The Talent Acquisition Strategies That Got These Leaders to Join Their Company

They’ve just gone through the recruiting and onboarding processes they will now oversee.
Quinten Dol
June 23, 2020
Updated: August 31, 2020
Quinten Dol
June 23, 2020
Updated: August 31, 2020

It’s been a rollercoaster of a year for talent acquisition teams.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses across the country to adjust revenue forecasts and hiring plans, build organizational infrastructure to support a mass transition to remote work and onboard new hires without ever meeting in person — and much of the burden has fallen on talent acquisition teams.

To find out what makes a successful talent acquisition and recruitment strategy in mid-2020, we followed up with three people team leaders who recently moved companies. Having undergone the same recruitment and onboarding processes that they will now oversee, they bring a unique insight on how tech companies can be more effective at luring top talent. 

 

adrienne barnard admithub
Photo Via AdmitHub

Adrienne Barnard, SVP of People Operations & Experience at AdmitHub

After two years directing people operations at fitness app ASICS Digital, Adrienne Barnard made the jump last month to senior vice president of people operations and experience for edtech startup AdmitHub. The six year-old company guides students through the college search and application process, aiming to minimize drop-off rates before the first semester starts. AdmitHub raised $7.5 million in funding from Salesforce Ventures and Google Assistant Investments this January. 

 

What appeals to you about the work you’ll be doing at your new company? 

I’m truly driven by AdmitHub’s mission to help people take the next step towards a more fulfilling life. And it gives me the opportunity to develop strong organizational growth cultures while utilizing my seasoned HR professional skills. It is a place where I’ll be challenged and grow, and where I know I can have an impact stepping in.

 

As the candidate, you often have no sense of where you stand and where you’re going in the process.”

 

As a talent acquisition professional, you’ve probably seen every move in the book. What part of AdmitHub’s interviewing and hiring processes stood out to you? 

I really appreciated how transparent people were in the process. As the candidate, you often have no sense of where you stand and where you’re going in the process. I also appreciated how available the whole team was to me. At one point, the CEO reached out and offered more time if I needed it. I quickly took him up on that and we had a conversation that I think moved the needle for both of us on what I would bring to the org. I encourage all TA professionals to be more transparent with candidates, it brings a sense of ease to the whole process.

 

christy lake twilio
Photo via Twilio

Christy Lake, Chief People Officer at Twilio

Christy Lake has led HR teams at Medallia, HP Software, Home Depot and most recently, digital storage company Box, where she led investments in diversity and inclusion. In April she moved to cloud-based communications company Twilio, bringing experience in culture development, talent strategy and learning and development. 

 

What appeals to you about the work you’ll be doing at your new company?

Before joining Twilio, I heard a lot about its fantastic people-first culture. The company is going through massive growth, and there’s an opportunity for me to build and scale sustainable programs and processes for all “Twilions” that align with the next phase of the company. This is an incredible chance to expand on the infrastructure that’s already in place and make sure the culture grows in lockstep with the broader organization.

 

During the onboarding process, every Twilion builds an app on our platform to better understand the customer’s perspective...”

 

What part of Twilio’s interviewing or hiring processes stood out to you?

At Twilio, building is in the company’s DNA and you can feel it the minute you walk in the door. During the onboarding process, every Twilion builds an app on our platform to better understand the customer’s perspective and appreciate the builder spirit that’s so fundamental to the company. When your app is ready, you demo it to your onboarding team and earn a coveted red track jacket. Even though onboarding has been remote, the experience of earning the track jacket has been preserved. It’s a true expression of the culture and it gives new hires an understanding of what Twilio is as a company.

 

cogo labs people leader
Photo via Cogo Labs

Mike Brown, VP of People at Cogo Labs

Mike Brown has worked in Boston’s recruiting scene for a long time, with stints at Acquia, life sciences data company SHYFT Analytics and restaurant fintech software provider Toast over the last decade. This month, Brown joined Kendall Square-based startup accelerator Cogo Labs — which has incubated local companies like EverQuote and CareDash — saying he appreciated the organization’s thorough approach to recruiting. 

 

What appeals to you about the work you’ll be doing at your new company?

As a member of the exec team, I’ll be leading the HR function with a focus on scalable, data-driven strategies around career growth, targeted talent acquisition, L&D and DE&I initiatives. Not only do I get to lead HR for Cogo Labs, but I will be the lead talent advisor to our portfolio of incubated companies. This entails advising new founders and CEOs on people- and culture-related topics through various stages of growth.

 

“Despite being a remote process, the experience allowed me to open up and bring my authentic self.”

 

What part of Cogo Labs’ interviewing and hiring processes stood out to you?

Throughout my interviews, there was a consistent, personal and noticeably thoughtful approach to our meetings. There were check-ins, breaks, structured meetings, prepared questions and an overall interest in me. Despite being a remote process, the experience allowed me to open up and bring my authentic self. The extra care did not go unnoticed, and I continue to find examples of this during my onboarding and early relationship building.

 

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