Debbie: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to The JOY Podcast. This is Episode Seven, where we get to shine a light on how global organizations are getting people back to work faster and with an exceptional experience. I'm Debbie Tuel, the Chief Joy Officer at Symphony Talent, a global organization that is helping lead this industry-wide movement and partnership with our customers, partners and industry leaders alike. It is a project that we are calling the Joy Pipeline, and we are so glad that you are joining us on this journey of YES. If this is your first time tuning in, our mission in this journey is to help recruiting teams bring the joy back into the recruiting process and empower them to create a candidate experience that both they and candidates need now. Thank you for those that are joining us live in L.A., and for those of you that are tuning in virtually. If you are listening to this podcast today and you haven't joined one of our roadshow stops, I highly encourage you to check us out at thejoypipeline.com, click on the roadshow and register for our next stop. Let's go ahead and jump into today's episode. I am thrilled and overjoyed to be joined by James Marable, Employer Brand Consultant at Eli Lilly, one of the world's most historic pharmaceutical organizations. Hi, James. Welcome. How are you today?
James: [00:01:28] I'm doing well, thanks for having me.
Debbie: [00:01:30] Absolutely! You know, James and I were introduced through GMSI. If you are not familiar with them, they are hosting TA week. It is July 19-23. And it is three events kind of coming together into one. It is going to be content packed and both James and I are both going to be presenting. So you do not want to miss out on this event. Now James, your LinkedIn tagline gives me all of the joy. If you have not connected with James, highly encourage that you do so. You kind of put it out there that your mission, your vision, is to push to make marketing a permanent role within the talent acquisition process. So why don't you share with us? I think you come from such an interesting background, such a fun journey to get into talent acquisition. Share with our audience a little bit about how you ended up in this crazy world of recruiting.
James: [00:02:29] Cool. So I got into this space in 2013, but if we take a couple of steps back, you know, I graduated with a marketing degree straight out of college. I started working for an advertising agency, jumped to another agency, learned a lot, really, really started to get a good understanding of how to run projects. I did project management for all of our marketing executions for the partners that we were working with. But I had a life-event, so to speak, a dream of mine that I wanted to fulfill. And I quit, after working maybe two and a half, three years, to open a clothing store. Oh, super random. But it was something I wanted to do. You know, I'm a creative person if you know me, like I'm super into fashion. I've got tons and tons of clothes and shoes like, it just was a really big part of my life back then. It still is to this day. But, you know, through that, you know, through me starting that business, I was able to kind of hone my skills, also in social media management, like I started dealing with what you call it, brand ambassadors at the time, like we didn't have a name for it. But had brand ambassadors, kind of pushing my brand, blog...
Debbie: [00:03:45] So there weren’t social media influencers way back then?
James: [00:03:47] Yeah, they weren't actual, like, this is their job. Like these were just people that supported, you know, supported my vision, whether they work for me, whether they were interns or whether they just like shopping there or they're just friends. But, you know, I had this army, we used to call them The OTR Army. My store was called Original Thought Required. OTR Army like they were kind of pushing our story. I was found by a recruiter on LinkedIn, kind of based on, you know, the outreach and just kind of how the store, you know, was able to grow with no budget, with, you know, how, you know, we had a relatively large social media presence, you know. So when we had this conversation, mind you, at the time, I didn't even realize that recruiters were on LinkedIn actually like starting these conversations. So again, this is 2013.
Debbie: [00:04:34] I mean, I think we have to give a huge shout out to the recruiter who found you and said, hey, look, you're doing amazing things in the clothing world. Come try it over here.
James: [00:04:43] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Henry Casanovva. Yeah, that's his name. It's a funny last name, but we joke about it all the time.
Debbie: [00:04:50] Mr. Cassanova found you. It was love at first sight.
James: [00:04:53] Yeah. Seriously, he had this vision of kind of bringing in a marketer that could focus on social media so the recruiters didn't have to spend time, you know, and they could really focus on what they do. And then you can have this person, me, (who it ended up being) to really focus on the social media and really kind of building a brand. You know, a couple of years into it, we were able to obtain some budget and really kind of turn the role from social media strategist into an employer brand manager. So I'm kind of developing, you know, the Macy's brand (I didn’t mention that), but developing the Macy's employer brand - going from, you know, just posters in stores that just say “we're hiring” to actually developing campaigns, getting to paid social, you know, shooting - we shot hundreds of videos, you know, kind of telling people’s stories, visual or video, job descriptions, things like that. But really like turning, you know, that role into the advertising organization for our recruiters, which you might, you know, in my viewpoint, our recruiters are our salespeople. It's no, it's not really that different. Instead, it's just instead of selling a phone or a laptop or, you know, clothes, you're just selling a job, you're selling the company. But that's, you know, that's their product and that's our product. And I think, you know what? I've been able to kind of pull out of this. And honestly, like from day one, you know, when I started and really understood what I started understanding, what recruiting was, what sourcing looks like, you know, kind of how these conversations are had, how brand awareness plays, you know, plays a factor into kind of attracting that talent, you know, so that they can have these, they could be receptive to the conversations that our recruiters are bringing to them, whether they're reaching out on LinkedIn, they're having a conversation and then, you know, just sending out an email campaign of some sort. You know, just with this great conversation, I think being able to tell stories, really kind of humanizing the work experience. You know, it's been just very interesting. And it's funny. When I took the job, like as I mentioned, I have my own my own store. So I've been running that business for three and a half years. I never thought that I would be working in the, you know, working for a corporation or, you know, in the space ever again. But, yeah, you know, I got that opportunity and it just, you know, it just seemed like something I was willing to try honestly, if they would have fired me within a month or if I would have quit within a month because I you know, I was used to, you know, kind of doing my own thing. I would have been perfectly fine with it. It was just kind of me rolling the dice on.. the company. Yeah. And yeah. And then them rolling the dice on me because I'm not necessarily the traditional kind of corporate person and I feel like, you know, a little of that obviously happened because, you know, I jumped out and kind of did my own thing, but yeah, like I've been able to make great strides and kind of getting into it when I got into it back in 2013, I've become sort of an OG in the space in a sense, because there weren't you know, there weren't a lot of people that, you know, I could reach out to that were actually like practitioners back then. This TA week, GSMI, the conference actually started out as Social...
Debbie: [00:07:55] Social Recruiting Conference
James: [00:07:57] Strategies Conference, yes SRSC. And that was my very first conference. So back in January of 2014, I went out to San Francisco, you know, when I was just kind of just watching just to see what, you know, what other practitioners were doing or people that were trying to learn the space. And what I saw was there was a lot of recruiters just trying to understand what marketing was. For me, I was a marketer, so I already knew. So what I learned was, I needed to focus more so on… Like what? How does the recruiting function work? How do they have conversations? How do they make outreach? What are some of the things that they talk about? What are some of the roadblocks to having positive conversations? And I've been able to kind of develop, you know, marketing campaigns around it. And now I'm a speaker. You know, I'm at TA Week. I've been speaking for the past couple of years, you know, on their stage in real life. And now virtually, I'll be speaking this July. And, you know, it's just a great space. There's just so much room for growth, so many opportunities to kind of, again, tell people stories, kind of push your brand out there. And, you know, in a way that I'm probably..
Debbie: [00:09:09] And it’s still a new space, still evolving space. So, yes, there is just so much upside. And it really is a community where people like to share what's working for them and really collaborate on making it better overall.
James: [00:09:21] Yeah, yeah. So again, that community pieces, you know, it's bar none. I don't. I don't know if I would still be in the corporate space, to be honest, if I was doing something else. This is something that I thought maybe I’d do for a couple of months. I just wanted to see because it was for a huge historic organization. So why not try it? But then it ended up becoming something that I really loved and it outgrew, you know, the passion that I have for that, you know, that one business that I was running at the time. Did that for six and a half years. But, you know, in the middle of it, you know, I'm three years in and, you know, I stayed in this space. So I've been doing this now for eight years. It's crazy how time has passed and gone by. And, you know, some of the people that, you know, that I got to learn from in the beginning are still out here, still pushing forward. But I've been able to kind of elevate myself to an expert to a degree just based on a lot of the experiences that I've had, high volume hiring, you know, specialty organizations like this pharma space that I'm in now. You know, it's been a great, great journey overall,
Debbie: [00:10:25] You know, and when we were prepping for the conversation today, James, you said something that kind of stuck out to me and you talked about the fact that you clearly exude this entrepreneurial spirit, building businesses was in your core. And when the recruiter reached out to you, he recruited you for specifically that purpose because he saw that you could build a successful following and brand with minimal to no budget. Share with the audience, you know, in those early days, what did that mean to, hey, you're coming to a brand like Macy's, a large brand, a well recognized brand. We need you to build out, “What does our employer story look like? And oh, by the way, we don't have any money to do it.”
James: [00:11:13] Right. What I will say is what helped, honestly, is just having a background in marketing. So kind of understanding what you know, what the discipline or how the discipline actually works. You know, it's more of it's science, to be honest. Like, my degree is a B.S. in marketing, no pun intended. But it is just kind of understanding how you know, how to tell stories, what motivates people, you know, what you know, really getting to the root of like what keeps people at a company. It's not just around, you know, why I took the job. Anybody could take a job if you get a good package. But once you get there, you know, it could be something that you totally didn't expect. So for me, it was around like finding, you know, identifying ways that we could tell authentic people’s stories, kind of grab those individuals that have been with the company twenty, thirty years, you know, and kind of get to the root of what keeps them there. And also like highlighting how the company is moving forward, how, you know, what are some of the benefits that, you know, that the company has to offer, aside from, you know, just that. But, you know, like where are we going? Like technologically? What is the roadmap for the company as a whole? Just kind of being able to highlight things that are things that are actually going on, kind of going back to, you know, being able to do it without a budget is just as it was just really around like just like again...Just how can we do this on a grassroots level? Can I record something on my phone? Do I need just a small amount of budget? So at that time when I didn't have any money, what I asked for was a DSLR camera, Photoshop and a MacBook. So my background, again, is in marketing. But, you know, when I opened my own store, I had to be a graphic designer. I had to be you know, I had to be a project manager. I had to be a leader of people. I had to sweep the floor. I had to do literally everything. So coming into a corporate space is like, OK, well, at least give me some tools. So with those tools, you know, I'm going to go out and I'm going to again, like I mentioned, find those people. I'm going to take their picture. I want to get a quote. I'm going to, you know, record a video. I'm a partner with, you know, with our media side of Macy's at time.
James: [00:13:24] So I will shoot these videos. I will have somebody internally edit it for me, you know. And so we were kind of able to make it. Yeah, yeah. Just be scrappy until we were able to make some traction, you know, get out there on social media and actually ask people questions, actually answer questions, you know, searching hashtags. You know, one of my favorite hashtags to search back then was #ihatemyjob. So being in the retail space, like there's just tons of turnover. Right? Just, you know, whether you're working at Macy's or Pizza Hut or, you know, back then, I mean, over and over. And, you know, a lot of these gig services were there, but they weren't what they are now. So, I mean, just even just looking at those people that are kind of just basically going for the best deal. A lot of times what you find in retail or in the hourly space, let's say, is who like their motivator? Motivations in most cases are like, you know, am I going to make a dollar more an hour or, you know… Exactly. So just finding ways, finding ways to kind of highlight what makes those jobs great for them.
Debbie: [00:14:28] So would you search the #Ihatemyjob and then say I've got a better one for you?
James: [00:14:34] It's not so much around, “I've got a better one for you.” But, you know, just sending them you know, sending them opportunities where sharing some content or, OK, you're in this area. You know, let me connect you with this recruiter that you can have a conversation with that, you know, we may we may have a better offer for you, but just even just being able to see them to connect with those individuals that are publicly voicing, you know, their sort of displeasure with their work environment, at least allow for a conversation to happen. And a lot of times, what you find you’re being able to build a relationship and have a conversation, you know, persons are more likely to want to work with you or want to be a part of what you have going on.
Debbie: [00:15:12] Absolutely. And now you've made this transition from Macy's and that hourly space into a completely different side of the world over at Lilly, where you are hiring a totally different demographic and really focusing on bringing medicine that is life saving and, you know, we chatted about the fact that Lilly is really well known in Indianapolis, but maybe not so well known outside of that. And that is an opportunity and a challenge for you as you build out this new employment brand and really take it to market. So we chatted about the fact that this is a great opportunity, especially coming out of the pandemic, to build that recognition outside of the Indy market of what a great brand Lilly is that you can start recruiting in. So share with the listeners today a little bit about how you guys are going about telling that story and the work that you're doing right now.
James: [00:16:13] Mmhmm, at the end of the day, it's still it comes back to the people. So Lilly is one of those companies that, you know, people come to and they stay. To be honest, I was very surprised when I started. I'm not from Indy. So really kind of understanding the true brand awareness that people have here in Indiana or Indianapolis. It's just something that I would love to import and have that, you know, have, you know, everyone feel like that, whether you're from the East Coast, West Coast, down south, another country, what have you. This is a great organization. So I think like just being able to tap into those people that, like, are truly advocates that have been here. They're not jaded, you know, like - this is by choice. And the historic nature of the organization. You know, again, like paid targeted campaigns. So like building brand awareness. I think like a big thing for me here. Was it just kind of figure out how we can kind of push the story out, like arming my recruiters and sourcers, with just the skills to be able to leverage LinkedIn, for example, or social media as a whole. A lot of times what I do when dealing with colleagues in social media or social advocacy, I really push them to do LinkedIn. I mean, I would love for everyone to use every single platform that they're on. But I mean, the realization is, you know, somebody is different on Facebook than they might be at work or they're maybe different on LinkedIn or Instagram and Twitter and Instagram...
Debbie: [00:17:46] Or maybe they don’t feel comfortable using their personal channels. And they feel a little bit more comfortable using LinkedIn because it feels more professional.
James: [00:17:52] Yeah, exactly. Everyone's on their best behavior on LinkedIn so that at least that, you know, like so like working with them, you know, showing them like what a great, you know, what a great LinkedIn account looks like. You know, what are some of the things that you need to have on your page? You know what are some of the activities that you can do to be active? You know how you can reach out and source people, how you can just, you know, just share important information. You know, again, like I'm getting into the place now where we're able to kind of build out some budgets and we're paying for various tools and campaigns. But in the very beginning, I've been here two years. So let's say the first year was really more around, like, OK, what are some of the free things that we can do? And again, like for me, like just making people comfortable using LinkedIn. One thing that I found here, we're a pharma organization in a highly regulated industry. So a lot of people didn't feel comfortable using social media because they didn't want to say the wrong thing. They didn't want to get their hands slapped by again, just saying the wrong thing or not looking professional enough or what have you. But once I understood that, I was able to kind of work with our communications organization to really get, you know, some guardrails or some guidelines around, like what does social look like for our employee population. And, you know, we were able to roll out a revised social media policy that has like different, you know, just different things to think about when making the posts. And sometimes I feel like when you... not put people in a box, because when you put someone in a box and they feel like they're closed off.
James: [00:19:28] However, if you can give them guidelines and say, all right, well, in this space, you can do anything you want in here, you know, kind of letting them know what they can do versus what they can’t do is a lot more like it's just a lot more beneficial and kind of going back to just saying our people are our best assets. You know, if you know all of our recruiters have great LinkedIn accounts and they're sharing content constantly and they're you know, they're also, you know, sharing opportunities and roles and, you know, they have a mix of Lilly, yeah, of Lilly videos of, you know, of interview tips of, you know, career, you know, like sharing articles and things like that. Just being a resource. It goes a long way and it has gone a long way. And it actually, you know, the I guess the growth that we've seen in our colleague, our employee usage of social and also being unofficial advocates for the brand and allow for us to kind of start telling or allow for me to start kind of really pitching the case to have budget to actually do, you know, these paid campaigns, we're creating these great videos or creating great content. But, you know, we've got to distribute it as well. And getting in front of as many people as you know as you can. And as I mentioned, you know, the Lilly brand is so strong in Indiana, but we want to grow it externally. So it's also being able to take some of that money and just having a straight brand awareness campaign where it's not necessarily...
Debbie: [00:20:47] We need to get these videos now in the markets where we may not have the people that are sharing those stories and. And being comfortable. Yes, go ahead.
James: [00:20:58] Oh yeah. But being comfortable enough to articulate that to leadership. We like what a brand awareness campaign is. You know, from what we're dealing with in this space, we have a lot of recruiters, we have HR professionals, but they're not marketers. So a lot of times when you're having this conversation, I'm sure a ton of the people watching this can understand when you want to get budget for something such as a paid campaign, your leader is probably going to tie it back to hires. They're going to say, well, how many hires are going to get from this? Well, you might not get any hires from it directly, but what you do is you build awareness of the company, you know, and then when you're actually having conversations, when you are pushing out, you know, content that ties back to a rec, you know, these people are going to understand who Lilly is and they're going to be more receptive. They're going to want to look into the company and, you know, potentially apply. So, again, like just building that awareness and that comes from, you know, our consumer marketing space and just really understanding that, you know, people need to see an advertisement like seven times before they take action.
Debbie: [00:22:02] Yeah we talk about this all the time with our customers. There are influencers and then there are convertors. Right. And you have to be influencing if you want those conversion tactics to actually convert. Right. And yeah, and it is hard sometimes to put a monetary value on those influencers, but they are just as important. And if you can get the right type of technology in place to help you track all of that, it helps tell a better story. But oftentimes you've got to grow organically before you're going to get the budget to be able to invest into that technology. And that's exactly what you're talking about, James. And I'm sure you have seen as well. It's definitely something that we have seen with our customers, is that if you are giving employees the tools, that is 1) going to help promote your brand. But if you turn it around and say, hey, look, we are going to help you build your own internal brand, this is going to help you look more professional, this is going to help others find you. It's not a self-serving thing. This is let's make it about the employee. They're much more willing to put this out there. They're much more willing to go that extra mile. And it helps build that brand consistency that you're talking about and definitely huge. So, James, the other thing we've talked about and, you know, some of our audience may not be familiar with Eli Lilly, they're probably familiar with the brand name, but maybe not familiar with the actual story. I find it fascinating that you guys are founded by a veteran, and I'd love to hear how that shapes the way that you recruit veterans and the emphasis that you guys put on it at Lilly.
James: [00:23:45] Yeah. So, yeah, Lilly was founded by a military veteran,100+ years ago, it was a really, really old company. We've been around for a long time. But yes, our veteran hiring is just, you know, it's a quarter of the business overall. You know, we have veteran specific recruiters. You know, we develop content that is geared towards our military veterans. We just recently just finished a two month campaign of paid social campaign kind of targeting, targeting our veteran population, you know, going to the various veteran oriented conferences, being a part of the Skill Bridge program, which is a Department of Defense program that allows for companies to work with veterans or pre veterans. We'd like to call them.
Debbie: [00:24:38] While they're still on active duty. But they're thinking about transitioning out and they're looking for what is that opportunity?
James: [00:24:46] You got it. So they may be there a year or so from being done, but then you're starting to learn how to transition their skills that they've learned, you know, within the military to into the corporate space. Really great program. Glad we're a part of it. But I think like that is, you know, that's the thinking. Like, how can we you know, how can we make the transition as smooth as possible? How can we, you know, connect them with or connect our veterans with other mentors within the organization; we have an ERG around that as well. So, you know, those individuals, once they come into the company, they're just not..
Debbie: [00:25:21] They’re your resource to help you...
James: [00:25:22] Yep. So just providing them with the resources to be as successful as they can within the organization is definitely just as important as, you know, outreach, trying to bring people in.
Debbie: [00:25:33] Yeah. And it's such a dear thing to me. My brother is a 22-year vet of the Navy SEALs and the transition for him when he retired, I don't even know if we can call it transition because he decided to go into private defense. So he's pretty much doing the same thing just in a different sector. Yeah, but those two years after he retired, we're just so grueling on him of like now how do I translate this? I've spent my entire young adulthood in the Navy. And what does this look like in corporate America and what types of roles should I do and how do I have that communication? So I love that there are organizations out there that are focused on helping them translate those skills and go through that transition and that Lilly is part of that and I commend you guys for it and hope that more organizations really focus on that because it is such a great talent base for us.
James: [00:26:26] Definitely.
Debbie: [00:26:29] Awesome. Well, we're going to shift this again. But, you know, when we were prepping for today, I was blown away by the extensive experience that you have in building and overseeing content. Over 100 employment brand videos, 100 million impressions on your social campaigns, thousands of pieces of physical collateral. You know, these are pieces that are helping your organizations attract talent. But, you know, it really brings me back to our early days at Smashfly. We at the time did not have an employment brand arm. We didn't have services where we could help our organizations that were using our technology. So we were giving them this amazing recruitment, marketing technology. And we found really quickly that the organizations didn't have the right personnel internally to leverage that technology. Now, by the acquisition through Symphony Talent, we're able to provide both the technology and the creative services that really brings that technology to life. But, you know, you mentioned you were one of the early marketers into this space. We're starting to see this really grow and be core to talent acquisition. But it's not always. And so I would love to hear kind of your thoughts and your experience of how marketing and brand really needs to pair together with recruiting and the technology to drive adoption through technology. And where you've seen it go wrong or right?
James: [00:28:11] Right, I think with any with anything but especially in, you know, kind of thinking about what we're talking about is if you're going to adopt a certain type of technology or process or even just start a social media account, you really have to think about how it's going to be used. Who are the people that are going to be viewing this and reacting to it and taking action based on whatever you're putting out there, you have to assess just time, like who has the time to do it. So, you know, in a lot of cases, they're still you know, we still have people that are splitting, you know, their recruitment job with, you know, trying to do some sort of employer brand. And then, you know, you get in these conversations with, you know, different vendors or different companies that where you're gonna bring on this tool that you think is going to make everything, whether CRM or what have you, that's going to make it...
Debbie: [00:29:02] Where you’re lured in by this end result, where you're like, yes, I want this end result that your technology is promising to deliver. And they almost forget the gap of like, how do I get to the end result. And who's going to do it?
James: [00:29:15] And who's going to do it. Yeah. So I mean, just really like being honest with yourself within the organization around like who can dedicate the time to do it. So I mean if you have a person like me who's literally like this is my job, I only focus on employer branding, you know, then I have to assess that, like even still like because I'm supporting an entire organization, a global organization. Would I have, you know, do I have time to work on this project or dedicate time for the maintenance of the upkeep of it and having a conversation working cross-functional? I think a lot of times no one necessarily thinks about you know, nothing is just one button, you know, in anything that you do like, you're not going to get to push a button and it magically works for you.
Debbie: [00:29:55] So Staples, customer of ours, and I love their Staples button, but yeah, it's not always real.
James: [00:30:01] Yeah, exactly. So I think, you know, I've seen, you know, different persons and companies, you know, waste thousands and thousands of dollars implementing a tool that they, you know, that could help them, but they just don't even have the time to work on it or, you know, they don't necessarily understand, like, what it actually takes. So whenever you're working with the vendor or someone's pitching you, you know, whatever tool that's out there, have an honest assessment with yourself and with your team of who can actually manage this, you know, manage this because. You know, I've seen.
Debbie: [00:30:39] And do they have the time for that? That's what I mean.
James: [00:30:39] Exactly. Yeah, I've seen yeah. I've seen so many like, you know, Twitter accounts and Instagram accounts that get started. And they're all on it for a month and then you don't see anything for two years. You got to think about continuity, you got to think about, you know, people take other jobs both internally or externally. You know, this person that was going to be doing, you know, that was going to manage this platform. You know, they take another job internally two weeks later or a year later maybe. And there's no there's no backup plan. There's no you know, how do we keep this thing going if we lose this person? You really have to kind of think about those because it's not just about the tools. So this isn't like an indictment on end users or sales people. Yeah, it's just more so around, as you know, as the client. You have to really be honest with yourself as far as like your time.
Debbie: [00:31:24] Yeah. And then you have to set, you know, realistic and measurable goals because it's the same type of thing. If I'm going to you know, to your point, if I start an Instagram account and I get four posts in and then everything else on my calendar over-prioritizes it and I have no measurable and accountable goals to it, and nobody in the organization notices or cares, then it's like, well, I'll just let that slide. So it you know, when you're thinking about the technology, it's not only do we have the resources, do we have the personnel, but also how are we going to measure the success and how are we going to keep the people that are using it accountable to using it so that we are driving the value out of the investment that we just made?
James: [00:32:11] Yes, totally agree.
Debbie: [00:32:14] It has been such a great conversation, James. We are going to move on to one of our listeners’ favorite segments, Confessions of a Recruiter or a Candidate. A little fun in our day to share funny stories that happened in the recruiting world, either on the recruiter side or when you were a candidate. Share with us one of those moments where you're like, I can't believe that just happened.
James: [00:32:40] Yeah, for me, it has to do with recruitment, but not necessarily recruiting a person per se, but a couple of years ago this was to 2014. So at this time, I was on vacation in L.A. So I was having a little California trip. I'm based in Ohio. Mind you, this was January. It's winter. It's cold. So I went out to L.A. and I was going to spend some time in L.A. and San Francisco. So I'm in L.A. for a couple of days and I get a call from my boss and he's like, we need you in New York tomorrow. It's January. So I've got all these summer clothes like, sure.
Debbie: [00:33:17] You’re like I’ve got my swimsuit with me.
James: [00:33:18] Yeah, yeah. So I'm not prepared for this, but OK, you really couldn't give me a lot of details around like what it was for, but just an address and a time to be there. So, you know, book flight, pack up all you know, I've got 15 days worth of clothes in this big old suitcase that I've got to take with me because I'm staying in a hotel. So I fly to New York, get there, and it's a meeting for a new platform that Google was working on at the time. It's kind of like a precursor to Google for jobs. And, you know, we're in there with Google people and they're like kind of pitching it. There was just us. It was Macy's and, you know, like four or five different other large organizations that the higher hourly content or talent. And, you know, we were going to pilot this platform on how to match people with jobs based on kind of like their search history and YouTube use and all these things. Like it was, it was a really cool, cool platform. So we went out there, you know, had a great meeting, flew back, flew back to California, was out there for a few more days. And then, you know, I had to come back. I came back home and the same night that we were when I came back, it was also the four year anniversary for my clothing store that I mentioned earlier. And like, I come back and this is like we have this party like, you know, my staff did a great job of keeping everything going when I got back, but I literally get off the plane. I'm there sick as a dog because I'm changing time zones, changing like climate zones so many times over, you know, over a two week period. And it was just so crazy. But like being able to be a part of that project, give feedback. The project went on. We continue working with them for a few months, but it ended up not even well, people always say, like Google is in constant beta and they start things. They don't finish them like. That was one of those projects that we're like, oh, wow, they're they're literally they're coming for a deal. Like, that's like what it look like in the end. And they ended up not going through with it fully, but, you know. But Google for jobs this now. Yeah. Now. Yeah. Just to be able to see those those kind of shows, you know, seven years ago is...
Debbie: [00:35:28] Pretty much how it fully evolves. Yeah it is. It isn't it. That is a great story. And yes. Train to go East Coast, West Coast. Different temperatures. I'm sure that took you a long time to recover.
James: [00:35:39] Sick as a dog. Yeah.
Debbie: [00:35:41] Oh well. James, it has been such a joy chatting with you. And I have loved the stories that you've shared of how you can create a momentum off of zero budget, how you can take that zero budget, turn it into a case study to get the budget of how to really infuse marketing into talent acquisition. If you could share one piece of advice for our listeners today on how they can pursue their own journey to Yes and bring that joy back to recruiting in order to create exceptional experience, what would that piece of advice be?
James: [00:36:21] For me, I would say your people are your best asset, being able to identify those people, that could be great advocates for the company, whether it's people that have worked there for a long time, their leaders in various ERGs or company groups, you know, obviously a recruitment organization, your recruiters, your sourcers being able to create content or just give them the tools to be able to leverage social media better to be experts, to be to be helpful, will grow your brand exponentially. And once you're able to kind of get to the point where, you know, everyone in your organization really understands what you do, because that's a whole nother conversation where, you know, they think that we're just over here playing around on the Internet. But once they really understand what you do and the value of of that work and how, you know, your employees can be the best advocates, whether you have an official employee advocacy program or not, just identifying those people that could really kind of advocate for the organization and push that brand out there, share with their friends, family, and following about the merits of your organization, what keeps them within your organization, available opportunities, different jobs. So, you know, going into the referral space or just being helpful, you know, sharing interview tips, I think if you have an employee base that is really rooted into what your company is all about and they're just willing to share, it's going to it's going to pay dividends way beyond what, you know, you may spend on an advertisement or running, you know, running something on the radio or putting something in a paper or even, you know, you're paying for paid social as well. I think like if you're in a space where, you know, you have employees that are willing to talk about you, it's going to help you a lot more then a lot more than some of the things that you might be out here paying for.
Debbie: [00:38:17] Absolutely. And if you are listening today and you want to hear more of James, this story definitely go TA Week register, join the conference. There's going to be many more conversations like this happening. And I'm so excited to listen on your session, James, and hopefully vice versa. Also, if you want to join this Journey of Yes, please visit us at thejoypipeline.com, follow The JOY Podcast on Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts. And until then, we'll see you next time on this roadshow. Have a great day.