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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 Episode12/7/2021

Putting Customers First Means Caring for Employees

Season 2, Ep. 19
Big companies have often treated efforts to build a cohesive corporate culture as an afterthought. More recently, however, and particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders like Angela Santone, Senior Executive Vice President of Human Resources for AT&T, have begun to realize that cultivating a positive environment is integral to maintaining a dedicated workforce. Santone says that in order to fulfill its mission of putting customers first, AT&T focuses on caring for the employees who serve those customers, creating an inclusive culture that helps it attract and retain exceptional talent, even in the face of the Great Resignation.Santone, who oversees AT&T’s global human resources strategy, leads a team of HR experts rethinking the company’s talent development practices, total rewards and benefits programs, and culture initiatives. She was appointed to the role in 2019 after serving as Chief Administrative Officer of AT&T.Before joining AT&T, Santone served as Executive Vice President and Global Chief Human Resources Officer at Turner Broadcasting System Inc., where she led a global HR strategy. Her executive oversight included talent acquisition and retention, learning and development, employee engagement, workplace culture, wellness, corporate responsibility, diversity and inclusion, succession planning, and global security.In this episode, Santone talks about keeping employees safe during COVID-19, how her experience as a woman in the corporate world led her to implement AT&T’s generous and flexible benefits program, what she’s doing to retain employees during the Great Resignation, how to blend company cultures during a merger, and why it’s crucial to involve employees when designing culture initiatives.Some Questions Asked:How did you motivate your employees to continue showing up during the most dangerous and uncertain days of the pandemic? How did you reassure them you were doing your best to keep them safe?What are you doing to attract and retain top talent for AT&T, especially in light of the Great Resignation?What were some of the creative methods your team employed during the COVID-19 lockdown to ensure media was still being created?In This Episode, You Will Learn:Some of the family-friendly benefits that AT&T has recently introduced, and their importance to the company.What it takes to successfully consolidate workplace cultures in the event of a merger.The lesson about mobility that Santone wishes she’d learned earlier in her leadership career.LinksAngela Santone - in BloombergAngela Santone - LinkedIn
12/7/2021

Putting Customers First Means Caring for Employees

Season 2, Ep. 19
Big companies have often treated efforts to build a cohesive corporate culture as an afterthought. More recently, however, and particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders like Angela Santone, Senior Executive Vice President of Human Resources for AT&T, have begun to realize that cultivating a positive environment is integral to maintaining a dedicated workforce. Santone says that in order to fulfill its mission of putting customers first, AT&T focuses on caring for the employees who serve those customers, creating an inclusive culture that helps it attract and retain exceptional talent, even in the face of the Great Resignation.Santone, who oversees AT&T’s global human resources strategy, leads a team of HR experts rethinking the company’s talent development practices, total rewards and benefits programs, and culture initiatives. She was appointed to the role in 2019 after serving as Chief Administrative Officer of AT&T.Before joining AT&T, Santone served as Executive Vice President and Global Chief Human Resources Officer at Turner Broadcasting System Inc., where she led a global HR strategy. Her executive oversight included talent acquisition and retention, learning and development, employee engagement, workplace culture, wellness, corporate responsibility, diversity and inclusion, succession planning, and global security.In this episode, Santone talks about keeping employees safe during COVID-19, how her experience as a woman in the corporate world led her to implement AT&T’s generous and flexible benefits program, what she’s doing to retain employees during the Great Resignation, how to blend company cultures during a merger, and why it’s crucial to involve employees when designing culture initiatives.Some Questions Asked:How did you motivate your employees to continue showing up during the most dangerous and uncertain days of the pandemic? How did you reassure them you were doing your best to keep them safe?What are you doing to attract and retain top talent for AT&T, especially in light of the Great Resignation?What were some of the creative methods your team employed during the COVID-19 lockdown to ensure media was still being created?In This Episode, You Will Learn:Some of the family-friendly benefits that AT&T has recently introduced, and their importance to the company.What it takes to successfully consolidate workplace cultures in the event of a merger.The lesson about mobility that Santone wishes she’d learned earlier in her leadership career.LinksAngela Santone - in BloombergAngela Santone - LinkedIn
11/15/2021

Recharging as a Team

Season 2, Ep. 18
For those of us who continue to work remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve come to enjoy the flexibility that comes from it. But for many of us, there’s also a flip side: seemingly endless Zoom calls, lack of socializing, and an all-around feeling of burnout. In this episode, we speak with Scott Domann, Chief People Officer of Calm, the software company behind one of the leading mindfulness and meditation apps, about how the company is working hard to make sure its own employees benefit from Calm’s wellness philosophy.Domann joined Calm as the first CPO in July 2020, overseeing people, learning, development, recruitment, and operations. Domann, who holds a master’s degree in psychology and industrial organization from NYU, previously led HR teams at Honey, Netflix, Spotify, and Facebook. In his work, Domann strives to create corporate cultures founded in inclusion, creativity, and positive action, and to raise the bar for building world-class teams.In this episode, he discusses the mindfulness practices that he has picked up since he began working at Calm, why having a high emotional quotient is so important, and the tools that Calm offers to help people develop a mindful leadership style. He also shares steps that HR leaders can take to promote a culture of wellness in their companies, and how admitting, “I don’t know,” can be a powerful management tool.Some Questions Asked:What was it like to become CPO so early in the pandemic and lead people through a time of transition while you yourself were onboarding?Was this your first time working remotely?Can you tell me how Calm for Business works?In This Episode, You Will Learn:The mindfulness practices that Calm incorporates into its companywide daily routine.How Calm implemented mental health days, so everyone on the team could recharge at once.How HR leaders at companies that are new to talking about mental and emotional well-being can start the conversation.Links:Scott Domann - LinkedInCalm
11/1/2021

Preserving Community and Retaining Talent in Challenging Times

Season 2, Ep. 17
The COVID-19 pandemic forced massive changes to many aspects of our everyday lives, but few things were affected more than the way we shop for and obtain our food. In this episode, we speak with Mike Theilmann, CHRO of food and drug retailer Albertsons Companies, about how COVID-19 encouraged the company to work toward greater efficiency and spend more energy retaining and engaging their employees.Theilmann has more than 25 years of global experience across retail, hospitality, consumer goods, and venture capital. As CHRO of Albertsons, he leads diversity and inclusion, talent development, acquisition and engagement, and learning and capability development across all areas of business. He holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, respectively.Theilmann shares just how critical grocery employees are as frontline workers, the ways Albertsons is working to retain its employees, and why he focuses so much of his effort on talent. He also discusses how the competency model helps evaluate transferable skills and talent among employees, and tells us the one piece of advice he would give other retail HR leaders.Some Questions Asked:You majored in physics in college. How did you wind up in human resources?What kinds of technologies are you using, and how are they improving the candidate experience?What are some of your predictions for how food delivery and the grocery business in general are going to change in the next few years?In This Episode, You Will Learn:How Albertsons is combatting the so-called war for talent.The major opportunity that the COVID-19 pandemic presented for Albertsons Companies to step up their efficiency.How Albertsons HR is working closely with the company’s communications team to ensure that everyone is on the same page.Links:Mike Theilmann - LinkedInAlbertsons Companies
10/18/2021

How One Brand Can Impact a Wider Industry

Season 2, Ep. 16
We’re currently experiencing a massive shift in the goals and philosophies of corporate culture. More and more, organizations are providing resources for their employees not only to improve their work experience, but also to improve their lives as a whole.In this episode, we speak with three members of Diageo, the multinational alcoholic beverage corporation that represents renowned brands like Johnnie Walker, Ketel One, Captain Morgan, and many others. Laura Watt, Executive Vice President for Human Resources of Diageo, North America; Caroline “Cabs” Rhodes, Global Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Director and HR Director, Corporate Functions; and Jeanine Dooley, Head of I&D, Diageo, North America, explain how Diageo is a leader for global brands who want to tell a story and impact social change.Laura Watt serves as a member of the North America and Global HR Leadership teams. She has 25 years of experience in HR and transformational leadership roles.Cabs Rhodes is responsible for the development and implementation of Diageo’s inclusion and diversity policies, practices, and progressive frameworks across all global markets, alongside her HR-directed strategic responsibilities.Jeanine Dooley has worked at Diageo for 19 years, holding various operational and project management roles and leading strategic initiatives. In her current role, she combines her functional expertise with her passion to drive Diageo North America’s inclusion and diversity initiatives.These leaders discuss how Diageo is making strides to ensure that each employee feels like a valuable member of their team, how they’re taking employee health seriously, and the fascinating lessons learned by being part of a global corporation. We learn about the steps Diageo is taking to make employees feel like they belong, how a hybrid work model can be a recipe for success, and how remote work ended up making the international company feel more united than ever.Some Questions Asked:Can you tell me about the global menopause awareness guidelines, how they came about, and what their goals are?What campaigns or policies are on the horizon at Diageo to further encourage belonging?What are some best practices for HR and I&D leaders to work well together? Where should their work overlap? And where should they stay distinct?In This Episode, You Will Learn:The story behind Diageo’s “My Name Is” campaign and how it came about.​​How Diageo managers ensure that they’re giving their team stretch assignments, and the exciting development opportunities coming out of this philosophy.Some insight on the theorized “mass resignation” that may be coming as COVID-19 rates start to ease.Links:Laura Watt - LinkedInCabs Rhodes - LinkedInJeanine Dooley - LinkedIn
10/4/2021

Piloting a Program for Radical Flexibility

Season 2, Ep. 15
The last year and a half has caused massive changes in all of our lives, both personal and professional. What if a company decided not only to embrace those changes, but also to use them as a catalyst for large-scale evolution in the way we work and in the way we think about work? In this episode, we speak with Leena Nair, the first female, the first Asian individual, and the youngest ever Chief Human Resources Officer of Unilever, about what the company is doing to create a radically flexible work model—and the benefits that approach can hold for everyone involved.Nair heads a pioneering agenda for Unilever’s 149,000-strong workforce. Under her direction, the London-based company has achieved a 50/50 gender balance across global leadership and now offers a living wage across its supply chain. Her expertise has driven business growth to €50 billion. Nair began her Unilever career at Hindustan Unilever, where she became the first woman on the management committee in 90 years, heading HR. She was also appointed the first woman on the Unilever South Asia leadership team and was responsible for Unilever’s growth in five markets with a business size of around €6 billion. Nair has continued to redefine how big business can contribute to the environment and society; she has a reputation for putting the people at the heart of the business, driving growth, and taking risks to create a better business and a better society.Nair speaks about the unprecedented flexibility that Unilever is currently piloting with its workforce, how the company encourages its employees to be lifelong learners, and her push to continue valuing all the lessons learned over the last 18 months. She also shares with us the lesson Unilever learned about treating every country’s workforce according to the country’s own culture, and why it’s so important that the company continue to support its employees in every way possible, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.Some Questions Asked:What can you tell us about the program that’s allowing people to get an education while maintaining job security?What more can you tell us about how Unilever is imagining what will happen next?Unilever wants all its employees to have a future-fit skill set by 2025. What is a future-fit skill set? And how are you ensuring that goal is met?In This Episode, You Will Learn:How COVID-19 has forced employers and employees alike to slow down and take stock of the way we work.The ways Unilever strives to support its employees’ well-being—mentally, physically, and emotionally.How other companies can learn from Unilever’s gender balance and what they can do to achieve the same.Links:Leena Nair - at UnileverLeena Nair - LinkedInLeena Nair - in Time magazineLeena Nair - in Harper’s Bazaar magazine
9/20/2021

Empowering HR to Transform Organizations

Season 2, Ep. 14
With ever-evolving goals in an always-changing corporate world, it can be difficult for a traditional HR approach to keep up. Employing strategies that revolve around numbers and data has allowed one company to stay at the top of its game, even in the face of an unpredictable work environment. In this episode, we speak with Melissa Werneck, Global Chief People Officer of The Kraft Heinz Company, about how analytics can translate to a successful HR blueprint.Werneck joined Kraft Heinz in 2013 to implement a new performance methodology and integrated management system. She began her career as a logistics analyst with Ambev, before moving on to stints with Claro and Sadia. Before her time with Kraft Heinz, she served as Performance Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer of America Latina Logistica. She holds a degree in chemical engineering from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil and an MBA from the Federal University of Rio De Janeiro.Werneck speaks about how her background in data allows her a more agile take on different performance metrics. She also shares with us the link she’s found between her first love, chemical engineering, and HR, and how it all has to do with turning raw materials into polished final products.Some Questions Asked:How did chemical engineering eventually bring you to human resources?How does one measure inclusion? And what metrics are you looking at to make sure that people feel included?What are some of the transformations that have started with HR at Kraft Heinz that you’re most proud of?In This Episode, You Will Learn:How adapting to a professional career in a language other than your mother tongue can teach honesty and humility in the workplace.The most important thing that rapidly growing organizations need to do if they want to get savvier about tracking HR analytics.The advantages—and disadvantages—of the hybrid work model that’s so popular right now.Links:Melissa Werneck - LinkedInMelissa Werneck - Kraft HeinzMelissa Werneck - Thrive Global
9/6/2021

Creating an Employee Alumni Network

Season 2, Ep. 13
Many employers understand that their employees are the key to making their businesses successful. Yet, once those workers move on, companies typically don’t keep in contact with them. Should they? In this episode, we speak with Kim Seymour, Chief People Officer of WW International Inc. (formerly Weight Watchers) and Jeff Wald, an angel investor, entrepreneur, and bestselling author, about the value of maintaining relationships with past employees and where the future of work as we know it might be headed.In her role, Seymour oversees all aspects of WW’s human capital plan, with a strong emphasis on talent, leadership, diversity, and organizational effectiveness. She spent the previous two decades in HR leadership roles at American Express, Home Depot, and General Electric. Seymour currently serves on the board of directors of RHR International and the board of trustees of Fisk University, a historically Black college. A graduate of both the University of Tennessee at Martin and Vanderbilt Law School, Seymour also holds an MBA from Indiana University. As an expert in business culture and talent, she is often asked to share her forward-thinking HR strategies and personal leadership philosophies with a variety of global audiences.Jeff Wald is the Amazon bestselling author of The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations, about how companies and workers reacted to the last three industrial revolutions. He is the founder of three tech companies, including WorkMarket, purchased by ADP, and Spinback, acquired by Buddy Media, now owned by Salesforce. He is also an angel investor and startup adviser. Wald serves on the board of directors at TRANSFR Inc., ModusLink, and Costar Technologies. He holds two degrees from Cornell University, and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School. In 2020, Wald announced the $10 million Future of Work Prize that will reward The End of Jobs contributor whose prediction about what the workforce will look like in 2040 proves the most accurate.Seymour and Wald discuss what they think will be the COVID-19 pandemic’s most lasting influences on the world of work, what shorter employee tenure means for company culture, and why we should be thinking about ex-employees as ambassadors. They also talk about why healthy employer/employee relationships depend on keeping open lines of communication and not taking things personally, and how to create team success within a hybrid work structure.Some Questions Asked:What changes have already occurred in the world of work since The End of Jobs came out last year?What emerging technologies do you think will most change the world of work?Is the trend toward shorter tenures a good thing? Is WW doing anything to counteract it?How do you hire employees who understand the need to be constant learners and adapters? And how do you foster that growth mindset among the employees you already have?In This Episode, You Will Learn:Why we need to rethink the system of tying benefits to current employment.About the idea of alumni labor clouds and their implications for current and former employees and employers.WW’s take on how, when, and where its employees should work.Links for Kim Seymour:FortuneForbesLinkedInLinks for Jeff Wald:The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile CorporationsPR Newswire - $10 Million Future of Work PrizeLinkedIn