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The Recruitment Hackers Podcast - Automation and AI to Improve Candidate Experience for Executive Hiring - Trent Cotton, Director or TA, BBVA

Automation and AI to Improve Candidate Experience for Executive Hiring - Trent Cotton, Director or TA, BBVA

The Recruitment Hackers Podcast

Welcome to the Recruitment Hackers Podcast. A show about innovations, technology and leaders in the recruitment industry brought to you by Talkpush the leading recruitment automation platform.

Max: Hello, everybody. Welcome to the record hackers podcast. This is Max and I'm today with Mr. Trent Cotton, director of talent acquisition at BBVA dialing in from Atlanta. Hi, Trent. Welcome to the show.

Trent: Hi, Max, glad to be here.

Max: Pleasure to have you. So, we were discussing with Trent, some of the big changes that happened in 2020. And we'll talk a little bit about BBVA’s new policy on diversity and talk a little bit about AI and the recruiting sprints that you're running for your team. I think. There's a lot to learn for our audience there. But before we get into all of that, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are today?

Trent: Sure, sure. I converted to the dark side of HR in 2004. I spent the first part of my career working through college as a banker, and in 2004 my daughter was two and a half, almost three years old. And, you know, I just got tired of lending. It was like, a loan, a loan, a loan.

And, at the time I was managing four States for a mortgage broker and had, I think, 48 people that I was managing. And I said, you know what, I'm going to make a pivot. And took a contracting job with the bank, working as a recruiter and was trained by six, I'm using air quotes, recruiters. But they were technically like HR people that just did recruiting.

And, I think that their sole purpose for six months was to convince me that I would not like recruiting. I wouldn't be successful, and they almost got to my head. But the difference between me and them is that I could sit with an executive, a banking executive and talk about, you know, the size of the portfolio, yield spread, about the changes in the market, all that business stuff.

And then also, because I used to manage, I knew where to go and find the people. So just like that, I just kind of progressed and it's been a fun ride. I've done a lot of banking recruiting. There's nothing in the bank that I haven't recruited for. I've done some tech recruiting for a tech firm, and did some healthcare recruiting, but now I manage a fantastic group of 28 people that keep me on my toes and keep me innovating. So, like I said, it's been a fun journey.

Max: Yeah, recruitment it's kind of like where people end up, after sales hasn't worked out for some people, but there is a wonderful element of delivering someone, a career, a stepping stone, a next step. But in your case, you know, your timing was pretty good. Right? Getting out of mortgages in 2007.

Trent: Oh gosh! It was providential, very. And you know, that was the other thing that I realized, that I loved sales and at the end of the day, that's all recruiting is. Just like a salesperson you need to have a pipeline, you need to manage a portfolio of talent, and you've got to be able to close a deal working with both your internal client and the candidate.

So at the end of the day, we are salespeople. I just think a little bit more highly refined. And what we do it's harder, because it's not like I'm trying to sell you a TV or sell you a product. I'm selling you an opportunity. And there's a certain level of domains and intelligence that I think is paramount for somebody to be successful.

But I agree with you, whenever I'm looking for people to add to the team, the first thing I look for is, do they have that sales mentality? And that portfolio management and development of a pipeline? And if they have all of that, I can teach them the rest.

Max: Well, I'm a startup CEO of building talent acquisition software. And when people asked me: How do we innovate? My answer is maybe a little bit uninspiring, but it's like, we just look at what sales and marketing does, and we know that it's coming into recruitment in three, four years from now. So we start building it now and we’ll be alright. And continuing on your sales analogy, you know, you were saying, that recruitment is sales. Which I agree with.

In the sales universe, the size of the deal that you make will affect the composition of your team and the marketing to sales mix. How much are you doing marketing? You're going to do more marketing with products that are a little bit cheaper. And you're going to do more sales, more hand holding when the product is a little bit more expensive.

And so, if we apply that to recruitment, you know, the sort of white glove recruiting service would only work up until a certain level, and then for everything else you would have to have a different workflow, and a different sales to marketing mix. Does that apply for you at BBVA?

Trent: It does. It doe...

10/27/20 • 30 min

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