S4 E53 | eXpert Tease: Danielle Monaghan on Talent Acquisition Retention

Chris Hoyt connects with eXpert Tease guest, Danielle Monaghan to talk about how Uber has retained Talent Acquisition talent during a time of reduced hiring and pandemic response.

Announcer 0:00
Welcome to the CXR channel our premier podcast for talent acquisition and talent management listen in as the CXR community discusses a wide range of topics focused on attracting, engaging and retaining the best talent. We’re glad you’re here.

Chris Hoyt 0:17
All right, everybody. Welcome to CXR’s eXpert Tease. I’m Chris Hoyt, president of CareerXroads. And I am bringing to you a new segment of our podcast that that literally sits us down for just a few moments with industry leaders to talk about lessons they’ve learned their biggest victories, career challenges, that type of thing. The thing worth noting, of course, is that these are just about 15 minutes in duration, it is an expert tees. Now, as I mentioned, each of the discussions have a focused topic. These include things like D and AI challenges, retention, sourcing, leadership, even ethics in recruitment. So if you’re with us live, we’re encouraging everyone to add questions to the chat area of the broadcast throughout the talk. And at the end of the segment, we’ll take a question or two if we’ve the time. And then we’ll move the rest of the conversation online to talent talks, which is an open and public exchange on the CXR website, when you can find that@www.cxr.works/talenttalks. So I’m pleased to address today’s topic with industry friend, and the topic is talent retention. Now that is something that during a time of challenging economics, and workforce planning, and management is certainly top of mind for a lot of leaders. And so with me, is Danielle Monaghan, the VP of global talent, and mobility at Uber. Welcome, Danielle.

Danielle Monaghan, Uber 1:33
Thank you.

Chris Hoyt 1:35
Thanks for agreeing to be a guest on this week’s eXpert Tease!

Danielle Monaghan, Uber 1:39
Thank you for the invitation. I’m happy to be here.

Chris Hoyt 1:42
So Danielle, what I’d like to ask you as a talent leader is is directly related to I think what so many other leaders are struggling with right now. And that’s how to develop, retain, and even repurpose recruiting teams when recruitment hiring, slows down dramatically or even grinds to a halt. So do you have? Do you have some words of wisdom or some some experience that you’d like to share with the group with with regards to the topic?

Danielle Monaghan, Uber 2:09
Yes, I definitely would love to share our experience, because as you can imagine, we we were in the thick of things, and we’re still not, not all the way out. particularly given the the business that we’re in, as you can imagine, the the rides business took a real hit for us globally with with no end in sight. Yet, the eats business absolutely soared. And then our freight business did did very well. And when COVID hit, we had a number of other businesses that we were building or experimenting with. And the company had to make some really, really tough trade offs, and decisions on what to stop, start and continue. And nobody knew when, when this would end the night. I don’t think we do so. So so the tough decisions were made. And and it did mean that we were going to be a smaller company, and that we had to conduct layoffs. And so we had to also conduct layoffs in the TA team. But what we knew, and of course, what I know from 20 plus years of experience is the hiring will come back. It’s very, very hard to rebuild hiring machines, if you have incredible talent, do whatever you can to keep that in incredible talent. But how do we keep them productive and engaged and happy in a time that we just don’t know? What the next month or bring? So so what we did was we built a business case and with a few different hiring scenarios and hiring timelines, and then try to put some direct and indirect costs to this to show a case for rebuilding TA and what it would cost us and then and then what it what it would mean to productivity and when hiring, jumps back how long it would take us to rebuild. And we took the business case to the CEO, the CFO and my boss, the chro had some some really good discussions on trade offs. But we walked out of there with the team being very supportive of keeping the talent acquisition team at the levels that we recommended. But the question and the challenge for us was okay, now how are you going to keep your teams busy, engaged and productive?

Chris Hoyt 4:40

Danielle Monaghan, Uber 4:41
Oh, yeah. Go ahead.

Chris Hoyt 4:43
No, I was agreeing with you. Yeah, that’s that’s a huge challenge.

Danielle Monaghan, Uber 4:47
And and and, you know, recruiting teams, no matter what your role is on a recruiting team, recruiters and sorcerer’s and coordinators research. They want to be busy. They want to be busy. That’s just the nature of it. who we are. So we did what a lot of companies do, I think we doubled down on our training and development, we accelerated our training roadmap very significantly, we accelerated our project roadmap. And we had some big projects, we’re putting in a new ATS, we’re running a CRM RFP, we’re building a talent advisor and talent scout competencies and level maps. And we’re building a brand new hiring approach for the entire company for Uber globally, with principles and qualities called hiring the Uber white, so we accelerated that. But But again, that’s not really enough. So So we really had to think a bit more creatively, and work with our business leaders, to see how we could plug recruiters in to help the business and potentially help the community. And I’d say some of the things that worked well for us was we did build and publicly, we published a database where our impacted employees could opt in, and we made it publicly available. So we had recruiting teams working with our technical teams on that, we accelerated the rollout of our internal gig marketplace, where we, and then our other businesses that were in this gig, a pilot to post opportunities for short, long term temp full time assignments. And that’s where we really got the business involved and very excited. We had our recruiters work on some HR priorities. And we did we have helped reorganize HR content. And we helped the marketing team with careers website. But I think what was most exciting for the team was deploying our ta resources to help doing sales in our freight business, in in our eats business, of course, marketing and people in places. But we actually sold 20 or $30,000 worth of freight business. This is from some of the recruiters, we onboard hundreds of restaurants. And we both hundreds of menus for these restaurants as we onboard them. And then, externally, we also decided to get involved with LinkedIn recruiting for good initiative. And we source more than 1100 healthcare professionals. Through our partnership with Trillium Health and unity, health. Healthcare isn’t really our area of expertise. But the recruiting teams really very, very quickly, they were passionate about what we were doing. And they very, very quickly learned how to find nurses and other frontline health care professionals. And then we also help build a bridge with other companies that had job openings, through the Accenture people plus Connect job portal. So so so that for us is not only that we add value to burn in some new ways. But we actually think that this has helped give our teams an opportunity to experience the day to day of jobs that they typically recruit for, but they’ve never done previously. So it’s certainly strengthen their relationship and trust with the hiring teams. I think they offer our candidates enormous insight that maybe they couldn’t before, and and makes them more effective in their role. And then gives them that unique perspective.

Chris Hoyt 8:39
Danielle was there because we’ve heard some, some organizations talk about retraining or putting the recruiters sort of into the, into the organizations they’ve typically supported or throughout, you know, throughout the company, while the hiring is some sort of a downturn or pause. I’m curious, and then some, a lot of them haven’t because it wasn’t received well, but I’m just wondering, like when you kicked this off this initiative, was there any apprehension from recruiters to go into the different lines of business and if there was did that change over time where they got a little more excited said hey, Coach put me in another group a coach put me in another group.

Danielle Monaghan, Uber 9:13
As an as an organization, there was no apprehension they were individuals that that didn’t want to do that. But that was okay because we had other things for them to do. But overwhelmingly people people jumped to the challenge. And and some of my takeaways and key learnings here is think think now I know that people are going to cringe when I say this, but think now about the next recession or the next challenge and think long term and sort of make sure that when you’re hiring people, you are hiring recruiters for adaptability, resilience and grit, learning and growth, mindset, willingness To roll up their sleeves and get things done, collaborative ownership, hustle. Because these are the recruiters that did really, really well for us. And and and they took on every challenge, we threw their way.

Chris Hoyt 10:15
I love it learning agility, scrappy, you know, not afraid to do something a little different. I think that’s fantastic advice. So we’ve, um, so we do have a question that has come in. So I’ll read this to you. So someone in our live studio audience would love to hear thoughts around programs or initiative to encourage retention with little or no budget to throw at this or just from a resource standpoint, like any recommendations, there are thoughts on that topic, Danielle?

Danielle Monaghan, Uber 10:44
Yeah, I have a probably a counter intuitive point of view on this. And my points of view on retention and engagement is it’s actually very simple. You have to have the formula that you have to have for that is the jobs have got to be meaningful, impactful. And people have to have opportunity to run the business in the way that they see fit. So no micromanagement. It’s got to be interesting. It’s got to be challenging. transparency in the organization around how decisions are made. top down and bottoms up discussions and raising of issues, transparent feedback, empathy, radical empathy, particularly during this time, I think makes for a great working environment. We are focusing a lot more on social engagement and employee personal engagement that I think we did when we were in the office. I think that is helpful to get to know people personally and really understand, understand where they’re coming from. And I think that’s where that radical empathy helps. But I don’t think you need to spend a tremendous amount of money to retain, give people opportunities through stretch assignments, or mentoring or coaching. Tap them, when new and interesting projects come along. That goes a very, very long way for for retention and engagement.

Chris Hoyt 12:23
For sure. And I think what I’m hearing to underlying This is that this is it’s almost an opportunity sort of underneath this to help evolve the culture a little bit.

Danielle Monaghan, Uber 12:32

Chris Hoyt 12:32
And sort of grow that that, you know, for the for the organization as a whole, not just within the TA function.

Danielle Monaghan, Uber 12:39
Yes, I agree. agree that

Chris Hoyt 12:42
It’s good stuff. Well, Danielle, as always, it’s fun to connect with you hear what’s on your mind and talk about the work that you do. Thank you so much for giving us this part of your day.

Danielle Monaghan, Uber 12:50
Thank you. Thank you. I really appreciate it. Thank you

Chris Hoyt 12:57
Just a reminder that next week, October 29, we’re going to connect with none other than Glenn Kathy, the Boolean black belt. For those of you who’ve been around a while you’ll get that reference. But he’s currently the head of digital strategy and innovation over at Randstad. And he’s actually going to show us how to source for diverse candidates. So this will be very tactical and screen shared session of expertise and you’ll want your source or sourcing or recruiting teams to certainly join us so until then, we hope we’ll see everybody online @www.cxr.works/talenttalks. Thanks Danielle.

Announcer 13:31
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