March 22, 2022

Back to the Talent Tide Podcast


In this episode Chris speaks with Alison Kaizer about managing a talent acquisition team efficiently.  Alison is the Head of Talent for, which made her the perfect guest for today’s show.  They discuss topics such as building a talent team, tech stack for talent, and scalable processes in hiring.

Alison’s Bio:
My name is Alison Kaizer, and I am proud to lead Talent at Lunchbox, one of the fastest growing foodtech start-ups in the industry. Lunchbox is focused on providing next-gen digital ordering that helps restaurants drive better guest engagement and stronger sales. The company was founded by immigrant restaurateurs with backgrounds in marketing, operations and technology. The teams are built around diverse backgrounds, and we’re keeping it that way. Before this, I led Talent Acquisition at as we expanded across the globe. Ritual is a tech company that makes a smartphone app which provides instant access to a complete assortment of everyday coffee and food items from local spots – at the push of a button. Ritual has grown to 50+ cities across North America, Europe, Hong Kong and Australia, and raised over $120 million in venture funding. I began my foray into Talent as an Engagement Manager at Boost Agents, a recruitment firm servicing the Digital, Marketing, Creative and Communications industries. I was recognized for my ability to develop strong, lasting candidate relationships and to “career matchmake,” finding the right fit for both client and candidate, for companies from start-ups to major agencies.


Hello, and welcome to the talent tide podcast the show that ensures you have the information you need to adapt and evolve your workplace culture as you ride the wave of change in talent management. I’m your host, Chris Nichols. And today we have Alison Kaizer from lunchbox one of the fastest growing food tech startups in the industry. We’ll be discussing her unusual path to head of talent and how to build great recruiting teams. Alison, welcome to the talent tide podcast
so much for having me.
Well, I’m excited to have you today. You know, we we first connected, I think earlier in 2022. And we had such a great initial conversation, I remember telling you, we need to stop because I want to capture all of this authentically on on our podcast episode. So I’m excited for for today. I’d like to kind of start describe where you’re at today. Before we get to how you got there, I think it’s important to set the stage for where you exist at lunchbox, maybe a little bit about low at lunch boxes, because it’s kind of unique, as well. So
it’s good. I think I’ll start with what lunchboxes and then I can go more so into what my role is within the ecosystem. But lunchbox is a really unique and mission driven products. And I’m really proud to work at the company. And basically the premise of lunchboxes to allow restaurants to be competitive and to empower them to not be reliant on third party platforms anymore. So companies like GrubHub, and DoorDash, and Uber Eats are taking a very large percentage of the revenue per order for the restaurant. And they’re essentially breaking even, or losing money on each of those orders. Because the fee is so large. So restaurant allows them to take that ownership back. And it’s a first party platform. So they’ll have total ownership over web, mobile ordering, loyalty programs, and so on. And we also have an in house studio that helps them with all of their marketing to drive the customer to that first party platform. So they really have total ownership not only over the digital ecosystem, but over their data as well, which is so important for them to be able to make strategic business decisions. So sort of like a Shopify for restaurants. But it’s really been embraced by the restaurant community. And so many of our investors are actually restaurant tours, which is really nice. And in terms of my role within lunchbox, I joined in early March, we were about 50 or 60 people at that time, and I came on to lead talent acquisition. And since then we’ve grown to about 250 people. And we raised a Series B $50 million, Series B that we just announced this month, which is really exciting. And so my role is I manage an amazing team, six people and we work together to make sure that we’re building the best team possible from a talent perspective. So sourcing and managing the interview process for everyone that ends up joining the team.
So a couple of takeaways from there. I think it’s wonderful what lunchbox is doing, because I mean, I have I can I think every time that I open up a delivery app for food, I instantly think like, Yeah, this is so expensive, like, I think you can see where restaurants have added additional costs, like they marked up their food, as well, to offset what I presume, based upon what you’ve just said, the the additional costs that they incur by working with with the delivery organization. So I think it’s great that you’re trying to help them put money back in their pocket, and and eliminate the challenges related to what has been a rapidly evolving industry since you know, March 2020. Right. I mean, I think that people did food delivery pre COVID. But it really took off, thanks in part to the fact that we were all at home for a solid two months, at the very least, and has continued in major markets across the US and the globe. And so it’s it’s cool where lunchbox sits. So I’m I am always fascinated by organizations in the startup phase of an organization of their their time period, right? Because you mentioned that you joined with 50 to 60 employees before a Series B. And understanding when an organization decides that they’re going to make the move to invest in talent is, is is a struggle because you have to find a CEO that has the vision and understands the importance of having somebody lead right TA and more often than not most CEOs don’t come from background of any any concept of talent acquisition, right? Like they typically come from sales or, or marketing or operations or, or IT right where they have an idea, or they are an engineer of some sort, or they’ve been able to build, build a tool. And then you have the flip side of that you have a CFO who only wants to spend money on things that are going to help the bottom line immediately. So talk about your experience in joining lunchbox at the time that you did, and why you chose to join lunchbox, what was the vision that was laid out for you? That that connected the dots that made you want to?
Yeah, it’s such a good question. And I think it’s a lot of the things that you just kind of spoke to that it’d be all had in spades. So I was actually not on market, I wasn’t looking to move. But I think just by nature of the experience I’ve had in the past, I’ve been working with startups for quite some time, I get reached out to all the time to chat with CEOs connect, kind of give advice, and someone in my network, asked me if I’d be willing to have a conversation with Nebeel just to kind of advise him a little bit on hiring and building scalable processes. And in fairness, at that time, I heard that there was nothing he talked about more than talent. And it was very much on his mind. He’s a very active CEO. He cares very deeply about people. And he’s still involved. And so I got on a call with him. And we just really got along and shared the same ethos. And he kind of said, Wow, I you know, I didn’t understand that this was your skillset. Hearing, the way you talk about things, you’re exactly what we need now. So it was very much opportunistic, I don’t think he decided we need a head of talent in advance of this. But in chatting with me, it was a little bit of just us connecting and feeling like we were on the same page in regards to what we wanted to build. And we could solve for a lot of the pain points they were feeling at that time. What made me want to join was it was a few things. So first of all, I thought the product was really interesting. And I really believed in the mission. My previous company was also in the restaurant space, and a lot of members of my family are in the restaurant space. And I have a deep love for this space. And I thought that the mission really had merit, and it was something I wanted to be involved in. And then in chatting with Nabeel, he was very clear to me that nothing matters to him more than people, which I don’t think is very common for a CEO to say, yes, because CEO, what are the top five or 10 things on your mind, people is often not the number one thing, although market sentiment is shifting more toward that, I think in many regards, but he was very clear that nothing mattered to him more than people. And this is something that he was deeply interested in and wanted to be heavily involved in. And that was, you know, really exciting for me just knowing that I would be in a people centric organization. And then beyond that, the fact that it was sort of a greenfield opportunity. I’ve been at my last company for almost four years. I built really from scratch there. And I had so many learnings and the opportunity to say, if I could do that, again, knowing everything I know now, with all of the mistakes I’ve made, how would I do things differently? And how impactful could I be was really exciting for me. And so all of those things kind of lined up. And I decided to join but I don’t think that this was the circumstance in which he decided he wanted to head of TA and then found me. I think we just kind of fell fell into it with each other.
So it’s fascinating where how the conversations began for you, Alison, but what was the status of talent acquisition at that at that moment in time, when you joined lunchbox,
it was pretty much a greenfield opportunity to be honest. They didn’t have an ATS yet. Conversations were pretty ad hoc. There wasn’t a proper hiring cadence or process, no structured interviewing, so they were getting people in the door. I think hiring managers were managing really most things on their own with no kind of clear structure or pace. So it really was a building space.
What’s the what’s the current status of your team? From when you joined? I think you mentioned they’re six Yes, right? Yeah,
they’re six people.
Are they all recruiters like, what’s the build out of your team look like? How do they how do they function as a group?
That’s a great question. So there are a number of different team members that have very different backgrounds. And we very much work holistically as a team. So I have four recruiters and two team members that are in more operational functions. Everyone on the team is interested in being a generalist, which I think is quite unique. All the recruiters at least I know in many companies, they separate engineering recruitment and kind of go to market recruitment. But from my experience, one thing that I thought really propelled me to become a head of talent and be a leader in this space is the fact that I had very deep knowledge of both sides of the business and I had a holistic view. And my direct report at my last company who’s now here with me, was the same I developed her in a way where she was able to touch everything and it was nice, it lends itself to incredible flexibility and if God forbid the business ever regresses in some way You’re left with people that are really flexible. And from a career progression perspective, I think it’s great for recruiters to be able to touch everything and have that opportunity. So Kate is a senior manager. She’s also a people manager, and she’s a generalist and comes from a generalist background. And then I have someone on my team Megan, whose background is very much sales, recruiting, but she’s learning everything. She’s doing marketing, she’s done a few engineer roles, we just hired on, or briefed, excuse me today on a QA role. So she’s learning. And she’s getting that opportunity to learn and was interested in doing more, but her background is largely sales. And then there’s someone on my team, who came from very technical background that was interested in learning more. So she really understood the engineering side. And actually, we’re hiring on my team right now, because she has been taking GA coding courses and is moving into an engineering role. We’re giving her that chance internally, which is fantastic. And I’m so proud of her for that. But so someone more technical, that wanted to learn more sales. And then we have a specialist on the team who came in to really be able to do more of like the high volume reqs where we get a lot of inbounds. But she’s out of this world. Her name is Sarah. And she’s shown such strong learning aptitude that now she’s taking on some pretty complex roles on her own. And so everyone can touch everything. But if there was a role that was really, really urgent and required a new skill set, whether it be sales or technical, we have someone on the team that can really hit the ground running while facilitating learning opportunities for the other team members. And it’s been fantastic because it really fosters such a collaborative environment where if it’s someone’s first time on a roll, they’ll hop on with another recruiter, they’re teaching each other. Everyone, you know, just supports each other. And it’s, it’s, I think, an incredibly high performing team. Because of that we’re all just really invested in each other’s success. And there are roles where one person source the other person screens, then the role moved to someone else, and someone else close them. And success is very much measured on a team basis. So that’s
Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s, that is very unique. You don’t see that often in talent acquisition. And so that that sounds like a very close knit team. Normally, close knit teams sit in the same office together with one another, etc. They’ve been around each other. You’ve only been there since I think you said either March or May. Where’s your team at? Are they are they in offices are they hybrid? Are they remote? What does that what is the day to day management of that group look like? And where are they?
So we are remote. And then aside from the four recruiters, there are two other team members. One of them started as a coordinator, but is now actually a talent operations specialist. Her name is Becca, she’s fantastic, very organized, project management kind of background. And she’s responsible for all of our systems and our processes. She pulls our data every month, she’s constantly evaluating ways that we can improve. She also manages our ATS gets all of our roles posted writes our job descriptions, I mean, she’s literally the backbone of our team, making sure that everything is running smoothly. And we have a coordinator as well, who does some scheduling, a lot of admin manages our intern program, works on some employer branding, and so on.
That’s awesome. So can you talk to the current team structure organization? You know, are they remote? Are they in person? How do you how do you work with that group today and how are they managed
so we’re a remote team, all of lunchboxes a remote team. And we really just stay connected on Zoom, we we have a daily sync every single morning, we start at 930. And we have a status meeting where we talk about the status of our roles, we remove any blockers that might be there, and I’m there to kind of help and support them and just get a temperature check on how things are going. And we sort of share updates. So that’s, you know, 20 or 30 minute conversation in the morning. And then at the end of the day at five, we have an externally facing meeting within the team with hiring managers. So we’re in a room getting feedback on all of the candidates that have interviewed in the last 24 hours at the end of the day. So it’s not just our team, it’s it’s with the larger organization. So we have those two kind of touch bases each day. And then we stay in touch on Slack. We have a lunch bi weekly, and like a more strategic focus team sync bi weekly, every other week. And we’re in channels and we chat. But a lot of my team has actually met each other in person at this point, because we all just get along and I have made a point of doing it. But we we certainly stay very connected from a from a remote environment.
That’s awesome. So you mentioned earlier that you had been through kind of the startup and growth phase within another organization before you came to lunchbox. Can you talk about what you learned the first time around, I guess you could you could say and how that affected the way that you manage your time today.
It’s actually wild how much I was able to learn from my last experience to be able to bring over here. So some of the things that were so important to me were a focus on tooling to be able to really drive efficiency, especially with so many wrecks and moving so quickly. So there’s a stack that I leveraged at my last company that I brought over here and has been unbelievable. There’s a tool we use to help us source, there’s a tool we use for references, that’s basically a one click, there’s a tool that we use for reporting. So hiring managers can self serve and see the status of their roles at all times. And obviously, we use an ATS. So just the importance of leveraging tools and software where we can truly drive efficiency was was one learning, for sure. The other was really a focus on scalability. You know, things can break. And I learned that very quickly going through a rapidly scaling startup. So thinking about how processes scale is important, whether it be having a hiring stand up every single day and ingrain that into the culture. So folks come into the room, because chasing them chasing them for scorecards, having weekly sync sometimes, is definitely not fast enough, you can easily lose a candidate in 24 hours having that cadence where it’s expected that we get feedback so quickly, and we can move fast, really drives, you know, efficiency and efficacy. And it’s highly scalable, because more people join the org and they just join that room as opposed to us having to manage outward. So that was really important. And really strong interview training is important to make sure that everyone really knows what they’re looking for. As well as having a clear understanding of culture values, qualities we’re looking for in candidates up front and just really expectation setting and coaching with anyone who’s going to be interviewing early on. Otherwise, that obviously comes out and quality of hire in the wash down the line. So always looking at what’s going to be scalable for us moving forward, whether it be the SAQ, or the processes that we put in place, which sometimes might seem over the top in early stages, but a few months down the line, you’re like I’m really, really happy that we have those in place. That that was sort of the key thing I brought with me.
The talent tide podcast is sponsored by endevis. endevis is a full service recruiting firm, offering a broad range of solutions from professional contracting to retained and contingency search to recruitment outsourcing. endevis prides itself on its core values of being bold, accountable, help first, passionate, and results driven to ensure the talent we bring to our partners matches their core values and overall mission. For more information, please visit That is That’s awesome tech stack. So you talked about ATS. You talked about some other tools, etc. How did you go about hiring team members versus when you brought in tools? Like what was your cadence of acquiring resources to allow you to scale the team from the 50-60 that you were at to the 250 – 300? Today? What was what was your line of your talent line? There managing the processes to get to that?
I think it’s just asking myself the question of what isn’t working right now? What’s broken? What am I trying to solve for? And then what do I need to solve for that problem? So I don’t have enough bandwidth, I’m spending too much time reporting. Is there a tool that can do that? And if not, do I need to bring a person on to do that? Or is it really I’m spending too much time on phone calls. And I need a human that can do those screens, because there just aren’t enough hours in the day to talk to all the candidates that we need to speak to, from a req perspective. And so just having a real lens on how I’m spending my time, and figuring out ways to spend my time, smarter is always sort of the lens. And even when it comes to initial screening calls, there are times that I’ve adjusted the process. And I’ve owned 70 reqs, personally, by taking initial screening calls off my plate entirely, and having hiring managers do them on their own. I think that impacts candidate experience, though, and they’re not seasoned the way we are on talent and sometimes can impact quality of hire down the line. So it’s not a long term solution. But there are ways that you can scale yourself as needed on an interim basis without adding additional team members. And then even as you add those team members, constantly keeping in contact with them and figuring out how they’re spending their time. And if there are ways to drive efficiency with tools or processes before just you know, adding adding another team member to the mix. I don’t know if that’s too abstract of an answer, but it depends. No, no,
it’s great. You’re a start up everything’s right. Yeah, indeed. So, and to be honest, talent is quite abstract as it is. I mean, we constantly talk about how it’s similar in sales in that in the idea that it’s both an art and a science right. So you you do as a leader have to do A lot of things based upon the feelings that you’re experiencing at the time. Because I mean, I want to ask you about metrics in in, in this conversation today. But, you know, our president at and I were having a conversation last week. And it was like I mean, we look at metrics like which one truly matter, is it? Is it really valuable to take your time to fill from 40 days to 37 days? Like, is that really something that we care about doing? Like, what are you getting in those three days? What if those three days actually were the difference between getting the right candidate the first time versus maybe increased turnover? Like there’s so many levers that can be pushed and pulled when it comes to talent acquisition that if we get too scientific about data and get hung up on numbers, it also affects the the the artistry of the work that’s being out as well. So do you mind talking about tools at all, Allison, like the tools that you’re using and talk about how you use them, which ones they are, and
we’re happy to do so and also happy to talk about the data and metrics piece. But so the stack that we use is fantastic, I highly recommend it. I think it’s great for an early stage company and can be purchased with relative, you know, relatively low costs. And it’s also highly scalable. It’s a stack that you can use really growing into hundreds of people. So we use a tool called Top Funnel to help us with sourcing which will scrape for emails, and follow up with a drip campaign. So it makes sourcing like a one click experience, as opposed to manually drafting an email, it also sends an email, which I believe has a higher degree of efficacy than just a normal InMail. And it integrates into greenhouse, which is great if a candidate gets back to you, you can convert them to a candidate from a prospect without having to manually upload their profile. And it also provides really valuable sourcing data. So what percentage of response to your reach is positive? Or negative? What percent response do you get at all, what percentage of your outreaches to underrepresented groups are women, and you can AB test verbage to see what’s really working, so it’s fantastic. And we use a tool called Talent Wall for our reporting. And we actually also operate within it on a day to day basis. So it’s almost like a whiteboard. And it’s funny, I found it because I was operating with a whiteboard. And then we moved into a remote scenario. And I really needed that operational cadence of a whiteboard. And but without being in person, and I ended up finding this tool. So it layers on top of the ATS. And it provides a visual of where every candidate is in the funnel at a given time. So you can see, this is the stage, there’s one person this is the stage, there are two, this is the stage there are four, it also shows you Yeah, I hear you, and it’s all visual. So in greenhouse or whatever ATS you’re using, it’s hard to actually get a picture of the status of a roll, then it also tells you on each candidate what the source was, if they’re scheduled when they’re scheduled, it allows you to filter by the last correspondence you’ve had with the candidates. So if you have 1000s in the mix, you can go in and source by whoever’s in the red and specifically reach out to those candidates. So you know, you’re spending your time wisely and no candidate is being forgotten or lost, which is so helpful. And it also shows lots of valuable data, like what your conversion metrics are at each stage. So it’s something I’m always looking at with my team is not how many people they’re moving through. But what percentage of candidates that they’re moving through? Is the hiring manager moving through in the next stage, what’s the quality? Are they throwing spaghetti at a wall? Or do I see they’re only moving 22% through but 100% of those candidates are getting moved on by the hiring manager at the next stage. And so I know they have a high emphasis on quality and not just quantity. So I find that to be very valuable. And it shows it right there directly on the document. And you can filter by recruiter by function and so on. And the other element of that that’s incredibly helpful is it layers on top of the ATS and provides all of the metrics you could want to run quality, not quality of hire, excuse me. But time to hire number of hires, dates people are starting candidates source like all the information that sits within the ATS it shows in a visual format without having to pull data because it’s all integrated that’s highly digestible, and a really easy report to share with leadership and to look at yourself so it makes roll status reporting self service for hiring managers, which is great they’re never no one ever asked me like what’s the status of this role they can go in and see at any time and I have access to all of my data. So from a strategic perspective as well as the time perspective, the tool is unbelievable and we start our morning looking in this person’s in the red I know I need to reach out to them. This funnel is looking weaker. I know this is where I need to spend my time and so on.
And that’s all talent wall that’s what you said right? That’s I’ve not heard of that tool but it knowing your background as well. I know that our we have we have plenty of team members that are account managers on our staffing side. They They love their whiteboards. And that’s actually fascinating. I’m gonna have to look into talent wall. It sounds like it’s a really integral part of what you all do
we live in there. You?
Yeah, really? Yeah. That’s, that’s awesome. Um, so you mentioned, you started getting into metrics there, you started talking about quality of hire. You also you also gave some funnel metrics. You didn’t mention numbers or anything. But you were talking about the number of people in pipeline and those that were transitioning from stage to stage. What are the what are the handful of metrics that you find to be most important to lunchbox? Because I don’t think that every company has the same metrics, it should be important, but at lunchbox, what are you every morning looking at? To determine how your team is performing or every week? Etc? It’s
such a good question. And I think when it comes to metrics, there is no one size fits all recipe. And it’s important to look at the needs of the business and the team to determine what the right metrics are going to be. Nabeel, my CEO, always laughs and it’s a running joke. He says, I’m the only leader he tells to slow down, because we move very quickly. And I don’t believe that my team should be motivated by closing faster, I think they should be motivated by supporting the needs of the business, which may change and a hiring manager may need to think about things and take their time or a role may adjust. And I don’t want them to feel that they haven’t been successful if they’re being strategic. And so speed is not the goal. But that’s easy for me to say, because they’re so fast. That speed is is just a non issue. So if there was an organization where things were moving really slowly, and they were trying to dissect why, or they were losing a lot of candidates due to speed, I could see that being the number one metric that they need to work toward, we’re not in that place. We move very, very fast. And so some of the things that we’re generally looking at, not on a daily basis, but we use EOS internally. And so we have a scoreboard that’s very, very clear, as you know, our operating system on what our goals are. And so we look at percentage of positive feedback that we receive, which every candidate that gets passed an initial screening call gets a greenhouse survey. So externally, are we servicing our clients who are our candidates? Are we giving them a good experience, 75% plus is positive, we often get 80% plus, and we track that on a monthly basis. We look at quality of hire, we used to measure it in a much more complicated way. But we’ve landed on something Becca put together that’s been amazing, which is so easy. And at 60 days, a hiring manager gets a quick survey, that’s a one to five scale. Three being this was a good hire four great hire five superstar showing very strong early signs of success, to not meeting expectations when we shouldn’t have hired this person. So a temperature early temperature check. How did we do on this hire? The reason we’ve made it like a 60 day metric, because we don’t want it to be so lagging, we want it to be something that we can action quickly. And we do get performance review data that we can leverage as a more long term metric. But this allows us to action something quickly if we realize something isn’t working from a, you know, a process perspective.
Is that Is that done in greenhouse is that performance feedback being tracked in greenhouse or are you using another tool for that
She is doing it over slack she’s sending in she has a spreadsheet where she tracks everything. Yeah, she’s she’s an operator. Yeah, manually. We just started doing it recently, we were trying to figure out what the right metric was. And so
because there is no right metric, right, like, quality of hire is is the epitome of gray area. Right? Like, what is what quality means to me may mean something totally different to you and to the other person. But I think that you all I love the way that you’ve quantified and in been thoughtful about the timing, as well as the question that you’re asking very clear, and then syncing that up with one year will be very, like, I’m excited to hear what that looks like a year from now because I think that’s gonna be very cool.
Yeah, we’ll see how they correlate, sorry, I get excited to talk about this, we could talk about quality of hire could be a separate conversation for an hour or two, because I’ve done some very might I might
need to schedule. Yeah, yeah, we’re going to do something else on that. Because it’s as an RPO provider, you know, at endevis and So often, you know, clients will say to us, well, how are we going to measure quality of hire? And I’m like, Well, how are you going to measure quality of hire, because there’s only so much that we can do with it. Because when you are an external provider, we’re here to help you. But there, there has to be two sides to it. And it sounds like you also have buy in from your operations team to provide that feedback and the fact that you have somebody dedicated, dedicating a portion of their time to it. And right now it’s probably manageable because you guys are less than, you know, 500 employees. There will be a scalability factor that likely comes at some point in the future as well that I’d be intrigued to hear what you guys do with but what other metrics besides quality of hire in the percentage of positive feedback both of which I’m yeah, I love by the way, we’re very thoughtful
that you’re meant for when she gets up paying, it’s through our hrs automated that it’s this person 60 days and you just you know she sends them. So I don’t think it’s super heavy lift, but it will probably break one day. And we care a lot about diversity. So we use, we look at the percentage of our outreach, that was women and underrepresented groups to make sure that we’re always maintaining a focus on diversity, which is incredibly important to us as an organization. And to me strong recruiters should always have a focus on diversity. And then we used to look at number of hires, but to the point I made earlier, that really wasn’t a problem like we were operating. And Nabeel wanted to move away from a focus on quantity and more on quality. And so we’ve stopped measuring number of hires a week, and but we do look at number of offers declined, which I think has to do with an alignment issue. There’s something wrong with our comp, are we not expectation setting with candidates or we’re not being competitive, so we need to constantly track that to make sure there’s nothing glaringly wrong, we’re lucky, we close over 93% of people that we offer right now. So it’s pretty high. But if, for that reason alone, if we saw a week where there was a big spike, it would be something to dig into. So those are our core metrics. And then, on a quarterly basis, Rebecca does pull a report that’s in more detail where she’ll, she’ll, you know, look into percent of women we’ve hired and so on. And we’ll we’ll try to action that but those are a sort of ongoing rolling metrics.
How are you tracking the percent of outreach to diverse populations? How are you keeping up with that
Top Funnel, which is our sourcing tool tracks it, how they do it, you would have to ask them, I’m not sure. But they do provide that information to us. And it’s probably not 100% accurate, but it’s very low lift, and it’s probably 80% accurate, which is better than nothing. And it allows us to just make sure that we’re constantly on the right track.
I wrote a LinkedIn post about being intentional today. And even though it may not be 100% accurate, you’re being intentional about a tip and you track a number that is look that’s going to be difficult to track. That’s why I asked the question, because I would imagine that based upon my knowledge of the so called AI that exist and things of that nature, and you know, we all have LinkedIn and understand how LinkedIn recruiter seats work and whatnot. None of none of it’s perfect. But understanding how you’re doing it is also interesting. So kudos to top funnel for being able to track and manage that as well. So the, the conversation that we had, have had throughout, it’s been very strategic. And I think that listeners are going to, you know, if you’re a senior leader in an organization, if your manager, director VP, I think that that many people can pull a lot from, from the conversation we’re having today. And I’m excited to maybe follow up with you again in six months, 12 months to find out where lunchbox is, but when we first talked, I admired your path to where you got today. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to finish up today’s conversation talking about how you got to be a head of talent. Your your you are energetic and fiery. And I appreciate that about you. I think that probably plays a significant role, but talk about what you were doing before you got into talent acquisition and recruiting, and why you think that you’ve been able to ascend so quickly into the roles that you’ve been in?
Thank you. I’m laughing because I think everyone I work with would agree on the energy come to every meeting and fiery for for sure opinionated, but I love to debate I love to align and move forward. But I work with the right team. My backup is pretty non traditional. And I think that’s actually quite common. Most people don’t grow up saying I want to be in talent acquisition. That’s that’s very uncommon. But my background, I went to business school, I went to stern at NYU, I lived in New York. So that’s probably part of where I got my personality from. And I studied finance and marketing and international business and ended up in management consulting. I graduated in 2008 when the market crashed, so not a good time to go into finance. And so was really strategically problem solving. And I was working actually for a company called Lippincott that was largely focused on consulting around brand and marketing strategy. And then I moved into advertising I wanted to actually work on the executional side of things not just you know, kind of passed my strategy on to companies and then left and started my own thing for a little bit and ran my own business I was doing consulting focused on on marketing as well. And then when I decided I wanted to go back in house somewhere I missed having a team I felt like I was craving mentorship and there was more to learn. I sent my resume to a recruiter, but an agency I was focused largely on kind of marketing and advertising in the tech space. And she found my profile and said, I think you’d be a good recruiter, you understand the space for multiple facets and your entrepreneurial. So you must be scrappy. And you know, have you kind of ever thought about this and I hadn’t. But I ended up going through an interview process there and I really enjoyed it. So ended up in an agency kind of built a tech and product practice there that hadn’t previously existed, clients would reach out with these random roles. And I always was a very curious person with kind of learning attitude. So I was like, Oh, this sounds interesting. Let’s try and ended up really building my network in the tech community within that agency. And one of my clients ended up going over to a really prominent Canadian startup called virtual, and reached out to me and asked if I was interested, and I only have the best things to say about virtual is unbelievable experience for me. And I wasn’t really looking to move, but I went in and interviewed and the team, the people, I’ll never forget that interview experience. It was a gauntlet if I hadn’t had a management consulting background, I don’t think it ever would have passed, it was like market sizing questions and really kind of strategic and operational, but the people were so smart. And I just remember saying to myself, I will develop 10 years in in one if I work on this team. And so I ended up joining them as the first talent person as well. They were about 40 people in a handful of North American cities and builds with that team to 407 countries did all their international and expansion. Hiring very strategic, like the founders would come to me and say, We’re launching Hong Kong, how do we do that? We’re launching the UK? How do we do that? So figuring out who the big players were in the market, how do we operationalize our process? How do we localize our interviews and all of those things? So I think the management consulting piece really kind of helped me there. And I told you, you know, someone in my network ended up bringing me over here, but it’s, it’s actually felt like a very natural progression. And I don’t think people realize that talent is sales, it is strategy, it is operations, right? It’s, it’s a holistic function. It’s in many ways more like a GM or a mini CEO, right? You really need to be holistic than just executional. And yeah, it’s just felt like a very natural progression.
What do you think are the key attributes of successful recruiters
successful recruiters, firstly, you have to be human centric. Ultimately, it’s about the match between the right person and the right job. If you put the wrong person in, whether you’ve closed it or not, it’s bad for the business, it’s bad for the candidate, you haven’t successful, you haven’t been successful. So a human centric approach. You have to be gritty, you have to be comfortable with people saying no to you, and just, you know, keep on going and pushing. And from my experience, it’s a balance between strategic thinking it’s constantly problem solving my whole job, this isn’t working, how can we approach differently? How can we improve operational efficiency and figuring out how to build processes that scale and selling?
That’s awesome. Well, we’re reaching the end, Alison, we we’ve been going on now for 30 plus minutes, and I don’t want to keep to keep people too long. But this has been a great conversation. I’m very thankful for you joining. I think that you bring a very unique perspective. I love learning about lunchbox as well, the TA strategy metrics, etc. I think this was a great conversation today. If if individuals that listen want to reach out to you want to find you what is the best way for them to do that. So
LinkedIn is probably the best way I’ve tried to be responsive. If I’m not, it’s not with intention. It’s just that I’m busy. Or you can always shoot me an email. My lunchbox email is [email protected] if you want to link it and again, we’ll we’ll do my best to get back to you.
Are you guys hiring right now?
We have about 30 open roles, including one on my team. So if you’re interested, definitely reach out.
Awesome. Well, that’s a wrap on another episode of the talent tide podcast. Feel free to reach out to Alison on LinkedIn or myself if you have any suggestions on future guests or ideas or topics for for the podcast. Thank you all for joining and we’ll see you soon.