The Talent Economy Podcast

7/12/2021

Investing in Your People

Season 2, Ep. 9
Over the past year and a half, there have been seismic shifts in the workplace as we know it. Through these massive changes, many aspects of corporate culture have been reevaluated. In this episode, we speak with Donna Morris, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer of Walmart Inc., about how people are the company’s most important asset and the ways she’s working toward building a better, more inclusive organization.Morris has more than 20 years of leadership experience in delivering innovative people solutions, developing and managing agile teams, and helping to build a high-performance culture that promotes diversity and inclusion. As a member of Walmart’s executive committee, she is responsible for attracting, retaining, and developing talent for one of the world’s largest private employers.Morris joined Walmart after 18 years at Adobe, where she served as CHRO and Executive Vice President of Employee Experience. She has also led a number of worker-friendly initiatives, including expanding family leave policies and simplifying standard HR processes. Morris holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Carleton University and serves on the board of directors at Marvell Technology Inc.Morris shares insights about her dedication to building transparency and accountability around Walmart’s hiring process, as well as what it takes to create a more diverse, representative workforce. She also discusses how Walmart is educating employees in tech, what it’s like to join a multibillion-dollar company during a pandemic, and how the company is creating future-ready associates.Some Questions Asked:What was it like to transfer from Adobe to Walmart just as the COVID-19 pandemic began?What was the reason behind releasing the new [email protected] associate app? And why did you give smartphones to 740,000 employees?What kind of hybrid work arrangements do you expect to be the most common at Walmart?In This Episode, You Will Learn:The value behind offering a monetary incentive for employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.The ways Walmart is aiming to upskill their workforce.About Walmart’s new 24-hour hiring process and what the company has gleaned from its implementation.Links:Donna Morris - in the Financial TimesDonna Morris - on CNBCDonna Morris - LinkedIn
6/28/2021

Elevating Teams

Season 2, Ep. 8
The prospect of hiring new employees and growing a team that not only works well as a unit, but also fosters a productive, creative, and healthy work environment is a daunting one. In this episode, we speak with Steven Tristan Young, Chief Marketing Officer of Poshmark, about why it’s so important to hire individuals who elevate his team.At Poshmark, the leading US social commerce platform, Young is responsible for driving growth, product marketing, customer life cycle, brand marketing, public relations, and social media marketing. Prior to Poshmark, Young was Vice President of Growth at Grubhub, the US’ leading online and mobile food ordering company. During his seven-year tenure, he managed the company’s customer and market-level growth programs, driving double-digit growth year over year. He has also held leadership positions at DirecTV, American Express, Endurance International Group, and Puma. He spearheaded the marketing efforts for American Express’s flagship Black Card and Platinum Card portfolios, both the market leaders in premium card marketing. He is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School.Young discusses his strategy in taking his team to the next level, the roundabout way he ended up in his role at Poshmark, and how he uses the interview process to figure out who’s going to make an exceptional employee. He also shares the challenges involved in hiring from a pool of highly accomplished prospects, the one interview question he never asks his candidates, and the responsibilities involved in being a corporate leader and a member of the LGBTQIA community.Some Questions Asked:What led you to your role at Poshmark?What can companies do to make their workforce richer and more diverse?Have you ever taken a chance on a candidate who you could tell instantly just never had the right coaching?In This Episode, You Will Learn:What Young’s role looks like as CMO.What it’s like to be involved in executive recruiting.Why leaders should focus on the potential a candidate has for elevating the rest of their team.Links:Steven Tristan Young - LinkedIn
6/14/2021

When Leaders Listen

Season 2, Ep. 7
In an ever-changing world, the employer-employee relationship is more crucial than ever before. After nearly a year and a half of remote work and video meetings, properly managing employee burnout has become one of the most important factors in corporate success. In this episode, we speak with Mai Ton, Chief People Officer of Kickstarter, about what happens when a company takes the time to listen and respond to its employees’ needs.Ton has spent the last 20 years leading all aspects of human resources in several businesses. She was the first Vice President of HR at six companies, where she helped build the people function from scratch. Ton has won 14 awards for her companies and was named to the list of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology, Top 50 Tech Leaders in 2019, and Top 20 Tech Trailblazers from Insights Magazine. She is a board member of LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics), a nonprofit organization that helps Asian and Pacific Islanders achieve equality through education, leadership, and empowerment. She is also an advisor to some of the newest HR technology software companies.In this episode, Ton shares her thoughts on the exhaustion of working remotely through COVID-19, the evolving culture of startups, and what happens when the way of work stagnates. She also talks about the rapidly changing future of work, why the pandemic caused Kickstarter to flourish, and her new book, Come Into My Office: Stories From an HR Leader in Silicon Valley.
5/24/2021

Preparing for the New Normal

Season 2, Ep. 6
The past 14 months have changed the way we work. And as workplaces grow more flexible, companies can begin to adapt their cultures in creative ways. In this episode, we speak with Kristin Johnson, Chief Human Resources Officer of Fortune 500 company Edward Jones, about what reopening can look like.Johnson joined the premier financial services firm in 1995 as a member of the internal audit department, and continued to climb the ranks over the next 24 years. In November 2019, she was appointed Chief Human Resources Officer and began leading efforts to attract, develop, and engage the 49,000-person workforce with a commitment to diversity and inclusion. She serves as a senior executive sponsor of Edward Jones’ Black/African American and Young Professionals Business Resource groups, as well as serving on the boards of the Center of Creative Arts, Webster University, and the Saint Louis Fashion Fund.Johnson shares insights into why being a human-centered company matters, the importance of respecting the individual, and what it’s like to work as a high-ranking executive in a male-dominated industry. She also discusses the challenges corporations face in a post-pandemic world, including effectively communicating in a remote environment while still focusing on employees’ continuing education.Some Questions Asked:Can you tell us a little bit about your path from accounting to leading almost 50,000 people?What role would you say that continuous learning plays in attracting and retaining top talent?How has Edward Jones expanded wellness programs in light of COVID-19? What direct benefits are you already seeing?In This Episode, You Will Learn:About the role creativity plays in human resourcesHow lessons from ballet translate to the world of HRHow COVID-19 has affected training and development programsLinksKristin Johnson - Edward JonesKristin Johnson - LinkedIn
5/3/2021

Humanizing the Hiring Process

Season 2, Ep. 5
As lack of transparency in the hiring process is becoming a thing of the past, we ask our guest, Austin Belcak, CEO of Cultivated Culture, what this transition to greater openness looks like for both companies and job candidates.Belcak pursued a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wake Forest University and put his minor in entrepreneurship to the test after a harrowing experience working in healthcare put him back on the job market. He had sent more than a hundred resumes in 30 days without getting a response, when Belcak designed a solution: a system to get employed by the companies he dreamed of working for. His method was so effective that he landed interviews and offers from Twitter, Google, and Microsoft.Belcak, whose strategies were featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Fast Company, and Inc. Magazine, shares his ideas about what candidates and companies should do differently to get the best out of the hiring process. We discuss one-way interviews, and why most candidates don’t like them. We also touch on the importance of referrals and their role in employee retention. You will hear Belcak’s vision of how assessments should be run and what candidates can do to differentiate and highlight their resumes.Some Questions Asked:How should companies better tell their stories to recruit top talent?How can companies tell whether an applicant is aligned with their values and what they’re trying to accomplish?What impact do referrals have on retention and performance?In This Episode, You Will Learn:About companies taking public stands on social issues to attract the type of talent that is aligned with their values.The risks companies are taking when they are not open and transparent in their search for candidates.That potential and knowledge are not the same, and what folks with no traditional work experience can do to get hired.Links:Austin Belcak - LinkedInAustin Belcak - InstagramCultivated Culture websiteCultivated Culture Free Tools for Job SeekersThe Dream Job System Podcast
4/12/2021

Corporate Culture Renovations

Season 2, Ep. 4
A healthy, empowering, and people-centered culture is vital for any company to thrive, but leaders must model the company’s culture every day for it to take root. Toptal’s Chief People Officer Michelle Labbe speaks about this with Ana White, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer of F5 Networks.Ana White earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Economics from Seattle University. She graduated with honors and received both academic and athletic scholarships. Early in her career, White discovered that her love for people was more prominent than her other passion, her love of numbers. Before joining F5 Networks, she worked as a Compensation Consultant at Watson Wyatt Worldwide and as General Manager of Human Resources at Microsoft.White, who is dedicated to generating social impact through her work, shares her thoughts on the importance of bringing the company’s culture alive through rewards and recognition and focusing on creating an environment of support and positive feedback rather than a competitive one. We also speak about how crucial it is for companies to provide a platform for employees to realize the personal satisfaction that comes from helping the community and what F5 Networks is doing to raise awareness about mental health issues.Some Questions Asked:Now that COVID-19 is upon us, how have you all had to shift or pivot with the people’s needs?I read a really great article that you wrote on LinkedIn about empowering employees to make a personal connection and social impact. Can you tell us more about that?F5 Networks has around 6,000 employees. How are you keeping everybody together to feel like it’s a family with that many people?In This Episode, You Will Learn:About shifting into an agile mindset from the engineering perspective.The importance of the people-first approach at F5 Networks bringing clarity and certainty during difficult times.How normalizing the conversation about mental health issues through education, understanding, and support is an essential part of well-being.Links:Ana White - LinkedInF5 Networks
3/22/2021

Innovating to Solve a Global HR Crisis

Season 2, Ep. 3
The COVID-19 pandemic produced what might be the largest workforce disruption since the Great Depression; its effects on the global economy are devastating. Unemployment in some areas hit 30%, which turns the economic crisis into a human resources crisis. Our guest, Christy Pambianchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Verizon, explains how her company has transformed recruitment, hiring, and retention, given the chaotic scenario. She describes the challenges of maintaining the company’s values and culture in a virtual environment.Pambianchi has more than 30 years of experience working as an HR professional. She has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. Before Verizon, she worked for 10 years as HR Director at PepsiCo Inc. When the internet revolution arrived, her passion for communication and technology spurred her to join Corning Inc., optic fiber inventors. She worked her way up in the company, becoming Executive Vice President of the People and Digital department.Creating People + Work Connect while at Verizon is definitely among her career highlights. The idea came about as an answer to the HR crisis generated by the pandemic. The free, online employer-to-employer platform helps companies that need talent or are displacing workers to quickly identify and fill positions.The hiring process is also evolving, according to Pambianchi. Companies used to hire for job titles, looking for workers who fit into a specific role. Nowadays, it is more about skills and every worker’s attributes and interest in learning. She believes the skill economy will gain even more prevalence in the next decade.Plus, Pambianchi shares her thoughts on the best way to assist workers during the unstable times we are going through and the silver linings of the pandemic’s effect on companies.Some Questions Asked:What are the biggest challenges and surprises this pandemic has presented to companies?How did Verizon recruit for the summer 2021 virtual internship program?How does People + Work Connect help people who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19 get back to work?Are companies looking for previous experience with a specific role, or are they looking for the skills that can be applied to a variety of roles?How can companies help their employees, both full-time and contract, with navigating times of change and instability?The pandemic has hit women, working mothers in particular, especially hard. Can you tell me how Verizon is stepping up for women and what you believe is important to help women in the workforce thrive?In This Episode, You Will Learn:Verizon’s growth plan in technology and innovation.About finding fulfillment in working for companies where you feel connected to the purpose.Ways to drive retention and tenure.About the innovation happening in HR.Why the Verizon 2020 summer internship was recognized as one of the best virtual internship programs.How Nestlé filled 75 open roles quickly using People + Work Connect when business demand increased due to COVID-19.Links:Christy Pambianchi - LinkedInVerizonPeople + Work Connect
3/1/2021

Preventing Burnout in Times of Crisis

Season 2, Ep. 2
Companies have faced many challenges during the pandemic, but the best ones prioritized their employees’ mental and physical health—and were successful as a result. In fact, the only way to maintain a healthy work environment is to make sure staff feels safe, heard, and valued.Joining Toptal’s Thought Leadership Lead Editor Meredith Bodgas today is Roche Diagnostics’ Bridget Boyle, People and Culture Business Partner, Enterprise Diagnostics North America. She is the former Vice President and Senior HR Business Partner of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and has more than 25 years of experience working in HR.Since Boyle joined Roche Diagnostics in 2007, she has helped transform its culture and beliefs, leading to a strong and sustainable relationship with employees, customers, and patients.In this episode, we talk about how Roche increased its retention rate during the pandemic, all while creating and distributing key COVID-19 tests and diabetes-care products. We also talk about the company’s tactics to prevent employee burnout, the importance of nurturing connections, and how to make workers feel secure and cared for. She explains how Roche dealt with internship programs, recruiting, and much more in an inspiring conversation.Some Questions Asked:Tell us about your path to leading people and culture at Roche.Roche has been in the news during the pandemic for creating tests. Can you tell us a little bit about those tests?You mentioned that you thought about how to feed your essential employees. What do you mean by that?What did you do for the parents at Roche and the other caregivers?How did you prevent employees from burning out?Mental health apps exploded in 2020. Did Roche offer any of these to their employees?How did Roche keep employees physically healthy?How did Roche approach internships during the pandemic?In This Episode, You Will Learn:About Roche’s two types of essential workers.How Roche ensures people feel connected to leaders and the company’s vision.New ways for providing employees relief.How Roche makes essential workers’ lives easier.The positive impact of less formality and more realness.How having a lighter touch in the performance review process increases connection and discussion.Links:Roche USA websiteRoche Diagnostics USA TwitterRoche Diagnostics USA FacebookBridget Boyle - LinkedInToptal Insights - How Roche Diagnostics Improved Employee Retention During the Pandemic