Dropbox Neil Frye future of work recruitment top talent
Neil Frye, global head of recruitment, operations and technology at Dropbox. Image: Dropbox

How to find top talent in the ever-changing world of work

9 Oct 2017

The search for top talent is changing. Neil Frye is the global head of recruitment, operations and technology at Dropbox. Here, he talks about how companies such as Dropbox adapt its strategies in order to find the cream of the crop.

Future of Work Week

For technology companies such as Dropbox, searching for top talent is hard going these days. Everywhere you look, companies are using crazy tactics, particularly for engineers and sales staff.

Talent shortages in San Francisco, Dublin, Austin, Seattle and New York make every hire a multi-offer affair.

Adding to this is a changing dynamic in employee tenure. Millennials continue to see organisation-hopping as an opportunity for growth that’s not detrimental to their brand.

Finally, we must take on diversity in the workplace with campaigns like Right the Ratio, Path to 50/50 and 20,000 by 2020 pushing us all forward. Add this all together and it means many of our HR roles must change.

Expanding on the work of John Boudreau, Ian Ziskin and Carolyn Rearick, I recently shared a few thoughts at the HR Strategy Forum on emerging HR roles, focused on the talent scout role and how to build capability on our teams faster.

Dropbox is working to build talent scout capabilities such as bespoke profile creation, market mapping, social media campaign management and proactive pipeline monitoring across several jobs at the company.

Recruiters are now career coaches

Recruiters and sourcers develop long-lasting relationships with candidates. Passive is the new active and that requires recruiters to engage thoughtfully and help find the right opportunities based upon a candidate’s interests, growth and capabilities.

Teams are transitioning from a résumé reviewer to a talent market analyst, building and illustrating data about roles, skills, locations and using the levers to make talent pools bigger. We recently used LinkedIn’s new Apply Starters feature to reach a candidate that had expressed interest in a position but wasn’t really actively looking.

Our sales development manager sent her an InMail saying she was exactly the kind of person we were looking for. Later, she told us: “I definitely wouldn’t have completed the application if the lead hadn’t reached out.” She also added: “I was happy where I was and wasn’t actively searching … I wouldn’t have left for anything less than an amazing opportunity.”

We are also a pilot partner with Stella, a new talent community that helps match talent who may not be a fit for Dropbox jobs but may fit the needs of other partner companies in the community. In this way, we become more of a career coach than just a recruiter for Dropbox.

Harnessing the power of freelance workers

Contingent workforce specialists are harnessing the power of the emerging freelance workforce who are looking for flexible, project-based work and focus less on filling temporary assignments due to leaves of absence.

These workers can fill key skills gaps and may be found at a lower cost-point if the needs are short-term in nature.

At Dropbox, our contingent workforce team along with our managed services provider partner build a culture-based onboarding experience (not just completing forms and security training). They also summarise the results from Dropbox assignments and share contingent talent when one assignment ends and new needs arise.

Identifying talent for relocation

Global mobility case managers are identifying high potential talent for national or global moves to enable growth, fill critical skill gaps and build well-rounded leaders.

At Dropbox, our team uses its knowledge of business strategies and critical skills gaps, analyses leading market practices to be competitive and delivers an amazing Dropboxer experience (in what can be a significant cultural and life event).

HR business partners must play a key role in leadership

HR business partners surface talent from their client groups for critical needs or emerging business strategies through talent planning, performance management, organisation design and effectiveness work.

At Dropbox, HR business partners sit in on all senior leader staff meetings, support talent planning and leadership development, and monitor talent health via descriptive dashboards that enable data-driven decision-making using hiring, engagement, performance and attrition data.

Aligning what we learn to a specific team or a current open role creates a personalised recruitment experience for candidates and, ultimately, a better working experience for Dropbox employees. These changes are helping Dropbox put our creative energy to work.

By Neil Frye

Neil Frye is the global head of recruitment, operations and technology at Dropbox, helping to lead teams developing and executing amazing people processes for a growing high-tech firm that is expanding globally. Frye leads the teams delivering recruitment, onboarding, HR data admin, global mobility, benefits and people analytics across 11 countries. 

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