S4 E120 | CXR Podcast: Sam Davies Internal Mobility & Mentoring

RealLinks CEO & Co-Founder, Sam Davies talks about internal mobility and about a special project he has helped the CXR Foundation get off the ground.

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Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:22
This is Chris Hoyt with CareerXroads. And you are listening to another edition of our weekly podcast. I’m excited today we have an industry colleague, all around pretty nice guy we’ve known for coming up on almost a year, I guess. Sam Davies, Sam, welcome to the show.

Sam Davies, Real Links 0:37
Thank you, thanks a lot.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:39
assume you’re I assume you’re an all around nice guy. I mean, I’m only I’ve only known you via Zoom. And some you know, some conversations, but you seem like an all around nice guy.

Sam Davies, Real Links 0:46
In person. I’m terrible. I mean,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:50
You’re a monster Sam, your a monster.

Sam Davies, Real Links 0:51
Yeah, exactly.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:53
So for those who don’t know, Sam, and those who don’t know, RealLink, Sam, why don’t you I always like to turn it over to the guests to give us sort of that escalator pitch of who is Sam Davies? And what do you do give us like a little two minute background of who you are? And why we should care about your opinion today?

Sam Davies, Real Links 1:12
Yeah, for sure. So after, after leaving uni, having done philosophy and history, I decided the sensible next choice was to get into recruitment. So myself a little bit there, decided that I could sell it even further. So I went into corporate law, and which was awful, awful, genuinely awful. And I had a strong chance back to your initial point of becoming one of those nasty guys. But the seeing seeing where it was going, I ended up leaving law and set up RealLinks. And it wasn’t all bad, because I got referred from one law firm to the next. And it was on seeing how terrible that process was that sort of gave me the nugget of the idea of can we improve this? Is it just a me problem? Or is there a wider problem than the industry and discovered it was a wider problem referrals generally weren’t working in UK and Europe and in the US and elsewhere, as well, about solving that with RealLinks, which historically has been an employee referral platform set up at the beginning of 2018. And more recently, we got into the world of internal mobility, which is how this whole project, how I became involved in this in this project more to the point. And it’s been a really interesting journey, not only on the referral side, but more recently on the internal mobility side and there’s a module to that around mentorship, which is very tied to what we’re going to be discussing today, which is super cool.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:31
Yeah, I think so. Sam it’s interesting. I didn’t know about your law background, too. So this explains so so much. It is an interesting shift, I think a pivot for you guys to take from an to an internal mobility piece because they think it’s funny on I think it’s a savvy, it’s a really smart shift. Because I think early on in the pandemic, when all of this was happening in the social unrest, you know, began to kick off and all of these changes, one of the first things that we said and then a lot of our members realizes that internal mobility will be the saving grace to come out of this less scathed, let’s just we’ll put it that way. Right. And I think some organizations leaned in on that piece. And some organization said, yeah, we’ll be fine. And I think they’re feeling that now. So I think it’s really, really interesting that you did that. And that is, in fact, what what brought us together today. So for those who don’t know, CareerXroads, established a nonprofit foundation, the CXR Foundation, last year, and we’ve done prior to the pandemic, when we used to do live meetings, I can’t wait to get back to those. But when we used to do live meetings, we would meet a day early in that city and do local work with any of the local charities or organizations we might stock a food pantry, we you know, we might work a shelter, you know, any number of things. We’ve coached college students looking for their first job going into the school, so a lot of fun there and doing sort of community work. And then that sort of transformed into a project that was Recruiters Recruiting Recruiters, right? And so we build that out. Because there were so many recruiters impacted or displaced by the pandemic looking for work, but then the supply and demand shift happened. And that project and all of the passion and the people behind it gave birth to another one, that we’re in the middle of launching and that we partnered with you, Sam on to sort of get that off the ground. And in fact, you are indeed the engine to that. Do you want to you want to talk a little bit about sort of how that how that works on your behalf?

Sam Davies, Real Links 4:29
Yeah, absolutely. So it wouldn’t want a conversation. I think this came about when we would do I was doing a sort of demo demo slice explanation of the product and you saw the mentorship piece and you saw what could be what could be done there. But essentially, the idea being that if you are looking for a job, whether you’re out of work or in work, and you’re you’re looking for support in terms of helping to upskill us support you through that recruitment journey. There’s a real opportunity to use our system, I guess The system that we’ve adapted for, for this fantastic initiative. And when you come into to the mentorship platform, as a recruiter allows you to basically create a profile. But the fundamental part of it is it allows you to say, what disciplines you need support with and help with. And on the flip side, if you’re a mentor, and you’re interested in coming in and supporting others, it will allow you to say, what disciplines in terms of recruitment you’d be able to help others with. And through that process, we’re able to match a mentee with a mentor on the system. So you’re able to go in, we’ve got we’ve got some fantastic mentors are there already, and we haven’t even be pushing this out by marketing, which is brilliant. But it is tailored. And you know that coming into it, it will help you because it is finding you someone who can help you with that next job with that next discipline that you need to look at, essentially.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:53
Yeah, it’s fantastic, I love it. I love the work that’s been done so far. I know we have a ways to go. But to your point, Sam, we’ve got what upwards of 50 people that are in our quiet pilot, as we’re sort of playing with that. And what I really find interesting about this, this piece is that a doesn’t cost anything to anybody to participate. And that you can log in and be a mentor or a mentee, or both.

Sam Davies, Real Links 6:20

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:20
And I think that was sort of a pivotal discussion for us like a decision point for us when we were putting this together with the small but mighty team that is sort of pushing this initiative, because I think that what we have seen in this space is that there is a hunger for not a and if you disagree with me, obviously you jump in. But I think that there is a hunger for a more rapid fire, short term mentoring or coaching type of relationship. And I hate the phrase just in time anything. But But I think sort of something that is not a long term commitment program. And Gerry and I have been kind of struggling with what do we call this. And if you’ve, if you’re regular podcast listeners, you’ve heard us come up with a couple of terms here and there. Thankfully, none of those have stuck yet. But I do think there is a thirst or an appetite for people to be able to come in and take advantage of these quick relationships, these conversations that so many of us already have, and sort of let people reach outside of their initial networks, would you, Would you see the same thing? With the discussions and the topics you’re having sort of over there across the pond?

Sam Davies, Real Links 7:27
Yeah, I think completely I think there is, is, you know, we were chatting a bit off air beforehand, around some conversations I was having at a conference last week. And I think there’s a we can, you know, as recruiters much like any other professions, your your moves between jobs become can become quite rigid. ie they can be very based on the you know, what can be like a smaller skill set of recruiting, and then you only feel comfortable applying for roles within that particular discipline. And there’s lots of talent there that can be utilized elsewhere. So it’s about helping those individuals to think about, okay, well, you know, you’ve got these four disciplines, you’re doing really well. But how can I help you to feel comfortable or confident or upskill to develop a few more disciplines that would actually make you a great fit for this for this other role. So it’s essentially allowing the idea is not only to provide people support, but what I love about this is it, it provides for less rigid mobility between those jobs, which I think’s really cool.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:26
Yeah, I love that. And I, you know, I have to say, to that point, we were talking a little bit earlier about the barrier to entry into recruiting. And I think a piece of that oftentimes, for folks who would be new to recruiting this confidence, because it is a very different field and one that depending on where you’re looking at that from could be quite intimidating, could be quite scary. And I think, you know, I’m just gonna say this and haven’t run it by any of the other team yet. But if you were somebody who is any people, you touching people, so let me rephrase that if you are in a job, not where you’re touching people. But when you’re interacting with people on a regular basis, and you’re considering recruiting, this might be an interesting resource for you to connect for a little bit of career conversation, because the chats don’t happen. But maybe for an hour, right is the commitment. We’re asking for more than an hour to have a conversation. And I personally, and I think quite a few of the other mentors would actually welcome a conversation with somebody who’s considering getting into recruiting. And we can say, Yeah, this looks like it’d be great fit for you or run, run in the don’t walk, run in the other direction. This may not be ideal for you.

Sam Davies, Real Links 9:31
Yeah, completely. I think that the confidence thing is so interesting, because you know, you again, I look around the room, and some of the recent conferences have been on the face and these people have got fantastic jobs and fantastic organizations, but they’re also still quite scared about moving into a slightly different industry or moving to a slightly different recruiting role. And this presents such a great opportunity to not only guy but give people the confidence to make those moves, which is awesome.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 9:56
Yeah, that’s a good call out too. I mean, too many times I’ve seen a recruiter that feels like they only know how recruit this, they couldn’t recruit tech, or the flip of that you’ve got these really arrogant technical recruiters who feel like nobody else can do that role. And that’s not helping the space either.

Sam Davies, Real Links 10:09
Massive massively like the example. We had a law firm, and a big law firm and a massive supermarket on this is sort of like roundtable discussion that we were at. And what was fascinating is, by the end of it, they pretty much worked out they had like, the same overall problems and lots of the solutions that were applied to both. But you wouldn’t have put those two things together necessarily. So it just, you know, backs on that point for sure.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:35
Fascinating. Well, look, Sam, anything you want to leave us with, I mean, we’ll obviously drop a link here. And we could tell people to get into that program at anything want to leave us with from the work that you do, or your your insights on the space before we drop.

Sam Davies, Real Links 10:49
I think the the one thing that I’m super passionate about at the moment is the idea that like, we can move more fluidly within not only our own industry, but elsewhere. And I think when you’re looking at things, tools, like what we’re creating here, the idea, you know, when you’re an individual looking at their next career move, being excited by your path, possibly just within recruitment, and, you know, get involved in this tool and give us feedback. And it’s through feedback and thinking about those different paths that recruiters can take that we can turn this into something fantastic. So no, I don’t know I just I think we’re we’re on the verge of something pretty exciting in terms of where career paths can take us. And I think tools like this help with that.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:31
Yeah, I need to I love your passion. I think whether you’re early in your career, or you’ve seasoned and you’ve been doing this a while. Well, here’s a great analogy. If your beard looks like Sam, right, or your beard looks like me, it doesn’t matter. So you could do a little while or a long while. It doesn’t matter.

Sam Davies, Real Links 11:46

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:47
I think there’s a benefit to sort of connecting and see what’s going on. Sam, thanks so much for joining us, man. It’s always great to get to know you a little better and sort of just share you with the industry.

Sam Davies, Real Links 11:54
Thanks, everyone. Cheers, cheers.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:57
Good stuff. So look, I just want to tell everybody, we are here weekly. We’re going all the way through. We’ve got kind of an interesting one. If you know Gal Almog he’s over at Talenya. He’s the big man over at Talyena. He wants to talk next week about what he’s calling a new product category. Automatic AI Sourcing. That sounds like he’s saying it’s the death of the Sourcer to me but join us next week. We’ll see what we’ll see what Gary’s got to say about that and until then we’ll see you guys online at CXR.works thanks everybody.

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