HR.main() New York: How BlackRock, Bloomberg, and More Are Tackling Talent Analytics and Branding
The HR.main() series is one of a kind. Unveiling actionable tactics from talent leaders across the world, HR.main() distills need-to-know strategies for today’s tech hiring teams in a jam-packed 3-hour event.
Our New York event was no exception, where more than 500 talent leaders came together in person and via livestream to discuss analytics, branding, and cutting-edge talent strategy. Professionals from both tech and recruiting gathered at the New York Academy of Sciences to trade strategies for thriving in the fast-paced world of tech hiring.
These were some of the top moments of the day:
When it comes to refining the recruiting funnel, data is vital. It’s what allows companies to identify areas for improvement, and showcases success to company stakeholders. But that doesn’t mean all teams utilize data in the same way.
Gaurav Verma, HackerRank’s SVP of Customer Success, sat down with Kate Price, Global Tech and Data Talent Acquisition Leader at BlackRock as well as Maria Tselevich, Senior Risk Analytics Recruiter at McKinsey & Company to understand how data informs their respective recruiting funnels. Each speaker had their own unique approach:
BlackRock on the importance of holistic measurement
BlackRock focuses on 3 core things to measure their recruiting progress: progress through an annual plan, diversity, and skill development.
Progress on an annual hiring plan is their most important focus. According to Kate, “When a stakeholder says ‘I care about time to hire,’ what they’re really saying is: ‘I care about progress through my hiring plan.’” The key is to build out a detailed hiring plan at the beginning of the year, and then track your team’s progress against it, instead of focusing on metrics like time to fill or cost per hire. It’s about setting a strategy and then measuring against it.
Measuring success throughout the candidate lifecycle
McKinsey & Company also prefers to focus on more holistic measurement. Their team focuses on the lifecycle of the candidate: reading signals from across their tech stack, and across the constituent components of their team.
For example, Maria utilizes candidate pass rates as an indicator of the recruiting team’s success. It helps the team understand one core question: how successful are the candidates that they’re selecting? A low pass rate might indicate that it’s time to revisit sourcing or screening methods.
Maria’s team then looks at how well the new hires are performing at their jobs. Looking at early attrition and candidate performance reviews can help affirm that both recruiters and hiring managers are working together effectively.
One of the biggest challenges in hiring technical people is attracting them. Roles like software development and data science are some of the fastest growing jobs in the country. And the increasing digitization of traditionally “non-technical” industries—like the restaurant industry or even the automotive industry—means that demand is on the rise. For hiring teams, that means building a tech talent brand is more important than ever.
We asked Jacqui Macguire, Director of Talent Acquisition at Greenhouse; Kristen Arena, Engineering Campus Recruitment at Bloomberg; and Matt Brandt, Global Head of Technology Talent at Morgan Stanley what it takes to create a strong tech talent brand.
The makeup of a competitive talent brand
“The age of digitization means more and more of these industries are competing with us for the exact same people,” Matt said. For hiring teams, it means adding a vital new layer to their jobs: not just looking for the right talent, but selling that talent on your company.
“One of the top things is to be authentic in your brand,” Jacqui commented. “It’s important to put forward a true vision of what it’s like to work at your company.” Putting forth an authentic view of what it’s like to work at your company will help attract the candidates who are best suited to work at your company.
“It’s also really important to know who you’re targeting” Matt added. The key is getting to know the career value prop for your target candidates. Once you understand what your core audience is looking for in their next job, you can tailor your pitch accordingly.
Attracting a diverse pool of candidates
The proof is in the data: diverse teams perform better than homogenous ones. While there’s no silver bullet for building diverse teams, one driver for success was clear: diversifying your sourcing efforts.
Take referrals, for example, which can be dangerous for teams looking to diversify their workforce. “That is a real concern,” Jacqui says. But that doesn’t mean you should do away with them. “Referrals should be a piece of a bigger plan.”
There are thoughtful ways to leverage referrals. Kristen encourages developers to expand their networks. When developers join interest groups and meet ups, they come across a more diverse set of referral candidates. “They meet other mentors, they meet students” Kristen said. It’s a win-win: developers get to develop their networks and your company sees a wider variety of referrals.
Another method is to partner with your company’s employee resource groups. At Morgan Stanley, they empower diverse resource groups—like their women in technology group, or their Hispanic engineers group—to invite their friends and connections to targeted recruiting events. It means a more diverse candidate pool, plus an opportunity to showcase the success of your company’s diverse workforce.
“Success is not a happy accident”
As Kyle Lagunas from International Data Corporation (IDC) explained during his session, successful tech hiring is never an accident.
As Research Manager at IDC, Kyle leads the firm’s research initiatives on the world of talent acquisition and engagement. In his work, he’s noticed that one key force is driving hiring forward: digital transformation (also known as DX). It’s not as simple as modernizing technology that supports existing systems. Instead, it’s the practice of transforming decision making with the help of technology. It’s the targeted, technology-backed decision making that’s driving today’s most successful recruiting teams.
And as DX continues to change the face of business, it’ll also change recruiting. “Talent acquisition is the only competitive function of HR,” Kyle said. That means talent leaders are uniquely poised to drive DX across the hiring landscape.
According to Kyle, the most important DX investment we can make is in Candidate Relationship Management (CRM). But it goes beyond investing in a CRM platform: it has to be baked into your recruiting process.
Beyond the software, it means curating a manicured pool of candidates that align with the interests, job aspirations, and skills that your team needs. It’s about putting more emphasis on candidate engagement, and less on metrics like cost per hire and time to fill. “You can’t control that,” Kyle says. “At the end of the day, hiring managers make [those] decisions. The business decides how long it’s going to take.” Instead, it’s about creating processes and success metrics that focus on candidate experience.
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