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UPS Recruitment Revolution with Matt Lavery

Think the time you've put in at your current employer is impressive? Well, let us introduce you to Matt Lavery, Global Director of Sourcing, Hiring and Onboarding at UPS ... since 1997. That's right, while you were listening to Radiohead's OK Computer, Matt was cutting his teeth in the competitive business of global package delivery. Needless to say, he's seen a lot, and he's droppin' all kinds of knowledge bombs on listeners of all ages on this episode. From changes in tech to the ebbs and flows of labor unions to what it's like hiring for 200 countries and territories, this has it all. Shoot, we even throw in some healthy banter on the upcoming NFL season and why Chicago Bears fans should be as optimistic as they were in 1985. Da Bears, indeed.


0:00:00.5 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 wherever it hearts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls. It's time for The Chad and Cheese Podcast.

0:00:23.9 Joel: Oh. Yeah. What's up boys and girls? We are live from the DaXtra booth at UNLEASH in Las Vegas. This is The Chad and Cheese podcast. I'm your co-host, Joel Cheeseman. Joined as always, Chad Sowash is here. And we are just giddy like schoolgirls to welcome Matt Lavery to the podcast. He is global director of sourcing, hiring and onboarding.

0:00:45.8 Chad: Wow. That's a mouthful.

0:00:46.1 Joel: At a little company called UPS. Matt, welcome to HR's most dangerous podcast.

0:00:51.9 Matt Lavery: Thank you for being here. Thank you for inviting me here. I should say. And I see that you survived the jump. Happy to see you in the chair and not stuff on the ground.

0:01:00.0 Chad: Look, at him, he's looking at you and saying, glad you made it, bud.

0:01:02.0 Matt Lavery: Well, I knew you would make it, you were gonna make it no matter what.

0:01:05.6 Joel: Yeah. Army guy was gonna make it. Yeah.

0:01:07.1 Matt Lavery: I was more worried for Chad and the people below Chad.

0:01:09.1 Joel: Oh yeah. No cheese. Yeah.

0:01:10.0 Matt Lavery: Accidents happen.

0:01:10.9 Chad: Yeah. Yeah. Just in case.

0:01:12.1 Joel: I'd like to take this moment to endorse Depends as my leak protector of choice as I jump off the stratosphere now that, as Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part of jumping off the stratosphere.

0:01:25.3 Chad: Yeah. And we knew like months in advance, I think. So [laughter], that was a lot of waiting.

0:01:29.1 Joel: Yeah. Although I think my wife had more sleepless nights.

0:01:31.7 Matt Lavery: Well It's kind of like that parochial school thing that I went to. Just the threat of the ruler on the board before they grabbed it to you was enough to maybe say, I shouldn't say that. Just as having the ruler out there and the visual.

0:01:43.1 Chad: Yeah.

0:01:43.7 Joel: So a lot of our listeners don't know who you are, Matt. They know the company. But let's talk about you. You've got a fine taste in food and sports teams, but what else, do you like or would you like to tell us about yourself?

0:01:54.6 Matt Lavery: Born and bred Southwest side of Chicago. Went to parochial school, went to Notre Dame. Been at UPS for 27 years. I've worked in Atlanta, I've worked in Brussels, worked in Chicago. But my tact has always been in the TA space. We've been called different things over the years. We were workforce plenty at one point. We were an employment and, staffing at one point. So the names have changed. My direction of what I've done hasn't really changed that dramatically. My role started as an interviewer/recruiter back 27 plus years ago. And I'm.

0:02:22.0 Joel: '97 you started at UPS?

0:02:24.9 Matt Lavery: Yeah.

0:02:25.2 Joel: Wanna get that right?

0:02:26.4 Matt Lavery: Yep.

0:02:26.4 Joel: Now you said South side of Chicago, but you're also a Cubs fan.

0:02:29.4 Matt Lavery: That's right.

0:02:29.9 Joel: How do you make peace with your God? With that kind of.

0:02:33.5 Chad: How do you get out of the house with that jersey on?

0:02:35.9 Matt Lavery: Well, I didn't go to Wrigley Field for the first time until 1984. My father wouldn't take me. He told me that was like, feeding a pig steak by taking a south side Irishman to the lower side.

0:02:47.6 Joel: Wow.

0:02:48.2 Matt Lavery: So I had to take myself.

0:02:49.8 Joel: There are plenty of tickets to White Sox games today. If, you wanting to go.

0:02:57.6 Matt Lavery: Futility on both sides of town.

0:03:01.6 Chad: That's the quickest way to make your son not a White Sox fan, by saying you can't go.

0:03:06.4 Matt Lavery: The funny part, I mean.

0:03:07.3 Joel: Stake to a pig. That's a good Chicago reference.

0:03:09.5 Matt Lavery: The grade school I went to Bill Murray's sister, who's a nun, was a grade school, one of my grade school teachers.

0:03:15.0 Joel: Awesome.

0:03:15.6 Matt Lavery: I've still vivid memory there's a game won, where we won 16 to one against the Padres in '84. We were the only Cub fans in the classroom. [laughter] And she wheeled the TV in everyone else booed. And we were the only few people cheering, watching the results.

0:03:28.5 Joel: Wow. So Caleb Williams to the Bears. Let's get the sports talk out of the way. Are you optimistic?

0:03:33.8 Matt Lavery: I am. It's the most optimistic I've been maybe 20 years.

0:03:37.5 Joel: Oh, that's not a good sign.

0:03:38.6 Chad: That's not. It's not a good sign.


0:03:39.1 Matt Lavery: No, but it's not bad.

0:03:40.0 Joel: That's an Aaron Roger's ACL tear on the first round.

0:03:42.9 Matt Lavery: When Eric Kramer holds your single season passing record. As a team. And then Sid Luckman is the barometer for a career.

0:03:51.0 Chad: It can only get better.

0:03:51.7 Matt Lavery: It only got better than that. It's hard to get lower than that.

0:03:54.6 Joel: You mean Rex Grossman didn't rank the records?

0:03:57.2 Matt Lavery: No. I think Jay Cutler own some of the records. For the longest, the best quarterback in our franchise history, Sid Luckman is generally back in the '40s, is perceived. Eric Kramer owns the single season record for passing yards.

0:04:08.6 Joel: That's so Chicago.

0:04:09.6 Matt Lavery: That's sad.

0:04:10.0 Joel: That's so Chicago.

0:04:11.1 Matt Lavery: Middle linebackers we can talk about.

0:04:13.3 Chad: Oh yes. Oh hell yeah.

0:04:13.3 Matt Lavery: But quarterbacks not so much.

0:04:15.0 Joel: Yeah. For sure. For sure. So, UPS most people know the name, but give us the specifics. Some big numbers around employee count, where you guys do business, and how many people you're hiring, quite frankly is a immense.

0:04:27.0 Chad: Little over 500,000 globally. We're in.

0:04:30.0 Chad: Hello.

0:04:30.7 Joel: We have brown employee, we call Brown employees in 73 countries. We hire a couple hundred thousand people in the course of the year. Our biggest area of concentration, those in peak season, we're gonna hire over a hundred thousand people in six weeks. So we're gonna hire a small town of people in six weeks period of time and we gear the whole season up for that.

0:04:49.6 Joel: And you do that every year, by the way?

0:04:51.2 Matt Lavery: Doing it for 27 years.

0:04:52.0 Joel: Doesn't take a break.

0:04:52.7 Chad: 27 years. Okay. So let's talk about the scale though, because back 27 years ago it wasn't that big.

0:04:57.6 Matt Lavery: A lot more people.

0:04:58.4 Chad: So a lot more people just to make the machine grind. Let's talk about that. Yeah, let's talk about that and then moving forward to today, because I think as we've been talking about, HR and TA and tech actually understanding the impact, a lot of listeners out there don't understand the impact. Because many of them were around since after the internet, right?

0:05:19.6 Joel: Yeah yeah.

0:05:20.7 Chad: So let's talk a little bit about that machine.

0:05:21.9 Matt Lavery: Well, let's go back to, there's a building off of 294 in Chicago, called Chicago Area Consolidation Hub. It was one of the first major buildings that was built in Chicago. It was built in 1995. That's where I started. We were hiring 400 people a week in that building at that time. So a hundred people per shift. There were four shifts.

0:05:38.7 Chad: And all manual.

0:05:39.6 Matt Lavery: And then peak. Yeah. And peaks there were 23 pieces of paper that had to be completed.

0:05:44.0 Chad: Oh my God.

0:05:44.5 Matt Lavery: On each hire, that had to get sent down to Marietta, Georgia, which was an employee service center that keyed it into, it was an older system until 1999. Then we updated it went to PeopleSoft in '99. But it was a whole procedure to get somebody hired.

0:06:01.3 Chad: Wow.

0:06:01.3 Matt Lavery: And we had a team of people in Chicago that, now this is was just one location.

0:06:04.7 Chad: Data entry?

0:06:05.7 Matt Lavery: We had over 30 admins. We had 25 interviewers. We had 40 recruiters. And just to make all that happen.

0:06:13.7 Chad: So, let's talk about this kids 'cause everybody's saying that AI is going to take jobs and so on and so forth. Well, the internet and process methodologies, but we did evolve and we still have shit, tons of jobs that are out there today. So what do you say to those people when they say, well, AI is gonna take all those jobs? 'Cause you've been there and done that before.

0:06:30.9 Matt Lavery: I think jobs are gonna evolve. And I think as a TA leader, there's a couple of ways you can go with that. So if you're looking at a recruiter and say, now they're handling 10 to 15 racks, and if we take these pieces of work away, that our time sucks, and now they can handle 15 or 20, that's one way, you can do that methodology, you can reduce the number of recruiters that way. Or I prefer to go down a road of actually calling them what they should have been called all along, talent advisors, giving them more responsibility because we talk about in HR all the time, getting the seat at the table.

0:07:03.2 Matt Lavery: But the leader of HR can't get the seat at the table unless people below him are also the seat at the table in those local areas. So to empower those folks, give them the time, give them the resources, give them the information to be a difference maker in each of their little areas of the company, that trickles up. Trickle down has never worked. We've known that through several presidents.

0:07:22.1 Joel: Yeah, don't get him started.

0:07:25.8 Matt Lavery: I know. But trickle up does work. When other people are hearing that the TA space is solving problems, solving issues in each of these areas, that will trickle up, and it does trickle up.

0:07:34.9 Chad: Well, for you though, I mean, when you take a look at if those positions aren't filled, you're missing.

0:07:41.1 Joel: Out of business.

0:07:43.5 Joel: Yeah, revenue drops.

0:07:46.2 Matt Lavery: Every job that we do, that we can, we put a dollar amount for every day it's open. And we go in front of the hiring manager and say, every day you delay your interview schedule, every day you delay your selection.

0:07:54.8 Chad: This is what you're doing.

0:07:56.0 Matt Lavery: This is what you're costing.

0:07:58.7 Chad: See, that's genius. So do you know, is that different? It's gotta be different.

0:08:03.8 Matt Lavery: Different by geography and job type.

0:08:05.1 Joel: Oh my God. So you've got all that broken out.

0:08:07.8 Matt Lavery: As best as we can. There's some jobs that's hard to do it. But the sales jobs and some of the operational jobs, those are a lot easier, 'cause there's a number of components that we can put to it. Some of the stuff like marketing, it's kind of like, I guess the roll part one, when he goes in, did you BS today? Yes. Did I try and BS today? No. Now it's some of the jobs, it's hard to put a quantified to, but where you can, we do.

0:08:30.2 Joel: I love that you've had so much experience and we don't get a lot of people that have been at the same job.

0:08:34.3 Chad: Did you just call him old?

0:08:34.4 Joel: For over 20 years.

0:08:34.5 Chad: That's not cool.

0:08:35.6 Matt Lavery: I'm as old as you guys are.

0:08:35.8 Chad: I mean, we're all old, man. Don't worry about that.

0:08:38.6 Joel: I'm embracing it. I'm embracing it.

0:08:42.4 Joel: You have the unique perspective of looking at what a job seeker was in 2000 and what it is today. Talk about the differences in the job seeker today versus 20 years ago.

0:08:52.7 Matt Lavery: Well Sunday newspaper 25 years ago.

0:08:56.1 Joel: That's a big change.

0:08:58.4 Matt Lavery: Yeah, it's a big change. When the red circles, sending out mailers.

0:09:02.8 Chad: I don't even think we had highlighters back then.

0:09:02.9 Matt Lavery: Very early days of online. Same things that you guys were at, I remember. But slowly evolving in, it's really become a sales job now. Before, they had to sell to us. Now we have to sell more to them to get them in the door.

0:09:18.9 Chad: Interesting.

0:09:20.1 Joel: Right right.

0:09:21.8 Matt Lavery: Because before it was, okay, sit down for this five levels of interviews and we'll analyze all this stuff.

0:09:28.0 Chad: Panels and tribunals.

0:09:29.6 Matt Lavery: And you had to feel lucky. I got to a third interview. Is there a fourth? I don't know. And you had to really audition yourself. Now it's, okay, come please work for us. This is what we'll offer you. These are the benefits. All those kind of things. So it's more of just not qualifying somebody. As much as you're trying to qualify them, they're qualifying you.

0:09:51.4 Joel: How much of that is they have more options or? Yeah, you're shaking your head.

0:09:55.0 Matt Lavery: Absolutely more options. And I think it's also more data at their information. Before when it was a Sunday newspaper, I can go look at someone's website and go learn about them or go to LinkedIn or go to Glassdoor or go to all these areas that are out there that they go learn about you. So the smart, really good candidates, when they come in, they're not asking you those questions. They're asking you, well, why did you get this review on this situation? Why do you do it this way? And you have to have answers.

0:10:22.7 Joel: That's fascinating.

0:10:24.3 Matt Lavery: Some people are better at it than others. And some people, some candidates look at it and say, that's not for me.

0:10:29.7 Chad: Well, let's talk about it. Like back then, obviously it wasn't very speedy to get somebody in, today it is. And we know speed kills because the competition, as you just said, if they're faster to the trigger than you are, then you lost them, right? So how have you guys been able to be more efficient? What have you done? What have you been able to do to be able to ensure that you don't lose that great talent?

0:10:53.7 Matt Lavery: What we've tried to do, and we've done this for a number of years, and this is the second system that we've went to, with Fountain, that we're utilizing today. We did it on our old system, but it was hard.

0:11:05.6 Joel: You care to name names?

0:11:06.2 Matt Lavery: We're the only customer of it. So anyway they built it just for us way back when they didn't sell to anyone else. We're the only customer of it. We co-branded it. We gave them the direction how to build everything they built it, they hosted it. Almost 20 years of use. Great job. They did a great job for us. But the problem was, it was Burger King. We could build it any way we wanted it, but it could take six, eight months on changes. So, and now as we got into the pandemic and other things, we need things to change faster. So what we needed to do was a simple flow process of the happy path. You can get someone to a job offer as fast as possible because if you're not making that job offer and setting that hook early, they're gone. And right now in Fountain, we're getting most of our candidates to our entry-level package handler jobs, our seasonal jobs, driver, helper, and SSDs. Inside six to seven minutes, they're getting to a job offer. Inside 22 minutes, they're onboarded. They're writing nines done.

0:11:58.9 Chad: Wow.

0:12:00.7 Matt Lavery: All their documents are done. They have a start date. And the only thing they're waiting on is their criminal background check to come back clear. In every, inside 22 minutes.

0:12:07.1 Chad: 22 minutes?

0:12:10.2 Joel: For our most common jobs, our driver jobs.

0:12:11.3 Chad: That is amazing.

0:12:12.4 Matt Lavery: And jobs that are airports with a couple extra steps. 'Cause you gotta get a fingerprint at the airport. You get a badge from there. You need a road test to be a driver. But for our standard jobs yeah 22 minutes. Everything side-sealed and delivered, out the door.

0:12:26.7 Joel: And you're a guy that's seen everything. And I'm sure that you RPO multiple services. What was it about Fountain that sort of cut above the rest?

0:12:34.4 Matt Lavery: Yeah, I mean, the reason we went to that other service for an ATS, 20 some odd years ago, we looked at all the ATSs I did. There wasn't anything for mass hiring. I think Unilever, a company out of Portland, was something that did hourly hiring, but they still were rec based. I looked at it and said, that's not going to work for us. So, we went to this company who was doing our IVR at the time, so all the people were scheduling interviews for their service. They said, oh, we can build this other part of it for you too that has an application. And for us, when we went to Fountain, they were the first ATS that I saw that could handle our high volume hourly hiring because they're nimble and quick. I gave them our process flow for a basic package handler. In two days, they didn't come back just with a prototype, a workable prototype that I could give to anybody in my company to go do a fob of job apply. It had the videos that we used, it had the language, the questions that we asked, and the happy path, you can get through to a job offer inside five minutes, six minutes. And that was working on it for two days.

0:13:28.0 Chad: So, was that the intent from you or did they overkill on it?

0:13:32.5 Matt Lavery: They overkill. I mean, I didn't expect them to, well, I talked to everybody. I talked to these, they said, well, we're flexible, we're this, we're this. Here's my process flow. Make it happen, Captain, I go, if you can make this happen. And then they came back and I was expecting a phone call a couple of weeks, maybe a month down the line. The person I'm talking to, Matt, you're ready to look at it? Like, who's this? Like, really?

0:13:53.1 Chad: What was that timeframe?

0:13:53.5 Matt Lavery: Two days.

0:13:53.7 Chad: Two days?

0:13:53.8 Matt Lavery: Yeah.

0:13:57.6 Chad: Holy shit.

0:13:57.7 Matt Lavery: So, when they came back and they said, all right, what kind of stuff are you doing? Like, they put a PowerPoint together or something. They put some macro together.

0:14:05.0 Chad: Is it Figma?

0:14:06.9 Joel: Yeah. So, it was like, let me play with it. They gave me the link and I played with it. I'm like, this actually works. So, they got my attention. And then what we had to do is build the business case to make the switch. That took a little bit of time to, it had to go to our friends in IT and go back and make a business case. Because anytime you switch a solution, you're paying for that old solution for a period of time. So, you got to account for that in the business case. There's transition costs and you got to make it all work.

0:14:32.3 Joel: And what was the reaction from the recruiting team? We've talked to companies that are big, make a change, no one wants to change. What was it like at UPS when this.

0:14:41.6 Joel: You get some of that. And no matter work where you do whatever change, even if it makes their jobs easier, it's new. But we got full adoption pretty quick. But we also did a Cortez approach. We kind of burned the old chip so they couldn't use it. So, they had to switch.

0:14:54.8 Chad: Scorched earth that shit.

0:14:56.3 Joel: Which we've heard that story before, right? Like we killed it. So, they had no choice.

0:15:04.1 Matt Lavery: They had no choice. And they learned pretty quick. It's intuitive product. So, it was easy to learn. And we ended up hiring over 100,000 people in six weeks last year with it. So, it worked.

0:15:10.9 Chad: So, are you actually showing, because you have all the numbers that go to the bottom line, which is beautiful. And we love that. Are you actually showing that you're filling faster so therefore we're saving this kind of money? I mean, and pushing that back up and saying, this is why we do this.

0:15:25.1 Matt Lavery: This is how fast we're filling jobs today.

0:15:25.8 Joel: The table.

0:15:32.4 Matt Lavery: Think of it this way. We were on a cycle with our old ATS. They were replacing jobs on our UPS jobs board every four hours. So, we're up and down any changes. We had to flip it to an hour because jobs are getting filled that quick. Candidates were coming back four hours after posting and some are getting filled already. And now we're finding even an hour is too long. We're moving towards real time. We want good candidate experiences.

0:15:53.4 Chad: Right right.

0:15:53.8 Matt Lavery: So, I don't want someone to see a job on our board, come to it and they say there's no more openings.

0:15:57.9 Chad: Yes.

0:15:58.0 Matt Lavery: I wanna get better at it well I want to meet their expectations. Because the human element, you can't lose in all of this automation discussion. You have to account for it and still be human with people. And you have to be straight with them. And speed and transparency are what they want. We're trying to give that to them.

0:16:12.4 Chad: So, what are you guys doing on the engagement after? So, say you've got some people that didn't get jobs, right? Filled all those positions. That's awesome. What are you doing to keep them engaged? Because you know there are gonna be new positions opening in a minute or two and you wanna get them into that new pool.

0:16:28.2 Matt Lavery: We have drip campaigns on every location that comes available. We're going back into our old candidates first.

0:16:34.3 Chad: Perfect.

0:16:35.7 Matt Lavery: We're marketing to them. Right now, we're still experimenting how often because we don't want to spam them.

0:16:41.0 Chad: I love Matt. I love Matt.

0:16:42.7 Joel: He's very lovable.

0:16:44.2 Matt Lavery: We're trying to figure out all the logarithms and okay, they applied six months ago. Is it good for two messages this week? 'Cause we don't want to become a pain to it. But you still want to reach out and touch those folks. And then what we do is we go back to the advertising wall. So, we are saving money on both sides because we're able to re-utilize our database we paid for and put them into hires.

0:17:01.8 Chad: You just don't want it to be a bad touch.

0:17:04.3 Joel: Not bad touch, Matt. No bad touch here.

0:17:05.8 Matt Lavery: There's no doll here to touch and figure out where it is. No, only good touches, shoulder and above.

0:17:12.8 Joel: I lost my train of thought. Thanks, Chad. We talked about the reaction from the recruiters. Talk about the reaction from the job seekers. Did ghosting go down? Did your scores go up? Because applying to these jobs are tough sometimes.

0:17:28.4 Matt Lavery: It's kind of a mixed bag there, to be fair.

0:17:28.5 Joel: Yeah.

0:17:29.7 Matt Lavery: Our surveys, we're 95% plus almost in positivity on the experience.

0:17:36.3 Chad: Okay. Is that like an NPS score?

0:17:37.0 Matt Lavery: Yes, NPS.

0:17:38.7 Chad: Okay. Is that going up?

0:17:40.0 Matt Lavery: It's going up. But we're in the 50, 60 range.

0:17:40.7 Chad: Oh, very nice. Because those people will use UPS or a competitor.

0:17:42.7 Matt Lavery: Everyone we hire is a potential customer. Everyone we interview is a potential customer. So, that's why we take it seriously, 'cause we don't want to harm our brand. The part that really we're still trying to figure out is the ghosting. It's probably equal to what it was before. And again.

0:18:00.6 Joel: In the pre-Fountain days?

0:18:01.6 Matt Lavery: Yeah, a little bit, but we're getting.

0:18:02.7 Joel: What do you make of that?

0:18:04.7 Matt Lavery: I think it's the competition, but we also cut out steps.

0:18:08.6 Chad: You need 22 minutes though, Matt.

0:18:10.4 Matt Lavery: I know, but the part of it is before, we were only measuring the cutoff at the time of job offer to the first day of work. There were other steps there that also had drop-off rates.

0:18:15.7 Chad: Gotcha.

0:18:17.1 Matt Lavery: So, we only have one drop-off rate, not three anymore. So, when we say we're about the same, we're the same from the same start of the process. But if I go back and look at the whole process, our drop-off rates are about a third of what they were. But the last step, we're about the same.

0:18:31.1 Joel: Okay.

0:18:31.4 Chad: So, within 22 minutes, I get the job. Do I automatically start the onboarding process?

0:18:34.1 Matt Lavery: Yes.

0:18:37.6 Chad: Right then?

0:18:38.1 Matt Lavery: Yes. You get messages. It depends on the job you're in. Some of our jobs, they have a on-person piece for what's called, we call it cornerstone. Not the company. That's what we called it before the company was there. It's the training in-person. Other seasonal jobs, it's a virtual. So, you're going to get links to our LMS and to go inside and to start to do things.

0:18:58.5 Chad: So you can see the engagement. And if they're not being engaged, you can.

0:19:02.2 Matt Lavery: Then we're reaching out to them.

0:19:03.9 Chad: You can nudge them.

0:19:04.6 Matt Lavery: Yes.

0:19:04.6 Chad: Okay. That's awesome. And I would think that would help from the anti-ghosting aspect as opposed to just sending out an email and then stepping back.

0:19:14.5 Matt Lavery: I firmly believe, I think there's always gonna be a percentage of people that will ghost now.

0:19:17.6 Chad: Yeah, of course.

0:19:18.0 Chad: And it's because of the competition. And it's nothing that we can, we're gonna keep looking at it 'cause UPS we're constructively dissatisfied but we always wanna improve. But at the same point, you can't be a man of all seasons, every candidate. And we're gonna do the best we can to get them in the door, but we're also not going to try to do better. But there's only so much better that you can do in some cases.

0:19:41.5 Chad: Yeah.

0:19:42.0 Joel: You talked about job seekers being smarter, having more ammunition going into an interview. You are a business that has a lot of threats of automation. We talk about self-driving trucks, self-driving or self flying whatever. And a lot of.

0:19:57.9 Chad: Drones. Yeah.

0:19:58.3 Joel: Heavy packages can be lifted by machines. Are job seekers coming in talking about these issues of why would I work for someone where I read in the news today that all the trucks are gonna be self-driving. Are those issues and how do you tackle them?

0:20:10.2 Matt Lavery: Yeah. We're a union based company. So it's all in the collective bargaining agreement. All those things so people can go read it and see what the union has to say about it. There's a lot of things in our union agreement that we have to go talk to the union before we institute things and even consider some things. So a lot of people say, It's a union company. It's scary a little bit to some people. Our founder brought the union in on a handshake back in the '20s and '30s. It wasn't Pinkerton's, there wasn't like fights. He was a founder of the company. He wanted his employees to be the best represented and also be the highest paid in the industry. Our drivers for years have been the highest paid in the industry. They get a pension still today. How many jobs have a pension today? Our drivers who deliver your packages. They have a defined pension plan. I mean there are total compensation all in about $150,000 salary benefits and a pension plan. There's not many jobs that you can do without a high school diploma to go out and make that.

0:21:04.8 Chad: Well and you guys started putting AC in your like Florida trucks. And I mean, it was like, I mean, but I mean, you have that collective voice. Which is telling you that, which is why I would say that the founder did that in the first place.

0:21:17.0 Matt Lavery: Probably so.

0:21:17.3 Chad: Because you gotta hear from the people.

0:21:18.9 Matt Lavery: And we listen and in some cases, like any negotiation, everyone comes in with a pile of things that they want. And you can't get everything.

0:21:25.9 Chad: No.

0:21:26.4 Matt Lavery: So you negotiate it. That's what it is.

0:21:27.8 Chad: They do that for a reason.

0:21:28.9 Matt Lavery: Yeah. That's what it is. So they've asked for AC before they have their priorities. They wanted more benefits, they wanted a better pension plan. So that's where money went that could have gone to that in the past. So, and again, the other piece of it is we turn our truck off every time we make a deliver or stop, the key goes on your pinky ring. It's part of the training. You ever start your car and try to put the AC on in a hot day right after it's not so.

0:21:52.8 Joel: Oh yeah. After I pee on my leg.

0:21:55.5 Matt Lavery: Yeah. So I mean, what we're trying to do with our package cars now, there's a lot more fans, more white roofs. We're trying to decrease the heat in the package cars. But AC in some of these areas are essential. We know that. And we're responding to what our employees want and need.

0:22:11.0 Joel: Yeah. I love the union and many ways you guys were mavericks. I mean, we talk about the auto workers, we're talking about hotel workers now, but you guys were the first really that we started talking about the rise of unions in the last two, three, four years. Just curious about your take on labor unions and maybe the benefit in recruiting and retention.

0:22:31.9 Matt Lavery: Well, obviously we had some disagreements. We always.

0:22:34.3 Chad: Of course.

0:22:34.9 Matt Lavery: But it's more of like a brother sister kind of situation.

0:22:36.3 Joel: In the family.

0:22:38.3 Matt Lavery: Our union's been part of our company for almost a hundred years, so.

0:22:43.1 Chad: That's awesome.

0:22:43.7 Matt Lavery: It's hard for me to gauge what it wouldn't be like. Because, we've always, I've always dealt with them. In some cases you have to look at it from their point of view. It forces you to look at any situation through someone else's eyes. Because sometimes you get typecast or so it has to be this way 'cause I'm the management person. Then you have to come back and sit, all right, that does make sense. And why do we do it this way? Or why should we do it that way and.

0:23:05.2 Chad: Yeah. Yeah. It's kind of like hiring.

0:23:06.8 Joel: Recruiting and retention. Where does it play in that aspect?

0:23:10.9 Matt Lavery: I think we get more questions about it depends on whether or not you're in a right to work state or not. So the biggest question is, do I have to join the union in a right to work state? In non-right to work states, they ask about what do the union do's, those kind of things. What are the benefits? And that's where the fine line is because we're not supposed to talk about that to the employee. Because that's where your representation comes in. We can give them information where to get it, those kind of things. But again, it's not as adversarial as one would think. It's more sibling rivalry in some cases and you fight over things because we both wanna be profitable. 'Cause they don't want their jobs to go away.

0:23:47.1 Chad: Exactly. Exactly.

0:23:47.6 Matt Lavery: And we wanna be profitable for obvious reasons. And they're also the face of our company. Our drivers are beloved in their communities. You can go scan and put an article in about UPS driver about every month someone retiring after 35, 40 years of service. And they held parties for them in these little neighborhood communities. So that's something that we like, obviously, and we wanna foster and we wanna make sure that still remains there. Our drivers get access to buildings, that our competitors don't get.

0:24:17.3 Joel: Interesting.

0:24:19.4 Matt Lavery: Let the person go around behind the counter. We trust that person. I see that person every day. That's my driver on my route. So there's a lot of brand to that. The brand plays that.

0:24:28.8 Joel: I love the embrace. Most companies are fighting like tooth and nail with, unions, so you guys are embracing it. Having an old style after that.

0:24:35.2 Chad: So let's jump back into tech real quick. Where do you see, 'cause obviously, going from back in the 23 pages days, [laughter], oh my god. That's hurtful to today.

0:24:46.2 Matt Lavery: And we got audited on each page. If there was a cross off.

0:24:48.8 Chad: Jesus.

0:24:49.6 Matt Lavery: We had a filed folder audit.

0:24:51.7 Chad: How did you ever hire anybody? Anyway. Okay. I digress. I digress.

0:24:54.8 Matt Lavery: That's why you have 30 admins working for you.


0:24:57.9 Chad: I digress. Looking forward, you know where we are today. You're skating to the puck, where is it going? Especially in this space, efficiencies, those types of things. Because I mean, you're living it right now, but it's not stopping.

0:25:09.5 Matt Lavery: No. I think for us it's how we wanna embrace AI is gonna be the question. Do we wanna become better informed and better predictability? I think that's where it's gonna go from us. Where we can predict things better. How much money we have to spend on advertising. How many people can I get from my internal database? More metrics on that. Better reliability. So if I get an opening in Bozeman, Montana, maybe I don't have to advertise at all. I only go through my internal candidates and we get better metrics on that. The other side of it is we need to make sure our recruiters, the time we take away, what are we filling their day with to make them better talent advisors and become masters in their area of when there's a problem. Maybe it's not even TA related, it's employee related. Let's talk to my talent advisor on how they can help. That's what I'm looking at, is to use AI to make us better people, better employees, and to be counted on as a resource within our organization.

0:26:02.3 Chad: Have you checked out, I'm sure you have, just the math on how much money you're saving now that you're going into your internal database first, instead of just going direct out?

0:26:13.4 Matt Lavery: I'm not gonna give you numbers, but we are saving a fair amount of money with that.

0:26:16.4 Chad: Yeah. So you're seeing the savings enough to be able to?

0:26:19.7 Matt Lavery: Yeah. And then so much so that like the reps of some of these companies, well, what are you doing? Why aren't you spending money with us? Kind of stuff. So they're noticing on their end. So they're coming and asking us questions about those kind of things. So.

0:26:31.8 Chad: Yeah. And actually be building an ecosystem within itself as opposed to, and again, we say this a lot on the show, if a CMO bought a bunch of leads and then just let them atrophy, that CMO would get fired. Right?

0:26:44.0 Matt Lavery: Sure. It should be.

0:26:45.5 Chad: Yes. And we realize that we're buying those amazing people/leads and we need to go back to them. So that's awesome. That's awesome.

0:26:53.3 Joel: On that note, talk about upskilling. That's a big topic. Now, taking your current workforce, I know you guys have a really great plan of moving up the ladder, but talk about upskilling and how UPS approaches that.

0:27:04.9 Matt Lavery: Again, we're a union company for the most part. So up till a few years ago, about 80% of our positions were all filled from within. And all of our driving jobs, for the most part, are filled from within. You start as a package handler, you work for in some cases you might work as little as six months. Other cases, a couple of years. Then you're in line to become a driver to get that job. But there's other jobs that you can put a bid in on. So on the union hourly side, everything's promotion from within, get hired at the entry level, and then bid on jobs as they become available. But there's another track, though, as a part-time package handler, I can go the management route. We have part-time supervisors that manage six to eight part-time package handlers.

0:27:40.6 Chad: Okay.

0:27:44.4 Matt Lavery: So we can, we're gonna promote those people from within too. And then those part-time sups become full-time sups managers and operations and so on. What we've done over the last few years is we've gotten better to try to get outside talent because sometimes when you only have one way to think, you don't grow as fast or as easy as you can.

0:27:57.6 Joel: Yeah, stack in your ways.

0:27:58.2 Matt Lavery: So we brought in, we brought in the first time Carol's the first time we brought in a CEO from outside the organization. Daryl Ford we brought in from outside the organization. My boss, Dan Hawksworth. Tyo we brought in from the organization, other areas to help give us some different perspectives. I embraced it because I kind of always was outside the organization. I was a little bit different than some of the other UPSers. So it was refreshing to have people come from the outside and say, yeah, we've met, yeah, you're right. [laughter] Because often it was, "Well, we're gonna go hire a consultant, they're gonna tell us what to do." I'm like, "No."

0:28:28.8 Chad: "That's why I'm here. That's why I'm here."

0:28:31.2 Matt Lavery: Yeah. I go, yeah. And like, no, we don't wanna do that. But again, it's the easy button in some cases. But now when you're getting outside thought into our organization, it's helping us grow faster.

0:28:41.6 Chad: Talk about, when you're talking about the outside pulling people in from the outside. UPS has an amazing veteran hiring organization. Not to mention you have the business, resource groups inside. Talk a little bit about that. Why was that so important to UPS to build such, a robust veteran hiring and also BRG system?

0:29:01.9 Matt Lavery: We're very much a militaristic culture, I mean, the way that we promote people within, the way that our diversity goals are. I mean, we didn't start with the diversity when George Floyd happened. Diversity was inside of our nature. We've won awards for many years on many different areas. Like for the amount of female pilots that we have, for the amount of management that we have that are minority based. All those things we're pretty good. And I think any company that wasn't good before George Floyd, they used George Floyd to do some things. They're probably not good now. You had to be good before that to be good now. And for the veteran space, we attract veterans just to the nature of our company. Because you can get promoted by doing a good job and doing the right things. And that's what they're used to in the veteran space. They put their time in, they can bid on jobs, those kind of things. It's core to them. It's about service to the company instead of the country. And they See value in that. I'd encourage you, I'm gonna make one plug here from someone that works for me.

0:30:00.5 Joel: Sure.

0:30:01.5 Matt Lavery: Lloyd Knight, who runs our talent acquisition for veterans. He just started a podcast over the last couple of months.

0:30:07.8 Chad: Nice.

0:30:08.3 Matt Lavery: He's got about 15 in the can already. It's called the Landing Zone.

0:30:09.6 Chad: Lloyd.

0:30:09.7 Chad: How am I not on this already? What is going on around here? What the hell?

0:30:14.4 Matt Lavery: No, absolutely.

0:30:14.8 Joel: This is the landing zone, not the bone zone. That's a different podcast.

0:30:18.8 Matt Lavery: No, but it's something that we're trying to connect to veterans in many different ways, and we see there's a lot of value to it. I see value to it. I'm not a veteran myself, but I see a value in what they bring to our organization and also is to give back to the service they gave to our country. I think that's an important piece of it that shouldn't be lost.

0:30:37.7 Joel: It's 2024. It's an election year. I don't know if you got the headline.

0:30:41.3 Matt Lavery: Yeah, I got the memo. Yeah. I got the memo. Yeah.

0:30:42.7 Joel: But there's an election year. The border has been highly politicized. Immigration has been politicized. We don't hear a lot from companies about the impact on immigration, the importance of new workers coming into the country. What are your thoughts on immigration as a whole and how it impacts UPS?

0:31:00.3 Matt Lavery: I'd really like it as they brought people in, if they would give them eligibility to work easier and faster. Because we're an E-Verify company. Everything gets tracked. I can't hire a lot of the folks that I want to. We wanted to get involved in the Afghan piece when that came in a few years ago when that started. But they weren't eligible to work right away, and it was hard to get them on board. It was a chore. So I think when we do these things as a country, we should be able to get these people jobs if they want them. Because in my mind, if someone wants to work here and earn here and pay taxes here, God bless you. Let's go. Because the amount of talent that we need, again, I'm an ex, You guys are exes, I think too.

0:31:39.2 Joel: Yeah.

0:31:40.6 Matt Lavery: We don't have enough baby boomers for these jobs. I wish they would all retire. That's just my personal.

0:31:43.4 Chad: Get the hell out.

0:31:44.6 Matt Lavery: And make more opportunity for some other folks. But we're not like Europe yet, where we have negative growth. But we're slowing down. So we need to bring in people who want to take, quite honestly, some of the lower end jobs.

0:32:00.2 Joel: Sure.

0:32:00.3 Matt Lavery: But build themselves up.

0:32:00.4 Chad: Yes.

0:32:01.7 Matt Lavery: And again, we have a country that can do that for them. Let it work that way. Give them the opportunity to work, earn a living and create a family and get, you know what? Every thing you talk about, whether you're, red, blue, whatever, there's commonalities between everybody. Everyone wants to have a family have their kids do better than they did. No matter what part of the political spectrum you're in. And these people that are coming in, that's all they want. They wanna provide a life for their kids. Make it better for them than it was for them.

0:32:26.3 Joel: Is it too late to start our Matt for president candidacy?

0:32:29.0 Chad: I don't think so I think we should through it out there.

0:32:31.6 Joel: We can hand up right here, right now, [laughter] live from the Dexter booth. Unleash. That was Matt Lavery. Matt, for our listeners who wanna know more about UPS maybe even apply to a job, where do you send them.

0:32:45.3 Matt Lavery: Applying to a job? Go to If you wanna hit me up, my profile hasn't been updated in a while, but I do respond. You can go to look me up on LinkedIn.

0:32:53.5 Chad: Excellent, man.

0:32:54.2 Joel: And we're here in Vegas. I think the over under on the Bears this year is seven and a half. Are you gonna go over on that.

0:33:00.7 Matt Lavery: I've already bet the over.

0:33:00.8 Joel: Bet the over.

0:33:01.2 Matt Lavery: And I'm gonna double down on it. I feel as I leave this podcast.

0:33:05.0 Chad: I'm feeling dizzy right now.

0:33:06.4 Joel: I'm gonna go bet the under on a Confident Bears fan.

0:33:09.1 Matt Lavery: To Counterbalance.

0:33:10.0 Joel: That is another one in the Can, Chad, we out.

0:33:13.1 Chad: We out.

0:33:14.6 PODACST OUTRO: Thank you for listening to, what's it called, a Podcast. The 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. Anywho, 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. And while you're at it, visit Just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. It's so weird. We out!

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