Best Hire Ever: Does Recruiting in Sprints Work?

In Episode 28 of Best Hire Ever, Kris Dunn talks with Trent Cotton, a longtime star in the TA/recruiting arena, about his new TA leadership role at Bureau Veritas Group. KD digs into Trent’s background and his unique approach to running a TA department via agile principles, which he calls “Sprint Recruiting.”

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Show Highlights

Quick Hitters

1:25 – Trent describes his new role at Bureau Veritas Group and why he made the move to the new company. If you’re not scared, it’s probably not challenging you!

5:47 – Trent talks about the hardest thing about taking a new TA leadership role in the middle of a pandemic — that we wouldn’t expect. He had to learn a new organization’s norms related to Covid for a company that prides itself on safety services.

7:40 – KD asks Trent for a movie that’s on all the time that reminds him of his life in TA. He goes with The Greatest Showman! KD loves it and thinks Trent wants to be Hugh Jackman!

10:32 – Trent shares his opinion of the lowest hanging fruit that is available to most TA leaders when they take a new job. He uses his experience in sales to focus on getting to know the business leaders and the business model in his new company.

12:32 – Does Trent still have cable? No, he cut it in 2012! He tracks his streaming bill and spend 35% of the old bill. KD checks for shared passwords.

13:30 – Trent shares one thing he didn’t expect when he joined BV that made his TA life easier. BV and the leadership was hungry for new ideas and vision, didn’t limit him to what existed. KD asks Trent if he knew it would be this wide open when he interviewed. He didn’t, so he’s pleasantly surprised.

Deeper Dives

15:30 – KD and Trent talk about his approach to TA and recruiting and how he merged agile techniques with recruiting.

17:11 – Trent breaks down the overarching philosophy called “Sprint Recruiting,” telling us what it is and how it works.

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18:45 – Trent shares the four steps to his approach to recruiting. He sounds a lot like a software development Director!

20:40: Trent’s a new TA leader, and one of the things he believes is that everything can’t be a priority. KD asks Trent to share his point system to force hiring managers to pick priorities and think about this in a different way.

28:00 – Trent and KD talk about a two-week sprint and why that makes sense for recruiting teams. Don’t report or measure too much, or too little.

28:52 – Trent and KD talk about feedback agreements, what’s a best practice in getting the other side (hiring leaders) to commit? How does Trent get that buy-in? How does his team hold them accountable when they don’t live up to their end?

36:35 – KD asks Trent to share the details on his book, Sprint Recruiting.

38:21 The Close: Who is Trent’s Best Hire Ever? He names real names, and it happened 17 years ago!

BEST HIRE EVER is a podcast that explores a simple truth: There’s nothing that drives success at your company like making a great hire. Make your BEST HIRE EVER, and suddenly you sleep better, work less nights and weekends, and you might even start being talked about as that guy or gal that’s just naturally a great developer of talent.

Of course, making great hires is incredibly hard, which is why this podcast exists. Join Kinetix CHRO and partner Kris Dunn (founder of Fistful of Talent, The HR Capitalist, and author of The 9 Faces of HR) as he digs into the topic of hiring top talent with undeniably talented corporate leaders, recruiters, and candidates. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll learn the hard lessons others learned as they developed their approach to make their BEST HIRE EVER.

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