Fall typically means conference season, which of course is completely disrupted by Covid-19. So I asked the illustrious Todd Raphael of eightfold.ai about his view on the future of talent media and marketing, including the big conference business model. And Todd should know. Under his 14 year stewardship, ERE Media grew to be the dominant source for Talent, Sourcing and Recruitment news and networking. Widely quoted in publications like Time, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal on talent topics, he’s also the recipient of the Neal Award for American Business Media, and listed on Glassdoor’s HR & Recruiting Thought Leaders and vsource.io’s 2018 “The Only Recruitment Gurus You Need to Follow”, among others.
In our discussion on Episode 23 of my podcast Big Fish in the Talent Pool, Todd candidly shares his perspective on the multiple paradigm shifts we’re all navigating right now, including finding a voice in the overcrowded digital media landscape, and the ups and downs of virtual conferences and events. We also discussed the pull for diversity in progressive organizations, and how technology is helping activate anti-bias practices in hiring. His encouragement for Talent Leaders: “It’s hard to see the forest for the trees because of so much carnage recently, but I think there is tremendous promise & potential. The future is really bright for the whole lifecycle of employees and those who manage it.”
Coming out of Ohio Wesleyan with a BA in Politics/Government in the mid-90’s, Todd didn’t foresee the career path he ultimately followed. He actually started in lobbying-related work for healthcare and telecommunications clients. That led to a role with the National Restaurant Association in communications, where his writing and networking skills became a core competency. A short stint in campaign and media management with Nelson Communications led to Online Editor with Workforce.com, his first connection with the world of Talent and HR. In 2005, he joined ERE Media, eventually became Editor-in-Chief, where he spent well over a decade moving their content and media platforms from paper to digital, and growing their membership and conferences.
Todd’s 2019 pivot to become the Marketing Content Manager at eightfold.ai was a bold move for this mild-mannered guru, and a surprise to many. But considering his background, he may actually be the perfect person to help the “…industry’s first Talent Intelligence Platform” taut their non-traditional emphasis on sourcing using advanced AI and empirical data. Their target: to revolutionize the workplace, especially in favor of diversity. According to Todd, experience has shown that “…legacy universities and legacy programs are not always the best way to find someone, particularly those in under-represented groups. With the right data and matching technology, we can move toward placing people based on their capabilities and potential.” Sounds like something we all can get behind in this era of challenge and change.
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Erin McDermott Peterson is a Partner with PeopleResults, helping clients with global recruiting interim leadership, RPO advisory, and ensuring a great candidate experience. Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPeterson, connect via linkedin.com/in/erinpeterson or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and listen to her Podcast for Talent Leaders: Big Fish in the Talent Pool on iTunes and SoundCloud, or wherever you access podcasts.