E373 Recruiting Community: CXR Israel Delegation Learnings

Earlier this month, Gerry Crispin, Barb Ruess, Kristen Bailey and a full delegation of TA and HR leaders traveled to Israel to learn more about their employment, technology and culture. This week the three of them join Chris Hoyt to share some of their key takeaways from the trip.

E373 Recruiting Community: CXR Israel Delegation Learnings

Earlier this month, Gerry Crispin, Barb Ruess, Kristen Bailey and a full delegation of TA and HR leaders traveled to Israel to learn more about their employment, technology and culture. This week the three of them join Chris Hoyt to share some of their key takeaways from the trip.

Barb Ruess, CXR 
I think we should talk about the fact that Kristen just signed up and is going to be joining us for our leadership session in Napa this fall.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:12
Exciting well we’re already recording so I think that is an easy thing for us. Then you did it easy peasy. Nobody has any crazy travel stories on the way back from Israel.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:26
No, why would we walk away the second Barb Did you have a little

Barb Ruess, CXR 0:31
I had I had a horrible trip getting out to Israel. I do believe I powered through on day one. With less than 90 minutes asleep and thanks to a walk along the Mediterranean with Kristen which got me through dinner. But But I’m very thankful to say no travelers she’s coming back

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:49
There you go.

Barb Ruess, CXR 0:51
It was actually quite easy getting home. That was crazy.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:56
Kristen you stay you stay for a few extra days.

Kristen Bailey, Paradox 0:59
I did. I stayed for three more days, which are Paradox Israel team back in Tel Aviv. It was great. continued the journey of spending time learning and experiencing the culture and I got to do fun things with the team go to dinner, kind of see what they do. We even had yoga in the office every other week. So I got to do yoga with you vol who is our yoga instructor who comes into the office. And that’s very common. In Israel, culturally, a lot of companies do have some kind of wellness programs where they, they might have somebody come on site. So I’d like to participate in that too.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:42
That’s great. I’m torn on intra office yoga. And this, I just I never I never really feel you know, I’m comfortable. Not comfortable. I don’t know.

Kristen Bailey, Paradox 1:50
I’m no good at it. But it was it was a lot of fun. And she taught the class in Hebrew. So I just had to kind of watch and listen, which was a lot of fun, too. So another another cultural experience that I got.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:04
I love it. All right. Well, let’s, let’s jump right in. Is everybody ready to start? Sure. Okay, here we go.

CXR Announcer 2:11
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Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:41
All right, everybody, welcome to another edition of recruiting community podcast I am your under sort of host today on this beautiful May Day, I actually have nothing to say Believe it or not on this topic, I might poke a little bit here and there. But I did not go on this amazing trip that we brought some folks in to talk about. But so in the meantime, while we’re getting this set up, I just wanna remind everybody CXR.works/podcast, you can see all of our previous episodes, you can see what’s coming up. That’s a great place to check, where you can see those things. We’re on the Twitter and the LinkedIn, and the YouTube and all the social channels where you can check those out too, usually will stream those live. So if you see a chat box or comment window, there, go ahead and chime in. We get back to everybody who leaves a comment, lots of good comments, we get some of the really not great comments, but we’re going to jump in we do have a fun topic today. I want to get right started. So here we go. I’m gonna bring in my spirit animal, Mr. Crispin, and Gerry, how are you?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:35
I am wonderful. And it was an amazing trip.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:38
Well, so before we bring in our amazing guests, why don’t you this is not the first trip that CareerXroads has helped to coordinate and to really push you but you’ve been part of this founding team that’s put this program together want you share just to kind of a little bit high level view of kind of what that program is and what you do when you take folks on the adventure.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:57
Well, the whole idea of this was to kind of step outside the US box and you know, look at how culture is driving incentives for hiring and for work. And it’s it’s fascinating where we’re so bound up in the culture in the United States. It’s it’s just a big aha whenever you go to another country. We started this while you’re I started a years ago, but then Sherm was Sherman Sherm didn’t really want to be doing it somewhere around 2014 15 When Cuba became available, and China Gorman and myself put together a group of about 20 some odd people to go to China. And since we’ve been to, you know, Eastern Europe, Singapore, you are with us in Japan. So, you know, we’ve been trying like crazy to get to Israel for the last couple years and basically what we do is we see professors Our business we talk to them and their students, we talk to startups and other kinds of companies local. And as well as multinational. We talk to the government ministers of whatever and Cuba, we spoke the first session we had was with the minister of propaganda. So you know, it’s it gets to be really interesting. And a lot of aha was, and I love the conversation. So when when a dozen people get to have a conversation, for several days about what they’re observing, you learn an awful lot. And so for me, it’s, it’s a great learning opportunity.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:40
Yeah, and I love how immersive they are it really, really fantastic, fantastic experience. So let’s so let’s do this. You, Gerry is going to drive today. And I’m just I’m going to be the Podcast Producer sort of in the background, let’s introduce our first guest. It is our own Barb Ruess. Barb, you can hear it. Let’s just fix the screen a little bit. Say hello to everybody and give us give us a intro for those who are not fortunate enough to know who you are. Give us the escalator pitch on what you do. Employee number three, at CXR.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 6:10
I’m going to start working that into my normal introduction that I’m employee number three. Yeah, so I am the VP of Operations here at CareerXroads And as in many places, operations is a nice big umbrella. So that could be everything from you know, helping run the logistics and setting up the meetings and finding speakers and finding guests for our podcast, two marketing, communications and overseeing all sorts of member management and things behind the scenes. But my favorite thing is just getting to talk to members and interact with them and, and learn more about the work that they’re doing and how I can connect them with each other.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:47
So basically, BB is all the work.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 6:49
Yes, I would agree.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:54
All right. And Bob, you went on this trip. So we brought you in here, it says a no brainer. I’m excited to hear what you’re gonna have to say. And then we also have another special guest with us today longtime industry friend, Kristen Bailey, Kristen, say hello to everybody.

Kristen Bailey, Paradox 7:09
Hi, everyone. I’m so excited to be here and talk about this amazing journey that we took together. So my name is Kristen Bailey. I am currently the VP of talent acquisition at Paradox. If you are unfamiliar with paradox, we are a technology startup. We make conversational recruiting software that helps to free up talent acquisition professionals and hiring managers from all of the things that they don’t want to be spending their time doing so they can spend more time with people. I have had a long history with CXR. Before I joined paradox. Last year, I spent many years with Amazon, and had the pleasure to get connected to this amazing community. So we had so much fun, and I’m really excited to be here to talk about our experience.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:00
Well, I’m before, before I duck into the shadows, just a little bit, I do want to call out it is really interesting to have. You’re in the vendor space, but you’re on the TA side. So a lot of the podcasts you see when you get somebody in, right, you get somebody’s talking about the product or the expertise in the space or the platform, etc. But you’re the TA leader. So you’re Yeah, you’re all hiring all the time. So I love it.

Kristen Bailey, Paradox 8:24

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:25
So Gerry, I’m gonna give you the mic, obviously, because you were the you were the Pooh Bah, that was running the show. So I love it here. We’ve

Gerry Crispin, CXR 8:33
me I wasn’t running the show, I was just sitting off to the side, everybody. Everybody figured out very quickly that China managed a lot of the gracious discussions with people that we had to deal with. And Barb, in her own way, helped with the logistics as at various points in time where things got stuck. So it’s always it’s always great. What I want to do, though, is jump right in and ask the two of you what there has to be, you know, a little bit of a glimmer that that was an aha moment. You know, maybe there were several but, you know, give me one aha moment during the course of the week that we had together. And Barb, why don’t I start with you?

Okay, I was gonna let Kristen go first. So I didn’t steal any of her thunder, but I’ll happily go first. I do have multiple takeaways. I’m going to pick one that I think sort of ties together both culturally and the business side. You know, it was interesting, the the time that we were there, I would say it was almost 60/40 60% business related discussions, meetings, people that we were meeting and then 40% Just pure culture, which I’ve certainly soaked up every minute that I could and and tried to give myself a few more on the side. But I think my biggest takeaway from all of those discussions is the “can do” was a spirit that I heard from all the Israelis, whether it was from the startup panel that we listened to, whether it was people we were having dinner with, whether it was even the people in the different government ministries that we talked to you, there is clearly and I don’t know if it’s, it’s probably a lot of things. I don’t know if it’s because Israel is such a young nation. I don’t know if the required military service, that’s a whole nother topic that they all go through. If it’s the fact that they are truly a desert nation with no resources really of their own. So they have to just from a, you know, a living standpoint, they have to be pretty creative in their solutions. But I loved the spirit and the energy that I heard from Israel, and I thought it was distinctive.

It certainly was Kristen, how about you?

Kristen Bailey, Paradox 10:46
Yeah, I would echo everything that Barb said something that I was reflecting on a little bit was, I think this was a really special design of a trip, I’ve had the privilege of traveling International, internationally quite a bit. I’ve led global teams in the past. And I think so often, you know, we go on a journey, you go visit your teams, and you spend a lot of time in the office and a lot of time in conference rooms. And one of the things that I loved that we got a chance to do was really to learn about the country itself, to learn about the culture to learn about the people, and balance out this experience over maybe a few extra days, that I think helped me come away with such a deeper appreciation for what it means to do business in Israel, what it means to support and hire talent and manage talent in Israel grow and develop talent, I just, I think that the additional investment of time that we made. And this really interesting, well rounded learning experience was unlike many of the other business trips I’ve taken where, you know, I’ve had, I feel like I’ve got a lot of stamps in my passport, but I came away with a much deeper, richer understanding of Israel than I was than I was expecting.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 12:11
Yeah, you know, I think there’s a surface field that we all have for different kinds of countries, sometimes it’s misinformation. But, you know, in the case of service, in the case of Israel, most people do realize that everyone after high school with, with some exceptions, everyone goes into the service. And they usually go in for two, three years, that kind of thing. In the United States, it’s a little bit longer, it’s often four to six. And I had an aha moment when I suddenly realized that Israel is a very small country. And in the United States, if you go into the service, if your kid goes in the service, you don’t see him or her for months on end. In Israel, with few exceptions, you might be seeing them every single day, they can become at home. And you know, why is because they don’t make much money. It’s a volunteer, it’s a volunteer army, it was clear, they didn’t make enough money for them to feed themselves. So So parents were still responsible, in some some respects for helping out, I found that amazing. But I also, I also realized how immersive then the entire society is, in this, this part of a military culture, that is a commitment to defending their nation, and that by the time they finish that, and then they seem to all want to go somewhere else, you know, for a year, and they’ve got some money to do it. So we learned a lot about those kinds of things. It’s no wonder that when they come back, they are a lot more mature than most other folks who are going to college, if you will find the professional level, or starting a career in a trade and are at they’re much more likely to have a motivation that is very intense. And, and very confident of what they’re doing. And that’s that spirit. I think that you’re talking about Barb. And it’s it to me that that whole piece of it really feeds into how they jumpstart their careers when they’re in their mid 20s.

Yeah, so and I’ll toss this to you in a second, Kristen. The other thing about the military is the connections they make and how often we heard people say, Oh, I found this opportunity because I served with so and so. Or Oh yeah, when we it was time for us to make a hiring shift. I reached out to the people from the unit that they served with and we thought we’re gonna point out the Kristen is correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that the team in Tel Aviv for paradox didn’t they all get to know each other that way too.

Kristen Bailey, Paradox 14:58
Yeah, some of the connections started There and then continued. So yeah, so some of the people who had joined the startup came through connections through military service. And I do think it’s interesting though, because the way I was sitting with our team for lunch, when I was in the office, and everyone kind of went around and shared what their role was in the military, in lots of ranges of what people did, but I think it also kind of creates a sense of urgency to get your career started, because they’ve, you know, the trade off is like, yes, they’re more mature, coming out of military and university, sometimes they don’t even have to complete university, because they’ve received such rich training through the military, that they can go straight into their career. But, you know, relative to like, the experience that we might have in the states of going into college, and you’re pretty young, and then they just feel this sense of urgency to get going, right. And they’ve all had this amazing shared experience that, you know, kind of has you grow up a little bit quickly. So I think that we felt that through, you know, that sense of duty and service, and they were just taking their careers and the opportunity to build a business as seriously as rather impressive.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 16:23
And then then we saw it off a lot of the startup nation now part of it, I think, was we intended to talk to a number of different startups Paradox being one pathologic be another HiredScore was another that was very helpful. So we had contacts with, with folks who had teams in, in Israel. But But we also recognize that a lot of the folks in the military were part of, of these technology units that kind of help them think through the way in which they might want to be involved in technology when they got out. So it seems to me that there’s that there’s a, there’s a lot of seeds planted for startups. And then of course, there seems to be a lot of investment there as well. Yeah. We did have one night where we had a lovely dinner and hired scores of founders apartment, and that was very enjoyable. There were some investment folks there with us. I think that for me, that was that was a really good set of conversations that we had. How about how about the the tourism piece? Was there any one thing that stood out, because obviously, you know, the United States is a mate. Israel may be a young age, but it really is very old when it comes to the cultures in the Middle East. And so when they’re talking about, you know, time, they’re talking about 2000 years ago, 3000 years ago, and we’re struggling with thinking, you know, 400. So tell me a little bit about what what you saw that you you hope to see perhaps or that you thought was a surprise, from a tourism point of view?

Kristen Bailey, Paradox 18:21
I would say maybe two things. I think one is the you know, I think of seeing old take on a new definition, right. And when you said, you know, the US is a young a young nation. It’s just really amazing to have, you know, 1000s and 1000s of years of history that we were able to learn about in Israel, and then also just the size, I think one of the comparisons that we were given was that Israel is, is would fit inside Lake Michigan, Lake Michigan, if that was correct. And I think that’s the so it’s pretty amazing. We covered a lot of ground as well, you know, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and then some of the other we went up north to Haifa. I think so it was pretty, pretty amazing that within you know, a week we were able to to see so much. I think that was pretty special as well.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 19:21
Yeah, I think so too. I loved the day that we got to spend wandering the alleys and shops and into in the Old City and you’re living in the wall today that that was amazing. But you know, it’s funny, Gerry, you mentioned just a few minutes ago, we had that amazing dinner at Athena Karp’s place and we got to meet some people. I think perhaps my favorite experiences that we had in Israel, were just when we got to have the different dinners and that dinner that we had, we got to share a Sabbath dinner with someone who lives in Jerusalem she opened her home to us and we got to go in her home and and learn all about the Sabbath dinner and learn about her and share that meal and that was a really special highlight. It’s something that, you know, a lot of people get to go to Israel and they get to walk the alleys of Jerusalem or they might get to see the beautiful hills and gardens in Haifa. But they don’t think our new people get to have that experience.


Kristen Bailey, Paradox 20:12
yrWell, I would say like one of the things I love about learning about a new place, a new study a new culture is through food. And so I think we, you know, I think I said, I’ve never eaten so many beautiful vegetables on a business trip ever before in my life, it was, it was spectacular. And again, with, you know, being able to be not only in some amazing restaurants, but also in some homes, and having home cooked meals was such such a treat as well. And again, you just feel like you learned so much about the culture through those experiences.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 20:50
My I think what a peak moment for me was just seeing the, the importance of Masada, when we went to, to that, I thought that was very significant. It’s it’s part of military culture as well. And it’s, it’s, it’s just an interesting story. There are some controversial elements of that story. And and our guide basically said, he understood that so did the society, but they decided to accept the story, because it’s so meaningful to where Israel is today and going tomorrow. So I thought that was kind of deep.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 21:30
Well, I love the fact that each of you were talking, you’re not just talking about the startup leaders that you met, or the established organizations and the teams and the leaders that you met there, but you’re also talking about the immersion into the culture and into people’s homes, which I found when we did Japan journey together. And if you have done many of these, I found that to be so valuable, to really just be be part of feel more like part of that community and to really sort of walk a walk a half a mile in, you know, a local shoes.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 22:01
Yeah, I think I think you see in the culture, the kind of commitment that the society has to, to work together to engage, we saw the efforts that were being made by Ernst and Young and pandologic. And I think one or two others, relative to one of the tensions that isn’t talked about in the United States hardly at all. And that is the tension between the secular Jews and the ultra religious Jews, the ultra religious Jews, the men do not work. They do not go to military service. They are supported by the state, because they study Judaism. And the state when they was was founded, decided it would support that. However, they also have very large families. And the cost of the state is growing at a rapid pace. So there’s this, this this concept of how do we, how do we take this diverse group and that is, that’s how they look at diversity, by the way, is they view a one of the diverse elements of their society is as the ultra religious and so they’ve been hiring a lot of the women who are ultra religious, who will work, but not with any men around and only for so many hours a day. So the accommodations are, are really unlike anything we would see here in the United States. So it’s kind of amazing when you when you start looking at how they have programs that relate to DNI, they’re talking about Palestinians. And then obviously, there’s an issue with how does the Palestinian get to work? How does that person get out of where they were to where they need to be for work? becomes an interesting set of issues as well. So between the politics, the diversity, the you know, the home kind of thing, I think we had an extraordinary time.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 24:08
Let me I have two questions for you before we wrap up. And I think it was mentioned earlier, you know, Athena Karp was just a wonderful and super generous host. To have the team there along with a myriad of from what I understood in the pictures were amazing, these these startup leaders. And so my question really is, I guess to each of you, was there a big takeaway for you as to why maybe we see so many startups coming out of Israel? I mean, and I made this may be anecdotal for me, but it seems to me that proportionately we see way more startups and tech in the tech space, at least in our industry coming out of that market than the nearly anywhere else.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 24:48
Well, I think I think it was at EY where they said, and I’d have to go fact check myself but where they said, I think Israel was second only to Silicon Valley as far as the number of startups that they have. And I think A big part of that is their defense industry is very high tech. So I think a lot of the people, you’re the young people who are going to the required military service, and many of them are going to be embedded in that technology. So I think they come out with a much different perspective of what they can do with technology, and a much different base. And that’s certainly part of it. Kristen, what did you think about why there were so many?

Kristen Bailey, Paradox 25:23
Yeah, I think the other piece of it too, was, you know, many of the people we talked to talked about, it isn’t a country with a significant amount of other types of natural resources. And so they invest heavily in human capital. And so the combination of the military experience the focus on technology, the focus on education, that and again, that experience where people are coming out of the military, and they’re like, they want to go get their life started. And so this entrepreneurial mindset exists. And people are, you know, they’re trained and educated. And they’ve, they’ve worked in some pretty high stakes types of situations that I think prepares them for taking risks, prepares them for building. And so I think it’s just this really kind of special combination of factors that contribute to that,

Gerry Crispin, CXR 26:17
I think they really liked the small group aspect of that as well in terms of how they pulled together. And I think of Maya Huber, who is also was was very, very nice and gracious and in and giving us an opportunity to have a dinner with her on on the water. So I thought that was really critical. And she she was a different kind of entrepreneur from some of the others. It wasn’t a tech based focus that she she had. But But I do believe that there’s the the other factor is there is a lot of money coming that way, when somebody has a good idea. And so I think a lot of these folks who are now a little bit more mature, not necessarily wanting to go into a large corporation, having some friends and and that innovation spirit, if you will, coming up with interesting ideas that that need to be fleshed out. And somebody seems to be always stepping up with some bucks.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 27:24
I love that. Well, so let’s we’re gonna start with Gerry. This I asked because Jerry knows the question I asked this question at the end of every podcast. Gerry never gets to answer the question because he’s always co hosting with me. But Gerry, if you were going to write a book about your experience your trip to Israel, what would the title of that book be?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 27:47
It’s deal it from Masada, live free, die free.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 27:53
Okay, plagiarism is hard work. Nobody, nobody’s gonna be.

Barb, how about you?

Barb Ruess, CXR 28:00
arbJust is my book just about Israel?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 28:02
About your trip your trip? Overall?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 28:05
I think I think I’d want to take some sort of a broader view and just say something about why taking an immersive trip is beneficial. I thought very good title. But, but yeah, so something around why it’s important to not just visit a place to try to immerse yourself in the culture. So that’s what it would be about, and then I’d have to think about a title.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 28:23
Okay. All right, you start with the subtext, subtitle work. That’s why they give us editors, that’s fine publishing companies. That’s good. Kristen, how about yourself? What would the title of your book covering your trip to Israel be? Oh, my

Kristen Bailey, Paradox 28:36
Oh gosh, what a great, what a great question. Um, you know, and do something along the lines of like, you know, get out of the conference room. Right. I think that’s, you know, to kind of sum up this experience, the, you know, the different elements of, you know, whether it’s the tourism, the eating the relationships and the learning, I think it’s, it would be something like that.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 29:03
Yeah. Wonderful. Well, now, let me ask, and we’re going to work it back. Who would you give the first signed copy to?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 29:13
Everybody on the trip?

Barb Ruess, CXR 29:15
Yeah. See, I would give it to my kids. And I’m like, it’s like, if it’s filling one copy, I’d give it to one of my kids. Because I want them to think about those perspectives now.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 29:27
We’re gonna it’s gonna sell really well, Barb. So you know, you’re gonna have a lot to be able to give out so it’s gonna be good.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 29:34
All we got to do is put it on Amazon and a category and boom, your best seller on Amazon. Right. So it works. We know that game works. Perfect. Well, look, Barb, thank you so much for joining the show today. Gerry, you’re always on here. It’s fine. Kristen, we just appreciate your time to thanks for thanks for taking the time out, not just to go on the adventure with the entire delegation, but then to also, you know, join us afterwards do a little recap, we’re really grateful for that.

Kristen Bailey, Paradox 30:02
It’s my pleasure. I mean, I think it’s what makes this community so special and why I enjoy it so much is just the opportunity to learn those options. Just continue on. So appreciate it.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 30:12

Gerry Crispin, CXR 30:14
We were a dozen folks, all of whom sees what we’re doing through a slightly different window. And I really am very grateful to listen to my colleagues, my peers and colleagues to who who see it just a little different than I do, because that’s really where a lot of learning comes from.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 30:35
I will tell you an interesting, I did not expect this the demographic when I saw the first team photo, of all of you that a dozen of you that went on this trip, Gerry, you were the only male in the group.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 30:51
There were a lot of jokes that seemed here, randomly on the internet in relation to that, and I did not respond to any of them.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 31:02
Good. You’re Good Man, Charlie Brown. Yeah. All right. Well, look, I’m just gonna do this real quick. Everybody hang out for a second, I’ll just remind everybody cxr.worksg/podcast That’s where you can find more of these episodes, you can listen to previous episodes. And of course, what’s ahead, we got a couple of those coming out, we’re excited about and then I’ll just promote one more thing. cxr.works/events. So if you are a current member, and even if you’re not a current member, you can kind of get a look at what’s going on in the space. And what we’ve got coming up live events. We’ve got the monthly lectures, we just had a fantastic lecture given by Antonio Forster just just a wonderful segment done about an hour long on closing the gender gap, that divide that is in tax, just a fantastic job on that I encourage you check it out. It’s in the library. But you can also see what’s coming up on the events down the road. And with that, we’re just going to say we will see everybody next week. And hopefully you’ve connected with each of us on LinkedIn. So we’ll see you online. Take care everybody.

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