The Talent Economy Podcast

The Future of Staffing, is Now.

Companies today are facing a global war for talent. At the same time, the talent with the skills companies are fighting over wants more flexibility around the way they work and the way they live.Talent now has a choice a
Latest Episode2/24/2020

What Poultry Farmers Taught Me About Hiring The Right Person

Season 1, Ep. 14
AI Recruiting: What Poultry Farmers Taught Me About Hiring the Right PersonWith 10 resumes submitted, what determines if there are five prospective candidates instead of two?That’s right - it’s the recruiter.In this episode, I’m joined by Ken Lazarus, the CEO of Scout Exchange. We discuss the talent economy, AI-powered recruiting - i.e., the role that data and AI play in the process, and how - for every job (and I mean every job) - there is someone out there poised with a very specific skill set to quickly and efficiently find candidates to fill those roles. This is where Scout Exchange comes in.Scout Exchange is an AI-driven online marketplace where organizations are matched with expert recruiters to help them find talent. Scout Exchange lists everything from directors of medicine to chicken pluckers.Ken and I discuss the role of AI in talent acquisition, the dynamics of the recruiter-candidate relationship, and how important it is to foster a sense of trust. We also speak at length about the importance of diversifying the talent pool and how Scout Exchange is working to identify and mitigate decision biases.Some questions I ask:What type of roles are listed on Scout?How does Scout measure the quality of its recruiters and candidates?How do local recruiters compare to larger staffing firms?How does Scout protect against bias?How does Scout improve the candidate experience?In this episode, you will learn:That for every job, there’s someone who specializes in recruiting for that role.The difference between being an average recruiter and being a star.The truth about the “talent pool” in today’s market.Different types of biases that humans have and how they impact data.About the “Black Box Problem” in AI.Connect with Ken Lazarus:LinkedInScout ExchangeResources:Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Putting a Dent in the Universe: Introducing Toptal Chief Economist Erik Stettler

Putting a Dent in the Universe: Introducing Toptal Chief Economist Erik StettlerThis week, we welcome Erik Stettler to both the show and the Toptal team. Erik recently joined Toptal as chief economist. A longtime member of the network and advocate of the talent economy, he discusses his work with Toptal and what he’s most looking forward to in his new role.Erik began his career as an economist and data scientist, tasked with helping the global financial market manage large-scale challenges. Having experienced firsthand the impact and benefits of the global talent economy, Erik is committed to bridging the gap between talent and opportunity.Erik says, “talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not.” It was this thesis that inspired him to co-found his VC fund Firstrock Capital, investing only in companies that have embraced the global talent economy and remote work. We speak at length about the risks and rewards of leveraging global talent, the opportunities it can afford both organizations and individuals, and what the future holds for talent and technology.Some questions I ask:How did Erik learn about Toptal?How can global talent be accessed to innovate and drive change?How did black swan events shape the thesis for his investment fund?What is the most exciting thing Erik is eager to learn about the talent economy in his new role?What is the “power of optionality” and how does it relate to human capital?What key lessons can Erik offer organizations and talent?In this episode, you will learn:How Erik came to join Toptal as chief economist.About some of the challenges faced by startups.About some of the structural changes that will occur in companies over the next five years.How Erik will help people understand the framework and the “why” around on-demand talent.Why embracing the talent economy is no longer an option.About some of the consequences of companies failing to foster work environments that leverage the best talent available (inhouse and globally).Connect with Erik Stettler:LinkedInResources:The Black SwanAntifragile: Things That Gain from DisorderGive Work: Reversing Poverty One Job at a TimeThinking Fast and Slow

We Only Have One Life

Season 1, Ep. 12
We Only Have One Life: A Look at Talent PlatformsWhy are we selling our bodies to the companies we work for?We only have one life – there’s a better way to spend it than sitting in an office for 10 hours a day. Remote work provides more flexibility as well as opportunities to earn more money and spend more time with loved ones. That’s exactly what Thomas Jajeh evangelizes every day.In this episode, I talk with Thomas Jajeh, the CEO of twago, about how massive online talent platforms are changing the way the world works. Thomas himself created the leading platform for talent in Europe, which stands at the forefront of the modern workplace, encouraging individual freelance experts and companies to collaborate on projects together.In our conversation, we discuss how these freelance platforms have advanced over time, how they will continue to evolve, and why companies need to jump on board to remain sustainable.Get ready to learn about how freelance marketplaces are taking the world by storm.Some questions I ask:How have your travels shaped what you’re doing today?What did you learn from growing up with an entrepreneurial father?What’s twago’s mission?How are attitudes on remote work shifting?How can we educate hiring managers to change the way they work?What does collaboration with talent platforms look like?In this episode, you will learn:How Thomas decided to take the leap into the talent economy.How freelance platforms have evolved over time.Why hiring freelancers is the only sustainable option for companies today.What barriers clients and freelancers face within talent platforms.The differences between “freelance” and “staffing.”What the next five years of the talent economy will look like.Connect with Thomas Jajeh:LinkedIntwagoEmailResources:That Will Never Work by Marc RandolphThe 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Freelancers Make the Impossible, Possible

Season 1, Ep. 11
The Talent Economy and the Benefits of Hiring FreelancersTechnology is moving faster than it ever has before—and as slow as it ever will again.Technology makes productivity essentially limitless. The ability to access global talent and hire skilled freelancers means that there are no restrictions around what work can get done, and when.In this episode, I talk with Cara Bedford, director of marketing at CompuVision, who is also the managing editor of Disruption Magazine and the product owner of Taskify. With all of this on her plate, Cara manages hundreds of projects at a time—all of which are successfully completed through the help of freelancers.Over the last few years, Cara unwillingly shifted away from working with agencies to hiring freelancers, which ended up being the best change she could imagine. In our conversation, Cara shares her early experiences with the talent economy, how to hire a freelancer, and what lessons she’s learned through trial and error. Cara also offers advice about key characteristics to look for to find the best freelancer available.Get ready to learn from Cara about the benefits of hiring freelancers and her best practices in finding the best talent for the job.Some questions I ask:How did you get started in marketing?What did you learn from working with a freelancer who failed to meet expectations?Why isn’t bidding for work the best practice?In this episode, you will learn:Why Cara will always choose to hire on-demand experts instead of local agencies.About Cara’s early experiences working with freelancers.How to find and hire freelancers for your company.What to expect when hiring your first freelancer.How freelancers function like mini-agencies.What qualities to look for in a freelancer.Connect with Cara Bedford:LinkedInTwitterCompuVisionResources:Bold by Peter DiamandisDisruption MagazineTaskify

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

Season 1, Ep. 10
The staffing industry is 50 years in the making – and now, there’s some new blood in the mix.There’s a new wave of innovation coming along, with all sorts of new companies entering the staffing industry. The economy is on the rise with more open job opportunities than people looking to fill them. For the first time, the talent is in the driver’s seat.In this episode, I talk with Barry Asin, the president at Staffing Industry Analysts. As a leader in the staffing industry, Barry knows full well that what got staffing firms this far will not get them any further. The talent revolution is fully underway, and Barry sits at the forefront.In our conversation, Barry discusses the explosion of jobs and gig work in what seems like an overnight digital transformation. As we dive in, Barry also shares his experiences at Taco Bell University and explains how the lessons learned there apply to his work today, how organizational leaders can take the next step toward embracing flexibility, and what the future of work really looks like.Get ready to learn how the digital transformation disrupts the cyclical nature of the economy and how this will impact the future.Some questions I ask:How did a recruiter change your career path after college?What lesson do you still carry with you from Taco Bell University?How is the staffing industry responding to the digital transformation?How should small “Mom & Pop” staffing firms approach the changing of technology?Will work ever go back to the way it was?In this episode, you will learn:What critical lessons Barry learned from Taco Bell University.How individuals can develop their capabilities to keep up with the digital transformation.How economic cycles impact job availability and the world of work overall.How leaders of organizations can embrace flexibility for their workers.What the next five years of contingent work will look like.Connect with Barry Asin:LinkedInResources:Staffing Industry AnalystsBreaking Through by Mike Cleland and Barry Asin“The Gig Economy and Human Cloud Landscape: 2019 Update”

Corporate HR Leader Takes 12 Months To Live As A Digital Nomad

Season 1, Ep. 9
Imagine being able to travel the world and still do the work that you’re passionate about.That’s what Mathilde Fouque’s digital nomad life looks like. In her life, Mathilde visited 33 countries around the world. In the past 18 months, as a digital nomad, she has visited 29 American states, and 15 US national parks—all while steadily holding down her position at GE.In this episode, I talk with Mathilde about her transition into the world of remote work and what her first year of travel looked like. She shares stories about becoming a digital nomad, how her colleagues handled it, and why this newfound freedom continues to inspire her to be an outstanding employee at GE.Get ready to learn about Mathilde’s adventures as a digital nomad and how companies can help create experiences like this for their employees.Some questions I ask:What role did company culture play in your transition to remote work?How did your colleagues react to your decision to work remotely?What routines did you develop when you started working as a digital nomad?What advice do you have for companies on how to help people who want to experiment with the digital nomad lifestyle?In this episode, you will learn:How to talk to your manager about working remotely.What drove Mathilde to be a star employee as a digital nomad.How Mathilde separates work and personal time.How managers can trust their remote employees even when they can’t see them.Connect with Mathilde Fouque:LinkedInResources:“12 months living as a digital nomad” by Mathilde Fouque7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Move The Ball Two Feet, Not Two Yards

Season 1, Ep. 8
It’s time for leaders to think differently.We’re all biased in some way, shape, or form. In the past, it worked as a survival mechanism, and today it still sneaks into unexpected places—including HR and the staffing industry. Many companies talk the talk when promoting their “diversity and inclusion” ideologies, but very few walk the walk.In this episode, I talk with Ashish Kaushal, the CEO of HireTalent and the Co-Founder of Consciously Unbiased. He’s a leading figure in the movement to promote diversity in the workplace and rethinking “diversity” itself.Throughout our conversation, Ashish breaks down the advantages and challenges of workforce diversity. As we dive deeper, he also explains how implementing remote work policies contributes to making diversity and inclusion a reality. From race, gender, physical ability, and mental health status, Ashish shares specific strategies to retrain the workforce and open up the talent pool even wider.Get ready to learn about how company leaders can become consciously unbiased.Some Questions I Ask:How did you get your start in the staffing world?How did you create Consciously Unbiased?What’s your advice for companies who want to start focusing on diversity?What tools do you use to measure the productivity of remote workers?What do the next 10 years look like for Consciously Unbiased and HireTalent?In This Episode, You Will Learn:What the benefits are of diversity in the workplace.Why compromise is a lost art within the workplace.Where bias stems from.How remote work opportunities help reduce anxiety and improve productivity.Small steps to reskill your workforce.Why Paul is an advocate for remote work and flexibility.Connect with Ashish Kaushal:LinkedInResources:HireTalentConsciously Unbiased