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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.


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):

Right. I think that's exactly what's happening. And I think what's happening in those sorts of companies. These sorts of solutions are getting accelerated because people sat back and said, you know, in the middle of COVID or right before, right in the middle of it, or afterwards said, listen, I need more technology because I need to be able to go quicker and faster. They started to put them into place and realize it's not a panacea. Right? You get the technology and you have to then think differently about how your entire business operates.

Chad (14m 28s):

Let me ask you a question on that, as we look to perspectively implode talent acquisition, does talent acquisition belong under HR, or should it be under something like marketing?

Allyn (14m 40s):

I believe talent acquisition should be under HR.

Chad (14m 43s):


Allyn (14m 44s):

I think that there is a marketing element. I think you can make a very strong case for the recruitment marketing element and it to be actually more marketing centered than recruiting centered. I'm coming more and more to that realization, even though I fought it for a long time. But I think the business of talent acquisition understanding talent, talent needs, understanding the workforce plan and being able to execute to land people in the right opportunities, that's an HR function. Now where it's not working well as an HR function is where companies are not realizing that it needs to be fully integrated into the way they think about their full talent management life cycle, right?

Allyn (15m 27s):

It's not just, you know, hire some people and throw some recruiters out there and manage the transaction of hiring. Those companies that have moved TA into the transactional spaces or kept them in the transactional spaces and not put TA at the table with learning and development with workforce planning, with succession planning are missing the opportunity to build a full talent strategy.

Chad (15m 51s):

Why is internal mobility finally on the table? It's like, it's been, non-existent, nobody's sure if TA owns it, if HR owns it, who owns it now, it seems like, kind of like DEI. Everybody's talking about internal mobility and trying to figure it out. I don't know how much faster they're going, but why is IM so big right now?

Allyn (16m 14s):

Well, I think people are talking about it, I don't know if anybody's doing anything about it. I think it's the new buzzword. I mean, I think that everybody realizes that they have an internal mobility challenge, that they have too many things coming at them like as tsunami. One, as the world starts to open up and people are feeling less afraid about where their next paycheck is coming from. They're looking back at last year and realizing whether they were happy or not happy with the way their life is going or way their work is going. And they're feeling much more open to looking at other places for jobs. And I think they're the internal mobility pushes partly a response to trying to solve that problem before, it hits everybody where they can't manage it.

Allyn (16m 56s):

And I think the other issue is that honestly, I think internal mobility, just like AI five or six years ago is like the new technology buzzword, all the tech firms and everybody that you're getting a demo from is talking about how everybody's talking about internal mobility and here's how you're going to solve it. And so everybody thinks it's a cool thing. They think everybody else has solved it. They think everybody else is doing it. And I have yet to talk to anybody who's got internal mobility working. It's important, we need to focus on it, but they're bigger, the biggest issues around internal mobility have to do with how your business operates. Are you willing to allow your talent to be free range talent inside your organization?

Joel (17m 34s):

It's commercial time.


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Chad (18m 36s):

It's show time. Well, and again, that's a control versus autonomy conversation, which, if your organization is moving more toward autonomy, you're hoping to open up for more L and D and more vertical and horizontal moves, right?

Allyn (18m 55s):

Correct. You're hoping to, but again, that requires, it requires an individual manager or leader to make it safe for somebody to feel like they can look internally, it then of course requires you to have systems in place that allow finding a job or an opportunity internally, is easy. And it also means that you have to reduce our bias, that external is better. I think that's part of the challenge as well. I think I did a whole bunch of work this last year on executive mobility and looking at executive recruiting. And it is so much easier. We know in general, that is easier often to get hired for a job externally than it is internally.

Allyn (19m 37s):

But we find that as we start looking particularly at executive roles or more leadership roles, it's even harder to find something internally than a normal role. And part of the reason is that you have all your history and baggage associated with the company. And we have all of these guard rails around all the things that you have to prove or gates you have to pass in order for us to see you as relevant if you're internal. Whereas if you're external, we just assume you've done all those things.

Chad (20m 3s):

Yeah. Remember that time Joel ate all the jelly donuts. He's not getting a promotion.

Allyn (20m 7s):

Right? I mean, ha yeah,

Chad (20m 10s):

Allyn, I want to pivot back to something Chad said in regards to what belongs in marketing. And I was curious a little bit about employment brand. Did they belong in marketing, in your estimation or does anyone belong in marketing? They seem like the most obvious choice, but

Allyn (20m 24s):

I'm gonna tell you yes and. I think, yes, they do belong, they have marketing as their business. I'm really coming to a belief that employer brand is actually a fallacy. That if you have a good brand, then you should have a good employee, like it's all one thing.

Chad (20m 40s):

Join the dark side of Allyn.

Joel (20m 41s):

I know it's warm in our water.

Chad (20m 44s):

It's good over here.

Allyn (20m 45s):

I know. I can't believe I got there after all these years, but on the flip side, I will say that the one thing that marketing does not necessarily do well and that good recruitment marketing needs to do in order to support the talent acquisition space, is collect and manage data about candidates over time, right? The, one value add, I think recruitment marketing can provide to today's Talent Acquisition Suite is the ability through their relationship and their engagement with candidates and purposeful ways to get the most relevant and up-to-date information to get people, to spill the beans and tell us about themselves at the right team to the right time. And that data is so important for us to put into all these great technology systems we have in the place, right?

Allyn (21m 31s):

I mean, AI is fabulous, but it's only fabulous if you have like data and information, if you were working on the resume here, you're dead in the water.

Chad (21m 38s):

So being able to transition from that, we're hearing about all these algorithms. First off, we don't have the data to be able to crunch the algorithms. A lot of the clean data that is, and I point to job descriptions, which are shit. So how do we actually implement some of these great technologies if we don't have the clean data to actually get them to crunch on?

Joel (22m 1s):

Tell us, tell us a data story Allyn. I'm going to tuck myself in here for a second.

Allyn (22m 7s):

So I think we've got to get smarter about what data it is that we're actually looking at. So the biggest challenge I think we have today, and the reason why we think data is garbage, right? Is because the two primary sources of data that we use, are one job descriptions, which we just discussed are crap, right? Because what job description actually reflects a job? We know that that that's not the case, there's lots of reasons for that. The biggest one being that jobs are dynamic. I ask anybody right now to think about the job they're doing today and go back and look at the job description they applied to and see if it's anything like it, right? There are so many nuances and elements to a job that you just can't put on a piece of paper.

Allyn (22m 51s):

So that's the challenge. Two, the second piece of data that we use. And that everybody's like got all these great parsing engines that they're all, you know, everybody's screaming about how fabulous they are and putting them into the system, so this is the resume, right? But the resume is also a load of crap. Why? The resume is all self-reported data, so if your resume is really bad, it's because you wrote a bad resume. It's not because you haven't done stuff, right? And the second reason is that everybody formats it differently, uses it differently, and the last time somebody provided you a resume, it's the last visibility you have of who they are. So it's static again, and people are not static, they are dynamic.

Allyn (23m 31s):

They learn things, they have new experiences, et cetera. So I think the answer to this data problem is we've got to switch what data we're looking at. We have to start looking at, asking for data at different times, asking for it in different ways and collecting it in different ways? What if you use all the fabulous chatbots, right? And you have those chatbots actually pre-thinking and asking questions that relate specifically to the field you have in your systems and that they were going back and re-asking for that information at the right cadence. So it's updated and relevant. 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 (24m 19s):

Amen sister.

Allyn (24m 21s):

And that's where I think recruitment marketing can play the biggest role. Because how am I going to get somebody to give me new information on a regular basis, well, because I have engagement with them? And I give them something of value in return. Marketing knows how to do this. Come. You know, you want to participate in this webinar, fill out this little form, right? Instead we're still using talent forums as static forums to put people into a dead CRM database.

Chad (24m 48s):

Oh, my brain hurts.

Joel (24m 50s):

Allyn Bailey everybody. Thanks for joining us, Allyn. So for those who want to know more about you follow you, where should they go?

Allyn (24m 59s):

Bali. No.

Chad (25m 2s):

I'm coming.

Allyn (25m 4s):

I'm coming, more on that later. No, you can follow me on LinkedIn at Allyn Bailey or on the Twitter at @AllynBailey. And I also have like a little podcast thingy that I do with Tracy Parson, which is right now called the Recruitment Marketing Rebelcast. But we're spreading out cause like I just said, I think recruitment marketing is dying. So as the Talent Rebelcast and we put stuff out every once in a while, it's kind of interesting.

Joel (25m 31s):

What the fuck is a podcast?

Allyn (25m 33s):

I know.

Chad (25m 34s):

Dig it.

Chad and Joel (25m 35s):

We out.

OUTRO (25m 36s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode.

OUTRO (26m 21s):

And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out.


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