S4 E109 | CXR Podcast: Marc Cochran transitions to flywheel model

Marc shares Trane Technologies' candidate experience journey as they transition from an old school funnel concept to a flywheel model.
S4_E109_CXR_Podcast_Marc_Cochran

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Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:21
Welcome, everybody to another show I am here today. I’m Chris Hoyt, President of CareerXroads. I’m here with Marc Cochran from Trane Technologies. Marc, say hello,

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 0:31
Hello. Good to be here.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:33
Well, thanks for jumping on the show. We appreciate you, Marc. So I got a question for you first before we jump in, because we got kind of interesting topic to rattle on about the next 15 minutes or so. But Marc, give us the the escalator pitch of who is Marc Cochran and why do we care what what what Marc has to say?

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 0:54
Well, the escalator pitch I guess a little bit slower than an elevator these days. But I am. I am. I was joking earlier, I am an Uber driver by evening for my kids with all the many sports they have to participate in that we support. Other than that, I am a TA nerd. So I’ve been in this for probably 20, almost 20 years. So I’m not quite there. But getting there. And you know, I’ve always been kind of a process geek. So I like to tinker with stuff. I’ve always been kind of looking for ways to do things better. And I’ve been able to pull and sort of steal a lot of great ideas over the years and you know, have a lot of fun with it.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:34
Well, I have to say, considering stealing, I’m going to steal ta geek and process nerd. Pretty nerd or talent or I’m going to steal both of those. I love those phrases.

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 1:44
You’re welcome there.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:46
There’s no copyright. In fact, right now I’m buying the domains. And it’s just done. I own them.

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 1:51
I should have done that before the call.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:53
I see no patent pending.

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 1:55
There you go.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:56
So Marc there was a term used? We talked about we talked about jumping online and just catching up on a quick podcast, but the term used was flywheel. You want to talk about a flywheel?

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 2:07
Yeah, happy to. And I’ll kind of start a little context of where where we kind of jumped into to that work with, we’re going through a large HCM transformation CRM. So a lot of that kind of look at the technology that we use and the experience that that creates. And for gosh, however long you know, it’s been we’ve always thought about Tony mission as a funnel. So you get candidates that come in at the top and are usually results in a higher at the bottom. And so through my nerdom and external research out there, I came across and this is a nod to HubSpot, but the flywheel concept that they have that they talk about there. And so when I started to really read through that it just it clicked really well. Because I think as we think about the funnel, it’s we have fallout at each of these stages. And how often do we really think about the fallout beyond the silver medalist, you know, all the way back to the kind of applicant traffic or even just the visitors on the site? And so what the flywheel concept has kind of triggered, as we go into some of these design sessions and development for the new technology is really how do we create every experience with as little friction in the possible so that it really just spends and using every candidate as a way to promote the experience of, you know, coming to Trane Technologies, at least in our space of kind of being interested in being aware of opportunities and helping advocate for that. So it just made a lot of sense. And just this kind of pivot of a way to kind of think about it from a funnel to a flywheel. And so we’ve had, you know, a lot of fun in the starting conversations, and we’re very early on with it. But it’s just, it’s, it’s a new way to think that I think right now, in today’s market, we have to think about every single person that happens to visit our site or have a conversation, you know, so that, hey, they might not apply now, but maybe in 30 days, you know, you never know. So that’s that’s where it’s been really impactful for us so far.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:03
So is the idea is the idea Marc to abandon the funnel, and move to more more comprehensive type of model just from an ad.

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 4:12
It’s more, we’re not going to be I’m sure the first to kind of make that transition. But I think it’s to evolve the funnel, you know, into more of this flywheel thinking about like, instead of making clear drops in each stage, like how does each state feed to the next and provide opportunities for the candidate to go experience other things and then come back in ways to kind of do it HubSpot kind of looks at like a lot of content marketing, which we sometimes do in recruiting like the gup blogs and stuff like that. But really, how do you kind of use content to get you from one stage to the next to help educate candidates and create experiences for them later on where it might be seamless chat, video, on demand, just things like that, that were you know, it’s not full automation, but it kind of meets candidates where they are in today’s world and gives them opportunities to continue to kind of progress in the process.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:59
Are you doing something of a, like a remarketing initiative. You know, you mentioned the silver silver medalists earlier you are you reaching back out somehow to these folks who maybe weren’t a good fit for this particular role or the timing wasn’t right for this particular read?

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 5:14
That’s where that’s where the technology is going to help us, you know, and that and we’re, we’re coming out of the dark ages without a CRM into a space with a CRM. So I think there’s gonna be a lot of immediate wins that we can kind of pull through, you know, in there, and the team, and everybody’s very excited, because if you talk to the recruiters like, we’ve been asking for that for, you know, eons, you know, overall, and here we are. And so that’s really exciting to be able to have other layers than an Excel spreadsheet, which is kind of how we’ve tracked a lot of that, and LinkedIn projects and things like that. So, you know, we’re really looking forward to be able to be able to create those experiences, to be able to kind of think about how do we attract them? And how do we engage them and then delight them with these other kind of ways that, you know, the experience can be created that way?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:57
Does it? Let me ask you, Marc, is it how much of that are you putting into the hands of the entire recruiting team versus maybe a marketing or communications sort of arm?

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 6:06
we, I would say, a good portion of it will be within what our COE, he is like that from kind of the process ownership and design. But we are a company that’s really built around, you know, lean process and lean foundations, which really puts that user experience in the hands of the people actually doing the process. And so they are absolutely stakeholders in that we do a lot of communication, voice of customer feedback sessions were kind of understanding like, what are the candidates saying right now? How do we develop a template or content to be able to kind of do that we do that today already. But as we kind of get into more of these design sessions, as we go into that, it’s gonna probably be like, how do we like friction is a big thing about a flywheel because you even think back to Good to Great, and you’re Jim Collins, and that, like, the faster that flywheel can kind of spin, the more friction you can remove, it just keeps going and keeps going. And so it admittedly, I’m sure like most organizations, we do have a lot of friction in the process. It’s kind of start, stop, wait, start, stop, wait. And then you know, how do we kind of keep that more kind of going, removing the friction where we have it so that we tie it back to an experience versus kind of an internal process, which is usually where a lot of the waiting kind of happens? So how do we connect it back to that candidate? Why should they wait, why can’t they continue to move forward? And that experience is going to create better promoters and better advocates for the company as well?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 7:28
Yeah, I think a lot of organizations struggle to figure out how to remove the friction from the process. Right? To your point, the biggest pain points are those

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 7:36
And we’re not perfect at it, you know, we know we’re not it’s a it’s a long journey, you know, it’s it’s got that ideal state versus your next date. So, you know, we just know that, that that’s never good for any process, you know, wherever we can kind of help help remove that question. And, you know, does it have to be there? and those kind of things?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 7:52
So if you’re in the middle of implementing a CRM, right, so you were CRM free? before, right? How much of it? Would you you know, reducing the friction? How much of it would you credit to tech versus, you know, adoption or, or process change and adoption of that process change or that that mindset?

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 8:13
Yeah, I think that the technology when we’ve gone through our review, that was interesting, going through the demos these days, CXR has a lot of information here that we pulled in there. The roll up of what CRM companies now can do is very different than I think it was probably two or three years ago. So we were looking at things. Yeah, just it’s not just your automated marketing campaign type tool. So we saw chat, we saw AI, we saw automated scheduling, we saw event management, which are kind of our big pillars that we were looking for something like that to solve for because of just how each of those interweaves with the other. And at the end of the day, it was how can we provide for an experience for the candidate when they want it? So that was kind of an underlying part of it? Today, I think technology absolutely does a lot of it, but we have to use human input to create the experiences. And that’s where we think the technology can benefit from how do we set it up, or just kind of start and then iterate from there, like we’re not going to be it would be two years if we waited to get it perfect out of the gate, and then it’d be two years old, you know, at that point. So what can we get started with? I think that’s your bare minimum, you know, how do we help a candidate find an opening, just something simple like that? Yeah, I think as we kind of get into it, so it’s still happening. But I think for us, it’s using the human input to kind of push that lower value type of action that is repetitive to the technology, and giving back our recruiters that high value time, which could be sourcing, it could be, you know, tough candidate or diversity kind of recruiting in some of those areas, where we just know that there’s not a technology solution for that. But that’s a better use of time for our teams to be focused on that then kind of shifting moving information, answering basic kind of transactional questions that we can tie two systems together to do

Chris Hoyt, CXR 9:59
I love it, well I like your mentioned along the way, a couple of times sort of design thinking and getting into maybe breaking down those stages. Take us out with if you’ve got a question that comes in, and it’s just one, where do I even get started Marc? Like, here’s my team we got a lot of friction. But how do we start to even begin to approach that? Like, where would you have somebody, again, to try to try to shift over?

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 10:23
Yeah, this one. This one isn’t fancy, or it’s old school, but just map the process, like look at it out visually. And any type of tool you want to use whiteboarding, whether you’re able to go into a border, or a room, or virtual like mural, or mural, or any of those kind of, like, get it out visual so you can see it. And that’s for our company has always been something that we tried to do, like, let’s see the process. And let’s put it all there. And it’s ugly glory of You make me send an email here, not just the system steps. But if you’re pulling something out, show it, I’ve got to send you an email with this Excel file, because you asked me to do it. Let’s show that too. And like all these different connection points that I think sometimes with like just system designs are lost. It’s all that hidden work that’s really creating, at least for our teams, a lot of the frustration of extra approvals or out of system communications that we have to do. And so that for me, just that process mapping exercise to its entirety, and get the right people in the room to do that. Like that’s one of the best starting points, you can really align everybody on like, what are the things we have to fix together, because we can all agree that their problems or they’re creating extra work that doesn’t need to be there?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:34
Well, and that’s, that’s no small undertaking. I mean, we’ve Right, yeah. Scott Weaver over Cumming, did an extraordinary map. Grant Clough has done an extraordinary map when he was at AARP, Shonda Zelich, who was at? Oh, gosh, Qualtrics, I think at Qualtrics maybe had done a pretty impressive and extensive I don’t think I’ve ever seen one across somebody. So it’s not a small amount of work. So kudos to you Marc for sort of taking that on as a first step. And really, you know, before you make changes, you got to understand it.

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 12:08
I know and the team doing fantastic does this over the years of keeping that updated and looking at that continuously. And then I think for us, it’s kind of next step, then taking that map into like your journey experience or creating stories from that, you know, to your point on the design thinking like, how do we have the quotes of where that pain is and who’s there who are the voices that tell us that you know on that so i think it’s it’s really that great first step before you just jump into the the great ideas to see how it all connects.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 12:32
Fantastic. Thanks, Marc. Really appreciate you coming in and sharing your flywheel approach. I love it.

Marc Cochran, Trane Technologies 12:38
Thank you. Absolutely enjoyed it.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 12:39
I want to real quick for those who are still hanging out and listening if you have not already picked up this fantastic book. I’m about a third of the way through it. It’s Plantation Theory by John Graham. It’s uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable for me as a white male reading this it is uncomfortable. So kudos to him for putting it on a print and get it out there. We did a podcast about a week ago where we talked a little bit with him about why he felt like it was important to do it but it is in the book club. John is going to join us for an upcoming book club meeting as the author is going to answer any questions and talk a little bit about the book so I hope everybody will join us and find out more information on that at CXR.works/books and until then we’ll see you guys next time take care.

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