Panic, Truth, & Fire

Allyn Bailey first joined us on a stage in Canada at The Gathering as Intel's Talent Acquisition Transformation Manager. She blew us away. Since then, she got promoted and has since moved on, so we thought it might be a good time to have her back on the show.

We chat about the advancements in technology and tools, the increased demands from organizations dealing with new workforce needs, the current state of recruitment marketing, and TA in a big company vs. an SMB.

Get comfy for this one, and soak in the smarts during this Sovren powered pod.


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Allyn (1s):

Stop trying to retrofit old ways of gathering data about individuals into new systems and tools, and start thinking differently about how you collect the data and manage the data and what data it is that you're looking for.

Chad (15s):

Amen sister.

Allyn (16s):

And that's what I think recruitment marketing can play the biggest role.

INTRO (19s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman 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 (39s):

Oh yeah, we're back. What's up everybody. This is Joel Cheeseman. You're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. I am joined as always by my cohost, Chad Sowash.

Chad (50s):


Joel (50s):

And today where we honored to welcome Allyn Bailey Global Talent Leader to this show, you may have remembered her from our chat in Banff when we could actually travel and go places Allyn how have you been since Canada?

Allyn (1m 7s):

I've been awesome. Can you believe Canada was literally a year ago. That was the last excursion away from my house.

Chad (1m 13s):


Joel (1m 14s):

Thank God we had that, otherwise, no travel in 2000 or 2020.

Chad (1m 19s):

Something to look forward to that's for damn sure.

Joel (1m 22s):

You're in Oregon, correct?

Allyn (1m 23s):

Yeah, I'm in Oregon.

Joel (1m 24s):

It's kind of a shit show like most other places.

Allyn (1m 27s):

Exactly. It was a shit show. I mean, I think it's, I'm happy 2020 is over. I think we're finally getting into 2021, so we're getting past the hangover and into something that looks like it's going to be a bit, so yeah, I mean, I think it was the year where everybody had it. Wasn't fun, but we're out the other side. I think.

Chad (1m 47s):

Things have changed a tad since our last conversation. This whole COVID thing took over. We've all been in our homes. All of these positions that could never be done from home magically started being done from home.

Joel (2m 3s):

I want to know about all the positions you've done at home. Okay.

Chad (2m 7s):

Or do you, or do you? Anyway, so Lynn being at Intel, how much of a change was that for you? Was it as big of a train wreck for your organization as it was for the rest of the world? Or did you guys pretty much have this shit all figured out because you were remote and hybrid and all that other fun stuff beforehand?

Allyn (2m 28s):

So we weren't, we're a very office based culture. We really were, I have worked from home for the last 10 years and I was always an anomaly. Right? I would show up into the office for meetings and people thought I was from one of the other sites because they thought I was traveling in. I just went with that for years. I'm like, Oh yeah, it's great to see you. Great, I was able to fly in. It looks good and then drive home 10 minutes to my house. But we adjusted quickly. I don't really remember it feeling painful. I think we had, as most companies, we had some IT issues early on. They got resolved within the first couple of weeks and everybody got into a rhythm and, now we're moving into the post COVID era.

Allyn (3m 10s):

And I think it's, there will be classes or pieces within our business operations that we'll want to go back into the office. But for the most part, I think particularly in the people space and in the TA space, we'll, mostly be working what we're calling hybrid, which basically means from our house. And if they make us come in for a meeting, we'll go.

Joel (3m 31s):

So Intel staying flexible on the work from home. Cause cause a lot of these big tech companies.

Chad (3m 36s):

They lied.

Joel (3m 38s):

They talked a good game early on, never going back. And now it's sort of like, you know what, we're paying these leases. Everybody gets your ass back to work. Not at Intel, huh?

Allyn (3m 47s):

Yeah, no, I think that, there will be, like I said, there will be regions or spaces or business groups, cause you know, we're very, we operate on a very business group by business group basis. A lot of decisions get made at that very kind of direct level. And so there will be some business groups that will tell everybody to get their butts back in the office because that's just the way their leaders choose to operate. I don't think it will last long because I feel be an overwhelming number of groups who will go for the hybrid option. And, we are offering an option in some spaces for business groups who want to go completely virtual.

Chad (4m 20s):

Well, let's talk about that real quick though, now, we're talking about leaders, right? Because I think you just hit the nail on the head. We have so many leaders that don't know how to lead unless you are sitting right in front of them. And I would have assumed that we would at least started to hone our management skills and hopefully provide a little bit more autonomy to our teams. But as Joel had said, it seems like it's still control over autonomy. And this is more, I think more management per manager than it is really company. What do we do about something like that?

Chad (5m 1s):

Do we have to like train managers to let go and start to learn how to be a leader outside of the office?

Allyn (5m 8s):

Yeah. I mean, I think, yes, we do need to do that, but I don't necessarily think it's a trainable thing. I think this is much more, I think personality and experience driven then it is a trainable skill. I mean, you can get a bunch of people in a room who all non-agree that it all sounds great on paper, you are made to remote. And then the minute they they're in that situation, their worst devils start to come out. Right. Their worst instincts start to happen. I mean, I tell you what, like I said, I've been working remote for 10 years. I want all these people to go back to the office because I was much more peaceful and I alone was working remote and nobody bothered me. Like all these people are now working remote and think they have to have a Zoom meeting for every small little conversation that we need to have.

Allyn (5m 53s):

Right? Like, I forgot how to use their, IMs right? It's like everything is, everything is a, is a face-to-face conversation. And

Joel (6m 1s):

U mentioned Zoom, what other tools were introduced, whether it be general business or recruiting wise that you either liked or didn't liked. And how many of those will you still be using once the world goes back to normal?

Allyn (6m 15s):

Yeah, you would think we introduced a lot, but we really didn't. That's one of our biggest challenges is that because we have such a bureaucracy around getting tools and systems in place across the enterprise and you just don't have the ability to bring something in and use it. We did do a large kind of larger migration from an Enterprise level over to Teams. And I think that you're seeing more uptick in usage of that. And, that's helped. We had issues even bringing Zoom on board, right? It wasn't necessarily the approved option. And it was the thing that our virtual event teams wanted to use for, you know, virtual college events or other hiring events. And that was challenging to get our, to get us in there and you say a lot of recruiters were getting their boot, like licenses up and going.

Joel (6m 59s):

What was Intel using before Zoom. Like that's that blows my mind. Where are you guys using video technology to talk?

Allyn (7m 9s):

No, no. Cause everybody, literally everybody was in their office or the Q and A, we were having a virtual face. We were having face to faces. People would talk on the phone on Skype. Right? But like video conferencing was not a thing. It is now, but it wasn't that, I mean, I think that's the biggest transition. We came into the modern age.

Joel (7m 27s):


Chad (7m 28s):

You've been writing a lot about talent acquisition transformation. How has the transformation changed pre COVID to now? Because it seems like we're entirely different worlds and transformation means something much different than what it did two years ago.

Allyn (7m 44s):

Wow. You just hit like the existential question for me. Does it still exists? (Sexy music)Right. Oh my goodness. My therapy session to talk through this one. I here's my experience. I think that pre COVID, we were on a really strong trajectory for really advancing some, some pretty radical changes to the way in which we were doing things. It took us four or five years to get there. So there was this huge momentum behind it. I think the impact of COVID was panic. And panic created a real conservative behaviors, a lot of backsliding into, past behaviors and patterns, you know, where we were really transforming and trying to focus on the idea of quality and focus in on how we could create pipelines over time and really create value that way.

Allyn (8m 35s):

As COVID came into play, people got more panicked about what the future was going to hold. We had reductions like most companies did and most teams did the issues around cost and efficiency came back up to the top. So the transformation conversation has really turned into one that that says, can you take where you were going pre COVID, and the directions that we were heading and can we alter them and come up with a new path forward that is not overly indexed either for quality time or cost. Like it has a good balance.

Chad (9m 10s):

Did it like slam you through warp speed in some cases with regard to transformation, because many of these things, I'm sure technologies processes were on the table prior and COVID happened and it's like, shit, we gotta do this now. So it almost seems like at least some aspects were really slammed through the funnel warp speed?

Allyn (9m 30s):

I mean, some but some are also slammed shut immediately.

Chad (9m 34s):

Like what?

Allyn (9m 34s):

So I would say like, as we were going through massive technology improvements, we were in the process of bringing on AI technology to support our sourcers. And if you will, AI scoring and matching, right? That accelerated at speed and, we went much quicker into introducing that into our different regions because it was something we already purchased, we had the funds behind it and we knew that we were going to have less body resources. We had to supplement that with the technology. In other spaces where there were opportunities, for example, for us to go much faster on things like assessment or how do we go in and apply a video interviewing technology and places like that, we slammed shut, right?

Allyn (10m 19s):

And said, we can't absorb any change. And we can't move any faster on these things because we need to understand what tomorrow is. Big companies like, Intel, these big large enterprise companies are naturally change resistant. They just are. And any sort of abnormally in the environment makes everything go quiet. Fear reins the day, right? Not knowing what to predict and what's going to happen, makes all the pocketbooks shut down, all the resources shut down, and that's been a challenge. Now our company is also seeing a major shift over the last couple of months. We had a new CEO come in, a very different energy, start to happen in the company.

Allyn (11m 1s):

A big focus on how we're going to kind of help move that semi-conductor bandwidth forward for the country and I think that has meant more focus on how many people we're bringing in, how fast we can bring them in. And people are starting to dust off all the old plans and, starting to move them forward again. But it's been this long. It's been a good year before we've been able to start looking forward.

Joel (11m 22s):

I was going to say you paint a pretty dire picture for big co recruiting. Do you feel like that's unique to Intel? Like when you, when you hang out with your other big company buddies, is it the same story? And if so, how do you fix it and how are there not droves of people going to smaller, more agile businesses if that's the case?

Allyn (11m 40s):

So I think there are droves of people going to smaller, more agile businesses. We can talk about that, but I also think that I think it is the same case for many of the more traditional enterprise companies. On the flip side, I think there is a second class of company that is coming up, companies like the Cargill's out there. GM is doing this. I've been talking to several companies out there who are accelerating their desire to want to take on it, transforming their talent acquisition or their larger HR infrastructures. So I don't think it's a one size fits all, but I think that many of the companies that were in motion may have stopped. And those that were just on the beginnings of it or are realizing they have to make a change because what they're doing, isn't working are accelerating.

Allyn (12m 27s):

It's a really, it's a hodgepodge. It's hard to point and say, it's all the same everywhere.

Joel (12m 32s):

Yeah. I wouldn't exactly think of Cargill and GM is a, you know, poster children for innovation. So that was an interesting, a couple of brands you pulled out there, that's interesting?

Allyn (12m 42s):

Well, and I'll tell you from talking to them, the stuff they're getting ready to do in their TA space is going to revolutionize the world. I think that and we don't recognize them or see them out there because they're not talking about it that much yet.

Joel (12m 52s):

Say more, what are they doing? What's going on?

Allyn (12m 55s):

I think that Cargill is doing some really interesting, you've been driving transformation for a while, on their TA space. They're doing some really interesting stuff. And it's driven out of the regions, which is a very different approach. It's not necessarily a US led approach. They are doing some cool stuff, they're starting with technology innovation and redoing their process design stuff. I'm probably talking out of house and shouldn't be sharing all this, but I am anyway.

Joel (13m 20s):

Keep going.

Allyn (13m 21s):

That's what you get when you chat with me. And, I know that GM, you know, they have a new CEO as well. They're doing some pretty dramatic shifts as a company. And I think, TA they're seeing talent and TA is a big driver in that space. And I have rumor that they got some cool people landed over there really soon, to do some neat stuff. So,

Chad (13m 41s):

So tech, this is mainly driven by tech. And then they're finally starting to understand that you can't use your 1990s process methodologies and slam them into the tech. I mean, it sounds like really an implosion of everything that's going on and a rethinking of their whole shop?

Allyn (14m 0s):