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Ep3 - Last Sourcer Standing w/ Amy Butchko

Welcome back to VOICES w/ Amy Butchko SAIC's Director of Talent Acquisition Solutions. This is episode 3 or a 5 part binge-able series. We pick up the conversation around building a Talent Solutions team from the ground up - enjoy!


- Building Teams

- Is AI sourcing the futrure?

- Overbuilt job descriptions

- Does social media drive hires?

BINGE all 5 episodes with Amy

Amy (0s):

If you're looking at high volume, simple, easy to scope roles, you don't need a sourcer for that. I mean, you can always do volume faster with machines.


Voices. We hear them every day. Some voices like mine are smooth and confident. While on the other hand, the Chad and cheese podcast is like listening to a Nickelback album. You rather stab yourself in the ears with an ice pick. Anyway, y'all now listening to voices, a podcast series from Chad and cheese that features the most important and influential voices within the recruitment industry. Try not to fuck it up, boys.

Chad (46s):

Welcome back to Voices with Amy Butchko, SAIC's Director of Talent Acquisition Solutions. This is episode three of a five part series. We pick up the conversation around building a talent solutions team from the ground up. Enjoy. Let's go ahead and start talking about how you actually build a team from the ground up because you were a team of one, right? And at that point, you know, what was your position at that point? And then, I mean, you've, you've made it to director, so, you know, you're still on your way up. Can you tell us that story a little bit?

Amy (1m 24s):

Well, yes I will. So I started as I was a principal recruiter for a long time and I thought, you know, I've got a good job. I love recruiting and I don't want to manage people, I know that for sure. So that was kind of where I was probably, you know, 10-15 years ago. And when I got to SAIC in 2013, in fact, they were looking for a director or someone to manage the sourcing operation. And I said, no, I'll work on the team. And I did. And eventually I ended up as the only sourcer or left. And they kind of put me in a role where I was now also in charge of the jobs to web system.

Amy (2m 6s):

And frankly, I think if I'm being completely honest, it was because I was the only person who had any patience with it at all and understood what it did. So, you know, so that may have actually made my whole career. And so, but ultimately, you know, I fell in love with the tech, that's what happened. And then what started to happen after that was I needed to scale. And in order to scale, I had to grow personally, you know, and learn how to build a team and to lead. And so getting to, you know, director, you know, I still think I have the best job at this company. Where I get to do creative things, I get to work with systems, I get to evaluate new technology I get to, and now I get to even make decisions about it.

Amy (2m 53s):

Wow! You know, that's like, you know, pinch me. So it's a great role. And it's also a great time to be in this business. I think that if it were 30 years ago, in this business, I don't know if I would have survived. I don't, I would, I'm not a yellow pages, Rolodex phone recruiter.

Joel (3m 13s):

It's interesting, our friends that Talk Push had a great blog post recently about how recruiting is moving from sort of what you mentioned, right, desk smiling and dialing, and becoming more of like the silent ninja profession where you know how to work databases and source candidates and use tech. And it sounds like that's your experience as well. You mentioned that you were the last sourcer standing, I'm just real curious. What are your thoughts on the future of sourcing as is it gonna all be automated? Will there still be really good ones employed? Will it go back to what it used to be before the pandemic? What are your thoughts on sourcing as a profession?

Amy (3m 52s):

Good question. I'm going to tell you my aspirational model. So I think that there is a place for automation. I think that there is a way, there's things that we're just not going to be able to not automate. Right? And eventually the technology will catch up and be intelligent enough, hopefully to be as smart as a person. Where I question if automation could completely do this work is, you know, most people I know don't like to talk to robots as much as they like to talk to people and as long as we're still employing people to do work, I think that the sourcing organization has a place. You know, cause if you look at the way, you know, and I think it might be worth even getting kind of boring for a second and figuring out like, what is a sourcer, compared to what is a recruiter?

Amy (4m 43s):

And you know, for me, it's about which parts of the process you're involved in. You know, so if you've had a recruiter, let's take that role because that's kind of the central one. You know, my, in my version of that, you know, that's a person who could manage a recruiting process from sourcing through onboarding.

Chad (5m 2s):

I see sourcing in itself is a function, the front end function before you actually can get into the recruiting aspect of it. I mean, you have to it's kind of like the research portion of research and development. Right?

Amy (5m 16s):


Joel (5m 16s):

But, they're not closing the deal I think in most cases. I think they're doing the finding, but they're not closing the deal.

Amy (5m 23s):

Right. I think that's right.

Joel (5m 24s):

So your point is, could the finding be automated or you're saying that no, there will have to be humans in sort of the scouring the web and looking at the every nook and cranny.

Amy (5m 34s):

Well, I think the tools aid drastically in the scouring of the internet, right? I mean, you know, the ability to write a Boolean search would, that was another thing that I was able to do really well back in the day, but now I wouldn't even need to know how to do that.

Chad (5m 49s):


Amy (5m 50s):

So, but I think here's the thing if you're looking at high volume, simple, easy to scope roles, you don't need a sourcer for that. You don't. I mean, you can always do volume faster with machines, than you can with people. It doesn't matter what it is, whether you're making hamburgers or you're filling jobs. It doesn't matter. Where things get interesting is where you have specialized roles, you know, your real knowledge workers, your real technical talent. All those folks are not cookie cutter finds.

Chad (6m 28s):

They're easier to identify though, aren't they?

Amy (6m 30s):

Not if they have a high security clearance.

Joel (6m 33s):

What percentage are on LinkedIn, that are employed by you guys?

Amy (6m 35s):

That is a good question. Probably about two thirds.

Joel (6m 39s):

Okay. I would have guessed more. So that's, that's all lower. So you had to find those folks in different way.

Amy (6m 44s):

You have to find those folks in different ways or Joel, if they're on LinkedIn and maybe their name is there, you would not have a way to identify what they do, without further enrichment of that data.

Chad (7m 0s):

Talking about enriching data, your database. I would assume that you have a very large and in charge database. And so again, we're talking about, in many cases, specialized talent pools, you probably already know most of, if not all the individuals that have those specialized skills that you want and/or need. How much of this is really around branding, trying to build relationships and pulling those individuals in and using your own database itself, as opposed to going out and spending money, trying to find these individuals?

Amy (7m 40s):

Yeah. So Chad, I see this as two questions. You know, the answer to your first part is about 80% of it, we can do through brand marketing our own database, about 80% of it.

Chad (7m 52s):


Amy (7m 52s):

And the rest of it, I think boils down to there are just, okay, so we're talking about the change in our world. Like our talent acquisition, TA tech, you know, what's happening in our world. The same thing is happening to every technical discipline, some of them even faster than our world. So what does that mean? What that means is let's say there's somebody that, you know, sure, maybe they've been in my database for 10 years. Maybe I have them as a unit systems administrator back in the day, what are they doing now? Not that.

Chad (8m 31s):

Right. But you've got the tech to be able to enrich that in many cases. Right? Because you know where the profiles are at.

Amy (8m 38s):

Yeah. But, but it doesn't, it's not that linear.

Joel (8m 42s):

Yeah. It seems to me the future is like Robocop. We'll still be human, but we'll have things that enhance our ability to do it better and augment.

Chad (8m 50s):


Joel (8m 51s):

Ironman, Robocop, Million Dollarman.

Amy (8m 54s):

Does it have to be a man?

Joel (8m 56s):

Hey, we're not making the shows, Amy. We're not making the shows.

Chad (8m 59s):

Bionic woman.

Amy (8m 59s):

The bionic woman.

Joel (8m 60s):

The Bionic Woman. Oh yes. Mr. Seventies references comes through. Thank you, Chad.

Chad (9m 9s):

There it is.

Joel (9m 11s):

Curious about sort of pivoting into employment brand cause I think that's a place where you live every day.

Amy (9m 17s):

It is.

Chad (9m 18s):

SAIC is such a sexy brand. Is that why you want it?

Joel (9m 23s):

So you guys are, you're an "engaged employer" and I put that in air quotes on Glassdoor and you're involved in Indeed, are those sites sort of a necessary evil, do you find real benefit in using them and building brand through that?

Amy (9m 40s):

Good question. And I'll approach this from a couple of different angles. First angle is to go back to the other part of our conversation about whether or not I report in to marketing and the answer is no, but we partner closely. And that Glassdoor profile is a place where we're very intimately tied to make sure that we're on point with our marketing folks and the folks that are in our actual external communications department. So we work very closely to make sure that those sites are managed and that we stay engaged.

Joel (10m 16s):

So were you pretty involved with them in terms of what image are we putting in the header and is the language that we say in the sidebar and what? Okay. All right.

Amy (10m 24s):

All of that. Yes, definitely. You know, and I think that what I have found, that's been kind of interesting is because I was always kind of like Glassdoor eye role, but what I have found value in lately is that our Glassdoor ratings actually tie pretty closely with some of the other feedback we get around like, net promoter around our internal engagement survey. So our internal and external brand actually Glassdoor is a really good barometer for that. And so if I start seeing that going in a particular direction, I watch it.

Joel (11m 7s):

Is there any sort of strategy around asking employees to leave a review or trying to hit them when, you know, they're probably happy? Like their 90 day review or something like, Hey, now that you've got a real job and you're official like feel free to leave a review on Glassdoor. Is there any strategy around that or do you just let things happen as is?

Amy (11m 28s):

There is a strategy, I mean we're not, you know, we're not like aggressive praise seekers, so, you know, we do make sure, you know, we want honest feedback and that's also why, like, I feel like I can look at that and I can say, okay, I can, I can more or less trust that if I look at my Glassdoor profile and then we survey our employees or we do some other mechanism to measure our brand, that it's going to be consistent, so we're not gaining it. So that is true. And we also do have a couple of touch points, like when someone has an anniversary, we ask, you know, when they're, you know, and I think there may be a couple of other touch points. My team works with our internal comms group to partner on how those are done.

Joel (12m 10s):

I'm going to applaud that. I think that's a savvy strategy.

Amy (12m 15s):


Chad (12m 15s):

To ask, you know, does the CMO also because you, you went to the CRO to go through experience. I would assume that the CMO cares about the experience as well and were they a part of the discussion around rebuilding the experience and then also, you know, what everything looks and feels like on the site and, you know, mobile, et cetera, et cetera.

Amy (12m 39s):

Yeah a hundred percent. We partner very, very closely with our comms team. And we're actually in the process of a rebrand right now. So there's probably some things on a career site that may not look completely consistent and that's because in the next week or two, they're all going to change. So we work hand in glove and I've always said, you know, so SAIC is a little different when it comes to employer brand, because we do not have a beverage that people consume or a product that people can pick up at the grocery store. Period. We have an employer brand and then we also have an external brand to our customers, which, you know, is the federal government by and large and other government agencies.

Amy (13m 18s):

So it's a little bit of a different flavor of employer brand, a brand in general, but we make sure that we are locked step with that team. And especially as my team has grown, you know, making sure that those relationships, whether it's internal communications, external communications and our external communications would be our marketing department and group, is just as important relationship to us as the relationships that we have with our cyber group, with our procurement group, you know, with all the groups that we need to work with to be both good corporate citizens and just to be effective.

Chad (13m 60s):

Let's talk about job descriptions real quick, cause this is always a fun one. And it goes with the employment brand and also branding marketing experience. So many companies have like overbuilt their job descriptions into either just way too much fluff or way too many, you know, lopped on requirements. You guys are looking for really specialty types of individuals, but I'm assuming that you're also looking for non-specialty as well. Are you constantly tweaking the job descriptions? Do you see that that is, like to be quite Frank, the main thing that everybody's going to hit and look at and experience first and understand that there has to be some marketing behind it?

Amy (14m 46s):

When you say marketing behind it, do you mean attention to detail about the job description itself?

Chad (14m 51s):

Yeah. And messaging, you know, staying on marketing vision, those types of things.

Amy (14m 56s):

Yeah. So one of the challenges that we have is because we are a big company and many of our programs kind of also have their own special culture. So, you know, for example, like our corporate culture might not be exactly replicated at a customer site. And so figuring out how to communicate that, is one of our biggest challenges. And also, you know, just be truthful about, you know, what a job is, but also be able to tell a story about what our corporation is about. And so that's really one of this year's biggest projects for us, is to start to tell more stories that way, you know, we're beginning to use video more.

Amy (15m 47s):

We just, you know, finally got an application to be able to do that. So you know, more to come, but telling those stories in different ways is a top priority. The job's descriptions themselves can vary widely. You know, we actually had a situation last week where we needed to do some sponsoring of some jobs where we need a little bit more attention and, you know, and that's one of those nice things about being in this role is, you know, we can see real clearly where we've got line of sight to a lot of applicant activity and where we know our sourcing team can go find people and if there's gaps, we know where we can very strategically target investment.

Amy (16m 33s):

So in doing that though, we said, okay, let's take a look at these job descriptions and make sure that what's out there is exactly what we intend. And there were some changes made. So, so yeah, so I think it's, it's all of that. And it is just a daily exercise to work with the recruiting team and, you know, tie into that marketing message all at the same time. It's a challenge.

Joel (16m 60s):

Yeah. Amy, you touched on a video, which I think is as important in this segue. And you've been around long enough to know really the dawning of social media and the impact, whether it was the promise of social media or the reality of social media. I'm sure that you remember the days when, you know, every company had to have their own Facebook page and then every company had to push out every job with a million hashtags, you know, on Twitter.

Chad (17m 23s):

Twitter baby. Tweet my jobs.

Joel (17m 25s):

What sort of, yeah, exactly. So, now we're, you know, and this week's show, we talked about TikTok for Jobs, like they're getting into this. What's your general feel about social media? How do you guys look at that? How do you use it tactically to connect with candidates? Talk about social media's impact on SAIC's recruiting.

Amy (17m 44s):

So back in the day, when you would look at the results of social media, like I could not find a hire, that I could legitimately credit back to social media.

Joel (17m 58s):

You are not alone.

Chad (17m 59s):

How hard was it to source that kind of stuff as well into your system and to get it all pulled together. I mean, in itself, who knows how many people came from social media, but it was just, it seemed just like a melee, right?

Amy (18m 14s):

It was it. Yes, it did. So I will be completely honest that I kind of came to social with a lot of skepticism, you know, and when folks would say, you know, we'd need to do this big hiring campaign and what are you doing on social media? I'd be like, who cares? So, right? Because like I can't measure it. I'm really skeptical that anything is actually happening out here. I'm skeptical. And what we've really been able to do is I actually added a couple of people to my team who have transformed the way our social is done.

Amy (18m 56s):

And there's a couple places where I would say, you know, if you're gonna do social, be very specific about what you use it for, you know, for us, we use it around our virtual events, which are enormously effective for us. Our virtual events are one of the best places to convene talent with recruiters and get results. They're tremendous.

Joel (19m 21s):

Is that through advertising or do you have a ton of followers?

Amy (19m 25s):

Social actually drives a lot of that traffic.

Joel (19m 28s):

Is this paid or is this?

Amy (19m 30s):

No, this is our great transition though. So a lot of what we do, so there's two parts to it Joel, part of it is automation. So Chad, you said tweet my jobs, but they're now known as CareerArc. And we actually use that tool to help automate a lot of our social job postings. And we use it to leverage the LinkedIn networks of our staff. And so that part, that leveraging the network part and automating that has actually converted me. So yeah, you can get results out of social.

Amy (20m 12s):

There are ways to audit, to use both automation and real targeted campaigns where you make people go post off and get results out of it.

Joel (20m 23s):

So I heard an, I guess, an endorsement for Twitter and LinkedIn. How do you feel about the other? Like where is the hierarchy? Like I don't even touch Snapchat. That's nothing.

Amy (20m 34s):

Yeah. Never hear endorsements out of me.

Joel (20m 38s):

Sorry, Sorry. Implied endorsement.

Amy (20m 40s):

What's your, what's your here at what you will hear from me is that today there are places where social platforms can be effective and Joel, Chad, I don't, you know, one of the reasons I listen to you guys is because I don't believe that what I'm doing today is what I need to be doing in a year. I am listening to hear what I need to be thinking about next.

Joel (21m 4s):

That sounds like an endorsement for Chad and Cheese. If you don't give endorsements, that's pretty damn close, Amy.

Amy (21m 10s):

My presence is an implied endorsement, but you know, for real, like if folks really want to know what the future is, you've got to find sources and you've got to keep your ear to the ground because, you know, let's take another bucket of stuff that lives in my world. You know, what's the next great sourcing automation tool. I don't know. I know what we're doing now is that tool going to be the thing that we're going to be using in the future? You know, I think it's very possible, Joel, that in, you know, two, three years that we're talking about SAIC's TikTok strategy. We don't have one now.

Chad (21m 47s):

Joel is going to hemorrhage. If you say that again,

Joel (21m 52s):

Please come onto the show and talk about your, your TikTok strategy.

Amy (21m 56s):

Well, you remember you interviewed the Ohio U grad who got fired from his job for, I was, I listened to that and my heart hurt for him.

Joel (22m 6s):


Chad (22m 6s):

Yeah, it doesn't now though, because he got new job down in Florida.

Joel (22m 10s):

He's living in Florida!

Chad (22m 11s):

And it was sexy.

Joel (22m 13s):

Still is sexy.

Amy (22m 14s):

I want to tell you, I got your Poach postcard. Do you remember that?

Joel (22m 18s):

That was me. Yeah.

Amy (22m 20s):

I nailed it. And I wanted to tell you something real quick. So that first postcard, my husband took it out of the mailbox, put the Poached postcard at my spot on our kitchen island where I usually eat my dinner. And he said, you know, that is some aggressive marketing. And I said, what? And he was like, yeah, that is aggressive and he said, that is the first time anyone has told the truth about what you do for a living, Amy.

Chad (22m 47s):

What was it? I didn't get a card. What did it say?

Joel (22m 51s):

It was just the logo and then it was, you know, a stock photo of a woman. And it said, I recruit, therefore I poach, but I didn't think it was aggressive. I hoped that it would get attention.

Amy (23m 3s):

He works in a different industry, but no aggressive was actually, it was, I mean, aggressive is only an insult if you're female. So no, it was good. It was good.

Joel (23m 12s):

OK. I'm going to send another mail mail piece today.

Chad (23m 18s):

Keep on binging episode four with Amy is ready and available. If you're not already subscribed, look for the Chad and Cheese, wherever you listen to podcasts and hit that subscribe or follow button.


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