Best Hire Ever: Dunkin’ CHRO Stephanie Lilak Shares Hiring Tips

In Episode 27 of Best Hire Ever, Kris Dunn talks with the amazing Stephanie Lilak (CHRO of Dunkin’ Brands) on a variety of topics, including her favorite interview questions, how she works to make sure Dunkin’ gets the talent it needs, what she learned in her first year as a CHRO (that nobody told her), and more.

Steph and Kris share their favorite HR phrases and Steph shares the common characteristics of the people she considers her Best Hire Ever. A great episode!

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Show Highlights:

Steph and KD hit some rapid fire items:

4:00 – Stephanie shares her favorite interview question: “Six words that describe you” and “Six words others use to describe you” and interviews KD live. KD does…sort of OK.

5:50 – Stephanie shares what she’s after when she asks those questions (speed, attention to detail, views of others about you) and shares where at times it goes a bit dark if candidates struggle.

8:17 – Stephanie shares her “go-to” drink at Dunkin’.

9:03 – KD asks Stephanie for her favorite movie that reminds you how crazy her life in HR can be.

10:10 – KD asks Stephanie for the stage in the recruiting funnel in her career that always seems to need attention (apply, source, screen, hiring-manager interview, selection, offer, hire).

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12:49 – SL names the Boston sports team she’s adopted since she’s moved from General Mills in the Midwest. Spoiler alert: It’s not the Patriots. KD talks about his love for the movie “The Town.”

Deeper Dives

17:30 – From General Mills to Dunkin’: What did Stephanie learn about herself her first year as a CHRO? Anything she had to relearn since she had the great career at one company for so long? Deep thoughts here: It’s lonely being a CHRO, and Stephanie didn’t fully realize that until she was in the seat.

24:38 – KD asks Stephanie to comment on the key to making sure a company like DD gets its fair share of talent in the recruiting world? Lots of discussion about  employment brand here. How does it contribute to the recruiting success, the activation of employment brand at Dunkin’, both internally and externally by the tagline “Fueled by You.”

30:55 – KD and Stephanie talk about Covid, company culture, and the workplace. What are some things that are on her mind related to how her HR function and the company itself will morph as we (hopefully) get to the post-Covid period? We discuss the saying “life is a bell curve” at length here!

39:07 – Who is Stephanie Lilak’s Best Hire Ever and why?  There’s been 12 of them(!), and she has a list that defines what it takes to reach that designation. Smart.

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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