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:

The Fika.

Rick:

Hey 15 minutes of a break.

Chad:

I didn't see that on the job description though because that would have been the key: Fika. Getting the Fika.

Joel:

For sure. They need a YouTube video for that.

Rick:

I strongly assume if you Google IKEA and Fika, you're going to find a couple of them. I strongly, strongly...

Chad:

That's kind of the traditional walk through the door come interview. Do you guys do anything online, like interviews online? How does that process usually work? Does it differ from level of the type of individual that you're bringing to the store? How does that work for you guys?

Rick:

Definitely so. The thing is we are a people centric recruiting model because even when we think about our jobs and workforce, like who's going to be at the store, who we're going to schedule, that is a manual, people based process. One of the biggest kick outs to work in an IKEA store is weekends. You need to work weekends, we need to know from compensation standpoint where you're at. So we have multiple mediums in which we screen that out. But when it comes to answering a behavioral based interview question, well I can push that a lot of towards one sided video which I have done in other walks of life it's hard to want to replace that actual genuine conversation that we have with the candidate. Whether that's a 10 minute conversation or an hour long conversation it's the fact that it occurred and then we're able to not have 60, 70 people walk in the door that didn't apply through our system that don't know why they're there, they just want a job. That's not kind of our candidate base.

Chad:

So you just tell those people if they come through the door, go to the website? Well how does that all work?

Rick:

I'd like to say it's a uniform process for every location across the United States, I'd be telling tales out of school if that's what I went with. We do route them back to the system but there's also something to be said if someone has the hunger for a job and were willing to show up, and are professional and dressed for whatever part they're there to interview for, we're going to figure out a way to get them through our process. It's just the much preferred way is scheduling your time to be here just because as much as I say you know unemployment numbers and all that effect, we do not suffer for resumes in the majority of our locations. It's somewhat unique. When I was working in financial services, I was dying for people to come fill out contact centers. It's just a different mode.

Joel:

You mentioned some tools that you use to streamline the process. Looking at your current database, you mentioned text messaging. I'm curious if automation in the scheduling of interviews is something that you're using?

Rick:

Right.

Joel:

How does tech really streamline things for you aside from your own database in the text messaging piece?

Rick:

So we have a time trade link that we push out. Well my first experience with recruiting was actually my mom was a recruiter for UPS. And that was the very first time that I saw the candidate sets up their interview. And almost since every single stop that I've gone to working high volume that was the very first part of it.

Chad:

That was how long ago?

Rick:

That was in the late 90's.

Chad:

There's still companies who are not doing that.

Rick:

I don't understand why you wouldn't. If you want to talk about the vendor piece for a second; it does give me a little bit of pause when a vendor reaches out to me and tells me to go to their calendar to set up my own time to talk to them because I want to be like, "Please. I don't even want to talk to you. You think I'm going to click this link to see how few people want to talk to you?"

Joel:

I've seen literally where it has the calendar and you can set up a time for a demo on the website like publicly facing...

Chad:

It's a free demo though.

Rick:

Exactly.

Joel:

For sure, yeah. It is a free. So how are we going to say no?

Rick:

We are not going to charge you.

Chad:

How can you say no to the free demo?

Rick:

Our products that we utilize for recruitment I can't openly push matters...

Joel:

Let's go into this, okay. You've talked a lot about how vendors are selling incorrectly and not doing it right so to speak. So assuming you are using third party vendors for text messaging. I assume you are?

Rick:

Yeah.

Joel:

What did they do right in the selling phase? Or was it you did your research, you did your homework, and you reached out to them and said, "I want to learn more about you guys, you sound good."

Chad:

And they didn't send you a calendar link.

Rick:

Right I was trying to find the right term.

Joel:

We'll talk a lot about how they're doing it wrong, but the ones that did it right that got you to buy, what did they do?

Rick:

A lot of that is just based on vendors that I've worked with in different stocks.

Joel:

Okay.

Rick:

I've gone through a million and a half RFPs and I have a good idea of what products work with the other products that... I was stuck in a couple of Workday houses. So when you're with Workday-

Chad:

Stuck.

Rick:

It's just the reality. And when you build an all encompassing solution, like your ATS is the one with the least amount of money behind it and therefore I used Workday when it was on version 5 before it had resume parsing and could identify source. And we had gone from Taleo, which Taleo has its bugs too, but I remember looking at my CHRO like, "What am I supposed to do with this?" "You asked me for reporting that I can't give you anymore, this is bad." And then Workday started giving out money to the phenoms and to places that would help bridge the gap. But I have a good idea of what automation tools that I like to use. Not to pander, but there's a lot of times where you guys will talk about a particular tool and when I see that there's an actual solution for something I need. Everyone's trying to sell a CRM, right? But an ATS, and we use Avature, which I believe also has sponsored the pod at some point in time?

Joel:

No. Put him on the list. Tell my son, put him right next to ZipRecruiter.

Rick:

We'll get into that later. But when I look at that, everybody has the exact same product in the CRM. Well I hear one person that's actually doing something different with it. Showing me scores, showing me a campaign that I don't have to manage every day. Well that's someone I want to talk to kilt or not.

Chad:

Right.

Rick:

But the tough part is, I had mentioned this earlier, but all the good innovation comes from tech. But it is not often at the large companies that I've gotten a chance to recruit for that tech has a seat at a decision-making table when it comes to budget. So when you look at the products that are always easily championed, I look at my friends LI where they have a product that tells the people that run large companies happy birthday, and great anniversary, and...

Chad:

Or who just got promoted.

Rick:

Right, who got promoted and we all click like and congratulations.

Chad:

A lazy-ass congratulations.

Rick:

Right but that doesn't do anything to change the truth behind a passive board that has time based job ads. So what solution does that really give in that regard?

Joel:

But you're getting it from the top to use it and signing off on it because of the ego of the product.

Rick:

The familiarity of the product and, if you look at website hits I assume LinkedIn probably clocked in in the top 20 of websites visited in the United States.

Chad:

So does Facebook.

Rick:

But no one uses Facebook jobs, right?

Chad:

And I would say from a high volume standpoint, you would probably be more pushed toward using a Facebook for jobs.

Joel:

And have you?

Rick:

I have not used Facebook jobs. My opinion on social has been tough because when it became a big to do let's say '06, '07 when everybody said, "Oh you need to hire social media expert." And so I go through that process, and you try to take a brand that people aren't familiar with like financial services, and we're going to make it cool.

Joel:

Uh-huh.

Rick:

And I'm buying followers at like 12 a month to make people believe that TSYS is a destination. And it just doesn't work. What changed my opinion somewhat is I actually had an admin at a site in Charlotte that was leaving and she's like, "Hey I'm here to help you find my replacement. Do you mind if I share it on Insta?" And I'm like, "Yeah, sure, go ahead." In 48 hours, she turned 80 resumes of candidates that pushed out because outside of being an admin at this office in Charlotte, she also had a big makeup page. And so I had all these people so then when I took that, my stance on social is people that have networks outside of our brand have a much greater reach than people that I can purchase. Now with IKEA, we have a branch, so our efforts make a little bit more sense. But financial services, it's like on Facebook. The "on this day." You're sitting there in the morning and you're like, "Hey what did I do on this day?" Well nine years ago, I felt the need to tell everyone that I was watching the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie on ABC Family.

Joel:

Was that with Vanilla Ice rocking the soundtrack?

Rick:

That was the second one.

Joel:

Okay.

Rick:

The ludicrous part of it that 32 people liked that status.

Joel:

Yeah.

Rick:

If I was wanting to go out on a Friday night I think I have 4 friends. But seven years ago, 32 people cared enough to be like...and were they calling people, were they like, "Hey hun, Rick's watching the turtles."

Chad:

"We should roll over to his place."

Rick:

"What does he think about the Shredder reveal about 12 minutes in?"

Joel:

So you are a fan in the prospect of social media being a referral engine for jobs? Are you using any tools currently to manage that or maintain?

Rick:

We have a department inside of IKEA that manages the day-to-day. In a past life, I used Hearsay, which you would just plug in your five or six social tools that you wanted to post to and just create a schedule.

Joel:

And IKEA obviously has a social presence. Is there an employment presence separate from the corporate?

Rick:

Yes there is.

Joel:

So talk about the decision to do that as opposed to just using the main brand to reach candidates.

Rick:

That's a tough thing because we want to, it doesn't make sense to break apart our brand towards customer facing to job facing because it speaks to the same actual human beings. But on the flip side, it is a different message and whether it's the same audience or not, if I'm attempting to get you into a store to purchase a couch, there's a different messaging that I want to send than if I'm wanting you to look at IKEA as an actual career. So my boss Ellie kind of brought in a role where we would just take a certain amount of head count and devote it to pushing our social presence. Now some of those campaigns have to be the, "Hey I just posted something, you have 50 people, let's go all like that." Because you know how easily LI can be tricked into pumping that social. But on the other side, if you produce good enough content that doesn't pander, you are going to get recognized on those boards. One of the things that we all do, because we're all terribly vain at heart, is we post something and then we click how many thousands of people have looked at that. And you see, "Okay 54 people from Farmers Insurance looked at this. Well I ran Farmers Insurance. Who from Farmers is looking at my stuff? Do they have an IT background?" All those kind of things.

Joel:

Which platforms work best for recruiting for IKEA?

Rick:

Our bread and butter as far as job boards?

Joel:

No, for social. Do you get more engagement on Instagram for the kinds of positions and people that you're looking for or are you on Snapchat or you on some of the more... Because I would assume it skews younger but I could be wrong.

Rick:

Right. We haven't started to get deep with Snap or TikTok or anything like that. IKEA is conservative with a lot of our social plays, so the majority of the stuff that you're going to see is a Facebook, is an Insta, and is an LI. We're looking for people that... The problem with monitoring those social feeds is monitoring the comments and the flow. If you go on Twitter, check any chain restaurant for, "Hey, it's all you can eat day at Applebee's," and grab yourself a diet Cola and laugh for about the next hour for the people that just unload an Applebee's because it gave them an upset stomach once and it's hilarious.

Chad:

12 years ago, yeah.

Rick:

Yeah.

Chad:

Well back to how that actually impacts brand. So does IKEA the brand people have final say in branded marketing over what you guys do on the employer marketing messaging side of the house? How does that work?

Rick:

So there is an approval process for anything that we're going to post that is outside of protected norms. So if I'm say just going to post an opening in a department, and I'm using previously approved language, that just kind of goes through the channel.

Chad:

Okay.

Rick:

But if it's something that is calling a product out, if it's something that is our involvement with any other organization, all of that has to be approved before we're going to push anything.

Chad:

So who writes the job postings? Do you guys actually write the job postings here or does marketing kind of put their flair into it? Because I've read some, just so you know.

Rick:

Why we love you.

Joel:

And how many pieces of flair must be on every job description?

Rick:

There's a whole lot of pieces of flair. Our job descriptions were a partnership to get them written. It's just like anything else when you're talking about job scripts because you've all heard the stats where someone reads it for nine to twelve seconds before clicking apply. So to take time away from arduous tasks to go ahead and re-write those is something that I always felt was a little bit of a fool's errand. When people actually go back before they interview, they're supposed to look at your job description for slightly over a minute. Do if I'm going to devote time to anything, is it to rewrite something which most of my public looks for eight seconds and then maybe 5% actually get it for one minute you know what's your stance on job descriptions? Just out of curiosity.

Chad:

Overall, I think it's the experience, right? So if you're looking to apply for something, it says director of sales, and this is the male inside me, I'm just going to hit apply. For me it wouldn't, but for somebody else, maybe a female who does, and they take more time, and they check those bullets out to see if they're actually meeting 90% or 100%.

Rick:

Have you heard about the breakdown in how female candidates are more likely to not apply if they don't meet..

Chad:

Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

Joel:

Textio has produced a lot of interesting studies on that because that's what they do.

Chad:

Right.

Joel:

And how women will read every bullet and if one of them doesn't fit, they won't apply to a job whereas guys are like, "Fuck it, the title is right so let's apply."

Rick:

It brings up a really good question though just because one of the entertaining parts as I heard that initial study I've gotten emailed that study, and I was talking to someone internally that I thought would be a good fit for a different role. And one of the first things that she said to me, she said, "Well I kind of read through the job description and I'm just the type, if I don't hit every one of those, it just might be over my head." And you're like, "Seriously? One of those emails that got sent to me eight times was real?"

Joel:

Yeah.

Chad:

Yeah, right.

Rick:

So it's just one of those things that when, not a stereotype, but when something gets played out right in front of your eyes, obviously it has some credence.

Joel:

I'm curious about, so we talked about the brand piece a little bit as well as social media and collaborating with marketing. How do you guys approach online reviews such as Glassdoor and Indeed reviews? I would assume that that's something you care about, so how do you manage that and monitor it?

Rick:

So that falls again under our social media group.

Joel:

Is that a social arm.

Rick:

Yeah, it's a marketing arm. We have a project right now that I'm a part of to make sure that things are getting addressed properly. The biggest call out you get out of whether it's Glassdoor reviews, or now Indeed reviews which have just spiked over the last 18 months or so, is something called out that is egregious that's occurring in one of our stores that actually is more of an HR matter? Or is it harmless venting? Our Glassdoor scores are phenomenal. By far a full point over any place that I've ever gotten to represent. Our Indeed reviews, Glassdoor has the character that you have to hit, I forget exactly how many characters, or you can't leave the review.

Joel:

Yeah, it's like Yelp.

Rick:

Yeah and Glassdoor actually gives you a whole lot of authority to dispute reviews. Like if you're not a public company and you utilize someone's title that isn't in a public role, that gets taken down. If you put yourself in the wrong category, that gets taken down. I worked at companies that were so intense about trying to police misinformation, which tend to be accurate, that we would get things allowed to taken out on a technicality. Indeed has yet to really police their review content.

Chad:

They want the content.

Rick:

Right. Yeah. And I understand.

Joel:

The want the thirst traffic.

Chad:

They want the content and they really could give a shit less what anybody thinks.

Rick:

You said it.

Chad:

It is what it is.

Joel:

And they've never really thought of that as their business. They'll joke with you off the record, like, "We have more reviews than Glassdoor." Even though they're owned by the same company.

Rick:

Right.

Joel:

But internally, they sort of laugh at Glassdoor because, "This isn't even our business and we have more reviews than they do."

Rick:

It's really spiked. It's amazing what's occurred. My last rep meeting, the exact numbers elude me, but when we looked at it 12 months ago, we've climbed 1200 reviews on Indeed, versus the static couple hundred that come through Glassdoor. And it's just the difference of Indeed's interface, love them or hate them, is very simple to navigate through.

Joel:

It's very Google-y.

Rick:

Yeah, exactly. And if you're already signed in to apply to jobs it is one more click of a button to leave a review. In our applicant heavy world that we're living in right now, it took five minutes to apply to 40 jobs, yes I'll spend two minutes to slam the past employer that I used to be with. With Glassdoor, I have to set up my email, then I get the confirmation email, then I have to accept that, then I post a review, then I need to wait 48 to 72 hours to actually get it online solely so I can slam something? Are you that vengeful? You're in the wrong business.

Joel:

Is it that worth it?

Rick:

Right.

Joel:

So you mentioned earlier, I asked about the retail environment, and it sounds like you're becoming more of a technology company. I know that's maybe a stretch and maybe a bad word but we talked a little bit about before we turned on the mics that you guys are actually launching an initiative I think in Philly or near Philly where the US headquarters is to build sort of a tech hub. What can you tell us about that?

Rick:

We are, which is actually really exciting. We're building a digital hub outside of Philly. We're looking for a launch in August/September. It's going to be about a head count around 250 to 300 new IT jobs. What's exciting for us is the majority of our needs are customer facing rather

than security, or .net, or all the kinds of things that I've worked with as a past.

Chad:

So what kind of jobs are those? They're IT but they're customer facing?

Joel:

So like building apps or enhancing mobile apps and things like that.

Rick:

The facility itself will research 3D design, mobile terminal solutions, app development, social media, big data, and overall just concentrate on in store customer experiences.

Chad:

Gotcha. So experience overall and really focusing heavy, go figure, on the technical side of the house.

Rick:

Right. It's going to be an exciting thing because nobody really thinks of a furniture company as an IT company. And where we're located is a phenomenal market whether you're going to play the sea-to-sea game, the largest winner of the Visa lottery every year is 40 miles away from us in New Jersey. There's a whole lot that we can do just being in the tri-state.

Joel:

Almost everybody is becoming a tech company so it's no surprise that you guys have sort of taken this initiative and stepped forward.

Chad:

Your biggest competitor Amazon is a tech company that's all it is.

Joel:

And delivery, and drones, and robots...

Chad:

It's a tech company.

Rick:

Airplanes...

Joel:

Yeah, airplanes and rockets.

Rick:

I heard healthcare not too long ago.

Joel:

Yeah, healthcare is coming. That's right. That is at least in collaboration with a few other smart people.

Rick:

Right. We don't make our people wear diapers. I don't know if you read that.

Chad:

No pissing in trash cans?

Joel:

Everyone seems really happy here, worker wise and I shop here, I live close by and I've put together way too many pieces of furniture.

Chad:

I think that's a Swedish thing.

Joel:

Do you think that's a Swedish thing?

Rick:

I think it's hiring good people.

Joel:

There you go.

Chad:

You don't think that has something to do with culture though?

Rick:

I think it definitely could, a lot of our stuff is branded as such.

Chad:

Now in Philly I mean you know it might not be...

Rick:

Brotherly love, man.

Chad:

You might say, "What the hell are you doing here?" And that means "good morning." But do you not think it's a culture thing that to be able to span... You know more than anybody because, shit, you're going across the entire United States, IKEA to IKEA, what do you see difference wise from culture?

Rick:

I really do think that we do a good job of selecting people that follow that same culture and values that you guys see when you walk through the store. I have gone to IKEA stores in a countless amount of states and I am still greeted in the same professional fashion that you get almost everywhere. While the the slang might be a little bit different, the calls I get when I come through, but I feel like we do a really good job and the people that stick around with us and move on to management positions that grew up in an environment that's inclusive that you know screens out for potential red flags, is one that really has created a very, very good culture. I was interviewing someone for a store manager position a couple days ago who is thinking about relocating to a market in the Midwest that she's not familiar with at all. And so I'm like, "Hey can I ask why you picked this market?" She's like, "Well my family lives there." So I type in my notes, "family?" And I'm like, "You have family in this market?" She's like, "Well my IKEA family, I just haven't met them all yet." And as sappy as that sounds, the amount of times that I've heard people talk about this place being their friend network, this place being the people that help them out, that help them shovel snow is countless.

Chad:

Sounds like a Saturn commercial. Remember Saturn, everybody would wave to each other.

Joel:

Sure, the trip to Tennessee. Right, everyone. And Jeep owners still do that.

Chad:

If you could have any tech right now, what would it be and why would you want it for current high volume?

Rick:

Tough question to answer because this is something that-

Chad:

There's a lot of it?

Rick:

Yeah there really is. I think every vendor call that I get is really set towards the candidates before they hit my system. My landing page takes forever or my application process isn't mobile friendly and all those things, while there is truths behind them, I don't believe that is really an issue with large companies as much as we say it is. The much a larger issue is once candidates get inside of our system and how they are treated throughout the application process. Something that concentrates on engagement after they're in my system much more than if they can save two clicks before, that makes a happier job seeker.

Chad:

Well and possibly a customer because they might be buying shit here too.

Rick:

Right.

Chad:

Do you see people outside of HR actually seeing that... How many how many candidates do you guys actually touch, or I should say perspective customers, do you touch a year?

Rick:

Can't really say that.

Chad:

Okay, a bunch. Hundreds of thousands, easily. So those are potential customers. Do you have discussions outside of HR around this type of impact? Because these are customers.

Rick:

I think the IKEA family plan that you join when you walk through the door, you do it for a discount, but I believe that that is our loyalty group. So when I think about the people inside of our ATS, that is our loyalty group all the same, but one group will bend over backwards to try to keep you coming back and increase visitation. The other one, we respond to you when we need something. So it's a little bit disingenuous in that way. Continuing to work a talent pipeline is not just sending a static list of jobs that says, "Hey you applied to blank, what about blank?" And you know the audience did not receive a job and most likely applied to that job that you are emailing them about telling them to reapply with no note towards the history of what occurred that made them didn't get the job. So that part of our business, and not IKEA, but that part of every TA program with everyone I talk to is broken. Especially now where we're spending almost double the amount of money to acquire resumes over the last year than we have in 10 years, but then once we get them, it's like working hard to get a pretty girl and then once she's over at your house not talking to her. So that's kind of, when I think about a program that is a talent pipeline that gives you a free CRM that can work your network and actually look at the scores in what kind of media people want to see, that's something that I feel has a lot of salt to it.

Chad:

Well and again, selling that to why do you need something like that because these are customers and we want to treat them right yes they could perspectively come work for us, but guess what? They spend money too. And I think that's something in talent acquisition we haven't leveraged enough.

Rick:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joel:

So we're seeing a lot in terms of automation and I think the high frequency stuff that you guys do, but a lot of people in our seats would say chatbots seem like a perfect fit for what you do or some sort of automated questionnaire. Are you guys currently using, that looking at using that, do you feel differently that it would be a good tool for you? Where is your stance on chat bots?

Rick:

I'm not a huge fan of the chatbots. I think I mentioned this before, but I think it already exacerbates candidate base that doesn't feel like they get engagement. And granted, do they know that they're talking to a robot and not a human being? It's anybody's guess, but people are pretty intuitive, especially one that wants work. I like when a candidate applies into our ecosystem that they are greeted with the ability to actually have an interview. And we're retail so our hours are different than everybody else's. So if you want to interview with me at 3:00 AM, if you want to interview with me in your car, giving you the venue to do that, meeting the candidate where they want to be, just like we're trying to do as a company. So on-demand video interviewing is really where I've pushed programs in the last five years because that gives us the most possible insight into that candidate. It saves them the trip, it saves my recruiters screen, and before we have to get involved, if I can have you do a video, have you do some sort of assessment that shows that you have, whether that's a command of the King's English or the ability to run a till, only sets you up better as a candidate to get into the right role. And if I could qualify the compensation that you would need legally speaking, of course.

Joel:

Right.

Rick:

I could make sure that I don't waste your time. Because what candidates I find, if you ever have a friend or these holidays that just passed, someone that's looking for work, we immediately look at that as it is the worst thing in the world, like, "I'm sorry man, that sucks."

Chad:

Because the process.

Rick:

Yeah, but looking for a job should not be that bad. It should be the start of awakening. A period of crossing that you're going through with a pot of gold at the end. Now I say that somewhat in jest, but I still believe that we can give that experience.

Joel:

Yeah.

Rick:

And sending someone to a chatbot, I don't feel helps them out as a candidate. It just kind of gives them just a little bit more information.

Joel:

Great answer. Rick Carsley, everybody.

Chad:

From IKEA. Don't forget to get the meatballs while you're here.

Joel:

Meatballs and that lovely dessert tray that they have is nice.

Chad:

The blueberry thing, yeah. I loved it. No dude seriously, we really appreciate you getting in contact with us, letting us know that you were in town. I know it's because you want to go play Topgolf, that's cool. But really appreciate it, it's been a blast.

Joel:

And thanks for listening to the show.

Chad:

Yeah.

Rick:

No, I thank you very much for the invite. For the IT hub, if I could do a shameless plug?

Chad:

Oh yeah.

Joel:

Sure.

Rick:

The site for interested candidates is going to be joiningka.com. That's join J-O-I-N period I-N-G-K-A dot com.

Chad:

Ingka.

Rick:

Ingka.

Chad:

Excellent we out.

Rick:

We out.

Tristen:

Hi, I'm Tristen. Thanks for listening to my step dad, the Chad, and his goofy friend, Cheese. You've been listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. Make sure you subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss out on all the knowledge dropping that's happening up in here. They made me say that. The most important part is to check out our sponsors because I need new track spikes. You know, the expensive shiny gold pair that are extra because, well, I'm extra. For more visit chadcheese.com.

#IKEA #Automation #recruiting #vendor #ZipRecruiter #Glassdoor #Indeed #Events #TaskRabbit

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