Big Fish In The Talent Pool


Big Fish in the Talent Pool is a podcast hosted by Erin McDermott Peterson, a former Global Head of Talent Acquisition and RPO General Manager. She interviews current Fortune 500 Global Heads of TA exclusively, about the joys and challenges of TA Leadership. Everything from employment branding, to new technologies, to culture and unconscious bias in hiring, global team management, smart sourcing, the talent market, assessment tools, to RPO decisions, and more!The format is a sort of a fireside chat - like listeners are overhearing a coffee conversation, with leaders at the top of their game regarding strategic and tactical problems and solutions they manage every day.If you are a corporate recruiter, an aspiring leader, a current recruiting leader, executive search partner, or a TA product vendor wondering what keeps Corporate Recruiting Leaders up at night, Big Fish in the Talent Pool is your podcast.


  • Episode 28: Agile Hiring in the Roller Coaster of 2020 Demand

    Episode 28: Agile Hiring in the Roller Coaster of 2020 Demand

    19/10/2020 Duração: 50min

    In this Big Fish episode, we are showcasing a learning session from #RPOACON2020 Virtual Conference in which Erin moderates a panel discussion with three Big Fish of the RPO world: Cory Kruse of Orion Novotus, John Hess of Advanced RPO, and Jason Krumwiede of Broadleaf Results. With Agile methodology from the world of software development as the backdrop, these leaders make the case for recruitment process outsourcing as a solution to the extreme volatility in demand caused by the Pandemic of 2020. In this honest and fun conversation on how the challenges of this crazy year have forced everyone - including RPO providers - to rethink the way things are done, Cory, Jason, and John discuss their challenges and solutions openly. Everything from using daily stand-ups to stay organized and nimble, to project-based RPO to remove risks, to using new technology in ramping down and up support quickly. It’s a wild ride, and we think you’ll enjoy the banter between these experienced competitors and “frenemies”, inclu

  • Episode 27: Around the (Talent Acquisition) World with Sheila Crosby Powell of GHD

    Episode 27: Around the (Talent Acquisition) World with Sheila Crosby Powell of GHD

    07/10/2020 Duração: 38min

    Truly global Talent Acquisition leadership starts with understanding the business and the brand, according to Sheila Crosby Powell, the Global Talent Acquisition Leader for Engineering Environmental and Architectural Construction Services Firm GHD. This employee-owned, global consulting firm has 10,000 people covering most of the globe in Australia/New Zealand, greater Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America, giving Sheila plenty of opportunity and challenge. In our discussion, Sheila outlines her approach to applying 30+ years of global TA experience - all with one company, Accenture - to upgrading GHD’s TA candidate experience, technology, and brand. “As a company, your brand is tied to the kind of people you're going to attract and the kind of company you're going to become. So, TA and marketing have to be linked together to make a positive impact.” Sheila is based in Phoenix, Arizona, but has worked and traveled internationally for most of her career. Having been to Australia, Europe, and A

  • Episode 26: Exec Recruiting on a Global Scale - Diana Barr of Boeing

    Episode 26: Exec Recruiting on a Global Scale - Diana Barr of Boeing

    23/09/2020 Duração: 33min

    "We try to operate exactly like a retained executive search firm - even though we are in-house." So says Diana Barr, the Head of Global Executive Staffing at Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, global defense, space and security systems. Diana joined them in 2019 to build an "internal search firm" as a fresh approach to their senior leadership staffing strategy, including sourcing, assessment, diversity and inclusion, and succession planning across an international footprint. Having started her career as an HR generalist for Marriott International, she determined that recruiting - specifically executive recruiting - was the most challenging and enjoyable part of her day. She struck out on her own to focus and gain exec hiring experience, and later joined Heidrick & Struggles to refine her skills. She also spent time recruiting top talent for a Private Equity firm(Enesco)and then with the industrial e-commerce giant, Grainger, before joining Boe

  • Episode 25: What You Always Wanted to Know About RPO...

    Episode 25: What You Always Wanted to Know About RPO...

    09/09/2020 Duração: 47min

    In this Big Fish bonus episode, we are showcasing the RPOA Webinar - a candid conversation between Erin and two former podcast guests, Nicole Cox and Robert Navarrete. The Webinar is titled “What You Always Wanted to Know About RPO, But Didn’t Know Who to Ask”. As the Head of Talent Acquisition at OnTrak, Inc., Nicole brings her RPO and Staffing Agency knowledge to a corporate “build” role for the first time in her career. Similarly, Rob is now the Director and Head of Recruitment at Willis Towers Watson NA, but spent a good part of his career in RPO client team and sourcing leadership roles. Both Nicole and Rob freely share their RPO insider perspectives for the benefit of current TA or HR leaders who may be contemplating an RPO partnership but are not sure where to start. They discuss everything from evaluating which roles are best to outsource, how to choose a partner, negotiations, pricing, implementation, governance - all the most important pieces to “get right” in a successful RPO relationship.

  • Episode 24: The Business Value of Talent: Melissa Mounce of GTCR, LLC

    Episode 24: The Business Value of Talent: Melissa Mounce of GTCR, LLC

    24/08/2020 Duração: 34min

    “Talent acquisition is so core to the business... it’s not just nice motherhood and apple pie initiatives... it’s a critical business function”. So says Melissa Mounce, the Managing Director - Leadership Talent and Diversity at GTCR, the Chicago based private equity firm which holds leadership as a key to their growth strategy. In fact, their approach to finding and partnering with portfolio leadership in core domains is actually trademarked as The Leaders Strategy™. It follows that their Talent and Diversity Leader might have some interesting insights on finding and assessing executive talent to share with us, especially given her career’s foundation in business. No stranger to tough environments, Melissa started her career in Chicago with Motorola Solutions as a global business strategy “road warrior”, and then moved to a business process consulting role with EY/Capgemini. PNC Bank was the beginning of her Talent Acquisition career where she applied her business skills to their large scale hiring chal

  • Episode 23: The Future of TA Media: Todd Raphael of

    Episode 23: The Future of TA Media: Todd Raphael of

    07/08/2020 Duração: 34min

    Todd Raphael is the Marketing Content Manager at, the industry’s first Talent Intelligence Platform. Having joined them in 2019, he has reinvented himself using his media and conference management capabilities from his years at ERE Media,, and Nelson Communications to create content and brand buzz for one of the emerging innovations in HR Tech. In this Big Fish episode, Todd shares his perspective on the advantages of virtual events and conferences as well as how advanced AI & empirical data can help revolutionize the workplace. He has advice for future and current leaders focused on the importance of efficient messaging across multiple platforms. Todd believes that “ultimately, it’s not the platform, but the message. And the message has to be current and stay with the times.” We also discuss how “legacy universities and legacy programs are not always the best way to decipher someone’s capability and potential” and that it’s less about accolades and more about what you can bring t

  • Episode 22: Differentiated Leadership: Rob Navarrete of Willis Towers Watson

    Episode 22: Differentiated Leadership: Rob Navarrete of Willis Towers Watson

    22/07/2020 Duração: 32min

    Robert Navarrete is the Director and Head of Recruitment at Willis Towers Watson NA. Having joined them in January 2020, he brings to his new role deep talent acquisition experience from global leadership roles with SAS, Capital One, and Aon, where Erin and Rob were colleagues in their Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) business. As a Canadian with Hispanic heritage, and a member of the LGBT+ community, Rob shares his personal perspective on what it means to become “comfortable in one’s own skin” as a leader with a multi-diverse perspective. He has advice for future and current leaders on inheriting a team and establishing credibility in the first 90 days in leadership. We also discuss how best to handle mistakes (spoiler alert: with humility and curiosity), and his top criteria for recruiters he hires including creativity, perseverance, and a keen focus on candidate experience. Topics Discussed: Leaning on flexibility during COVID-19 Characteristics and examples of a great mentor The biggest cha

  • Episode 21: Going Inside with Nicole Cox of OnTrak, Inc.

    Episode 21: Going Inside with Nicole Cox of OnTrak, Inc.

    09/07/2020 Duração: 33min

    Nicole Cox is the Head of Talent Acquisition at OnTrak, Inc. She is an experienced TA operations leader drawing her experience from the agency, RPO, and contract recruitment space, primarily in healthcare and biotech. Nicole helped establish and grow Decision Toolbox before their acquisition by Engage2Excel in 2016 and was their Chief Talent Officer. Nicole left E2E in 2019 to go “inside” for the first time in her career and now leads the daunting but exciting process of establishing the TA function - the people, process, and technology to power growth for OnTrak into the future. Her guiding principle: “Design what you want or you deal with what you get.” Nicole shares her perspective on what makes a great recruiter, why curiosity matters in TA leadership, and how feedback is essential for growth. In her words, “Anybody looking to grow their TA career needs to focus on listening, observing, partnering up with some really good mentors and continuously asking for feedback in areas to improve.” Topics Dis

  • Episode 20: Hiring with Emotional Intelligence: Kelley Shoemaker of Ryan Companies

    Episode 20: Hiring with Emotional Intelligence: Kelley Shoemaker of Ryan Companies

    23/06/2020 Duração: 35min

    Kelley Shoemaker is the Director of Recruiting at Minneapolis based Ryan Companies US, Inc., where she brings the emotional intelligence she has learned throughout her career to this people-centric business every day. In a business that thrives on diversity and productivity, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and racial unrest of 2020, EI comes in handy! With previous experience in finance, operations, and advertising, Kelley brings a unique perspective to creating opportunities for those who desire to lead with confidence, ambition, and humility. In this episode, Erin and Kelley discuss the importance of inclusivity and diversity as well as learning from our past mistakes. Kelley maintains the key to success is pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone while keeping people at the forefront. She encourages those she mentors to find their voice, confidence, and gain an outside perspective, as they evolve into their greatest potential. Topics Discussed: Learning to balance confidence and humili

  • Episode 19: Katrina Collier, The Searchologist

    Episode 19: Katrina Collier, The Searchologist

    08/06/2020 Duração: 34min

    Katrina Collier, a.k.a. The Searchologist, is the highly sought after Recruitment facilitator, keynote speaker, author of The Robot-Proof Recruiter and The Robot-Recruiter Mastermind & Certification, co-host of The #SocialRecruiting Show, and founder of DisruptHR in the UK. Drawing on her early-career experience as a recruiter, sourcer, and manager, she has helped thousands globally become better TA professionals and grow their careers. Originally from Australia, Katrina now lives in London and brings an energetic, cheeky, and infectious style to the topic of humanizing recruiting. Even more interesting than her many accomplishments is her drive to do all of it with an eye to philanthropy. Her primary cause is Hope for Justice which aims to end human trafficking and modern slavery. Katrina uses every opportunity, including the proceeds from her book to boost their mission. For Katrina, personal values are intermingled with work, and she encourages all those she touches to work and serve with passion an

  • Episode 18: Fueling Growth in a Pandemic: Nate Ollestad of

    Episode 18: Fueling Growth in a Pandemic: Nate Ollestad of

    26/05/2020 Duração: 30min

    Nate Ollestad is no stranger to fast-growing companies, and it’s a good thing. As a tech recruiting veteran, he has cut his teeth in the agency world, then at Google, Rackspace, and Duo Security, and now applies that growth experience to building the team from the ground up at, the “Stitch Fix™ of children’s books”. As the Austin, TX-based startup unintentionally benefits from the world sheltering in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, Nate and his team are meeting the challenge of doubling their employee base by blending “new school” technology with “old school” core recruiting fundamentals. In their discussion, Nate and Erin dig deep into what makes a strategic and credible leader, including knowing your craft and not being afraid to move around and toggle from leader to individual contributor to learn new skills. They also review the personal experiences and challenges that have helped Nate refine his style, his TA tech stack priorities, personal branding goals, and his best advice to futu

  • Episode 17: Robin Erickson: TA Innovation and Compassion during the 2020 Global Pandemic

    Episode 17: Robin Erickson: TA Innovation and Compassion during the 2020 Global Pandemic

    11/05/2020 Duração: 30min

    Robin Erickson is a Principal Researcher for The Conference Board and is a rare returning BFitTP guest. She has a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication and spent the majority of her career in professional services (#Deloitte, #EY, #McKinsey ) until she became a research analyst. She now conducts ground-breaking research on HR, Talent Acquisition, Engagement, and Retention best practices. In this interview, Robin shares her research with @TheConferenceBoard #TalentAcquisition pivots during the global pandemic. As we dig into how we can learn from and bounce back from COVID-19, Robin gives innovative examples from companies using the situation for good. Listen in and be inspired by how your company and team can seize positive and productive opportunities during COVID-19. Topics Discussed: ● Best Practices for helping employees impacted by the global pandemic ● Short vs. long-term goals during COVID-19 ● Using the opportunity to work on employee engagement and a great candidate experience ● Practica

  • Episode 16: Running at the Tough Stuff with Nancy Johnson of Adtalem

    Episode 16: Running at the Tough Stuff with Nancy Johnson of Adtalem

    28/04/2020 Duração: 34min

    Nancy Johnson, VP of Talent Acquisition and Development for workforce solutions provider Adtalem Global Education brings a wealth of cross-industry HR experience from organizations like Caremark, RR Donnelly, and SaraLee. In this interview, Nancy shares how in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, her teams are exercising agility, creativity, and continued productivity, leveraging their experiences from recent hurricane-impacted regions. No stranger to challenges, Nancy talks about her own “curiosity with a little bit of impatience” that has shaped her career choices, and the experiences that have taught her how to effectively influence strategy, drive change and manage internal politics - critical skills for current and future TA Leaders. Topics Discussed: The value of TA through the broader HR lens Agility as a key skill in response to global change Cultivating the “softer side” of relationships to accompany a bias for action Engaging internal customers on the bigger picture of TA metrics and anecdote

  • Episode 15: Rob Dromgoole - The Power of Storytelling in Talent Acquisition

    Episode 15: Rob Dromgoole - The Power of Storytelling in Talent Acquisition

    13/04/2020 Duração: 33min

    Of all the Talent Acquisition Leader jobs I’ve seen, the most unique has to be Rob Dromgoole’s role at The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. And check your stereotypes about Native Americans at the door, because it’s not what you think. Their guiding principles are Faith, Family, and Culture, and The 10 Commandments are posted outside of every Choctaw Nation building. Servant leadership is the norm and they open every meeting with prayer. But Rob is no stranger to unique and challenging TA leader roles. He brings a load of experience recruiting impossible-to-find skill sets into out-of-the way geographies like Nuclear Engineers and Physicists to arid eastern Washington for Pacific Northwest National Laboratories. As a former editor and photojournalist for the US Army, Rob learned early in his career about the art of storytelling. Later while at Executive Search Firm ROI, Rob shares how his former boss would point out random individuals walking by in downtown Seattle and would ask him to “share their story”

  • Episode 14: Lisa Kain - Persevering Through Lifes Toughest Obstacles

    Episode 14: Lisa Kain - Persevering Through Life's Toughest Obstacles

    30/03/2020 Duração: 34min

    Among the tectonic shifts in healthcare, one of the most impactful is the innovation in cardiac monitoring devices, providing data and insights for heart patients never before captured or analyzed. The founders of iRhythm Technologies, Inc. disrupted this industry in the early 2010s and very quickly faced the escalating competition for biotech talent, prompting them to bring on Lisa Kain to lead their Talent Acquisition efforts. How Lisa met that challenge by drawing on all her previous experience is the subject of Episode 14 of the Big Fish Podcast. According to Lisa, being agile and flexible unlocks growth and resilience, important character traits for these uncertain times. Also, staying connected to the mission, believing in your team and challenging them as they fulfill that mission is key. In this interview, we discuss all that, as well as Lisa’s evolving career in Talent Acquisition. You’ll hear about Lisa’s formative years at Discover Financial Services, her Executive Recruiter role with Hewit

  • Episode 13: Marietta Cozzi: Wisdom for Uncertain Times

    Episode 13: Marietta Cozzi: Wisdom for Uncertain Times

    16/03/2020 Duração: 32min

    How does a 145-year-old employment brand stay relevant in the digital age? According to Marietta Cozzi, former Global Talent Acquisition Leader for Prudential, the keys are a clear mission, and rock-solid consistency in how customers, employees, and candidates are treated. Trust comes from knowing what to expect and having those expectations met or exceeded - which is exactly what Prudential is known for. In this Big Fish interview, we discuss all that, as well as Marietta’s great career in TA. You’ll hear how as a single mom she navigated a not-at-all clear path from a start in retail to increasingly challenging roles at American Express, to the top TA job at Pru, the Fortune 50 financial service powerhouse. We talk about lessons learned along the way, her advice for aspiring TA Leaders, and her view on hot new TA technologies vs. the personal touch. Marietta’s secret sauce is her high energy, mixed with a sense of humor, a bit of wisdom and a unique perspective from years of front-line and leadersh

  • Episode 12: Allison Kruse of Kforce

    Episode 12: Allison Kruse of Kforce

    28/10/2019 Duração: 35min

    Allison Kruse of Kforce describes her accidental path to Recruitment Marketing and Social Media guru from an unlikely starting point. She's become a trailblazer and mentor for others in corporate recruiting, staffing, and RPO environments, as well as a passionate volunteer. Her story is fun and inspirational - enjoy!

  • Episode 11: Sue Ceglinski

    Episode 11: Sue Ceglinski

    17/01/2019 Duração: 36min

    Sue Ceglinski is the Global Head of TA for US Pharmacopeia, the organization that develops and disseminates public quality standards for medicines, vitamins, and foods, setting standards to keep millions of people safe and healthy globally. We talk about the quirky start to her career as a Physician Recruiter, and how she has evolved to lead large and small TA Teams over time by being humble, curious, and willing to focus on the long-term mission.

  • Episode 10: Vera Stamenkovich

    Episode 10: Vera Stamenkovich

    11/12/2018 Duração: 34min

    Vera Stamenkovich is the Global Head of TA and HR Shared Services at Arrow Electronics, the Fortune 120 company based in Denver, Colorado, providing technology products, services, solutions and consultation. Vera tells stories of her own career transformation and takes us through the TA journey at Arrow from RPO to an in-house, business integrated approach to recruiting.

  • Episode 9: Carly Sanchez

    Episode 9: Carly Sanchez

    04/10/2018 Duração: 35min

    Carly Sanchez is the EVP of Talent Acquisition, Strategy & Delivery for Wells Fargo. Having cut her teeth in Admissions, and then Diversity and Inclusion, she ported those skills to corporate recruitment and strengthened her ability to manage recruitment through stressful times at AIG during the financial crisis. All this and more makes Carly uniquely qualified for this role overseeing 90,000 hires annually for Wells Fargo. No doubt you will enjoy overhearing our discussion!

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