IKEA's Rick Carsley: No Assembly Required


Rick Carsley, Director of Talent Acquisition at IKEA, knows how to plan for a podcast. 1) Feed Chad & Cheese Swedish meatballs and dessert 2) discuss topics like:

- ZipRecruiter commercial blitzkrieg - Vendor Experience - Why Ryan Reynolds needs TaskRabbit - Automation - IKEA Tech Hub? and more....

Come for the discussion, stay for the fika. All supported by our friends at Sovren, software so human you'll want to take it to dinner.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

Disability Solutions partners with our clients to build best-in-class inclusion programs and reach qualified, talented individuals with disabilities of every skill, education, and experience level.

Sovren:

Sovren Parser is the most accurate resume and job order intake technology in the industry. The more accurate your data, the better decisions you can make. Find out more about our suite of products today by visiting Sovern.com, that's S-O-V-R-E-N.com. We provide technology that thinks, communicates and collaborates like a human. Sovren, software so human, you'll want to take it to dinner.

Intro:

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 opinions and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Rick:

So Peter is doing the fake podcast and he starts reading the litany of commercials that something includes and when he gets to zip recruiter, and the folks at zip recruiter where we've greatly overestimated the amount of people that listen to podcasts and make hiring decisions. And if you've listened to any sports podcasts in the last two years zip recruiters just shoving it down your throat nonstop and it reminds me of Glassdoor like three years ago when they were the most aggressive salespeople in the world. If you do not answer them they're going to talk to your CHRO your CEO and the last thing you want to get in my gig-

Chad:

The Indeed method is what that's called.

Rick:

See I think I've always brought Indeed. When half of the success of my career was tearing apart CareerBuilder and monster contracts and being like, "Hey do you want cost per candidate of $1.50 because here we go." Right and then when Glassdoor tried to sell that way it's like, I would talk to-I was at an Indeed conference where I was sitting with a guy from Marathon a guy from Pepsi and we're talking about our vendor experiences and everyone had these terrible sales calls with Glassdoor where they were insulted because you did not want their product. And they're like, "Oh we're a job board." And you're like, "No you're not, you're the Yelp of our industry."

Chad:

Yeah.

Rick:

I've had bad Chinese food once or twice too. I don't go online to talk about it right away.

Chad:

Yeah.

Rick:

But Zip is the same kind of thing where-remember when I posted on LI, I think it was your status, where I was like, "Hey why do you guys get free AirPods? I don't get free AirPods."

Joel:

Yeah. Get a podcast and you'll get free AirPods.

Rick:

The ZipRecruiter rep hit me up maybe two minutes later.

Chad:

No shit.

Rick:

Trying to bribe me with AirPods so I would take a meeting with him.

Joel:

That's not bad. It's because of your post that he knew so at least give him credit for paying attention.

Chad:

Somebody could get fired for that.

Rick:

I definitely could.

Chad:

That's the thing about sales people. It's like they don't think of the ramifications of not for themselves but who they're setting up.

Joel:

So you were you're talking very poetically about how vendors get it wrong in that they're trying to facilitate the job seekers perspective and not who they are actually selling to. So I'm wondering if you could pick that back up or explain.

Rick:

We need to get an intro in here or something.

Chad:

All right. Straight from IKEA, from IKEA baby that's right.

Joel:

Straight from Fishers.

Joel:

We got the meatballs, we got the fries, we got the food.

Chad:

Some lovely dessert thing I gotta figure out what the- Blueberry, jello, some crunchy.

Chad:

This is delicious. Is his name Josh?

Rick:

Josh, yeah.

Chad:

Joshua. That dude can do it.

Joel:

Because when you're the chef, you're Joshua.

Rick:

It's a good chef name it's a strong chef name.

Joel:

It is, yeah.

Chad:

If you're in Indianapolis and you hit the IKEA, you definitely have to have some of the meatballs and whatever the blueberry thing is. We've got to make sure that we get the name of that, that was pretty awesome.

Joel:

Joshua's the one with the beard netting around his face. Sort of Hannibal Lecter style

Chad:

I kind of feel like you need one of those.

Rick:

I could get some extra we probably have in the kitchen? I could totally supply those.

Joel:

When I rock the smoker at home I'm wearing the beard hat. Anyway, yes we're here live from the IKEA in Indiana the only one here in the state, talking to Richard Carsley.

Chad:

Now Richard, Rick? Can we be more informal here or is it Sir Richard Carsley?

Joel:

Is it Dick?

Rick:

I go by Rick though.

Joel:

Rick. And you are head of TA in North America?

Rick:

Director of talent acquisition.

Joel:

Yeah so thanks for having us out, this is awesome. You're in town from Philly, specifically you're firing people or what?

Rick:

That's why I wear the power tie. Of course my whole reason was come out and talk to you guys. We have an open interview day tomorrow in Fishers on Wednesday. For as we slow down a little bit after the holiday season, but as we peek back up to something called K drop where all of our catalogs go out. Then we start picking up hiring.

Joel:

Okay.

Rick:

So we had an event planned for tomorrow, I have one of my recruiters out here kind of trying to work that.

Joel:

So for the rare person that doesn't know IKEA, let's get through the elevator pitch on what you guys do and where you are and all that good stuff.

Rick:

I hope everyone knows IKEA.

Chad:

Watch Deadpool. Deadpool has a great IKEA segment. Have you not seen that?

Rick:

No I have.

Joel:

So do you put yourself on par with the Walmarts and the Targets in this country?

Rick:

We blow past the Walmarts.

Joel:

So you think you think your awareness is better or on par with Walmart? There's no way you think that.

Rick:

I mean Walmart is a very large brand.

Joel:

If I go to Seymour, Indiana, the chance of them knowing you versus Walmart are pretty low.

Rick:

I think IKEA will always be thought of as a destination.

Joel:

True.

Rick:

You don't come here for groceries. We do have people that come here for the meatballs you guys devoured in front of me.

Chad:

The experience, yeah.

Rick:

You come here for a half a day, a couple hours and shop. I don't think anyone wants to sit in a Walmart that long. I don't think anyone can afford to sit in a Target for that long either.

Joel:

Yeah, good point.

Rick:

But IKEA has been doing what we do with that flat-pack furniture and home design for forever. It's across the United States. You see the sign, you'd have to take the access road and the exit in every single place and that's kind of our mark.

Joel:

And you're in how many cities in North America now?

Rick:

We have 50 stores in the United States.

Chad:

So is it kind of by rule or do you have a deal with Topgolf to have a Topgolf right across- cause you're talking about an experience, right?

Joel:

They must have the same lobbyists.

Chad:

So you come to the IKEA, you have the meatballs, and then you go work it off at the Topgolf or either the wife or the husband who wants to spend time in the IKEA.

Rick:

Good gender neutral terms.

Chad:

Then the other can go hit the Topgolf.

Joel:

By the way there's a Portillo's between IKEA and Topgolf.

Rick:

You guys have Portillo's in Indiana now?

Joel:

Are you kidding me? There's a Portillo's, we can walk to it from here.

Rick:

I had no idea.

Joel:

South side Chicago guy. So if you're not working off meatballs and salmon, you're working off the Italian before the Chicago dog.

Rick:

So while Portillo's is the brand, AL's beef is really where it's at when you want to get your Italian beef on in the city of Chicago. But Portillo's is the one that's pushed. I didn't know it came out here though.

Chad:

This far south.

Rick:

It would make sense. And Topgolf is just become a huge thing in Norfolk in Virginia back where I used to live. Very similar it is like a mile away.

Joel:

Printing money.

Rick:

If you want to talk about the constant vendor spot-

Chad:

Yeah.

Rick:

The amount of offers I get to go to Topgolf...

Chad:

Which is why we have an appointment at 2:00. Yeah so the whole experience is pretty awesome but in Cincinnati it's the same way. IKEA right across the street to Topgolf, it seems like it just fits.

Rick:

That's just a killer concept, I wish I would've been a part of that.

Joel:

In Stockholm, there's a Topgolf right across from the headquarters.

Rick:

I don't know if that's the truth.

Joel:

So I know we're going to talk about recruiting but I am interested because we talked about Walmart and Target. You've interviewed with Amazon or know a little bit about them. So the retail environment is challenged largely because of Amazon.

Rick:

Definitely so.

Joel:

And you guys are a private company so you're not talking publicly, numbers. But the fact that you are a destination, it is someplace you come for the day, it is someplace you travel hours in some cases to visit, would you say that you guys are faring better in the current retail environment because of that sort of destination brand or do you think you're as challenged as the Targets, the Walmarts, the other retailers, Best Buy, etc.

Rick:

It's no secret that retail patterns have changed and that's going to affect visitation whether that's at our store or any stores, right? We have taken turns to kind of meet the consumer where they are going to be now. No different than what we're doing in TA, right? So a lot of what we've done work with on our digital app, a lot of before when you buy IKEA furniture, if you weren't willing to come into the store, haul your item through, throw it in the back of a U-Haul, put it together yourself, you weren't going to get the product. Now we have the click and collect where you can make your order online and just come pick it up. We also with TaskRabbit, not only will we put it together, we'll deliver it to you. So we've kind of made those changes to kind adhere to where the consumer is.

Joel:

Which Chad and I thought the TaskRabbit move was brilliant by the way. We talked about that extensively.

Chad:

But we haven't heard a lot about it. So what's the actual usage for that? Because I could see a ton of people saying, "Okay, I don't want to put that shit together." "I love it but I don't want to put it together." What's the usage?

Rick:

So being a private company, it's one of the things I can talk about my own experience with utilizing TaskRabbit. When we moved to Philly initially we were going to buy a desk, I was telling Joel this story previously. And we came into IKEA. One of Recruiters used to work in active selling and worked my wife over for thousands of dollars in purchases. The last time I put together an IKEA product I lived in Secaucus, New Jersey, and it was a desk where I think I put the drawer on wrong so I had to flip it around so I'm like "I'm not going through that again." So for me the TaskRabbit experience, you get the quote inside of the store and then you can also manage who you want to put together your particular product through the app. So just like any experience, you're looking through the profile of the people that are going to put together your product, you're figuring out the times that they quote, you're looking through reviews of the work they did previously.

Chad:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rick:

It's been a very successful venture for us because it changed what we were doing, and when we have our competitors, the Wayfairs, doing the same exact thing, utilizing a Thumbtack or other very similar products, it's something that only made sense. People were putting together our furniture with or without us being a part of it and charging for it. It only made sense for us to kind of close the circle.

Joel:

So I know you guys are pushing people using TaskRabbit to put together furniture. Are you doing anything on the other end to push TaskRabbit as a gig option or sending people to join TaskRabbit to then make money that way. Are you pushing both ends of that?

Rick:

I honestly, at this time, I don't believe so but that really wouldn't be my realm.

Joel:

So TaskRabbit is still a separate business altogether right?

Rick:

Uh-huh.

Joel:

Okay.

Rick:

It was separate recruiting structure. The gig economy is one that is massive. I've kind of had my finger to the pulse about what's going on with Uber as they've gone through big cities. I mean what could be wrong with a company that's getting sued that's cash poor now offering people a bunch of jobs.

Joel:

Buy that stock today, baby.

Rick:

Right? How will that workout poorly?

Joel:

Double down.

Chad:

So how do you get Ryan Reynolds to talk about your product because that's perfect for TaskRabbit right? The video, I'm sure you've seen the video.

Joel:

Right.

Chad:

It's like a minute and a half long. He gets this crib from IKEA, he can't put it together, he gets on customer service, and it should be like TaskRabbit. It's like perfect.

Rick:

Obviously you want to buy the stuff because it's great stuff. Can't put it together: TaskRabbit that shit.

Joel:

You're asking did you pay for him to do that or not, right?

Chad:

No I know they didn't but they should tag onto that.

Rick:

Right? I think it brings on all interesting marketing possibilities when we have the brand that will put that stuff together for you. Sure, people much better compensated than I are going through that think tank. You kind of come to me for the people that can potentially put it together more than the ideology behind the process to be honest.

Chad:

You just love it because of the amount of brand awareness you get out of that one guy in Deadpool movies in there too, it's freaking hilarious.

Joel:

It's probably a double edge sword, the brand. You get grief for being the hard to put together.

Rick:

There's two constant comments that you get. I was at the dentist in Virginia a couple months back and they see your-

Joel:

This is going to hurt but not nearly as much as putting together a...

Rick:

Right, that's exactly it. They look at my insurance card and they're like, "Oh you work for IKEA." So immediately there's one thing that people always iterate. "Oh, I love the meatballs," or, "I was putting together this book case and..." They go into your story and you wanna help because I represent the brand but you're like...

Joel:

This root canal is going to be painful but not nearly as painful as putting together a...

Rick:

So when I actually interviewed, the amount of people that I'm like, "Hey I'm going to go to IKEA and I'm going to interview." I think three or four people made the joke to me where it's like, "Oh is the last step putting together some of their product?"

Chad:

That's what I asked on the way in. I'm like, "We don't have to put shit together do we?"

Rick:

Right.

Chad:

Talking about the experience, you're talking about going to have an interview day. How often do you have those and what is generally the experience? Kind of cattle call scenario or how does it work?

Rick:

We don't do like the cattle call hiring event thing. The attrition that comes from those type of events is massive. Anytime you think of a group of people are going to walk into a door to get a job it's very likely that at some point they'll walk out the door together to leave a job. So what we do is we identify a particular need. So in this particular store, we had enough openings to justify the event. From there, we break it down where we go through our process of CVs that we already currently own. On market CVs right now, the cost in a 2 to 3% unemployment is up about 200% from where it was a year ago.

Chad:

And you guys go into your database before you start[crosstalk 00:15:59].

Rick:

Right. And then so much of what you need to do to get in touch with candidates now is texting. We talked about the rise of cell phones, we talked talk about the Genesis of this pod.

Chad:

Oh yeah.

Rick:

It's very same with recruiting. I feel like Boost Mobile and Pay Tel, and those off brand cell phones really helped accelerate my career because, "Hey, we'll text." So we go through that process. We don't have people for an event like this and it can also be based on population that we bring in without them going through some sort of screening process. IKEA as far as our retail attrition numbers are much lower than the majority of our competitors and there's multiple reasons for that. I'd like to say one of the first ones is we treat people well. So we do hire for our culture we do hire for our values, but it doesn't hurt that if you work 24 hours at an IKEA you get full time benefits. That's not the norm for most retailers.

Chad:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rick:

So a store like this we kind of had a crux. Our food is always an area where it's hard. People don't think of us as a restaurant. To kind of pull people from a culinary school isn't really...

Chad:

Yeah, you have a chef.

Rick:

Right. A chef from culinary school that had worked with us for a couple other stores.

Joel:

It's all about the Fika, dude. That's why that's why they come and stay.

Rick:

It is.

Joel: