EP 25: How to Drive Growth with Talent Pathways with Rebecca Gibson

How to Drive Growth with Talent Pathways

Employees usually feel more engaged when they believe that their employer is concerned about their growth and provides avenues to reach individual career goals while remaining true to the company’s goals. The most traditional method to implement this is by creating clear talent pathways within your organization. To help us discuss the best way to do this is Rebecca Gibson, Lead Recruiter with Option Care Health.

Career paths may also have a direct impact on the entire organization by improving morale, career satisfaction, motivation, productivity, and responsiveness within the company. In this episode, you will learn the best time to look for a job, how to create amazing culture, and the importance of networking.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • How recruiting has changed over the years. (1:40)
  • How to build a network and create a great culture. (5:50)
  • The importance of considering where you see your employees in the future. (7:45)
  • How to elevate your organization. (10:19)
  • How to serve differently in this new virtual world. (15:10)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals:

  • Focus on networking and building your organization’s culture. (20:35)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives:

  • Think about where your candidates want to be in the future. (16:15)

Ideas Worth Sharing:

“The best time to look for a job is when you’re not looking for a job.” - Rebecca Gibson Click To Tweet “It’s all about creating that relationship and making that connection.” - Rebecca Gibson Click To Tweet “Employees need to remain engaged, as does every person at every level.” - Rebecca Gibson Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode:

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: Welcome to talent optimization today we are talking about talent pathways inside of organizations.

Traci Scherck: And how do we kind of lead our staff from position to position to really grow them into staying with the organization over time and so with me today I have.

Traci Scherck: becca gibson and becca is the lead recruiter with option care health becca has been a recruiter since 1996 and we have the pleasure of working together in a skilled nursing organization previously so becca welcome to the podcast.

Rebecca Gibson: Thank you i’m happy to be here.

Traci Scherck: we’re thrilled to have you so the whole phone of recruiting and recruiting during coven and as we’re kind of coming out of this pandemic how has recruiting changed.

Rebecca Gibson: You know, honestly, I feel like recruiting has changed so much over the years, you know when I first started in recruiting obviously straight out of college, it was we couldn’t handle how many.

Rebecca Gibson: People were available for jobs, it was more the supply, we had the demand wasn’t as much there, so it was 15 people fighting for one job.

Rebecca Gibson: Whereas that is obviously changed greatly, especially within the healthcare platform, but I think all industries nationwide is really seeing.

Rebecca Gibson: This big change, where there is continuously the low supply and high demand for people, I think, with coven that did change dramatically.

Rebecca Gibson: Even more to the fact that we saw even more of a limited amount of supply of candidates in all realms people were scared people didn’t want to go into.

Rebecca Gibson: Jobs they didn’t know what precautions employers would be taking, so I think that Rome has changed dramatically and supply and demand, but also in regards to how that we recruit.

Rebecca Gibson: Before we would recruit just basically get a resume call that person see if they’re the right fit based upon skills.

Rebecca Gibson: in regards to now I feel there’s so many different aspects that we take into consideration within the recruitment process.

Rebecca Gibson: One obviously being that we are constantly wanting to have a positive social media and social online reputation that is something that many candidates look at now that was never really viewed as much you know, in the past as obviously social media has taken a huge.

Rebecca Gibson: increase now in regards to a focus.

Rebecca Gibson: I think, also you know assessments, something that Tracy and I have talked about you know at great length about assessments based upon the job and how these assessments are really looked at and how they’re evaluated for each of the positions that we have so that’s another great stuff.

Rebecca Gibson: That, I feel I think adds a lot in regards to the recruitment process to make sure that we’re securing the right candidates.

Rebecca Gibson: Overall, you know recruiting I think has gotten only better, it may be more difficult it may be that we have to be a lot more creative when we’re thinking about our recruitment efforts and a lot more active.

Rebecca Gibson: Prior to this, I felt like a lot of recruiters could be a little bit more passive where they would just do the post and pray as I would say you post the position and pray the right candidate, you know.

Rebecca Gibson: follows into that role or applies and seize the position.

Rebecca Gibson: Now, obviously it is more of that hunting them down out sourcing for these candidates on a daily basis and finding more of those passive seekers that maybe.

Rebecca Gibson: weren’t essentially looking for a job, but the best time to look for a job is when you’re not looking for a job, you may find that perfect position.

Rebecca Gibson: So I think that is a way that even recruiters have evolved over time they really have to be more active and I think that’s really beneficial to any organization.

Traci Scherck: I love what you just said and i’m going to break it down into three key points don’t do post and pray.

Traci Scherck: don’t do post and pray, we need to be creative with what we’re doing and how we’re recruiting.

Traci Scherck: We need to make sure that our social media presence is really aligning with who we want to attract because it’s a key marketing tool and i’m going to add a fourth one, and that is the impact of assessments to infer that we have the right person in the right role to be successful.

Rebecca Gibson: Right exactly.

You summed it up perfectly.

Traci Scherck: I know, and sometimes it’s just going okay what were those four steps and and what do we need to do.

Traci Scherck: So when we say no longer posting and praying right and and this I think really leads into point to that you talked about.

Traci Scherck: Which is you know, we need to really be seeking you know those passive candidates, and I think that that really leads into how do we build those talent pathways into and through our organization.

Traci Scherck: And so much of that is what happens, you know at at the outset of when we’re starting to kind of plant, the seeds of who we are so, for example, like who you are as option care health.

Traci Scherck: You know there’s a lot of things you’re doing to do that, to build that pathway into the organization, can you share a little bit about that with us.

Rebecca Gibson: yeah so you know from a recruitment perspective we look at this as obviously sourcing and building our network and to build that network starts honestly from.

Rebecca Gibson: You know, being pretty proactive on linkedin or any of the job search engines and honestly building that network and creating that great culture, you want to attract people to you know your website and.

Rebecca Gibson: Really understanding what your company’s about so first thing that I do in all honesty, every single day is I look to at least connect with 10 individuals within.

Rebecca Gibson: You know the industry, whether it be somebody that I think could potentially be in the future.

Rebecca Gibson: A candidate or an employee with option care or whether that be a nurse or maybe even it’s just a colleague, because what I always want to do.

Rebecca Gibson: is really understand number one about the industry and number two I really want to look at how I can.

Rebecca Gibson: can continue to grow and open up those conversations with people that maybe aren’t a fit now or I don’t have a position for now or somebody that’s not ready to move right now.

Rebecca Gibson: But have that conversation and make that connection and open them up to the idea and help them understand more about the organization and the culture that we offer.

Rebecca Gibson: Because it’s always that beginning conversation that’s never going to lead to a job offer I shouldn’t say never it rarely leads to a job offer it is more about making that relationship and making that connection.

Traci Scherck: Great Thank you so much for that, and one of the things that you know i’m finding with our clients that we’re doing so often is you know a lot of times we’re still asking candidates, the question of where do you see yourself in five years right.

Traci Scherck: And one of the key questions that i’m really asking my clients, is where do you see the candidate that you bring into this role in five years inside your organization.

Traci Scherck: So we’re really forcing our clients and for all of you listening that are in an internal you know executive or.

Traci Scherck: HR recruitment role really think about that, because what it does is it’s forcing you to create that talent pathway in your organization.

Traci Scherck: Sometimes it’s hey they’re going to be in the same role and that’s totally okay for probably 80% of them.

Traci Scherck: But for that other 20% where are they going to be in five years, and how do you retain them, so you can increase your retention So what are your thoughts on that on that concept and those two kind of parallel questions back up.

Rebecca Gibson: You know I think that’s a great point that you bring up Tracy and I think unfortunately it’s not something that a lot of recruiters think about right away and myself included, it’s something where.

Rebecca Gibson: I think, because the like I had stated before the supply and demand is so off so many of us get to the point of let’s fill this position not let’s look at.

Rebecca Gibson: How we’re going to retain this candidate for a long period of time and keep them challenge right and where do we see them growing to and, if not growing staying in that same position.

Rebecca Gibson: And I think that mentality is something that everyone does need to change because, as that supply and demand gets harder and harder or larger and larger of a gap, I should say.

Rebecca Gibson: that’s one thing you want to do is absolutely retain and limit that turnover and in order to do that, you do have to take a picture and look at okay.

Rebecca Gibson: How is this employee going to be with our organization or where are they going to be with their organization in five to 10 years I think that’s a very valid point that a lot of people don’t even consider.

Traci Scherck: Thank you so much for that, because what I love about this podcast and our conversations is the aha’s happening while I’m listening to somebody i’m interviewing go.

Traci Scherck: wow what I never thought about that um and I think that the other side of this too, and you brought up a really good point that I hadn’t thought of and that’s hey what is the integration that’s really happening between our recruitment team.

Traci Scherck: And our line level managers are we really having those conversations together about what are your needs in the next 2 3 4 or five years in the next month, especially right now.

Traci Scherck: You know, but we’re right.

Rebecca Gibson: I mean right right.

Traci Scherck: We are in May of 2021 and the Labor market is very tight.

Traci Scherck: So with That being said, though, it’s, how do we start to work more closely together, as these teams have hey my job isn’t just hire in place, but also what’s that retention piece, and how do we wrap things back around for that i’m curious Have you had any of those conversations.

Rebecca Gibson: yeah I think you’re I think you’re hitting another great point in regards to having that relationship with the you know department manager or hiring manager that intake call that you usually have with them.

Rebecca Gibson: is very surfacing right, what are your X, Y amp Z that you need in this position or what’s the top three things that you look for what’s those soft skills that you need.

Rebecca Gibson: And those are the customary standard, you know questions, but it is going that extra step to say.

Rebecca Gibson: Okay, well, what else do we see potentially this person going into what else do you foresee as a need if we can continue to grow as we are thus far right do we see another level being added in someone within leadership that would report to you right, how do we see that happening.

Rebecca Gibson: And I think in the hustle and bustle life of all of our hiring managers and as recruiters and talent acquisition teams know.

Rebecca Gibson: hiring managers, you know, think of it, I don’t have time for this call.

Rebecca Gibson: I don’t the time you put in, is what you’re going to get out of it, you know the recruiters can only understand so much about your specific area.

Rebecca Gibson: So it is, I think, falling on the responsibility of both the hiring manager, as well as the recruiter to really dig deeper and take that time in that initial intake call.

Rebecca Gibson: Because that’s only going to build on the relationship that you have if you’re finding somebody that you can for see in two to three years with us growing This is where they should be.

Traci Scherck: awesome those are such great points and we’ve mentioned assessments earlier, and one of the things that many of our clients are doing right now is doing a job assessment so hey here’s the position.

Traci Scherck: You know what does that hiring manager think that they need, what does the skip level manager think that they need, what does the recruiter in this position he is.

Traci Scherck: So that we can come to an agreement on yep This is exactly what this position needs and knowing that there’s some leadership growth, we may need somebody that has.

Traci Scherck: You know, some independent leadership drives as a part of their natural behavioral strengths, because we know that that position is going to go there.

Traci Scherck: Whereas these other seven are not so we just know in the next eat nurses that we hire we need one that’s going to have xyz traits to it.

Rebecca Gibson: Right yeah I agree with that and I think assessments have taken on a very negative connotation in the entire process, I think, hiring managers view it as well.

Rebecca Gibson: Do you not believe in what I know, would be a good fit for this position do not believe in my opinion anymore.

Rebecca Gibson: And I think it is more educating them on how these assessments can really help us and elevate the organization to a different level.

Rebecca Gibson: by looking at and really being able to pinpoint the certain behavioral characteristics, because that’s not anything that, unfortunately, like the normal eye or ear.

Rebecca Gibson: or even questions can really dive into in a normal interview and I don’t even know if a hiring manager would be comfortable seat, you know doing a deep dive into these types of questions that are evaluated through these assessments.

Traci Scherck: yeah but I so agree with that, so if you’re curious.

Traci Scherck: If you go back to podcast number one we kind of lay this out and podcast number two is an interview in matt putzel from predictive index where we actually go through and talk about.

Traci Scherck: What has talent optimization from a leadership framework, and you know what does that actually look like from the day to day hr.

Traci Scherck: but also as our organizations are looking at our business strategies as compared to our business results if we’re not meeting our results, why and guess what it always comes back to people.

Traci Scherck: And that’s what we’re also focused on is ensuring we have the right people in the right seat to be fulfilled in the role that they’re doing, because that increases our engagement.

Rebecca Gibson: yeah absolutely I completely agree with you and employees need to remain engaged, as do hiring managers, as well as everyone at every level, I mean the employee engagement.

Rebecca Gibson: is a big focus, I think, for a lot of organizations and you’re only going to be able to get that through understanding the different behaviors and how each person reacts to certain things right.

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely and covid has thrown like a monkey wrench and all of this right.

Traci Scherck: Right um you know now everything’s on zoom unless it can’t be in and in your world guess what there there’s there are some of the our heroes, which have been all through covid really serving.

Traci Scherck: In person in all of these different types of situations, so you know there’s definitely a spin on that that has an impact both on recruitment and where are we going with, not just the communication, but where are we going specifically and how we’re serving differently.

Rebecca Gibson: yeah I think you’re exactly right, I mean with covid the virtual platform has become.

Rebecca Gibson: You know something standard in society now and, unfortunately, from a talent acquisition perspective that’s been very difficult, because if you can’t have somebody in front of you for our hiring managers sometimes we’re finding that it’s not really the best fit.

Rebecca Gibson: when somebody is just being able to be interviewed you know virtually or assessed virtually right and everything that they’ve experienced with the company has been over this virtual platform.

Rebecca Gibson: But when they go there first day they don’t get that culture right they don’t get that feeling that they did virtually so yeah I agree covid has definitely thrown a big wrench in all aspects, especially with recruiting as well.

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely and so i’m curious so in every kind of show that we do we wrap up with what’s one key takeaway that you have for executives that have listened in to our conversation today.

Rebecca Gibson: You know I think the point that you had made in regards to what we need to really look at and think about with candidates that we’re bringing on board, and this is every level of candidate, and I think.

Rebecca Gibson: You know people think entry level positions.

Rebecca Gibson: Oh, you know we don’t need to think about where they’re going to be in two to three years they’ll probably still being this entry level position I think that’s a huge takeaway for any executive, you have no idea, the potential that somebody has the drive the motivation.

Rebecca Gibson: What their future plans are unless you really ask those questions and think about it yourself on where you want this person to grow, I think, ideally, we all want somebody to stay with us for.

Rebecca Gibson: You know 10 to 20 years that we don’t see now we see turnover happening at like.

Rebecca Gibson: You know one year to year and then they’re not challenged anymore, and then they’re they’re looking for that new challenge, or those new responsibilities.

Rebecca Gibson: So I think that point in regards to looking internally at you know our organizations that how we can make what we can do with that person or that employee or even that position and where we first see that in a couple of years.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and I love the point you just made, which is hey, what are the growth options for this and really you know so often, we tend to call those what our talent pathways so.

Traci Scherck: Do we have a leadership talent pathway that can come from any specific area.

Traci Scherck: And then do we have you know I like to call it a specialist talent pathway where it’s somebody that you know, is a subject matter expert but doesn’t want to leave people.

Traci Scherck: It doesn’t mean that they should be kept just because they don’t want to leave people because there’s a place for them in the organization and it may be hopping between different departments, so that they’re they’re not bored they’re getting different experiences.

Traci Scherck: while still being able to be a key contributor.

Rebecca Gibson: yeah absolutely and what does that look like, I mean not all lead positions are people leader positions and it’s exactly what you said, they could be the subject matter expert they could be the mentor they could be the trainer there’s many other ways of challenging somebody.

Rebecca Gibson: and pushing them and adding on responsibility without them actually leading people I think that’s the normal customary thought and everyone’s mind is that.

Rebecca Gibson: If you’re going to get promoted you’re going to manage people and in the world today that’s not always the case, and it is kind of looking at the organization of how can we do that can we add on a position that isn’t necessarily a people leader.


Traci Scherck: Absolutely and I think the other side of that is, and I know Rebecca you made me this beautiful map at one point in time of what a talent pathway looks through an organization.

Traci Scherck: Because one of the key things, especially with the new generation that’s entering the workforce is.

Traci Scherck: Well, what are my options here and guess what sometimes when we don’t communicate we make up what’s happening in our head and it’s not always what the facts are.

Traci Scherck: So when we can provide a roadmap for new staff or current Staff into hey here’s some options for growth and here’s who you need to talk to about it.

Traci Scherck: It kind of takes that you know that elephant out of the room that says there’s no growth opportunity for me here when they’re potentially is.

Rebecca Gibson: Absolutely, and I think also kind of building on that is the old school thought process is there was just this box a box b box c.

Rebecca Gibson: You know just this ladder that you would climb straight up where it is not like that in many organizations there’s so many different branches now.

Rebecca Gibson: and different directions to go it’s not like this typical ladder, it is more like a tree of what way, do you want to go with division, or what area, do you want to go into.

Rebecca Gibson: And I think that’s hard for some organizations to really look at and say okay well gosh this person could go in so many directions.

Rebecca Gibson: And you’re exactly right, you have to communicate that and be very upfront with that even in the interview process or even in.

Rebecca Gibson: When you’re sourcing a candidate and just passively discussing things with them as provide them with that information of all the different opportunities or areas that somebody can grow into because it’s not just.

Rebecca Gibson: Okay you’re this and then you’re going to become a supervisor and then you’re going to become a manager because there’s so many different action or opportunities, I should say outside of that.

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely so i’m curious, what is your one key takeaway for our HR professionals listening in and i’m going to name, most of these HR folks listening in how organizations have about 200 employees or less and they’re really generalists.

Rebecca Gibson: yeah absolutely I mean i’ve I’ve worked in an organization and worked with HR generalist that.

Rebecca Gibson: are like talent acquisition and recruiting that’s honestly the furthest from their thought process because they’re dealing with so many other things, and have so much on their plate.

Rebecca Gibson: The one takeaway that I guess I could say in regards to this when you’re focusing on recruitment, it is the networking piece, it is building that culture, it is taking the time.

Rebecca Gibson: It takes five minutes in the beginning of your day go on to linkedin and connect with some you know different people within the industry.

Rebecca Gibson: Different people that are colleagues you’re going to learn a lot, as well as you’re going to you know have some great conversations with people when they do respond so.

Rebecca Gibson: I think you need to really make it a priority to build that network now because it’s only going to help you in the future, when you are looking for candidates and you think back to even.

Rebecca Gibson: Oh, I have this great conversation with this person, maybe they’re not the right fit, but maybe they can help lead you in the direction of finding somebody or what that you can do to really help market your organization.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely so Rebecca Thank you so much for joining us here today.

Rebecca Gibson: Absolutely, it was so great to be here.

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely so if you’re interested and you know connecting with becca so we’re going to take our one key takeaway for our HR professionals and executives.

Traci Scherck: Find becca on linkedin it is becca gibson there is a link to her linkedin profile in the show notes, along with a link to option care health.

Traci Scherck: In addition, if you love what you heard today and you’re looking for more of that, step by step, how do you build out a talent pathway inside of your organization.

Traci Scherck: join our talent optimization foundation program we meet every Monday at 1pm central and specifically have either office hours conversations or a webinar where we’re walking through these very key issues and how you can implement that inside of your organization.

Traci Scherck: Thanks so much and have a great rest of your day.