Authenticity and transparency were the reigning themes at the first Glassdoor Recruit screening event in London on 19th September, 2017.
Appearing on livestream at the event, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz simply said, “Swing easy”, when asked to share his key piece of business advice. Borrowing the sports term from golf and tennis pros, Munoz explained that many times in business we’re instructed not to be ourselves and feel immense pressure to fit the company mould. Though in order to succeed, it’s essential that we embrace authenticity, play to our natural strengths and abilities, and never change who we really are.
Hundreds of recruiting, talent acquisition and HR professionals attended the Glassdoor event on winning the “informed candidate” – and over 7,000 from around the globe tuned in to the livestream of the main Recruit Event happening concurrently in Chicago, where Munoz was the keynote.
Hosted in the heart of London’s Soho neighbourhood at a designer boutique hotel, guests first enjoyed afternoon coffee and tea while networking with peers, before settling into a private cinema for a livestream of the Chicago event. There was also a dynamic live panel of local industry leaders from the Co-op, Boots and Colt Technology.
Welcome, from Glassdoor CEO, Robert Hohman
Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman gave a warm welcome to everyone in Chicago and to those watching in London and throughout the world. He then outlined how recruiting has evolved throughout the four industrial revolutions, and spoke to why now, more than ever before, transparency is so critical.
He explained why an informed candidate is by definition highly engaged, well-researched and has the right expectations – they have the passion to work at YOUR company and toward YOUR mission.
Hohman then discussed an important new Glassdoor survey (1), which revealed that 76% of hiring decision makers say attracting quality candidates is their number one challenge. The survey also showed that 3 in 4 recruiters report challenges with passive candidates – the saturation and noise received by passive candidates means they often tune recruiters out. The survey also found that 9 in 10 recruiters agree an informed candidate is in fact a quality candidate. An informed candidate – like those who do their research on Glassdoor – are actually 2X more likely to be hired.
Next Up, Winning with Informed Candidates Live Panel
Following Hohman’s welcome, guests heard a live panel of industry experts where Jon Ingham, leading people and organisation development strategist, kicked off the conversation by asking each panelist to share their top tips for attracting, recruiting and retaining informed candidates in the UK, which now has a 4.3% unemployment rate – the lowest since 1975.
Daryle Sutcliffe, Candidate Marketing Manager at Co-op discussed the challenges and ROI of her organisation’s recent rebrand, which went back to the basics, focusing on the original core values of the members owned company. While rebranding, employees were asked to share what they love most about working at the Co-op, what they find most challenging and what makes makes a “Co-op” person.
The Co-op’s rebrand embraced transparency and authenticity on all levels. The company’s mantra is: Be Yourself Always. Sutcliffe added that, “It’s fine to be honest with candidates all the way through the process.”
Hiring managers are encouraged to have candid conversations with candidates about the company and job – both the strengths and pitfalls – to avoid hiring the “wrong fit”, who is bound to resign after a few months, costing the company valuable time and money. Sutcliffe cited Glassdoor as an essential tool for recruiting the right candidates, who are informed and have realistic expectations of the Co-op from the start.
She also talked about the shift in recruiting and hiring, which now focuses more on behaviour, rather than skills and experience to promote ‘diversity of thought’. What’s most important, she said, is to find someone who is a “Co-op person” – candidates who truly align with the company’s mission and are prepared for the challenges ahead.
Vicki Saunders, Digital and Campaign Manager – Recruitment at Boots, talked about her shifting role over her 13-year journey at the household name established in 1849. She discussed why the consumer experience and candidate experience can’t be separated, as both are greatly influenced by the organisation’s brand.
“You must be incessantly inquisitive about candidates,” she said, discussing the importance of sending job seekers the right signals at the right time. “You have to look at the whole journey of the candidate experience, consider where they are when they’re thinking about your brand.”
She also explained the importance of measuring the ROI of brand marketing with rigour. “You have to really dig down to the granular level to determine what’s working best. It’s not just about whether Facebook performs better than Twitter.”
Finally, Saunders discussed the challenges of changing consumers’ and candidates’ limited perception of Boots, a diverse super brand that’s much more than just a chain of high street pharmacies. For recruiting purposes, how does one tell the brand’s whole story and showcase all of the amazing career opportunities it has to offer?
One way is through authentic content on their careers page, which currently features The People Story, a series of blogs written by Boots’ people, about their people.
Craig Hunter, Global Recruitment Director at Colt Technology, discussed the company’s relatively recent endeavour into creating brand affinity. Like Boots, they’ve also started to develop authentic content, such as their Working at Colt video on their careers page, which received 2K views and has done a great job of attracting top candidates.
He also talked about the shift in hiring “culture fits” rather than talent who are only strong on skills and experience. When asked about how to detect an informed candidate, he said it all came down to “instant enthusiasm” a person has about the company and its mission.
And the new “window of transparency” opened by Glassdoor has meant informed candidates have loads of job choices, and are now selecting employers, rather than the other way around. It’s also changed the way Colt attracts top talent. For the first time, quality candidates are applying directly to the company for potential opportunities.
Lastly, we heard from Oscar Munoz on livestream…
A Turnaround Toward Compassion: United CEO Oscar Munoz
How does a company improve its Glassdoor rating from 3.3 to 3.9 in less than 18 months, while weathering a major PR disaster? It’s abundantly clear when we had the privilege of watching United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz speak to Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman.
The company demonstrated its commitment to its principles by sending multiple relief flights to Houston after the devastating Tropical Storm Harvey, raising $2.9 million for disaster relief with a Crowdrise campaign, and supporting relief for victims of Hurricane Irma. Munoz, the #18 CEO on Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEOs list, made a personal donation of $1 million to relief efforts from the storms.
All these actions are a natural extension of Munoz’ commitment to being a compassionate CEO. Just a month after taking the helm at United in October 2015, Munoz suffered a heart attack. A few months later, on the day of an executive strategy meeting (and his birthday), Munoz went in for a heart transplant. The team had decided that the company would focus on its employees. “We needed to regain the trust in our employees before we could do anything else,” he told Hohman. From a Wall Street perspective, this focus on principles ahead of profits may have sounded counterintuitive, but it worked.
“It’s really simple,” said Munoz. “Listen, learn, lead,” are the secrets to his approach. “It’s easy to think you know what’s wrong and then go fix it,” he said. Using an analogy, he continued, “you don’t need to be giving people an oil change when they need new tires.” Visiting with employees at every level of the organisation, saying thank you, and reading employee letters and commentary gives him the learning he needs to lead the company in a more heartfelt direction. In less than two years, this approach has proven to serve employees and customers – and by extension, shareholders.
The company weathered the storm of April’s passenger removal incident by owning up to its part. “As a leader, your people cannot see you giving up on your principles and blaming someone else,” he said. Munoz’ compassionate approach is a true demonstration of how to “provide proof, not promises” as an executive and leader of more than 90,000 employees. With an “ability to make everyone feel like someone,” Munoz is a true demonstration of what it means to be a transparent CEO.
If you attended the Glassdoor Recruit Screening or want to learn more, use #gdrecruit on Twitter to share your experience.