S5 E20 | CXR Podcast: Dan Black Avoids Being “Extra” On Campus

Dan Black, global talent leader at EY, shares how his college recruiting leadership experience impacts the search for a college with his son.

S5 E20 | CXR Podcast: Dan Black Avoids Being “Extra” On Campus

Dan Black, global talent leader at EY, shares how his college recruiting leadership experience impacts the search for a college with his son.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 
Can any other test I can. I have to say though the like in, I packed an overnight bag,

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 0:06

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:07
For this move, right because everything else is in boxes and you know what I discovered? Dan. I have forgotten how to pack.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 0:13
Oh yes.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:14
So how only two nights I needed to live out of this bag. But I couldn’t fit it all in a duffel bag.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 0:22
Oh yean, no, no. Well, I used to have a go bag, you know, for any travel, I could pretty much be on the road to Europe within an hour or so. And off I go. And my first trip back my first real work trip was local was to DC. And I was like in a panic like, where’s this and you know, everything and like, you know, all my like Visine and everything. It all dried out from two years like so I was like, I’m not used to it. Yeah, it’s crazy.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:46
Oh, yeah. Well, and it’s like A. I don’t know how I ever got anything into a check on bag. Yeah. And B. like, well, I forgot a toothbrush. Yeah, like, you know, just things where I’m just like, what’s, wait, who am I now? I’m traveling. You’re ready to do this.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 1:02
I’m ready, man.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:03
All right, here we go.

Announcer 1:05
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, CXR 1:34
I think that I have made the decision to actually keep the music and keep saying I’m gonna change the music and I think I’m gonna keep it every time. I’m jammin. Thanks for joining us, everybody. If you’re watching, you can see them in a new location today. This is the new office and we are streaming live while unscheduled construction and unscheduled landscaping and unscheduled everything seems to be happening. So today, it could be pretty interesting and disruptive. So thanks in advance, for working through it with me and guest today. If you’re watching us live on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, give us a shout a quick hello, let us know that everything’s working okay, that you’re seeing us all right. If you feel so inclined, go ahead and drop a link to your favorite social profile, so that ourselves and other listeners can go ahead and connect directly with you. And for the next 20 minutes or so if you’ve got a question or a comment for the show, then just add it in the chat stream. And we’ll see if we can pull that up for you. And joining us today is friend and longtime CXR community member and global ta leader Dan Black. Dan, welcome to the show.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 2:34
Chris, thanks for having me. And I my vote just for the record is keep the music because I found myself you know, it’s a bit of a little kick a step. I like it. I like it.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:43
We’ll keep it well, Dan, for those who don’t know, you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you. Can you give us sort of an escalator pitch about who is Dan Black? And why should we be hanging out with him today?

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 2:54
Sure. Well, I mean, you should hang out, hang out because I was smart enough to come onto your podcast. So that’s reason enough alone spending some time with Chris

Chris Hoyt, CXR 3:01
For sure.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 3:03
I have been in in the TA space for about 25 years or so a long, long time. But I’ve had lots of different different roles and different responsibilities over the course of the time. So I’ve been at one organization. So that makes me a bit of a rarity. These days, I’ve been at Ernst and Young EY for all of those years, but had some time in HR generalist, sometimes doing campus and University Relations campus recruiting a little bit on the lateral side, direct admin and executive hiring. So I’ve done a little bit of everything, and really cut my teeth in New York in the New York area where I live and then expanded to the US. And then gradually over time now where I lead all of our efforts. So anyone that joins EY anywhere in the world, any service line at any rank comes through through our team, which is which has been just a joy and a privilege to lead and just from I always I always give this a little bit Chris because it’s of interest to my fellow brethren and sisters and TA volumetric wise on a on an average year. We’re hiring about 100,000 people in the year, in this past year, you know, post pandemic and, you know, making up for some some attrition and etcetera we hired in calendar 2021 140,000 people

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:17
totally smokes.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 4:17
Yeah, crazy.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:19
Yeah, I love that. But Dan, I mean, you leave some things out. Right. You’ve been when I think of our members who really helped to define community. You’re you’re one of them. I mean, you were NACE president and board member for your I don’t think you’re NACE president for all three years, but you’re NACE President board member right. Three? Yeah. Your volunteer firefighter. Correct. And New York Metro Advisory Board member March of Dimes.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 4:47
Oh, yes.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:48
Right. And your soccer coach?

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 4:51
And well yeah, so now I finally have hung up the soccer coach and just a soccer referee but for years and years. I’m very active in youth sports. For to the youth In particular, my two kids both played soccer and baseball softball, respectively for my son and my daughter. Now, they’ve both gotten so good that they are beyond my tutelage. So I have turned them over to professional coaches, and they both selected baseball and softball and moved away from soccer. So I still stay active in the community as a referee, and help out with youth sports and in my hometown in Westchester.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:23
Yeah, I did. I did. I did the volunteer coach thing with little and Useven? I think it was you sevens. Yeah. That was the I had to study soccer. I’ve never really played soccer. That’s the extent of my coaching.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 5:37
Well, you know, you’re getting like, your kid tells you, hey, I think it’s time dad, I think it’s time to get your own kid. When you’re a coach, you’re always a tough send your own kid and everyone else gets a pass. So they’re like, Yeah, Dad, I think I’m ready for something else. You know, just kind of.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:55
Yeah, that’s what so Dan give us a little bit. Because you are the community guy, right? We’re just gonna call it a community guy, right? You’re always giving back. But give us give us a little bit of history with regards to your passion for college and early career sure to maybe put our topic and context because you’ve recently had an experience with with one of your offspring that’s in this channel. And I’d love to just let’s give some context like, Sure. Tell us about your college recruiting history.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 6:24
So so it’s fast. I’m one of these people that never had an intention to go, you know, into campus recruiting or recruiting in general or talent. I was a I was a pure business major. at Binghamton University. I went to school and I was like, you know, I’m gonna, I’ll start an accounting but maybe I’ll do finance. Maybe I’ll be a trader, maybe I’ll be a broker, you’ll anything on Wall Street. That was really my my life plan. And really through a whole series of, you know, fortune misfortune, however you want to look at it. I was I was at Chris, I promise I was doing okay. I was a good auditor at EY, we just there was this an opportunity where I had a big chunk of my schedule, and the person who recruited me from campus said, hey, you know, we could use a hand for six months, can you come and help in campus recruiting. And that six month as since turned into a career, but at the time, what really grabbed me was, you know, whether it’s my community work or charity work, what have you, I really enjoy helping people. And I found that campus and college gave me the opportunity to do that all the time. And not just giving people that first job or the first internship, which is, of course, very rewarding, but but helping people along their journey to discover what it was that they were passionate about, or what kind of organization might be a fit for them. So So I was getting paid to do something I love to help people to give them guidance and give them advice. And you know, as a parent, you know, when I later became apparent, like, they don’t really appreciate your, your guidance as much as someone who is really looking at, you know, their first career, their first job, their lawyer, and I got so much satisfaction out of that. And I said, boy, I think we could do this, we meaning me and my team, we can do this better. And that’s what really launched me down the campus recruiting road. And we started to do some really different things, especially for a large organization like EY that, that enabled more of my team to make more of those connections into into college recruits.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:14
Is it would you say that early career in college is still your favorite? Your favorite sort of component of recruiting?

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 8:19
It’s interesting. Oh, well, for sure. It will always have that place in my heart. I will say that there is like the last two years as an example, people that have been well along in their career trajectory lateral hires, I feel like they need more help if you’re a campus recruit, right now, I know the last couple of years may have felt a little bumpy but you have, you know, the world is your oyster, it feels like at this point, right? So those people that have all the sudden come to an epiphany about whether it’s a career change or you know, or or wanting to make a different turn or have six seven different options that they didn’t have four or five years ago, I find that connecting with them right now. That’s where I can make a bigger impact. But campus will always be kind of number one of my art Yeah.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 9:01
So Dan with all that what is it like to go through the college experience Yeah, with that with your with your kid and that professional lens?

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 9:14
I have to I have to actually set the stage a little bit because so so my son Tommy he’s a senior in high school as we speak. And you know, about a year ago things were opening up a little bit in the US in terms of you know, COVID and restrictions and so we’re like let’s go and take some tours and and just get a sense for what kind of university you might want to go to and right out of the gate before we even stepped foot in the car for our first road trip because dad I don’t want you to be extra now extra in teenage lingo is like don’t try to pile on any kind of extra knowledge or you know any fancy he’s like I know what you do for a living I know you know colleges, but I don’t not try to hear all that I want to make some my own decisions after home. And, and my wife who is she’s an attorney, she goes she is you know, he’s right. If you’re gonna try to impose everything you’ve learned in campus recruiting in 20 years into his little college university search, and it’s going to be brutal, and she’s right. And she’s absolutely right. So I had to take a step back right out of the gate and say, This is not this is not me doing my job. This is me doing a different job, you know, being a dad and giving him you know, trying to help them guide them a little bit.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:20
It is kind of our job, though, to cram everything we’ve learned in small five minute lessons.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 10:28
It’s like that, like, he removes one of his areas. He’s a gamer. So what if you can’t tell me in three minutes? I don’t have time for and then puts it right back on?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:36
Yeah. And which is worse? Do you think being extra being basic?

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 10:39
I think, well, it depends on who you ask. So my 17 year old says extra is where my 14 year old says basic, so I can’t when I’m always like, you know, run in the middle of that yellow line. I’m gonna get run over one way or the other.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:50
Yeah, I’m always learning new terms for my kids. Like spill the tea. Yeah. Thirst trap, I learned that. I can explain it well,

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 11:02
But the problem with me is that I’m always learning from them. But I’m always like, three or four months. So by the time like I’ve caught on to when you use these terms, it’s already passed. So I’d be like, oh, man, that party was lit. And lit was like, so January. I mean, please, you’re embarrassing yourself.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:18
I’m a little upset now. Because I thought, well, I know lit.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 11:22
Yeah, lit’s out lit is gone. Yeah.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:24
Okay, so Dan, give me a Give me a high point and a low point of bringing all that Dan Black experience on the college journey.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 11:34
So I have to say the high point was, you’re having enough exposure to the kinds of universities that are out there, I think your your average dad may not have that. I’m very fortunate for my work. When we first planned out, I plan to road trips to say, Tom, we’re not going to go look at schools that are in your, in your target range, because he didn’t have any right he he pretty sure you want to do engineering because that I don’t know what that means. From the school standpoint. I said, we’re gonna plan two trips. We live in New York. So we’ll do one trip up to Boston and one to Pennsylvania. And so on those trips, we’re gonna see big, small, public, private, you know, contained in the city, something more suburban, so you can get a sense of what type of university is yours? Yeah. And that was a huge win. Because I have to tell you, Chris, after that first trip, we debriefed every school in the car, because he was a captive audience. And I said, I’m not looking for a book report. But what was what did you like about that school and not like, and literally after two road trips, he said, Dad, I want to be in a bigger institution that’s away from a city that’s gonna contain campus feel to it. I like public verses. And he had reasons for all of this. And I was like, wow, and that was a real high because now we had direction. I would say the low point was, and I put a little I did an article in the local paper was my my alma mater. Binghamton was in his in his scope, because they have a great engineering program, et cetera. And my low point was, I really started to like, pushing towards the benefits of Binghamton at the expense of the other school. You know, I’m a proud alumnus I, you know, I wanted to, and I realized that when he was whatever you ask the question, my example of what would be good was something that that reflected well on Binghamton. Now, it’s a great school, but there were other great schools and I was starting to make some of those decisions, or at least some of those assumptions on his behalf. And that’s when I caught myself and said, I can’t do that anymore. I don’t want to have that kind of influence. He’s got to make this decision on his own.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 13:26
Yeah, well you know, it’s funny let’s see if I can show this here. So Josh Sweetie, we God bless him. He said, if Dan’s son won’t listen to his advice about college the rest of us dads have zero hope.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 13:38
Probably right, probably, right? Oh, my goodness, that?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 13:43
Well, you know, it’s kind of interesting to me. I mean, did you get feedback from him that, you know, did the kid think that had helped at all? Or was it was it really bad, you’re being a little extra calm, I’ll make my own choices.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 13:55
It’s funny, because after that, you know, as we got through the process, so that first you know, those visits were all last summer. And then we went through, you know, there’s the application process, the common app, writing the essay, etc. The more that I was able to empower him to make those decisions and next steps and choices, the better he felt. So I actually got several thank yous along the way, which is rare from a teenage boy, I’ll tell you right now, saying that I’m glad for so perfect example, I found him a college coach who was someone that only graduated two years before he did from his high school. So he made an instant connection with her she was at Northwestern an English major helped him write his essay but but it wasn’t like being posing some, you know, high paid college coach that that would have been my idea. And I said, here are some options for you make those decisions that you feel most comfortable with. Same thing with virtual visits. He’s like, Dad, I can do some of these. You’re virtually and by the way, I love virtual, he has got the Oculus and the headset, he goes, I can do all this stuff. You’ve given me some of those tools, my words that his let me use let me run and I really feel better about my decision. So So in the end, I think giving him some of those options where it was really good. The hardest part for me was Where do I step in? Where do I stay out? But, you know, we developed a cadence after a while. And by the way, things like, oh, that deposit is due, I’m still very much engineering that on his behalf, like, I’m not gonna have the miss deadlines over it. But he really started to take that ownership and it felt great. And that’s when when we really got to this great partnership, and it worked out.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 15:20
Yeah. Any, any, any surprises for you for you know, coming at it as a dad this time and not as a recruiting professional or leader?

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 15:29
You know, it’s, I, there were two things that really struck me number one is, you know, we as as ta professionals are always trying to get a sense for what the market and what what the market wants and what talent wants. And for early talent, you make a lot of assumptions. But you also you have a lot of data, it was so fascinating to watch it happen with my son. So my son, for example, we had to schedule a visit. And he went online to schedule it. And it’s it wasn’t working. So we have to call someone he turned to me goes that I don’t want to call someone to schedule a visit that should be done online. I’m like, yes, yes, it should, you know, the call should be made for when it’s much more personal, or you need to do a follow up, etcetera. So, so that kind of validation, I was like, wow, this is happening in real time, the stuff that I get in, in reports and data drops is happening real time in front of me. So that was surprising. You know, the other thing is, and this is not new for a long time I’ve been I’ve been defending Gen X Gen Y millennials, Chris, like, when we were when we were that age, we did our own thing and all this what they don’t bring to the table. I was very pleasantly surprised. My son’s a great kid. I know I’m biased. But you know, at the level of ownership, he took over the process even as a 17 year old boy that lots of other stuff going on. He goes Dad, this is my future. I’m gonna take it seriously. And I think there’s a lot of that, that maybe we as more seasoned professionals discount because it’s doesn’t look the same as when we did it. But doesn’t mean that the same passion or interest or fervor to get it right. And to see that play out. I was like, wow, that’s that’s really awesome to see in practice.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 16:52
That is well That is impressive. And it’s not too terribly Get off my lawn. Yeah,

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 16:57
Exactly. We’re gonna, we’re gonna walk barefoot up this hill both ways.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 17:08
Killing a bear. Okay, sit down, I’ll ask you. These are short snippets. So yes, I want you to wrap this up. I want I want to I got a new question that I’m asking. Okay. So if you had to boil down your message to be the title of a book, what would the title of that book be?

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 17:27
So I give this some thought. And I’ve landed on, Put Your Mask on First. Because I learned through this process. I’m not helping anybody. If I don’t first check in with, who am I going to be in this process? Am I prepared to provide I just wanted to jump in and do do like looking externally, so put your mask on first, you know, all of you, you hear that message, you’re on the plane, you’re no good to anyone else, if you’re not properly trained, rested the right mindset and thinking about what your role needs to be. And in this situation, that was huge. It wasn’t until I started putting my mask on and realizing what I was bringing to the table. And when I wasn’t that I really was able to help them. So that’s what I would do. But put your mask on first. Don’t forget yourself. You’re no good to anyone else without it.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 18:12
I love that. Okay, and then a little follow up question.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 18:15

Chris Hoyt, CXR 18:15
Who do you give the first signed copy to

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 18:18
Wow. All right. So I’ll give the first sign copy to my daughter because she’ll actually read it, I gave it to my son. never see it again. Then honestly, I would give it to the most senior people and you get a copy like senior leaders that really get it because I find that we once we’ve been on in our careers for a long time feel the need to like well let me let me noodle let me edit let me help let me you know, all from good intent. But forgetting the fact like you have to take that time out to make sure that you’re continue to develop your own skills and approaches and toolbox. And I think some people tend to forget that and just dive right in without you know, checking in first. So any senior person that I respect and like and work with put you on that list? I see Jeff, Jeffrey Moss is in there. I give him when I give Josh one. I’d have to forget I’m just gonna go on Amazon and put out 1000 copies.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 19:09
It’d be a best seller.

Dan Black, Ernst and Young 19:11
Why not? Well, at least in my mind, in my mind, anyway. Yeah.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 19:13
I love it. Alright. I’m gonna put you back in the greenroom. But don’t go anywhere. Okay. All right. Thanks so much, Dad. Look at next week. We’ve got HR.coms Matt Charney with us to hear about what he thinks about community and the world of HR he’s been living in over the last few months. On June 1, our members have the treat of joining our solutions spotlight they’re going to be Athena Karp CEO and founder of hired score, of course, and she’ll walk them through what’s new and noteworthy. In her platform, I think we’ve also got Ravi who’s the CEO and founder of Proven Base he’s going to do a solution spotlight on the night. Members are also going to want to watch for upcoming we’ve got a Q2 EMEA community meeting on June 15. And our CXR workshop on Design Thinking that is coming up June 16. So these a lot more you can find it at CXR works slash events watchers and listeners please subscribe and share the CXR podcast and remember you can catch up on hundreds yes hundreds of these previously episodes over at CXR.works/podcast and with that we’re gonna see everybody next week.

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