S4 E100 | Uncorked: Sipping on a California Sidecar with Brett Coin

Okta's Brett Coin teaches Chris and Gerry how to make a California Sidecar while discussing the challenges of retaining and attracting talent.
S4 E100 Uncorked with Brett Coin

Chris Hoyt, CXR 
I’m just going to turn it on in case we say something funny.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:01
I’m prepared

Brett Coin, Okta 0:02
Exactly. What are you making for dinner tonight Gerry?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:04
Parmesan, I haven’t started drinking yet.

Brett Coin, Okta 0:06
I just made my just made mine. I can lift both arms now so

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:10
I haven’t had a drink yet, so I’m not going to do it

Brett Coin, Okta 0:12
Getting old wear and tear.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:13
Oh, wow

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:14
Parmesan

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:15
You’re ahead!

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:16
Well, let’s kick it off.

Announcer 0:17
Welcome to CareerXroads Uncorked a series of member chats inspired by good drinks and current talent acquisition trends. Your hosts Chris Hoyt and Gerry Crispin break down today’s recruiting headlines while reviewing a select beverage of choice with industry leaders and influencers. Join us for a drink and conversation.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:36
Welcome to another edition of Uncorked I am Chris Hoyt with CXR. I’ve got Gerry Crispin on of course, Gerry say hello.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:43
Hello,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:44
And today’s guest is Brett Coin of Okta Brett, how are you?

Brett Coin, Okta 0:49
Good. How are you two doing? Good to see you.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:51
Doing well feel good.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:53
Fabulous.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:54
Feel good. So before we jump in, talk a little bit about you what you’ve got on your mind. What What was the drink of choice for today’s uncorked Brett.

Brett Coin, Okta 1:02
The drink of choice today is what’s called a California sidecar. Now I didn’t know what this was until I moved to the San Jose area. And there was a little restaurant up the street. They had this drink on the menu. I like whiskey, and it’s a whiskey bass. And it was one of the best drinks I’ve ever had. And so I tried to make them but boy, I can’t make them like they can’t. But I do my best.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:24
Alright, good stuff. That’s good. All right, so we’re gonna start making it. Right now you’ve got a head start on us. You can walk us through, you can walk us through your recipe and then Gerry and I will try to recreate it on our end.

Brett Coin, Okta 1:36
Alright, sounds good. All right. So I’m going off memory here because I don’t have my stuff in front of you. But I’d say maybe. Do you have a mixer with the device and a shaker? Perfect. So I would do about two maybe three generous count of the whiskey. That’s first, depending on what kind of Friday you’re looking to have. And then you got one shot of grand marnier and one shot of …why am I blanking?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 2:01
No, that was it.

Brett Coin, Okta 2:04
No, no. There’s another one. It’s the oh my gosh, I always throw a shot of maybe I went off my own recipe script that the California sidecar that the restaurant gave me I always throw in a shot of Disaronno. I think that adds a good touch.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 2:17
I don’t I don’t have Disaronno because it wasn’t on that list.

Brett Coin, Okta 2:22
Well, that list was right off there. That list was right on their website. So I almost added that myself. But yeah, that’s some orange bitters. And then if you really want to do it, right, but this isn’t easy to do. They always put like a brown sugar rim on there.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 2:36
But I’ve got I’ve got a brown sugar rim on frozen,

Brett Coin, Okta 2:40
Perfect

Gerry Crispin, CXR 2:40
Martini. Yeah,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:42
How much orange bitters?

Brett Coin, Okta 2:44
I like a little extra just because it kind of takes the edge off. But you know, whatever you’re comfortable with. And then you know what’s really interesting when you go there when they pour the grand monument at the end, they lay it on fire. And it just does a quick and it’s just show I think they’ll Don’t be doing that. They’ll light on thing on fire. And then they usually put a twist in there like a lemon twist. I didn’t do that today. But you know.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:05
Alright, I got my fancy lemon.

Brett Coin, Okta 3:07
Yeah, like, shake it up really good. You want to really call lemon?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:11
I did a whole I did a fresh lemon in mine.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:15
Alright, and then we’re shaking it with ice.

Brett Coin, Okta 3:18
Yeah, shake it real hard that replacing cold and then strain it I actually like it on the rocks. But you know I’ve had the way they the way Gerry has it is what they actually do with the restaurant. Right? No martini glass. If you’re not a whiskey drinker, it can be a little strong. That’s why but I like it. I do like when I get really cold.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:33
Well, I bought a better whiskey so that it would be a little bit. Yeah, a little less strong.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:41
Alright, well, cheers, gentlemen.

Brett Coin, Okta 3:42
All right.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:46
That is delicious.

Brett Coin, Okta 3:48
Yeah it’s really good with the sugar.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:50
Oh, man. That’s good. What is it called again?

Brett Coin, Okta 3:54
They call it a California sidecar. I think it’s their own spin on the old fashioned sidecar. Yeah,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:00
That’s pretty good. I didn’t need the brown sugar rim. Still pretty lazy, but that’s pretty delicious.

Brett Coin, Okta 4:06
Yeah, it’s good one.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:09
Yeah good stuff so Brett, what have you been up to? What’s going on?

Brett Coin, Okta 4:13
Surviving. I mean, I think the thing is, like, I keep saying that people’s life is back. You know, I know it’s not 100% back, but it’s almost there. And so, you know, I feel like for the past year, like, company I work for it’s been growing like crazy. And so that’s, that’s a big part of the day and the weekends and you know, just just whatever but um, you know what you knew when Friday was over, it’s pretty, pretty easy. There wasn’t much going on. I kind of got used to it. And I frankly enjoyed it. I enjoyed like, no expectations. I mean, not that was a good situation for the kids or you know, but now everything is back. I mean, school was back the spring weekends are busy with activities, flag football and basketball and cheerleading and friends can fortunately get together again if they choose to outdoor dining, indoor dining in some places and, and so it’s kind of the question is what do you been up to like everything all of a sudden, is really what I’m feeling. Yeah.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:10
Playing catch up for all the activities.

Brett Coin, Okta 5:12
Yeah, there’s been all this pent up demand and everyone wants to do things. I think my wife and I were looking the other day the whole summer I think we I think I think we she said to me because I don’t get involved. I just thought, tell me where to be right. I think there’s only two weekends where either people aren’t visiting or we’re not going somewhere. So it gets busy.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:30
The first time I went to get a haircut, it’s one of the first times I’ve got a haircut as things are starting just sort of cool off. And the sign up front and say mask mandatory. It’s that mask recommended. A little bit of a change in the right direction.

Brett Coin, Okta 5:46
Yeah, yeah, for sure. It is a nice getting a haircut. I went about six months. And it was like kind of the Seinfeld episode where they kind of tried to see how far they could go on an empty tank of gas gas light came on. He’s like, I’m going to keep going. They kept passing it. Every time. I thought I was gonna get a haircut. I’m like, one more week, one more week. And I mean, I haven’t had my hair that long.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 6:05
I’ve discovered how to get my own. Yeah.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:11
Yeah, that’s all How about how about for work? I mean, you guys like I would assume you’re like everybody else. Things are on fire

Brett Coin, Okta 6:18
On fire.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:19
Going a little crazy trying to retain employees while attracting new ones. Same challenges. Everybody else is out.

Brett Coin, Okta 6:24
Yeah, I think so. You know, I, I belong to a pretty good tight knit group of ta leaders here in California. And we talk a lot and everyone it’s, it’s it’s so ironic how everyone has the exact same situation playing out everyone it is exactly that. And I read something the other day that said, some survey was put out, it was either 40 or 45% of all people are going to make a move in the next year just because like because they couldn’t write, which I don’t understand, because at least in the tech industry, we haven’t had any problems like hiring through COVID. So but I guess just the broader, you know, I don’t know, maybe tech didn’t get hit as hard. But 45% of all people imagine if that really plays out. I’m just gonna make a move in the next 12 months.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 7:08
Oh, yeah. Well, we saw some survey not too long ago, just a few weeks ago, where it said healthcare professionals 80%, I think in the 80% of nurses said that they were either gonna quit altogether as before the end of the year, or they were willing to change jobs for as little as $1 more an hour. Like that’s just tough, frustrated, or tired or in need.

Brett Coin, Okta 7:31
Well, I never thought this would be a big business. But I think it could be now as if you started a recruiting agency to hire for restaurants. Restaurants can’t staff. They can’t staff for the first time ever, right? They were so dependent on a certain group of people, either people who were in that business because they loved it for life, or people who were between jobs or college or you know, and I read something else that said, there’s a large percentage of people and they gave all these specific examples, people who actually gave quotes to the article and said, Hey, I was dependent on this industry for 15 years. It went away for so long. I actually had to go get trained to do something else. So they’re never coming back to that portion of the workforce that were bartenders, servers hostesses, hostess, what? Bought restaurant managers, they’re just not coming back, because they had to go out of necessity, find something else. And now the restaurant industry is saying, We don’t enough people. So we got a big recruiting challenge.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:24
Yeah, well, what a tough place to be in when you literally you’ve given all this time and all this energy to an industry that all of a sudden, made you feel incredibly dispensable. Yeah, you’re just out?

Brett Coin, Okta 8:36
Yeah, I did it for four years. So I’m empathetic. I mean, I’ve washed dishes and waited tables, and bartenders in

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:42
Every recruiting person did some sort of hospitality or food services,

Gerry Crispin, CXR 8:46
something like that. Absolutely.

Brett Coin, Okta 8:48
Yeah.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 8:49
I was on a meeting earlier this week with actually the Scherm Council and the entire area in South Jersey and at the Jersey Shore is going nuts because they cannot find workers willing to come back.

Brett Coin, Okta 9:07
Yeah,

Gerry Crispin, CXR 9:08
Just and I’m sure that a lot of it is exactly that. They learned how to get into something else that’s going to give them a little bit better money.

Brett Coin, Okta 9:17
Yeah.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 9:18
Or they’re just, they’re just upset because, you know, they’ve been furloughed. They lost a lot. They’re underwater. They’re getting some money from unemployment at least for a while. And they need the time to have the second or third gig where they can get the money under under the table, whatever. So they get back to even.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 9:40
Well, you talking about a primarily tip dependent, right type of work. That and we just we just had a call to one of them. We were talking about this where they are making more money right now with the assistance and unemployment than they would if they went back to work and put their kids back in school. Sort of daycare or had to manage, you know, all the other things that have to get taken care of when they’re when they’re actually in the workplace. And so now that just kind of biding the time, some of them until the restaurants get, you know, really ramped up, maybe tips come back to some degree. And the work picks back up, and I just don’t have any idea when that might be

Gerry Crispin, CXR 10:18
Crazy. But even even in, so so Brett, in terms of you said, the ability for Oka to find, and and in tracked folks, still is pretty strong. A lot of others, your peers in a lot of other parts of Silicon Valley are saying it’s the toughest time they have finding it in their in their lifetime.

Brett Coin, Okta 10:47
I don’t agree that it’s not as competitive as ever. I think I’m in a good place. Right? So I mean, every day the federal government comes out and talks about all these hackings. Yeah, cybersecurity is at the top of everybody’s mind, identity, which is the real core of Oktas product is really at the forefront of security. It’s not just Can you put a perimeter around your employees, it’s like who the heck’s logging in? Right? Just, we’ve also taken advantage of some things, you know, you know, I was just talking to somebody who’s interviewing somebody today for rolling my team, and I was asking about their company’s position on getting back to work and what that looks like. And I think in the past week, Amazon has come out and said, Hey, three people that it looks like, so these companies are designing things that I think they’re going to change in six months, like, well, you have to come in three days a week, and then four weeks a year, you can work from anywhere, I mean, we’re just making it up. Some other companies come out and said two days a week, you have to be there. And then there’s a lot of talk of, they’re gonna see an employee Exodus, because people are so used to having their freedom and their their choice and flexibility. And Okta came out. I mean, I get the company credit the colonel A long time ago and said, it’s about employee choice first, and we’ll build workplace and, you know, in reinvest to support that. And it’s, it’s aligned with the company’s mission, which is enable any company to use any technology, right? It’s the integration hub of, you know, I can log in one time and use 10,000 different applications. So if that’s the case, why can’t you work from anywhere? Right? Well, yeah,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 12:18
There’s also an interesting, we had this talk this morning with the topic came up, too. And there is a theory also that organizations have so much more flexibility, and a little more transparency, when they don’t have this insane investment in a physical footprint. Right, from a property standpoint, right, you get a building or two, that’s one thing, it’s easier to let people work remote, you have a campus, you have a very different investment in using the real estate. Or if you are so big, like something like one or two companies where the city’s infrastructure gets upgraded around you, right, because of what you contribute to that from footprint step away. A lot of people are sort of conspiring that the C suite is saying, you’ve got to come back to work because it’s good for our culture, or you’ve got to come back to work, right? Because you’re missing productivity, when that’s maybe not really the case.

Brett Coin, Okta 13:10
Like somebody told me recently, the real estate investment trusts are very powerful.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 13:19
Yeah, I am convinced that having been given a taste for a lot of people having been given a taste for being accountable for whether you come in or don’t come in, and that kind of stuff, I’m convinced that that’s an indicative piece to employees for the future and that they want to have the option of being able to determine where they work and and are more than willing to be held accountable for the results of work. But it’s, it’s their ability to negotiate or engage with their, their manager, hey, you know, this is what I need to do in order to, you know, deal with my life right now. And everybody is in a different kind of position. And I think we need to upskill managers to be able to help employees make good decisions that affect their lives, as well as the performance of the company. So it’s a balance. It’s not as easy as in the past where you have to come in nine to five. And maybe if you if you need some help, we’ll give you permission to go away for a while. But now now it’s it’s my job as an employee, to figure out what’s best for me and to work with my manager to help accommodate that, so that we get the job done.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 14:44
So Brett, you’re you’re pretty dialed in in the valley. been a little while, you know, a lot of folks without naming names unless you want to name names. Have you seen somebody do it, like starting to come out of this and it’s positioned really, really well. Or is a train wreck? Do you have one? Uh, do you have an example of what’s going on where you feel like oh my god, that is the worst way I would have done it or Oh, man, we can model something after this.

Brett Coin, Okta 15:10
Do you mean the philosophy around like how they’re modeling?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 15:14
Yeah, yeah, this is the remote. Yeah, come back while you while you think about that, I want to tell you that the brown sugar on the rim is really cool.

Brett Coin, Okta 15:23
Right? It makes a whole difference. It really does. Let’s kind of go back to the drink. Right? So I will tell you like when I was kind of saying prior was that I do. Like, one of the reasons I think we’ve been successful is that we have shifted the mind says, you know, we, when I first got here a couple years ago, we had to basically hire primarily, and all these locations were their offices. And what we’re doing is, we’re just competing against all the other big tech names, because everybody’s in Toronto and Seattle, in the Bay Area, right? And so and so forth. Now, those enterprise are there’s go to market rules that are territory based, right. But again, everybody’s hiring a sales rep in Detroit and Phoenix, in London, in Paris, right. But for all the non territory based roles, we’ve now been given the freedom to not hire anywhere, you have to have an entity, you have to have taxation, you have the right. But you know, we’re suddenly hiring in all 50 states, we’re doing a lot of hiring Canada. And it’s opened up our total addressable market. And we can go make a build a brand, and we can, you know, hire in locations that we couldn’t before, which is I think, really helping us maintain our level of hiring in what’s incredibly competitive market. So I don’t want to discount the fact that it is incredibly competitive not to discount the fact that we have our own challenges, right. But I haven’t seen it hit the top of the funnel yet. 90/10 rule 80/20, right. There’s always roles, you’re like, Oh, my gosh, we have enough candidates, but for the most part we’ve been on the higher numbers have taken up three, four consecutive quarters, and we’ve been able to maintain it now. Who knows in two quarters, if everything starts to get tighter, right, that could be happening. And I think that will happen. But our The other thing that’s been fascinating is all of our key recruiting KPIs have trended in a positive direction over the past year. So go into virtual interviews 100%, remote work, our offer accept rates up, our speed is down, our interview to higher ratio stayed the same. So no, no difference in efficiency. Our candidate experience has gone up big time. Yeah. And our hiring manager survey scores have gone up.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 17:15
So I hope you’re gonna compete with the candidate experience awards.

Brett Coin, Okta 17:19
That’s what we do. And we do need to get involved we had, I don’t know, I’m blanking on his name. Talent board.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 17:26
Talent board. Yeah, I’m gonna I’m gonna feed Kevin Grossman.

Brett Coin, Okta 17:30
So Kevin came and spoke with my team last year.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 17:33
Then you know him.

Brett Coin, Okta 17:35
I know, I know

Gerry Crispin, CXR 17:36
You need to participate?

Brett Coin, Okta 17:37
Well, when we all run into each other at the smart workers conference, right before things shut down. Yeah, I talked to Kevin and I said, Look, you know, Okta is not there yet, but we need to get them there. So why don’t you come talk to my team. So they realize there’s a whole, you know, governing body out there and hope, right. And so after that, we put a ton of work into it, because we were measuring it through our ATS survey. And we’re in the negative and a lot of areas. And in 12 months by a number of things we did and implemented quickly, we got it to a plus 24. And this year, we’re trending to a plus right now we’re running in a plus 36 year date. So just you know that whole that’s a double swing,

Gerry Crispin, CXR 18:13
That’s you need to test that against against that, because I’ll tell you, the advantage is getting on that list of the Top 50 is a is a pretty good deal. And if you’re at 36 NPS score and you’re doing it similar to what we do that that would be well within the range.

Brett Coin, Okta 18:33
Yeah, well, I do think the best part is is our offer accept rate like we talked to the team about as you take candidate experience up your offer accept rate goes up our offer accept rate in q1 of last fiscal year. So basically, your February to April it just passed was our q1 of this year, prior year offer accept rate aggregate was 70%. This past q1 was 86%. So as NPS went from like a flat to negative basically, because some teams were a little little above zero, most teams or below as we took that up in the well into the positive or offer accept rate followed it, which was just a really cool experiment.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 19:08
And you are you are addressing not only those that you hire, or those who reach the final four or five, but but really everybody.

Brett Coin, Okta 19:18
Yeah

Gerry Crispin, CXR 19:19
Yeah, that’s, that’s important for people to notice. Because people tell me they’ve got Oh, we have NPS scores of 90. And I’m going yeah, Who who are you serving? Obviously the ones that we hire.

Brett Coin, Okta 19:33
No we serve everybody. Yeah, we serve everybody. What I want to start serving now is internal employees, because their experience is not as good. So I want to, we’re gonna try to fix that this year, and then survey them across. I don’t know how we got sidetracked. Yes, a question about who does it well, like, I know, this is like off the drink in the company. But I think we do it incredibly well, like our head of workplace is very innovative he came from LinkedIn. He’s been talking about this dynamic work for four years. And I think we’re there. And, and when you say like, who maybe isn’t? I don’t know yet, because we’re not back. But what I’m starting to see in here is it does feel like some of the big companies with really large real estate footprints. I really think they’re going to miss out on this, where like, there’s a we have 14 floors, in a high rise in San Francisco directly pressured Salesforce, I can’t imagine it cheap rent, alright, but the the mindset was, hey, it’s not like we’re going to go and double the amount of floors, we’re going to continue to grow our Silicon Valley employee base, maybe we’re not going to double the amount of floors, maybe we’re not going to grow them at all. But we’re going to rework the office space to work for people who choose to come in sometimes. And what I’m excited about this whole thing is, I think you brought up a great point about it puts a lot of burden, not burden. That’s the wrong word. It’s going to challenge managers of the future to think differently, right? What’s important to the employee, but companies, what is the workplace said like? Well, you know, we have a demand problem getting people back to the office, and then it’s like, well, what are you going to do to get them back? Right. And so I think things are going to change around the value proposition of employees and contractors, if you want them to get some people just want to get back like Personally, I want to go two, I want to go two days a week I miss it. Sure. But I don’t want anybody to tell me you have to be there five.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 21:14
Right. I think that change, right? If they told you how to do it four days, you’d go? I don’t think that’s the right decision. I want to be able to make that decision.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 21:25
Yeah, well, the hard thing with that is, it’s usually what I’m hoping doesn’t happen is sometimes the big the big. You know, we all know who these big companies aren’t tech, they usually set they usually set the path for everyone else. I don’t think that’s going to happen this time. I think these other

You’re right, I talked to two and they said point blank off the record. They don’t want to be the first ones to say, here’s what we’re doing. They want to very quietly roll out some informal, you know, we, you know, hybrid environments, telling people we’re evaluating as we go, they do not want to be the trendsetters for this

Brett Coin, Okta 22:00
Because you know, where it’s real challenging, is compensation. Right, you have like, I think one of the fun parts being like, I knew where I worked prior, very pretty big company. You just move faster and do things in a smaller company. We’re almost 4000 people now. But the agility is a mindset. Right? And like, some companies haven’t, some don’t, but like we’ve rethought our compensation approach already two or three times just in the past 12-15 months, because, like, what you think is the right way to go when some of the big companies aren’t setting the course and saying, Hey, this is what we’re doing. If you don’t do it, you can’t compete with us, is you have to be nimble and flexible. And the big debate now is, do you comp other issues to us? Because it’s too hard to talk about this on a global scale right now. But like in the US, do you cop everybody, Silicon Valley wages regardless of where they live? Or do you tear it and you pay local labor. But then some companies are saying, Well, if you already work for us in an expensive market, and you choose to move, we will keep your comp the same, but then I think where you run into challenges, and you got to hire the same type of skill level and profile in the same market and have a big disparity.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 23:03
So don’t forget to get in kept on the increase their merit increases get kept the bonus that their comp sort of shifts a little bit, right, because that’ll be at the top of a band in another market. And they’re trying to figure out how they have a sort of

Gerry Crispin, CXR 23:15
It’s obviously a nuanced and complex, yeah, set of questions. But I think the philosophy of how you approach compensation ought to be that the, that the job has a more has a real value to the corporation’s any corporation, regardless of where the person is located. That value might be x, whatever x is, and how you determine that is going to be the challenge. But then you need to be able to decide that you could put a temporary subsidy on X for those that are required to be in Silicon Valley. And you could and, and on that basis, though, at the minimum, anyone in the world would be able to at least get x. Now that gives some people in some very low cost areas of the world, more possible wealth than they would have obtained otherwise, because of a local price value, that where they might have taken that job. But honestly, the kind of fairness and attractiveness that that will demonstrate to people on a global basis will attract the very best and brightest in the world. You will have no problem from a competition point of view. And if you did, if you did give them the lowest possible value they would accept who gets the margin who gets the profit from that? Well, you know what, it’s it’s the CEO of a corporation who’s Bonus, is the improved, because on the backs of the people that he’s taking the money from, for she or she? Absolutely, or they. But the value add is that is that a company that demonstrates that they’re willing to pay workers on a global basis, a fair market value for the value of the job first, and then adjust based on that, I think will be a winner in the future.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 25:35
Yeah, it will. It won’t be the there will be the tech giants that drive how slow or how fast? I think that gets adopted, because a lot of people are looking to them. Yeah,

Brett Coin, Okta 25:46
Well, I think like even companies like Radford have to completely rethink this, right? Because when you’re in a rolling, we’ve all held the challenges like we I agree with everything you’re saying, it’s like you can philosophically try to figure out innovative ways to differentiate and win in all markets. But then you have to take that to the finance team. And then you have to get the total rewards team, right, who wants to benchmark against Redford and then finance has to decide if we can afford to do it that way, right. And if we’re going to, if we’re going to, like it’s the Netflix model, right, I pay top of market for everybody, no matter where they are. But you know, in a world where let’s say my company, they’re saying work from anywhere employee choice, the value of us recruiters, the value of a good recruiter doesn’t change for me, whether they’re living in St. Louis in New York, or Seattle or Dallas, like, right, but what the what tradition says is, well, if you’re in Dallas, you’re going to get you know, 20% haircut, right? or whatever, whatever the differences between, you know, tier one and tier two and tier three markets. And I don’t know yet if I’ve decided what I agree with, like, I think, I think it’s to be TBD. And that the, you know, the Aons and the Radford’s, they got to rethink all this and help us figure out what the new benchmark is, because the benchmark isn’t going on, I don’t think it’s gonna work.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 27:02
I think there will be some, there will be some rock stars that rise up and say they don’t care. But we’ll see if they can maintain that momentum.

Brett Coin, Okta 27:10
Its expensive, it’s really expensive.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 27:13
No, it’s no, it’s not because that money goes to someone. It doesn’t necessarily go to the individual who, you know, you’re not paying the top dollar for. But but it’s gonna go to somebody at a higher level, who’s now making millions and he’s making 800, he or she is making 800 or 900 times what the what the lower level person is, lets, you know, corporations that that do what I say are going to are going to succeed.

Brett Coin, Okta 27:46
Let me ask you a question. Right. So So labor is the highest cost in any company. So if you choose to adopt that, it doesn’t mean that the money is going to go to other people, or is now money not able to be shown in the programs in marketing and product and all, you know, so I think that’s the balance, I would ask, is that the highest cost? Right?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 28:06
Yeah, you’re right. Is the money go? Does it?

Brett Coin, Okta 28:08
Where does the money go? So it’s, if everybody gets like, let’s say, everybody gets New York and San Francisco wages worldwide, yeah, you would know you would have 199.85%.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 28:18
But the price, the price of that job isn’t New York or San Francisco, it’s a little bit less than that. And if you’re in San Francisco, because we need you there, you get a you get a subsidy for that

Brett Coin, Okta 28:33
Got it Yeah,

Gerry Crispin, CXR 28:34
That’s a difference. And but the value of that company, or value of that job could then be publicized. But that there’s an adjustment based on a variety of factors. Talk to us. I’m convinced that if you give me a fair wage, and I know it’s a fair wage that everybody that is that has to do with the value of that job. And I decided to go to Portugal for the next year. Because it’s really cool. From my perspective, to live there and work on a team. I feel I’m making, you know, a significant investment in my learning. I’m making a significant investment in the opportunity to gain a little bit of wealth. And I would be dying to work for your company. Yeah. And I think you get the best and brightest that way.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 29:31
Well, so best and brightest. Brett I want to circle back you you said performance of your team and and the experience your recruiters are delivering is through the roof right now. It’s it’s accelerated they’re rock stars they’re killing it. Do you think that that is in part dude was some are calling the Stanley Cup of recruiting that you have created?

Brett Coin, Okta 29:56
So that I’m glad you picked up on that. So yeah, look, I’ve been very Are you surprised at what happens? I mean, look, you’re only as good as your team. And I, you know, when we went in the COVID, who knew how candidates were going to respond? I think I think people are just so adaptable period. Right. And this is just another time where everybody adapted. But I am very surprised by you know, how all of our KPIs improved, I just like, to be honest, like, yeah, we’ve done a lot of great work. But some of that, I think, is just luck, right? I really do. And, you know, if you do it just a little better than everybody else. There’s a lot of bad interview experiences, people say you’re doing great. But I do think part of some of what we do is very intentional. And what I mean by that is, you mentioned the Stanley Cup. And that is exactly where the idea came from that I can’t take credit for a manager on our team, they learned Hanley did. And I thought it was the greatest ideas ever, we were talking about recognition. Every year, the glint survey goes out, no matter what you do, the score for recognition never tends to be as high as you want it to be. And so we focused on, hey, we got to have a lot of fun, especially, you know, during COVID, and everyone’s at home, you can’t interact if people want to go in the office or not, who knows. But so we put a bunch of managers on a project and say, Go come up with some things, we do an annual recruiting kickoff, and it is like a really fun day we do. We set our priorities for the year, we give about 40% of the team awards from the prior year, we do peer to peer recognition, Leadership Awards, KPI awards, it’s a great fun, it’s my favorite day of the year. But we thought like what else? Do we have that then you have your annual performance cycle merit bonus equity? Like what can we do to keep this thing going all year round? Right. So we do a lot of little stuff that adds up. But we said we need something at least on a quarterly basis. And yeah, I think I really do believe this has something to do with it. So I’m going to share what the cup is?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 31:46
I think you should yeah, I’m not I have not seen this on LinkedIn or about her for many of your team members is we have like, maybe, maybe give them sort of an overview of what this is.

Brett Coin, Okta 31:55
Yeah. So so we we have we have about eight things that define our culture, and one is we succeed as individuals, but when it’s a team, the most important thing is to witness team because whether you fill three, reqs and Gerry fills 20, and I fill none, but the business needed 23. They’re happy, they don’t care who filled them, and neither the candidates, so how do we get everybody working together towards the common goal. And you know, sometimes recruiters like my req my candidate, and that doesn’t help. And so what we decided was, we needed something to really try to try to rally teams around common goals, and it’s okay to have individual awards, but how do we reward a team and the idea was, every quarter, managers can nominate their team. And, you know, the things that we look at our you know, did your team meet their quarterly numbers is your offer accept rate going up as you can, everything, we all these KPIs, but the fun part about this is there’s KPIs don’t tell the whole story. You know, some teams overcame huge obstacles dealt with leader change had a bad quarter in came roaring back, they missed their number by a little bit, but it was taken up 30%. Right. And so the effort was valiant. So, so it’s a little bit of art and science. But if you’re a manager, the end of the quarter, and you decide your team should be nominated, you write up a nomination, and you talk about all the reasons your team should win. And then you submit it, and all the other managers get to read through them, and then they vote in an anonymous survey. And so not every manager puts their team up, sometimes they just no, we didn’t, we didn’t, we don’t deserve the score, right. But the first one we ever did was last quarter. And so you know, the team, that one was our team EMEA but the idea is just like the Stanley Cup is when you when we have this huge trophy that has a cup at the top and on the plaque, it says, you know, recruiting team award outstanding or outstanding team achievement for the quarter. And what we do is we win when the winning team is announced, we take the cup and we actually ship it to the managers home. And they get to keep it for the quarter. Now they can ship it to their all their employees. And everybody gets to touch it whenever they want to do like cuz that’s the lore of the Stanley Cup, right? It goes to everybody’s houses, and hopefully somebody puts maybe a beer in there and drinks out of it, I hope. But, you know, the whole point is it’s about having fun. And getting teams really focused on winning as a team. But then and then also like there’s an opportunity to win something really cool. It’s bragging rights, but you actually get this massive cup. And so Lauren shifted from Palm Springs where she lives to London and it showed up last week and our leader in EMEA or maybe it was Monday posted on LinkedIn. Oh my gosh, the comments and so I know it’s working but I’d love to take credit for that idea was not mine. It was Lauren’s and I think it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 34:44
I love I love the idea but there’s a couple things that that you know, I observed one is Brett, this wouldn’t happen unless you listen to people or in your group. You obviously are having a lot of fun with what you’re doing. innovating and and kind of having the back of your people who have ideas. And that’s powerful, you have the advantage of an extraordinary type of company that does something that’s very hot. So obviously, it makes it easier for me as a recruiter working in your company to engage at least a little bit of attention to people who have those kinds of skills, because they get that you are doing something special. But you still have to have an environment that attracts them. Right? So it doesn’t matter that you know I’m or does, it’s only the part of that, that engages me about your skills, knowledge and experience, because you’re doing the things that I want to aspire to do well, you also have to have a place that’s going to nurture me, engage me and reward me. And it starts with, obviously, your your people and recruiting, they have to believe his hat. That’s true as well. And you you made a point about, you know, getting involved in, in defining the culture of recruiting that you want to be part of. I thought that was brilliant. I thought that was really fascinating. To me, that’s one of the things that you mentioned, you wanted to talk about. I’d like you to expound a little bit more. Yeah. Because I do think that is a powerful, you know, upskilling of really of managers who are able to listen well, and then execute around their teams to be able to create the kind of environment that they can work in.

Brett Coin, Okta 37:03
Yeah, no, I really appreciate all that for sure. Like, I’m very lucky, like, I know what you’re getting into when you make a move. And last company I was working for was phenomenal company. Everybody knows that. You know, octo was a 1500-1600 employee company growing like crazy. And I, you know, I grabbed on and I’m on for the ride. But I, first and foremost, I mean, they believe in recruiting and the importance and we get invested in so you can’t ask for much more when you’re in a role like we’ve all been in, because that’s not always the case. So and then the second thing is they you know, like my boss, she lets me do what I need to do to create that environment. And I think we spend so much time at work, you better have fun, if it’s just about hitting numbers, like who, you know, that’s only going to get you so far. But But yeah, so we know, I think I think creating a culture was done very intentionally. And everyone has a voice. I think that can lead the great things. And so yeah, the recruiting cup, Chris, that is that is one example of, you know, I think that was bred from a team that’s very focused on how do we just create the best environment possible. And I’m sure people on my team, some of them don’t think it’s the best environment I’ve ever worked for. Right? There’s always some but but we’ve had incredibly low attrition. I think my first full two years, we had two voluntary resignations two.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 38:21
Wow.

Brett Coin, Okta 38:21
And our team went for 2787. So that makes you feel good, like, okay, we’re getting a lot of things, right. It’s never perfect, right? But we, we did this exercise, because we knew we’re going to hire a ton of recruiters. And so got the management team together. And we said, Hey, you know, Aqua has its culture, the values guide the culture of the company, every every company has a culture, and people can get a feel for that they can read about it. But when someone says what’s it like to work in recruiting? What do we say we got like 12 different answers? Of course you did, because we haven’t spent any time figuring out what does it mean to us. And so at our off site last fall, we actually pulled the team together. And I don’t know if you guys have heard of the Miro board, Miro. So a mural board is like an online place to go do brainstorming, and it’s like virtual sticky notes. And the last couple to work for was a really big, I had a really big focus on product mindset and design thinking. So I got to fortunately go through a lot of training on that, by no means am I a leader in design thinking, but you can take the core principles and apply them to an exercise and get a good outcome. So instead of the team, let’s spend an hour on this. So we got the Miro board and we said what are all the traits and characteristics that you would want people who might join our team in the future, to think about our team to make it exciting for them join here. And I think what was the you know, like? Basically, we’re trying to get to a place where Gerry, Gerry wants to come take a sourcing role for Aqua. And he asked for different people on the interview team. Tell me what it’s like to work there. Would we all say the same things? Not that we all should say the same things. But do we all feel the same way? Do we are we excited to be here right? So we start capturing all these words. Then what you can do is you group them together 20 people said excited 10 people said, you know, we want to have fun five people said we want to execute, we came up with and we narrowed it down to like the top seven or eight. And then we said, everybody feel good about this? And we said, yeah, these are the 7-8-9 things like, we think people would want to join a team that operate like this. And then the question I asked is, but is this a place that you all work based on that? And we actually went back to the drawing board, and we moved some things around again. And so it went from an exercise of how do we want to be perceived by partners and stakeholders or potential prospects, to what’s the kind of place we actually want to work in? And we have the opportunity to control this. So what are we doing? Right? And so I thought, the really interesting surprise from this is we went from thinking about how we wanted people to see us to how we wanted to see ourselves. And if we have the opportunity here to create whatever we want, how do we want to define that for us. And it became this exercise where we rolled out I have in my hand, we actually created the octave recruiting culture. And we have 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 things that we say that if you’re going to work here, or you do work here, or you work with us, this is this is what we strive to be. And it’s become a really awesome tool that’s pretty new, about six months in, but for coaching employees, we share it externally with prospects, if you’re going to come work on this team, like Hey, what’s it like to work here? This is what you can expect. This is the culture.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 41:30
Do we have a copy of that sucker?

Brett Coin, Okta 41:32
I can send it to you for sure.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 41:33
Yeah. Just saying, Yeah,

Brett Coin, Okta 41:36
I’ll send it over. But it’s been really fun. Because it’s, the biggest thing is we use it to hold each other accountable. Right. And so it morphs from something we thought we set it out to be to something that it is. And now when people say what’s it like to work here, we can say, Well, here’s what it’s like to work here. If this isn’t the type of environments that you want to be in.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 41:53
This is a masterclass on something, I’m just saying,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 41:56
Yeah, the new teams that come in the new folks that get to come in obviously, that’s they’re walking right into that they get a card as part of their pre boarding onboarding, saying this

Gerry Crispin, CXR 42:05
It also puts them on notice, if you’re if you’re looking here to skate, you know, this is not going to work for you.

Brett Coin, Okta 42:15
Yeah. And I I’d say it’s less about that. right? It’s, I mean, if you’re not going to perform Jaco perform anywhere, but I mean, it’s more about just like, how do we want to behave and act and treat each other? And yeah, yeah, and not everybody wants this. And that’s okay. But if I know upfront, then just opt out in the interview process, right. But it’s, it’s a pretty look, like I said, nothing’s perfect. But this has been a really fun thing. And it’s gotten us to a place of, I think it has bred a lot of these ideas. Because, you know, the whole week, we succeed as individuals that win as a team. That was probably the baseline for creating the cup.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 42:50
Well, I’m, I love it, not only do I love it Brett, but I think it’s better than you think it is. I think I think it forces a couple things to happen. One is it does give some people the ability to say this is not my place, I really am looking for a wholly different kind of recruiting experience. But for those who believe that it is, it also puts the pressure on you for backing them on those principles.

Brett Coin, Okta 43:25
100%.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 43:26
And that’s, and that’s, that’s something you bought into that these are, these are the eight things that I will I will have your back on. And that’s powerful.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 43:38
It’s a big deal.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 43:39
Yeah, it’s a very big deal for a lot of people who want to, you know, make a difference.

Brett Coin, Okta 43:45
Agree.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 43:45
And I’m convinced that if you can build that, I think you you really are in a great position, you’ve obviously had an a great opportunity to take what you’ve learned in the past, and and begin to seriously apply and execute that in the areas that you’re in now. And I think that’s fabulous.

Brett Coin, Okta 44:07
Yeah, I thank you for saying that. I just we’ve been doing this a long time or every 25 years to me. Yep. And it’s, there’s so much more, I think, too many teams or companies or leaders, they don’t focus on this aspect of the team. And it’s just about the numbers. And yes, it’s always about the numbers, right? If I’ve had the numbers, I’m going to hear about it, they’ll get you know, trust me, so. But how do you how do you how do you build an infrastructure and team in front to get to the numbers, but also, you know, the mindset and the behavior and the culture has.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 44:39
Have a conversation about the the way that the path that we got there. Yeah. And I think you built a really interesting set of possibilities there. That I hope you’re keeping a journal. I think it’s all here right now. There’s no time to write anything, are you I gotta tell you keep a journal, you’ve already told me that you got to frickin book in what you got to do. And at some point, you’re going to be too old to do this shit. So you need to think about that kind of stuff downstream.

Brett Coin, Okta 45:14
Yeah, the culture pieces and it’s I think it’s okay. Some people say, hey, you can’t have a The subcultures happen everywhere. But how many people are intentional about him? And, you know, we started with the Aqua culture, there’s the Aqua culture, the values and how do we work within this framework, cuz you don’t want to go rogue, right? Like, you still have to fit within the company. But everything we do ladders up to those values. And it’ll it’ll look, it’s early. So we’ll see in a year from now, you know, hopefully we can keep this thing going. And but you know, we do a bi weekly, all hands, and I took the opportunity and that all hands on Wednesday to mention two of our octave recruiting culture characters, I said, Hey, you know, like, we, when we succeed as individuals, we got to win as it were a little behind in the quarter. So try to rally the team, but like, Hey, you got to look to the left, look to the right, pick up your teammate, right, we got to get there. And I forget the other one I used. I think we always assume good intent. Because there’s been you know, when the pressure gets on, people tend to start doing this a little bit, right? And I said, Hey, just take it take temperature down. Like it’s okay, you know, we’re gonna get there. But it’s not gonna be easy, don’t start, they’ll start turning on each other. help each other out.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 46:20
I think that’s great. So yeah. So you’ve you’ve obviously made the the transition from into a job. And you are, you’re fully in charge of of a really interesting set of approaches that are working for Okta right now. You asked the question about internal mobility, as one of the one of the areas that you’re getting involved in, I will tell you that that is one of the hottest areas going on right now in part because internal mobility goes beyond ta and focuses in on the combination of TA and and what you do for the building of people. Are you is your company focused in on on those issues? And what how we move people internally?

Brett Coin, Okta 47:14
So I would say not yet it caught us quickly. I will tell you this, like I saw a comment, right. But I also think, as companies grow and evolve, you have to introduce the right things at the right time. So for internal mobility, a big program two years ago, I would have felt, you know, we don’t need it. But what I saw is organically last fiscal year 18% of our reqs got filled with internals. Now about half of that was promotions. And that’s a whole nother conversation. Why are we using reqs for promotions, right. But, you know, net net, there’s a higher percentage of people just organically saying, I’ve been here three years, I want to do something different. And we don’t want them to leave, if we could give them an opportunity here we should, right? So we’re just embarking on that. And we put a cross functional team together and how sure I would describe it. Like, my boss knows it’s important. She knows we’re going to put a cross functional team, he says, not just TA and you know, we’re gonna go out and benchmark we’re going to do empathy sessions with employees who went through here their experience, we’re talking to managers who lost or gained their experience, and you’re getting all this in one place. And then we’re going to come up with something that, you know, we hope works for Okta for the next 12 to 18 months and roll it out. And I think it’s gonna be well received. So you know, has it made it up to the CEO that he knows we’re on this, probably not yet. But you know, when we get, you know, hey, we’re doing this great, come back, when you have an 80% big, right? We want to go and maybe come back in three or four months and say, here’s all the work we did, here’s all the learnings, here’s our recommendation, right? It doesn’t mean it’s gonna be perfect. And we might fix it in 12 months, but I think the employees right now, I’m looking forward to maybe September October, if I can roll this out to the company to company all hands, I think a lot of employees are gonna go, it’s about time. So and if somebody touches everyone, it touches everyone.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 48:58
It does. And, and obviously, from a talent acquisition point of view, if if somebody leaves that that hiring manager or that manager of that person would regret, like it’s a loss to the company that that person left us then each of those becomes a set of issues that makes it more difficult for the hiring, talent acquisition to be able to replace them. So the extent to which employees can look at and see the opportunities for internal movement and or promotion at over time, has an enormous impact on talent acquisition long term. So I’m I’m absolutely convinced that a proactive you know, by build kind of strategy is is critical for corporations. Yeah, you know, they’re in tribute to that. I think it’s I think it’s really outstanding. There’s a, so I’m leaving a set of judges to look at that this fall, or this actually this summer. And and hopefully we’ll see some case studies of companies that are doing some really interesting things with the idea that we can share them publicly to everyone. Yeah. And so I know this is an important issue for you. And what I hope is that we can figure out ways that we can find our members who are doing really good things that can share case studies, as well as bringing in other ideas that come from outside.

Brett Coin, Okta 50:46
Yeah, it feels like an area that needs a lot of innovation. Yeah. But what I’m hoping is work. You know what, we’re getting big fast. We just made a pretty big acquisition, and we’re going to be 5000 people, two years ago, 1600 people, I got over 5000 in January. But you know, now’s the time to do it when you get 10-15. It’s just so hard to roll out program. So we’ll see. We’ll see where it goes. But I’m excited about. I also think this whole idea of virtual non-virtual is going to play into internal mobility, you know, there’s going to be biases. And so I think it needs a lot of innovation. But we’ll see. See when

Chris Hoyt, CXR 51:22
You’re in the sweet spot for everything. Everybody’s going through right now, Brett, thank you so much. For the drinks. I had to refill, I think get a refill. I wasn’t watching you too closely. I was much my own glass, but I appreciate it. And I really want to catch up with you. It’s good. I can’t wait to see in person I miss it.

Brett Coin, Okta 51:41
Well, we can we can make that happen. I think I think we’re both in the Bay Area now. So we should talk.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 51:46
I’m not in the Bay Area anymore.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 51:49
I have behind him all the news. He’s now in Austin.

Brett Coin, Okta 51:53
I’m behind on all the news.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 51:55
I’ve got from Silicon Valley to Silicon hills. So I’ll be I’ll be in Austin. Now.

Brett Coin, Okta 52:00
I think the last time we talked you were in San Jose. So I absolutely was a while ago. Only as of a week ago.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 52:05
I literally just got here Sunday.

Brett Coin, Okta 52:07
Oh my goodness. Well, you have to you have to fill me in. I don’t know what’s going on.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 52:12
We’ll make it happen. Thanks so much, man. You’re awesome.

Brett Coin, Okta 52:14
Thanks so much for the time appreciate.

Announcer 52:16
Thanks for joining us for another episode of CareerXroads. Chris Hoyt and Gerry Crispin look forward to sharing more drinks and conversation with you next time. Until then, cheers.

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