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Leveraging the Jungle Gym Career Path – Organic Growth Brings Forth Invaluable Insight

Listen to Marie Hastreiter, Product and Customer Marketing Manager, lead by moderator Jeanne Achille speak about 1) leveraging a “jungle gym” career path, 2) success in a new role, and 3) insights into HR Tech customer needs.

 

Bennett Sung

So again for those that are not familiar with AllyO, AllyO is the world’s first HR communications platform powered by AI we are supporting organizations entire workers lifecycle from recruiting automation to employee experience. We’ve been fortunate to be trusted by a number of top brands from both investors awards and Industry Analysts and we have some of the leading customers utilizing our technology today as mentioned earlier. We are in partnership with future workplace they offer their AI for HR course. It is a immersive course in helping organizations in HR really get prepared for this new digital transformation era using AI. It is a five week course. It actually starts on January 20th so we’re right on time and again is a series of watching videos interacting with your peers and creating action plans so it’s a very performance driven training curriculum and again for those that are a SHRM member you will be eligible to submit for recertification credits so take advantage of this on this particular offer that we are extending through this webinar simply email Bennett@allyo.com and will again come back to this at the end of the webinar so again welcome welcome today’s webinar very excited to to introduce our Guest Marie Hastreiter you know and really talking through and leveraging her jungle gym career path and how it’s brought on organic growth forth to the invaluable her current career path here at AllyO. And before we get started today one or two just obviously introduce today’s presenters again our guest Marie Hastreiter product customer marketing manager here at AllyO. I’m very fortunate to welcome back Jeanne Achille from the Devon  Group who will be moderating today’s panel. But before we get started with the interview would love to get your perspective as we enter the new year to see what areas of recruiting you would like to see the most improvement in so I’m going to launch the poll and you will see what people’s feedback is so please make your selection what is the most one area that you would like to see the most improvement in and we will see through shortly. So what do we see here so we’ve been running this poll for the past six months though I will say this is the first time we’ve seen time to hire appear as the leading area of improvement love to get Jeanne and Marie’s reaction to what you’re seeing as the feedback from our audience. 

 

Jeanne Achille

Well this is Jean you know as as you’ve just identified Bennett you and I have been doing this poll for many months on the Wednesday wisdom series. This is the first time we’ve seen that acceleration and time to hire I think that’s fascinating. Your thoughts, Marie? 

 

Marie Hastreiter

Yeah I mean I would add I think obviously a lot of us probably on this call in connection with AllyO you know more thinking about recruiting we’re thinking about recruiting automation and I think the number one result that I’m seeing so far in talking to customers or people that could be customers is you know the metric that they are looking at that they’re really looking to impact through a solution like AllyO  is the time to hire. So that doesn’t totally surprise me although it is interesting to hear that that’s sort of the first time that that’s taken the lead in this survey. I’m curious to kind of I’d be curious to hear a little bit more to of you know I have have analytics ever led the result often just because you know the how I view analytics is that can tell a story and paint a picture for you then positively impact all four of those other areas right retention etcetera so analytics is obviously on the back end of your process but it helps create a picture to change the front end as well

 

Bennett Sung

Sure I will say from over the past six months responses have toggled between retention and candidate experience so it’s I think if every organization is a snowflake has different perspectives and pain points that they’re trying to solve for so very interesting you love to see I love seeing diversity and in the months of month-over-month responses to this poll. Well great so let’s go ahead and I’ll officially turn today’s presentation and interview over to Jeanne Achille from the Devon Group. Jeanne, all yours. 

 

Jeanne Achille 

Oh well thank you Bennett and I’m alwaysso excited to be with your guests I see that we’ve got quite a few attendees on today’s webinar so thank you so much for joining us and I’m also delighted to to reconnect with Marie. Marie and I met for coffee in New York City last month it’s hard to believe that that we’re on the other side of the holidays but it was right before the holiday season and New York was just beautifully lit and decorated and we really enjoy our chat so Marie great to connect with you once again and and to officially welcome you to AllyO in your new capacity.

 

Marie Hastreiter

Thank You Jeanne I was it was very you were very gracious I was very excited to be able to meet with you in New York while I was still out there and made my relocation across the country to the Bay Area and I’m very excited to be here with the team we got a great new growing marketing team here at AllyO and we’re very excited about the things to come over 2020 for the team and our customers here 

 

Jeanne Achille

Yeah and and you know you have such a unique position with the organization and and by the way this is typical of AllyO, AllyO is so innovative that they are able to look at your traditional job descriptions and and you know change them up shake them up be so much more contemporary and leading in terms of where they’re going. Your background though is so unique so it Maps beautifully to your new role. When you and I were talking I remember you telling me about your bachelor’s degree in Psych and then you went and got a law degree tell me about these choices what why does it go from psych to law and and now of course the journey has taken you elsewhere.

 

Marie Hastreiter

I know and you know a lot of my career path as we talk this will come out a lot of it was somewhat organic choices that kind of evolved naturally over time other ones were obviously very intentional right and I think I’m looking back in the beginning of all this where it started with my bachelor’s degree is I was really at that point you know obviously young and kind of going a lot with like gut instinct right so most of my choices were based off of what gives me energy what am i excited to learn if I’m going to go to class am I going to be hungry to learn more both in the classroom and also kind of taking initiative outside the classroom to immerse myself in the subject area and so kind of what I found quickly in the coursework and undergrad was that anything that really revolved around people made me really kind of tick right. So as you mentioned I did psychology I also actually double majored with international affairs so it was sort of this combination of understanding people at the human level right um causes them what motivates them causes them to develop and grow but also kind of on the international affairs rep side of things also I’m learning a lot more about kind of how policy and someone’s environment can really impact them and how that relates back to psychology as well so I was you know just kind of taking coursework with kind of gut instinct approach and what really excited me and I didn’t yet at that point though really yet connect that you know you need both kind of the interest in the subject matter but you also need that to match over to kind of what your skill set is and your personality is kind of more natural strengths to then actually find the right career path that matches in both of those areas so you know when you’re in school you’re only really thinking about kind of the first part often which is the subject matter not necessarily your personality strengths or your skill set so then you know what I did and kind of figuring out whether to go to law school or not is um you know being totally honest I graduated from undergrad when the Great Recession was about to hit and so I kind of took a little bit more safe route at the time and started paralegal at a law firm seems like a pretty stable job. I was in Washington DC it was more abundant than some other choices and so I did that and then obviously led me into law school and I think law school was where I really started to connect the dots that I need to define a subject area a practice area in law that interested me motivated me but also how could I practice that area of the law in a way that again connected to my more natural skills and that I would actually enjoy the everyday work of you know carrying out my knowledge base and my skills at

 

Jeanne Achille

But you didn’t stay with law so I’m assuming there were things really liked there were probably things you didn’t like about it what did it tell us a little bit about that.

 

Marie Hastreiter

Yeah absolutely and let me connect it first kind of to some key moments in law school right to get into kind of the first area the area of law that I did practice an employment law. So in law school what I really kind of was trying to reflect on what did I enjoy the most in law school because that would hopefully help me then choose kind of my first job out of it and the two things that really stood out was I really enjoyed the employment law space but also my favorite activity was not like pretrial it was not you know moot court it was actually being chair of the student faculty appointments committee which was really a recruiting committee for potential faculty candidates at the law school and so you know I kind of started networking talking people to be like how can this all connect together and then so that’s when I made my first contact into HR and certain thing about it as a career option. But as you can imagine if you’re graduating from law school but you don’t have experience in HR it’s very difficult to sell companies on hiring a law degree into an entry-level HR job they’re going like are you kidding me oh you know is this really what you want to do but you also you know I also didn’t want to you know join and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to join a law firm if that was what I was going to want to do long long term. But ultimately what I decided to do was hey if I’m gonna you know want to maybe potentially get an HR employment litigation is the exact right way to do it if I end up enjoying practicing fantastic that’s when I got my degree in and if not then I built a really good foundation and knowledge base to transition into HR and obviously kind of more on the legal employee relations route side saying you know I’m obviously those with a legal background track into oftentimes the compliance centric side of HR.

 

Jeanne Achille 

I know that you were the corporate compliance officer of a health care and social support service organization and I understand that it was it was a you know in New York tough market and for those who are challenged by poverty and lack of access to quality health care so that sounded like a very tough job when we talked about it what are you most proud of from your time there and and what learn what did you learn from that experience that perhaps you had not been exposed to previously.

 

 

Marie Hastreiter

Yeah absolutely so I think so when I join that organization that was my first Segway you know first role officially in HR coming on board on the employee relations side and something that I really took from my time as a litigator where I really recognized that my match in my personality strength and my skill set we’re not a match for litigation but HR more would be that way I think you know my personality is kind of bring people together I see multiple kind of perspectives points of view and I like to then bring those together to kind of come to a resolution move forward together and so in my role at this healthcare organization that personality really lends itself to kind of expanding my role into a position that really kind of oversaw all area of ethics within the organization whether it was on the HR side doing employer relations or whether it was on kind of more the health care compliance side right what we realized is we really wanted to transform how people within the organization viewed both functions you know often HR often compliance no matter what kind of compliance or regulatory work that you’re doing often those people are seen as sort of the police forces of the organization and the naysayers they’re always the one that kind of stops innovation from happening and we really wanted to change that we really want to make sure that HR and compliance were at the forefront had you know what we talked about on the HR world a lot a strategic seat at the table to really help proactively build initiatives and programs at the organization and not be either kind of a rubber stamp at the end or someone that’s having that you know say no to something that’s already been built and that people are excited for so I think what I’m really proud of there is our successes and kind of forging that and transforming the reputation and how those departments were utilized within the organization you know more and more we saw executive leaders senior leaders in the company coming to me coming to you know other people that I was working with in these regards and saying hey we had this idea for our patients but we want to make sure we do it right we know this kind of gets into some sticky areas maybe with Medicaid or anything like that so how can we kind of pool your knowledge and kind of what we have to keep in mind and also kind of help it actually drive achieving our goals versus feeling like compliance is going to kind of stand in the way of actually meeting them so I’m really proud that we were able to do that a lot.

 

 

Jeanne Achille 

Yeah you know I hear what you’re saying in terms of a dynamic a behavioral dynamic of you know compliance and ethics being kind of the big bad wolf type of syndrome you know where where you’re seeing more as the naysayer in the organization I seem to remember a book you mentioned when when we were chatting and something about generalist triumphing in a specialized world can you talk a little bit about that 

 

Marie Hastreiter

Yes absolutely so there was this book actually just came out over the last year or so in some ways I wished it was had been available earlier but it’s a book by David Epstein called wide generalists triumph in a specialized world and it was about nine months ago that I first heard about the book it was actually there was an adoption of it kind of in the Atlantic magazine and what he really gets at is that he’s his research is really running counter to what a lot of people traditionally have thought of in terms of how you kind of build a successful career right so the traditional notion of like a tiger woods where he growing up since he was four years old right there’s that picture of Tiger Woods and like playing golf for is you have to practice a certain skillset over and over repetitively for all of your life to kind of really become the expert in it and his David Epstein’’s research is actually kind of saying the opposite maybe not for all things but in a lot of fields of what they’re really seeing is that people that are exposed to a lot of different areas of what’s which is talked in the business world a lot of different areas of business working in different functional areas have sort of developed this ability to take information across kind of silos across functions and see things from kind of a much more holistic vantage point and then kind of come up you know consolidate that and kind of come up with solutions that can address all of the unique challenges in each of them and so you know kind of when you’re when when you’re specialized and kind of only catered and really studying one area  can miss a lot of dots that really could connect across all of them.

 

Jeanne Achille

 I actually I just I will say I just picked up the book very recently I’ve read I’ve listened to a lot of his interviews read a lot of his articles but now I’m actually excited to dive into the full research of it you know I love that the people are making book reading a thing again I I think we all went to this very this model of lots and lots of abbreviated content and we kind of lost that perspective on on on books 

 

Marie Hastreiter

I think one interesting thing connecting his work to kind of one of the things I set up top was he really talks about this like how can you optimize the quality fit right and so he’s saying like he actually suggests that early on whether it’s in your youth or whether it’s in your career kind of with these exposures to all different functional areas or activities the person can actually start to figure out where do their interests and their skillsets best match up and make that choice versus kind of immediately kind of assume in one tunnel one path is right for them and so I think this role that I had at this healthcare organization and in each of my roles I’ve been just exposed to all different areas of the business and all of them have kind of piqued my interest and that enabled me honestly – I think succeed in my next HR role after the healthcare organization.

 

Jeanne Achille

Well and that’s exactly where we are now you went to a company called Joyride which sounds like such a cool company and such a different energy than being a compliance officer and all of that and you really lived the life of AllyO’s  clients right down to implementing an ATS you know vetting and implementing an ATS within your first six months there so what tips can you offer our attendees today about competing for and managing qualified talent you know in this Company.

 

 

Marie Hastreiter

Yeah no actually I think well I’m sure we’ll get to this a little bit of what kind of attracted me to AllyO but I definitely was experiencing you know the challenge that many of our customers experience when kind of going through hourly recruiting you know recruiting for a distributed workforce I think kind of the three top tips I would say in competing for and managing talent is I mean one it all starts with really understanding your brand and your culture right there’s of course your business brand your consumer brand but that really needs to tie to your employer brand and your culture in your core values as an organization so something I think we did extremely well at Joyride was very early on really making sure because the company was growing it was evolving right but making sure we were always anchored in our mission and vision as a company and always making sure that we understood what our core values were and that was the kind of the guiding light the true north of all of our decisions so you know we kind of did an analysis to understand where our culture was and then figure it out also where it needed to be made adjustments as we had to and then really use that to you know brand ourselves as an employer to be an employer of choice in the space that we are in food and beverage distribution I think that was you know number one and I should add though to with your employer brand like it needs to be accurate and needs to be honest people people are smart these days they can easily do their research with things like glass door indeed reviews so you want to make sure that you really are painting an accurate picture otherwise no one wins at the end of the day right the employee comes on board it’s not what they hoped it to be and they end up leaving and then you’ve obviously wasting your time in recruiting them onboarding and training them um I think the second thing I would say too is and I think HR is in a really exciting time with this is challenging current practices and conventions in the HR space right I think more than ever we’re saying why are we doing this right this kind of goes back to our what we were saying before around HR and compliance of being sort of the naysayers or we’re kind of the red tape sometimes they’re viewed that way an organization no we need process we need structure for sure very difficult to scale without it but that doesn’t mean you should do things the way that they’ve always been done so does it make sense for your organization to do it and quote unquote the best practice ways out there for your industry it may not and so being open to thinking outside of the box and really finding what works for your company and your culture and that you’re you either have or that you’re trying to achieve. I think my hero in this realm is Patti McCord I think a very familiar name former you know she headed up HR at Netflix from the early days and she’s very well known for really disrupting HR and kind of pulling it apart and saying you know there’s things that we kind of need to start all over and how we approach it.

 

Jeanne Achille 

Yeah very impressive very impressive you know what I just want to make sure I’m acknowledging some of the questions that are coming in from our attendees and and I’m hoping we could just take a few of those and of course we want to better understand your a decision to move to AllyO but but um so one of our questions is how did your past experiences helped shape who you are professionally today

 

Marie Hastreiter

Yeah I think in each of my roles I learned a lot more about myself and you know going back to how I made decisions as an undergrad in college right it was about what excited me what brought me energy and in each of my roles I paid very close attention to that I you know even on a weekly basis whether it was been talking my manager just with myself I sat down I thought what did I do this week that I really loved doing and that almost like time Stood Still or nested still like went very quickly right I kind of got in the zone and then in what areas you know didn’t bring me joy maybe they stress me out maybe I realize like it’s not something that I would want to do long-term with my career and so I made note of those and I think each that really helped me figure out or helped me find new roles each time that spent had more emphasis around what I really loved doing and so I think that’s obviously I don’t want to jump to then how I ended up at AllyO but I think AllyO is sort of that next pivot for me and combining the things that I’ve absolutely enjoyed doing the most kind of from a task perspective and combining it with my love and interest for workplaces and how to make work and work environments more engaging for people

 

Jeanne Achille

You know what we have another question that almost speaks to exactly that so I’m gonna I’m gonna fast-forward to to your your move to AllyO and what attracted you to the company what your goals are for AllyO’s bright future and and maybe also if you could touch a little bit on your own experience with HR technology and and you know what you’ve seen work really well and what you think is is pretty broken. 

 

Marie Hastreiter

So yeah so AllyO kind of funny story how life evolves and things you can predict but I got connected and learned about AllyO actually through a mutual friend who was living in the Bay Area and had a new hire at AllyO they were good friends with from their master’s program and said hey can you talk to my friend she just joined this HR technology company she’s interviewing a lot of HR professionals and I think you two would make a great connection so her and I spoke several months back now and she introduced me to AllyO the product you know our recruiting automation feature capabilities AI some of the work that we’re doing around employee experience as well and I just really geeked out over the product I was asking her a million questions when I think she was supposed to ask me a million questions and I really just saw right off the bat the value of what AllyO was gonna be able to deliver and you know I kind of to your point of like in the HR tech space what’s working and what’s broken you know one of the first things I did at joy ride was you know implement an ATS I knew we had to come up with a scalable way to recruit and so I did that and overall was very happy with my ATS choice but there was definitely certain functionality that that was missing for the industry that we were in you know we were doing a lot of our early recruiting recruiting of warehouse positions driver positions you know in addition to quote-unquote traditional kind of professional white-collar roles and I really saw that we were not processing them quickly enough we were not using communication channels that were getting responsive and I saw really that AllyO could sort of fill this gap and really if it could you know partner with connect with our ATS system we’d really have sort of been the perfect solution to quickly move applicants through the pipeline give them a positive experience and also help us by making our lives easier and as everyone in this webinars seems to be interested in reduce our time to hire.

 

Jeanne Achille

Yeah such a you know the time to hire metric from the poll that Bennett ran earlier is is I keep flipping that over in my head because that was such a significant number and you know I’m wondering how much of it is related to time of year I’m also wondering how much of it is related to competitive pressures because you know we’re in this we’re in this current state of really full employment and have a dearth of available qualified talent very very challenging you know what is what is your mantra for AllyO’s customers what what is your goal there and what you’d like to see happen. 

 

Marie Hastreiter

Yeah I mean I would there are so many incredible things happening at our customers thanks to kind of AllyO and the pain points for them that it’s been able to solve that I think often they’d find unfathomable you know a couple years ago it’s funny you know in doing some initial you know research around just kind of the product marketing side how to position our value to people articulate it to people you know I often share some of the success story metrics of our customers and people almost can’t believe it I have to actually say like no seriously we didn’t believe it either but this is what we’re finding so I think for us it’s like how can we more and more kind of work with our customers to kind of shout and share that exciting kind of news out there with more people who are experiencing the exact same pain points they were months ago or a year ago and say you know you can have this too you know. Your life can be easier your time to hire can be better so really you know helping customers feel proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish in being innovative and pioneering you know taking on this new type of technology and helping us kind of share that news and spread it with other people so we can help more businesses and more HR professionals and candidates. Honestly at the end of the day we’re all at some point job candidates too so how can we improve their experience as well.

 

Jeanne Achille

You know I am always so fascinated. I get to interview a lot of HR and talent acquisition practitioners in my day to day and I am always just delighted to use an AllyO word and how excited AllyO’’s customers are to have the capabilities that AllyO brings to them and how they wouldn’t trade AllyO for anything in the world you know now that they’ve experienced this magic you know there’s absolutely no way they would go back to the old ways of doing it you know. Unfortunately we’re coming up on time you know if you do have a question for Marie we’d love to tackle it live and so you can go to that questions section that you’ll see on your screen type in your question and we’ll make sure that we cover it while we’re chatting. I gotta gotta take you to a personal question though Marie and one that requires small thinking here so uh you know we’d love to ask our guests this question it’s very Actors Studio like if you could have lunch with three people and they could be people who’ve passed on or people who are alive who would they be and why?

 

Marie Hastreiter

I love this question um I think so it’s three people I’m assuming we’re at maybe we’re at coffee or maybe we were at dinner maybe wine so I’m gonna want to compile a group of people that I think are going to go really well together I think what I would say is Eleanor Roosevelt Michelle Obama and kind of the Time Person of the Year Greta Thunberg especially hope I’m saying her last name correctly I mean there’s three coincidentally women it’s not necessarily why I chose them but three just very powerful advocates who were you know not afraid in their own way because they all have very different approaches but weren’t afraid to really take on and tackle some of the core urgent issues of their time you know. So Eleanor Roosevelt obviously in many ways a pioneer a different space of what a first lady could look like then a you know a lot of her predecessors but even after the White House right her you know leading up a lot of our work with the UN her leading a lot of you know civil rights work as well. You know Michelle Obama I think about her and her you know she her passions around nutrition and children’s wellness and the obesity crisis that we have in this you know in United States you know and her approach was obviously very different than Eleanor Roosevelt you know um she Michelle is obviously very note well known for her warmth and her ability to connect with people and sort of the energy she brings to things. I think Greta Thunberg as we’ve all seen is definitely has her own approach right which I think she can get away with a little bit more as as being 13 but she is not afraid of anyone she will stand in front of the UN and she will speak from her heart with her truly raw anger and I think that’s inspiring for all of us especially just seeing that this for her all started with one person on a strike singing that she alone could make a statement and make change happen and look where she is today so I think that might sound cliché but it’s true all of our individual choices every day really can make a huge impact and have a ripple effect and be contagious.

 

Jeanne Achille

Well I am hearing two key themes come out of our discussion today fearless and change and so Marie thank you so much for being our guest on Wednesday wisdom it has been an absolute pleasure and we’re so looking forward to the positive impact you’re bringing to AllyO’’s customers and to to their marketing efforts and let me ask you do you have any closing comments before we turn things back over to Bennett?

 

Marie Hastreiter

Well I would just say Thank You Jeanne I appreciate this time to kind of share kind of what I’ve learned over time I hope people have walked away with a few takeaways and things they can put in actions themselves if they’re kind of thinking about their career its January after all and I would just say you know I’m really excited about kind of where we are in the HR world you know we’ve come a long way over the last decades as a profession and I’m really excited to kind of be here at AllyO where I think we can be a pioneer in terms of what technology can do to support HR people and actually you know people worry about kind of tasks and robots and AI and what does that mean is that going to take the human out of HR and I would actually you know make the opposite point which is I think it will actually free up HR so you want a much more deeper level bring the human touch to the profession and back to their people so very excited for what’s to come with AllyO and excited to work with all of our customers and the team here over 2020.

 

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