SmartRecruiters Blog

Hiring Success 18 Interview: Paige Cherny

As a recruitment guru, Paige prides herself on learning from every conversation. And considering Paige has worked for the likes of SAP SuccessFactors, Amazon, and T-Mobile, as well as in vendor-side implementation and product development, you can rest assured she’s had had some pretty insightful conversations about talent acquisition.

Now, as part of Recruitment Technology Consulting, she uses that wealth of knowledge to help both large and small companies match their recruitment goals, whether it concerns finding the right piece of technology or reworking their internal processes.

Luckily, attendees to this year’s Hiring Success 18 conference can also take advantage of her unique experience and gregarious attitude.Register here! Paige is one of the confirmed expert speakers in San Francisco from March 12th – 14th, but before then, let’s get to know her a little better with a SmartRecruiters interview.

What does the concept of Hiring Success mean to you?

Companies achieve success in hiring when they’ve struck the right balance in hiring the people that will make the most difference to their business, whose employment most significantly impacts their local and global communities.

Corporations, governments, and society have grown increasingly entwined, and meaningful employment is one of the most significant factors in developing and maintaining social stability across the globe.

Companies have both a fiduciary duty to do right by their shareholders and an ethical duty to do right by their communities. Healthy, aware companies work to equip their talent pool, develop skill sets that they can draw upon in future hiring, and employ the widest population possible to drive community growth while ensuring business success.

Where on a CEO’s list of priorities should “recruitment” be?

Hang around with me long enough and you’ll inevitably hear me say, “All problems are recruiting problems.” Time and time again I’ve seen that top companies make recruiting their number-one priority. Every critical business decision, every task, goal, and accomplishment, literally every element that allows a CEO to deliver on their commitments comes down to having the right people making those decisions and executing on those plans.

I also believe that recruiting isn’t something done once, but that companies need to constantly be re-recruiting their existing internal talent on a daily basis; that is, making sure they’re in roles that stretch them, that they find rewarding, and allow them to make a significant impact – the same drivers you focus on so intensively during hiring.

Who was/is your biggest professional influence and why?

Whoever I’m speaking with at the moment. That isn’t to say I’m easily swayed, but I am utterly intrigued by the professional experiences and challenges each person has faced, both in their commonalities and in their distinctive differences. I am all-in on every new conversation I have so that I can learn something I didn’t know before, gain a new perspective, and add to my overall understanding of the recruiting marketplace. That’s as true for recruiting professionals as it is for candidates. I’m a terror to sit next to on a plane because all I want to do is quiz the person next to me about their experiences with talent acquisition! Everyone has a story, and every story fills in a new piece of the puzzle.

What do you think will be the defining feature of recruitment in five years?

I believe that in five years, candidates will demand personal relationships with recruiters that are fully invested in their long-term career progression and life success, expect radical transparency and training from the organizations where they currently and might someday work, and will refuse to participate in supply-chain style recruiting processes that aim principally to automate recruiting at the cost of deeply personal differentiation.  

Consumer technology is already used to facilitate rather than replace meaningful human contact, and people who have come to expect autonomy, personal control and human connection in their daily lives will accept no less from the enterprises that seek to employ them.  The recruiters who will thrive in this world are those that are willing to take on the commitment of placing the candidates’ overall best interests above their own short-term hiring goals. The recruiter’s emotional labor of building and maintaining those types of truly meaningful relationships will be significantly more highly valued than it is today, becoming the central drive of new processes, practices, and rewards within the recruiting industry.

How will they affect your average hiring manager? What will their day look like?

Without getting too deep into the details of how I think this will occur, I see a world where hiring managers will have near-immediate access to the top three to five candidates who have star potential in the open role. I expect that, for many roles, hiring managers will have less input into the quantifiable details (such as education and experience) of the hiring profile and will instead be challenged to take greater risks by hiring non-traditional candidates who pose a greater possible reward to the company.

How will emerging technology change the role of the recruiter? How might they have to adapt in the future?

In addition to the obvious efficiency gains, emerging technologies will create a “knowability” around candidates that is currently ephemeral and elusive.  It will supplement intuition with previously-inaccessible substantiated reality, challenge biases and bad assumptions, and plumb the depths of candidates’ motivations and goals. It will clear paths for candidates who want to enter new fields, provide recruiting management the insight necessary to support ambitious recruiting tactics, and encourage recruiters to build daring talent pools and candidate relationships.

What are the most common mistakes you see companies make in regards to recruitment?

All problems are recruiting problems! Having the wrong people in recruitment roles perpetuates problems in recruiting practice and process. Hiring recruiting teams who are experts in their field, who are unafraid of change, who build strong partnerships with their lines of business, who exchange guesswork for data, who trim inefficient processes and who treat candidates with humanity and respect, that is key to successful recruiting.

What are the most urgent problems that need to be addressed in the recruitment industry?

In all but the very best recruiting teams, candidates are treated as a commodity.  Systems and processes are designed around it, hiring manager and interview team behaviors are predicated on it, and it drives common practices across the world.  This has perpetuated problems such as the application black hole, the purple squirrel job description, poor candidate experience, lack of hiring manager responsiveness to shortlists, and many of the challenges recruiters face in their day to day jobs. Moving away from the commodification of talent industry-wide will drive a wildly different and innovative approach to recruitment on all levels.

Mark Newton