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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 Episode5/27/2020

Ryan Gill On How Brands Can Land The Best Creative Talent

Season 1, Ep. 32
Ryan Gill On How Brands Can Land The Best Creative TalentPrior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a very small percentage of marketing, advertising, and PR agencies were engaging with the talent economy—most operated primarily with their in-house teams. The pandemic forced an immediate workforce transition and has collectively challenged the world’s views on where and how work can be done. However, imagine having insight into the benefits of contingent work 10 years ago. Now, imagine making the choice to shift your agency to an open talent model, disrupting an industry that, up until three months ago, still firmly believed that the best work could only be done in-house.This week’s guest is Ryan Gill, CEO & co-founder of Communo, a talent marketplace for freelancers and agencies in the advertising, marketing, and PR space. Prior to Communo, Ryan was the co-founder and president of Cult Collective, an international engagement agency, and co-founder of The Gathering, a world-class annual summit that brings together some of the top CMOs and leaders from the biggest brands and more than 5,000 to the mountain resort town of Banff, Alberta.Ryan is also the author of two books, the latest being Fix: Break the Addictions That Are Killing Brands. Most importantly, he’s a husband and a father of two little girls.Ryan joins Paul for a deep dive into his experience launching Communo: how he’s spent the past 10 years helping to shape the talent economy narrative, shining a light on the benefits offered to both talent and clients, and advocating for the future of work. Ryan says that you should never build a company for the past, but for the future... and 10 years ago, he did just that.Questions I ask:How has Ryan’s journey as an early entrepreneur shaped his focus today?How did the talent in the industry react to Ryan starting a platform for freelancers?How does Ryan address concerns that brand loyalty can only truly be held by a captive, in-house team?How does Ryan see the relationship between brands, agencies, and freelancers evolving in the next 10 years?In this episode, you will:Learn about the evolution of the marketing and advertising industry over the past 10 years.Learn how Ryan overcomes clients’ objections to working with the talent economy.Learn about the key attributes of the world’s greatest brands.Gain insight into the responsibility that talent platforms have to their talent: providing economy, connection, and community.Connect with Ryan:LinkedInInstagramTwitterFix: Break the Addictions That Are Killing Brands - Chris Kneeland, Ryan Gill, Rob HowardSkin in the Game - Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Author)
5/19/2020

Cultivating a Career of Creativity

Season 1, Ep. 31
Cultivating a Career of CreativityIf you could design your best life, what would it entail? Are there aspects of your personal life that you feel, if addressed professionally, would create greater harmony in your life? For example, how many of you have creative outlets that are completely removed from your professional lives? What would it mean to have an organization consider the totality of your talents and not just those that pertain to a particular role?This week’s guest is David Nuff, Principal at Nuff, a design agency that works with brands to translate their values into tangible, visual assets. David is also part of the Toptal network, where he serves as a freelance design consultant and a contributor to Toptal’s Speakers Academy. David and Paul speak candidly about the many missed talent opportunities that organizations face when, despite their communicated support, they refuse to take a chance and consider candidates with diverse experiences moving away from traditional role requirements.David goes on and speaks to how being raised with an appreciation for both the arts and sciences influenced his career, and offers key advice to both organizational leaders and freelancers on how to navigate remote team dynamics. A key takeaway that David offers is that to the degree people can build their best lives, they will do their best work. For him, it’s location independence, and having that opportunity has cultivated a sense of personal happiness and a diverse set of experiences that inspires his work.Questions I ask:How is David feeling, both as a freelancer and personally, during this unprecedented time?As a junior engineer, one of the products that David worked on was recognized in TIME Magazine. What was it like getting such a high validation so early in his career?How is David seeing clients embrace the idea of working with someone remotely?How does David build trust when working with a team virtually?In this episode, you will:Learn about David’s journey from planning to be a computer scientist to becoming a designer.Understand how, despite their support of candidates with a diverse experience, big organizations are unwilling to “take that bet.”Learn David’s valuable advice for executive and HR leadership.Learn how to move away from the need to appear busy and shift the focus to quality work.Connect with David:David's [email protected]
5/13/2020

By the Time a Problem Gets to the Executive Suite, the Answer Is Probably Not in the Building

Season 1, Ep. 30
By the Time a Problem Gets to the Executive Suite, the Answer Is Probably Not in the Building“Think outside the box” is a famous adage. Yet many of us—as we advance in our education and begin to specialize in our careers—begin thinking more within the boxes defined by our areas of expertise. While our specialties are important and necessary, they can often create blind spots. It turns out that the majority of the problems faced by large organizations are solved by people outside of the organization. Companies are engaging talent from the gig economy and crowdsourcing platforms to partner with internal experts and tackle issues.HeroX, a spin-off of XPRIZE, is the world’s largest problem-solver community and number one crowdsourcing platform. They empower everyday people to create, compete, share, and work with some of the world’s largest companies to solve some of the hardest problems.HeroX Co-founder and CEO Christian Cotichini is a four-time founder with more than 20 years of experience leading startups and high-growth technology companies. He joins Paul to discuss remote work, the (literally) out-of-this-world problems that HeroX is helping to address, the future of work, and the innovative opportunities Christian believes crowdsourcing allows organizations.Questions I ask:What was Christian’s stance on remote work and the talent industry when he was running his previous companies and how has it evolved?What are examples of problems that have been solved by the HeroX platform?How does Christian convince organizations that it’s “ok” to seek help outside of their team?In this episode, you will:Gain key insights into how to foster a strong organizational culture within a remote/hybrid organization.Learn about the HeroX platform, the benefits of crowdsourcing, and how you can get involved.Understand how working with non-experts and tapping into their diversity of thought can help organizations address challenges.Connect with Christian:Christian's LinkedInHeroXHeroX - COVID19 CentralWhy Work Sucks (Cali Ressler & Jody Thompson)Abundance (Peter Diamandis & Steven Kotler)
5/5/2020

How Building Remote Leadership Skills Supports Business Resiliency

Season 1, Ep. 29
How Building Remote Leadership Skills Supports Business ResiliencyWhen did you first realize the benefits of remote work? Were you hearing requests from your employees for more flexibility around their work?Was it talent-driven? Did you realize that requiring employees to be on-site was limiting your ability to attract top talent?For those of you who are still on the fence about remote work, what’s still giving you pause?Iwo Szapar is a remote work advocate and the CEO of Remote-how. Remote-how is a platform powered by and for the community of leaders of distributed teams from 128 countries. Described as an online campus where you get to meet and grow with top remote managers from all around the world, Remote-how is at the forefront of the remote work revolution as the ultimate solution for remote education, recruitment, and international employment. Iwo is also a sought-after speaker and the founder of The Remote Future Summit, the largest virtual event focused on remote work featured in Forbes and BBC.Iwo and Paul discuss his journey into remote work and how he’s worked with C-suite executives and HR leaders to broach the topic, turning their “I don’t know about this…” into a “Maybe it could work, how can it be done?” While getting top-level buy-in is key, the real challenges with remote work tend to occur with front-line management, ensuring that these leaders are properly equipped to manage and support a team they cannot see.Once US states begin to reopen, organizations will be faced with how to properly re-integrate their teams back into a fully on-site or hybrid work structure. Iwo speaks to the importance of educating the market and providing leaders with examples and resources. He also offers his expertise on how managers and HR leaders can prepare for team inquiries about fully or partially maintaining their remote work status.Questions I ask:You just launched a training program for managers. What is the training designed to do and how do you prepare managers to support this new way of work?Give me an example of a coworker who was on location with a traditional setup and is managing a blended team.What would you advise newly remote people on how to create a work-life balance?For managers who lean in and work to build their (remote work) muscle, does the process eventually become easier, or do they still struggle?In this episode, you will learn about:Iwo’s journey into getting excited about remote work and launching Remote-how.How to structure your operation for remote work, no matter how big or small your remote team is.How to manage the angst around the “need” to be visible when working remotely.Best practices that managers can implement to provide a remote framework for their teams.The Remote Future Summit 2020 and what attendees can expect this year.Connect with Iwo:Iwo's LinkedInMaster Managing Distributed Teams: Remote-how TrainingRemote Future Summit
4/28/2020

Building and Managing Top-Performing Global Teams, Part 1

Season 1, Ep. 28
Building and Managing Top-Performing Global Teams, Part 1This week’s episode welcomes a new host to The Talent Economy Podcast, Toptal’s Chief Economist, Erik Stettler. Many of you may remember Erik from his interview with Paul earlier this year (Putting a Dent in the Universe: Introducing Toptal Chief Economist Erik Stettler). Paul and Erik, along with other key members of the Toptal team, will host different episodes of the podcast, each offering their unique perspectives on the Future of Work and introducing us to key leaders from within the industry and their respective networks.Toptal’s Head of Projects, Stephanie Currier, joins Erik for his first episode. Stephanie holds three degrees from Northwestern University and Clarkson University. She has been in the IT management and consulting industry for about 10 years, where she started as an IT analyst and iteration manager at ThoughtWorks in Chicago, working with distributed teams for clients across multiple industries including fintech, eCommerce, and healthcare. Stephanie subsequently moved into program and product management roles for two startups.She has been working with Toptal for the last three years. As the head of projects, she manages a team of delivery managers that curate and manage entire teams of Toptal talent to deliver successful client solutions.In Part 1 of their conversation, Erik and Stephanie deep dive into a discussion about current events, how their personal passions have influenced their professional outlooks, the opportunities that remote work allows, and the importance of being output-driven. They also offer advice on how to alleviate client concerns around working with a remote team.Questions Erik asks:What led you to your current role at Toptal and why?Did you have any experience working remotely prior to joining Toptal?How do project managers account for different time zones when managing a global team?How do you go about evaluating individual talent to build the best possible team?In this episode, you will learn about:Stephanie’s process for assessing and reconciling the needs of a new project, client, and team.Stephanie’s and Erik’s advice on how to “learn your rhythm” and manage a work-life balance while working remotely.What Stephanie does to ensure that structured roles don’t prohibit individual contributions that could benefit the client.Stephanie’s process for engaging a new client and the assistance Toptal Projects offers to those who are new to remote work environments.Connect with Stephanie:LinkedIn
4/28/2020

Building and Managing Top-Performing Global Teams, Part 2

Season 1, Ep. 27
Building and Managing Top-performing Global Teams, Part 2The conversation continues….As mentioned in Part 1, this week’s episode welcomes a new host to The Talent Economy Podcast, Toptal’s Chief Economist, Erik Stettler. Many of you may remember Erik from his interview with Paul earlier this year (Putting a Dent in the Universe: Introducing Toptal Chief Economist Erik Stettler). Paul and Erik, along with other key members of the Toptal team, will host different episodes of the podcast, each offering their unique perspectives on the Future of Work and introducing us to key leaders from within the industry and their respective networks.Toptal’s Head of Projects, Stephanie Currier, joins Erik for his first episode. Stephanie holds three degrees from Northwestern University and Clarkson University. She has been in the IT management and consulting industry for about 10 years, where she started as an IT analyst and iteration manager at ThoughtWorks in Chicago, working with distributed teams for clients across multiple industries including fintech, eCommerce, and healthcare. Stephanie subsequently moved into program and product management roles for two startups.She has been working with Toptal for the last three years. As the head of projects, she manages a team of delivery managers that curate and manage entire teams of Toptal talent to deliver successful client solutions.In Part 2 of their conversation, Erik and Stephanie discuss current events and their impact on remote work. With so many being forced into working remotely, it’s likely that remote work could be defined under these circumstances. Erik and Stephanie speak to the importance of viewing remote work as its own paradigm, understanding your team,how they work, and ensuring there's an open line of communication. They close the conversation on an optimistic note, acknowledging the impact of the current crisis and shining a light on the opportunities available to both organizations and talent: “Some of our best innovators came from downtimes. This is the time to be productive and to think about what you’re best at and what you can succeed in.” - Stephanie CurrierQuestions Erik asks:What would be your advice on how to begin understanding remote work as its own paradigm?As things do begin to go back to normal, how can companies best continue with some remote work in their DNA?Are there any industries, or types of companies, that you feel would benefit from incorporating an agile framework or remote talent?What would you say to someone who is looking to get started in remote work, and how can they cultivate a successful career?In this episode, you will learn about:Stephanie’s advice to leaders on how to support and manage their newly remote teams during this time.How Stephanie encourages clients to adopt a sense of flexibility and creativity that would allow them to catch the opportunities that lie on the other side of this crisis.The benefits of structuring projects under an agile framework.Stephanie’s thoughts on what the future of work will look like on the other side of the current crisis.Connect with Stephanie:[email protected]