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Ron Thomas


Vice President

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Blog: LivePerson – A culture-based approach to recruitment


This is my tweet (see below) from Thursday afternoon after I got a glimpse of LivePerson’s campaign to find a new CTO.

“A CTO with heart” does not quite fit into my mind when I think of a CTO. I know numerous Chief Technical Officers, but I would be hard pressed to figure out which one had “heart” in this context.
Last week I paid a visit to my good friend Steve Schloss, who is the Chief Human Resources Officer of LivePerson. Steve is one of the new breed of HR executives who is always pushing the envelope the direction where HR is headed. He is a true strategic partner to this organization. His work speaks for itself.
How is that for recruiting 3.0?
This unique campaign does not proceed down the normal path of finding talent. LivePerson produced a video with the CEO leading the charge.
This is followed by various workers talking about the company and what LivePerson is about. Only then does it veer towards the CTO role. Numerous people follow and talk about the type of person that would fit this role. Culture first through the talent lens is the way that I would describe it.
Not only that, but for the CTO who is ultimately recruited there will be a $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice. This unique approach will allow this campaign to filter through LivePerson’s culture and greatly increase the right fit for this company.
When Steve and I spoke, he said he is not concerned if the campaign does not connect with the vast majority of possible CTO candidates for this role. The minority that would be attracted would be the ones that they would be interested in hearing from.
However the people that see it, and the buzz generated about their company from it, will allow more prospective talent to give them a look. While maybe not all of it will be C-level material, they all will get a peek at the culture and know that this is the type of company that they want to work for.
Mission accomplished!
So where do I click to attach my resume, or cover letter, or other materials? There is no such button. However, there is a section that says “Tell us your story.” This takes you to your email account with the subject line that reads “I’m interested in the CTO with a heart campaign.” Now tell us your story.
How is that for an organizational message?
This campaign idea came out of a “community team” meeting around the topic, “How do we take the culture to the next level?” Their “community team” is a cross-functional team of inspired employees that meet from time to time on ways to enhance engagement and culture. This was not your normal collaboration with PR or the marketing team.
During our discussion, the phrase that kept coming through in our conversation was “making meaningful connections.” As a matter of fact, their mission statement reads “to create lasting, meaningful connections.”
I walked away that day marveling at how this progressive approach to finding, connecting, and motivating talent is the future of successful organizations.
This organizational approach to connecting everyone in this process shows the inside talent as well as outside talent what you are about. This approach does not come across as staged or mechanical, but the conversational style sets the right tone that we are a company that is different.
The HR department of the future will require organizations to focus on:
  • Attracting and retaining talent;
  • Strategic Recruiting;
  • Increasing value;
  • Organizational culture;
  • Organizational capabilities;
  • Leadership development; 
  • Change management.
As an HR professional, my hat is off to LivePerson because where our profession and organization are headed, they are leading the pack.

Ron Thomas is vice president of StrategyFocusedHR.

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Ron Thomas

Vice President

Read more from Ron Thomas

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