Recruiting Trends and Leadership Lessons

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 Craig Fisher, Director of Talent Acquisition Marketing for the Americas at CA Technologies and Rosie Ward, Principal and Co-founder of Salveo Partners. To hear the entire show, click here.

On the show today, a veteran talent management executive discusses tips and tricks on hiring the right talent and a leadership development expert talks about how to grow an organization and its leaders.

Craig Fisher recruiting

Craig Fisher has been in the talent business for over 20 years now. He started off his career in sales and then switched to recruiting in 1995. He began his career in the talent space by recruiting positions initially and then moving on to tech recruiting. As he moved ahead in the industry he started loving the excitement that managing a team of talent and recruiting brings.  Currently he is managing the marketing and employer brand at CA Technologies which is the fourth largest software company in the world. Since it’s a B2B brand and not really a public facing consumer brand, they realized that a lot of the younger audience that they want to attract don’t even know the brand. Thus, Fisher’s job is to share the company’s brand with the world and amplify it through the company’s employees and targeted marketing.

Recruiting the Right Talent

One of the most important things while recruiting top talent, according to Fisher, is to make sure you consider who you’re talking to, who’s going to fit well in the organization, whoever you recruit is sourced for fit – not just skillset fit but also cultural fit and management-style fit, who’s going to be successful, who’s going to be engaged and be a leader and so on. It is also important to be transparent about what the company’s culture is really about and accept the good with the bad while emphasizing on the good. He believes that these things bring a better success rate in recruiting the right kind of people.

Leveraging Social Media

Fisher, who has been recognized by Twitter as one of the top 50 HR Twitterati, believes that for recruitment purposes Twitter is an excellent platform for branding but probably not that great for sourcing. Fisher says that if you have a large network you can get great engagement by giving intel to the followers rather than always asking for stuff. He follows a 5:1 give to ask ratio where he gives helpful articles, useful info, job search tips, company culture fun facts, pictures with co-workers and then every once in a while he asks for stuff. “Only 3% of your network is going to be online at any given point of time so if you have a small network it’s like a tree falling in the woods. Who’s going to hear it? Thus, having a big network is really important,” he explains. Once you have a good following on Twitter or Facebook, people started looking at you as a resource for information. On a personal network like Facebook, when your friends realize you’re really good at something they end up putting out great referrals. Fisher says that some of the best referrals he has received are through Facebook. He strongly believes that you never know where your next lead is going to come from. It could be a next door neighbor or some old friend so it’s okay to share a bit about your work on Facebook. After all, business is personal because that’s how you make relationships. Making a page for your business defeats the purpose in being more personal in your branding or sales and recruiting efforts. It often ends up being very boring and about stuff that no one wants to know. It’s all about being smart about what you want everyone to see on your personal page, Fisher advises.

2016 Trend Prediction

From his recent conversations with folks in recruiting and his personal observations, Fisher has found out that more and more recruiting teams want to implement Candidate Relationship Management or CRM in the recruiting space. It is similar to customer relationship management system for the sales team. This system lies on top of the company’s applicant tracking system and it gives you the ability to create a real talent community that people can join and be engaged by specific content in segmented ways. You can create campaigns for certain candidates and feed certain information to them based on their background. The process can be automated but it can also be very personalized. Fisher believes that having a talent community is not enough. It needs to be engaged. This could be the big trend in 2016, according to Fisher. It’s an inbound recruiting process which is almost similar to inbound marketing. It is necessary to engage with candidates, alumni and even internal employees. It is important to market to all three talent groups because they are all brand champions of the organization and can refer people. At CA technologies, they had a huge success with their alumni campaign.


There’s a recent gamification trend in recruitment that seems to be gaining popularity. Fishers says that hackathons seem to work for tech hiring. They are a good way to not only gauge the level of interest in your talent pool, but they are also pretty good for branding. It also provides the candidate a sense of challenge. In a book that he is currently reading on what actually motivates people he found out that it’s not really the reward that motivates people but the challenge. Thus, in those terms hackathons are very interesting for evaluating technical talent.

What Are You Reading?

Fisher is currently reading Driveby Daniel Pink. The book delves into what intrinsically motivates people and the science behind it.

How Can People Connect With You?

Find out about job openings at Craig’s company via the careers website He also invites everyone to join their talent community.  

Rosie Ward recruiting

Rosie Ward is the Principal and Co-founder at Salveo Partners. Salveo is a Latin word that means to be well or in good health. With a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology and a Master’s in Public Health, Ward has always been in the fitness and wellness industries. In the early 2000s she realized that the research that was published and what was being done by the practitioners didn’t work. It disheartened her a great deal since she had spent a lot of money on two degrees in the field. That led her to pursue a career in public health where she had her first experience of a toxic work environment. In spite of being a big believer of wellness, she kept falling sick, gained weight and it also affected her relationship with her husband. That’s when she had a light bulb moment that the system was clearly broken. She decided to pursue a PhD in organizational management. Her doctoral research focused on understanding workplace culture and how to influence it and change it. She got interested in the whole idea of motivation and the neural science behind behavior change. She got all these different disciplines together in her doctoral research and used it to launch her consulting practice. Salveo was launched in 2006 which she then put aside to consult large insurance brokers. But she soon realized it wasn’t a good fit for her. Thus, two years later she joined hands with her current business partner and co-author Dr. Jon Robison to revive Salveo Partners which had been lying dormant. Together they’re creating a fusion of organizational development practices and employee wellbeing. They believe that the two are largely inter-connected. The company helps businesses with everything from leadership development to fixing a broken wellness program to cultural transformation.

Engagement and Culture

According to Ward, culture and employee engagement have always been critically important and most HR leaders understood that but when the economy took a downturn these aspects took a back seat. Now it’s back in the forefront largely because of the incredible changes that are coming to the workplace with the millennials being the majority of the workforce. All the companies are competing for top talent because that’s the workforce that really grows the organization and sets it apart from the competitors. That is also one of the reasons why engagement is important. She makes an interesting point that engagement has become the hot topic but research suggests that it hasn’t really changed much in the last 30 years. Only 30% of the employees are engaged and that number hasn’t changed in years. Ward believes that it all comes down to culture. The companies who are really good in their industries really nurture their culture and view it as their top competitive advantage. Ward ties in employee wellbeing into the mix by saying that sometimes companies have really engaged employees who are willing to give the extra discretionary effort but they just can’t because they don’t have the capacity or energy to do it. There is an energy crisis as Tony Schwartz calls it. According to a global workforce study by Thomas Watson, at organizations that have high performing culture, it’s not just about engagement but also a culture that energizes employees and makes sure their physical, social and emotional wellbeing are supported. Thus, it’s not just about culture and engagement but also making sure that people are being their best at work and also giving their best once they go back home.

Leadership Philosophy

There is always a broad company culture but the actual culture is built team by team, according to Ward. Every interaction an employee has with any leader or their own manager reinforces their belief about the culture. She cites a study done in the healthcare system in San Francisco where different departments were labeled red, yellow and green based on their performance. They monitored managers in the red and green departments for an entire year to find out if managers made a difference. The result was that in 100% of the cases those departments flip flopped their metrics. Leaders are very critical for an employee’s experience of culture. It’s true that people quit their bosses more than they quit their companies. Thus, Ward’s focus is always on developing good leaders because everything else will crumble if an organization doesn’t have good leaders across the board.

She follows a framework for leadership development. The first thing she starts off with is building self-awareness. When leaders are not aware of themselves or when they’re burnt out, it’s really difficult for them to be effective and lead others. The second step is to build effective thinking skills. Our behavior is often guided by our underlying thinking which can often lead to consequences. Thus Ward coaches leaders to be aware of when their thinking isn’t serving them and she also helps them build better and effective thinking skills. The third step is developing and fostering quality relationships so that others can grow. Leadership is all about getting things done through other people and developing other people. Thus, it’s all about developing relationships that create conditions for every employee to have autonomy, mastery and purpose which eventually leads to creating a highly motivated workforce. The fourth step is growing the organization. Most companies focus on competencies and tactical stuff but they forget about the leader who is after all, just a person bringing their personal life to work every day. Thus, Ward focuses on the people first and then helps them be better at their job and lastly, helps them grow the organization. This, to her, is a more sustainable approach to developing leaders.

2016 Predictions

According to Ward, we’ll see more and more of integration and fusion of personal and professional lives. As Ron Friedman said in his book “Great Place to Work,” the future lies in people being able to fuse their personal and professional lives. Another trend she points out is mentioned in the book “Firms of Endearment”. It’s the huge movement around self-managed organizations and the concept of “holacracy.”

What Are You Reading?

Ward is currently reading The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the Worldby Aaron Hurst. The book is about the fact that we all want to be a part of something bigger than just profits. She is also reading Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousnessby Frederic Laloux which is about self-managed organizations in various industries that are thriving without any kind of managerial hierarchy and how they do it.