S5 E41 | Recruiting Community: Uncorked with Peter Brooks and Oban Scotch

Pull up a chair to the latest CXR Uncorked session where Peter Brooks joins Chris Hoyt and Gerry Crispin to talk events, trends, and more over a nice glass or two (or three) of Oban Scotch.

S5 E41 | Recruiting Community: Uncorked with Peter Brooks and Oban Scotch

Pull up a chair to the latest CXR Uncorked session where Peter Brooks joins Chris Hoyt and Gerry Crispin to talk events, trends, and more over a nice glass or two (or three) of Oban Scotch.

Welcome to CareerXroads Uncorked a series of member chats inspired by good drinks and current talent acquisition trends. Your hosts, Chris Hoyt and Gerry Crispin, break down today’s recruiting headlines while reviewing a select beverage of choice with industry leaders and influencers. Join us for a drink in conversation.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:20
Good to see man.

Peter Brooks 0:22
It is great to see the two of you and I was following from a distance watching the CandE presentations earlier this week. So yeah, we that went off? Well, it was

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:32
Yeah it went very well.

Peter Brooks 0:34

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:34
It was one of the it was actually the best conference I’ve been to this year.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:42
That seems a bit loaded. I mean, complimentary, but also loaded.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 0:46
Because the quality the qualities, these conferences is not not very high right now.

Peter Brooks 0:52
No, everybody’s getting their their working muscles back into shape. I think. Yeah.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:57
I’m gonna tell you, I think Talent Connect. There were some areas that were like, not not amazing. In terms of the facilities, right? Because you were walking around felt like South by Southwest a little bit. It was in downtown LA. And some of the breakouts weren’t awesome. But by and large, might be one of my favorite Talent Connects, they just did a really, really, really good job.

Peter Brooks 1:21
That’s great. Well, I I’ll tell you last night, we have a group here in the Washington DC area that we call the talc the Talent Acquisition Leadership Council. And we get together we used to get together probably four times a year, sometimes during the day at a at somebody’s location, somebody else host us. And then usually twice a year for dinner and drinks and usually bring in a vendor too it was great to see everybody I will never take for granted again. Being able to go and actually interact with your peers, your colleagues, share war stories, commiserate a bit.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:02
It didn’t feel a little bit like a high school reunion.

Peter Brooks 2:09
A little bit, and I you know, I’ve recently lost about 10 pounds. So I felt like I came to the reunion well.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 2:14
Well, I had talks with some of us who I know it’s only been three years since we’ve seen everybody really but I had talks with folks who I’ve known for a decade. And we were having conversations with like, Yeah, I’m having ACL or Oh, yeah, now I wear bifocals transition. Oh, I have a hearing aid now. Did we go through a timewarp?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 2:44
I got mine.

Peter Brooks 2:46
Oh, excellent. So you got the little bay. Hang on. I’ll

Gerry Crispin, CXR 2:49
be right. I thought I would try something a little bit different than you know, perhaps whatever, but it’s still Oban extra or something. You know, they it says they take old band and stick it in another cast for a while.

Peter Brooks 3:04
That’s right. I enjoy them both. And I almost went your route. But I I went with the traditional 14 year.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 3:16
I didn’t have that choice. I had a Yeah, it was either the Oban that they had, which was similar to this. I didn’t notice a year on it. I would have gone for I would have gone for a higher year clearly.

Peter Brooks 3:32
Yeah, they you know they do have an 18 year old but but generally speaking the Oban you usually find is 14. And it’s interesting too, because I’ve always called it Oban I’ve had I’ve been drinking this probably for 25 years but my my Scots friends telling me that it’s actually pronounced Obon Obon. So if we want to be proper than we could say open but I don’t know. It’s been so long. I just have it’s hard to break. For me, there’s there’s more expensive ones out there. There’s more exclusive ones out there. To me. For me. This is the perfectly balanced scotch. You know, it starts with kind of some fruitiness and some ginger maybe. And then it’s got just enough petee. And so it’s not super petee, but it’s got just enough that it balances out, you know. So that’s, that’s my go to.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 4:28
Well, I like the fact that it actually goes down my throat without burning the shit out of it.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:35
It is pretty good. It’s not too smoky.

Peter Brooks 4:37
Yeah not too smoky. I try not to keep it around the house because if I do, it’s just way too tempting to grab and have a couple so special occasions with special friends.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 4:50
I’ll take it.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 4:50
We appreciate the opportunity to share something with you. So that’s great.

Peter Brooks 4:54
Absolutely been a long time coming.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 4:57
How is your adjustment into your new job coming on.

Peter Brooks 5:01
So it’s, it’s been fantastic. You know, I, when I decided that it was time to leave Northrop, I was really looking for a place that took a human centered approach a really conversational approach to recruiting and to interactions across the enterprise. And through a series of conversations, every single leader that I met with, we’d spend the first 15 or 20 minutes talking about travels, or our kids adventures during COVID, or what have you. And to me, you know, forming that basis, that relationship is so important, it’s important to our craft, but I think it’s increasingly important to any, any company, any enterprise that wants to really connect with its people. And that was very attractive. Now, earlier in my career, I made transitions more frequently. And so I was accustomed to the onboarding, the quick assimilation, learning all the acronyms. And now I’m a little further further on in my career, and I spent seven years at a really good company, and, and it’s, it’s kind of knocking the rust off to get back in there and, and relearn something new, and especially moving from aerospace and defense back into a more commercial posture. But it’s been fantastic. I really am happy with the decision I made and look forward to transforming and evolving the function there.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 6:30
Wel we certainly wish you best in the new adventure,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 6:33
I think that do you think? Do you think that personal approach that you’re experiencing there is indicative of the time that we’re at? Or do you think that’s actually just it’s it’s just always maybe been the company’s sort of culture?

Peter Brooks 6:47
You know, that’s a that’s a terrific crush question, Chris. I think that it’s been part of their corporate culture since their inception, I think it’s probably become more pronounced as they’ve grown. And certainly over the last two or three years, the challenges struggles, you know, striving to maintain connection when you’re looking at each other through a screen instead of next to each other. But I think it’s increasingly important. And, you know, I don’t know what your all’s perspective is, you know, the last couple of years, I’ve seen a lot of companies start to promote, you know, their human centric kind of approach. And they’ve got mindfulness rooms, and they’ve got, you know, plants where you can meditate during your work day. It will be very interesting, though, I think, to see as we see this contraction happening in the macro economy, and I hope, I hope that candidates are paying attention, because all of these companies that have talked a really big game about social justice, about connection about being there for their employees about, hey, we’ve got the best human deal in town. We’ll see how that proves out.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 8:02

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:03
Yeah, it will be interesting. I have a theory. And I think I tweeted it a little while ago, but I’m wondering, you know, we’re seeing these lists. And we saw the Talent Connect, you know, here, out of how many, many 1000s of candidates that were actually pulled what was what was super important to them, an organization right in compensation, no surprise, always in like the top five, top three. But what I didn’t see was stability.

Peter Brooks 8:29

Chris Hoyt, CXR 8:30
And given the market and the but the people that we’re talking to, and some of the recruiters that we’re talking to are fielding questions around stability. we’re even seeing Gerry convict me up on this too. We’re even seeing leaders at the director level, starting to attempt to negotiate their exit, or these golden parachutes at a director. And I think it’s a fear of stability in the marketplace. Like what what happens if you laid me off in a year and it wasn’t my fault? Like if you just suddenly decide you hire too many, like, what, what happens to me? Why should I leave? And I’m wondering how long it’ll take before stability bubbles up into even the top five of responses from candidates saying, I’m looking to work at a company that is a little while,

Peter Brooks 9:12
I think we’re gonna see a dramatic shift. And it’s coming really fast. You know, as I said, I was at the talc meeting last night. And one of my peers is at a very well respected company. They’ve been making significant profits. I don’t know if their record profits but very healthy profits. And they were talking about downsizing about three quarters of their recruiting staff. And to me, you know, it’s a little bit heartbreaking. I mean, look, I’m a capitalist. I’m an American, just like the next next guy. So I’m not I’m not advocating for some, you know, socialist takeover. But I do think that we have taken a very kind of corrupt view on what capitalism is right, and companies that have a lot of responsibilities to stakeholders, including their employees, the communities, they live in the globe, the planet, they need to pay a little bit more attention, they need to shift shift their focus, in my view, a little bit more in that direction, a little bit less, gosh, little bit less, almost obsession, over what you do quarter on quarter, it’s such a short term, short view, and you look at you cut to the bone, you can you can make your profits look good, but that’s not real, that’s manufactured, it’s not sustainable. What you know, I think there’s room to create a company or thrive in an environment where you’re taking cost. Seriously, if things fall off a cliff, in a major way, you’re gonna have to make some unpleasant choices. But but we don’t need to cut to the bone at this point in time. I mean, it’ll become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 11:02
If we do, we’re so far on one end of a spectrum, we really need to redefine business in terms of our responsibilities to each other. Absolutely, as well as to the stakeholder who wants to maximize profit. And I, you know, I grew up in Johnson and Johnson, and the credo was literally written on the walls of every building that I walked into, and, and I drank that kool aid, but it basically focused in on what we owe the customer, the employee, the candidate, you know, the community, etc. And then the assumption that if we do those things, well, we will return a fair profit and a fair profits a little different than, you know, and I’ve seen profit, so

Peter Brooks 11:55
Then maximized every quarter, regardless of the impact, you know, and then the funny thing is, I shouldn’t say funny thing, the irony, I should say, is that, you know, during the Great resignation, all these companies are saying, Oh, my gosh, we’re having a hard time connecting with our employees, they don’t understand our value proposition. I’m like, Well, I think they maybe they do, I mean, maybe they can, maybe they understand they’re only as good as the next quarter. And for all of the all of the rhetoric, you don’t really care about your people the way that you should.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 12:32
And I think, Peter, I think quietly, one of the things that’s been overlooked is the fact that a lot of the major universities are producing, you know, really great talent coming out. And many of them in increasing number don’t want to work for a large corporation. And that’s part of the danger. Now obviously, they can get crazed, you know, by I want to be a billionaire. So I want to do a startup and you know, sell it. So, so there’s, there’s a little bit of a problem with the other direction as well. Right. But the truth of the matter is, many of them, you know, have seen their parents and their, you know, their older friends, if you will, who’ve gone before them, not really being fully engaged in in large corporations

Chris Hoyt, CXR 13:23
Or just getting screwed. Just get in screwed.

Peter Brooks 13:28
Yes. Yeah, getting really the short end of the stick. And here’s, here’s even greater irony, which I know I don’t have to tell the two of you, but maybe someone out there in the ether. This will be news to them. But look, we are demographically in a critical talent shortage. And we were we’re going to be probably for the rest of my lifetime.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 13:51

Peter Brooks 13:51
And so you would think that people would say, Well, gosh, if I want to have a competitive advantage in this market, and I want to have a sustainable enterprise that generates fair and decent profits for its shareholders and can invest in its people, then you would put talent at the top of your priorities. Sure, and people say they do. But again, you know, we’re already seeing contraction even though the economy grew this last month. We’re already seeing people act as if it’s fallen off a cliff.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 14:24
Yeah, well, I think you got to you have two messages to coming out. Right. Like you’ve got the economists who are saying not not a nasty recession, but a recession. It’ll be mild or it’ll be shallow you know, we’ll be okay. But then you have headlines coming out that say basically iceberg straight ahead. conflict that’s coming out across the board and it ripples I think the fear ripples throughout you know, the talent acquisition side of that.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 14:52
Wow it’s headlines like today of of Elon Musk, laying off half how The workforce for example. Yeah, it’s it’s it sells newspapers it sells you know, Twitter. It’s, uh, yeah. So obviously that’s what’s, that’s what is out there. And that scares a lot of people, perhaps even some CEOs who say, Well, maybe I shouldn’t be doing the same thing he’s doing

Chris Hoyt, CXR 15:19
Well for it was it the it was Forbes or Fortune I forget which that an article came out about two weeks ago that said, 99% of CEOs fear a massive recession. It’s like, well, you only you only pulled 200 right into the article says that 99% of all of them. But I think those headlines, you know, screw the shit out of people.

Peter Brooks 15:38
They do? They absolutely do. So we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes. But again, I hope that candidates are paying attention. I mean, it makes me think about when COVID first happened. And we had at Northrop a crop of I think it was about 1500 or so interns that we’re going to start. And we made a corporate commitment, like, look, we told them, we would offer them an internship, and it may not be as robust, we may have to do it virtually. But we’re going to honor that commitment. And we did. And, and so along the same lines, I hope that now people really take a look, because when the economy let’s say it is a mild recession, we come back out and q2 q3 of next year, all these companies are going to come straight back with their, you know, mindfulness practices and their employee ways. Think think it through first and maybe look, if you if you don’t care about that kind of thing, then fine. But if you do care about working for an organization that takes care of you that is engaged with you, that values you not just quarter on quarter, depending on profit, but for you as a human being, then pay attention.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 16:52
I think I think it’s a lot. So what you did at NG with the interns, I think, is a dividend that comes back in 10 years, or maybe even 20 years when these these folks remember that move, right. But if you’re looking at whether you’re in the black or the red, or you’re looking at what’s happening to your point earlier, I think Peter quarter by quarter, there’s no real return on that shut that down, rescind those offers. And we saw, we saw a lot of people do it. But I do think to your point, it is a very valid longtail strategy of making sure that people know that they are appreciated, or at least treated like people, right.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 17:28
I think it’s also the importance of people at any stage. But but certainly younger folks who are considering what what jobs to take to begin with, as well as where to go after that, that they have access, they have transparency around data, like the data that you’re describing theater that they that it’s easy for them, if somebody has coached them, to find out how this company handled the last recession, for example, or how they handled the pandemic, or how you know, how many people are retained over time, who come in from you know, this school or that school or what have you. And so they’re improving their ability to make reasonable decisions, because they’re getting the kind of mentoring and coaching that allows them to think more beyond think beyond the obvious, which is the salary and compensation and the change, etcetera, etcetera, in terms of responsibilities.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 18:31
So Gerry, I’ll ask you, and I’ll answer it. I’ll answer my own question. First Amendment. I am never ever when applying for a job at like 30 years ago, right? Just starting my corporate adventure, never thought to question how the company what was their corporate citizenship? It never crossed my mind as a 20. Something to ask myself. How did these folks treat their employees in when x happened? Or none of that even crossed my mind? Down? That’s something that was even on your radar in your 20s

Gerry Crispin, CXR 19:08
For me, yeah. Oh, absolutely.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 19:11
Really, it was?

Gerry Crispin, CXR 19:12
Without a doubt.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 19:13
Gerry’s from the future.

Peter Brooks 19:19
He’s a leader. He’s a leader, Chris, you know that.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 19:22
In my graduate years, I became I have a peak experience in my graduate years. And the recession. So there was a recession in 1971. I’m, I’m in career services at Stevens Institute of Technology. Oh, yeah. And people are coming in with 19 years of experience from Raytheon, a company that Peter would be familiar with, and telling me that they have just been laid off. But here’s the thing in 1971 Raytheon only gave you a pension One after 20 years. So people with 19 years of service have 00 invested in their pension. There’s no such thing as 401k in 1971, right? And I’m sitting there shocked. Because for the first time of my life, I realized, oh, they don’t care about me. I couldn’t imagine that they wouldn’t care about me.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 20:32
Who was the Oscar winner? Yeah, it was like, they really loved me.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 20:36
I was, I would have been just like you. But But, you know, I was responsible for helping a guy who’s 40 years old, who’s crying because he doesn’t know what he’s gonna do. He spent the last 15 years working on the electronic systems for f 101, you know, left wing. And I jokingly say, well, there’s the right wing. He says, No, that’s a whole different system. You know, and I’m going, Oh, fuck. And, and the other thing that hit me was this person had no accountability to himself for managing his career. He just assumed he was going to be a lifer. Sure, and took it for granted. And, you know, there’s some reason to believe that but, but we don’t think that way anymore. And I believe that most kids coming out of school now who have parents who’ve worked in business, as opposed to those who might not have had parents who did those things, that they are getting advice, they they have opinions and issues that might be different. And I think we need to level the playing field, to be able to provide more mentorship, more coaching, more counseling, like, like what we’re trying to do. So Peter, I don’t know if you know, where we are trying to launch this year, before the end, a free mentorship program for recruiting. Okay, and not not not a permanent thing. I mean, like, you become a permanent mentor. But but, you know, people who say I want four or 500 of people like you and me and many others, much younger, who might, who might, in fact, say listen, I’m willing, a couple times a month to take your call. Yeah. And spend a half an hour if you’ve got a question about your job or whatever.

Peter Brooks 22:42
The so this is the first time hearing about that. But but certainly by all means, count me in and I’ll even take two or three interns or what Menzies

Gerry Crispin, CXR 22:53
do a coffee with a young kid who’s saying, oh, absolute reason I picked you is because is because I saw that you you worked at Northrop Grumman, you’re not there now. And I’m thinking about what does it take to be successful in a, you know, an in defense company, you know, is it really all that bad as an autocratic, whatever command and control? Or is it changing its way in terms of whatever? Yeah, and, you know, that’s the perfect kind of question and set up, that helps you guide somebody, and whether they come back or not, you’ve made a you know, you’ve made a, you know, a change in a way that they see themselves.

Peter Brooks 23:31
I will say this too, you know, you reference the parents. And here’s the other thing, which, you know, look, the internet, I think, has gotten wild, wild west out there beyond anyone’s imagination, at least when the whole thing started. But I do love some of the, the emphasis and wherewithal to create transparency. You know, companies always used to be able to operate as a black box. And the difference between external and internal now is very fuzzy and blurred. And so whether you’re talking about, you know, pay transparency, and Jerry, I think I saw from you the list, you know, the list of companies that were trying to subvert that. And they were being called out, you know, in, in the public square and between, you know, LinkedIn or Glassdoor, or, you know, any myriad number of sites. I love the fact that, you know, there’s greater transparency, if you have.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 24:35
We still have a ways to go, Peter

Chris Hoyt, CXR 24:37
I do agree, but I think there is we have a lot to do I think we have a long ways to go from accountability. And I gotta tell you, when you’re looking for a job, and you need a job badly enough, and this is what corporations once I’ve worked for recruiting teams, I’ve been honored that I’ve let we count on this. You need the job. So you’re going to put up with our bullshit, right and to get to the point where we make the offer and I think when You see organizations put up a pay range that goes from $80,000 to $207,000 on their job posting, so they don’t they don’t get in trouble with the law. People are still gonna go through their enough. We’re gonna go through it

Peter Brooks 25:11
100% agree. And I also look, it’s been a little bit shocking to me. I don’t know if it was one of you all’s discussions from the site or another group that I’m a part of, but when when this pay transparency first came to the fore, and legislators at the state level, were saying, Look, we’re not leaving this to your control anymore. We’re going to, you know, we’re going to pass a regulation around this. I had many peers at companies that I respect, who were absolutely beside themselves, belligerent, and you know, how dare they do this? And I’m like, what? I don’t understand what what you first of all, that all people can Google, the only question is, is the information they find online is going to be accurate or not. And I would prefer them to have accurate information so

Chris Hoyt, CXR 26:10
That, you know, yeah, that you’re 100%. Right. And that’s part of the line in the sand that indeed, drew. Yeah, we did a podcast interview not long ago, where they said, Look, this is our best guess you can replace it with actual numbers, or you can just deal with the fact that we put our best case on there.

Peter Brooks 26:28
Right! Yeah, I look, this may be controversial. I may not win friends. I hope that’s not the case. But listen, I think that’s a strong move. I applaud indeed, for doing that.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 26:41
And I agree, I mean, I agree with you, Peter, I do think that there are a couple issues that we we kind of overlooked in terms of how we influence, if you will, our peers and colleagues who may be a little uncomfortable coming into the 21st century. And I do think that we need more. Chris and I have been really focused on this issue for the last year and this transparency issue right now is really trying to figure out how can we from a collective point of view, increase our power to influence and and act as a catalyst for a voice that comes from within the industry as opposed to because some of your, our colleagues and peers are upset simply because the voice is coming from the outside?

Who don’t know anything about it.

We don’t know, if they even know anything about recruiting, you know, and I would hazard a guess on that we were in my favorite is we were in like, three was a three, four weeks ago, Chris, we had our leadership meeting, we had like 40, you know, 30, some odd folk, all of whom who are heading up TA and we wanted to have a good conversation on on transparency. So one of the things we I we asked is, you know, are your companies or your companies actually engaged in doing a calculation to understand better what kind of disparity exists even exists for getting solving it yet? But are they doing the research? The, you know, the, the analytics internally, and most of them, because obviously, these are large companies who are members? And and also, you know, leaders in their industries, respective industries, most of them raise their hand. But then I asked, then I asked how many of you have access to the results of their analytics? And they all said, No, it’s not being shared with me. There’s no transparency from rewards over to, you know, ta, to better understand where we stand in terms of our discomfort, if you will, and what we’re planning to do in, in compression, what we are planning to do, and focusing in on market pricing, and ensuring that you know, negotiations are equal for gender, race, ethnicity,

And I’ll throw in your make a good comment too. And I want I don’t want to interrupt you to stop, I just want to throw in the fact that no one’s talking about total comp. Yes, we’re talking about, nobody’s forced to share total comp that gets negotiated.

Right let’s just deal with that part. You know, because it’s it’s a complex problem. Yeah. But no one’s got transparency. And then I said, How many of you have employees in California? And they go, everybody raise your hand? Yeah. Yeah, we got plenty of employees in California. And I said, so if you have 100 employees in California, you have to submit average pay per gender, race and ethnicity. What do you think California’s gonna do with that? Yeah, they’re going to publish it. It’s going to be accessible. I said, So you you’re in, you’re in the dark. And meanwhile, any one of your employees can see the level of compression, any one of your candidates can see the differences and disparity, and you haven’t even prepared a script to handle that question.

Peter Brooks 30:15
So, you know, look, I will say, I will say in that regard, I, I’ve been very fortunate. So, over the last, you know, 5-10 years, I’ve always been an organization that did complex analysis, first of all, did great surveys so that the data was actually based on reality. Secondly, did analytics from a disparity standpoint, from a, you know, GOF standpoint, and then they did share that with recruiting, and now is

Gerry Crispin, CXR 30:47
Critical, that’s that transparency issue of what the recruiters need to do their frickin job?

Peter Brooks 30:53
Absolutely. Now, even companies like that, I think now there’s a further step, which is don’t just share it internally, but, but be transparent externally. And I’ll be honest, like, Look, if you’ve got a good news story to tell, and if you’re a quality organization, and you’ve done that homework, and you’ve done your best to erase or minimize disparities, or you’ve got correction plans in there, if you see people that are outside of band, tell the story, because absent telling the story, people will make up their own story. And usually that story isn’t the one you want to told.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 31:28
Well, you’re you’re not wrong. I will tell you, I sat with a leader at a financial institution two weeks, and he said they had done a complete analysis on on achieving full pay equity internal external, and then in one year, not what’s the big No, not 70 years, not 700 years, one year, they could they could fix the problem from at least getting normalized and then move forward. However, however,

Peter Brooks 32:00

Chris Hoyt, CXR 32:01
It came with, this is not a large organ, it not it’s not a very large organization, a $17 million price tag to make it right in the first year, payroll $17 million, this is not a 200, you know, 200,000 person organization. So it’s it’s currently now with the CEO, I guess up in the C suite, they’re deciding do we need this in a year?

Peter Brooks 32:25
You guys, the first the first time that I was introduced to career crossroads was when I was at Booz Allen Hamilton. And I engaged you guys to come in and do a presentation. And we got a little we got a little surprised by some of the real time candidate experience feedback, that mystery shopping, then you were you were and and it looked there was eye opening. Okay. But look at that time, I was one of those people, Chris, you were talking about when I went to Booz Allen, I was really eager to get into the public sector space. And so when they put an offer in front of me, I didn’t negotiate it, I just took it. And the fact of the matter is, I was under compensated. And so I got about a year in and they saw what I was capable of doing. And my boss, you know, kind of pulled me aside. And she said, listen, Peter, we know that you’re under compensated, you’re delivering value far in excess of what you’re being paid. Now, we can’t fix that, right now this minute. But we’re gonna do an incremental increase now, you’ve got your annual review coming up in June. And then if we still have room to go, we’ll do another off cycle. So trust us forward a year hold us accountable. But we’re going to make this right for you. And so Chris, your point, you know, maybe $17 million. If you’re a small company, that’s a fortune. So maybe you can’t do it all at once. But you can roadmap it. And you can have transparency around. Look, we we cannot afford to do this all in one fell swoop, but we’re committed to getting it right. So stay with us. This is the journey we’re going to take, you know,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 34:16
I can I can certainly appreciate that. It begs the question of and the financial institution, not a small one, but just not as a people. Right. So it’s a tricky change. But like, it does make the question why under compensated to begin with, right. I mean, I remember bringing somebody in to my leader and saying this is it. This is the person for the job. And I think we should offer her this. Yeah. And my boss came back and said, Well, isn’t she only making that I said, and I swear this is a real conversation. It’s just timely. And I said, Well, yeah, but this isn’t the middle of our band. And then no, you can give her that because that is 10% 15% over what she makes today. It’s the lower end of the band, it’s in the band. So you can’t argue with it and I got shut down.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 35:01
Well, you know that that kind of attitude has been around for 100 years. But the question is, you know, it’s changing. It’s not changing fast enough, but it is.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 35:12
I don’t know that because I don’t know for satisfaction or they’re angry, disenfranchised, marginalized, upset people. What can’t go fast enought.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 35:20
We can’t can’t be surprised that the engagement levels are at a, you know, incredible low.

Peter Brooks 35:27
That’s right. So, you know, Chris, I look, I’ve seen analogous situations before, again, if you if you’re in a company that really has an ethical Northstar, yeah, they will try to do the right thing. Okay. I, the other thing that that I found very helpful is, you know, I’ve been a part of organizations where at the early career level, we really don’t negotiate salaries, we have a, we have a standard and a premium band, depending on, you know, what the skill set is. And then regardless of who you are, where you’re coming from, you’re, you’re getting slotted into that, and so the pay equity starts at that first step totally equal.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 36:11
So agree with you, Peter, in the sense that when we look at our members, I think our members almost to a person are fundamentally within that framework. And even if they didn’t have access to all the data, they have some confidence that their companies are trying to do the right thing, they may not be sharing as much as we all would like. But they know they’ve got to fix it before a class action suit takes place. You know what I mean?

Chris Hoyt, CXR 36:43
And I hate to go, I hate to go all lefty on you. But But when, you know, when I went, when I first started corporate recruiting, my responsibility was hiring operators. Like constantly, when you do remember, 411, when you sit out for a one and get a name and number, like I was hiring these folks, right at some ridiculously low, whatever salary, but I remember having a chart in front of me, and this was your education level, right. And this was your months of experience, everything was broken down into months, and you went here, and you went here, and boom, that was your offer. There’s no negotiating, that’s what you get, period. It didn’t matter if I liked your gender more than another gender, or the color of your skin more than didn’t matter. So when I broke over into the other side of it, and now making offers to people where there’s some wiggle room, like I don’t understand, where’s my matrix? But what do you mean, I’m just making it what I just pick a number? I don’t understand.

Peter Brooks 37:39
Well, you know, you’re putting your finger on something really important. And I’m sure you guys are tracking this too. But, you know, look, we are in the middle of another revolution, which is taking a much more skills oriented approach to hiring and, right. I mean, it’s long overdue, it’s, it’s equitable, it increases the diversity in your pipeline, it recognizes experience from different different kinds of world experiences. The challenge is that no one yet has figured out quite how to tie that back to comp and even companies that are doing it maybe on the front end of the curve, ultimately refer back to a proxy, like years of experience or something like that.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 38:23
It is all things being equal, whether we like it or not, across corporate America, if you have an Ivy League degree, or an Ivy League certification, all other things being at you are going to be the premier candidate, you’re going to be the front running candidate, all things being equal. Now, that doesn’t make it right. Because there’s an awful lot of people who are wildly talented, probably do an amazing job in that but didn’t have the opportunity to go to some sort of Ivy League school or even to college at all. But I don’t know how we break through that. Oh,

Peter Brooks 38:59
I will. I will say this, Chris, I you know, so I was at NSBY, right before the pandemic, okay. National Society of Black Engineers. And we were, we were there to make offers, okay, and, and we lined up candidates, and they were as a as a whole, great. In fact, it made me I remember thinking at a time, thank God, I’m not in school anymore, because I can’t, I can’t compete with that. But I’ll never forget, there was one young man who we were interviewing, and, you know, he showed up and he had his brand new suit on and a little nervous. So I was I was trying to get him to relax. You know, look, we’re here. We’re here to find a mutual win. So just go in there and be yourself, you know, and he’s like, Yeah, well, you know, it’s just I’m a little bit tired. And I said, Oh, yeah, I didn’t sleep well. And he said, Well, I he was going to an HBCU way down on te South, this event was in Detroit. And the only way he could afford to get there was by taking a bus. And he was on a bus for something like 18 hours. And I was like, at that point, I was almost like, look, I don’t even care what’s on the resume, anybody that’s willing to get on a Greyhound bus for 18 hours and traverse the United States

Gerry Crispin, CXR 40:25
To come in for an interview.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 40:27
That level job those requirements, some of which may have been bullshit to begin, right? This guy’s all in,

Peter Brooks 40:34
Let’s be honest, early career, none of them really have experienced, they might have a good internship. But but you’re hiring for capability and you’re hiring for the drive, and you’re hiring for their collaboration and their teamwork. And it’s like, here, you’ve got this student who with along with four or five others from his school, got on a bus and made this journey and I’m like, I will hire you right now.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 40:59
Well, I’m gonna, I’m gonna throw a curveball with with the same ball you just pitched and say, Okay, you should be hiring today more for potential. And taking all that profit money that we’re making hand over fist and big corporations and investing in in the further education towards that job expertise. We should be investing in the training.

Peter Brooks 41:21
You guys probably know this. But you know, I think the half life on a current technology right now is something like two and a half years. Yeah. It’s not like the old days when you learn COBOL and you did COBOL.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 41:38
COBOL. Folks, Peter, when I was early recruiter, like those dinosaurs, when I was in my 20s, were writing their own checks,

Peter Brooks 41:45
Right? Bring them back out every 10 years to correct code, but But look, the half life on technologies two and a half years. So the fact of the matter is we need to rate be in the retraining business for everybody. And it makes the learning aptitude and makes the learning discipline so much like if someone is an active learner, and they just constantly are curious about learning new skills and new technologies, that that they should be getting a premium for that because that is what is going to be required in the workforce as we go forward.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 42:18
I would agree and we should be looking at our own profession as well. And I know you have Peter that that you have put a lot of energy and effort into upskilling your recruiters and I know they appreciate that. But the fact of the matter is recruiting is shifting and changing and between the issues around transparency, the willingness to provide more nuanced feedback, the ability to step up and engage hiring managers to push back those those skills need to be taught to recruiters who are not yet necessarily trained as a regular, you know, course of how they how they succeed. Absolutely. A lot more of that.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 43:08
I do I think as a hiring manager side too. If you’re an interviewer, you got to go through the same certification, you got to go through the same everything.

Peter Brooks 43:15
Absolutely agree. Now, if I were a young buck like Chris here, I wouldn’t

Chris Hoyt, CXR 43:21
Not anymore I’m buck but I’m not young.

Peter Brooks 43:25
I probably wouldn’t be so invested. But I’ll be honest with you, not geriatric, I’m sure you’ve got some of this too. But it’s like, look, this has been a profession that has been amazing for me. It’s introduced me to incredible people, I’ve had the opportunity to touch technologies that we couldn’t even imagine 50 years ago, I bought houses, you know, I’ve been able to put my daughter through college. Like that is an amazing thing. And I want the next crop the next generation of recruiters to have the same opportunities that I did but they’re going to need new skills, they’re going to need enhanced skills, they’re going to need to be agile, as the technologies change. And as hiring managers need more and more assistance, you know, navigating the labor market and finding adjacencies in the skills arena is going to it’s going to be a fascinating career. But it won’t make that shift if you’re used to just pushing paper across the desk and saying, let me know who you want to interview.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 44:35
You’re and we have to as we upskill their capabilities, we need to supply them with better and better information. Like for example, you mentioned that you were observing something some of what was going on with the candidate experience Awards, which really is a research organization focused on bringing that kind of data at that at that level as to the impact acted that might have on business and other aspects of what I hope ATAP might do in terms of association and talent acquisition professionals long term. But I think the suppliers and vendors who support the talent acquisition leaders and their teams are also going to have to demonstrate that they’re moving, they’re helping to move the industry forward. And and, you know, advance the profession. Because I think that all comes together in terms of how we supply that transparency to recruiters and candidates and hiring managers, so that they can make better decisions.

Peter Brooks 45:41
Right? Yep. 100% agree. 100% agree.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 45:47
So So what do you think is gonna be your biggest challenge down the road there, Peter?

Peter Brooks 45:52
Oh, my gosh,

Chris Hoyt, CXR 45:53
T easiest challenge you’ve got is, is getting back into career crossroads. That’s where even

Peter Brooks 46:02
We didn’t get the email from Barb. So I think we’re on our way now.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 46:07
It’s not for you. It’s for it’s for the people that that are your team? Oh, absolutely. They’re the ones that that we we look at in terms of building the kind of content that they can they can put together and it would be nice to be bringing solutions to you.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 46:24
It would be fun to see you get, we’ll send you some information, we get a little more involved in our nonprofit at the foundation, the six our foundation.

Peter Brooks 46:31
Oh please do, please do come back to that. Again, when I look at the future, when I think about challenges. I don’t know, again, maybe it’s just where I am in my career. But I really, you know, look, we’re gonna have to all weather a little bit of economic uncertainty. We don’t know what what Vladimir Putin has in store. And we’re going to have to be mindful about that. And hopefully, he’ll be deferred from doing more atrocities than he already has. But when I look at the future, I just I really see amazing opportunity in terms of finally getting to a place with diversity, equity and inclusion, that is a real step forward, where we really honor differences and where people are coming from but but simultaneously recognize that they’re human beings and deserve to be valued. And I think I think we’re, we have an opportunity to cross the threshold on that. When I think about the skills, revolution, I think about transparency, and all of these things in one way or another. You know, they are a little bit of headwind in the face, you’re trying to keep your operations going day in and day out. And then you have these strategic things that you’re locking into. But I don’t know if you guys know Nicole Malla kowski. She was the first female Thunderbird pilot in the US Air Force. And I’ve had the opportunity to hear her speak once or twice, and she said something at the last the last time I heard her speak that just has stuck with me. And she said, You know, I went up, I went up in the airplane the first time and she’s flown combat missions. She’s decorated pilot, but the first time she went up with the Thunderbirds information, she hit some turbulence. And she said, I didn’t know what to do. I grabbed the stick, I tried to, you know, muscle, the machine where it needed to go. And her commander, when they landed, said, What were you doing up there, your plane was all over the place. And they’re flying 450 knots three feet away from each other. It’s not a lot of room for error. And she told him, and she asked her, well, didn’t you feel the turbulence? And he said, of course. And he said, Do you want to know the secret? And she says, yeah, the secret would be nice. And he said, When you encounter turbulence up there, loosen your grip on the stick, because the plan is gonna go where there moves it and the plans will will move in tandem with each other, you need to release your death grip on that stick. And I think as we go into these turbulent times, we need to stay focused on what we can control, we need to stay absolutely focused on our teams on all of the issues that we’ve talked about. And the bumps, you just have to go, you’re gonna have to ride those out. You’re just going to have to realize it’s going to be uncomfortable. But I’m going to control what I can control and I’m going to let the stick kind of move so that we’re all moving in concert, you know,

Gerry Crispin, CXR 49:50
I like that.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 49:51

Gerry Crispin, CXR 49:52
Great metaphor.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 49:54
It’s fantastic.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 49:55
It is fascinating metaphor.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 49:58
Look Peter, I just want to thank you so much full of gratitude for you joining us and then not forcing me but encouraging me to go back out and like, I’m not mad about it, we’d been missing cabinet.

Peter Brooks 50:11
I am so glad that you guys enjoy it. And it is it is really a pleasure to see both of you. I’m glad to constantly see the work that you’re doing. You’re you’re doing heroes work out there really. And, and

Chris Hoyt, CXR 50:28
We’re doing baseline, that’s what everybody’s

Peter Brooks 50:31
You can call it what you guys want. I you know, look, recruiting is always living at the pointy end of the spear and as a practitioner when you’re in there, taking fire, trying to navigate okay, it is really it is really reassuring to look out there and see a sensible voice in the conversation that that you can check in with and know hey, look, yeah, I’m doing the right thing.

Gerry Crispin, CXR 50:57
Well, we’ve we appreciate your support. For sure.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 51:00
Yeah, yeah. And the pointy end. We’re happy to help.

Peter Brooks 51:06
Well, great to see you and hopefully at one of your CXR events here in the near term.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 51:11
I know how we can make that happen. I’m not worried about it.

CXR Announcer 51:15
Thanks for joining us for another episode of CareerXroads Uncorked Chris Hoyt and Gerry Crispin, look forward to sharing more drinks and conversation with you next time. Until then, cheers!