S4 E69 | eXpert Tease: Technology and talent, buy vs build with Nick Mailey

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
I tell everybody, I’m Chris Hoyt, president of CareerXroads. You’re dialed in today to hear from an industry leader he’s going to share with you a career lesson or how to that’s one of the many topics surface from a survey from hundreds of talent leaders this year. Now, in this series, the topic might be around DE&I leadership, innovation, or even headspace and sanity during some pretty unprecedented time. So these conversations are about 10 minutes long. And if you’re dialed in live, you can both listen and participate with questions via the live chat feature. If you’re listening to the podcast after the interview, you can find it anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts like iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify, etc, etc. Or you can find it on our site at CXR.works/eXpertTease. If you do drop a question into the chat, we’re going to try and answer it as time permits. But the good news is that if we do run out of time, or you’d like to ask our guests something later, after the podcast, we’ve set up a free space for you to do that in an open exchange hosted by CXR at CXR.works/talenttalks. So with all of that, let’s jump in with today’s guest and industry friend. He’s the Vice President of talent acquisition at Equinix. Please welcome Nick Mailey. Nick, How are you this morning?

Nick Mailey, Equinix 1:27
I’m doing really well. Thank you so much for the invite. I love this community. I’ve shared this before I continue to learn from everyone here. And so thanks for the opportunity to chat. To be right, it’s 2020 COVID. We are in unprecedented time.

So for sure, for sure. Well, we know you get out what you put in. Right. So it’s so it’s exciting. Um, so Nick, today, we’re going to ask the age old question that leaders face when thinking of technology and talent, right. And that’s whether or not to buy or build what’s needed. Now you’ve been doing this for a period of time, you’ve learned a few things as a leader at various organizations of note, what’s one thing you’d really like our listeners to walk away knowing with regards to the challenge of buy v build?

Well, you mean, really getting narrow in on what you’re solving for what’s critical to the business in what you really need to deliver. And when you look at, it sounds really simplistic, but I do lots of interviews to really understand what’s critical with executives, and then with employees, because those are ultimately your clients. That’s really the number one thing and then it’s getting alignment that you’re going to deliver on that need. And then I the whole buy versus build I balance, balance, like what is the need? And then how are we going to deliver on that and balance can can look differently, whether it’s technology or people or what you’re going to deliver? deliver?

Chris Hoyt 3:02
is there is there one big takeaway, though, so from a balance standpoint, I mean, when I are balanced, I think of priorities, right? Whether that’s buy in on the front, you know, on the front end, or whether that’s, you know, from an implementation and staging standpoint, or adoption and change management? I mean, is there one that’s just been a particular we can go with victory or defeat, but just one that really stands out to you from from experience standpoint?

Nick Mailey, Equinix 3:30
So let me answer this in a couple of ways, because I want to try to answer your question. When I think about balance, I think about the teams that were developing and growing to deliver on a on a business need. And invariably, when you do an assessment of an organization that you’re working with, they may have some of the talent but not all of the talent. So you’re buying, you’re buying. And I’ve been fortunate enough, maybe four times where I’ve been in major transformations of companies, where we had to essentially buy talent that didn’t exist, and transform those companies and test their in the success of those companies. But you have to ask, you know, what’s there, what can what can be developed, and then what it is that you need. And then for my own team’s been the same thing, which is looking at the capabilities in that team, and understanding how you can bring in new talent that would really uplevel it. And I think you know, if you’ve worked with me, I tend to hire people from industry, but not necessarily having functional background, say within recruiting. I’ll look at finance backgrounds, or consulting backgrounds or product management, software development backgrounds. They feel like that really sort of thing mean rounds out in organization and allows you to think differently and really push us us recruiting organization, I think to to new levels.

Chris Hoyt 5:00
Well, and I think you and I might have talked a little bit about this a year or so ago. I mean, when you’re talking about diversity within an organization and within teams, you know, oftentimes people just jump directly to underrepresented minorities, right? Or people of color gender. But I think what you’re really talking about here is diversity of thought and experience, right?

Nick Mailey, Equinix 5:20
That’s exactly right. And you want diversity, of course of thought, capabilities and functional expertise that they’re applying on a new problem. And so you look at what you have, right? You broaden it think that’s where, when I think back on our success, it’s bringing in that diverse team that’s led to, I think the the best outcomes that I’ve experienced in helping transform a company.

Chris Hoyt 5:45
Nice. Well, what would you say is the biggest Watch out from that standpoint, when looking to bring folks in and trying to shake things up a little bit? what’s what’s the biggest thing people should be looking out for?

Nick Mailey, Equinix 5:56
That’s fantastic question. I think there are a couple, you don’t want to hold on too long to talent, that’s not working out. And that’s been my own personal, what happens is you develop affinity for people that are close to you, and that you worked with on an ongoing basis. And that’s the most challenging thing is really being objective and understanding, working either with the team or working with the clients. But that’s the washout really is waiting too long. And being really thoughtful upfront with what that will look like, up front. That’s one and I think the second area, typically, for leaders, I think the biggest enemy, we have see it, but it’s in difference. And it’s it’s not caring about the different elements and components of small things that impact the greater whole, and that indifference, whether it be with our systems and solutions or processes and experience yet that in difference, we’ll come back to haunt you. That’s the other thing. You so it’s not that you dislike something because then you know how you’re gonna handle it or that you love something because you know, what it’s delivering is that indifference in certain things, and you almost have to check yourself. Because those things that you’re indifferent about and variably are things you’re going to have to come and double check later.

Chris Hoyt 7:17
Nice. Nice. I think that’s a really good, that’s a really good call out. We’ve got, we do have one question that has come in. So I do want to ask you that before we run out of time. Does speed to market also impact? You know, your thoughts around buy versus build?

Nick Mailey, Equinix 7:35
Such a great question. It depends on what we’re talking about. We talked about our team, we talked about delivering for the best,

Chris Hoyt 7:42
Let’s do delivering the business, right? You got to get speed to market, how big of a factor is that?

Nick Mailey, Equinix 7:48
You know, anybody can build a team, right? Anybody can build the team. But that doesn’t mean the team’s any good. Like, if we’re gonna look in the United States, the Jets have a football team, I think they’ve lost 16 games last year, probably going to lose another 16. Like anyone, talent acquisition can build a team. It’s it’s what you deliver and how you do it. That’s what’s ultimately most critical. And so are you delivering the talent that is really necessary to transform the company? And you know, the way in what you’re doing? Are you diversifying the talent? Are you getting high caliber talent, and so those things really matter. And so, first to market. So look, timing, and critical mass is critical. That clearly clearly plays a role. And so that has to go into calculation, you have to be thoughtful about what you’re delivering, and the way in which you are, are delivering. And so, like all of us, it’s setting expectations on what the trade offs are, if you’re just quickly getting to market. And I saw a question on RPO. I’ll just quickly jump on to that. I believe it takes a village and I work with an ecosystem of partners. I don’t have one RPO three RPOS, I like it, it allows you to be far more agile in delivering on on different needs. And it allows you to sort of, like deliver on a need and dial it back where you need to and then candidly like just their rpos they’re very good at certain things. And that’s while you a variety of them, assist us and allow us to be more agile as as we’re growing or delivering on specific initiative.

Chris Hoyt 9:28
I love it non non traditional diversity, diversity, diversity. Nick, you are absolutely awesome.

Nick Mailey, Equinix 9:35
That’s that that’s the thing. You have to think about what is your ecosystem, like your village is not just internal. It’s all those partners that develop this solution for you. partnerships. With organizations help diversify pipelines pipeline, it’s the msps those service providers and ensuring they’re rowing in the same direction and the rpos and pulling them all together. They should all be on your staff. You should be meeting with them frequently. So it’s not just your fte’s and your and your directs

Chris Hoyt 10:05
Yeah, nothing in a vacuum. Nick, you are an industry superhero. So it’s always fantastic to connect with you. I just love it. I love the work you do. Thanks so much for joining us.

Nick Mailey, Equinix 10:15
Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thank you so much.

Chris Hoyt 10:17
All right, everybody. Next week, I’ve got Frida Polly. She is the CEO and founder of pi metrics. She’s going to join us to talk about the impact of ethics on talent decisions in today’s hiring environment. won’t want to miss it it’s going to be December 10 at 12pm Eastern so slightly different time than we normally do but you can register to join us live on the CXR website and until then, we hope to see everybody online at cxr.works/talenttalks. Thanks everybody.

Announcer 10:40
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