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How Companies Identify Talent with Chatelle Lynch of McAfee & Kage Spatz

HR Strategy Series, Real Human Resources

McAfee Human Resources Hiring Strategies

There are no short cuts and if you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. All work is meaningful and adds value, so go all in, regardless of how big or small you perceive the task.

As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Chatelle Lynch.

Chatelle Lynch is the Chief Human Resources Officer at McAfee. Lynch joined McAfee in 2005, later helping it evolve during its time as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel, until today: an independent $3BN global IT security software company with 7,000+ employees worldwide. Under Lynch’s direction, McAfee became the first major pure-play cybersecurity firm to achieve global gender pay parity on April 1, 2019. This initiative was awarded “Diversity Initiative of the Year” at the Women in IT Silicon Valley awards in 2019. Lynch was named ‘Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year’ at the Stevie Awards for Great Employers and her team was also named ‘HR Department of the Year’, both in 2017.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! First, please tell us what brought you to this specific career path?

I fell in love with HR (or what we at McAfee call People Success) by accident. I knew when I finished university in Australia that I wanted to work in the U.S., so I wrote to what felt like every company here asking for an internship. One company wrote back, interviewed me, mapped my personality and skills, and felt I would be best suited to human resources. I said yes, took the internship and soon after, I became a full-time employee as an HR Generalist. From there, I quickly found a true passion for compensation (I love data and analytics!). Over the years, as I mastered one area, I was provided the opportunity to take on more and more responsibilities over time — eventually making it to Chief People Officer at McAfee.

Wonderful. Now let’s jump into the main focus of our series. Hiring can be very time consuming and difficult. Can you share 5 techniques that you use to identify the talent that would be best suited for the job you want to fill?

1. Revamped and Relaunched our Employee Referral Campaign– The best hires often come from those that know the business, the culture and who we are. So, we’ve put in place greater incentives, more competition elements and greater emphasis overall on this program and are starting to see great results.

2. Values-Based Behavioral Interviewing– We mapped our desired employee behaviors against our core values so during the interview process we can quickly assess how a potential new hire would perform against a certain scenario. We’ve found that some of our best hires and top contributors are those who embody the behaviors that align to our values, culture, and performance expectations, in addition to holding the necessary skills to perform their role.

3. Incentives Aligned to Roles — To encourage our employees to look beyond their immediate network in some departments where we have a shortage of women, we motivate employees with a higher referral bonus for women. This doesn’t mean we only hire women or give preferential treatment, but that we work really hard to make sure we have women in the hiring pool for our hiring manager to interview and select from.

4. Social Media and Online Communities– How and where we show up is important in building our talent pipeline. This is why we invest heavily in social media so desired candidates see McAfee in many of the platforms they access daily. We also place emphasis on our online communities — for example, when looking for developers, we need to be part of the discussion on platforms like GitHub.

5. A Woman on Every Hiring Panel. In an industry made up of just 11% females, and with the intent to make significant progress against that, we need to ensure that the interview panel is diverse. This is why at McAfee every single hiring panel is made up of with at least one woman. This, combined with other measures such as unconscious bias training, helps level the playing field during the interview. We work hard to make sure interviewers are aware and able to overcome any unconscious biases, and that we have female representation on a panel to provide gender diverse perspectives and recommendations.

With so much noise and competition out there, what are your top 3 ways to attract and engage the best talent in an industry when they haven’t already reached out to you?

1. Create a Strong Employer Brand. Not adding to the noise is the first step — instead, we work to create clear, concise and compelling messaging as part of our Employer Brand. Through research, we also mapped out our key pillars and how they align with different roles and locations. For example, some locations or roles might place greater importance on company perks, or career development paths, or a company’s vacation allowance. We need to know this to deliver messaging that matters. When we do this, we’re driving candidate preference as they’re able to easily understand, absorb and most importantly, make an informed decision on ‘why McAfee’.

2. Invest in Social Media– Social media is critical in reaching passive candidates. As a consumer, you know you’re not likely to buy a product the first time you see it. You might not pay attention at first, then perhaps when you’re browsing social media, you see the same product in your newsfeed. You might have a few more touchpoints, then you might click, read, learn, and do online research yourself, before hitting buy. It’s a similar approach with candidates — we want to stay front of mind where it matters. So if you’re a woman in IT, you’ll learn about what it means to be a woman at McAfee by reading employee stories, learning about our benefits and more. You might sign up for job alerts or perhaps when a recruiter makes contact, you’re already well informed and interested in joining this culture and environment you’ve heard so much about. This is when you see the power of social media to drive candidate preference.

3. Leverage Employee Advocacy: Our employees are our best source of talent. With a strong Employee Referral Program, we’re able to reach more candidates who may not have considered McAfee. We all know we’re more likely to listen to a friend and act on their recommendations!

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Our world needs more kindness. I believe that if people are more kind to one another, it would bring the most good to the most amount of people. And sometimes, being kind requires a lot of empathy. I would want to create a movement where everyone would pause for a moment and imagine being in another person’s shoes. Perhaps it’s someone they don’t always agree with or get along with. Let’s seek to better understand each other by regularly asking ourselves “Can I relate to how this person might be feeling?” or “Why might this person becoming at the situation from this perspective?”

Big fan of that answer and in promoting kindness! Can you please also give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?

It’s difficult to narrow it down to one, but something Martin Luther King Jr. said strongly resonates: “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”

The lesson here is to take pride in everything you do. That there are no short cuts and if you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. All work is meaningful and adds value, so go all in, regardless of how big or small you perceive the task. I share this quote with my team, and even my kids, regularly as a reminder that pride, and ultimately passion, are paramount. I can teach someone HR, but I can’t teach someone passion for HR and I can’t teach someone to take pride in what they do. That pride, that passion, must come from within — that’s how you make an impact.

We are very blessed to have some of the biggest names in Business, VC, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private lunch with, and why?

I would love to have lunch with Amy Schumer. She is unapologetically and authentically herself, and her strength inspires me. She uses her platform in a positive way, with conversations full of refreshing, raw honesty and comic relief. I appreciate Amy’s vulnerability, how she shares her journey from pregnancy to motherhood, and takes a stand on issues that matter to her (and many others!) — all while being a working mom! So, Amy, if you’re reading this and want to talk the life of a working mom, trying to do good, getting the washing done, making school plays, texting people back, working out, losing weight, presenting to our board of directors, cooking dinner, building the best Lego Frozen castle and being a good person, please hit me up at @aussiemum7!

Thank you so much for these fantastic insights!

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