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The New Post-Pandemic Workforce by Sasha Townsend

Why are so many people are leaving their jobs? How should employers adapt to the new, post-pandemic workforce? Slack’s Senior Recruiter Sasha Townsend digs into the impact of “The Great Resignation” on organizations. Watch the ShockwaveTalk!

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People Analytics - Employee Wellbeing - Employee Experience

What's the new, post-pandemic workforce like? What are their needs and demands? How can HR professionals and people leaders keep them satisfied and engaged?

Let's hear insights from Slack's Senior Recruiter, Sasha Townsend, Senior Recruiter at Slack and a proud HR-nerd that has spent 9 years recruiting for Healthcare and Tech organizations across the US. Go through the effects of the Great Resignation on each generation, the leading causes of voluntary turnover, and the steps organizations can take to adapt to the future of human capital management!

Watch the video or, even quicker, check out Sasha's slides and top insights in this article on our blog.

Webinar transcript

Janine Ramirez: Let's do it. It's shockwave talks. Good day, everyone. Happy Thursday. And thank you for joining us for our first Shockwave Talks. I am Janine Ramirez from Erudit, which is a new AI powered people analytics solution that believes in better data for better decisions at Erudit. We love learning about people and new approaches to human capital management or HCM. And so we are launching this series of webinars called Shockwave Talks, featuring 30 minutes of insights from people, leaders and H.R. professionals who rock the idea. Well, it's simple. So a quick intro, which I am rushing right now, and then we will have a 30 minute talk about an impactful, relevant topic in people management, which an Erudit we call a shockwave because it shocks you.

Janine Ramirez: And if you guys have any questions, we'll have a 15 minute Q&A after the talk. So we want to keep the whole event to under an hour because we know how busy everyone is these days. So please feel free to raise interesting points and ask when to ask questions. Sorry in the length in chat during the talk. So you can load them down for the Q&A after. In case you want to rewind or share the talk later, we're recording it and we will send you all a link after the event. Again, thank you everyone for joining Erudit Shockwave Talks. We hope to jump back this short time together with interesting learnings. So today we'd like to welcome and thank Slack's senior recruiter, Sasha Townsend, for leading Shockwave Talks and sharing her insights on the new post-pandemic workforce. We will definitely better understand how employee needs and goals have changed in the past years. Sasha has spent nine years recruiting and supporting the growth of U.S. health care and tech organizations. She began her recruitment career in agency style recruitment and then went into corporate recruitment, where she was supporting a whopping 30,000 plus employee population. She then built recruitment programs for a growing health care company, and it's now at Salesforce is Slack supporting their customer success group. When she's not moving out of recruitment. Sasha loves Jane. New restaurants around Kansas City, her current home practicing yoga and spoiling her ten year old rescue mutt. How cute. Okay, let's all give a warm welcome to Slack. Senior recruiter Sasha Townsend.

Sasha Townsend: Hi, everyone. Thank you so much, Janine. It was a wonderful, warm welcome. The I'm Sasha Townsend. I sit in Kansas City, Missouri. And yeah, I'm really excited today to chat with you all. I was not familiar with our date prior to them reaching out, but when they kind of approached me about the new chocolate, it's I was really excited. I think it's always good to network with everyone and just connect with other individuals. But I think as we're all really aware, the pandemic has completely shifted. Everything we know about recruiting in H.R., and it's changed nearly every aspect of our lives of the labor market and the workforce. So today, yeah, really excited to just kind of chat with everyone. This is totally open. So if you have any questions throughout it, chime on in. We're here to find got a little couch conversation today. So, yeah, let's kick it off the next slide, please.

Sasha Townsend: Actually, yeah. So here we go. So, yeah, the great resignation. I know it's a buzz word right now, but what we're seeing is just really these unprecedented numbers of workers, not only office workers, but non desk workers, too, just leaving companies in droves. It's caused a whole sort of domino effect of how do we work? How do we recruit? What do we need to do as an employee to or as a H.R. professional to really keep our workforce going, keep them happy, keep it productive? And yeah, so again, this is something that's super near and dear to my heart. When everything started happening, I'm very strategic on how i approach recruitment and H.R. I'm always a big proponent of just working smarter, not harder. And we kind of got to this point of like, how do we operate in these unprecedented unchartered waters, dealing with these new challenges and really kind of venturing into this unchartered territory? So it's something, again, extremely passion about. I left sort of my career of health care behind to dove into the technology because I did see how important it was.

Sasha Townsend: Also actually was so fascinates me. I've gone back to school and I'm in school getting my MBA to really sort of study up on what is happening, why it's happening, and how do we really kind of adapt and overcome it. So that is what we are really here to chat about today. So yeah, we're going to dove right into it with the next slide here.

Sasha Townsend: How is this great resignation really impacting companies? So these are just a few of the points that I think really this is going to be something that we're going to be studying for years to come. Again, really staying agile with how we do it. But the first and sort of most obvious one is tenure companies. Really, tenure like average tenure of employees is dropping quite a bit. I'm going to totally probably see my like a meat head here, but I like to think of this sort of like from a football perspective. I'm a huge Kansas City Chiefs fan. I am not from Kansas City. I grew up like Maryland and huge like Florida State College football fan. But I got to Kansas City. I saw just how much everyone loved Kansas City and it's in the Chiefs and it's kind of one of those things where you can't not look. Then everybody's so excited. And the history behind it, I don't know if many people know this that the Hunts have been owners, the Hunt family have been owners of the Kansas City Chiefs since 1960. It has not changed ownership. We've had some years where it's been really bad, but I've always kind of come back to still having that solid core fan base of just people who are true believers. Then you look at somebody like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they haven't been around as long. They've had the same family owning sort of the Bucs, only since 1995. They've really struggled with sort of keeping that fan base together. They've got to pull gimmicks like getting Tom Brady on board to get some fans on. But what do you think of it in sort of like the corporate aspect?

Sasha Townsend: That's the same if somebody is going to a new company where they've had leadership in and now it doesn't really seem stable, doesn't give you that warm and fuzzy feeling of community. So there's a huge impact there just sort of given the tenure. So yeah, that's sort of one aspect. Taylor I see you go, cardinals not going to fault you there. And then yet revenue bottom line numbers with kind of combating all of the issues that are coming into play we're now I know my recruiter friends down here are struggling with it. We're having to shell out a lot more money to get people on board. We're having to roll out, sign on bonus. We're in some of the areas that like product management, that area I think throughout the pandemic and has seen a drastic increase in compensation and companies are really having to spend money to get talent on board. And then from a retention aspect, they're really having to essentially they're having more benefits, more events, investing, more in technology with this virtual workforce. So there's a lot more spend that sort of goes into it. Another thing that has a reciprocal effect, which I did not really ever sort of think of, is on the economy. I know those of us who are U.S. based, we're seeing everything increase inflation.

Sasha Townsend: I think last I heard was like 9.1% throughout my studies, I actually came across the Chicago federal think especially has estimated that because of the great resignation it's increased inflation 1.1%, which is why we've really got to get a grasp on this and find a solution that works for both ends of the spectrum for our employees and as well as, again, keeping that bottom line number in the back of our minds here. And another thing, recruiting, I know this is an absolute obvious line to sort of everyone that's a recruiter on here. I always shake my head at the great resignation in recruiting. I think when the pandemic initially started, there was that fear of, oh my gosh, we're going to lose our jobs, we're not going to be recruiting, no one's going to be hiring. And I feel like that phase lasted for maybe a couple of months as then companies sort of figure out how to adapt to the virtual setting, how to keep business moving forward. But again, that brought on so many issues that when people started resigning and at first, again, we were worried about keeping our jobs. And now we're like, we have so many reps.

Sasha Townsend: How do we feel then the amount of turnover? It's like, I just feel this position. This person's not leaving six months later and really kind of spinning the wheel on it. So I think that's definitely a given of the great resignation sort of impact there. Another thing is culture. We're in almost a virtual setting right now. Many employees who are office based are now fully remote. And so essentially we're in a virtually dominant workforce. We no longer have those sort of coffee chaps by the water cooler and we have to think about ways, even onboard employees, into this virtual culture. How are we going to onboard employees? Because those first couple of months of some of the employee, I mean, that onboarding is crucial. I will say to you as a Slack employee, one of I was always kind of an office person.

Sasha Townsend: I love to be around people. And one of the things I was nervous about as Slack is a former employee, it's like, am I going to make friends? Am I going to feel that connection? And I think the coolest thing about onboarding it was, I think like the second day and they break you out into like these different zoom breakout rooms and they had an activity and I was in a room with three other people and we're all from four different countries.And they said basically, go, we're going to pause it for a minute, go find something in your house that you've had for ten years. And we'd all go around and do that and then like find one thing in common with everyone on this. And we're like, we are all so different. And like, the whole thing was like pizza.

Sasha Townsend: We all actually love like bacon and pineapple on pizza. Unpopular, probably opinion somewhere. That might be another talk for another time with the base, but it was just cool to see sort of how we're bonding with people. But those sort of portions of it are really important to the culture aspect. Another thing, impact is leadership. So you think again, kind of going back to the chief spot scenario there, if you've had leaders doing the same thing for the same way for a lot a lot of the ten years of the company those leaders are now leaving. They've got different opportunities. They've got different wants and needs. And so you are you've got these leaders that are shaking things up at a company. I think this is a pro and con. I think it's always a little bit of a danger zone and people are in the comfort zone too much. So I think fresh perspectives and leadership are always good. But then you also kind of have to think about those people who they thrive in. They are very successful in sort of that comfort zone. They might not like all of this and the changing the way that things were done. And that's another situation where it might cause people to resign. So I'm sure there's many, many more impacts. But again, just some of the main ones I wanted to touch on. So next slide, we are going to discuss who is at risk of leaving in the next six months. This one was particularly interesting to me and so Gen Z, I think that we kind of knew about this one. They are. I mean, they've got a lot of opportunities at hand, but when Gen Z is leaving companies early, they are sort of the driving engine of the company in a lot of areas.

Sasha Townsend: I remember I did a lot of sort of internal or internal recruitment and even the competitions for interns. I mean, they are getting paid a lot of money, they're getting a lot of different sort of perks with it. So we've got to think, how do we get competitive in that, especially like the business development rates, those are the ones that they're the first, first end of it. They are making calls. They are getting those leads warm. And when you can't stop that, it really disrupts the whole sales engine and then disrupts revenue. And it's a chain of facts that's had a profound negative effect on a lot of companies and millennials. The research with this one was pretty interesting. They found that I think it was a Deloitte 2017 survey, found that they were believed to be the most successful being flexible, working on employee engagement. But they're also not afraid to go leave. They understand they could be making somewhere else. They're hard workers, so they're going to go ahead and find a better opportunity. Gen X And it was reported right even before the pandemic that that was in 2019 that I think 35% of Gen X, they saw 35% of increase in Gen X actually leaving their positions.

Sasha Townsend: So they were starting to get to this point and really kind of the the pandemic really sort of catapulted that trend moving forward. Baby boomers, I think my dad, many people in that sort of range, they they got to a company and they stayed there for the entirety of their career. And that was sort of what was expected. That was the good thing. That was the sort of professional thing. But these days, I mean, it's not uncommon to see somebody going places every two years. And I mean, those are still amazing candidates. They get in, they do a lot at company for two years and leave it in really good shape. So yeah, the game has kind of changed a little bit with incentives for recruitment in that aspect, but it goes to show the great resignation has affected essentially everybody, every age range, every group of people. So that leads us into sort of the causes and the next slide here. Yeah. So I think this was always when I was super interested. I think a lot of these can be combined with it's not one thing or another, it's everything across the board. As much as I personally like my wants of change is prior of the pandemic, but 40% is lack of career advancement.

Sasha Townsend: Personally, I just think it's because people, they're in their home all the time. If they do the same thing over and over every day, that's going to get a little redundant. That's going to feel like you're stagnant, you're not going into the office and continuing these conversations with people. I think sort of an area for this to combat as like HR professionals is how do we we've really got to sort of put that investment into the career growth and potential 30% compensation. And I feel like that's not a hard one to really explain here. Again, like certain areas, product management, the compensation has taken off, the market has changed, demand has changed. And then I think about two things have shifted in just sort of everything we do, especially inflation goes into this.

Sasha Townsend: But in terms of compensation, it's not just the salary people are looking for. A lot of people that I talked to, they really want to get benefits. They want that good work life balance. A lot of them do. They're thinking about the long term perspective. So what equity can you offer? I'd rather have more equity versus salary. So it's not just a one size fits all for everyone. Flexibility. This is a huge one, too. We're working from home right now. Our work is our home. Our home is our work. And like so not Slack is a great culture. Honestly, a lot of people like one of the things is like, Hey, I need to just go for a walk, get out of the house for an hour at like ten in the morning. If I started working at 6 a.m. kind of thing. Another one, work life balance. If you're working at a lot of people, like at work all day since they're at home. So some management might be like while you're at home, you might as well be working 24 hours a day, another 15% lack of enjoyment. Again, a lot of those sort of things that we did before the pandemic, they are out the window. You're not going to those have to work happy hours. You're not doing those coffee chats in the morning kind of thing.

Sasha Townsend: So next slide, we're going to talk about how we adapt. And this one is super open ended. We would love to hear some input from the crowd here, but I think the biggest one is you've really got to be innovative with tech. When we went virtual, there was no face to face companies who didn't have sort of that contingency plan for what if we did have to go virtual? Do we have the network? Do we have the bandwidth? That was the crucial thing. And then communication has completely changed again. I used to be at the office and just you'd be able to ask like look over a cube like, you know, X, Y, Z. I mean, you could just quickly ask people and then I mean, I feel like as soon as the pandemic hit, no one knew how to communicate. My inbox I know was insane, and it would be one email for something that would have been a 2/2 conversation in the office. So how do we stay agile and really think about our culture in communication and productivity?

Sasha Townsend: Again, working smarter, not harder, especially when everything is virtual, that's going to be really, really crucial. I was kind of one of the reasons I came to Slack is just there was sort of that aspect lacking of How do I streamline this? I don't feel like I'm sitting there. It's purely responding to emails as my job on Slack is very, I think, like that the way you can communicate through Slack and I'm not just saying this because I am a stock employee. I knew about the product and then I wanted to come to the company, but something like that is going to be really, really beneficial. But I think too, you can have a technology. I think setting those standards among your culture and among your employee population is going to be key. I remember in the onboarding at Slack, they went over like, Hey, if my manager says, Hey, can you follow up on this? I don't have to respond. I'll get right on that. Done. All I have to do is I put the AI emoji in this, I'll handle this, and then when I'm done, I come back and instead a green chart, something like that for me was like really resonating where it's like I'm already talking to 100 people a day. I don't have to have a conversation about this, but I still want you to know I'm on top of it. I want to communicate on it. So it's like those little nuances, especially getting lost in translation over text, like, is this person mad at me? Did I do this right? Are they like, What are they feeling right now? I think really kind of learning to use emojis and even like doing like video messages to be like, hey, how's it going? Or hopping on a quick cut, all really making sure that you're kind of putting the human factor in it. I think there's a really long way this is a really important one to be inclusive and share in diversity. Everybody wants to feel seen, heard and welcome, not only with the pandemic and economic crisis that we're going through, we've had to deal with a lot in our nation and Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmed Arbery, it sparked a much needed to be honest movement in this country to really advocate for some basic civil rights.

Sasha Townsend: And so it got companies thinking, how do we do better in ensuring we're giving everyone an equal opportunity that the people in our teams and at our company, we need to really make sure that they know that they're valued. They are seen, they are heard. And so ensuring that your hiring a diverse population and giving everyone a chance, what I think has been phenomenal and I think that's a sort of a buzz word in the industry that I've been putting a lot of focus in is really focusing on competency based hiring instead of the old method where you're looking. Do they have this experience? Do they have ten years at a company with staff space experience, working one on one with clients and really kind of just having it cut and dry instead? I think we need to be opening it up and saying like, Tell me about a time where you delegated like a difficult since you did it.

Sasha Townsend: Think of a cup of tea. Your basic question right now, but really essentially making sure that we're looking for people who can do the job but not people who have just done this exact, exact job before. I think it opens up a lot of doors to really be able to increase diversity and then to always focusing on the diverse sourcing tactics, networking and reaching out, and then to think about things like celebrating each holiday. I think each holiday like does need to be celebrated instead of just like the traditional like Thanksgiving, Christmas, everybody's different. And I think that everybody needs to be welcomed and completely celebrated no more. 9 to 5. I'm a huge you and all those. I am the kind of person where I like to blend my day with work and life and really get it kind of makes it fun where I can get on at six, they shoot off a bunch of emails, go take a yoga class at 9 a.m., get a ton of work done, like take a midday break and like hop on a little bit before work. I don't know about anyone else, but that doesn't really feel like a full day at the office to me. Even though I'm usually putting in like more than those 8 hours, I think we really need to sort of find that harmonious balance between work and life and sort of be understanding, like obviously know your schedule, communicate with your managers and your teens in setting those expectations to your employees where we don't want you to be stuck to your desk, in your home, in like your little office for 8 hours a day. I don't think that's mentally healthy. I don't think there's a lot of productivity in that. And then also to workplace flexibility, my favorite thing in Salesforce, the slogan is success from Anywhere. And I fully take advantage of that. I think throughout the course of the day I will literally be in like five different locations. Like in the morning I'll start downstairs in my apartment and start getting some emails off and then I'll go like this morning I actually was working by the pool for a while. That is a big one in the summer and then I'll sit in my office for a while. I'll crank out a bunch of work, take a break, and maybe go to like a coffee shop and kind of round out the day. I think just that's really makes being productive and just honestly a very good from a mental health perspective.

Sasha Townsend: Listen to your teams. I think previously the the ball was in the employer's court saying you have to be there this time. I remember it was like pretty recent after it was my first really recruiting position after college. And it was it was you are here for 9 hours a day. And I remember there was one time I was asked by managers like, Hey, can I leave 15 minutes early? I've got a friend coming from the airport. Like, I'd love to go pick them up on time. My manager was like, No, you have to stay here until 5 p.m.. I was like, All right, whatever fare. And I left it for 58 and I got an email saying, Meet with me Monday morning at 8 a.m. And at that point I was like, This is not the job for me kind of thing. But I think now we've really got to listen to the employees again. If that's the case, they're going to get up and they will find another position where we are meeting their demands. Again, 40% of people, they are leaving because of lack of advanced it. If they're telling you they're feeling stuck or feeling stagnant, maybe go meet as a team and say like, Hey, maybe we should add another level to this job family. It only goes up to like Senior Recruiter right now. Maybe we can make a principal just so that's that's a huge reward. They feel a success. They feel like they're progressing forward. I think we've really got to think outside the box of it, too. And again, like, I think people people are going to tell you what they want. And if we want to keep them, we've really got to listen to them and work with them on it. I think a lot of the demands, they are really not unreasonable and they're definitely things that's not weeks that we can be making. And then yes. So have some fun. This is huge. I think I mentioned this multiple times.

Sasha Townsend: I clearly really miss those like morning coffee jobs, those like afternoon happy hours. But how do we have fun in this setting? Again, this kind of goes back to the tag to be innovative with it. We did like a virtual offsite and we had it was like the coolest. It was a medium. And he came in like basically one of those things where he could predict what number we or what number we guessing and like all of us at the end were like, this was the coolest thing ever. I want more of this. It makes you feel connected, even like we've got like a team channel where it's like, everyone send a Jeff on what you did this weekend and just thinking of things outside the box where you really still can have fun with your team. Again, I've. I met one person on my team because we happen to be in the same city at the same time. But I haven't met anyone and I really feel a connection because we do have fun with it. Like even like the reaction coaches like there are some absolutely hilarious ones in like some that are like how is this like it will be like a work emoji, but I mean, that's the kind of thing that makes it fun. You really got to feel that human connection. And I think if it's just work and business all the time, it's really not going to be fun for anyone here. So yeah, I know we're kind of getting to about 30 minutes here. I really wanted to kind of just keep it loose and that's not an excuse and it's really on the whole workforce, the labor market, kind of how we should adapt.

Sasha Townsend: There's so much more that we could probably chat about here, but we'd love to hear from anyone, sort of any questions, comments, insights. Let's chat.

Janine Ramirez: Yes, definitely. There's like so much more to talk about, Sasha. And we have like questions waiting for you. I have my own questions as well to dig deeper. But thank you for that 30 minute like jump back talk of like insights galore and yeah, let's dig deeper. We have 15 more minutes and let's do it. There was a comment on adaptation and saying like agile. So how how do you think? Because I think the pandemic really like rattled us. Right? Like all of a sudden we're all working from home and we have to, like, come up with new ways to do work together. So how has that changed? How agile we work, especially when it comes to HR.

Sasha Townsend: Yeah, that is a great question. And I think like one of the questions I think about like how do we stay agile? I've been doing what I've been doing for so long, honestly, something like this. That is why i was so excited. We're all experiencing different things at different companies and I think sort of staying into its market, chatting with others is really good. And then just sort of doing the research on your own where you hear a good idea. It's maybe not something you've done before and it's sort of like, Ooh, this is a little bit brazen and I don't know if this is going to work, but let's go ahead and try and make this work and really like doing your research. I think this is one of those things where like I am just an H.R. nerd and like I've got like a whole library full of like resources to get through my grad school and I nerd out on those. It's like one of the biggest things Warren Buffett always talks about. It is like, I'm just successful because I read a lot. And I think just reading a lot happening on LinkedIn or like just adding 30 minutes inside of doing that market research. And then it goes back to like listening to your team, like they're talking to their other friends that are at different companies. What are they saying? And really kind of like asking those questions. I'm like, What do you want? So if we did this and really kind of testing it out on the employee population and staying agile in that sense, I hope that answers the question.

Janine Ramirez: It does. It makes so much sense because I feel like the people in real life that I know that are really agile and adjust quickly are the ones that stay informed and just like absorb a lot of information and educate themselves. So yes.

Sasha Townsend: I like your comfort zone is really not a safe place I think for like businesses and like not being afraid, like, all right, this is a little bit uncomfortable, but let me go ahead and sort of take the leap here.

Janine Ramirez: Right? Like little tests, right? Great. There is another question on culture and it was asking about Slack culture and how that is helpful. But even just like culture in general, how important is it to retain your talent?

Sasha Townsend: It's, I think, extremely important. And I never like slack culture. It's because it's a communication, I think, tool where the communication is really clearly outlined and we're not asking you like every email just feels like work to me, whereas Slack it doesn't really feel like work and you are sort of creating that digital workforce. But I think just again like making sure that you're staying engaged and like just because we're not in person doesn't mean we can't do a happy hour. And even like with like different like teammates I always love, like, hey, let's like chat in the morning and just like catch up and like shoot the shit kind of thing. Like, I think that's a really important aspect where we do have to think about this as like a virtual setting. But then to like there are some people like the same culture is not for everyone. I think providing that flexibility and really sort of thinking about the human first before that, I'm like as an employee, like, like some people do like to go into the office and have that structure. So really kind of giving people options. But yeah, I think, I think just the slack culture really, I think to be anywhere is just really streamlining communication, setting the standards and having fun with it while ensuring that you're working smarter with it. And then to you, I think right now from a culture perspective, I think technology is really important. I saw somebody ask a question about I think like with like Gen X or yeah, I think it's actually the millennials where it's really, really important for them to have the technology. And if they don't have good technology at a company, that's not going to be a good culture for them. So I think there's a lot that does go into it.

Janine Ramirez: I just want to say that I love the huddle corner in Slack, like it just mimics the office, right? Like if you just want to, I don't know, like ask a question. It's there. So and just putting it out there, I love it.

Sasha Townsend: You know. Absolutely. And then even to that, I think the second part of that was like, do you think it matters to people who resigned last. Yeah, 100%. And I know that just based on all the candidate conversations I have, people get burnt out when that's not a good culture. And it is just like a it's not like a good culture to be a part of. They get burnt out and they take pay cuts to come to like slack sometimes. So yeah, I definitely think it matters to people and I think it retains talent. A lot more.

Janine Ramirez: Like, okay, next we have a question. Do you believe that the talent and acquisition sector is becoming slack since working from home.

Sasha Townsend: Becoming like.

Janine Ramirez: I'm guessing, I don't know, reducing productivity, not doing their job as efficiently.

Sasha Townsend: I see. I disagree. I think right now with everything going on with the tech industry where I know a lot of companies have slowed down hiring and I think that's a whole a whole different sort of scenario that we're walking into here with the economic turn I think is recruiter is that. Yeah I think it's completely changed it I mean I think there is like points in, in throughout this past couple of years where I was really burnt out. I had 60 racks, I had a thousand things to get done. I think looking and just kind of from talking to people doing the research, I think that recruiters are really important where a lot of them are going to get burnt out if they are still working like those 60 racks. I think it's shifting a little bit where it's really focusing more on the quality of the recs that you're working on versus like the quantity. I think as talent acquisition people, we've really got to be strategic in how we go about recruiting. There's a lot more sourcing that we have to do, which is again where we don't have enough time just to get those applications. A lot of a lot of it is outbound sourcing and just being really competitive. So I think some of the centers, it's like putting on the sales act, thinking of creative ways outside the boxes. I mean, I think some people it's yeah, I think some people in talent acquisition, you think it's like that old method. I think that a lot of people are going to kind of read the industry or sort of like, I think from a work perspective, not be as inspired and maybe start slacking a bit.

Janine Ramirez: I have like do follow up questions for that. Like one has to do with finding the right candidates and how like companies view productivity, how that has changed in, in the past years because before, like, you know, like your story about like I can do yoga, get back in the office, productive do something else, you know what I mean? Like it's more flexible. But before, like, I remember as well being an intern, having to, like, put in the hours and knowing that I have nothing else to do today. But I have to say, just because I have to be here till five, you know. So how has like how has that changed in the last two years? And how do we view productivity now, at least from from flex perspective?

Sasha Townsend: I mean, that is a great question. I think every manager would answer it differently. But like, I mean, I just I come at every day with a checklist of things get done. I communicate with my manager regularly. This is what I'm doing. This is what I did this week. I'm to let them kind of know and really stay close to your manager. I'm also a huge health advocate, though. Against that, my career in health started in like exercise science field. So that was really important to me. Where think my productivity has increased quite a bit because I am a lot healthier. I'm eating my meals from home, I'm going for a walk in the middle of the day. I'm sneaking in that yoga class. If I've got an hour break. And it's definitely research has shown that productivity increases when people are healthier, when people are happier. But again, it's not a one size fits all. I think that a lot of people probably have gotten a lot less unproductive. I know it takes me a lot more effort to make sure that I do stay in line, and I think that's the case. A lot of people where people are like, I'm I now don't have to commute 2 hours a day. I get more quality time with my family. I can set my schedule and can really and I'm enjoying my work a lot more. So I am being more productive. So I think I think it goes both ends of the spectrum. I think it can be detrimental. But I also think it can be really, really good if it's the right fit for the right person. And again, like I don't think it's once that's that's all right.

Janine Ramirez: Like for us in Erudit, I trust that my team I don't know why, but they they want to do more than less, you know what I mean? But it's also about finding the right people that would actually do that and be committed to their work, because there's that fear of like hiring someone. You have no like visual of how the person is working. So are there signs that you see as a recruit to be like, okay, this person would put in the effort?

Sasha Townsend: I think you ask like based on through this prominence is like what? How do you set yourself up for success for the day? I think that's like a great question but you hit you've touched on a great point is like trust. I think that was one of the points I meant to touch on to do. But if you don't have trust with your team, it's not going to it's not going to go smoothly. There's not going to be a solid sort of virtual relationship with this person. And so, yeah, you do have to look at ways on like how do I build trust? And again, it's I think for both ends it's for the employee. How do you build trust and ensuring to your employee that you're going to be doing the right thing, you're looking out for them? And I think one of the biggest things that I've sort of gotten a takeaway from in the pandemic is like being your authentic self and allowing your manager and actually managing your employee base as their authentic self and really encouraging that saying you can come to me if you're having a bad day, you're not feeling productive, contact, meet, be your authentic self. Let's figure out what's going on. Instead of just saying, Oh, you did it this day, you're in trouble kind of thing, I think it's more of being vulnerable. I think that's a really strong thing and something between I think that's what builds trust is really kind of knocking down those layers, being vulnerable, being your authentic self, really encouraging that for your employees.And then also I think that managers should be the same way. Get vulnerable, say you're having a bad day, you needed to log off at 3 p.m. and take a break and come back refreshed the next day. And I think just being honest and like, ooh, I messed up on this today or like last week, we're human, we make mistakes, especially all of that is going on in the past like two years, and it does not seem like it's slowing down at all. But I think just being able to sort of roll with the punches, build those like connections and just I think that really builds trust.

Janine Ramirez: Nice. Okay. I mean, I was going to do a follow up, but I think we should check out the the comments and the questions and the chat. So there's one from Nic. Sasha, how do you feel like demand of worker mode of remote work sorry, has impacted sales and business development folks? I've noticed many salespeople still in the office. And I'm wondering from your perspective, if you think it's the expectation of the role keeping them there or if they prefer the face to face interaction?

Sasha Townsend: That is a great question. Do I I love this question. So I actually supported like the BBR groups at my previous employer and we did a lot of hiring for them really quickly. And it was interesting. We still wanted them to come to office. I think from an earlier careers perspective, when you are hiring like this, some of those business development folks, I think they do want to see people in the office. They want to see that you're on the phone. I think some of that so old sort of culture mentality exists there. I mean, I don't know. I think it can go both ways in it. But a lot of salespeople, they still they are people, people they like to be in the office. But that's one of those things where, I mean, there's a lot of people graduating these days. They've done school virtually. They know how to be virtual. And so I think companies need to listen to people. If it's not going well, people aren't happy. If they're seeing a high level of turnover, I think they need to allow them to be virtual. But I think that is one of those areas where it's still a little bit more pre-pandemic sort of mentality with it. But it also it's a chain effect where, I mean, I've seen situations where the sales from the Top End and some of this usually high producing by top sales performers, they aren't hitting their numbers because they don't have those business development folks that are sort of that first line of impact and getting those connections because they don't want to be in an office and that then requires them to be in an office. So I think that area is going to be involving. I'm super interested in it. So maybe we'll stay in touch and stay close and have some conversations down the line about it. But yeah, that's one of those interesting areas that it is also one of those areas that we cannot have that happen in because again, those sales sales folks out there, they're bringing in the revenue. Yeah, like we don't, we don't want.

Janine Ramirez: Exactly. And it's changing so fast. So it's going to be like a fun discussion to, to get back to every now and then. Yeah. Okay. Little time left. You mentioned like how the great resignation is affecting different generations. But there's a question here about how it affects different like positions or seniority levels in the company. Do you think it affects managers differently than the employees?

Sasha Townsend: Because if you take somebody like if you take somebody who is an individual contributor, they've been there for a couple of years, even five, ten years. They don't have as much responsibility. The higher you go up in the chain, like if a top executive resigns, the company's scrambling, how do we do this? What did they do? I mean, leadership, I think, is a very is what we really want to sort of nurture. And I think that seniority level, they're going to feel it harder. But then also from that reciprocal affects, when you think of it, if I am a leader and I have ten people on my team and four people resign within a month, which I have seen happen, you were left with no team. And then the work of those four people are on those other six people, essentially almost doubling their workload. So those people are unhappy. And then again, a domino effect. And then as a recruiter, you can't find anyone to fill those backfill. So those back, those are open for a lot longer. And the people who have been doing the work of two people, they're not getting paid anymore. They're more burnt out. They're going to start looking for a job and then maybe the whole team leaves, which again I often see happen. And then it's a leader with no direct reports. How do you sort of manage that? So, I mean, at any point in the whole sort of process and sort of the chain effect of employee seniority at different levels, anywhere, anywhere, you sort of pull that plug. It's not going to be good.

Janine Ramirez: It's crazy how complex it is to great like how okay, this affects this, this affects this. And sometimes we're not conscious of it and we're just affected and thinking about ourselves. But it's it's crazy how it can, I guess, avalanche into something even greater.

Sasha Townsend: Yeah. A sad sorry shudder. I like this question. Yeah. Or even of keeping the professional aspect. This is something I think about a lot before I almost like, I'd be like, all right, going to put on my professional hat head on in the office, the business sense of our kid and then sort of be my authentic self. Whereas again, now we're in our homes. And so I think like your writing, your coworkers and your homes and leaders and things like that, I sort of lost. I feel like a bit of like the professional aspect where it's just like, this is me and that's where I think being your authentic self, having your employees be authentic. I love when people's children, especially dogs up in I bring my dog in here, but he's sleeping in the other room. But I think there's sort of a level of like, I think just I don't know. I think it's a hard thing to to have a professional aspect and sort of a personality these days.

Janine Ramirez: But we're getting to know each other well. Our office and the office meets in a different way, like we're seeing their homes, their pets, etc.

Sasha Townsend: Things that I do when I call out to you, that's like it's helped me out a lot out because some days where I'm like burnt out, I'm like, I don't want people in my home right now. The virtual backgrounds, like you can't see it right now. Like I just moved on Tuesday, so I'm sitting in like a creepy white room. And so having like this screen, it's like I'm at work right now. People can't see in my home or something like that where you can sort of separate and really create boundaries. I think it's good that.

Janine Ramirez: Okay, I'm going to get through Shelby's question before we wrap up. So what is the most important tool for a startup to invest in, in your opinion?

Sasha Townsend: Communication. I I'm not just saying that as a Slack employee, I came to Slack because of because of the school. I saw the demand and how stressed out people were. And then it puts people into silos where I'm like, you still might be talking to your team regularly, have those meetings, but then like, I need somebody for I need something from somebody in finance. How do I contact them? What's sort of the best way to go about it? Especially I just think communication is so important. We've lost that aspect of I mean, if if you do have an office, I think even still having that communication is is very important. And yeah, would say communication tools. And then that even goes into like I think Gmail and G Suite, they're all great. They help you organize things and just really sort of those two components, they help you work smarter and harder and like if I didn't have those, I would feel miserable. I feel stressed out, especially as a startup where it's a streamline. That communication right away and then also have it all documented and like slack is I'm initially I think it stands for stored log of like activity and content. I should probably know this. You should know this day. Long story yeah. A place where all your communication is in there and it really kind of helps keep you organized, communication, organization, any tools that are going to help you on those two aspects.

Janine Ramirez: Completely agree with you. But we have no more time and we do not want to take any more of Sasha's time because she's been an absolute pleasure to listen to and to learn from. So I will wrap it up and ask you your last question. Is there anything you'd like to end with? And add before I let you.

Sasha Townsend: Go, this has been awesome. I really hope that I can keep in touch with some people who join us here and really thank everyone for hopping on and excited again to kind of keep in touch with this HR network. So I guess. Nick, thank you. That's it. Search. But what about content and knowledge? Oh, yeah, no. I really appreciate everyone hopping on. This has been really fun. I think things from a year from now will look different. But Janine and everyone over there, really thank you for this. It's been so fun. It's been a pleasure.

Janine Ramirez: Thank you as well for being our first speaker for our Shockwave Talks webinar series. Thank you so much, Sasha.

Sasha Townsend: Awesome.

Janine Ramirez: I'm afraid that we all have to say goodbye, but before we go, we would like to thank everyone once again for joining us for Erudit's First Shockwave Talks on the new post-pandemic workforce. We appreciate your time and your thoughts and your questions that enrich the day's discussion. And a special thank you again this slack senior crew think rock star Sasha down in for her 30 minutes and more of jump back insights and learning. So we all we hope everyone had a fun time like we did. And we are already planning our next webinar. So please follow us if you want to hop on our next webinar as well, which may happen early September. Okay. Again, I'm Janine. This is Sasha. And on behalf of every thank you and have a lovely, lovely day.

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