didn't get Andrew’s vision. (No surprise there, right? As Andrew has noted, “Ego checking is not exactly a LinkedIn registered skill.” Andrew was talking about data and business analytics in 2006, back when guessing, gut feel, and "we have always done it that way" reigned supreme. He learned to teach during the sale...and became a pretty good instructor in the process.
Quoting Andrew: “Flash forward 10 years, and several hundred thousand hires later. It has been a wild ride working with the world's largest companies and staffing agencies.”In 2008 NYU asked Andrew join their staff as an adjunct professor. He loved it, got hooked on teaching and speaking and have made education in the classroom and on the conference circuit a pillar in his career. And speaking from personal experience, anyone watching and listening to this who’s had the benefit of participating in one of Andrew’s classrooms, sessions or workshops knows he’s damn good at it.
Andrew has a BS in Marketing and Business Logistics from Penn State and a Master of Science in Business Analytics from the NYU Stern School of Business.
* Andrew, it’s great to see you and have this opportunity to catch up.
* How’s life on the Jersey shore? How’s your family?
* How has the past 8 months changed your business, and how have you pivoted to virtual everything?
* You work with a lot of large corporations. What are they telling you? Is there any common thread in these conversations?
* You’re a data geek. So what is the data telling you about 2021?
* Tell us about your Talent Acquisition Certificate Program.
* What have been some of your personal challenges during COVID-19 and how have you addressed or overcome them?
* As you know, a lot of folks we know working in HR, in talent acquisition, in recruiting, have been laid off or furloughed – what advice can you share with them on how to find and land new opportunities?
* The vendor community in HR and TA has been equally decimated. What’s your take?
* How do you stay positive and motivated?
* What, if anything, has inspired you in 2020?
* Finally, what advice would you like to share with our audience?
* How can folks connect with you?
* Aspen Analytics
* a href="https://www.aihr.
Jackye Clayton: Is Diversity and Inclusion an Illusion?
How About Some Good News? Some Companies (Like SeekOut and SmartRecruiters) Are Doing More About Diversity and Inclusion Than Just Talking About It!
Welcome to another edition of WTF 2020. AN INFLUENCERS’ GUIDE TO NAVIGATING THE SHIT SHOW. My name is Peter Clayton. Thank you for tuning in. So, what’s your opinion of 2020 so far? Here’s mine…
If someone had written a book or a movie script detailing the dumpster fire that has existed in the US over the past three-plus years – and especially 2020 – no one would have believed it. But here we are, swatting flies and shoveling b******t. And trying to wrap our brains around low budget crazy B-Horror Movie plots like Q-Anon and the f*****g Proud Boys. Just when you think it can’t get any more insane. Somehow it does!
So, here’s WTF 2020 – I think that the group of influencers, thought leaders, subject matter experts, innovators, and visionaries I’ve invited to participate in this series can give all of us some inspiration, a renewed sense of purpose — or a least some hope!
I’m excited to have on the show today Jackye Clayton, whom I connected with at the HRTech Collaboration Zone Virtual Event last month. Ward Christman & company have done an excellent job of facilitating conversations and connections on their monthly virtual events. I’ll put a link in the show notes so you can check it out. It’s an excellent and low-cost way to stay connected to the HR and TA tech community and learn about the latest trends in tech.
Also, I have to give a shout-out to Chad and Cheese. I was going to wear my Hiring Solved tee shirt for this interview – the one with I am a Hunter on the front – however, thanks to the crack reporting of Joel and Chad I found out that Jackye is now Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategist at SeekOut. Finally, I’m getting some diversity in these videos and podcasts! Frankly, this WTF 2020 series so far has been a line-up of middle-aged white guys. But girl power is here!
A little background on Jackye. She was named one of the 9 Powerful Women in Business You Should Know by SDHR Consulting, one of the 15 Women in HR Tech to Follow in 2019 by VidCruiter, 2019 Top 100 list of Human Resources Influencers by Human Resource Executive Magazine, and one of the Top Recruitment Thought Leaders that you must follow in 2019 by interviewMocha Magazine.
Jackye, thanks for Zooming with me.
* So Texas has been very well represented over the past month here on TotalPicture. You’re the third Texan – however the first one from Waco – what’s happening in your community. What’s it like
* What have the past 8 months been like for you? (Black Wall Street)
* Both you and our friend Jeremy Roberts have recently moved from Hiring Solved to SeekOut. Tell us about that transition and SeekOut.
* Give us a sense of what your job Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategist entails. Give us a Day in the Life of Jackye Clayton.
* So SeekOut is based in Bellevue, Washington. I’m assuming you spend a good part of your day on a video conferencing platform.No more travel, no more live speaker gigs.
* Have you transitioned to speaking at virtual events?
* What kind of adjustment has that been?
* What’s your prediction? How long before we’re all back in Vegas or San Diego for a live event?
* What has inspired you (if anything) over the past 7-8 months?
* What advice do you have for folks looking for a job?
* What would you like to share that we’ve not discussed?
Writing Job Ads in the Middle of Covid-19
Katrina Kibben the CEO and founder of Three Ears Media
Welcome to another edition of WTF 2020. AN INFLUENCERS’ GUIDE TO NAVIGATING THE SHIT SHOW. My name is Peter Clayton. Thank you for tuning in. So, what’s your opinion of 2020 so far? Here’s mine: (Video Clip)
The worst part of my day used to be logging on to news sites and seeing a constant stream of nothing but Trump’s sneering face, and Barr’s perplexed face, and Moscow Mitch’s lying face. So, I found a solution. A miracle. Sort of. I stopped going to those sites. I no longer feel like I’m about to have a really bad case of diarrhea. Let’s face it. This year would have been a shit show without COVID-19 -- it’s just made our collective misery 10x worse.
So we’re finally getting some girl power on WTF 2020. I’m delighted to have on the show today Katrina Kibben the CEO and founder of Three Ears Media. Katrina and her staff write job ads that don’t suck. How about that? Pre-pandemic Katrina was a frequent speaker at most of the events most of you watching or listening to this used to attend. Are you missing live events? Are you living on Zoom? Can’t wait to get back to the office? Let me know in the comments.
Katrina, welcome to my WTF 2020 virtual bus tour across the country to see how my friends and influencers are dealing with the shit show – of not just the past 6-8 months, but the past four years.
* How are you and how is life in Colorado?
* How did you come up with the name Three Ears Media for your company?
* How have you had to pivot your company, Three Ears Media in the past 8 months?
* Are people still hiring you to craft job ads?
* It seems to me most job ads you see on sites like Indeed fall into two categories: 1. were written by the legal department. 2. Someone found an ad in their ATS from 5 years ago that matches the current job req. Would you agree?
* Also, given the economy and number of professionals who’ve been down-sized, furloughed, laid-off or bought-off over the past several months, I’m wondering if we’re returning to the job recs of the 2008-2009 recession, when hiring managers decided that they could require a wish list of insane qualifications and experience for even entry level jobs.
* Are you a ninja warrior? Let’s talk about gender bias in job ads, shall we, Katrina? What are some of your favorites?
* I want to talk with you about how AI and machine learning is changing talent acquisition. I know you’ve spoken on this topic at a number of conferences. How is AI impacting what you do?
* So, our friend William Tincup recently interviewed on his Use Case Podcast a guy named Daniel Fellows. Dan works for Optimal, a UK based company that optimizes job ads using algorithms. AI and machine learning powers their business – specifically driving quality candidate traffic to job ads. Are you working with companies like Optimal? https://recruitingdaily.com/the-use-case-podcast-storytelling-about-optimal-with-daniel-fellows/
* No more travel, no more live speaker gigs. Have you transitioned to speaking at virtual events? What kind of adjustment has that been?
* Have you upgraded video conferencing gear?
* I keep hearing that really good recruiters are getting laid off and are now working contract jobs. What are you hearing from recruiters?
* Considering the fact that you write job ads, I would imagine you have a really good pulse of what’s hot and what’s not. What jobs are currently in-demand?
* What industries or verticals are hiring?
* What’s your prediction? How long before we’re all back in Vegas or San Diego for a live event?
* What do you mean by: “The one thing we can control? How we ask. We have mastered the ask.”
* What has inspired you (if anything) over the past 7-8...
The Shadow World of Call Center Staffing Companies
Have you ever heard of Arise Virtual Solutions? Probably not. And that's just the way they would like to keep it.
Do you think arbitration clauses in independent contractor agreements are fair and equitable? Think Again.
There are two very distinct classifications for gig economy workers: Skilled and unskilled. If you’re skilled, chances are pretty good that you’re living the dream promoted by the gig economy industry. However, if you’re an unskilled gig worker, chances are just a good that you’re getting screwed. If you’re poor or trapped in a situation with few options, you’re probably living in a never-ending daily crisis. This is our story today – focused on the very real situation millions of unskilled gig economy workers are confronting today, exacerbated by a pandemic here in the US that didn’t need to happen. I’ll be joined in just a minute by my special guest, Heather Bussing.
Welcome to TotalPicture Media and another edition of WTF 2020 AN INFLUENCERS’ GUIDE TO NAVIGATING THE SHIT SHOW. My name is Peter Clayton. Thank you for tuning in.
Between COVID-19. Climate Change, Black Lives Matter, our political shit show, including the starring role of a fly in a political debate – yeah, that happened, a government in complete disarray with no leadership, no conscience, not integrity, no honesty – I feel like we’re all living in rubber rafts heading down a particularly perilous section of the Colorado River. And no one knows if we’re going to make it through this catastrophe alive. I heard that the supporters of this president are threatening to leave the country if he loses the election. Really? Good riddance, but where exactly do they think they’re going to go? Maybe Somalia? Rated the most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International in 2019. However, it’s in the Horn of Africa so I doubt those folks would want to go there.
To transition to something far more positive, I think that the group of influencers thought leaders, subject matter experts, innovators, and visionaries I’ve invited to participate in the WTF 2020 series can give all of us some inspiration, a renewed sense of purpose — or a least some actionable ideas and hope! Today, I’m delighted to welcome to TotalPicture Media Heather Bussing, attorney, writer, analyst, and a damn good photographer.
* Heather, welcome. Are you and John still fleeing from the fires torching California?
* As most of you watching or listening to this probably know, Heather is married to John Sumser, Chief Analyst at HRExaminer, podcaster, and all-around terrific human being.
* So Heather, tell us a little bit about your background and what you’re currently working on?
* Let’s talk about employment law, which seems to me to have traditionally been on the side of the business, the company, corporation. Is that a correct assessment? and how has COVID-19 impacted employment law?
* There are a lot of economists projecting that over 50% of the independent restaurants in New York City won’t survive the pandemic. And of course, in California, you’re not only dealing with COVID-19 but horrific fires. What is the prognosis for the San Francisco Bay area, and Napa Valley, which depends so heavily on tourism?
* One of the reasons I wanted to talk with Heather is a ProPublica investigative report Titled “Meet the Customer Service Reps for Disney and Airbnb Who Have to Pay to Work with You”. Co-published by Planet Money. (I’ll put a link to the ProPublica article in the show notes. So there I was, on my exercise mat, groaning through some stretching exercises, listening to Planet Money and not believing what I’m hearing, but of course, it’s true. It involves the Work from Home Industry – and it is an industry – and how, as I said in the opening, unskilled workers are get