The Podcast for Employers Who Are Hiring At Scale
Are you involved in the hiring of dozens or even hundreds of employees a year? If so, you'll know that the typical sourcing tools, tactics, and strategies just don't scale. This podcast features news, tips, case studies, and interviews with the world's leading experts about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to high-volume hiring.
Is all recruitment really local? Should it be true?
Johanna Molina is a social & HR Edtech entrepreneur, investor, and mentor. She is the Co-Founder and Head of Impact at Talanta, an ed-tech platform creating a borderless world for talent.
Welcome to the High Volume Hiring podcast. I'm Steven Rothberg, the founder of Job Search, site College recruiter. We believe that every student in recent grad deserves a great career. This podcast features news tips, case studies, and interviews with the world's leading experts about the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to high volume hiring. Thanks for joining us. Today's guest is Johanna Molina, the co-founder and head of Impact for Lanta, formerly known as the Intern Group. It's an EdTech platform, creating a borderless world for talent. She's also a social and HR EdTech, entrepreneur, investor, and mentor. Joanna, welcome to the show.
Thank you very much, Steven. It's a pleasure to be here with you today.
So in, in a minute or two maybe you can tell the listeners a little bit about Joanna. Like who are you? What do you like to do? So,
Yes, in addition to being the co-founder and head of Impact, I was born and raised in Colombia. I've lived in the UK for a few years. That's actually where I got to discover that talent is everywhere, but opportunities aren't necessarily everywhere because my career in Colombia was in finance, and I went there to further my career in finance. And guess what, Steven, I didn't have any opportunities to actually develop my career in finance. And this is a while back around 12 years ago, that's where I met my co-founder, David. He was in finance in London, and then we realized that we have the opportunity to opening up the doors for people without the right contacts, without, but with the talent to be able to access opportunities. So I've been a passionate, and I believe you are also passionate about providing opportunities for people, and that's at the core of what I do every single day.
Oh, that is, that is awesome. And you know, one, one of the things that I've just loved about your organization, right from the right, from the first time we were able to work together is is exactly what you said. It, it is designed from the bottom up to be inclusive to help people who maybe didn't have, weren't fortunate enough to come from a family where they could go to work for their, you know, their uncle or their sister, or maybe they don't have like a, maybe they're first generation with a university degree, and they just don't have those connections that are so vital. And you guys really, I mean, forget about a glass ceiling. You've, you've, you bust that wide open for them, which is just fantastic. <Laugh> <laugh>. So you know, Taki, you talked a little bit a second ago about some of your background and one of the things that I was really excited to talk to you about is, is the changes that you've seen in, especially when it comes to the early level talent and say the past decade. More and more people are talking about early careers, but you know, call it early careers, call it early talent, call it entry level. What changes have you seen in the last decade,
Steven? One of the biggest changes I guess we've seen in the last decade is, is, is not a hypothesis. It's actually a full conviction that talent is absolutely everywhere. I just told you a little bit about my personal experience, but if you speak with my business partner, he's going to tell you he's crazy about sports, particularly football. He's gonna tell you how much he has evolved in terms of talented football players that were recruited amongst the same city and even same neighborhood a few decades ago. And now the best teams around the world actually have the best players from all over the world. I believe we are in that opportunity. Like it's, it's a crucial moment both for companies to be able to access that, those best players from all over the world, no matter where they're located, what nationality, what passport they have.
And similarly for the talent to be able to access those opportunities without any borders. Like what we are creating at talent is precisely that borderless work for talent. Our word and talent can really connect either, I dunno, promote or hybrid through opportunities that can lead into full-time jobs. So I think that's one of the key changes that we have seen, especially in the last three, four years. It was very, very important for us in how do we attract talent and also how do we maintain and retain that talent. And on that same topic, we actually run a study with m i t at the end of 2021 precisely to understand how companies are recruiting, how companies are attracting that talent, what are they attracting them from? And it was quite shocking <laugh> at the results of our white paper because we realized that most of the Fortune 500 companies are hiring mainly from the US and Europe, which combines 14% of the world's population.
Yep. So where are the opportunities for the remaining 86%? But more than that, like, it's a massive, massive opportunity for companies to look outside of like the regular haystacks, let's say, and actually see that there is a world of amazing, as I said, untapped talent for them to attract, retain, motivate into their cultures and everything that comes with it. Like all the true diversity, what I would love to call as well, excellence, diversity where people can actually come add value to the creation of products and services that are for the world. Therefore, they need to be built by people that reflect the world, right? So this is, I believe one of the most important trends that we have seen is that true embracement of, okay, now we have an opportunity to see talent from all over the world. How do we really embrace diversity inclusion in organizations?
And that comes as well with the very big trend of flexible work. And so we can talk about yes, many people, we were the same before starting recording, how much you travel, how much I travel, and that suits our lifestyles. It's not probably for every single role, it's not for every comp person but o company. But the flexibility is something that is really important for people nowadays, how they can either do hybrid work or in person if necessary or fully remote. It really depends mostly on, on the needs of the organization matching the needs and expectations from the talent.
Yeah, no doubt organizations have some of them have been forced kicking and screaming yes into, into this new world. Because of Covid it's certainly accelerated the requirement that employers look beyond their neighborhoods and to, you know, through their states, provinces, countries globally. And I, I think that's a great thing. As more and more people work with more and more people worldwide, I think we're gonna have fewer problems. You know, if if if you have friends, family, coworkers in another country, you're, you're much less likely to fear that that country. And also for the organizations, they're able to tap into so much better talent. I mean, forget the as, as nice as the, we wanna do the right thing, we wanna do good is the how important that is. The reality is the C-suite is generally gonna be focused on the bottom line. So if you can do good and also improve your profitability, then win-win for everybody. So some of the listeners probably aren't gonna be familiar with with your organization. Tell them if, if you would kinda like a little bit more about what it is that you do, what kind of who, who are your clients, how do you help them? Yes,
Absolutely. So at talent, our purpose is to create a portals world for talent is very, very ambitious and we can't do it alone. Organizations such as yours, our host organizations, all our partner universities from all over the world, we partner with more than 150. And how do we do that is by providing talent to an untapped talent, especially to remote to hybrid internship opportunities that can lead into full-time jobs. We have a platform that connects both education and technology and we incorporate into a platform bias free assessments. So that's how we recruit the candidates from different universities as I just mentioned. And we also focus a lot on training our interns and also managers. So training is at the core of what we do as well. We have our own training curriculum. We also have been working with our curriculum partner, m i t, open learning to also provide m i t curriculum. And it's really important for us creating those communities of learning where both interns and managers can not only just learn from our curriculum, but also benefit from the power of peer learning when you are working alongside all the managers from other industries across the world. And so that's how we basically, and in terms of how we help our companies well by providing them and that talent that is prevented, that is trained and allowing them to spend time, not screening, but steepening the connections with the candidates and really creating a blue experience for them.
We'll be back right after this break.
Welcome back to the high volume hiring podcast. So the employer would come to a member of your team and basically say you know, we're looking for 12 interns with the, this background marketing, business development, facilities management, whatever it might be. And then you would then work with your partners, whether that's a job board, like college recruiter, whether that's a, a university, career, service, office sites, whatever. But you would then sort of source that talent and then do the screening and selection. And I would do, do you then present to the employer a list of finalists? You know Yes. If they're looking for 12 people, do you come to them with, you know, three dozen candidates and then they choose the 12? Is that how that last, that last piece is made?
Absolutely. That's precisely what it is because we, we don't want them to have to go through hundreds of different cans once we know and we can match those criteria to give them a pre-selected list of cans that they can well save time as well. And as I said, dedicate time in actually creating a good experience for the candidate with our support as well throughout. Because as mentioned with the training, that is for the company managers and for the interns, we are always providing that support, which for us is key in the conversion into full-time hires. Yeah,
And you're getting into exactly what I wanted to get into next because they don't, okay, great. So you source the candidates, you do some screening, you present us with a final slate, we pick then what because I think a huge part of the value add is it's, it's helping with the onboarding, it's helping with the training with the ultimate goal that if the employer likes the candidate and the candidate likes the employer, that there's a permanent match there, right. I don't think any promises upfront, but hey it's kind of attempt to perm relationship. Right. So how, what's involved in the onboarding, the training for, for an employer that wants to take, whether it's an intern that you help them find or an intern on their own how do you recommend they successfully onboard and train them so that they can essentially retain them over, over a long period of time?
Absolutely. So we want to make it very easy for our partners to come to us with a job description. So we onboard them into our platform, we help them create their job description. We then give them the candidates that are prevetted and pre-selected for them. So once candidates get to our partners, they have already started going through our training because that's also very key. When you look at interns or yes, just entry level talent, recent grads, it's very difficult. I don't know if you remember your first time that you had an interview, but it was, for me it was really panicking <laugh>. It's
Scary, isn't it? And you don't necessarily have all the skillset required to go through that process and really display your strengths, really displays, display who you are right there. And so we support them so that when they get there, they have already gone through different modules in how do you prepare for an interview. So they already have our support even before starting with the organizations and also for managers, we support them in how do you really understand that this is the right talent for you especially if it's going to be in a remote environment, if it's from a different culture. So that they can get the best out of it. So once we have a match and they start the internship, we have regular sessions. So our curriculum is both as synchronous as probably our audiences here in US right now.
We are not with you right now, but you are hearing us and synchronous as you and I are here speaking at the same time. And so this creates a good balance between yeah, real time interaction and also do it in your own time, like different podcasts, different breedings, different forms of learning for them. One of the key things that we have seen for companies to actually been able to convert into full-time hires in addition to the training is also having a very purpose driven, driven culture. Because talking especially about the entry level talent, nowadays gen sets millennials, they really want to contribute to something bigger and build something good for the world. As you just mentioned earlier in our personal experience is our purpose that was has been helping us attracting really good talent into the company. So that's one of the key things.
And how do you connect them and make them feel that they are part of the purpose from an intern or entry level position, because sometimes it's hard for them to understand how do I in a position that is entry level, contribute to the wider purpose of the organization. And it's very critical for them to feel that they are actually contributing in how they can see themselves reflected long-term in the organization. And another thing that we have seen is by providing flexible work. And that not only means remote work or hybrid but also how do you think about them in the way like the future of work is the future of living. How do they see themselves living in the near future? And when we think about that is humanizing more the future of work is how do I pretend to retain this talent that is probably going to be living in a different way that I want them to believing in.
And so we become a lot more creative when we think about this as the future of living, which is constantly changing for us and providing a trusting environment. So this has been a really great challenge for a lot of managers, especially when you went from fully in person to fully remote overnight. And is how do you actually create a trusting environment and that is essential to create that kind of culture and facilitate all the tools and empower the people in your teams so that they can have clear and transferring communication. How do you create like all these asynchronous and synchronous environments? How do you I don't know. Managers really need to learn how to communicate very well and adapt to this like low context communication, both managers and also interns. And a very critical point we were discussing recently is emotional intelligence. And that goes for every participant in the process.
It's very, we actually did recently a study with more than 500 people participating to identify that these are key opportunities for growth, both for managers to actually merge their team members feel more included and also for younger generations to be able to progress in their career better. It's one topic that we weren't necessarily taught at university, but more and more people are talking about emotional intelligence is a superpower and people really stay for the managers or they resign and quit because of the managers. So we need to put a very strong effort into giving the support to those managers that maybe they didn't even necessarily have the right training to be so right. Like a lot of managers learn by managing other people, not necessarily by a lot of methodologies going into it. So this is basically how we ensure and how we put enough attention that both parties, managers and interns feel completely supported throughout the process.
And then converting to full-time hires. We even had a case, I wanted to mention this. We had Maria from Mexico and she was interning in at a tech company in the US and the internship was going absolutely amazing. And then I had a one-on-one coaching session with her. I said, okay, Maria, so tell me have you asked the question about full-time hire? And she was, yeah, can I ask that question? I mean, I feel bad. Like, why would they hire me? And so it was very interesting for us to work together and realize that you need to provide the students with like the enough confidence. A lot of this comes down to self-confidence as well. And how do you present yourself? How do you ask the question? In this case, it was super interesting cuz she created a presentation on everything she's learned during the experience, how her strengths aligned with the company's goals and how she sees contributing to achieving those goals. And by the end of that presentation,
<Laugh> Oh, that is awesome. We're not, we're not born knowing this stuff.
Of course. No,
Right. Of, you know, course. So when you're 19, 20, 21, you know, stereotypical intern, you know, loads of them are older, but generally early twenties kind of time. Yes. Right. Probably your first professional position, I would think. A lot of the students who are working with you, they're the first ones in their families, Absolut, to have an in absolutely. Like, like, like you described. And I think a lot of them are under this misconception that they're, that they have this internship because this company is just merely trying to give back. And so it's kind of like a charity thing. Well, if it's charity, how do you then go to your manager and say, I think you should hire me permanently, because then you're asking for lifelong charity. It sounds to me like, like this young woman from Mexico that you helped her understand, hey, this is not charity.
You're, you're helping them accomplish their mission and let me help you see that and then communicate that. It, it's just, it's just not a skill that we're born with and we are not, it's a, you know, we're not, you know, I hired you to be a software engineer. I didn't hire you to be really good at interviewing. I also didn't hire you to be really good in a performance review where you're giving me as the manager feedback and do you wanna stay here or not? It's like, this is not part of the job description, but it's really important people. One, one more thing and then I have another question before we, before we need to lead off, leave off is, and I just, a lot of what you were describing it reminded me of, of the saying that that people come to work for an organization for the role and for the pay.
They stay because of the people. And so for the organizations, the employers that are listening to this, if you've got a really high turnover rate in your internship class, if, if 80% of them are not converting into full-time and permanent employees, the problem is it's unlikely that it's related to the work they were doing. It's unlikely that it was related to the compensation. It's probably about the people. And it, and it might simply boil down to a lack of communication. They don't know what you're looking for, you don't know what they're looking for. So it's great that you really help both sides. Open up with that. So one, one last question before we need to leave off, and, and that is before we jumped on I was talking with you I think by email about some horror stories, <laugh>, and you had a, you had a fun one that you wanted to share or that you were willing to share anyway that had to do with New Zealand. So what what's horrible about about New Zealand <laugh> other than the
Bus? Nothing horrible <laugh>, nothing horrible about New Zealand. I must say it's one of my favorite countries in the world. I did skydive in 19 feet, 19,000. Oh no, that's horrible. From the
No, no, perfect.
Good airplane. Do not jump out of it. <Laugh> <laugh>. No, I know what there was, there was and, and I'm joking about New Zealand being a horrible place. I will, I haven't been there. I will get there. It looks, it looks fantastic, but there was something related to employment.
I know, I know. So basically Steven, a few years back, we launched a program that was focused on attracting Maor Pacific students in New Zealand. And after a couple of days of promotion, we noticed that there weren't any applications. It wasn't necessarily performing as wanted. And so really quickly, we did a couple of focus groups with Maor and Pacific students and we understand why. And then we improved the campaign. And basically what we noticed from this exercise is that our language and also our promotion, were not necessarily resonating or representing them. So very quickly we changed that really quickly. We iterate, but why did I want to share this story, which was initially horror, but then it is <laugh> it was a very big learning lesson for us. It's because we feel that like us back then, necessarily, like today, a lot of companies when they want to focus on like diversity or they're still not necessarily speaking the language of these groups, you know, and it is an extra argument as well to the importance of diversity in teams when you are building campaigns to actually reflect that diversity through the products, through the technologies, through the services that we are creating today that is shaping the future.
And so yeah, basically from this experience, we learned importance of having the user as the center and always focusing on that for our strategy, for marketing campaigns, for any new feature that we have in the platform, is really important to constantly also iterate based on the user's feedback.
That's awesome. And, and as more organizations hire more people globally, more are gonna run into this problem. Yes. So I, I think you definitely helped some out. So Joanna, before we leave off, for the listeners that want to reach out to you to, to find out more, how should you, how should they do that?
Absolutely. Well, you can find us on, we are Lanta in LinkedIn. You can find us as Lanta and you can find me as Joanna Molina, j o h a double n a Molina, m o l a, <laugh>, m o l i n a. You're really testing me, Steven.
And I thought my last name was hard to spell <laugh>. Well, fantastic. And I really appreciate you sharing some of the, the goods and the, the quasi horror story with our listeners. Have a good rest of your day, Joanna. You
Too, Steven. Take care. And everybody here,
Thanks for joining us today on the High Volume Hiring podcast. I'm your host Steven Rothberg of job search site college recruiter. Each year we help more than 12 million candidates find great new jobs. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale and advertise their jobs with us. You can reach me at [email protected] The high volume hiring podcast is a co-production of Evergreen Podcasts and College Recruiter. Please subscribe for free on your favorite app. Review it five stars are always nice, and recommend it to a couple of people you know who want to learn more about how best to hire at scale. Cheers.
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