DiscoverThe Changing State of Talent Acquisition
The Changing State of Talent Acquisition
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The Changing State of Talent Acquisition

Author: Graham and Marty from Change State

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The world of Talent Acquisition is in a constant state of change. The smartest companies are constantly evaluating their tools, technologies and marketing strategies to find ways to attract top talent. We go beyond the generalist topics you find on legacy HR-related news sources. Each week we unpack different topics around recruitment - from the impact of COVID on your employer branding efforts, to the hidden costs of cheap job seeker traffic and the candidate experience. Each week we'll dive deep into articles, people and themes that impact The Changing State of Talent Acquisition.
53 Episodes
This week we welcome Carina Clingman to the podcast. With a PhD in biochemistry, Carina’s early experiences looking for jobs in the biotech space led her to start Recruitomics, a TA consulting group that helps small and startup biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies find and retain top talent.  Topics include: the advantages (and disadvantages) of having recruiters with deep subject-matter expertise, why hiring the wrong person can be particularly costly for startups, the inherent tension between the speed and quality of hires, how the lens of “NOT hiring” can lead to better outcomes for early stage startups, the emerging concept of “fractional” hires, the difference between “fractional” hires and freelancers and consultants, the pros and cons of fractional positions from the candidate’s perspective, and the impact of AI on biotech and the jobs of the futureCarina ClingmanFounder & CEO, Recruitomics Biotalent ConsultingLinkedInBuilding Biotechs PodcastStartup Resource Guide
This week we welcome Heather Dunn to the podcast. Passionate about HR from an early age (16!), Heather brings more than 15 years of experience has an HR leader in technology companies, having held senior roles at Microsoft and Dropbox before joining Gem, where she currently serves at Chief People Officer. Topics include: how HR can be a “lonely” role in an organization, the similarities between HR and therapy, the importance of having “truth tellers,” the prevalence of open technical roles in non-technical companies, how non-technical companies can leverage their talent brands to compete with tech juggernauts like Amazon and Meta, the importance of career pathing to tech talent, how to foster efficiency within the recruiting process, the value of transparency to tech workers, how to leverage employee “personas” in talent attraction, the delta between employer messaging and employee perceptions, employee engagement scores, candidate nurturing, the interaction between remote work and “belonging”, and the role and value of employee resource groups (ERG’s). Heather DunnChief People Officer, GemLinkedIn Chief Chat: Heather DunnMy company pays ERG leaders $10K in equity per year. Here’s whyHow startups and non-tech firms can better attract laid-off Big Tech talent
This week we welcome Gretchen Huestis to the podcast. Passionate about human potential and purpose-led change, Gretchen has more than 20 years of experience as a management consultant and holder of senior HR leadership roles. She honed her skills at Towers Perrin, Pitney Bowes, SABMiller, and HSBC before assuming her current position at Siegel+Gale, where she serves at Group Director of Brand-led Change. Topics include: building bridges between HR and marketing, the persistence of silos within an organization, aligning an EVP with an organization’s wider purpose, the concept of brand champions, how to identify and nurture brand champions, the intersection of brand understanding and brand passion, “wild cards” vs “spectators,” and the importance of maintaining promises to employees in times of change. Gretchen HeustisGroup Director of Brand-led Change, Siegel+GaleLinkedInTimes May Be Changing, But the Promises You Make to Employees Never Should 
This week we welcome Jay Denton to the podcast. An expert in labor market analytics, Jay spent time at Bell Partners and Axiometrics before joining LaborIQ as Chief Analytics Officer. Topics include: the current status of the labor market, layoffs vs. new job creation, inflation, skills-based hiring and industry switching, pay equity, approaches to setting compensation for remote roles, employees as “free agents,” and how generational demographic shifts are impacting the labor market Jay DentonChief Analytics Officer, LaborIQLinkedIn
This week we welcome Adam Godson to the podcast. An HR technology veteran, Adam spent more than eight years at Cielo Talent before assuming his current role as President & Chief Product Officer at Paradox, a conversational AI platform for talent. Topics include: the growth of quick apply frameworks, the challenges of communicating an EVP in a quick apply context, how quick apply frameworks help and hinder recruiters, job seeker traffic and job board incentives, SMS and high volume recruiting, interview scheduling and the importance of speed-to-candidate, “human” touchpoints as an indicator of value, ChatGPT, how large language models will affect the future of recruiting  Adam GodsonPresident & Chief Product Officer, ParadoxLinkedInTwitter
This week we welcome Becky Chung to the podcast. Passionate about HR, organizational design, and workforce development, Becky honed her skills in a range of industries, including health care, financial services, and software, before assuming her current role as Vice President of Talent Development at Cielo Talent. Topics include: skills-based recruiting, workforce development, the role of compensation in job hopping, how upskilling can support employee retention efforts, the impact of technology and innovation on the durability of skills, how the current talent shortage is shifting productivity and growth expectations, immigration policy and the labor market, the effect of remote work on organizational culture, work-life balance and employee productivity, control vs. trust in performance management, the importance of diversity of thought in building high-performing teams, how authenticity during the hiring process leads to better outcomes, and the ROI of employee upskilling investments.  Becky ChungVice President, Talent Development Cielo TalentLinkedIn
Co-hosts Graham and Marty return for The Changing State of Talent Acquisition Season 3 debut. They share how the agency business has evolved in the past year and discuss key trends that will shape the talent acquisition landscape in 2023 and beyond.Topics include: Skills-based hiring, how automation can improve the hiring process, approaches to measuring the ROI of an employer brand, how strong employer brands create efficiencies in recruiting, the rising importance of retention in a tight labor market, and how organizations are utilizing AI to make layoff decisions Articles ReferencedAI Is Starting To Pick Who Gets Laid OffAptitude Research: 2023 HR Technology Trends and Predictions
This week we welcome Chandan Golla to the podcast. Chandan is Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer for, a DEI-first people analytics platform. Prior to co-founding, Chandan spent more than 20 years delivering compelling experiences powered by data, having led product teams at eBay, OneTrust, and Integris Software.Topics include: the “touchy feely” nature of DEI efforts historically, DEI as a catalyst for the HR data revolution, closing the gap between DEI awareness and small actions that improve outcomes, the backwards-looking nature of most dashboards, the value of “live” DEI data, the challenge of setting realistic DEI goals, corporate accountability and the public sharing of DEI metrics, the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in supporting DEI initiatives, how AI uncovers hidden DEI insights, the use of segmentation to deliver tailored benefits and services to underrepresented sub-groups, and the connection between segmentation and intersectionality.
This week we welcome Adam Jackson to the podcast. Adam is a serial entrepreneur (Dr. On Demand,,, startup advisor, and technology investor (Cambrian Asset Management). Adam’s most recent venture, Braintrust, is the first and largest decentralized talent network completely controlled by its users.Topics include: the distinction between user-owned networks and corporate-owned networks, the concept of a “rake” as it relates to talent networks, why middlemen tend to extract an increasing amount of value over time, the case of DoorDash and stolen driver tips, how blockchain tokens help keep rakes low (or negative), the role of governments in regulating the gig economy, the historical purpose of corporations and the coming “unbundling” of labor, how elastic workforces benefit employers and workers alike, the likelihood of finding job security in the gig economy, the question of who “owns” a freelancer’s work history, and how the Braintrust token serves as both an incentive mechanism and a governance system for the Braintrust network.
This week we welcome Delfina Stabile and Xavi Martinez Salcedo to the podcast. Delfina began her career in Buenos Aires, where she worked as a Recruiting Analyst for Michael Page, before joining Uber—first out of Mexico City, and currently out of San Francisco, where she serves as Talent Attraction Manager. Prior to joining Uber, where he currently serves as Head of Global Strategic Initiatives, Talent Attraction, Xavi served as Program Manager, Executive Search and Talent Management for Philips and Manager of People Technology for TomTom.Topics include: how the labor shortage is intensifying the war for tech talent, what matters to tech talent beyond salary, the importance of closing the feedback loop when conducting employee surveys, the tradeoffs associated with different organizational structures and the employer brand function, strategies for bridge building between employer branding and consumer branding teams, the importance of creating action plans prior to launching employee engagement surveys, how connecting an employer’s EVP to the company’s broader mission creates a stronger brand, how to measure ROI of employer brand initiatives, the value of discovering what doesn’t work, talent acquisition as a cost center vs. revenue creator, and how organizations are navigating the post-COVID return to office.
This week we welcome Amit Parmar to the podcast. With more than 16 years of experience in technology and human capital management, Amit spent time at IBM, Deloitte, and Unisys before founding Cliquify, an AI-powered content marketing platform that drives equity in recruitment.Topics include: the fourth industrial revolution, how AI makes the current revolution more “sophisticated” than previous industrial revolutions, the plummeting cost of data analysis and processing, how automation stands to eliminate (and create) jobs, the likelihood of universal basic income becoming a reality in our lifetime, the concept of employees as “customers” of HR, time versus money as “currencies” in talent attraction, the question of where employer brand sits (and should sit) within an organization, how the labor shortage has elevated the stature of talent acquisition and employer brand, NPS as a measure of employee “stickiness”, how employee referral bonuses can cloud the meaning of NPS scores, and how employee referral programs can impede diversity and inclusion efforts.
Episode DescriptionThis week we welcome Jeffrey Spector to the podcast. Jeffrey spent more than six years at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he served as Chief of Staff to Melinda Gates, before co-founding Karat, a service that helps CTO’s and CHRO’s make technical interviewing a customer-centric experience. Topics include: the surging demand for software engineers, the parallels between training effective teachers and training effective interviewers, why interviewing can be a lonely craft, the notion of a professional interviewer, soft vs. hard skills often found in professional interviewers, the importance of offering “redo” interviews, the concept of a “false negative” as applied to candidate interviews, how candidate interviews can be leveraged post-hire, the meaning of the “access gap,” why many well-intentioned DE&I efforts are ineffective, how democratizing information about interview processes supports diversity efforts, and alternate education paths for technical roles.
This week we welcome Lindsay Witcher to the podcast. As a member of Randstad RiseSmart's global leadership team, Lindsay guides the development of solutions that empower talent leaders to successfully manage mobility within their organizations. We sat down to discuss her recent article, “DeBunking 4 Myths About Reskilling Your Workforce.”Topics include: the connection between the current labor shortage and skills mismatches, how the pandemic has changed employee expectations, the shortening half-life of skills, the declining value of college degrees in the labor market, alternative approaches to post-secondary education, skills-based hiring and the limitations of current application tracking systems, the issue of newly upskilled workers leaving an organization for other opportunities, how to weigh the cost of a significant pay increase vs. replacing a lost employee, why entry-level employees are less likely to be offered upskilling opportunities, how company ‘eco-systems’ can lead to mutually beneficial talent pools, and the distinction between attrition and regrettable loss.
This week we welcome Ali Hackett to the podcast. After starting her career in the agency world, Ali spent more than 15 years as a talent acquisition and employer brand consultant before co-founding Meet & Engage, an award winning candidate experience technology. We sat down to discuss virtual hiring events in a post-pandemic recruiting landscape.Topics include: how the pandemic has accelerated adoption of live virtual events, the challenge of standing out in a world characterized by “screen fatigue,” social mobility and the democratization of information, the use of talent personas to create personalized experiences, how positive candidate experiences lead to employer brand advocacy, key considerations when evaluating virtual event platforms, how to measure ROI of virtual event platform investments, the future of chatbots in recruiting, chatbot use cases and limitations, the importance of “humanizing” chatbot interactions, and how to create “social style” candidate experiences.
This week we welcome Bryan Adams to the podcast. As Founder and CEO of Ph.Creative, a leading employer branding and talent attraction agency, Bryan has spent more than 17 years helping organizations build world-class employer brands. His creative, unconventional and even controversial methodologies have changed the way people think about employer branding and EVP’s. We sat down to discuss the state of the industry as a whole, as well as an article he recently wrote challenging the importance of retention as a metric against which to measure talent acquisition efforts. Topics include: the maturation of employer branding as a business function, the stubborn misconception that employer brands are “created,” good and bad aspirational branding, internal collaboration (and conflict) between employer branding and consumer branding teams, how strong employer brands generate revenue and value for consumer brands, the difference between retention and regrettable loss, how supporting employees who leave for better opportunities leads to higher performing cultures, the intersection of politics and the employer branding, the impact of virtual work on employer branding, and how remote work serves as a “litmus test” for strong employer brands.
This week we welcome Raghav Singh to the podcast. Raghav’s career in talent acquisition spans more than 30 years, including chapters at Taleo (where he served as Product Manager from 2000-2004), UnitedHealthGroup, KornFerry, and Salesforce, where he currently serves as Director of Product leading a team building HR and talent acquisition products. Raghav also regularly appears as an author in noted industry publications, including ERE, where he’s written extensively about the pre- and post-pandemic labor market.Topics include: the advent and evolution of the ATS as a SaaS product, the commoditization of HR technologies, the record high numbers of job openings in the US, the impact of government incentives on hiring, how lack of quality childcare and eldercare has forced women out of the workforce, the persistent bias against the resume “gap”, Baby Boomers and “forced” early retirements, the challenges of skills mismatches between recent college graduates and available jobs, the difference between American and European approaches to addressing unemployment, the long-term implications of birthrate falling below replacement levels, the outlook for immigrant workers entering the job market, and the effects of remote work on talent pools and wages.
This week we welcome Scott MacGregor to the podcast. Prior to entering the world of talent acquisition, Scott spent 17 years as Chief Revenue Officer for Flo-Tech, where he saw the company grow from five employees to more than 300. Along the way, his experiences with recruiting systems and processes led him to believe that talent acquisition is fundamentally broken, which inspired him to start his own talent strategy firm, SomethingNew. Scott is also the proud Founder & CEO of the Talent Champions Council, a private membership community designed to mobilize expertise in talent strategy from the best in corporations, the military and professional sports.Topics include: the value of applying first principles thinking to talent acquisition, why traditional recruiting fee structures are illogical, the “epidemic” of treating recruiting as a cost center, the disconnect between the importance of HR and its lack of attention from the C-suite, why many recruiters lack the skills required to effectively vet job candidates, what professional sports and the military can teach us about recruiting, how to use scorecards to make data-driven hiring decisions, the importance of investing in employees with robust onboarding and training programs, and the post-COVID outlook for talent acquisition.
This week we welcome Lindsay Pedersen to the podcast. Lindsay spent her early career as a brand manager at Clorox before starting her own brand strategy consulting firm, Ironclad Brand Strategy. Her recent book, “Forging an Ironclad Brand: A Leader’s Guide” provides an accessible overview of what branding is (and isn’t) and offers a multitude of real world examples to demonstrate how strong brands help businesses make better decisions—from product design, to customer experience, to talent acquisition.Topics include: the various meanings and incarnations of “brand,” the concept of brand as a relationship between a company and an audience (i.e., customers, candidates), the distinction between “functional” (rational) and higher order (emotional) benefits of a product or service, the connection between strong brands and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, how strong brands serve as “north stars” to guide business decisions, the recent emergence of “employer brand” as a concept and its connection to an organization’s consumer brand, the value of having a singular unified brand for both employees and customers, the challenge of rehabilitating a brand with a poor reputation, the four P’s of positioning, and the importance of building strong connections between talent acquisition and marketing.
This week we welcome Hung Lee to the podcast. With more than 20 years of recruiting experience, Hung is the creator and curator of the wildly popular “Recruiting Brainfood” newsletter and community, and Founder of, a next generation matching service for tech talent.Topics include: the origin and growth of Recruiting Brainfood, the historical nature of resumes, alternative approaches to visualizing the interests and goals of tech talent, the inherent subjectivity of words and the implications for recruiting, the switching cost associated with moving away from the resume, employee experience and career pathing, the shift to remote work and the digitization of workforce behavior, opportunities to automate the ~170 unique tasks of a recruiter, and the use of AI for sourcing, scheduling and sentiment analysis. 
This week we welcome Aaron Kraljev to the podcast. Aaron began his career at Wells Fargo, where he served as VP - Marketing Program Manager for the Student Banking Program, before transitioning in 2009 to lead the organization’s employer brand and candidate advocacy program. At the time, the concept of employer branding was still in its infancy, uniquely positioning Aaron to watch the industry evolve alongside his own career. Today Aaron brings his employer brand expertise to Fisher Investments, where he serves as Group Vice President for Talent Acquisition and  Employer Brand. Topics include: the recent history of employer branding, the connections between consumer marketing and talent acquisition, the challenge of translating talent acquisition concepts and nomenclature to marketing “speak” (and vice versa), the growing importance of data in employer branding functions, approaches to measuring ROI of employer brand investments, the tradeoffs of outsourcing talent acquisition efforts, the hidden costs of making bad hires and leaving positions unfilled, the future of job boards, and the value of a strong consumer brand for talent attraction.
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