Life moves quickly and in time everything changes. If you want to see where you are going, you start in the moment you are in and take it from there.
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 Lisa Vasquez-Fedrizzi.
Lisa Vasquez-Fedrizzi is Managing Director, People and Action and leads the Talent and HR Advisory practices at Cheer Partners, an employee experience agency. Lisa brings her 20 years of HR experience to help guide large and small organizations through various stages of growth, including recruiting, talent development and engagement, and bespoke learning and development programs.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! First, please tell us what brought you to this specific career path?
I had a deep passion for making an impact on people’s lives. Bringing change, equity, and creativity to the roles I had found myself in was important to me. I had worked in different verticals, but each opportunity was about giving back where I could and making an impact at that organization. I was given an incredible opportunity to move into HR after the SVP of HR saw something in me that I hadn’t seen in myself. Twenty-one years later, I am still with her making changes and disrupting the world of HR!
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?
One of the companies I worked for had completed an interesting M&A of a competitor company. It was a great opportunity to merge all the incredible talent into one company and I was excited to onboard our new colleagues. I always knew North Carolina allowed qualifying residents to carry a concealed handgun, but I was stunned, shocked, and probably frozen in place for a few minutes when I saw a sign at the receptionist desk that read, “please check in your weapons.” Lesson learned for me was, never underestimate the power of the receptionist who carries a big responsibility!
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?
Finding the right addition: It is not always about the in-the-moment search but really taking the time to look at a potential candidate with a long-term strategy in mind. Do they identify and meet the values and mission of your company? Focus your efforts on finding the right person that is in it for the long haul.
Re-interview/re-hire your current employees: Sometimes, the right talent for the role you are trying to fill is right in front of you. Make it a habit of having active conversations with your employees. Follow the career path that has been carved out for them.
Inclusivity: Build your team with people who are not just like you or the hiring manager. Homogeneity damages a team’s collective performance. Celebrate challenging the norms and open up to being an inclusive environment. Talent does not fall short because a candidate shows their authentic self. Talent skyrockets when you are able to bring your true self to work.
Conversation structure: Structuring your interview with the candidate allows you to ensure that you ask the right questions. While we all would love to have a candidate with a high EQ and who can speak industry lingo, they are not always the correct candidate for your team. Their future success depends on you and how you structure your interview. Set up a conversation and present scenarios — this will allow you to see how they think tactically and strategically. By doing so, you keep the interview structured and it gives you the opportunity to determine if this person will be successful all around, rather than just having someone who can spit out the jargon but is unable to produce quality work.
Interview time: This sets the tone for how the conversation goes. I always give enough time when scheduling an interview, so the candidate has time to research our company, perhaps read through thought leadership pieces on our website/social channels, and come back armed with questions. This is an important part of the exercise that shows me the passion behind the candidate and truly demonstrates how interested they are in joining our team to grow and push great content and work for our clients.
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?
When I reach out to a candidate, I love to share who we are to attract and engage in a conversation with them. It’s about giving them substantial reasons why they would love to join our team. This can be a bulleted list, a snippet of a case study, or just a simple email as to why we have been listed as a Best Place to Work.
Another way is to join a live event, like an employer spotlight to showcase your roles and your company EVP to passive candidates who may be watching from a distance, but not sure when to approach for roles.
Most importantly, a great way to attract passive talent is to tap into your team. Your employees are your best brand ambassadors. By having them share their employee experience within their network, it opens the door to incredible candidates and a great referral for them that comes with a referral bonus!
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
The DE&I movement is one that I’m passionate about and committed to moving forward. It is not a band-aid fix, but rather a fundamental change that is needed and continuously improved upon. The DE&I movement is helping to promote equality and an even playing field for all to be a part of, creating a system that hires, promotes, and acknowledges all employees — no matter where they come from — bringing new perspectives that help grow companies and positively impact revenues.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” (CS Lewis)
This is relevant to me because it is not about how you start, but truly how you finish. Life moves quickly and in time everything changes. If you want to see where you are going, you start in the moment you are in and take it from there.
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?
It would have to be Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. She is an incredible professional who knew what she wanted to do and the changes she wanted to make, and she forged her own path, not allowing socioeconomic and other factors deter her from her focus and her accomplishments. There is so much she has achieved without compromising her values and integrity and that inspires me each day.
Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us today!