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SocialTalent Author Spotlight: Glen Cathey

Welcome to our new spotlight series, where we introduce you to some of the incredible authors on the SocialTalent learning platform. With over 100 experts delivering quality content on all areas of workplace excellence, we pride ourselves on having a faculty that are not only heavily experienced in their respective fields, but are also engaging instructors from a diverse set of backgrounds.

Today, we’re going to meet the amazing Glen Cathey. Glen is truly renowned in the sourcing and recruiting industry with over 20 years of experience and is currently the Senior Vice President, Consulting Principal of Talent Advisory and Digital Strategy at Randstad Enterprise.

Q. Can you give us some background information about your experience and history within this field?

I started as an IT recruiter back in January 1997 with a small, privately held IT staffing company RMSI in the Washington, DC metro area of the United States.  I actually found the job on Washtington Post’s online job board in December 1996 – which was pretty early for a newspaper to have online job postings. The job I applied to was in the “Other” category – I was looking for jobs that didn’t require any prior experience as I was looking for a career change.

I received very little training as a new employee and I didn’t even have a desk when I started. I simply sat at any desk that was open because that employee was out for the day. I was given a paper with names and phone numbers and told to call and screen them. I didn’t have their resumes, didn’t have access to a system to look them up – nothing. While that’s a tough way to learn how to speak with people from a cold call, I will say I learned an enormous amount from the experience, and I probably wouldn’t be who I am or where I am if I hadn’t had that experience. We didn’t use the Internet to find candidates – our sole source was our internal Lotus Notes database and of course referrals. I almost quit within a couple of months because it was quite a tough job and I didn’t make my first hire until my second or third month. I actually interviewed for a non-recruiting job at an insurance company because I wasn’t sure recruiting or the company I was working for was for me, but I am glad I stuck it out because I really started to perform well, averaging 8 hires per month for the rest of my first year, setting records and being promoted to lead and train others. The things I learned in my first year through trial and error still stick with me today, from how to get maximum results from databases and sources as well as how to effectively engage passive talent

After a few years, RMSI merged with another small, privately held staffing company – Vista, making VistaRMS, which was acquired by Kforce –  a $1B+ publicly traded, US-only professional staffing company in 2005. I relocated to Tampa, Florida where Kforce was headquartered. That’s where I started a team focused on delivering into clients with Vendor Management Systems, starting with clients where we weren’t allowed to have any contact with hiring managers – the toughest situation. After successfully building that team, I was promoted to national VP of recruiting for the company, developing and delivering training for 1000+ recruiters, advising on the investments in and configurations of our tech, helping build out products to support recruiting, and also providing training for social recruiting and sales.

I was asked if I was interested in moving to Atlanta, GA to turn around an underperforming market, and I accepted the role as I didn’t see any career path past the VP of recruiting role I had. I moved to Atlanta and I did turn around the market, creating a culture of performance and accountability, developing a go to market strategy, and hiring and developing a team of top recruiting and sales professionals. About a year into that job I had an opportunity to join Randstad Sourcetight and build a global sourcing team. Although it was a step back in compensation, I didn’t see much challenge in continuing to scale the business in Atlanta and I had hired and developed some people who would be more than capable of taking over the operation, so I jumped to my first global opportunity – something that was attractive to me since I had only worked for US-only companies so far in my career.

I built and trained a sourcing center from scratch in Alpharetta, Georgia. At the time, I really didn’t think about it much, but looking back I took a 100% skills-based approach to hiring, mostly hiring people with no prior experience, with a wide variety of backgrounds, and an incredible amount of diversity.

About a year into my role at Randstad Sourceright, I was approached by my former leader at Kforce, asking me if I would be interested in talking about a role that was likely what I wanted before but simply didn’t exist. They put together a very compelling opportunity that I could not turn down, so I returned to Kforce in a strategic role overseeing digital strategy as well as a specialized recruiting team which I developed into the most productive and profitable team in the entire company, hyper-specializing into niche areas like data science, ERP, cybersecurity, mobile development, Javascript, etc. Over time, I implemented a new search and match solution, improved their social and data strategy, and helped implement a more predictive hiring assessment for their internal hires.

In January 2017 I returned to Randstad, this time reporting to the global chief digital officer. Over 6 years I was involved in building multiple matching solutions (one of which is patented in Europe) as well as an AI-powered screening and scheduling solution which has contributed to more than 500,000 hires in just over 3 years (which was patented in the US). I was also involved in developing Randstad’s ethical AI principles and exploring digital staffing solutions in the US and Europe, leading to implementations and acquisitions.

Since January 2023, I’ve had a dual role, reporting to our Talent Advisory team as well as Randstad Enterprise’s Chief Digital Officer.

Q. What are you working on right now?

I’m currently building out several advisory offerings for companies, including hands-on, practical generative AI workshops, as well as evaluating company digital strategies across the entire life cycle, helping companies advance their use of data, technology, and AI along a standardized maturity curve. I’m also actively involved in AI and automation product strategy.

Q. Can you give us a detailed overview of what your content covers?

My SocialTalent training content covers many foundational elements of sourcing and recruiting, from finding and engaging to closing passive talent. I dive deep into understanding search and match solutions as well as understanding talent and how to drive higher response and conversion rates as well as referrals – all of which involve critical thinking and psychology, which are two important elements I don’t think are covered as much as they should be within most sourcing and training offerings.

I also cover best practices for building out sourcing playbooks for more consistent results and higher return on time invested, how to be more effective with time management – including why “time management” is actually impossible as most understand it, and what it takes to be a world-class sourcer or recruiter. I’m also excited to share my views on how Lean methodologies can be applied to the sourcing and recruiting lifecycle – I think that’s going to open a lot of minds!

Q. Why is this an important topic of study right now?

Most sourcing and recruiting training focuses on tactics and sometimes overarching strategies, but not enough on the elements of critical thinking and psychology – two areas that can’t currently be replaced with AI. And these will always be important areas for people to master because sourcing and recruiting focuses on finding and influencing people to take action- which is an element that will never change as long as companies require humans to perform work. I do talk quite a bit about how to use AI – specifically generative AI – and how it can be used to augment sourcing and recruiting efforts.

Q. What do you hope learners will gain from doing your missions?

I sincerely hope learners will improve their critical thinking capabilities – this is foundational and will help them with literally all aspects of sourcing and recruiting, including the use of generative AI-powered solutions.  I also hope that learners better appreciate and leverage empathy and psychology in their sourcing and recruiting efforts – the art and science of understanding and influencing people to take action. This will undoubtedly help them be more effective in their roles.

I now have a lot of content on the SocialTalent platform – it can help people solve a wide range of problems:

  • More quickly find the right people for their roles.
  • Increase response rates, especially from passive talent.
  • Consistently achieve more referrals.
  • Better use their HR tech and maximize their ROI and ROTI (return on time invested).
  • Fully leverage hiring managers as invaluable resources.
  • Make effective use of generative AI in their sourcing and recruiting.
  • Increase their productivity through better time and activity management.
  • Reduce waste and increase value to their hiring managers and the talent they work with.
  • Achieve more consistent results.
  • Improve their conversion ratios all along the entire candidate funnel and get their offer acceptance rate as close to 100% as possible.
  • Adopt a mindset of continuous learning and improvement, helping them master their craft as sourcers and recruiters.

Q. Where can people find you?

LinkedIn, of course! Although I am always bouncing off the 30,000 connection limit, so I typically can’t accept any more invitations to connect. However, I am happy to hear from anyone – please feel free to follow me and reach out.

Interested to see how Glen’s content could help your team? Get in-touch with SocialTalent today.

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