S4 E42 | CXR 25 – What’s So Great About Community with Chris Hoyt & Mary Brogan

Chris Hoyt connects with Mary Brogan of MMC to talk about why community matters in our industry and how 25 years of CXR has benefited her both personally and professionally.

Chris Hoyt 0:00
Welcome to the CXR, channel, our premier podcast for talent acquisition and talent management. Listen in as the CXR community discusses a wide range of topics focused on attracting, engaging and retaining the best talent. We’re glad you’re here. All right, well, obviously I am Chris Hoyt with CareerXroads, and I have the pleasure of being joined by Mary Brogan who is currently with MMC. But Mary, where, where were you when we met? Do you remember what organization you were at when we met?

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 0:32
I do I do. I worked for Northrop Grumman. And I want to say that I first met I was first introduced to Gerry and Mark Mailer. Back at a I think it was a Sherm conference in Washington, DC, Washington, DC metro area, and I would say was probably about 15 years ago. And I remember sitting in the audience listening to Gerry’s speech. And of course, I just I found it fascinating to sort of, you know, listen to the conversation and the dialogue. And they Gerry had brought up some, some guest speakers from other companies. And I asked a couple of questions, which I often do. And after after the session, I want to say it was Mark, and maybe even Gerry came up to me and said, Have you ever thought about joining CareerXroads? And I want to say the rest is history from there.

Chris Hoyt 1:33
Wow, that’s great. So it has it has no i don’t i wish i knew the last time Mark. For those who don’t know Mark Mailer co founded CareerXroads with Gerry. And then I bought Mark’s half the business and now Mark is sitting nicely. I’d like to say sitting nicely on a lake somewhere but turns out he’s doing some entrepreneurial consulting. So I’d like I’d like to be able to tell you the last time Mark went to Sherm meeting I’m sure you know Mark has it down. Easily easily. But it’s not uncommon to see those guys do do panels. I think you’ve been on a few panels, right.

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 2:08
Yeah, you know, a couple times have had had the pleasure of participating in a number of sessions and, and in all honesty, I think that’s where the greatest value has been, for me personally and obviously professionally as having an opportunity to meet with be a part of the conversation and really gain the value of other people’s experiences. Because while I’d like to think that I had, you know, incredible managers and leaders and worked for some great companies, large multinational global organizations, the benefit of being able to just sit down and you know, have a beer right and have a conversation, or a cocktail or glass of wine And, you know, really kind of share what your experience has been and what works for you and what doesn’t work for you, is so invaluable. And it’s those life lessons and the continuation of that. So it really transcends the organization itself, because you’re making those lifelong connections, professionally, and it all honestly, sometimes sometimes Personally, I, I went to Gerry and Mark again back in 2010. And said, I think I’m ready to make a job change. And through really the efforts of those conversations and making some additional introductions, I have subsequently landed three different jobs. And so, you know, that was really life altering from a professional perspective because they, you know, connected me with with people in the industry, who, you know, really presented me with some really unique oportunities throughout my my career. So it’s been a great, it’s been a great experience.

Chris Hoyt 4:05
Yeah, I think Well, I think you nail it. I mean, I think that what’s been really interesting and I was you know, as a member before I was the president, that’s my favorite hair clip line for those who are old enough to remember those commercials. I think my favorite part was the community aspect, right, the networking aspect of it. I’ve said this before, I’ll say it 100 times, I think just just short of LinkedIn Talent Connect, I just didn’t think there was any networking opportunity that came close for me or my team, right? Because to your point, the connections that get made there, but what’s really interesting is that the professional networking, it just seems to have sort of transmogrified into something that’s much more personal. And and I love you know, Gerry said that a while back, but you know, in the last 25 years, what has really been created as a professional community of people just really give a shit about each other?

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 4:53

Chris Hoyt 4:54
Right. And so whether you’re just in town, and we go have dinner and there’s no there’s no work, talk at all, it’s just catching up on what’s going on and Are the rescue dogs that we may share? Or just you know, career shifts? I think that’s a fascinating thing. You know, so that makes CXR are kind of unique.

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 5:09
Well, I don’t think my feeling is that people don’t have an agenda, right? There’s a level of authenticity, to participating in this, this unique community. And, and that’s so valuable. And, and to your point, one of the, one of the opportunities I’ve had is beyond meeting people professionally, you know, I’m friends with them on Facebook, and you know, I’ve gone out to dinner and I get together with them or, you know, I text them because, you know, something’s going on in their life and I, you know, I want to stay, I want to stay engaged and involved and so, yeah, it certainly it certainly goes beyond just that professional dynamic to so much more than that. And, and that’s, you know, that’s invaluable.

Chris Hoyt 5:55
Yeah. And I think we’re, you know, we’re doing some interesting things I think that are a little bit different. Also in that Not, not always are we able to keep our members as members. So sometimes, you know, budgets get tied up or they move to organizations that maybe the organization is not a fit to stay within CXR, but I think we’re leaning in with our alumni or friends and alumni. Gerry’s got a series coming up that he’ll share with Shannon, I think the first one we’re going to do in that and it’s, it’s for alumni and for members to be able to attend, and it’s on equity in the workplace with talent. So that’s going to be kind of interesting. But the reason I brought that up is I wanted to tell you, obviously, you being a multi company, member alum, it’s a lot of fun to have you and we have these fun challenge coins that we issue.

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 6:39

Chris Hoyt 6:40
Right that we typically do. Uh oh uh oh,

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 6:42
Uh oh

Chris Hoyt 6:43
That we typically ask to see at our meetings, but I’m not challenging your coin. But what I am going to tell you is we have a new coin, …

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 6:52

Chris Hoyt 6:52
that is specifically for alumni and friends. And we’re going to be sending you one of these …

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 6:57

Chris Hoyt 6:58
as a way of saying, you know, thanks for being part of the family for so long.

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 7:02
That’s awesome. Well, I appreciate that. And I do have mine. I think I have at least I have at least five or six of them. And I will tell you that I recently moved about four months ago and I know that they’re still in boxes in my office because my office is not fully unpacked. But when we were packing my husband who served as I know you did as well so thank you for your service. Thank you. Thank you. So my challenge coins and he’s like, oh, what do you have those challenge coins for? And I guess I’d never showed him to them before but so we had that unique conversation and it was really kind of a neat It’s a neat way right to represent the fact that you’re a member and and I will make sure I have mine the next time I see you because I will get mine out first so I get a I get a free drink.

Chris Hoyt 7:49
That’s right. Well, they’re always fun. I don’t think you know all the travel obviously, right now and i think i think that I’m struggling but I know Gerry’s gotta be twice as struggling. I think this is the last long as he’s not been on the road, but it was it was a fun thing for us to implement those coins and then find out that there wasn’t a trip we took anywhere in the world. We didn’t run into somebody who had a coin that didn’t challenge us, which was, which was a lot of fun.

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 8:14
Well, and I think that’s awesome. Actually, let’s just be honest, I think the person that we really need to be thinking about right now is Gerry’s wife.

Chris Hoyt 8:22
Because he is home all day with her.

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 8:24
Absolutely. God bless that woman.

Chris Hoyt 8:26
That’s fair. That’s fair.

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 8:28
There you go.

Chris Hoyt 8:28
Yeah. Well, let me ask you something. So we, you know, we talked about the fun that we have, but but just very quickly, from an industry in a talent acquisition perspective, just to change gears for a minute. Is there anything that you see kind of kind of brewing up bubbling up that is, is really becoming a serious challenge, from your perspective, within the world of talent right now with with everything we have going on with the societal unrest and with the pandemic, and is there something you’re seeing sort of bubbling up, that the community might be able to help or weigh in on or that you might be able to lean into for a little bit of, if not discussion around, maybe some advice?

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 9:07
Sure. I mean, I think there’s I certainly think there’s two things right now. The first thing is, is the candidate experience, and really trying to appreciate at this stage when there are so many folks unemployed, globally, but certainly if we take the United States, you know, as an example, how do we ensure that we continue to foster a really positive candidate experience? Because I think what we’re going to find is that there are going to be candidates who are going to be applying to roles that they may or may not be qualified for. And I think that they’re already, you know, in a in a state where they’re struggling, right, from an economic perspective, and how do we preserve the integrity of the process, but you know, and the bandwidth right in the capability of our resources but still show them that they’re valued. And so I think that’s, that’s probably one of the, you know, most important issues right now. And then I think the second is something that everybody is concerned about, which is diversity inclusion. And so, again, I think, you know, companies need to need to approach this from a very authentic and real perspective, I think there has to be a thoughtful strategy on how you manage this. But I know a lot of the conversations that we’re having internally, is it’s not just about your talent, attraction and recruitment strategy. It’s about what you’re doing when people get in the door. And so I think that you can’t do one without the other. And so really, it’s being able to evaluate and consider holistically what an organization is doing through the entire employee lifecycle.

Chris Hoyt 10:49
I’m so glad you said that because, you know, it’s going to be really interesting in my opinion, is gonna be really, really interesting to see. You know, it’s such a shift from a talent supply and demand standpoint, if we continue to see the leader is really, really focused on candidate experience, right? When the when there becomes such a surplus of people applying for the jobs, it’s going to be really interesting to see how many organizations continue to take that candidate experience very seriously or figure out how to have the bandwidth to reply, or set up some automation, or make sure that that candidate care level doesn’t drop just because it can’t, you know, because there’s 100 other people that want that same job. So I suspect we’ll see fullcycle for some organizations, they’ll they’ll drop the ball on that, but I’m really hoping that those who’ve been passionate, who’ve been part of the candies, were part of ATAP who’ve been members of CXR. Really kind of hold that up. Right, keep keep that standard elevated.

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 11:45
Yeah, and I think part of it too, is how do we best how do we best leverage automation, you know, in a way, again, that makes the candidate feel valued. So I think there’s a unique opportunity to really capitalize on some really great technology out there too

Chris Hoyt 11:59
For sure, for sure. Well, Mary, thank you for your insight on that. Thank you so much for being a CXR member and for joining us for what 10 to 15 years now, but more importantly, thanks for being part of the family thanks for being one of our friends.

Mary Brogan, Marsh & McLennan Companies 12:12
I have feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to belong to the organization and and I look forward to being a part of it for years to come. So thank you.

Chris Hoyt 12:21
Well, we’re lucky to have you so thanks

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