Video is HUGE! Employer Brand is HUGE! Candidate Experience is HUGE! No surprise there. But how does it impact employment? Chad sits down with Elena Valentine, CEO and co-founder at Skill Scout to find out. "STORY TELLING IS DOPE!" - Elena
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Chad: All right. Hey, it's Chad and we're here with Elena. Elena Valentine. We're here with Valentine from skill scout's. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Uh, what, what are you doing here? We're in Nashville by the way, for recruit con.
Elena: I was here giving a very hands on and interactive workshop with a couple of hundred attendees that were here and helping them communicate their jobs through video, legitimately using their smartphones. So took them on quite a wild hour and a half ride. I'm all over this hotel following one of the employees here at Hilton and then outside, uh, capturing some behind the scenes of Nashville life.
Chad: So it took him outside of the actual presentation area, the room and did, did blr know about this? Did they know that you're going to take them on a hike?
Elena: Very much so, yes, I knew that this was, am. Yeah. Well No, I mean because you kind of have to prepare for organized chaos, right? Um, so I didn't want to surprise them and certainly wanted to get permission from Hilton for us to do this. So I've been coordinating with the Hilton HR team, helping them, helping them identify the right person that we could use as our video star for our demo and hands on practice.
Chad: So when it came down to demo and hands on practice, where did you see most of the eyes kind of perk up?
Elena: I think a couple of things. I think one, seeing how powerful it is to just have very simple conversation with your employee about what it's like to work at your organization. Things standing out about Carl Vins a career trajectory and what hospitality in this career has meant to him. So certainly some of the talking points, but definitely some of the key takeaways is we are doing their functions. Was people seeing how easy this can really be for one seeings
Chad: So does that not blow your mind though? I mean seriously, because it. It seems like people want to make things so much more complex than what they really are and if they just simplify the, it'll just come organically.
Elena: Very much so. I mean, I think what they have to realize is, look, these are some incredible technology that our pockets, she's holding it.
Chad: She's holding her, her...
Elena: Holding my Google Pixel, holding my phone. Oh, pixel closes. It was the best camera on the market at the time. That's why I got it. But, you know, we're taking videos and photos of our kids, of our dogs have, you know, odd, odd photos of Joel Cheesman doing ax throwing, right? Like, and so we're, we're trying to
Chad: In sandals by the way.
Elena: Yes, smart is that we're all, we all are, you know, our videographers in our own right, our amateur videographers and so the idea that, you know, we can push this into the professional workplace, um, and give people some structure, some guidance and some quite frankly some confidence around how to do that is really the aim. The idea at the end of the day is that my just cause is to empower HR to be chief human storytellers of their business and give them an approach. Um, and, and the, and the tools to be able to do that, to see video is just as much of a tool that they can pick up something as any other tools that they have.
Chad: Do you think they get that though? I mean because really it doesn't seem like hr or talent acquisition understands that they do have to be good at telling stories. They do have to be good at providing a great candidate experience. It just, it's, it, to me it seems more surgical where it's very sterile and it doesn't seem like they, they understand what this whole journey is about for a candidate.
Elena: Yeah, I mean I feel like it has everything to do with trying to take away a lot of the traditional hr seen as this very highly regulated, highly compliant, very serious industry. And the truth is yes, this is a very serious, like we're dealing with very serious issues, right? And in some of what we do has to be taken very seriously, but at the same time, a lot of what we're doing is human to human connection and human to human connection is not compliant or filled with legalese is about having empathetic conversations. And storytelling is such a huge part of that. I think a lot of it is seeing that their role is so much more elevated than what it is.
Elena: Once I tell recruiters, you tell stories every day, right? They're like, yeah, you know, we're, we're telling stories about how we're so passionate and why have you been here for so long. And so I was like, well, you should start seeing yourself as that, that really hr and the recruiting industry itself, they are the gatekeepers of workplace stories. Um, and we need to empower this industry to see themselves as that. But that's part of their job description.
Chad: And stop being so goddamn afraid of everything.
Elena: Yeah, no, for sure. Um, you know, certainly I think if we think about kind of what we've done around video and storytelling, I think some of it is around the culture of their marketing and the business brand, that company, which I think is often what causes the fear and the disconnect because there is an absolute difference between your marketing brand and your talent. Brand. Candidates don't want to be sold to, right? They don't want the most interesting man in the world, but they want is the realities.
Chad: Is that true though? I mean seriously, because brands are brands. I mean have you seen Soda Stream new, uh, their, their new campaign where they actually wrap their products and their, I mean because they're proud of their products and that's who they are and they're selling their product and they're selling their brand to their candidates because they also know that the candidates are what?
Elena: Their best employee?
Chad: Their customer and their, they actually buy their shit, right?
Chad: So I mean I'm not, I don't totally believe that you need to separate it as much as, as we see out there.
Elena: I mean, in, in some cultures, some company cultures are going to be very different. Um, there's some companies I can easily do that much more seamlessly. Um, but I think that there are some companies that say and other highly regulated industries like banking and others, there's this more kind of buttoned up brand that they have to have versus what candidates really want to hear, which is like, don't tell me the sunshine and rainbows. Like, tell me why people will quit, what are the challenges? Also tell me how I can grow.
Chad: They will see it on review sites. They'll see it on glass door or they'll see it on Fairy God boss. Oh yeah. This is such a transparent time in our lives. Why do we believe the sterility or what have you is actually going to work.
Elena: We don't, but it is safe and it doesn't offend so much. So despite the fact that it doesn't excite, it's also not going to get people in trouble to.
Chad: Or interested...
Elena: Yeah, for sure. But I think if we're looking at, at the end of the day, we are looking at recruitment goals, right? But we're also looking at, from the ego point of, you know, is this, is a recruiter going to make me look more awesome or less awesome and if I take a step into the unknown, this completely fails,
Elena: I am not going to look very good.
Chad: Yeah. And there is something to say about failure and learning on the path to being successful versus...
Elena: I don't believe that is a part of the culture of HR. It's not part of it.
Chad: That is why we still, I mean we're still five to 10 years in some cases behind the rest of major industries like advertising, right? Anything that we do seems to technology wise, process wise, be behind everybody else because her for some reason wants to ball up in a corner in the fetal position and hope that they don't get in trouble as opposed to try to shake things up.
Elena: Yea, it's always been a reactive industry in the traditional reactive industry, not necessarily one that's been proactive.
Chad: So storytelling.
Elena: Yeah, it's dope. I live for what I live for.