How Companies Identify Talent with Jodie Morman of NEST & Kage Spatz

HR Strategy Series with Kage Spatz, Founder of

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NEST Human Resources Hiring Strategies

Being in HR and living in the world today requires open-mindedness and understanding people and situations. Having insight and using good judgment vs. being right.

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 Jodie Morman.

Jodie Morman has been the Vice President of Human Resources for NEST Integrated Facilities Management since 2012. She brings over 20 years of experience in leading operational and human resource management, with particular skills in establishing goals in line with the strategic vision of the company. Jodie is responsible for the company’s Human Resources Administration, Employee Relations, Recruitment, Compensation, Benefits Administration, and Company Payroll.

Jodie is a graduate of the University of Delaware and is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management. She leads fundraising efforts for the MS Society and volunteers for the Girl Scouts of America.

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

With a criminal justice degree from the University of Delaware, I had always dreamed of working for the FBI. But after completing college, I realized that path wasn’t for me.

I landed my first position in the investigation field for a non-governmental agency. That position allowed me to learn from the ground floor and gain experience in Operations, Management, and Human Resources. HR soon became my focus.

Can you share the most interesting or funny story that happened to you since you started this career and what lesson you learned from that?

When I first interviewed for a position with NEST in 2011, I did not get the job. The person I interviewed with reached out to me nine months later when their first choice did not pan out long-term. I accepted the offer, and the rest is history. That experience reinforced key lessons to maintain great relationships and to keep an open mind.

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. HR fundamentals — At NEST, we make sure to recruit in the proper sectors with tailored job postings and accurate job descriptions — it may sound obvious, but you need to start with perfecting these fundamentals.
  2. Employee referrals — We make sure our employees know about our open positions. Some of our best employees come from an internal recommendation.
  3. Executive alumni — we tap into our executive team’s respective alma maters to help with our college recruitment. It works.
  4. Best talent — as a result of the pandemic, we have decided to open our searches nationwide, regardless of location. If you can accomplish the job remotely and are highly skilled, you no longer need to be located near our offices in New Jersey or Florida.
  5. Comprehensive interview process — we have an in-house recruiting specialist that we promoted from within and understands multiple departments. Our recruiter and our HR managers are part of an extensive interview and vetting process to ensure we hire the best candidates.

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. Highlight the company — fortunately at NEST, we have a great story to tell. And we tell it a lot. In the nine years I’ve been with NEST, the company has more than doubled in size and we have no debt. We have also been a “Top Workplace” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and “Best Place to Work” by the Philadelphia Business Journal — all nominated and awarded due to employee feedback from surveys.
  2. Benefits — bonus opportunities, medical, 401k, vacation, work-from-home
  3. Philanthropy — NEST has put philanthropy at the forefront since we were founded in 1994. During the pandemic, we started NEST Nurtures and donated $100,000 to charities across the country despite the uncertainty. It’s more than just the dollar amount, with our company it’s about making a real impact, volunteering, and building relationships with nonprofits. Showing a job candidate the impact we make in communities goes a long way.

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

Many of my colleagues and I have the opportunity to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey and see the incredible work they do for families. I’d love to see more for-profit companies take a greater role in philanthropy.

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?

Oprah Winfrey. She reminds me of my Grandmother. Oprah is such an accomplished female and shares the same birthday with me.

Thank you for sharing your story and so many valuable insights with us today!

Attract more talent (and customers): “9 DIY Ways Your Business Can Earn Free PR In 2021”

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