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Editor’s Note: Facing Talent Challenges Head-on

by Debbie Bolla

It’s not surprising that one of the industry’s most forward-thinking talent leaders comes from one of the most forward-thinking organizations. Pat Wadors, CHRO and senior vice president of global talent organization for LinkedIn, is executing some of the most innovative work in HR today, and we are lucky enough to share her insights in this month’s cover story, Linking Talent to the Bottom Line.

I was fortunate to meet Wadors in May at our annual HRO Today Forum in Chicago. She was honored with our 2016 CHRO of the Year Award for Sustainable Workforce and participated in one of our CHRO panels. During this peer-to-peer discussion, she shared one of LinkedIn’s talent strategies with the audience, as well as an outside-of-the-box initiative that this talent leader is becoming known for.

Because of LinkedIn’s reputation as an employer of choice, one might think that the organization doesn’t face talent challenges, but that’s not the case. “We are in hand-to-hand combat for talent all the time,” said Wadors, noting that filling highly skilled positions like engineers is especially tough.

What did Wadors do to address these challenges? The talent team took a recruiting-as-a-sales-organization approach and determined:

• Pipeline

• Available market

• Ways to attract candidates

• Baseline of the quality of candidates

Then they leveraged their own database to understand potential candidates who had an “affinity” to LinkedIn, meaning they were following the company page or had a connection to employees.

“The higher the affinity score, the more likely they are to respond to a reach out of one of our employees,” Wadors said. In fact, the outreach return was 85 percent.

She also shared a spin on the traditional take your kids to work day: A take your parents to work day. Wadors, with three millennial-aged children of her own, felt the approach was a way to connect with that younger generation and build loyalty. Even Wadors joined in on the fun, inviting her parents. “I was so proud, and I wasn’t alone.”

It’s these types of smart and fun initiatives—and there’s more on page 10—that help LinkedIn to engage and retain employees. I mean, how many organizations can report that employee engagement is in the top 5 percentile globally?

Debbie Bolla
Editorial Director

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