top of page

EP 37: Ashleigh Anderson, VP, Head of Global Talent Acquisition at Credit Karma,

Podcast Transcript

James Mackey  0:00  

Hello, and welcome to Talent Acquisition Trends & Strategy. Today we are joined by Ashleigh Anderson. Ashleigh, welcome to the show. How are you doing?


Ashleigh Anderson  0:19  

Great. I'm great to be here. And thanks so much for having me.


James Mackey  0:22  

Yes, I'm really pumped to have you on the show today, we got some great topics to discuss. Before we jump into everything we want to talk about today, I was hoping you could just share a little bit about your background, what you're up to, what you're passionate about, and all that good stuff.


Ashleigh Anderson  0:39  

Yes, absolutely. So I'm gonna date myself, but I have been in technical recruiting since the 90s. My first job out of college was at Microsoft, definitely, the nonconformists and my family, all of them were engineers. And I was like, No, I'm gonna get a marketing degree that makes more sense, but ended up in technology. Anyway, I've been lucky enough to do this remotely from the East Coast for a long time and have found companies that really are open to folks being everywhere. It's been an interesting process, I was kind of the person who knew what to do in 2020. So a lot of go to me on that. 


But I would tell you that like, I see myself as the Lead Product Manager on the systems and tools that help build diverse and scalable teams at Credit Karma. And for those of you that have never heard of Credit Karma, we're a financial platform that helps democratize information and help everyone find financial progress. So we have about 122 million members right now. So as you can imagine, that's a very big and diverse population of folks that we serve. And I would say that we're all here for the mission, the mission of helping our members find their financial goals.


James Mackey  2:02  

For sure. And just a quick question about Credit Karma. Do you have a globally distributed team? Or are all the employees in North America? What does that look like?


Ashleigh Anderson  2:11  

Yeah, so our main West Coast headquarters is in Oakland, Charlotte headquarters on the East Coast, we have an office in Culver City, and then we have an office in London. And so we serve North America, Canada, the US, and the UK. 


The team in the UK is fairly small, it's not that big. Charlotte has definitely grown since we announced the headquarters is located here. And we're excited to continue that. So that's our footprint right now.


James Mackey  2:40  

Okay, good stuff, that's helpful. So everybody can kind of understand your perspective and where you're coming from. And so one of the first topics we discussed kind of bringing up today is how structured interviews can help get rid of bias in the interview process and in the hiring process. 


So I wanted to see if we could start there. And maybe we could just start with your high-level philosophy on the topic, and then get down to some actionable tactics that people, when they're listening into this, can actually take away and implement at their company.


Ashleigh Anderson  3:14  

Yeah, so obviously, we're people, right, we're never gonna get rid of bias completely. But we wanted to figure out a way to get as much bias out of the processes as possible. And so in talking through that, we wanted to implement a very structured interview process, that's the best way to say it, for all of our teams. And for us what that meant was defining exactly what that process was going to look like before we ever talked to one candidate. Knowing exactly who was going to be part of the decision-making, outlining all of the interview topic areas, building banks of high quality, vetted questions that mapped to those areas, and then taking a look at how our career framework was built out and building a rubric to map to that framework. And then, you know, our ability to slot people into the levels of job that we were interviewing them for became much easier once we had done that. 


We were lucky enough to hit the reset button on all of recruiting and 2020. Most of 2020 we spent in a hiring freeze and we brought back what I like to call The Little Engine That Could, later in the summer, and that team was kind of the kickoff to what this was going to look like. And so we started small, and mainly with teams that were only hiring a few of each type of role. But with the learning that we took from those teams, we were able to then get the buy-in from our engineering team, which is where most of our hiring is done like 85-90% of our hires are technical. 


We do not have a sales team. We don't have a large marketing team,  we are very heavily staffed with technical folks. And so that has been a really great evolution to watch in terms of adoption. From first it was product engineering where we're kind of hiring the same types of engineers every day, all day. And now that structured interviewing has been mapped out to literally every role that we open. And so some are, you know, pre-predetermined because we've been doing it a long time, and then sometimes we'll have a role that's not been opened in the last three years. 


So we'll start that process from the beginning and make sure that our hiring managers understand exactly what we're expecting from them. I like to say this is not Burger King, you do not get it your way. We're going to help you, we are your business partner. And so it's been great to watch the adoption just kind of take hold and spread throughout that organization.


James Mackey  5:57  

Yeah, for sure. So I have a quick question about structured and kind of pre-planned, if you will, interview questions. I think one of the challenges that companies kind of run into is that whenever a new role is open, it requires a certain amount of time and involvement to craft out those custom questions. And it's like, you can jump on a kickoff with the hiring manager and try to get on their schedule and try to ask them what they want to accomplish. And so there has to be a member from talent acquisition present, as well as from the hiring team. And then also, maybe a junior recruiter isn't the best person for that. Right. So you need a senior-level team member. 


So just from a process and bandwidth perspective, how do you ensure that you can roll that out? For every new position without it just becoming like a massive bottleneck to getting started?


Ashleigh Anderson  6:48  

Yeah, so I think what's really interesting about the way that we have set up the kickoff process is we work off prioritization. So, we might have, you know, 5, 600 roles to fill in any given year. We are not going to kick all of those off at once. And so I work with the executive team to really understand what roles are the priority based on the product roadmaps, and what interdependencies there could be between teams. And then we allocate, like, different parts of our capacity to those teams and orders across Credit Karma. And so we are not the team that has a recruiter work on 40 racks at a time. I want them to do 10 things really well, really quickly, rather than paper, push 40 racks through a process and not have any real impact on the business. And so we do a good job. 


With that prioritization process, there's a set of expectations that the hiring managers and the hiring teams understand before they even ever get to talk to someone from my team. We send them documentation and kind of a list of things that we expect them to build before we even ever meet with them. And they're given anywhere between a week and three weeks to get that together. And then once something is prioritized, I can't obviously prioritize something, that's the executive team's job, but I can un-prioritize something. 


So if I'm not getting the attention that we expect, on filling a role for a team, I will definitely hit pause and say, Okay, look, you're clearly not ready to really work on this. So we're going to come back to you later, and then they'll just get on priorities. So you get the buy-in because they understand time is of the essence, they're gonna get a certain amount of our time. And if they're not gonna give it to us, then we're gonna walk away.


James Mackey  8:45  

So one thing now this was at a much smaller company, but one thing I did in the past, I was taking on the Chief People Officer role with like, 100 person SaaS company. And what we did is we actually put into the approval process that they had to fill all this stuff out proactively. 


So if they didn't have this information ready to go, then the roll wouldn't go live. I'll be honest, some people were not happy about that. But it really did tighten up the process. And it decreased our time to fill and quality of hire. I mean, it just gave us a lift across the board on a lot of different metrics. I just think that's like a challenge. And I'm assuming the larger the organization, the more difficult it becomes to just keep everything I guess like organized. Right?


Ashleigh Anderson  9:31  

Right. For us too. We've given the business time to figure out exactly what they are, right? So we're not going to let them change the rules of the game during the process. And by that, I mean like, the scope of the role, the level of the role, the location of the role, we've given you time to go figure out exactly what you want, like, go do that. Go do your homework, so that we can cut that time to fill down. So to your point, like, go get it done. 


James Mackey  10:02  

Yeah, exactly. Another thing I want to slow down on that you mentioned was prioritization, which, again, it's like, the larger you get, the more wrecks you have, the more important that is. So how do you tier your prioritization? 


Like what I did, we worked primarily for our finance within Greenhouse. So I'd actually go in there and create custom fields in terms like tier one, tier two, and tier three. And we kind of segmented it by like, tier one would mean full lifecycle support, right? Like we're pushing it to the top, normally, it's going to take our time, but our recruiters are going to work full lifecycle, so they're doing everything from sourcing to screening to, you know, pushing them along through the process to offer and everything else. 


Then tier two would be just like managing inbound candidate flow, for instance. Setting up screening calls directly for hiring managers, the recruiting team not doing that, and then assisting in offers, and we would kind of, you know, switch around here a little bit in terms of responsibilities based on the company. And then tier three would be like, backlog or, you know, sometimes it would just be like hiring managers need to handle it themselves. But I'm curious how you went about prioritization, and how that changes, like the point of impact of the talent acquisition team.


Ashleigh Anderson  11:11  

Yeah, so that has definitely changed over the years. So the team that I inherited, there was the self-service model. So if you weren't getting to your point, full support, then hiring managers could go work on any rock that they wanted to kind of what we call eat, what you kill, right? Whatever you bring in, you can have, and then we would want someone needed an offer run with that.


Well, it wasn't great for candidate experience, right? People weren't understanding what exactly was important to candidates. Because while I think a lot of people in the business, and I'm not speaking for Credit Karma, I'm just saying in general, think that recruiting is the part of their job that they don't have time to do, they don't understand that it really is an art and a science. So we were definitely in that model before. After the pandemic, when we came back and hit the reset button, we got rid of self-service completely. And so we have three tiers, we have not prioritized and then we have RP one, and then RP zero. 


So the RP one is to a baseball analogy because we got a lot of sports folks on my team, that's your on-deck status, right, that's when you're going to get this list of homework that you need to pull together, your interview team, the questions, the interview, format, all of that. And then you could be sitting on deck anywhere from, you know, one week to three months. Once something is in our one, it's the homework of the hiring manager. 


Now your leader might say, you're not ready for RP zero because some other business-critical need has come up, whether that's a change in the product roadmap, or potentially, like a critical backfill, right, like could supersede anything that had been on deck. And so we work that way. And once you are live, you get full support. And that means sourcing all of it. And we have, as I said, a large technical base. And so a lot of the candidates that we hire are passive, we have to create those pipelines, because, you know, there's only a certain number of machine learning engineers, and we want the best of the best, right? 


So we're having to go out and create that. But once you get that RPE zero, you are fully supported by my team.


James Mackey  13:33  

So it's basically We're not working on it, or we're all in on it. From a quality perspective that's definitely the best way to go about it. I feel that makes a lot of sense.  So I guess my follow-up question to that is: Is this baked into your ATS where you have fields where you can filter reports based on the level of prioritization and what's coming up? Or, how much of this is a manual thing in spreadsheets versus baked into technology, so it's reportable?


Ashleigh Anderson  14:06  

It's 100% reportable, we are incredibly data-driven. In fact, we have 75 data dashboards that are pulled out of Greenhouse and Workday and talk together, and our Head of Talent and Enablement Brian, he's the one that kind of framed all of that out and started to build it. And in the last year have hired a data analyst specific for recruiting. 


And so that way we know, in our gut that we're right, that now we have the data to prove to the business like hey, this is the direction that we need to go, and how fast we need to go or how slow we need to go. So yeah, we're very data-driven.


James Mackey  14:47  

Yeah, that's really cool. Do you have Greenhouse hooked up with like Tableau or?


Ashleigh Anderson  14:53  

It's a Google BI tool that we have right now. And we have the API connector that we're working on. Like that's been a whole project on the back end for us. Greenhouse has been helping us build that and get it. Reset up. Yeah.


James Mackey  15:08  

Right. But in order for somebody to pull that off, they do need data analysts, right? Like, I feel like that, without the data analysts, it probably doesn't make sense to connect like a Tableau or like a Google BI, you know. I'm assuming that's like a full-time job.


Ashleigh Anderson  15:25  

It's definitely a full-time job. But it wasn't in the beginning. And we've always run really scrappy and lean. And so Brian was building that and pulling the data daily for a refresh himself. And then it was obviously a proof point to our Head of People like This is worth the investment and having a data analyst focus on this people analytics space. And so we were able to get that funded. But he in the beginning back in 2020, and even 2019, had started to build out those dashboards. 


James Mackey  16:01  

That's really cool. I mean, to me, that's one of the key indicators to know that a company is really investing properly in talent acquisition. You want talent acquisition to be at least just as data-driven, and baked into technology, as you would see in a revenue word, right? What's really weird about tech is that at a lot of organizations, you'll see very robust tech stacks and data-driven approaches to sales and marketing. And then you'll see a very weakly implemented Greenhouse.


Ashleigh Anderson  16:33  

Right, right.


James Mackey  16:35  

Because they're just not allocating enough budget, and then it gets into the philosophy, like one of the conversations I've been having lately there's like, kind of two philosophies on talent acquisition. 


One is that, you know, it's a call center. And then the other philosophy is that No, like, people are the primary driver of value, right? And this is something that's going to directly impact revenue growth, the future of our product roadmap, and all of these things. And so that's why it's so important to get this right.


Ashleigh Anderson  17:04  

Absolutely. And, we have an entire what we call the talent enablement team. And we model that after sales enablement, right, like you have, to your point, all of these big companies, small companies that invest in a sales enablement team, well, why wouldn't we give that to my team, right? We look at them as the baseline pyramid of everything that drives hiring, right? They are there to make us operationally efficient, better, and faster. And so we were very lucky that we have buy-in from the very top, the executive team. 


I am one of the only people that go to their meeting every other week, to talk to them. It's not like I'm getting sent to the principal's office,  it's more of like, Hey, what can we do to help you? What do you need? What do we need to tell our teams? And so I would say, I've never worked anywhere where talent has such a loud voice at the table. 


James Mackey  18:05  

In terms of the conversations I've had thus far on the podcast, this is an example of one of the companies that seem to be doing it the right way. And, it is few and far between, like a lot of the companies and leaders, I've had the opportunity to speak with like, they just don't have that robust of a program in place. So, I have a lot of questions for you and I know, we kind of like going deeper into this topic. And we really haven't talked about too much about bias. 


But I wanted to just ask you some questions about how many openings you have, and the size of the talent acquisition team, and just go through a couple of funnel metrics in terms of like, percentages, and stuff. 


So, I guess my first question is. At any given time, how many openings is your team managing, including the backlog, the whole thing?


Ashleigh Anderson  18:57  

Like everything that's not even open. You know, that growth number is always a moving target, right? It depends on what attrition is. And our attrition is super low. It's the lowest, it's under 10%, which is incredible. A tech average is like 18%. So at any given time, the moving target could be anywhere between 400, 500, and 600. You know, like, depending on the day. And right now, we're at the start of our fiscal year. 


So our fiscal year runs from August 1 to July 31. And so part of this prioritization process that we have is we are working with our HR business partners as they do talent planning and or design to understand two quarters in advance. Is my team right size based on that task and that isn't a number, right? That is a complexity score in my mind because not all roles are created equal. And if you're going to come to me and say, I need like 100 staff, data engineers, that's very different than hiring 100 marketing folks, right? It is just dependent on the complexity of the role. And so we do that kind of two quarters in advance, we're working with them to figure that out. 


And the evolution of our team, like the path we're going towards, we've started to build out what we call the research function. And the best way that you can think about this is a Venn diagram of an HR business partner, a sourcing recruiter, and a data analyst. Because what we want to be able to do is work with the leaders and work with the HR business partners to say, Okay, these are your org design choices. This is the list of headcount, you know, the number of heads that you get in terms of growth this year. But if these are the choices you're making, this is the trade-off. Like this is where this talent is, this is how hard it is to hire, this is how long it takes to hire them. 


So helping them actually understand the choices that they're making in terms of that org planning. And that's not fully baked. It's really like an idea that was born in the last year that we're starting to build out. But that, I think, will be our secret sauce.


James Mackey  21:17  

Are you all using LinkedIn talent insights as one of the tools to share with the hiring teams and executives? Or is it just from, Hey, we've been hiring for these roles for the past five years. So it's from your own dashboards? Or where are you pulling this information from?


Ashleigh Anderson  21:31  

Yeah, so the folks on the research team, like these are not just like senior recruiters, these are folks that are very, very senior, right? Like, they're older than I am, and, I'm not gonna tell you how old I am. But you know, they've been doing this a long time. So there's a lot of institutional knowledge. But yeah, we also have the LinkedIn talent Insights tool. 


My caveat with that product is, I would never want a recruiter to go, like build a report and download it and go send it to a hiring manager, right? Like, they don't have any of the context and the understanding of what they're reading. And so I appreciate the data that's in there. But I think that the recruiter has to be the one to read and understand that and then give the context of that data, right? Because without it, it doesn't make a lot of sense. They don't understand it


James Mackey  22:20  

Well, yeah, for sure. Like you don't want them to see like, Okay, why are we having trouble filling this role? There are X amount of hundreds of 1000s of engineers in this market.  Yeah, you definitely want the context piece. That makes sense. 


So anyways, in the wish list, so to speak, right, with the backlog, possibly around 500-ish openings, that varies, you know, on a week-by-week basis. And then in RP1 kind of in the waiting docket, like next up, I know, it's probably going to be arranged, but what's that average look like? Like how many rolls on average?


Ashleigh Anderson  22:57  

 I would have to pull it. I think it changes weekly, right? Like, there are some weeks when there have been roles in there as I said, right? If a leader says Your role can just sit there for a little bit longer, I actually don't think it's the priority right now. It could be sitting there for two, or three months. I've never seen anything longer than that. But there are probably 30 on deck at any given time. And we're working on 100 plus at any given time.


James Mackey  23:28  

Oh, wow. Okay, so like the top of the funnel is big, and then the on-deck is small, and then you're working on 100 plus. How many recruiters do you have working on those 100 racks, or 100 Plus racks?


Ashleigh Anderson  23:41  

So it's interesting, like in terms of the size of our team, I think we're approaching 50 plus, we have contract coordinators. But I don't count all of them as hiring resources, right, because you have the ops folks, you have my data analysts, you have the managers who are really there to build and grow and develop their teams. We have some managers that do like player-coach where they're responsible for some hiring, but mainly, like growing and developing less senior recruiters.


But when you look at the types of roles that we're hiring, especially in the markets that we're hiring them for, I would see success as like two hires per recruiter per month, which I know some leaders would scoff at and be like, Oh, my God, that's like, not a lot of hires. But when you're talking about populations, like senior data scientists and machine learning engineers, there's not a lot of those folks out there. And we have, we have you know, a really high bar here. So it's not an easy go.


James Mackey  24:47  

Well, yeah, I mean, that sounds accurate to me. So just, you know, like, what my company does is we're an RPO provider. So people that are listening to the show, that doesn't know what that is. Basically, it's a fancy way of saying that companies borrow recruiters from us. And so we work with a tonne of tech companies. And what we tell them is like, on average, our recruiters are going to make two to three hires a month for you. There are some environments where it could be one, right? And there are some environments like we have a couple of clients where it's like seven or eight. But that is the anomaly, right? Like that's not common. 


It's one of those challenges, right as being a talent acquisition leader communicating to the leadership team that, you know, you don't always want to optimize toward volume. And you don't always want to optimize towards speed either. Right. It's better to have a more robust Talent Team. Honestly, I would love it if all my clients were just like, two hires enough is perfect, right? I'd love it if they didn't try to push me to three or four. I mean, they're always gonna want more,  you know, the quality of hire at scale is going to exponentially impact the success of the organization.


Ashleigh Anderson  25:53  

Absolutely. And it really is the complexity too, right? I mean, I have one of my most senior recruiters, he made six hires last year. But let me tell you about those six hires, right? They're like VP of engineering. And then I have a technical recruiter who's hired 50 engineers in the year. Right. And so it's dependent upon the role and the teams and all of that. So yeah, like to per recruiter per month. But it's really more nuanced than that.


James Mackey  26:24  

It really is. It's obvious a VP search is going to take up at least half of somebody's time. Versus, you know, if it's maybe just the down-the-pipe, mid to senior-level engineer. For that type of search, what's a full plate like six to 10 openings at a time?


Ashleigh Anderson  26:44  

Actually, JB, who has been handling a lot of our senior engineering, he will handle, you know, like kind of one or two of those VP level roles at any given time full cycle. And then additionally, kind of lean in on building pipelines for other more senior roles, like director and above level. 


We just hired our first recruiter who will solely focus on leadership roles. And so we have this, what we call the leadership trifecta. And there are three folks who triangulate on that building, kind of pipeline and then talking to candidates and closing candidates. And so it's never any one person at that level. But kind of a collective between them. But they, they have really figured out who's great at what right, like, I think what our team has done is figured out each other's superpowers and leaned into that.


James Mackey  27:40  

For sure. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I really love how you built out the organization. And I love how you and the rest of the leadership team didn't just completely dissolve the talent acquisition program in the middle of COVID. Right? 


Because actually, you used that time for planning, which I assumed meant that when we entered the growth market, again, you're able to capture top talent versus organizations that cut too deep and talent acquisition budget, and then we're digging out of a hole and trying to hire recruiters when everybody else was and took too long to realize that recruiter had jumped, like in some cases, like 2x, you know. So I think the company's definitely one that sees, I guess, talent acquisition as an ongoing function that's more strategic versus like this light switch approach.  You just turn off and shut down in a down market, right?


Ashleigh Anderson  28:35  

Yeah, I think what the Credit Karma leadership team did was really prioritize people over profits. So in the March, or April timeframe of 2020, I spent like eight weeks finding almost 100 people new jobs across Credit Karma, because they came to me and said, We're not going to do a layoff. But we need to find these folks' homes, where they're doing meaningful work for our members. 


So, for me, it was kind of a game of Tetris, right, where I was taking a look at what people have done before, what I know their superpowers to be where they're interested in learning, and then going to put them across all of these different verticals like test engineering, and product management, like you name it. And so then when it was time to flip that switch back on and bring folks back, we weren't starting from scratch. And so I think that was part of the reason we've had such a giant rebound. And as quickly as we did because we didn't do a layoff, we kept all of the really great talent in-house.


James Mackey  29:33  

So I don't know if this is the right phrase, but it's like when you're like repositioning people within the company is that talent management or career? What is the right way to say that?


Ashleigh Anderson  29:44  

No, I think you're right like I think it is talent management and Credit Karma does an incredible job with that. I think the success of that redeployment, really a springboard, internal mobility for us. That coupled with we have what's called our PDP every year, which is our professional development plan. 


We're given a sizable amount of money, and the days off that you want to take classes or go to conferences, whatever it is, write books. And so all of those things, I think, really have made a difference and Talent Management, finding people new roles, making sure that you're retaining the talent and ultimately, you know, keeping that attrition under 10%.


James Mackey  30:26  

For sure, for sure. So from a process standpoint, if we're using the term talent management, basically, Okay, before we open a wreck, let's see if we have anybody within the organization that has the skill set that would be able to fulfill this function. It makes a lot of sense intuitively, like, Hey, let's do that before we bring in somebody else. But I feel like it's obviously harder to execute. So from a tactical process perspective, how do you implement that? How did you actually go about like, step by step doing that?


Ashleigh Anderson  30:59  

Well, we incented the folks that did not have their headcount prioritized to say post internally first, right? So we have, obviously, the internal career site where people can go and take a look at what else is going on here and internally, so we were able to post a lot of roles that had been scoped out previously for the fiscal year, immediately. And then it's not really voluntold, right? 


Like, we feel very strongly about ensuring that everyone has a chance to interview. So we're not going to say, you know, Hey, James, I know you're really good at this, why don't you just come on over here into the seats? We want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to raise their hand and interview for that. And we've made that really easy, because it Credit Karma, we have true pay equity. And by that, I mean, if you're a senior recruiter, and I'm a senior recruiter, and we're both in Charlotte, then we are paid exactly the same. 


So folks understand that if they're going to be transferring into this job if they are doing the same job as someone who has more tenure or more seems like in terms of years of experience, or you know, different gender, different ethnicity, everybody is paid exactly the same. And so I think that has made those moves much more fluid. And then back to the structure of interviewing, we all know that this person has been through the same interview process. And so there's not this will like, oh, Andy's team interviews differently than my team. And that person's on Andy's team. So I don't want to consider that. So all of that has made mobility across Credit Karma much easier.


James Mackey  32:40  

Salary, equitable salaries, and translating into easier internal mobility is not a concept that I've thought about before. So I feel like that's a really cool takeaway that I just wanted to slow down on and make sure that Nick puts it as a chapter for the podcast. So yeah, that's really cool. And so you know, we're coming up on time here, I wanted to talk about attrition rates. 


So the stat I have in front of me is that there was a pretty significant decrease in attrition. So can you tell us specifically where your team started with attrition? Or where the company started with attrition rather, and where you ended up, which I believe you said is like, under around 10%? Or under 10%? What are the high-level stats? And then what is high-level strategy getting into tactics in terms of how to tackle attrition and cut down on it?


Ashleigh Anderson  33:32  

Yeah, so I think that's a big topic.


James Mackey  33:36  

Like 100 things to talk about? Sorry.


Ashleigh Anderson  33:38  

Well, I know like, there had never been a Head of People at Credit Karma until Coleen, who's our head of people, and she's got a bigger job title, and not now. But when she came in, attrition was really high, around that 40% mark. And I think, going back to implementing systems and tools and processes that connect, and actually, help people understand why their work is meaningful, why it's impactful, why it's interesting, and why they can continue to grow, and learn and stay at Credit Karma. I think that has been the process and the evolution.


But if you think about structured interviewing, pay equity, and internal mobility and professional development, like, this is why we aren't the HR people, right? We really are the product managers of the systems and tools that keep people engaged and happy at work. And so I think those are the things that have really made the difference. It's been the focus on people and putting people first that has made all the difference in the attrition.


James Mackey  34:47  

For sure. So the big things that come to mind here, like competitive pay, right? I mean, and then I'm sure keeping up with inflation, has presented challenges in a tight labor market. because you have to shift pay packages somewhat frequently or more frequently than others.


Ashleigh Anderson  35:07  

I'll tell you what is fantastic about this pay equity plan is that we do a market adjustment twice a year. So we will take a look at your specific job and the market you're at and see where the labor market has moved. We have never moved anything, anyone, down. But we move folks up every six months as we see the changes and pay. And we work with Radford as the data, the survey that we use, that we take a look at twice a year, and I've seen anywhere between like, you know, a 1% jump, no percent jump, and I've watched, like big, big moves for some technical roles where you're seeing like 20%, and six months. And that's just making sure that you are not making it hard for the person who's been sitting in that seat for two years to stay when they think that they can jump and go somewhere else and find this 30% increase. You know, they know they're getting paid the same as the person who joined yesterday, and that there's no difference there.


James Mackey  36:11  

Yeah, I love it. And if you're able to speak a little bit about how this might be more on the HR people side, but career pathing right, and going through upward mobility within your existing team. Right? I mean, that's something that I feel needs to be centralized in terms of the process through the people team. Because there's a good likelihood that a lot of senior leaders in different functions are not going to know how to, like tackle that or maybe aren't making it a priority because they're focused on hitting certain outcomes or metrics. 


So do you know how your team implemented a kind of career pathing, upward mobility, and promotion path, within each function to make it work at scale?


Ashleigh Anderson  36:58  

Yeah, so the HR business partners work really closely to build out those career frameworks so that people understand exactly what they need to do in order to get there, right, that it's not some moving target. And the rules are changing all the time. We also do a twice-annual review of all the teams, right? So, you sit down with the leader, and you talk about exactly where they are and kind of what you're working on with them. And then the expectation for promotion. 


And our promo opportunity is every quarter. So you don't have to wait a full year to get promoted. I think there's a lot to be said about that. Because people could, you know, be ready in August. And if your promo opportunity's not until the next July or whatever, then they're probably going to look somewhere else. Because they know that they can make more money. But since we do that quarterly, and we do the review twice a year, it's very clear to folks exactly where they are and what they need to work on.


James Mackey  38:00  

Yeah, for sure. I agree with that. I think a lot of companies kind of shoot themselves in the foot because they have these very long waiting periods to be eligible for the promotion. And, you know, sometimes,  the person that's moving up quickly is the one you want to continue to vote for. Not always right. But I'm just saying it's, it's kind of silly. And then also from a nutrition standpoint, you know, it's something that you can do to get under that 10% attrition rate, which is fantastic. Right?


Ashleigh Anderson  38:28  

What I like to say is, it's the experience and the years, not the years of experience. And I think that's your point, right? Like you can have some rocket ship person on a totally different trajectory than someone who is sitting next to them. And they're not the same. So why would you treat them the same?


James Mackey  38:45  

Right? I mean, the way that I hired, I care a little bit less about if they'd been doing the role for four years or 12 years and a little bit more about, again, the quality of the experience. And it's okay, look, if it takes you four years to get there. Great. If it takes 10 years, great. It doesn't really matter to me, I just need to know, okay, can we deliver on the outcomes that are required for the role, right? 


Ashleigh Anderson  39:08  

The other thing that companies make the mistake of doing is having this like an annual review cycle. Why wait for that one day in the year to give feedback? We use a tool called 15 Five, where it's the premise like, the person spends 15 minutes every week, kind of filling it out, and the manager spends five minutes reviewing it. And so at Credit Karma is just constant feedback. Like you're always understanding kind of like, where priorities are, what the next steps are. And it's not just waiting until that D-Day to find out exactly what your manager thinks about you.


James Mackey  39:47  

Right. I think that just from a general performance management perspective, it gives people the opportunity to improve their skill set a lot faster. And this isn't exactly a topic that's fun to talk about, but also if there's a performance problem, it's an opportunity to set very clear expectations on what's expected in the following week. And, ultimately, if you have to put that plan in place, and from an HR perspective, possibly even protect the organization. So, you know, hopefully, it doesn't come to that. But the reality is that sometimes it does. And I think that this not only helps people produce better outcomes, but it also ensures that you're going through the proper, you know, steps from an HR perspective, too. 


Well, we've packed this with value, we actually ran a little bit over, but this has been great. And so I just wanted to say thank you so much for joining us today. And for those that are tuning in if they want to engage with you online. follow you. I was wondering if you could tell them where they can find you.


Ashleigh Anderson  40:49  

Yeah, yeah, it's just Ashleigh Anderson, so you can find me on LinkedIn. Pretty easy to hit up.


James Mackey  40:58  

Yeah. Okay, cool. Well, thanks again for joining us. I had a tonne of fun and for everybody tuning in, thanks for joining us as well and we will see you next time. Take care. 

bottom of page