Jeff Schwartz
VP of Insights and Impact Gloat

Prior to joining Gloat, Schwartz was a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP for 20 years, most recently as the U.S. Leader for the future of work and as a senior partner in the firm’s Global Human Capital executive since 2003. His leadership roles have included global and U.S. marketing, eminence, and brand, leading the organization, change, and talent practices, and growing the firm’s global delivery capabilities in India. Schwartz also has been a leading innovator and was the founding editor and a principal author of Deloitte’s global human capital trends report since 2011 and the co-founder of Catalyst Tel Aviv, the firm’s first global innovation tech hub. It was in Tel Aviv in 2016 that Schwartz first met the founders of Gloat while researching one of the first future of work start-up landscape surveys.

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On today’s episode of the RecruitingDaily Podcast, William Tincup speaks with Jeff Schwartz from Gloat, about implementing the future.

Some Conversation Highlights:

Is the grass is greener?

Is the grass greener? I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I don’t want to mix the metaphors too much. But people think the grass is greener. And one of the reasons is, it continues that in most organizations, many employees and workers feel that they have more opportunity to switch jobs by leaving the company to take on new projects, by leaving their company, to learn something new by leaving their company, then by exploring it inside.

So this was a long setup. I apologize. I don’t apologize too much for that, which is what did we learn in 2021? What’s the great resignation and great reassessment teaching us. When we went into the great resignation research report, we saw just fantastic data that said, look, the top two reasons people are leaving companies are, Number 1. Nobody has to guess, it’s pay. Right? Yeah. And number 2, is the desire to pursue growth opportunities and development opportunities. And I think one of the major challenges in implementing the future in 2022 is to be laser focused on what game changing moves you’re going to make.

So when we say, and we were talking with you and our teams were talking about what to call this, this podcast, the reason we’re saying now for something completely different. And we think it’s talent marketplaces. And I’ll talk about that is 2022. And I’ll summarize the question this way and ask for your feedback on it, William. 2022 is a year to ask, right now, right? What headlines do you want to write for your HR and business leadership team about what you want to accomplish on the talent and the workforce front? So if it were January 2023, and you were to pull out the annual report of your company, you were to pull out the news clippings from the year. What would you like to see in those news clippings? This is the year to write headlines, right? And in order for the game to change, we need to make some game changing moves. And that’s sort of the challenge that we’re putting out there.

RippleMatch Fall 2022 Recruitment Checklist

Tune in for the full conversation.

Listening time: 25 minutes

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Music:   This is RecruitingDaily’s Recruiting Live Podcast, where we look at the strategies behind the world’s best talent acquisition teams. We talk recruiting, sourcing and talent acquisition. Each week we take one over complicated topic and break it down so that your 3 year old can understand it. Make sense? Are you ready to take your game to the next level? You’re at the right spot. You’re now entering the mind of a hustler. Here’s your host, William Tincup.

William Tincup:   Ladies and gentlemen, this William Tincup and you are listening to the RecruitingDaily Podcast. Today we have a returning guest, Jeff Schwartz from Gloat, and we’re going to be talking about a topic that I think is going to be really fun. So it’s, And Now For Something Completely Different, Implementing The Future with Jeff Schwartz. So Jeff, you’ve been on the show before, which I appreciate, of course, you’re busy and Gloat’s doing just really, really amazing work right now. So, first of all, thank you for being on the show, but for those that maybe missed your last show, A. You should go listen to it. B. Introduce both yourself and gloat for everyone.

Jeff Schwartz:   Absolutely. Thanks, William. And Happy New Year to everyone. We’re off to a fresh start here in 2022. I’m Jeff Schwartz. I’m the Vice President of Insights and Impact at Gloat, former Senior Partner at Deloitte Consulting, also authored the book almost exactly a year ago, entitled Work Disrupted, sort of well timed for the times that we’re in.

William Tincup:   Right.

Jeff Schwartz:   And Gloat is the leader in the category of the talent marketplace. We see ourselves as the company that has brought this category to bear. And we work with an amazing set of the world’s leading talent innovators. They’re all on our website, but they’re names that you will know, everybody from Unilever to Schneider Electric to PepsiCo to HSBC, to MetLife to Tata Steel. Companies around the world. And if I were to summarize it, our mission is to democratize the workforce and to help employees and workers get access to the best opportunities and growth within their companies and to help companies be able to better access and deploy and develop their talent using marketplace and AI dynamics.

William Tincup:   Love that. Are you doing different things with those firms? I mean, I know it’s probably a hard question to answer, but are you rolling out the marketplace, like to take Schneider Electric versus one another one of these great firms that you mentioned? Do they want to start in different places or they all kind of seem to want to start in a similar spot?

Jeff Schwartz:   That’s a great question. So we, like any great software company, we have actually 4 different major components of what we do. The 3 major components are the talent marketplace, the career marketplace and something we call the org agility suite, which is data analytics suite. And the last one is really geared towards really HR and business leaders and analytic leaders. Most of our clients start in the talent marketplace area. They start looking at how they can make jobs and projects and gigs available. Many companies are also looking at the talent marketplace in terms of how to make mentoring available and networking available and of course learning.

William Tincup:   Those are all retention related, both attraction and retention related things, too. So they’re trying to hit both. When you look at it, they’re trying to both help attract talent, and different forms of talent, and different categories in a way that we’ve thought about, but also the talent that they have, they’re trying to retain that talent. So, y’all are helping on both sides.

Jeff Schwartz:   Absolutely. And let’s keep going. Go ahead.

William Tincup:   No, no, so we could talk about that forever. And I know that I want to get into Implementing The Future. So, title of the show – And Now For Something Completely Different – Implementing The Future. So, because this is what you look at and this is what you help your clients with all the time. Let’s go into it. What is it, what does it look like now? Now that we’re in 2022, we can actually talk like we’re in 2022, it felt like 2021 lasted like a month. But we are in 2022. What does the future look like for folks and what questions are they asking?

Jeff Schwartz:   This really is where I think we need to be reflecting and pushing our thinking, especially in the first couple of weeks and months of 2022. And, if I can, William, I want to provide a little bit of context as to how we got to where we are and what the questions are and how that leads to asking what do we need to implement in 2022. So if I could summarize it and I’ll try to be tight in my summary.

Look, 2021 was the second year of COVID, which I mean, and now we’re in the third, we’re starting the third year of COVID, which is absolutely frightening. And we saw a tremendous focus on wellbeing. We saw a tremendous focus on the hybrid question, which we’re trying to figure out. But 2021 also saw the arrival of the great resignation, which I know is something that you and your guests and people that you’ve been speaking with have been talking about quite a lot. It arrived on the scene in April of 2021, when we saw that 4 million number pop of people in terms of voluntary turnover. Yesterday, the day before, we’re recording, we saw the November numbers, they were 4.5. So, and I’m going to talk a little bit about what we’ve seen in those numbers. And as you’ve heard me talk about before on the show, I really think about the great resignation using a phrase from Heather Long from the Washington Post, which is the phrase, the great reassessment.

William Tincup:   Right.

Jeff Schwartz:   And I think what this, I think to answer the question of what does it mean to ask the question And Now For Something Completely Different, which is what’s the question in 2022? And workers, through the lens of the great resignation and the great reassessment, are telling us something. And so the question, I think one of the major questions, maybe the major question, for us as we’re going into 2022, and we can talk about some of the larger HR trends as well is how are we going to lead and manage the workforce, given the change identifications of the workforce and some of the new competitive dynamics that we’re facing as we’re, hopefully 2022 is the year that we are implementing post COVID business and workforce strategies? And at a high level, the way that I think about this, the way I would encourage people to about it is, everybody’s got a dual agenda in 2022, we have an adaptation agenda and we have a re-imagination agenda.

William Tincup:   Right.

Jeff Schwartz:   So I really want to focus for a second on the re-imagination piece.

William Tincup:   Let’s do that.

Jeff Schwartz:   And hopefully the listeners to your podcast are aware that at Gloat Live last year in December, which was an amazing event, so hopefully if people are interested, they can go and go to the Gloat site and listen to the, we recorded the whole event. Of course, it was virtual given that occurred in December, 2021. But we released a report, a research report on the great resignation. And if the great resignation and great reassessment is a shift, what we wanted to understand was we wanted some data and insights beyond the 4 million, the 4.2 million, the 4.5 million turnover number.

William Tincup:   Right.

Jeff Schwartz:   And that’s what we looked at in this report. And we saw insights about job satisfaction, the importance of meaningful careers, the importance of value and purpose and inclusivity.

And we can go into some of the data, but the way that I would summarize it is what we saw in the data was that about one out of two people is thinking about leaving their job in the next three months. And that most people think that they have better opportunity outside their organization than inside their organization. Interestingly, and this runs a little bit counter or to some of the data that we’re hearing, clearly the highest turnover numbers in that 4.5 million number, the voluntary turnover, are in certain sectors. The hospitality sector is a major one and retail, but one of the data points in our survey that really got us going, and this goes to the re-imagination piece is, the more highly skilled you are in an organization, the more likely you are to think that you have better opportunities outside your organization.

William Tincup:   Is it, the grass is greener?

Jeff Schwartz:   Well, the grass is greener and you well, and the grass actually…

William Tincup:   Or is the grass greener? Or is it just greener socially?

Jeff Schwartz:   Is the grass greener? I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I don’t want to mix the metaphors too much. But people think the grass is greener. And one of the reasons is, it continues that in most organizations, many employees and workers feel that they have more opportunity to switch jobs by leaving the company to take on new projects, by leaving their company, to learn something new by leaving their company, then by exploring it inside.

So this was a long setup. I apologize. I don’t apologize too much for that, which is what did we learn in 2021? What’s the great resignation and great reassessment teaching us. When we went into the great resignation research report, we saw just fantastic data that said, look, the top two reasons people are leaving companies are, Number 1. Nobody has to guess, it’s pay. Right? Yeah. And number 2, is the desire to pursue growth opportunities and development opportunities. And I think one of the major challenges for 2022 is to be laser focused on what game changing moves you’re going to make.

So when we say, and we were talking with you and our teams were talking about what to call this, this podcast, the reason we’re saying now for something completely different. And we think it’s talent marketplaces. And I’ll talk about that is 2022. And I’ll summarize the question this way and ask for your feedback on it, William. 2022 is a year to ask, right now, right? What headlines do you want to write for your HR and business leadership team about what you want to accomplish on the talent and the workforce front? So if it were January 2023, and you were to pull out the annual report of your company, you were to pull out the news clippings from the year. What would you like to see in those news clippings? This is the year to write headlines, right? And in order for the game to change, we need to make some game changing moves. And that’s sort of the challenge that we’re putting out there.

William Tincup:   What’s interesting is you’re thinking about it from a story perspective, you’re looking at narratives and storylines and in 20 and possibly even 2021, we didn’t have time to be proactive. We were very reactive to what was going on, both with COVID, but also with talent and how the interplay between the two and how things have changed and how people want to work differently and all these other things. So we’ve just been reactive. We’ve been on our heels. And being reactive, one of the things I think that calls the action that you’re asking folks to think about is, okay, you’re still going to be reactive. However, unless you want to be reactive for the rest of your life, this is probably a wonderful opportunity to start thinking about it proactively in terms of what are those story lines? Am I nibbling around the edges?

Jeff Schwartz:   You’re not only nibbling around the edges. You’re biting right at the center of it. And this goes to the phrase that I was using earlier, which is 2022 is a year of re-imagination and adaptation. Clearly we need to continue to respond to COVID, but in 2022, and looking towards, again, this January 2023 headline, which I think is very powerful right now, to ask this question. We’re recording this in the middle of the Omicron spike, and it’s very intense across the country and in much of the world. But I think our opportunity and responsibility as HR and recruiting and business leaders, thinking about workforce and talent questions is what do we want to accomplish? Where do we want to be a year from now, in addition to saying, we responded and adapted really well, what do we want to accomplish?

How do we want to change the game? I simply come back to that. And our employees and workers are telling us through the great resignation and the great reassessment that they view the workforce and talent marketplace differently. They are asking questions with a different level of intensity.

William Tincup:   Right.

Jeff Schwartz:   Who do I work for? What job do I have? How much mobility do I have? How much choice do I have? How much agency is my organization going to provide in order to get things done in a world where the choices, if the choices outside are greater than the choices inside, this is why we believe, and I certainly believe talent marketplaces are so critical in 2022 and 2023, which is in a world where everybody knows what opportunities they have outside, but they don’t know what opportunities they have inside.

William Tincup:   And I don’t know if people even care, because historically we’ve done a poor job of what we used to call internal mobility. We’ve done a poor job of career pathing and putting things in front of them proactively. So there’s some mistrust or distrust that’s been built up over years of, I’ve got to go somewhere else to get the next opportunity. That’s how my job, my career has to play out. I’ll do two years here and I’ll just go get the next job somewhere else, do two years there. Then I’ll go to somewhere else. Because companies haven’t just historically done a great job of serving up those opportunities. And I love the way you phrased it. Because it’s like balancing out, you’re going to have better opportunities internal than you’ll have external. And then you don’t have to change. You can just change and do something different, add value in a different way, in a way that both fulfills you and adds value to the company.

You don’t have to leave the company. You never had to leave the company. We just did a poor job because we thought that the talent pipeline was an unlimited pipeline of talent that would come in. We just did a poor job of actually serving up those opportunities.

Jeff Schwartz:   I think that’s spot on. I think if we look at this, it’s really interesting to look at this from both sides. By both sides, I mean the employee side and then the business HR recruiting leader side.

William Tincup:   Right.

Jeff Schwartz:   So, just three data points, because we did this report. But exactly on this question of how employees are thinking about internal career paths. 35% of the people we surveyed, this was a US survey, a thousand respondents in November of 2021. 35% said they were not on a career path they wanted to pursue. So let’s summarize. One of the three employees are not on a career path they want to continue, right? 64%, 63.4%, said that they were interested in being considered for new career opportunities in their organization. So our employees are saying, we’re open to new opportunities here. What are they?

William Tincup:   Right?

Jeff Schwartz:   How do we access them? Oh and by the way, if we’re not a perfect fit for a job, what are the projects that we can participate in? This is where the Gloat and the talent marketplace is so powerful. If I’m interested in moving into a new job, can I get on a project for a few hours a week to learn about it? Can I get a mentor in that other division? Can I learn what are the specific learning requirements, not so that you can teach me how to do it, so that I can actually learn what I need to know in order to be ready for the next job and the next opportunity. And three out of 10 respondents said, look, we just do not have any idea what the career paths are in our organization, right? So that’s that side.

The other side that you’ve mentioned is, how are we thinking about this as business and HR and recruitment leaders? Are we thinking that it’s our job to create the most mobility and access and to democratize work opportunity in our organization? You mentioned one of the mindset traps that we go into, which is that there’s unlimited talent outside? Which is probably not the case. It probably never was the case.

William Tincup:   That’s right.

Jeff Schwartz:   But the other is that we think that our employees are the job that we recruited them to do when we brought them into the organization and what they’ve done since they came in. So we view employees in a relatively static way.

William Tincup:   Right.

Jeff Schwartz:   Not in a dynamic way.

William Tincup:   Is that because we don’t understand the skills? No, I want to unpack that just a little bit. Is that because we don’t understand either the skills that are required for, or the skills that they have? Or is it that we don’t understand their potentiality? I get fundamentally we hire them to do this. We put them in that job and we forget it and we move on.

Jeff Schwartz:   Right. That’s right.

William Tincup:   We move on to the next thing and that’s okay. That’s historical. So we’re just going to look at that and go, okay, that’s 21 and backwards. Going forward, there’s these human beings, bundles of skills and experiences and potentialities and some other stuff mixed in there, aspirations and all this other stuff. How do we keep track of that, so that we don’t fall into the rut of what we used to do? We hired Jimmy to be the Office Manager. Okay. Jimmy, that’s all Jimmy can do. And then we move on to whatever. How do we not just mentally, how do we shift gears? But how do we literally shift gears and understand those things so that we can move when they want to move? Or even ahead, if dare I say, we could actually be ahead of talent and say, you’ve got these skills. If you’re interested in building a little bit more of these types of skills, there’s four other opportunities that’d be ripe for you.

Jeff Schwartz:   So William, I love this conversation. We could spend an hour on just this one question. I think this is really, in many ways, the heart of what we’re looking at in terms of talent marketplace dynamics.

William Tincup:   Right.

Jeff Schwartz:   And the words that you’ve used, I will underscore them. It is a question of skills. It is a question of experiences. It is a question of capabilities. But it’s also, as you said, in your question, in your comment, a question of aspirations and a question of potentiality. And that’s exactly the word I would’ve used – potentiality. Do we view our workers through the lens of, as Carol Dweck has taught us all, a growth mindset or a fixed mindset, right? And from a business leadership and a recruitment and a talent perspective, one of the things that we have seen in the last couple of years through COVID is that the fixed mindset view does not explain what our employees can do for us as a business. And it doesn’t explain what our employees want to do, right?

Our employees, people want growth. People want options, right? And sometimes this is one of my concerns. I don’t want to overstate it. When we talk about a skills based strategy, sometimes we undervalue the human nature of the people who have these skills, because I don’t just have skills. You don’t just have skills. You have skills and potential and interests and aspirations and experiences.

William Tincup:   Oh. And by the way, those things can change second by second.

Jeff Schwartz:   And they do, they do. They’re alive, they’re alive.

William Tincup:   Exactly. This is what’s great about it. And what’s also complicating or complicated for folks to deal with is in that example before, the person we hired for Office Manager, that person was great and that person wanted to be fixed. So they weren’t thinking about growth. And so we weren’t thinking about their growth. They weren’t thinking about their growth. But see, that’s lazy going in the future, that’s lazy for us. Even if they’re not thinking about how they grow their skills, we should be thinking about how they grow their skills and at least offering up those opportunities for them to grow their skills. If they don’t want to take up those opportunities, that’s fine. We shouldn’t force people to do things they don’t want do. However, we’ve got to actually almost have a finger on the pulse. This is almost getting to a wearables conversation, a Fitbit conversation. We’ve got to have a finger on the pulse of what are those things and how are they changing for each employer or each talent, in real time.

Jeff Schwartz:   And this is what talent marketplace is. And this is what Gloat is rolling out around the talent and career marketplaces. And it ties back to an earlier, very earlier part of the discussion in today’s podcast, where we talked about the org agility suite. Because the two things that you’ve just mentioned, we need our finger on the pulse, right? Which is basically we need both data and we need inference, right? We need data and AI, we need both, right? And as you’ve pointed out, this is a really wonderful discussion in early January, very energizing, William, is it’s not enough to know what the skills are of our employees. We also probably need to know, ideally in real time, what it is that people want to do. And that’s how a talent marketplace is set up.

Because we’re going to ask you when you fill out your profile, right, which you can update at any time, not only what job you want next in your division, but if you could do any job in our company, what would it be? If you want to become a manager, right? And your priority is going from being an individual contributor to a team leader, to a manager, to an executive, what are the opportunities in our organization? And these are real opportunities. This is not a theoretical learning path, right? This is in our company. This is what we need. And the other side of it is, the marketplace is driven by the demand of the business. So the projects that we need to do, the roles that we need to fill, right? The new capabilities, all of that is put in in real time, meaning in an ongoing way into the organization.

And then you can use that to actually see what the pulse of the organization is. We’re not going to do workforce planning once a year, or we’re not going to update it every quarter. We’re going to be able to see through the metrics and the organization agility scoreboards, if you will, what are the spiking requirements that we’re looking for? We’re also going to be able to see, this is really interesting. We have a lot of people who want to go into the cyber group, right? But they’re all missing a certain set of experiences and capabilities. So maybe we create a crash course and program to move people from the tax group or the finance group into the cyber group. Because we have that information. We have that pulse data that’s relevant to our organization. So this is, this is one of the completely different things we can do in 2022.

And clearly this is a two part effort. You need a platform. Obviously we think Gloat is the right platform for that. And you need to go through the culture shift because as you referred to a few minutes ago, William, we are viewing our workforce with a very narrow perspective as to what they can do and how we can deploy them. And so the dual challenge of implementing something new is both getting the technology that works and can be implemented and shows results and impact, and then focusing on the organizational change aspects of it as well.

William Tincup:   I love it. I love it. All right, we’ll stop there because you and I could talk for hours, but what we should do is probably in a couple weeks, pick this back up and then continue on, because I think what people need is the encouragement that you started off with. It’s, okay, listen, Hey, whatever you did for the last two years, okay, forgive yourself, look yourself in the mirror, tell yourself you love yourself. And then now figure out, okay, 12 months from now, you’re looking backwards. What do you want it to look like? You, we do have that opportunity. And so I think there’s words of encouragement for anyone that’s listening, it’s not all gloom and doom. It’s not going to be gloom and doom. We just need to think differently and we need to implement the future differently. We need to conceive the future differently than we have historically. And over the last two years, because last two years, it’s like whatever you had to do to survive. Got it. The fantastic you’re here. Now let’s get out of that survival mode and let’s start thinking about the company that we really want to have. The organization and the talent structure we really want to have. Jeff, absolutely appreciate your time. I know you’re crazy busy, but we’ll get something on the schedule for a couple weeks from now and then continue the conversation.

Jeff Schwartz:   William, William. Thank you. It’s been a great discussion. I’ll summarize it by saying, I really encourage people to write those January 2023 headlines, that if you’re going to change the game and you’re going to be the annual report, you got to be a game changer. And so what can we do early in 2022 to actually have the impact that will really change the game when we have to not only adapt, but also reimagine. Really great discussion today.

William Tincup:   And the sooner we might shift our mindset the better. So waiting to June to shift our mindset that just pushes things back. So kind of getting right with ball sooner in January, it’ll show up as an impact sooner as well, for the organization and for the talent and for everything that you manage. So, thank you brother. Appreciate you. Listen, have a wonderful day and thanks again for being on the podcast.

Jeff Schwartz:   Thank you.

William Tincup:   All right.

Music:   You’ve been listening to the Recruiting Live Podcast by RecruitingDaily. Check out the latest industry podcast, webinars, articles and [email protected]

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William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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