Big Fish in the Talent Pool: Talent Acquisition For A Global Company

by Steven Dashiell

Group of Talent Acquisition Specialists

Source: Glassdoor, Indeed Office Photos

As talent acquisition professionals, we’d like to think that organizations that work directly in the recruiting field have everything figured out – that hiring for them is a complete non-issue and recruiting practically runs itself. However, even an ubiquitous recruiting company like Indeed needs a talent acquisition leader to navigate some unique hiring challenges.

In Erin Peterson’s latest episode of “Big Fish in the Talent Pool,” a podcast series that interviews talent acquisition leaders on their personal experiences, as well as the latest trends and challenges facing the industry, Peterson interviewed Indeed’s Head of Global Employment Brand and Talent Attraction Bryan Chaney. During their chat, Peterson and Chaney discuss what it’s like to run talent acquisition for company of global scale, along with the expectations placed upon such a recognizable company. Read on for some highlights from their chat.

More than just a service

While the notion might sound a bit amusing, Indeed has something of a conundrum when it comes to hiring talent. Namely, one of branding.

“As you can imagine…working in recruiting and talent attraction for a recruiting company is pretty meta. We have a lot of people who know us, but they know us as a great place to find a job somewhere else,” says Chaney. “The challenge is to give them a background of indeed – who we are and our mission.”

Similar to the branding issue faced by Lumina foods (link), Indeed faces the challenge of presenting the organization not just as a service, but an organization that supports employees and can be a great place to build a career. Chaney attributes overcoming this challenge to Indeed’s small – but skilled – branding team.

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"We're a small but mighty employer brand team. We'll have over two hundred people in TA to support by the end of the year, a sizable task for a global employer brand team," he observes."

The secret to success lies in understanding that each member of the team has their own unique skills and roles, and operating in a way that efficiently takes advantage of those strengths, Chaney adds.  Every member of the team contributes to the story Indeed needs to tell for recruiting.

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A global scale

Chaney’s branding team is especially impressive given the scope of Indeed’s reach: his team is responsible for global branding, and Indeed has 27 different offices located around the world, with the largest located in Austin, Texas; Stanford, Connecticut; and Dublin, Ireland.

One reason Indeed’s global scale doesn’t become too unwieldy is because Indeed offers a great amount of upward mobility for employees within the organization.

“One thing we hear all the time from leadership is ‘we want someone’s next job at Indeed to be at Indeed.’ That means we have a great a lot of upward mobility, people taking on different roles, moving to different offices, and so on,” says Chaney.

Processing feedback in a global organization

One of the important recruitment marketing tasks that Chaney finds especially challenging as such a large organization is keeping track of customer feedback. When your organization has 27 branches across the world, aggregating that feedback through surveys and social media can be a daunting task. But gathering this feedback remains crucial to the Indeed brand.

“I look at all of this social media feedback and share with the team – ‘hey, this is the [Indeed] experience. This experience has to match our brand story,” says Chaney.

In a much larger company than Indeed, processing that data in a quick enough fashion to make a difference can be difficult. But Chaney notes that at Indeed, employees are highly attuned to the feedback found on the Internet – unsurprising for an organization intrinsically linked to the web.

“People will bring stuff to me, as opposed to me going out and seeking their  feedback,” says Chaney. “We have listening tools and such, but we have a very in-tune leadership team. Whether it’s a manager or SVP, they’re all paying attention to the experience.”

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Continued growth

Indeed’s continuing growth means the company has been forced to become better at managing people – something that’s a challenge for any growing company, says Chaney.

“On one hand, you’re hiring new people. You’re also promoting people to new positions and higher leadership. There needs to be an understanding that they need guidance and training. We took a lot of internal and external feedback, and rolled that into manager feedback and manager training.”

Chaney notes that working for the recruitment process outsourcing side of IBM prior years back helped him for the variety of challenges he’d find at Indeed:

“At IBM, I was on the RPO side, and so working with a whole bunch of different clients, like GM. Just being able to hear their stories and encapsulate that and reiterate that back to them – they’re great stories, you just have to think about it from somebody else’s perspective.” says Chaney.

Stay tuned to the RPOA for more highlights from Erin Peterson’s “Big Fish in the Talent Pool,” and listen in to the whole interview here.

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