The Talent Economy Podcast

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Cultivating a Career of Creativity

Season 1, Ep. 31

If you could design your best life, what would it entail? Are there aspects of your personal life that you feel, if addressed professionally, would create greater harmony in your life? For example, how many of you have creative outlets that are completely removed from your professional lives? What would it mean to have an organization consider the totality of your talents and not just those that pertain to a particular role?

This week’s guest is David Nuff, Principal at Nuff, a design agency that works with brands to translate their values into tangible, visual assets. David is also part of the Toptal network, where he serves as a freelance design consultant and a contributor to Toptal’s Speakers Academy. David and Paul speak candidly about the many missed talent opportunities that organizations face when, despite their communicated support, they refuse to take a chance and consider candidates with diverse experiences moving away from traditional role requirements.

David goes on and speaks to how being raised with an appreciation for both the arts and sciences influenced his career, and offers key advice to both organizational leaders and freelancers on how to navigate remote team dynamics. A key takeaway that David offers is that to the degree people can build their best lives, they will do their best work. For him, it’s location independence, and having that opportunity has cultivated a sense of personal happiness and a diverse set of experiences that inspires his work.

Questions I ask:

  • How is David feeling, both as a freelancer and personally, during this unprecedented time?
  • As a junior engineer, one of the products that David worked on was recognized in TIME Magazine. What was it like getting such a high validation so early in his career?
  • How is David seeing clients embrace the idea of working with someone remotely?
  • How does David build trust when working with a team virtually?

In this episode, you will:

  • Learn about David’s journey from planning to be a computer scientist to becoming a designer.
  • Understand how, despite their support of candidates with a diverse experience, big organizations are unwilling to “take that bet.”
  • Learn David’s valuable advice for executive and HR leadership.
  • Learn how to move away from the need to appear busy and shift the focus to quality work.

Connect with David:

More Episodes

3/22/2021

Innovating to Solve a Global HR Crisis

Season 2, Ep. 3
The COVID-19 pandemic produced what might be the largest workforce disruption since the Great Depression; its effects on the global economy are devastating. Unemployment in some areas hit 30%, which turns the economic crisis into a human resources crisis. Our guest, Christy Pambianchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Verizon, explains how her company has transformed recruitment, hiring, and retention, given the chaotic scenario. She describes the challenges of maintaining the company’s values and culture in a virtual environment.Pambianchi has more than 30 years of experience working as an HR professional. She has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. Before Verizon, she worked for 10 years as HR Director at PepsiCo Inc. When the internet revolution arrived, her passion for communication and technology spurred her to join Corning Inc., optic fiber inventors. She worked her way up in the company, becoming Executive Vice President of the People and Digital department.Creating People + Work Connect while at Verizon is definitely among her career highlights. The idea came about as an answer to the HR crisis generated by the pandemic. The free, online employer-to-employer platform helps companies that need talent or are displacing workers to quickly identify and fill positions.The hiring process is also evolving, according to Pambianchi. Companies used to hire for job titles, looking for workers who fit into a specific role. Nowadays, it is more about skills and every worker’s attributes and interest in learning. She believes the skill economy will gain even more prevalence in the next decade.Plus, Pambianchi shares her thoughts on the best way to assist workers during the unstable times we are going through and the silver linings of the pandemic’s effect on companies.Some Questions Asked:What are the biggest challenges and surprises this pandemic has presented to companies?How did Verizon recruit for the summer 2021 virtual internship program?How does People + Work Connect help people who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19 get back to work?Are companies looking for previous experience with a specific role, or are they looking for the skills that can be applied to a variety of roles?How can companies help their employees, both full-time and contract, with navigating times of change and instability?The pandemic has hit women, working mothers in particular, especially hard. Can you tell me how Verizon is stepping up for women and what you believe is important to help women in the workforce thrive?In This Episode, You Will Learn:Verizon’s growth plan in technology and innovationFinding fulfillment in working for companies where you feel connected to the purposeWays to drive retention and tenureThe innovation happening in HRWhy the Verizon 2020 summer internship was recognized as one of the best virtual internship programsHow Nestlé filled 75 open roles quickly using People + Work Connect when business demand increased due to COVID-19Links:Christy Pambianchi - LinkedInVerizonPeople + Work Connect
3/1/2021

Preventing Burnout in Times of Crisis

Season 2, Ep. 2
Companies have faced many challenges during the pandemic, but the best ones prioritized their employees’ mental and physical health—and were successful as a result. In fact, the only way to maintain a healthy work environment is to make sure staff feels safe, heard, and valued.Joining Toptal’s Thought Leadership Lead Editor Meredith Bodgas today is Roche Diagnostics’ Bridget Boyle, People and Culture Business Partner, Enterprise Diagnostics North America. She is the former Vice President and Senior HR Business Partner of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and has more than 25 years of experience working in HR.Since Boyle joined Roche Diagnostics in 2007, she has helped transform its culture and beliefs, leading to a strong and sustainable relationship with employees, customers, and patients.In this episode, we talk about how Roche increased its retention rate during the pandemic, all while creating and distributing key COVID-19 tests and diabetes-care products. We also talk about the company’s tactics to prevent employee burnout, the importance of nurturing connections, and how to make workers feel secure and cared for. She explains how Roche dealt with internship programs, recruiting, and much more in an inspiring conversation.Some Questions Asked:Tell us about your path to leading people and culture at Roche.Roche has been in the news during the pandemic for creating tests. Can you tell us a little bit about those tests?You mentioned that you thought about how to feed your essential employees. What do you mean by that?What did you do for the parents at Roche and the other caregivers?How did you prevent employees from burning out?Mental health apps exploded in 2020. Did Roche offer any of these to their employees?How did Roche keep employees physically healthy?How did Roche approach internships during the pandemic?In This Episode, You Will Learn:Roche’s two types of essential workersHow Roche ensures people feel connected to leaders and the company’s visionNew ways for providing employees reliefHow Roche makes essential workers’ lives easierThe positive impact of less formality and more realnessHow having a lighter touch in the performance review process increases connection and discussionLinks:Roche USA websiteRoche Diagnostics USA TwitterRoche Diagnostics USA FacebookBridget Boyle - LinkedInToptal Insights - How Roche Diagnostics Improved Employee Retention During the Pandemic