LIVE from Smashfly's Transform Conference

The boys cover just about everything with Smashfly's Josh Zywien, Delta Airlines' Holland McCue and Fiserv's Julia Levy.

Enjoy this live show from Boston and throw our sponsors - Sovren, JobAdX, and Canvas - lots of love.


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Chad: I'm going to do you a favor. Instead of forcing you to envision Joel and me playing shirtless volleyball, Top Gun style, to the tune of Kenny Loggins "Danger Zone", or even hearing Tim Sackett scamper on and off the stage serving water and cookies like a good little emcee. We're just going to jump right into the conversational fray from Smash Fly's Transform 2019 conference, where we were lucky enough to score some time on stage with Julia Levy, director of talent acquisition and recruiting ops from Fiserv, Holland Dombeck McCue, head of employer brand and recruitment marketing from Delta Airlines, and last but never least, Josh Zywien, a.k.a. Jay-Z, CMO and all around branding and marketing stud from Smash Fly. Enjoy the banter, after these words from our sponsor.

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Chad: Hide your kids, lock the doors! You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls it's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Joel: ...So, there's an argument, and we some video vendors in the audience. There's a debate between really expensive, professionally made, video versus just getting out the smartphone and sticking it in front of a recruiting or hiring manager and putting that online. Do you have and sense, or anyone on the panel have sort of, guerrilla, amateur style videos versus professional ones?

Josh: You say that as they have a professional videographer right here.

Julia: There's a time and place for both, and I think we've got a lot of that professionally produced video and photo content and when candidates come to the site, sometimes they think our career site has stock imagery because our associate photos look so good. That's, I think, a challenge, and I would prefer having a blended approach, and being able to use some of the user generated video content, besides what people might post on their own personal Instagrams and things like that, which will capture in a tent stream similar to what you were seeing on the break here, but also being able to be able to get some of that.

Julia: If I'm a candidate, I would want to see the hiring manager in a thirty second clip of what they have to say, or see what a colleague, someone else on the team would have to say. I think that candidates want to see that. I think that as a consumer that's what I would want to see.

Joel: Where are you putting it? So, you can put video in all kinds of places and James talked about YouTube in terms of the next generation. Where would you recommend putting videos? Where's it a waste of time? Social media, what's effective and what isn't for video?

Chad: Are you putting videos on Tik-Tok?

Julia: Not yet.

Josh: That's like, transforming two years. We'll have a Tic-Tok session.

Chad: We'll have a Tic-Tok session, remember that.

Joel: We've all seen your account, Josh.

Chad: So, how are you using video, and then, how are you guys video? I know you are.

Julia: Right now, we just have the produced video and I want to experiment and use video in our talent network forums, and I would love to use video against our job postings and in e-mails, a recruiter saying "hey, Julia." It could be a little creepy I guess. "Hey, Julia I saw that you did a, b, c, and d and I'm really interested in learning more. I'm a reciter at Fiserv. Let's talk."

Joel: So, you're not leveraging Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat?

Julia: We do, but some of it is in conjunction with our corporate account. Then, there's a lot of partnership with the global brand team, and brand... I don't want to say regulations, but standards that user generated video content wouldn't align with.

Chad: That's the big question. I was listening earlier IBM talk about how they have all this content. It's like, how to you QC that shit? I mean, seriously. You want to be able to use this, so you have all this content coming in, but you have to somebody put actual eyes on it.

Holland: One, if you're doing highly produced video, to answer your earlier question, I think where that come into play and why a lot of vendors in that space are successful is they really help you with the story arch. If you have a particular message that you are trying to get out, working with a producer who knows how to extract that from your people it's beautiful.

Chad: You have a purpose for that video, it's not just a video it's [crosstalk 00:05:43]

Holland: You have a purpose, you have a storyline that you're trying to hit. We used to work with this awesome vendor that used to talk about the spark line. The peaks and valleys and the message that you're trying to hit. In terms of that quality control piece, a lot of vendors are backing in to the back end. You send a message out to employee, they record video, and then you have someone who's physically screening that on the back end before you put information out.

Chad: Can that not be, like crazy overwhelming?

Holland: It can be pretty time consuming overwhelming. I think the crux of that is, only creating content with purpose. Don't just do a mass blast to your employee like "hey, we just bought AllTrue, and we're going to put an article on our intranet so that all eighty thousand people create a video." That's not smart use of that technology. It's about being really intentional with the stories that we want to tell, sending prompts to individuals, having them record them, and then screening that on the back end and only pushing the ones that are true, and hit the storyline that we're trying to hit live.

Josh: I think that though is the point though. Right? There's this debate of highly produced video versus user generated video, and I actually don't think it matters, because user generated video can still suck. Everybody thinks that it's automatically authentic and it isn't always. If there's a good story and the person who's on the video has something to say, and you've thought through what the message is, then it's going to come across very well. If you're forcing somebody to read a script, it's going to come across scripted even if it's quick and dirty, authentic, user generated video. I don't think it's either or, I think there's a place for both, and it can be highly produced and very authentic, or it can be highly produced and feel like it [crosstalk 00:07:26]

Joel: From where you sit distribution wise, where do you typically send customers with distribution of video? Where should the definitely be and where might they be wasting time?

Josh: From a marketers prospective or from what would we advise our customers?

Joel: From a marketers prospective. If I'm an employer and we have this great video, where should we put it? What's your answer?

Josh: It's obviously multi-channel and that's kind of a cop-out answer.

Holland: It depends on what the essence of the video is. If you have videos that drive, tap a funnel but maybe talk about brand promise, culture promise, and then you have videos that kind of come into play that more are like realistic job previews. So someone gets attracted to you brand with video A, then they come, they look at the job opportunities you have, you want to serve up another video related to more of the intricacies of that role, and then as you go deeper down the funnel, maybe that's when you introduce the hiring manager, and some of these more off-the-cuff videos.

Joel: How involved is marketing, if at all, with the videos that you're making? Or any of the branding that you're doing?

Holland: Very

Holland: Yeah, I would say very. At Delta, our people at our product. What sets us apart in the consumer space is our level of service, so our marketing and our cons team does a really fantastic job of curating stories, and then producing content but bringing people like HR and talent into the fold so that we all make sure that we massage the storyline and we're hitting it from each angle of our perspective departments. It's not a one sided story. But then, content that we own, like Day in the Life, realistic job preview content, that's fully produced by HR and talent.

Joel: Was that your experience as well, Julia?

Julia: Pretty similar, but I would say I've been at companies that didn't have a strong global brand team and I've had to be really scrappy on my own, and kind of own it. Then, maybe talk to and reach out to people in marketing to get their feedback even though I was doing it off the side of my desk, which I'm sure, many of you here feel that way when it comes to recruitment marketing practices that you might not have the budget to do a sixty thousand dollar video and you need to be scrappy on your cellphone. There's products out there that can help you do it for a more reasonable cost, or you can do it on your own with a lot of research. Some of it's trail-and-error, and piloting in smaller places.

Josh: I hear you guys talk a lot about this, and I agree with you. We've talked a lot about how employer brand and TH should leverage corporate brand more. But, there's always this assumption that corporate brand has this big pile of cash that they're sitting on. My wife works for General Motors, everything's outsourced. They work with agencies that handle everything, and you might have a marketer that owns agency relationships. They kind of feed and protect and act as a filter there, but they don't control much of the budget. The agency actually controls the budget, so employer brand isn't going to get much of the attention from the marketing agency managing that corporate brand. At least, it's going to be more difficult than if you have a strong corporate branding team or corporate branding team that owns the budget and owns the execution of everything. Again, it's not a clean, easy way to divide things.

Chad: Nothing ever is in corporate America. It seems like you guys have direct lines into to marketing, do you have a regular cadence with conversations with marketing on staying on brand, purpose, all of those things. Do you find that is entirely different than most of your peers out there? Like they're disconnected. Or, do you feel like HR and TA, they're starting to come together with marketing more?

Holland: I think we're seeing, and particularly consumer brands are really leading this,

Chad: It's money

Holland:'s money and a lot of consumer brands are using their people to differentiate their product. So, we're a commodity, you can fly Southwest, you can fly United, you can fly American, but you fly Delta because of the interiors of our cabin, because of our people, and so, marketing really leverages our people's stories as a means to attract people to our organization. What that requires is them to stay really in close alignment with TA and with HR to make sure that they're one, showcasing employees that are in good standing with the business, who are representative of the brand that we're putting out in the market, but two, that they're speaking to our values and our truths. They're not steering away too much from what we're training them in onboarding and our respective divisions.

Joel: It's commercial time.

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