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"Listen more, talk less" - Interview with Norman Mauer (Indeed.com)

2023-03-06

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Can you tell us a bit about your professional background and what made you currently choose to be Senior Talent Strategy Advisor for Indeed.com?

I did a classic apprenticeship as a media designer and then worked for many years in technical project management - mainly in television and advertising. After more than ten years in the media, I wanted to try something new and since I had contact with the HR industry since my younger years, I switched to the field of personnel services. But since I was always very interested in technology and data, I then accepted the offer switched to Indeed. Here I could perfectly combine my preferences in technology, data and operational processes. The fact that we, as the market leader, have an extremely large treasure trove of data, of course, also helped :) I also love international projects - I have worked in different countries. This led me to also study "international management" at the same time.

You have experience in media, IT and HR marketing. What lessons from your media experience did you use also in HR Marketing?

If there is one thing that is going very well in the media, it is the feedback culture in terms of failures and successes. In the media, especially in media planning, target group analysis usually comes first and the content is then explicitly adapted to this. This applies to both creation and playout. Since recruiting, especially in the beginning, has many parallels to classic advertising, a stronger focus on the analysis-execution-feedback would make a lot of sense here.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Listen more, talk less - I know this sounds weird because I'm a full-time speaker. But the more I listen to people, the better my presentations become.

Process First is the name of your recruiTECH presentation. Can you reveal to our audience of leaders and HR specialists what aspects will you approach during your speech?

Again, I think this is where my experience in the media comes into play. Know your target audience and none your goal, define the process and enrich it with relevant data. That's what I want to convey in my presentation.

Can you share with our audience some tips regarding public speaking and creating the perfect presentation?

I think there are two core elements: self-reflection and storytelling. You should be clear about what kind of speaker you are. That's how you manage to be natural on stage. Presenting is not acting, so authenticity is extremely important. With 'storytelling' I mean that you have to pack your core messages into an exciting story that is appropriate for the target group.

How is technology helping you keep up with HR trends?

Well, I'm a huge fan of podcasts, though also very picky. To be able to handle the multitude of articles, I use Pocket. A nice tool to save articles and read them later. I also appreciate curated newsletters.

How do you help businesses reach relevant candidates?

Besides presentations, consulting is a big part of my job. Here, my colleagues and I talk to decision-makers, analyze processes and give (data-supported) recommendations, insights into markets or even concrete recommendations for action on strategic and operational topics.

What are the demands of Indeed clients this year? What's different from 2022?

The labor market is tight worldwide. Companies must compete for suitable candidates. Many of our customers want to have numbers, data and facts to make these processes more efficient. It is also often a matter of creating inclusive working environments. The topics are quite similar compared to 2022, but the pressure is constantly increasing.

How do you see the future of recruitment? What part do you think a tool like ChatGPT would play?

ChatGPT is an impressive tool and can certainly help simplify processes. Like most tools based on machine learning, ChatGPT works best in so-called "safe environments". Just remember that these systems are not capable of creative thinking and, most importantly, cannot ask questions. And the right question is the most important thing to start a change process.

What's next with AI? How will existing jobs change?

I am very excited about the developments in machine learning and I think that the combination of high performance systems and creative people with the will to make a difference will bring us all forward. I think that in the future, systems will do repetitive work for us and given the right data, will be able to recognize patterns more efficiently. We can then draw conclusions, optimize processes and work more efficiently. Every "industrial revolution" has led to a change in the world of work. Old jobs have become obsolete, new ones have been added. And in the end, this change process created more prosperity created for everyone. It is important that we take people with us, train them and take away their fear.

Looking into 2023 what do you predict the key trends to be?

A) There will be more focus on inclusive work environments - also as a means of employee recruitment. B) Systems will help us more and more to recognize and use patterns (keyword: automation of HR processes) C) We will think more like "recruiters" when it comes to staff recruitment D)Flexible working, as a mix on office and home, will become even more prevalent.

HERE you can watch a recording of Norman Mauer's latest presentation (Adjusting the Process Think as a global advertiser) at the 2023 recruiTECH conference in Budapest!

Thank you for the anwers Norman Mauer, the Senior Talent Strategy Advisor of Indeed.com!