JODY ROBIE ON WHAT HR REALLY NEEDS

Who is Jody Robie?

Developing best in class Employer Branding and Marketing strategies is Jody’s passion. Her career has ranged from working with massive global organizations to small non-profits all tied to her ability to customize a successful strategy to meet goals and define a genuine unique selling proposition. Jody is also a noted public speaker in the employment branding/recruitment communication arena.

Her topic at the conference will be “2016 Talent Acquisition Survival Guide.”

What will you be speaking about at Disrupt HR and why did you choose this topic over any other?

What’s most interesting to me is just how to survive from a talent acquisition standpoint in 2016. My topic is 2016 The Year of Living Dangerously tied to the fact that the market is super competitive. People make the war on talent analogy or the dot com analogy here in the Northeast, but it’s not just tech roles; it’s everything.

So finding a good project manager with three to four years of experience is as difficult as finding someone for a mid-level or senior role. Because of that, candidates are looking for and receiving inflated titles and salaries.

Right now I feel like that’s the big pain point for everyone. How do I make it work? Because I have more hiring to do now than I have in a long time, and need to be able to communicate to the business why it’s taking so long or why I need to pay more for the right people.

Do you believe the HR profession is being or will be truly disrupted, and if so, what’s driving this change?

Changes in the market and economy are disrupting HR. During the recession, the HR industry took it on the chin. Seasoned HR professionals were the first to be let go. They had higher salaries. Their companies didn’t necessarily understand or appreciate their roles.

Companies just needed to stay afloat, so there was a good amount of HR pillaging.

They kept lower-level employees and maybe one senior HR leader, and everyone else was wiped out after the layoffs finished. Once those reductions were over, HR had to try to maintain.

What’s happened during the recovery is those with 15 or 20 years of experience who were cast aside have just moved on. So there’s a gap in good, strategic HR talent.

The disruption is coming from the people who stayed in it, who are good, who are rough and ready every day. The people who are willing to disregard titles and just roll up their sleeves to show the relevance of the people side of their industries, they’re the disruptive ones.

HR departments are being led by non–HR leaders that are forcing diversity of thought and flexibility. This trend is elevating HR to a more prominent and relevant part of a company’s ROI and success.

What void does Talentworks fill?

Talentworks is a global HR consultancy that started in the UK. Our organization has grown to support our clients, who are senior HR professionals around the world. Based on what we like to call recruitment intelligence, it gives organizations an easier way to get the information they need to make the right decisions.

We have a Brand and Insight team to evaluate how a company is perceived externally and internally, what they should work toward regarding what types of people to hire, what skill sets they should bias, and how to position themselves in the global market.

We have Global Sourcing and Creative teams to develop the Employer Brand, communicate it and position the right opportunities to the candidates who will fit the culture.

When you get that framework for a brand strategy, it shouldn’t look like anyone else.

If you could recommend a book for everyone in attendance to read before attending, what would it be?

I just read Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. It’s about resilience and endurance. It’s about a team from Washington state that makes it to the Olympics.

Resilience is an essential ingredient for survival today. It’s hard to be in business right now. It’s hard to find the right people and do all the things that HR is expected to accomplish. It’s about being able to take advantage of all that’s being asked of you in HR and enjoy it.

Last question: what’s your favorite David Bowie song?

Ooh, tough one. I would think “Major Tom.” That was the first Bowie song I heard when my middle-school music teacher played it for our class.