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EP 17:  Jim Wink, Talent Acquisition - Okta

Podcast Transcript

James Mackey  0:00  

Hi, and welcome to episode 17 of Talent Acquisition Trends and Strategy. Today we're joined by Jim Wink. Jim, welcome to the show!


Jim Wink  0:19  

Thank you very much. I appreciate the time being here.


James Mackey  0:21  

We're excited to host you. Before we jump into the topics we want to discuss today, could you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?


Jim Wink  0:28  

Yes, sure. I have been in talent acquisition my whole career. I started in the 80s and the 90s. At a temporary placement agency, I got into contracting, government contracting, and supporting government integrators for the last 24 years. And basically consulting, contracting that whole time, and just in the last six months, I became actually a direct employee of Okta, a company that is not in government muscling government contracts. It is a San Francisco-based tech firm. 


I've pretty much covered the whole of IT. I've done many different variations of proposal work. I attempt to fill type work. Any kind of, we've been on large contract wins, we've had to fill X amount of hires, have had X amount of fills and 90 days, 120 days, two or 300 days, that kind of thing. The incumbent's capture work, pretty much the gambit of any kind of talent acquisition within government integration.


James Mackey  1:38  

Yes, we were just talking before the show started, we're both kind of in the DC area, both working in commercial tech, which is not, that typically what I see in this area. People are still active in the Gov con space. So it's cool to be able to speak with somebody in the local market that is in a similar space to what I do as well. So yeah, I'm really pumped about that. And so there are a few shared experiences, right, both of us are in the DC area working in tech. The other thing that I know is, you come from a traditional agency background, contingent agency doing temp and perm.


On the contingent side, I'd love to get your thoughts on how coming from an agency background has kind of shaped who you are as a recruiter and how you go about sourcing and attracting talent for Okta, now. Could you tell us a little bit about that? 


Jim Wink  2:31  

Yes, that's a great question. I definitely feel that coming from the background that I had in the agency business, I came to contracting and working directly for companies with a sense of urgency that sometimes a lot of people just don't have because they didn't come up in the agency business. Whereas some people who just go directly work for a CSC or just any kind of government integrator SAIC, they come to work, they have their job, they perform their job, whereas when you have the background that we have, you perform, or you don't keep your job, that's a big deal if you want to keep working. So you have this sense of urgency, and that permeates my everyday process. 


Back when I was in college, I knocked on doors for a summer. And that comes from knocking on the door, I never want to go through an area without knocking on every single door. So in my situation where I do sourcing and recruiting, I always want to reach out to every candidate, I feel it was a match for the skill sets that I'm looking for. I never want to pass anyone by and I always return every voicemail or email.


James Mackey  3:44  

How do you go about doing that? With candidates actively in your funnel, or what about candidates that maybe reach out to you that you didn't engage with, right? And proactively, when you were on the agency side, did you have the bandwidth to respond to everybody, even if it's people that weren't in the interview funnel? 


Jim Wink  4:07  

Everything I've done is always proactive, it's never, never really reactive. Everyone I've reached out to, if they respond to me, then I always follow up. I never leave the phone, the message unresolved, unresponded to, I never leave the email. I always felt that way, because I always hoped that someone would respond to my email or my phone call and return. So I always felt the courtesy to, you know, particularly like today, I don't know if we're gonna get into it or not the specifics of the tools that we use, but LinkedIn is a very, very popular tool right now.


And, it's really important to me that I connect with people and I let them know that I appreciate their connection and I have that dialogue going right there. And in regards to building a relationship and communicating with people. I don't feel like you can ever over-communicate on the side of the business where I am, which is in sourcing and talent acquisition, which is the first step between the candidate and the company, I don't feel that you can ever communicate that enough. I don't pursue the people who have applied online and things like that, which is more reactive, I let the recruiting staff handle that because I'm in sourcing, and specifically sourcing, we go after the people that are harder or harder to engage.


James Mackey  5:26  

Right,  the passive talent that's not necessarily applying for the job. Well, that's great. I'm very excited to speak with somebody who's an expert in sourcing because that is a perspective that we really haven't dialed into on the show yet. So this is going to be some really valuable content for the community. I'm so excited. 


You mentioned tools. So let's just start there, you know, I've been looking for a way to de-leverage off LinkedIn for years. I mean, the bill that we have with LinkedIn just seems like a quarter over quarter, it just keeps growing. I'm like, Good lord. They're making so much money from us. But obviously, it's a very valuable tool. And, I enjoy working with the team over there,  it's usually a pretty good experience. But I will say that I would love to be able to de-leverage. 


I mean, we've experimented with different job boards, or used different tools like Jim, for email outreach, we've done things to try to switch it up. But I would say 85, 90% of the hires we make for our clients. So that is all 150 startups, growth stage, technology organizations, are, you know, coming through outbound sourcing efforts on LinkedIn. Are you seeing something similar? Or have you all been able to deleverage off LinkedIn?


Jim Wink  6:11  

Truthfully, LinkedIn is a great tool, no doubt about it, they had, I don't know how many hundreds of 1000s, or, millions of people are on LinkedIn. So it's a great tool. 


Yes, to answer your question. Because of the nature of what I do, previous to Okta,  from 2014 to 2022, I was supporting Raytheon Technologies, and the cleared community and the clear community is a very challenging community engaged because of different reasons, clearances, and security. So I had to come up with ways outside of just LinkedIn. And one tool that works really well like SeekOut or hireEZ, it used to be hire tools now hireEZ, they do a nice job of getting there, there's a cost involved in that I don't know the cost, they do a nice job of like, hireEZ, does a nice job of doing a search and it grabs people that are on LinkedIn, and it grabs people from GitHub and other sources. And it does that drip campaign we'll talk about later, and then reach out and that a proactive reach out.


But I have figured out a way to use the free LinkedIn tool, as opposed to the LinkedIn recruiter tool, to really be in my advantage and just throw some metrics. I don't have specific numbers. But I know I generally get about a 20 to 25% return on my InMails for instance when I use a LinkedIn recruiter. I get 40% plus when I reach out to people on the free tool, it's a much different dynamic.


James Mackey  8:20  

So let's dive into that. Because that surprises me, that's really cool. So I want to learn more about that. And, I know, for instance, even my team of recruiters here at SecureVision, are going to be very interested to learn about what you're doing there. And obviously, the community out there in the talent acquisition community. So can you tell us a little bit about what that process looks like and that type of result?


Jim Wink  8:42  

Sure, I can tell you that. What I do, I'm generally speaking on LinkedIn, when someone uses LinkedIn recruiter, which is no fault of anyone, I do the same thing. Go reach out to people that fit jobs, or do job searches, it's a very robust search. And you can do a Boolean search string,  you can compare racks, you can search for people who are similar to the candidates that you find that look good. So you do those searches, and you reach out to people because you want to offer them an opportunity to come to work, you want to see if they're interested in it if you're available. 


Whereas LinkedIn, the free tool, doesn't have as robust of a search engine, but to dig around through there. And I can't do this while we're talking now. But there is a way to dig through that site to do searches. Again, they don't really want you to do searches. If they heard me talking to you probably think you really don't want to hear them say that. But they don't want you to do that many searches because they want you to use a LinkedIn recruiter tool. 


But you can use LinkedIn as a free tool to do searches that are not quite as robust.  The Boolean string has to be much sure, you can go through the people then you go through locations, you can target candidates, target companies, and things like that where you can get a very targeted search still, even though you're not using the LinkedIn recruiter tool. 


So you can do that process free and also when you reach out, it's very limited. I think it's 100-180 characters, maybe 150 characters. So I only have time to say who I am, and who I represent, I want to connect with you, I want to talk, I want to connect with you. Or if it's a second connection, if there's number two connection, we have mutual connections, I'd love to connect with you, those kinds of things, building that first step and building a connection. And again, I don't know why. But I get about a 40% return on people who I'm just saying, Hey, I'm in the industry, I want to connect with you.


James Mackey  10:32  

Wow, 40%!


Jim Wink  10:32  

I won't interrupt you. But I follow up with that. Because then once they connect with me, then I say, Hey, thanks for the connection. I'd love to sit down with you and have a discussion about our opportunities if you're ever interested in making a change of scenery,  and then I get that engagement. But they're connected with me.


So they'll see all my postings, which I'm sure most companies are trying to do now. They want to post as many things as we can, you know, different things, different information about who we are and what we do. And then they'll get used to that. And then four months, five months down the road, six months down the road, I connect with them again, because I have this whole process. Hey, we connected six months ago, four months ago, if you're interested, let me know. 


That really basic passive approach really works. I started in the IC, in the intelligence community.


James Mackey  11:31  

That was my next question. Okta obviously has a very good brand in tech. Most people have heard of Okta at least. So do you feel that helps drive some of the response rates that you're seeing?


Jim Wink  11:42  

Absolutely. Raytheon had a great name too, as all the companies I supported. SAIC, they've all had really good names. Now what I'll tell you is really funny. A week and a half ago, I think Octopus did their quarterly earnings, and the next day, its stock jumped 16%. I got a double engagement. Three or four days after that, people saw that stock jumped 16% and tech stocks did poorly, but that kind of information totally will drive your engagement. If you can post positive information about your company out there. That'll definitely drive your engagement and success.


James Mackey  12:24  

Yes, and I guess my next question would be Have you ever been put in LinkedIn jail? Where they don't let you send out more invites?


Jim Wink  12:33  

I have not. Because that drove me to figure out a way to use the free LinkedIn account. Because yes, if you don't maintain a 13% response rate, you lose your access or you get a warning, I think then you lose your access to send multiple emails at once.  I don't want to lose LinkedIn. But I can't live without it if I had to. So I mean, I'm in that position where, and I know companies will like that. Companies look at the return on investment. And it's significant. The costs involved, as you know, for the LinkedIn recruiter accounts, and there are going to be, in the future, a need to get away from that kind of spending,


James Mackey  13:25  

Right. There were a few times when I was an individual contributor where I guess I sent connection requests to too many people I didn't know. And then basically LinkedIn made it so I had to put in somebody's email address in order to connect to them. 


So they gave me a few warnings, and then they put me in jail for six months, and then they let me out of jail. And then I just kept pushing it, right? And then they put me in jail for like, three years. I thought it was never getting out. 


But eventually, I reached out to their success team. I was like, look I'm not spamming my network, I'll change my posting habits,  I'm posting a lot of valuable content that's getting high engagement. I am just trying to be a value add to the community, and I had to really fight to get out of it. And so now fortunately it's been good since I got out, I think I got out in early 2020. And they finally let me out. But, you know, it's that balancing act.  


I think that's why the response rates on those invite requests are so important.


Jim Wink  14:41  

Because I was doing it pretty regularly, they will catch on, if you do too much, right? So I always tell people if you're going to try that, don't reach out to more than like, 100 people in a week because that seems unnatural. If it seems natural, and people just link in with other people, they're okay with that. But if they can tell you're using it as a recruiter tool, they'll start sending you notes saying, you know, you really shouldn't be doing that.


James Mackey  15:13  

We want you to pay.


Jim Wink  15:16  

I haven't had that issue in several months, since last year, I slowed,  and my roll on that I stopped reaching out. At one point, I was doing, like, 20 or, maybe 50 a day. It's getting engagement, I was getting so much engagement. So yeah, if you're smart about it, you can use that free tool and use it very successfully.


James Mackey  15:40  

Cool. Maybe we can talk a little bit about the Okta tech stack. What is everything from sourcing to full lifecycle recruiting, what does the tech stack look like, right now?


What tools are you currently engaging with, to source talent, to evaluate, everything?


Jim Wink  16:01  

I mean, generally speaking, the tools, we have a sourcing group, we have talent acquisition, we have recruiting, and we have managers and recruiters, but generally speaking, the process is we use LinkedIn recruiter, but we also have hireEZ and some people have seekout. Anyway, in regards to engagement, I actually think that some people might have for the software engineering folks. I don't think people use boards like Monster or Careerbuilder, and we use Greenhouse as our CRM. It's pretty good. But that's always a tool that can be changed, right? You can always add, you can always reach out to people through that tool as well. But generally speaking, those are our main go-to.


James Mackey  16:58  

Okay. And so hireEZ, you said, basically pulls candidates from LinkedIn, as well as from GitHub and different sources.


Jim Wink  17:06  

Yeah, I think that has dozens of sources, but those are the big ones.


James Mackey  17:09  

Okay. And then it basically drops people into email cadences. So it's also like, it's a data tool as well.


Jim Wink  17:15  

It's beautiful, right? I mean you set up a project, and you do the search. And then you set up your messaging, your cadence, your sequencing of messages, and allow you to set up the time that the message goes out the day it goes out, your follow up , your follow up to your follow up. And again, not talking about numbers, my response rate is much, much higher on that second, third, or fourth email than on the first one. 


Generally speaking, the last email that I send says, Hey, I'm not going to bother you anymore. Obviously, you're busy. If you're interested in talking to me, let me know. And people respond to that. About a third to half of my responses come from that last note, I know that we know that. We need to reach out to people more than once. And that's when you get with a LinkedIn recruiter, you can reach out to people and I think you have to wait maybe 30 days to reach out again, or something. 


Whereas with sequencing tools, like seek out or hireEZ  you can reach out, set up a sequence, and it comes out, like it's coming, some email coming from your email, and it goes to their inbox, and, and they can respond. And what's great about that is once they respond, it drops off the sequencing, and they won't get any more emails. But I find to have great success with that sequencing that I can send them you know, I like to change my time when I send emails, obviously changed my messaging, I've re-message, a different message, I like to put video link or something in their message that's interesting to the candidate, not just hey, I want to hire you, right. 


And we all have training on there that we have to come up with creative messaging. And I won't get into that too much because I feel like I'm gonna be pretty creative myself, but that creative messaging is so terribly important.


James Mackey  19:05  

Okay, gotcha. A follow-up question on the tech stack would just be what are the differences between hireEZ and seekout? Because I thought seekout was similar in a sense.


Jim Wink  19:16  

Very similar. For us, we were having a hard time. They're connected to our CRM hireEZ. So  I can track things through there. Seekout was more difficult to connect to the CRM. So it was difficult to follow our engagement and our engagement process and engagement success. HireEZ talks to our CRM very efficiently, okay? But they are very similar. I have used seekout so I have used them both. Some prefer seekout, some prefer hireEZ and I'm sure there are others out there that do the same type of aggregating, you know, the whole.


James Mackey  20:05  

Do you have any data on which one is pulling in more hires?


Jim Wink  20:12  

I don't, I'm sorry. I don't have that kind of information.


James Mackey  20:17  

No worries. Just curious to see what you're seeing out there. But I'd love to also just get your thoughts on what you're seeing right now in the market. You know, a lot of choppiness happening in tech right now, a lot of volatility we're seeing, there are more layoffs, mergers, so. So can you tell me a little bit about what you're seeing from your perspective, and how it's impacting talent acquisition right now, in tech?


Jim Wink  20:44  

I think there's a lot going on, like you said, in the tech space. We have a site, I don't have the actual site, unfortunately, available that could give to you, that list the layoffs on a daily basis, like layoffs, mergers, any kind of disruption in the company's money flow, anything like that. I'm not swooping in but what I'm doing is offering companies that I'm not going to list companies, right, but the companies who have layoffs, who have mergers, who have issues, I like to talk to them,  reach out, specifically target, but reach out to those people who work in my space in those companies and say, Hey, I understand something may be going on there. I like to phrase it like, I know the company is a good company. I never badmouth anyone.  I know, there may be some changes and if you want to talk to me, let me know. And I'd like to talk and we can set up a time to chat. 


So I've been targeting, I don't say aggressively targeting, but specifically targeting companies who are in the news. I mean, it's public information right there in the news for like I said, mergers or any kind of RIF layoff and reaching out to those people. Because a lot of those people are just caught up in the numbers. And they're very capable, because you get ripped doesn't mean they're not quality, right?


James Mackey  22:07  

And, you know, some companies were even resending offers prior to the start date. So it's like, nothing to do with performance or anything. Right?  I guess they just aggressively overhired, right?


Jim Wink  22:20  

So that's what I suggest for anybody who's in our industry is pay attention to the layoff information, and use your tool you can target any tool, you can target companies like LinkedIn, hire any tool you Yeah, you can. They're all built to be able to target even you can target companies.


James Mackey  22:38  

Right. Well, it's pretty nuts right now. Are you seeing higher engagement from employees at these companies? At the same time, though, I feel so many recruiters are reaching out to them. 


Jim Wink  22:53  

It is, that's where your messaging has to stand out. And, I don't want to say stupid, but I do quirky things like I put a little rocket ship next to my company names. We're taking off, right? And that little drawing catches people's attention, right? It gets people's attention, might be silly, but it works. I mean, my numbers will go up when I use my little rocket ship, that kind of stuff. And my subject line I have to separate myself from my competitors like Ping or One Identity or, Microsoft even, I mean, Microsoft does what we do. So I have to separate ourselves and that can start with my messaging.


James Mackey  23:37  

Yes, for sure. And without giving away your secret sauce,  what else? Do you have any tips for how people can go about personalizing messages or is it really just less of emotion of this is how to do it, just make sure you are different? 


Jim Wink  23:54  

Make sure you're different. You're not asking the same basic questions. I like the idea of keeping it as short as possible. And some people don't mind the lengthy message. But for me personally, I like to keep it as short as possible. I don't want people to get bored with the note. So I keep it as short as possible. And I like to have a link with a video or something. 


The company I support now is very creative. The company I've supported in the past, they've been relatively creative with their links, I mean, their videos. And I mean, I'm not a huge fan of sending links, but I think they can tell us pretty securely. I mean, we're a security company, so I think they can trust the link that I send them. A lot of people are a little iffy about opening links on their phones. But I'd like to send a link that says this is who we are. This is what we do. Or why Okta right?? Why not? And our creative teams put together really attractive videos for that purpose.


James Mackey  24:50  

Yeah, it's obviously very competitive out there. And just because there are layoffs occurring in tech does not mean that we aren't right in a very competitive tech market, hiring market right now. We are at this point in time. 


From your perspective, do you see the market cooling off a little bit? Do you see candidate response rates rising over the past couple of months? Are you seeing any trends there?


Jim Wink  25:16  

Well, I think, for me, I have not seen much of a change. Over the last several months, I think things can change. I don't want to get into politics, but things do change around election time, people do have a tendency to potentially bat down the hatches, so to speak.  Because they don't know about, you know, particularly about presidencies when they don't know if things are going to change with their money, their taxes, and things like that. 


But for the last six months, I think the stock market has really also kind of done that same thing where people are very weary about potentially making changes. Because of that, if they're not in a company that's having any issues, if their company is doing well, and they're happy, they're probably not going to engage because of that. I mean, I think, that doesn't help us to have the stock market being so volatile ever since January, doesn't help our situation, in engaging people. But yeah, that would be my change, I would see a drop, I think over the last month or so, personally for me, things have gone well, because of Okta's continual presence there. They're getting out about how well the company's doing. 


James Mackey  26:32  

Yes, I mean, that's a true differentiator, if they can show consistency and growth throughout all this volatility in tech, that's definitely going to be very impressive and help. 


I believe I was listening to a podcast. I think it was with your VP of Talent Acquisition. I don't know if it's the current one or somebody that was there a year or two ago. But one of the things that they were talking about was, offer acceptance rate being a primary metric that Okta was using and the fact that your team actually has a pretty high offer acceptance rate for the size of the company, and I can't remember exactly what it was, but it had risen significantly over the past couple of years.


I wanted to see what are the core kinds of benefits or perks or things that Okta is doing to attract talent right now. That allows them to be so competitive in the market.  Can you tell us a little bit about that?


Jim Wink  27:32  

Well, I think, generally, one, it's always nice to offer us a competitive salary.  I mean, if x person makes 300k, doing a job, he's not going to come to work, or she's not gonna come to work for you for less. So you have to have an opportunity, you have to, you have to have some reason to say okay, well, this is who we are, is what we do. And we can pay x, and this is what we can do down the road or whatever. So number one, you have to be very competitive with the market. And I think generally speaking people pretty much tell you this is what my expectation is. 


I think we have pretty good acceptance rates. To answer your question, we have a pretty good acceptance rate, because I think we do a good job upfront. We don't get into the position where from time to time it may happen, but we don't get into a position where we have a job that pays, you know, 100k. And we're gonna be talking to someone who makes 150k. And we're gonna get into the whole process, you're going to turn down the job because it pays 100k. So we really do a good job of qualifying the candidate making sure they're available. They're interested, the locations right, that works right. Then we go through the process of our interviews, our managers, technical interviews, we do tech challenges, and things like that for the technical people. 


Basically, I think the acceptance rate we're doing very well with that is because of that, the pre-qualifying. And I think that's super important to do that. And the money's right. And we'd have great perks. Okta does great! They have unlimited PTO, I think it's a great health benefits package that I keep compared to others within the industry that I know, it's because I've worked in a number of different places. It's very, very good. And that's a big help, too. 


But generally speaking, the money they offer on the restricted stock units and how that's paid. I think all of that helps in making that decision for the candidate when they have multiple opportunities. 


James Mackey  29:47  

Sure. And from a process standpoint, how does it work? So does the sourcing team take the initial screening call? And then it's handed over to the recruiting team or is it doing the outreach and then scheduling directly with the recruiter, how does that start work at Okta?


Jim Wink  30:02  

We all work a little bit differently, maybe. My process is I will talk to the candidate first. And once I do that, and I'm comfortable with this candidate moving forward and the candidate is comfortable with what we're doing, then I will move them to the division recruiter. And this is their decision, they make a scheduled call, or they may just pass them along to the manager and say, Hey, manager, is this someone we want to talk to? 


So it's kind of, once I talk to the person it will get through the process relatively quickly. And we try to keep that as tight as possible timewise.  Because we know that people have multiple opportunities. We don't want people to hang out there waiting to hear from someone for two weeks.


James Mackey  30:45  

Right. What does the process look like in terms of communication with the recruiting team? Is it weekly meetings and sinks? What does that look like?


Jim Wink  30:55  

We do. Generally speaking, I can speak about what I do for my weekly meetings with the recruiters, the recruiting staff, and to the manager of the recruiting staff l support so I'm caught in their meeting. They already have them anyway. And each of the recruiters is broken up into groups. And so the sourcer that supports those groups can call into those meetings. So it's on a weekly basis to answer your question. 


We have a weekly company-wide meeting, we have a bi-weekly sourcer team meeting, and we have a bi-weekly recruiting meeting. It might be monthly, but I think it's bi-weekly, this recruiting team meeting so we all stay relatively informed. And because we're worldwide, it's always moving around to accommodate people who are in APAC. So sometimes it might be for me east coast, six o'clock in the evening, which is okay because my day is done for those kinds of meetings. And it was sort of juggling them around.


James Mackey  31:47  

And is there a specific ratio that Okta, targets for sourcing partners to recruiters? Like, is it a one-to-one type of ratio?


Jim Wink  31:57  

Great question. To answer your question, no. I think we're getting there. A year ago, we had a very, very, super small team, just a couple of people. Now we were down to I believe, 13 or 14 on the sourcing side, right? On acquisition, I think the total is over 100. So we might be talking 10 to 12 to one right now or something. But I think it's a great question. So we don't have that number. But it would be nice. If it was down to like five or six to one. I think that would be optimal. But it's nothing near that right now.


James Mackey  32:36  

And how is it determined? What do you focus on? Is it basically like the sourcing team goes to the hardest-fill positions? Or the top priority roles? Or? How is that determination made?


Jim Wink  32:47  

Very much like that. It's one of the things I like to say, ever since I've been in this business, who has a hair on fire, right? Whoever has your hair on fire? They're the ones that get the attention usually. And then it goes down from there. So prioritizing is definitely the manager's role. I mean, they prioritize for us and, and generally speaking, it goes from the recruiter to their manager to my manager back to me, or it could just go from the recruiting team to me and say, Hey, we do have these owners meetings we have, their priorities are laid out. And they can say, Okay, Jim, we do need help every year over here. 


Basically what we try to do, and this is not really new, but we try to have our sourcers basically, continually pipelining and churning and churning the same kinds of people, for the same kind of positions will always have openings for. When I was at Raytheon. I knew we always needed fully clear software engineers for the Maryland customer or the Virginia customer. I knew that. I always did that. Well here at Okta. I know we always need account executives or solutions engineers and sales in the sales cup solution engineers, folks and Central or in the west or the east, or we always need identity access management experts. So that's what we're trying to do and create those funnels, and fulfill those pipelines for the recruiters.


James Mackey  34:02  

Do you all do any segmentation based on either one region or two, like specialty? So for instance, is there a team of tech recruiters or a team of go-to-market recruiters?


Jim Wink  34:16  

Yes, is broken down basically not geographical region, but more by discipline.


James Mackey  34:24  

But for sourcing, it sounds like it's across the board. 


Jim Wink  34:27  

Right now it is because we're limb because there are so few of us. 


James Mackey  34:41  

I always find it interesting to see how companies are doing that. And I think a lot of tech companies right now we're more so segmenting. There are regions, but if there are regions at all, they're very large, right? My primary way where I see segmentation is more so like tech, right, or engineering And then there's a product team and then there's a sales or go-to-work team, right? 


Jim Wink  35:04  

I like it this way because this keeps you from bonking into each other. All our recruiters do sourcing as well. So that's one reason why we have fewer sources per recruiter. And when you go into LinkedIn or you go into our folders, you can see, okay, well, this person reached out to this person X amount of, you know, two months ago, so I'm not going to reach out again or whatever. But I think, when we are more segmented like this, we're broken down like this,  it keeps us from continually running into each other.


James Mackey  35:35  

Yes, that's always a good thing. Do you all have recruiters and sourcing partners that are not based in the US? Do you have a presence in LATAM and EMEA?


Jim Wink  35:51  

Yes, we do. 


James Mackey  35:53  

Because that's, we're seeing a lot more of that now, too. 


Jim Wink  35:55  

Yes, I helped support some work in Germany. A few months ago, we had sourcer's in Europe, in England. And then we have Australia covered. And we have a sourcer there, Martin Freeman. He's actually a very well-known sourcer in his part of the world. I think they're opening in South America as well because they have openings in South America. So it's very much global. So it's very interesting.


James Mackey  36:26  

We're thinking about building out a team in LATAM. The appeal to that market really is that it's the very same or very similar timezone to North America. So it just takes away some of the headaches of dealing with some of the time zone differences. And also it increases the size of the candidate pool.  


For instance, we have a subsidiary in Romania, a lot of great people, the issue really comes down to not a lot of them wanting to work US hours. And that's a requirement if they're gonna be helping North America. So, when we're looking for international support, specifically for North America, we actually are going to start to target LATAM. And then for our EU projects, we will continue to work within eastern Europe, specifically Romania, but we're trying to empower people to work in the time zones that they're naturally in. Because there's just so much more good talent available. In Romania, for instance, like when we had the requirement to support North America, it's like 90% of the workforce wasn't interested. 


And you'd end up targeting companies that have a similar model. And usually, the companies that have a similar model weren't necessarily in a similar space, you know, not necessarily the most relevant candidates. So, you know, we were kind of changing that strategy a little bit. But I really do like the concept of globally distributed teams. And I think that there are some interesting strategies there when it comes to blended rates, where it's like you can have, you know, if you need some senior level team members based in the US and then have supporting counterparts that are in these international markets to bring down the overall budget. And also just having people in different times and supporting different regions can be helpful as well. 


So we're seeing companies do more interesting things. And now there are tools like Deal out there or that are making it easier to hire international employees. And so that's really no longer becoming a barrier. So it's cool to see tech become more globalized and to see, it's no longer just like Microsoft and Oracle, right? It has a subsidiary of every country, it's like now we're starting to see growth stage companies. Okay, we're gonna go out and hire 200 engineers in Poland, right? For whatever reason, that's a really hot market. Right now. We're seeing a lot of engineers being recruited in Poland right now. So we're just starting to see more companies that are startups and growth stage build globally distributed teams in different time zones.


Jim Wink  38:54  

It's interesting, I will tell you, speaking to that, recruiting and sourcing in Japan, compared to the United States compared to Germany, compared to England, they're all very different. You won't know that until you do it and I don't want to get into all the details without enough time. But the approach is very, very different from the United States as far as being open to receiving emails or messages. So that's something that people have to consider when they're considering doing something outside of the US.


James Mackey  39:31  

Oh, yeah, I mean,  just the level of complexity for everything related to talent acquisition and people functions as well just gets mentally more complicated. One of the key differences I remember when I was initially recruiting in Romania, you know, as an American,  we don't necessarily realize it until we start to travel a lot.


But, apparently, we're pretty optimistic and we're pretty outgoing. And we can be kind of loud and I think particularly in certain regions, like, I'll just speak to Eastern Europe, I think a lot of people in the Eastern European market would probably find me a bit obnoxious. Because my messages were always like, we're building this world-class team, and we're doing all this incredible stuff. And then they're just culturally, they're just kind of like, just chill out a little bit.


Jim Wink  40:22  

And they want all the information possible. They want, at least what I learned in Germany, they want all the information, give me everything you can tell me. And as opposed to me giving out short messages that I like to do, I had to have like a four-page dissertation, literally, this is what we're doing is who we are, this is where we are, where we're going, where we were, I mean, they needed all that information before they even consider responding to me. So it's a very different market.


James Mackey  40:49  

And even thinking about that like what you just said, is drastically different than how it is in Eastern Europe, like in Romania, or Poland or Ukraine, right? I mean, you have to be ready for those complexities, because you can't just copy and paste a process playbook that works in North America, and expect it to work in LATAM, or expected to work in Eastern Europe. 


And say, like people function, right? Like when you're building employment packages, stuff that we might care about can be completely different, from what people care about in Eastern Europe. We had the CEO of Malwarebytes on the show, and he was talking about, basically, in-office plans versus remote flexibility. And, the US organization was very much interested in having full remote flexibility. But he mentioned that in Eastern Europe, a lot of the preference of employees was to have an office to go to at least three days a week. 


And so you start to see some nuance there. Like, you can't just send out an employee survey globally. There's gonna be a lot of nuance to how people want to work and the benefits that they're looking for and, and what they need to be successful in the role. And so I find that to be very interesting. So it is,


Jim Wink  42:05  

It is because our culture is not the same as everyone else's.


James Mackey  42:08  

Definitely not. So it's weird. I think ultimately, globalization is good for several reasons. And I think it's good for growth stage companies because it opens up the talent pool. But there are certain things that do get a lot harder when you approach business that way. Right? You have to give a lot more thought into what's going to work within specific markets.


Jim Wink  42:28  



James Mackey  42:31  

This has been a tonne of fun. I know, we're kind of coming up on time here. And I know, you have a hard stop at the top of the hour. So I just want to say thank you for joining us today. And before we jump off, if people want to engage with you or follow you, how can they find you online?


Jim Wink  42:50  

This is crazy, but I don't have a Twitter account. But I'm on LinkedIn. I mean, people follow me on LinkedIn @Jim Wink. People can reach out to me in that respect, and message me, but I know, I need to do that. I tend to hear a little bit more socially out there. But LinkedIn would be the best way.


James Mackey  43:14  

Good to know. Well, thanks again. This was a tonne of fun and keep us posted with how you're doing. And I'm looking forward to doing this again sometime. 


Jim Wink  43:23  

Oh, absolutely, I appreciate the time. And certainly, if you ever want to ring up a chat, I'd be happy to talk.


James Mackey  43:28  

Okay, cool. And for everybody else tuning in. Thank you so much, and we'll see you next time.


Jim Wink  43:33  

Thank you.


James Mackey  43:35  

Thanks for listening to the talent acquisition trends and strategy podcast powered by the mindset of SecureVision. For more info on us, visit us on our website at www.securevision

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