Listen to the Goldfish Have Longer Attention Spans Than Humans episode at the link above or wherever you enjoy podcasts.
The Candidate Experience Podcast is hosted by Chuck Solomon. A transcription of this interview is available below.
Together with his guests, Chuck who is on the team at LineHire, discuss the good, bad and ugly of the candidate journey. With emphasis on helping companies strengthen their candidate experience to ultimately improve their employer brand.
Welcome to the Goldfish Have Longer Attention Spans Than Humans episode, my guest James Marable, shares his insights into enhancing the candidate experience at the apply and pre-apply stages of the candidate journey.
Pay close attention to what he shares about setting up for large scale hiring events as well as communicating what life is like working at his company.
If you like what you hear on this podcast please subscribe and share with others. Want to comment, discuss, provide feedback you can send me a note via LI, or via the contact form on our site www.The CX.xyz. Thanks for listening and here’s my interview…
Chuck Solomon 0:00
Okay, let’s try this one last time.
James Marable 0:02
I grabbed my internet adapter. So we were plugged up.
Chuck Solomon 0:08
James, let’s talk really quickly because we don’t know when this call is going to end.
Well, thank you for joining me today. Sorry, I was just leaving you a message on your voicemail. So you can ignore that. So, but thanks for joining joining me this afternoon.
James Marable 0:31
No problem. Thanks for having me. Sure.
Chuck Solomon 0:34
So you’re the manager of employer branding at Macy’s still have your title, correct.
James Marable 0:40
Yep. You got it.
Chuck Solomon 0:41
Gotcha. Big brand. Did you like you wake up one day and said I want to be the manager of employer branding at a company like how did she tell us? Tell us how you got to to where you are today? Yeah, honestly.
James Marable 0:56
Yeah, I didn’t even know employer branding was a thing I didn’t even know anything about ta to be honest a recruiting the climb or if you go back with just a few more years. So my after I graduated I worked for a couple different advertising agency. So my background is in, in marketing and advertising. Sure I’m at a certain point I actually quit my job as a as a marketer to open a clothing store. So I had this clothing store that was running for like three years. Well, I ran it for six years, x six and a half years, but from 2010 and 2013. And the very beginning, that’s all I did full time. But I still kept my LinkedIn up to date, but I didn’t, I wasn’t necessarily looking for anything. I’m a recruiter for Macy’s, who ended up becoming my first director reached out and we just had a really good conversation and it kind of led to, you know, me getting an offer. And, you know, when I was kind of mulling over the over the decision, and just looking into, you know, what recruiting space was all about, and just kind of thinking about His vision and how he wanted me to, you know, treat the concept of working like a lack of just a product in general like whether selling shoes, pants, a computer, whatever, you know, come up with a way to brand the overall experience at Macy’s, I believe there were, you know, there were recruiters that were splitting time, you know, trying to figure it out, but they had no, you know, marketing background or, you know, business from that perspective. And, you know, they really, he really wanted them to just focus on recruiting 100% of time and is having me support them from a marketing standpoint. I really wasn’t, you know, thinking that I would ever even get back into, you know, working in corporate America, but, you know, just seeing, you know, like a really good idea or not a really good idea, just a really good opportunity. You know, doing social media for a Fortune, Fortune 100 company. You know, if it didn’t work if I didn’t like it, I could always quit if they don’t like me, they can always find me because it wasn’t, you know, Well, it wasn’t a big, you know, a lot of pressure, from my perspective coming into it. But I found it to be, you know, very interesting. And it’s, it’s one of those spaces where there’s just a ton of opportunity. There’s, there’s a ton of opportunity to learn, to teach, to bring a brand from, you know, no employer brand to, you know, where we are today where, you know, we’re creating all kinds of different pieces of content, touching, you know, many different mediums and in platforms. So, yeah, I’ve been doing it for goodness, yeah, it’s six years. This may, yeah, started in May of 2013. Wow. And so, so quickly here Yeah.
Chuck Solomon 3:43
Quick question are do you report into the marketing team or to the recruiting HR team.
James Marable 3:52
Recruiting, recruiters are separate from our from the marketing world. TA is in Cincinnati right now. Our marketing our marketing function is out of New York. So yeah, we’re two different two different spaces. Literally when I first started my my very first day I’ll never forget walking into my director’s office in and hear him getting cursed out by a marketing person because apparently a recruiter has started this Pinterest page that wasn’t well thought out. And, you know, the branding was off and everything was just was off. So when I’m walking in, I got I learned that day that there was this this chasm between marketing and the TA group. But over time, you know, I was able to help repair that relationship and we have a really good working relationship with our marketing group now.
Chuck Solomon 4:42
Sure, what what would you say I mean, using that example, you What would you say to like a recruiter that, you know, wanted to put stuff out there on social media or what have you just sort of enhance the, you know, an experience or something? And what would you you know, how would you approach that today, to a recruiter that just wanted to post stuff?
James Marable 5:04
Yeah, you know, it’s all about just showing what, you know, what your company has to offer, you know, what is the what is the culture look like, you know, if you just want to start from the simple point of just simply just posting jobs, Twitter, for example, you want to have some sort of image, you want to have some sort of graphic, whether, you know, whether you get with a designer, you’re you’re you’re putting you know, you’re putting words to the text, or you’re doing some sort of design with it, just having an image, you know, to go along with your posts, you know, it, it makes it more interesting, you know, tenfold, you know, more interesting, right, you just really want to create content in a way that appeals to people because right now, you know, as a as a society, we only have six seconds of attention span, goldfish have eight. So whatever you do, you have to catch eyes quickly. You know, if you know, if you have a budget, and you can do video, then do video, if you don’t, you know, just snap you know, snap photos on Office, but if you have budget for you know, for professional photographer, do that. My big suggestion, honestly, is, is just to make sure that you have something visual to go along with whatever you’re trying to convey.
Chuck Solomon 6:16
Yeah, or, or start, you might have better luck recruiting goldfish for your a better attention span. Yeah, how can you give a sense of like, how big is your team or I mean, if you know, you can say Chuck, I can’t, I’m not at liberty to share that.
James Marable 6:37
I’ll be totally honest, we have a four person team, with with our director, she’s director of employer branding, as well as our sourcing group. But yeah, then there’s, there’s myself, and then I have a counterpart who works with our job board relationships. And then I have another counterpart who’s more recent, that focuses on SEO sem, which was a function of what I was doing. But, you know, the, this, this being an enterprise wide function, it kind of made me not have time to really, you know, dig into anything, whether it was social or content creation or search, everything became more execution. Oh, so you know, we had an opportunity to bring someone on board to specialize in in a piece of, you know, what I was doing, so we could go deeper into it. So yeah, he focuses strictly on search engine optimization, as well as search engine marketing. We are mighty team, yeah, we we service, the entire organization, and from our hourly stores roles to our warehousing group, to our call centers, to all of our technical roles out in San Francisco and Atlanta. So all of our corporate our corporate functions as well. So, you know, we’re creating this brand, that represents a lot of different facets of the company, a lot of different experiences. So yeah, it’s a lot of work. But it’s, it’s definitely rewarding, because we’re, we’re telling a, you know, a big brand story,
Chuck Solomon 8:07
Sure. And a brand that’s, uh, you know, has been a household name for for a long for a long time now, too. Yeah. How? I mean, since you’re a, you know, primarily a b2c company, you know, can you talk about,
I talked about this a lot with others about how, you know, you might have 100 people apply for a job, only one person is going to get that job. And then what do you do with the 99 other people? Like, they, they still took the time to apply? And especially if you’re a b2c company, you don’t want to sort of turn ish your, your brand at all? I mean, can you? Are you involved in anything? Or can you comment on that?
James Marable 8:58
Um, no, honestly, from the perspective of the candidate experience, once they get into the application, that it leaves my hands at that point, honestly. So my whole, you know, our whole world is around attraction, we definitely consult, you know, with partners on, you know, and working through the overall candidate experience, you know, once they apply, once they interview, you know, the response time, you know, if a person doesn’t get hired, you know, that communication that goes back to them as well, we definitely consult on that, and sometimes provide assets, whether it’s, you know, some sort of graphic or some sort of, you know, verbiage for for the email or communication. We never worked with him on that, but it’s definitely not, you know, right. 2% of our job,
Chuck Solomon 9:49
Right here, here’s my you can relay this and say, This guy Chuck Solomon made the suggestion you can throw it out or not, or if it’s a good job. So if James, if it’s a good suggestion, you can take credit for it, it was a bad one, you can throw me under the bus. I, you know, you guys obviously do some sort of coupons or something like that. But I would love to see it that especially like a consumer brand that, you know, all the rejected candidates get, not just the, you know, the standard applicant tracking system, sorry, we hired someone else sort of email, but they get like, here’s a little offer, like next time you go on to Macy’s, com or visit one of our stores, you get, you know, it’s on us, you know, 40% off, I don’t know what they offer. But you know, you know, I’m saying it doesn’t even have to be a huge offer. But it’s like, Hey, thanks for taking the time, here’s something. So you can throw that in there. If it’s bad, just blame me if it’s good. If it’s good, you owe me a beer. Okay, so
James Marable 10:57
it’s actually good, it’s actually good that you, you, you brought that that up, because that’s, that’s something that actually has been a topic of conversation for a little while. Oh, good, you know, for that, or, you know, against that, man. And the thinking is, you know, from, you know, like the perspective that you brought, brought forward, where, you know, it’s more of a reward, and it’s a thank you, you know, for, you know, for taking the time to interview with us or showing interested within the company. But then at the same time, you know, if you if the person that’s receiving that is more of a, you know, glass half empty person, they may, they may see that as a more of a slight, you know, where, you know, why are they encouraged me to shop with them, but I’m not good, you know, I’m not, you know, qualified enough to work for them. It’s a, it’s a balance, for sure. That would have to be struck with something like that, just to make sure that, you know, we’re not offending anyone, even though, you know, that, know, that gesture would definitely be coming from the best of places. We want to just make sure it’s received as such,
Chuck Solomon 11:58
right? The the epic, so that I’m going to air tomorrow, so that that’ll be May the third this episode with you and you today, it will probably be two weeks before we air air this later in May. But the episode that comes out tomorrow, I talk about the the voice of the candidate and or the voc. And I’ve been trying to get like candidates to come in and talk. But the more I talked to him about it, the more it’s like, I think if you come on and you’re going to sound like a whiner complaining. And that’s nuts, not going to go ahead and go very well, because hiring managers want to hire problem solvers, not complainers. And so. But I still hear about these stories. And it’s sort of what precipitated me wanting to start this podcast, which I’m my anniversary, my one month anniversary is in May. So I’m only a month into this. But candidates have told me that they because the candidate experience was so poor, and it was not with your company, but with other companies, but still sizable companies that you would expect not to be a bad experience that they are actually no longer consumers of their that brand anymore. Yeah. So not only did the person not get hired, but the experience was so poor that they’re moving on, if they can avoid, like, I’ve had a few people that say this to me, like they’ve moved on. They’re like, I used to be a customer. Now I’m no longer a customer because, and it wasn’t just their experience, but they’ve heard about, you know, there’s not a there’s a lot of transparency. Now people share and they tend to share bad stuff. So they hear about like the bad experience their friend or cousin had with so and so company that like, I’m not going to buy it. That’s the way they treat people. I’m not going to frequent their store anymore. So right
James Marable 14:06
it is snowballs, even though they didn’t even experience it. They just heard it in a Yeah. And it gets worse. And you know, with I think you’re right, when, yeah, when someone’s in, in that process, you know, recruiters or recruitment organizations really should focus on that, because, you know, I’ve had experiences terrible experiences as well, just where, you know, there’s lack of communication or, you know, timeliness, you’re not hearing back, you know, either way, or, you know, on a roll, and things like that, that can that can definitely turn someone off. And you have to be as mindful as possible to make sure that you’re, you’re making, you know, these candidates as comfortable and, you know, as comfortable as possible.
Chuck Solomon 14:48
Yeah, I totally agree. I don’t, I don’t I’m not sure if anyone’s measuring this, but I think someone should measure this is is to really measure the, the economic impact to, you know, sales revenue, and correlated to, you know, the candidate experience as well, I’ll give that I won’t give that project to you. You have, it’s a bet you have enough on your plate as it is, but I think someone should, should really actually look at it. Because if that’s the case, and I believe there is a business case to be made for that, then co CEOs and other members of the C suite are going to start looking at this and start thinking, Hmm, maybe we should invest a little bit more into this, and how can we improve this? So anyways, good stuff.
I had another question for you, James. Like, how does it How does it work? So there’s a position open in I don’t know, they’re, you’re trying to hire sales people in Poughkeepsie, New York, or wherever? And, you know, do they contact you and say, Hey, we need some help with this? Or how does that work? Um, it depends on
James Marable 16:09
it depends on the role, the types of roles, so whether it’s, if it’s coming from a storage perspective, warehouse perspective, you know, an hourly space, or if it’s, you know, you know, a corporate job that’s, you know, a salary that, you know, depending on the industry as well, because, you know, we hire auditors, finance people, technical people, merchandisers, marketers, you know, you name the type of job, we probably have a job for it. So, independent, so like, let’s just say from in the volume space, if we’re having, you know, hiring events in our store, so a lot of times we’ll do, we do these monthly hiring events. Now, our next one is actually may 16. Pretty much every, every every location is going to have a hiring event on that day. 16th, okay,
On the 16th. So when we want have those dates, what we do is we create, you know, a library of content, so to speak. And then we’ll, you know, we’ll run social media ads will run will run, you know, search engine, search engine marketing, so we’ll get our keywords together, we’ll, we’ll, you know, we’ll work with AdWords and work on that, you know, will feature jobs or will feature, you know, all of those roles on an indeed, or a snag a job, and just kind of work through all of all of those digital platforms, as well, as, you know, arming our locations with collateral, you know, flyers or posters that go up in the actual locations. Now, when it comes to something that’s a little bit more specialized, let’s say, a data scientist, for example, you know, that’s the buzzword right now, of course, right?
Chuck Solomon 17:48
Yeah, there’s a million of those out there.
James Marable 17:51
We’re looking for that, then, you know, we want to go a little bit more deep. So maybe we go and interview, a data scientist that actually will works here that can speak to what his work looks like, you know, why, why he would, why he or she would choose to work for Macy’s versus doing it at a, you know, at an Amazon or at a, at a Facebook or wherever else, you know, why? Why Macy’s was the fit for them, or, you know, we create some sort of graphic that kind of speaks to the nature of the work. So it’s honestly, it’s tailored towards the position or the type of work. But all in all, it’s, we’re still trying to show and depict what it what the actual work looks like, and what a person’s life could look like. So even in those mass, you know, social media as that were, that we may be running for, you know, an hourly sales, you know, sales position, or sales, or hiring event for a sales position, we’re still, you know, we’re still showing imagery of individuals at work in, you know, in these stores in these locations, pointing them towards videos that, you know, that exists around again, around what it what it means to work work here at Macy’s. That’s, you know, that’s, that’s usually how we do it, the the communication, or the requests, just kind of come from the business, on the whole, so it’s not necessarily one specific recruiter that will, you know, send me this email, will know, you know, what’s coming down the pipe, working with leadership in in those in those various groups to put together content to support.
Chuck Solomon 19:27
But it’s not a surprise, hey, James, we need to hire 14 data scientists, And oh, by the way, they needed to start last Friday.
James Marable 19:38
Um, you know, from that, from that perspective, a data scientist, for example, know, we’ll go ahead of time, but then sometimes, you know, there are, there are just needs, I’m sure being a retail, you know, retail organization, when we’re thinking about our hourly roles, there’s, there’s just a lot of turnover, it’s just the nature of it. You know, whether you’re working in a warehouse, we’re going to call center, you’re working in a store, you know, there’s, there’s all kinds of reasons why people, you know, choose a, you know, to take their work in it in an hourly job. And sometimes it’s the second job, sometimes, you know, if their full time job, sometimes they get a better offer somewhere else, there’s a lot of turnover. So, you know, let’s just say a location, just, you know, they a warehouse, for example, that, you know, has thousands of workers, you know, they have turnover a 50, people will 50 is a big number per, you know, when you think of it, as you know, just as a person, but out of a, you know, out of a big warehouse, that’s actually not that many people, but we still need to hire, we still need to fill that. So I’ll come down, and we’ll, you know, we’ll start working on it right away, and try and get those, you know, get those those roles Hill.
Chuck Solomon 20:40
Gotcha. Good stuff there. Is there. One, like one, one tool that you use in your day to do work that you couldn’t live without? One tool or two, you can pick two if you want. But like, like, if you’re like, if your manager came to you and said, we gotta do some cutbacks, here on things here. So you pick the thing, you know, you can only keep one or two things left. And otherwise, it’s gone. Because,
James Marable 21:15
yeah, I need I need my social media management tool.
Those are probably like, the two most important things for me, I need to be able to, you know, I need to be able to do my social listening, I need to be able to schedule my posts, or I need to, you know, look at analytics for the posts that we’re making. And then I also, you know, need to be able to create graphics. Now we have designers that we work with, we have agencies that we work with, to create for us. But sometimes if we’re in a pinch, you know, I have, you know, again, having a background in marketing, and I also have a background in design as well. Um, you know, I’ll get in there and do it myself, you know, if we don’t have time, you know, to wait on, you know, a designer to do it. Or if there’s no budget to do something really quick. You know, I jumped in there and do it myself. So I definitely need Photoshop definitely need a social media management tool. Gotcha. Thank you pick.
Chuck Solomon 22:10
I know those are good. I thought you’re gonna say my pen.
James Marable 22:15
Yeah, I rarely write anything down.
Chuck Solomon 22:19
I hear you. That’s why I do podcast so I can record things and listen to it later. So yeah. So all, James, I appreciate your time today. If if people wanted to connect with you, after this, how would they do so?
James Marable 22:39
Yeah. @JMarable on Twitter. that’s a that’s a great way to connect with me. I’m on there pretty often. Sure. I think LinkedIn same way we connect it. James Marable on LinkedIn. look me up.
Chuck Solomon 22:55
And where will you be? On the May 16 date? were you doing the big hiring event? Do you get to travel around or you’re staying but
James Marable 23:05
I’m on this hiring event specifically out I’ll be here I’ll be in office. Just kind of watching my emails making sure nothing, you know, nothing comes up if there’s anything that we need to address. You know, I’m you. I’m usually here. But I do. Yeah, I do travel a lot. I do. You know, I get to go to go to locations if it’s, you know, if there’s a need, but for this, you know, our stores, they’ve got it handled that we’ve been doing this for three years now. So it’s pretty it’s pretty turnkey.
Chuck Solomon 23:34
Gotcha. If you’re ever in in North Carolina, look me up or let me know ahead of time.
James Marable 23:41
Hey, you really might hear from me. I have family there. So
Chuck Solomon 23:47
I live in the Triangle area. Raleigh, Durham Chapel Hill, our Hurricanes. Hopefully when this airs there, they’ll still be in in the Stanley Cup but they just they just won last night. They’re up three games to zero to the New York Islanders and it is deafening. I are people that went to the game actually watch part of it. The end of the game is deafening. Like you could not hear the announcer speak they? It was so loud. Yeah.
James Marable 24:23
That’s great energy.
Chuck Solomon 24:24
Yep, exactly. That’s maybe that’s part of the reason why they’re up three great three games to zero and best of seven series.
So yeah. James, thanks for your time today.
James Marable 24:35
No, thanks for having me.
Chuck Solomon 24:37
Great. We’ll talk soon.
James Marable 24:38
If you like what you hearing on this podcast please subscribe wherever you enjoy podcasts and do share with others. Thanks for listening and here’s my interview.