The Art of Talent Acquisition and the Science of Learning

Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and having the cultural mindset to embrace the needed diversity of the workplace.

Today’s guests are Kay Lynn Gabaldon, Head of Talent Acquisition Consultant at MD Insider and Margie Meacham, Chief Freedom Officer at Learningtogo, LLC. To hear the entire show, click here.

On the show today, two extremely experienced women talk about the art and science of talent acquisition and learning.

Kay Lynn Gabaldon learning

A philosophy and computer science graduate, Kay Lynn Gabaldon has been in recruiting for many years. Her love for people is what brought her to recruiting and helped her excel at it. Her background in philosophy and computer science led her to becoming a pioneer in recruiting and technology. For her it’s exciting to see, and be a part of the massive innovations currently taking place in the field of recruiting.

Current Workplace Issues

According to Gabaldon, there is a war between generations in current workplaces. There’s an urgency embodied by the millennials to continue to progress and move quickly. They don’t want to be seen as children but the older generation continues to see them that way. However, she believes that the older generation has a longer history in the workplace, where they have gained experience. The problem with companies with a predominantly young workforce, according to Gabaldon, is that while they progress rapidly, they lack a foundation of history. “They are building history but they aren’t taking anything from history,” she says. Some of these companies have realized the importance of recruiting more seasoned executives in order to build a more solid foundation. On the other hand, she says, the veteran executives have to be open to what the new generation wants and be willing to learn from them. Thus, everyone is learning from each other.

Gabaldon says that they have been successful in creating a really diverse team at her current company MD Insider. It’s a group of people who have varied backgrounds in terms of culture, age, thought, etc. but they all share a passion for changing healthcare. Gabaldon helps find balance and create a culture of people who can work across the boundaries of age, education, language and experience.

Recruiting Millennials

There are some young candidates who are extremely sought after. Gabaldon believes that the problem is the candidates know that they are pedigree and when they try to leverage that strength they can come off as unreasonable. The maturity of a company’s culture will often dictate if candidates with that approach will be embraced or turned away. From her experience, she believes it is all about finding a balance.

What Are You Reading?

Kay Lynn Gabaldon is currently reading “The Next Hundred Yearsby George Friedman. The book talks about events that could happen in the next hundred years, who’ll become the next super power and why. “It’s all about culture,” she says.

How Can People Connect With You?

Connect with Kay via LinkedIn.

Margie Meacham learning

Margie Meacham’s company Learningtogo is an instructional design company that applies neuroscience to learning.

Meacham was dyslexic when she was a little girl. She had a very difficult time reading and needed help to move ahead in school. She realized it was a learning disability that was related to how the brain works. That’s when she became interested in how people learn and how the brain works which eventually drove her to helping others learn.

She earned a degree in teaching but initially embraced a career in sales. According to her, it is complex to teach a buyer how a certain product works and how it will benefit them but her degree in teaching helped her with product education. Meacham built a very successful track record in high technology sales and was asked to teach other people to sell the way she did. Ultimately it was the enjoyment of teaching people that drove her into the learning profession.

Technology-enabled Training

One of the technology based products that Meacham was selling was video conferencing. Due to her experience and understanding of video technology she understood its potential as a training tool. Within her organization she was one of the first trainers to adopt a new technology for learning purposes with her video initiative.

Successful Training Programs

One thing that every company should remember is that they are preparing their employees not just for the present but also for the future. “Things are changing so rapidly in technology and business that you can’t predict what you’re going to need two years from now. But what you can do is make sure you have taught them how to think so that they know how to analyze a situation and to learn,” says Meacham. She says she spends a lot of time with her clients on learning to learn. She teaches people how to become better at extracting as much as they can out of the training course. This way, her clients spend less time on training because they do it efficiently. She strongly believes that training is very important for all age groups and that’s what the neurosciences help in.

How Does the Brain Work?

Meacham believes that is important to know not just how to learn but also how the brain works. Our brain has to hear something multiple times for it to move to long term memory. Knowing this will help you realize how much you need to study something to master it. On the other hand, how to find something is different from memorizing. “For that, you have to train your brain to remember the bread crumbs to take you back to the information. The more you know how your brain works, the better learner you become,” she explains.

Meacham’s Books

Meacham has written books on learning through neurosciences and how readers can apply it. Her first book Brain Matters: How to Help Anyone Learn Anything Using Neuroscienceis a series of short essays about aspects of the brain that have been recently discovered. For instance, mirror neurons – when you watch someone do something, your brain responds as if you were doing it yourself. This is triggered by the mirror neurons. According to Meacham, this knowledge can be used to speed up the process of learning a new skill or sharing expertise. It can help create better training programs. In short, this book is a practical guide on how to take advantage of neuroscience.

Her second book – “The Genius Button: Using Neuroscience to Bring Out Your Inner Genius,” which is scheduled for release later this year, focuses on one particular aspect of learning – what makes someone exceptional and the concept of genius. She says most geniuses made themselves geniuses. They made a choice very early on and then worked on that choice. It’s all about giving practical tips on speeding up the process of learning.

What Are You Reading?

Margie is currently reading How to Think like Leonardo da Vinciby Michael J. Gelb. The theme of the book is the concept of genius, similar to Meacham’s second book. Through the example of the greatest genius of all time – da Vinci – the author shows the readers how to uncover hidden abilities and sharpen senses.

Another book that Meacham suggests is Lead from the Heartby Mark C. Crowley. The author talks about the importance of emotions in influencing our learning and change in behavior. He suggests that instead of pushing away emotions, good leaders draw on them to achieve results.

How Can People Connect With You?

Connect with Margie via her company website or via LinkedIn.