Season 1, Episode 3: Upskilling and Reskilling: The Key to Surviving 2021 with Johnny Campbell, CEO/Co-Founder, SocialTalent
Join us on the 3rd episode of The Transform Talent Podcast as we talk about the Skills Revolution with Johnny Campbell, CEO/Co-Founder of SocialTalent. In the last few months, we have witnessed the biggest reallocation of skills since World War II, with skills needs shifting from aviation and hospitality to driving, healthcare and IT at an unprecedented scale. Despite soaring levels of unemployment, acute skills shortages continue unabated, reinforcing the need to empower employees with the right tools and skills, now more than ever.
So how can organizations find the right employees to upskill and reskill? And to which skills? Why is it important to create a continuous learning environment? How can learning opportunities help retain talent and contribute to a better employee experience? As remote working is here to stay, how has it permanently changed our approach to learning & development? These, and many more questions (and answers!) in this episode!
–Hosts: Roberta Cucchiaro and Dominika Gałusa
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Roberta Cucchiaro: Today we're talking about the Skills Revolution. Organizations are transforming faster than they ever imagined possible, with shifts to remote working and digitization happening practically overnight in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Even before the pandemic, technical and human skills demands were changing faster than organizations could predict: in January 2020, 54% of companies globally said they couldn’t find the skills they needed — almost double what it was a decade ago. Fast forward just a few months and by March 2020, we were seeing the biggest workforce shift and reallocation of skills since World War II, with skills needs shifting from aviation and hospitality to driving, retail, healthcare and information security at an unprecedented scale.
Some roles became temporarily obsolete, others became in higher demand than ever before. Overnight we saw a sharp uptick in medial stuff, workers in manufacturing had to shift to producing hand sanitizer and PPE, cleaners needed to upskill and learn new and medically sound hygiene practices. And let’s not forget the IT specialists who embarked in the unimaginable task of securely setting up millions in home offices literally everywhere!
It’s in the context of this rapid transformation that we need to rethink how people are hired, work, and developed and retained, with the ultimate aim of creating an environment where flexibility can flourish alongside engagement and productivity. So, as we talk about the needs for a Skills Revolution with reskilling, upskilling, and continuous learning at the forefront, the first person that came to mind had to be Johnny Campbell co-founder and CEO of social talent, the world's leading learning platform dedicated to improving the hiring process. So hello, Johnny, welcome to the podcast.
Johnny Campbell: Hi Roberta, thanks so much for having me. It's great to be on the show.
Roberta Cucchiaro: It's our pleasure. So just to start and set the scene a bit, why don't you tell us a bit about yourself, how you entered the world of recruitment and what led you to co-found SocialTalent?
Johnny Campbell: Sure. I guess I've been a recruiter for all my professional life. I started as a recruiter out of university. Like most people I fell into this profession. Worked in the staffing agency business for 10, 12 years and set up my own agency with a partner in 2008 at the beginning of the last big recession. We didn't know it was the beginning of the recession, of course. And from that time, I guess back in ‘08 or ‘09, the market was being affected by two big things: our recession, but also the massive growth in social media and online information. And that forced us to think differently about how we hired on behalf of the companies we were working for. And we embraced digital, embraced social, and the new way of sourcing and finding talent. And quite quickly realized that rather than growing a staffing agency, we thought that our role, if you like in life, was to educate the rest of the world on how to use these new digital skills. And hence social talent was born 10 years ago this month. So, we've obviously scaled to become an online learning ed-tech business with users all over the world. And you know, for me, it's a fascinating time coming out of COVID, you know, especially as the world has really had to rush to embrace and accelerate the transition towards more online learning tools. It's a pretty exciting time.
Roberta Cucchiaro: I also have another question and as a big fan of Japan and ninjas, I have to ask it. So, what's the story behind the SocialTalent ninjas and does it have anything to do with Japan?
Johnny Campbell: I would love to say I created this off my own brain or wisdom. So, two things. One is that the ninjas are really important. We don't certify people with a certificate in XYZ, they get black belts, they're ninjas, they get badges. And what I found that early on in my learning career in SocialTalent was that that kind of badging or awarding is really important to the learner. And I learned that people really want to be able to prove that they have this knowledge and they're quite proud of their achievements. But the ninjas came really from a conference in Birmingham. I was speaking on stage at a recruiting conference talking about the different sourcing techniques and someone tweeted out on the hashtag of the conference, you know, complimentary saying that my presentation was good and said, "I feel like a sourcing ninja." And then somebody else said, "So do I." And it got retweeted. I came out off stage and I looked at the Twitter feed and I was like, "That's really cool." I came back to our team and said, "This is great. Sourcing Ninjas are a really, really good thing. Why don't we use this?" And by the next week, we had it on our website, we had it on our branding, we were a much smaller company. And I guess the ninjas exploded from there. We got a character created. The birth of the ninjas was a tweet from someone in the audience at a conference in Birmingham about eight years ago. And I still don't know who that person is today to this day.
Roberta Cucchiaro: You don't? Okay, so nothing to do with Japan…
Johnny Campbell: No. Unfortunately, nothing with Japan. In fact, it's a cultural faux pas in Japan, not everyone's happy being called a ninja. We've had some teams who pushed back. You have to be a little bit sensitive culturally about where ninja works and where it doesn't work. But, you know, we do have a lot of users and ninjas in Japan. And for the most part, they really embrace it and love it too.
Dominika Gałusa: I’d love to be called a ninja one day too. I’d like to come back to the topic of reskilling, upskilling and continuous learning. I recently read an article which says that OECD estimates that 1.1 billion jobs will be radically transformed by technology in the next decade. 1 billion… it’s almost 1/8 of the world’s population! It must give you a perspective on why the Skills Revolution is so important to talk about right now. And according to ManpowerGroup’s Skills Revolution 4.0 report, companies not pursuing any future workforce strategies are only around half as confident of creating new jobs in the near-term as those rolling up their sleeves and putting actions in place. We need a Skills Revolution - we were actually there first more than 4 years ago with our Skills Revolution report. We predicted this. We are also a founding supporter of Saadia’s Zahidi Reskilling Revolutions. Saadia is the Managing Director of the World Economic Forum. I wanted to ask you if you could define each of them for us. Reskilling, upskilling and continuous learning. And I'm particularly interested in knowing how are they different from each other and why is it important to understand the differences?
Johnny Campbell: It is important to understand the differences and Dominika, you're correct there. When you look at upskilling: upskilling is somebody who's in a job whose job is evolving. So Roberta mentioned at the start, for example, someone who might be a cleaner and that person in the kind of COVID times had to upscale and learn about new kind of medical levels of cleanliness, etc. Right? So it's the same job at its core, but you have to try to adopt or update your skills. Update of skills, if you'd like, is a good way of thinking about it.
Whereas reskilling might be somebody whose job doesn't exist anymore. So through some change in the environment and some change in the world, there isn't a need for your job. So it might be temporary, for example, my childminder's husband worked in a bar, in a pub for many, many years. Through COVID he's found himself out of work a lot in the shutdowns and has changed. So he's decided to change jobs and he's reskilled as a driver for Tesco, one of the biggest retailer in the world. So that's reskilling where you're not just updating your skills for the same job, you're saying I'm going to work in a completely different job. I'm going to learn all the processes of that, which has happened to a lot of people again this year, that example being just one of them.
Whereas continuous learning, I think it's more of a philosophy and approach. It's certainly something that we use with the companies we work with, which is to rather than wait for a change and then react on either upscale or rescale, it's to always be learning and evolving your skills, recognizing that there may not be a moment like there was in 2020, where everything will change. It's more that every day things are certainly changing and therefore it's best that you are constantly upskilling and developing new skills. Some of which you may use, some of which you may not use, but you're going to have more opportunities for you as a worker if you are continuously learning.
Roberta Cucchiaro: And I think that the strategy for continuous learning and the mindset as well can help, for example, to boost the team morale. It improves collaboration. It also helps with employer brand because you can attract better talent and your employer brand is stronger as well. So my question is really around retaining talent. How can learning opportunities help retain talent and contribute to a better employee experience? And question within a question, is the learning opportunity enough by itself to achieve these things? Or how should it be managed?
Johnny Campbell: Retention is a really interesting thing. A lot of individuals believe that retention is all about giving somebody a promotion and therefore unless you have a promotion to offer somebody you're not going to be able to retain them. Whereas all the data suggests that people want more opportunities. An opportunity is not necessarily a promotion as in an upward promotion, which is what most people think about. What you're looking for are more challenges. I think most of us will settle into our role after six to twelve months, and we'd have our first full year really enjoying the new role, getting into it. But by two, two and a half years into a job, it may become repetitive. And therefore to remain engaged, you want to have new challenges.
So it could be that you're doing the same job in a different country. It could be that you're doing the same job with a different team. It might be that you're now starting to work on other projects with other individuals. It could be that you are being promoted upwards to a more senior role. Or you've been moved to a different area. All of these things provide opportunity being the number one thing that people are looking for to remain engaged. And if you're engaged, busy, enjoying your work, you'll stay in an organization. Notwithstanding other factors, of course, that have to exist. And learning is to me the lever that enables all of those things. If you're going to promote someone as a manager, you're going to have to provide that person with managerial training. If you're going to have them work on more projects with colleagues, you need to perhaps provide that colleague with more training on how project management works, on how to manage their time, or if they're going to be working, perhaps in a new country as part of the business, maybe upscale them on the culture or the different behaviors.
Without learning, it's very difficult for those opportunities to be realized and for the employee to really make the most of that. And you can have a situation like, I have been here before: I promoted somebody into a managerial role, because she was an excellent individual contributor, provided her with no support on learning to become a manager. And so that person really struggled for six to nine months. Thankfully, we were able to identify that and fix that, but that person could have left the business. That's where you provide what you think is the opportunity and that's a traditional upward mobility opportunity, but you forget to put the learning resources in place and that's where it really breaks down. So I think it's critical to think about learning as being essential, alongside any opportunity you're providing your employees, which is critical of course to their engagement.
Roberta Cucchiaro: Yeah, absolutely. Actually, I also read an article recently about it, which made a really interesting point about employee empowerment and how learning opportunities can foster that. Because you can give the opportunity to people that maybe come from a less privileged background and maybe did not have a chance to go to university, to learn on the job and get better at it while working. It's really interesting and is really the definition of what we've been talking about in the last months about diversity and inclusion.
Johnny Campbell: And if I can add one thing that I find interesting from the last few years is: on our platform you would assign learning, typically the learning is assigned to somebody based on what their manager or the business believes is the right learning path for them to go in their career. We introduced a new function on our system three, four years ago, where you could as a user, explore outside your learning path and find something else. I find it fascinating over the last three, four years since we introduced that and I'm sure other platforms find the exact same thing. We find that 50% of the learning of an average user is off learning path as in not assigned to her. I think it's really important to allow that control, that ability for somebody to, in addition to the learning that's assigned to them, you know, in the more deliberate fashion to perhaps upskill and reskill is that they can go explore their own opportunities. They have the opportunity right to do that, to retrain in an area that perhaps their manager or their business hasn't thought will be good for them. I've seen that really take off.
I've seen people really kind of embrace learning that wasn't necessarily ever going to be assigned to them, but they've chosen that path and discovered that. That's an extremely important part of the learning journey: the ability to explore, not just to be provided with the opportunity, which might be assigned to you, but allow you to go find your own opportunities as well.
Dominika Gałusa: Definitely. Self-learning is so important. Self-learners have a strong commitment to tasks as they learn to stick to the plan until the achieve their goals. It also gives an employee a sense of empowerment, building the learning culture in the workplace. From PowerYou, our online learning platform that has been running since 1998 and innovation initiatives globally to the ManpowerGroup Academies, the investment in upskilling and reskilling never really stops. So if organizations should encourage training and development because it contributes to employee retention, should they then be focused on hiring only the employees who have the potential to be skilled, looking at qualities like enthusiasm for the role and the capacity to learn?
Johnny Campbell: Absolutely organizations should be encouraging training and development. If you're not, you are going to a standstill. That's just a given and I think we all agree on that. But should they then be focused on hiring only the employees who have the potential to be scaled? So that's an interesting question. I first kind of thought about this about four or five years ago, I was at a conference, a LinkedIn conference. There was a speaker on stage, Jennifer Carpenter, who was at the time, the VP of Talent for Accenture. And she spoke about Accenture's journey. Accenture is an organization that employs, I think something like 600,000 people and typically they employ individuals who have what we might call emerging skills, or at least there's a demand for the most bleeding-edge skills from a consultancy company like Accenture.
She took us on a journey in the audience of how Accenture had originally started hiring for IQ. That's hiring the smartest people in the room, you know, best academics. They’ve moved over the years to hiring for EQ, hiring people who are better people people, if you'd like, emotional quotient. But more lately and this again was four or five years ago that they had moved on to hiring people for LQ, what they call the learning quotient.
And she explained this in the context of this ever-evolving change in the workplace skills that are in demand, that seems to be accelerating all the time. That we read about all the time in the reports that the workplace skills of today are not the workplace skills of tomorrow. People try and find what are the new skills that we have to watch out for? And Jennifer explained that Accenture was the same. They were looking for what are the next new skills and how do we train them up. And this race was proving to be one they could not win, no one could win.
And they decided that the best way to therefore compete was to hire people who had a high learning quotient. Regardless of what the skills might be, because it was impossible to predict accurately if they had a workforce that could quickly adapt to new skills, they would win. I find that really interesting. And it's certainly if you're a knowledge-based business, it's an important way to consider it, you know, rather than chasing the skills today. If you look at all the data, the one thing we can agree on is that the skills today will change. They will change probably faster than they did last year. And it's probably impossible to predict exactly what skills you will need. But if you have individuals who are more plastic in their mind, have a growth mindset and you have an organization that can support the development of those skills, then you will win.
Dominika Gałusa: That's interesting you mentioned LQ because it's such a fascinating trend. In partnership with Hogan Assessments, ManpowerGroup has developed a web-based visual assessment to identify each individual's LQ and one of the key benefits is exactly enabling decision making around development and indicating employee agility and mobility. LQ is always changing so is the workplace. Your LQ reflects your desire and ability to grow and adapt to new circumstances and challenges throughout your work life. I’d like to talk now about skills. What are the top three skills that organizations search for in candidates? I'm really curious to know about your experience.
Johnny Campbell: So, there isn't a top three for every organization. But I think what we all agree these days is that, what are traditionally called soft skills, or maybe we'll call them human skills, are certainly becoming more popular than traditional hard skills. A hard skill of somebody that gets computer science, right? You academically study something and you understand the concepts, whereas a soft or human skill might be leadership, persuasion, influence. I'm finding that the more and more we bring robots, computers, technology in place, and they typically are very good at replacing hard skill type roles. You know, something has to be done that's more algorithmic. There is a process to follow. Even if it could be a very complicated algorithm. An algorithm needs to process. Don't forget. If you are baking a cake, that's an algorithm. You open your cookbook, you follow the instructions from Jamie Oliver or whomever, and you follow it. If you follow it correctly, you should end up with a similar cake to what you see in the book. Maybe not quite as pretty, but similar maybe as tasty. That's an algorithm and algorithmic jobs can be replaced by machines.
But imagine trying to persuade a grumpy 14-year-old to actually bake the cake. I don't think you're going to get an algorithm to do that. It requires somebody who understands the emotional piece, is able to persuade, listen, empathize. And they're the skills that I think employers are investing in more and more. And there are the skills to hire for regardless of your role. It could be, for example, in a healthcare situation, you're going to have to play up obviously empathy and all those human skills.
It's why we're seeing a growth in healthcare jobs because we are doubling down on those human skills and you aren't seeing machines and robots taking over there. But also in the workplace, leadership, coaching, these are all skills that we're seeing, really, really high critical reasoning and trying to evaluate all the different options in a human context. Again, these are the top skills that we're seeing from LinkedIn and their skill sets that they produce every six months. We're seeing this in McKinsey's, we're seeing this in World Economic reports. It's all consistently those softer human skills, critical thinking, leadership, coaching, persuasion that are coming up. And I think you're going to see that for the next 10, 20, 30 years.
Roberta Cucchiaro: And actually, you mentioned the World Economic Forum, some really interesting stats came out from the recent Future of Jobs Report, which says that well, apart from the fact that Learning according to data that was put together by Coursera, the online learning provider, in the recent months, there has been an incredible uptick in learning and upskilling online. But there's a very interesting trend: the difference between the learning paths chosen between those who are currently employed and those unemployed. So according to this report, those in employment are placing a larger emphasis on personal development courses. So self-management, echoing earlier findings on the importance of wellbeing in the workplace, while those that are currently unemployed have placed greater emphasis on learning digital skills such as data analysis, computer science, IT, so the skills important for the emerging jobs in engineering, cloud computing, data, AI. Like what you were saying before as well. So, I'm really curious to see whether you also witnessed this kind of trend and difference between the two groups in SocialTalent.
Johnny Campbell: Yeah. So it's not surprising that those unemployed or out of work are reskilling because that makes sense. And you're going to have to bring in probably hard skills into play for that. But in the context of being in a job and not having lost your job, there's been a huge amount of anxiety, we've all felt in 2020. We had so much fear about uncertainty. I know from our perspective when we were engaging with our customers and helping to build learning paths for their teams, you know, back in spring, summer in the Northern Hemisphere in 2020, what we found was that employers didn't want to put additional pressure on their employees by asking them to upskill or reskill. They wanted to make sure that they weren't adding to the anxiety. If you were to say to somebody, I need you to learn a new coding language, or I need you to upskill in this skill by this date, that was probably the wrong time.
So instead we saw employers say, well, how can we help you? What do you need? You know, give me some training on how I can better plan my day. How I can manage my mental health. Give me some wellness activities I can work on. How to not break down, not lose my stuff, you know? So that was a very much a smart reaction to the fragility of employees in their jobs, through the early part of the pandemic.
I suspect as we go into 2021, though, that will be replaced by a more conscious focus on traditional upskilling and reskilling, and you'll see those two groups begin to look a lot more similar to each other.
Dominika Gałusa: In ManpowerGroup, we often talk about the build, buy, borrow, bridge model. It emphasizes the importance of investing in learning and development, going to the market to attract the right talent that cannot be found in house, cultivating communities of talent beyond the organizations and helping people to move on or move up roles. So as we go to 2021, how do we ensure bridging by finding the best employees to reskill and to which skill actually?
Johnny Campbell: Well, the million-dollar question, isn't it? I do think it is important to look at the flexibility that the World Economic Forum report that Roberta mentioned. There's going to be a great deal more uncertainty. So the workforce you will need to be able to react to uncertainty. So they'll need to, of course, be more resilient and that's going to be really important.
Resilience is something that I've been talking to several learning experts for years about the need to develop more resilience. They initially talked about Gen Z coming out of university several years ago, entering the workforce, and how they have been measured as the least resilient generation. Whether that's true or not, I'm not sure, but I've heard this a lot. And then you have the existing workforce who've gone through this massive shock, and we have to basically look at resilience. So resilience is a big, big thing that we need to look for and hire for.
But adaptability, flexibility, agility, whatever word you want to give it, these are other skills that we need in the workplace for next year. Of course, you need basic digital skills. You see that in the unemployed market, where learning around basic digital skills has been growing. But that's being predicted by many, including McKinsey's being one of the big, big growth areas for the next decade is what they call basic digital skills. How do I use Zoom? How do I get on my laptop? How do I fix my internet if it breaks? You're not going to have an IT department in a remote working environment there to help you. They can log on but you have to get into your computer to fix those things right in the first place. Or reboot your router. How do you do all that stuff? So basic digital skills are really important. I think they're really important in jobs we never thought of before. There would have been a lot of professions in roles where we wouldn't have thought basic digital skills will be important. But now they are because someone is now required on their mobile phone or whatever to plan.
I had a guy who came out and he built a fence for us, and he was telling me he had to build his own website. And he'd done all that. He got into a website design to get business because that's how you have to be found these days in this accelerating digital economy. So I think resilience, I think agility, and basic digital skills to me are the top things that we'll need to look for in absolutely every role.
Roberta Cucchiaro: Yeah. And we also cannot forget that all of this upskilling and reskilling is happening remotely. So the shift to a remote workforce is here to stay. It's not going anywhere. And we at ManpowerGroup just released the Total Workforce Index for 2020. This is used as an indicator of workforce potential. This year we focused on remote readiness. So measuring the remote workforce capabilities for each market, and according to the TWI, 81% of employees want a chance to work more remotely post COVID-19. And this is a huge number. So we are looking at HR managers not only that they need to manage remotely five generations in the workforce, but also they need to be able to create a common culture, engage employees, and having learning at the forefront of all of this.
So, you know, looking at this and then thinking about what we used to do before when we used to do training, in-person training or going to conferences, that's how we met actually at one of the sourcing conferences and looking at what's happening now, sitting in your kitchen on a two-day virtual conference is not the same thing. So how do you think remote working is impacting learning and development for the good and the bad?
Johnny Campbell: Yeah. A two-day conference online is no fun, Roberta. That's correct. It's very tough. You know, a conference wasn't just about learning. The conference was very much about networking. By networking, it wasn't forced networking. You know me and you didn't meet because of forced networking. It's casual, it's kind of between sessions.
But the kind of online learning piece for many people at the start of the year, if you're in a job, you are given loads of online learning. We saw our online learning consumption, go through the roof in March, April, May, June, and people got a bit of learning fatigue at that point. Then they were like, "Okay, can I just get back to work, please?" So I think the challenge now, and you saw it in that World Economic Forum report, that there is a bit of an engagement challenge, getting people to actually take up the opportunities in workplaces. That's an interesting phenomenon that we've been trying to grapple with for many years here in SocialTalent. I realized you can't do it with tech alone. You can have a platform, it's really engaging, gamification and all these different principles.
They're great and they help, but what's more important is if you show somebody the why behind the learning and what will they get out of it. Many things go into creating a successful learning culture. The tech is just one part of it. It's really about, does the organization want to have a continuous learning environment? Is it something that everyone buys into from the top down? Do we discuss learning? Do we share what we benefit from? These are really important parts of making a learning culture successful.
I think, you know, it is work. And a lot of people go, "Oh, you know, can we not just buy a product and give it to everybody? And it'll all be fixed". And it's not that easy. So to me, every minute of learning is precious. You have to buy the right to be on somebody's screen every minute by minute. And so when you're rolling out learning programs, you have to really consider that. That you are having to go ask somebody in your organization to spend a minute, five minutes, 10 minutes, an hour watching and listening to something. It better be well thought out, you better have fully communicated the why we've chosen that learning for that person and it better be, bloody exciting and help them do their job.
Dominika Gałusa: You’re saying that you have to buy the right to be on somebody's screen every minute by minute … And it makes me think about the older generation. In January 2020, at the World Economic Forum, world leaders and CEOs were discussing how to reach this part of the population. It’s currently excluded. Without additional skills they may find it hard to access services in a digital world. It also includes people who are currently out of the workforce and have skills that are becoming increasingly outdated. So the Skills Revolution must also reach this part of the society. I have a final question to challenge you and our listeners to think differently. Why would workers be motivated to reskill when they don't have the time or the money when they are not able to anticipate whether the skills being acquired will make them more marketable?
Johnny Campbell: So why would you be motivated to reskill? It's a fundamental desire that we all have. I remember 15 years ago reading Daniel H. Pink's book on this very topic, where he talked about motivation and the power behind motivation. And mastery of a skill is one of the core desires that we all have. We like to master something. It's like, why do you complete a jigsaw puzzle? You know, because you want to try and do it, right? So we have this innate desire to be good at stuff.
We all have this innate motivation in us. If the right thing is shown to us, and I've seen this when I've met recruiters who perhaps have been disillusioned over the years in their jobs. Twenty years doing a job and felt they know everything. And then they watched a video training of somebody who's just been really inspiring, who's taught them something simple and new that they can really appreciate the value of and they come alive and they want more. That person didn't go looking for learning before that but then learning found them, the right time, the right type of learning. And they became inspired to find more. To me, that is really important. That's the job for those of us in the learning spaces to try and identify, you know, those learning items are, our courses are, opportunities that are going to inspire each different person in their own way.
So I think that's really important. There is a role, I think for government and for employers to try and go out there and see this information out there to help those of us who aren't in a corporate environment. It's easy if you have a job and you've an employer and a boss and colleagues, who are going to just give you learning. That's fantastic. What if you don't have a job to your point? What if you're unemployed, you're sitting on the couch. I don't know if either of you is watching The Crown on Netflix. But I just watched last night the episode where the guy broke into the Queen's house, you know, and I'm sitting, as you're asking this question, Dominika, I'm sitting seeing that guy on his couch and his wife has moved out, kids have moved out and he's unemployed and he's trying to motivate himself.
Why would that person be motivated to reskill? Well, somebody is going to have to jump in, you know. You can't take the Margaret Thatcher approach of "It's up to him to find the motivation and fix himself." No, it's not really, you know. We're all not lucky enough to have that motivation and spark. Sometimes someone has to find that spark within us. So I do think there's a role for government and there's a role for organizations to get involved in communities. I mean, you mentioned, of course, those individuals who perhaps don't have the same opportunities or privileges. All these companies are trying to hire more diverse talent. It's like, "What are you doing to grow diverse talent, to give diverse talent more opportunities, just generally in schools or in communities or whatever it might be.
So I think that's where it becomes more interesting. It is what the public sector is doing and what are private companies who are demanding so much from this talent pool, that is dwindling, that doesn't have all the skills. If they have the funds, how are you as an organization giving back, how are you trying to ignite folks out there who don't have the skills today? Because they don't have the opportunities, they don't have the motivation, go find them, go light a fire in their lives, give them the opportunity. Not everyone is going to take it, not everyone's going to end up with the skills that employers want, but if you do it enough times, you'll create real value and real joy in society.
Roberta Cucchiaro: Yeah, absolutely. So I think the two main takeaways here is: one from an organizational point of view is that you really need to be able to build this culture of continuous learning and build a sustainable workforce in your team that is fit for the future. And from a learner's point of view, it's really about also keeping positive, motivated, and well, hopefully, happy in the workplace, a workplace that is able to upskill you and upgrade your potential. So this is a lot of food for thought, I think from both the employers and employee perspective.
Just to end our very interesting conversation. A tip for all aspiring ninjas out there. What's the coolest sourcing tip you have found recently?
Johnny Campbell: Wow. A cool sourcing tip. So a good friend of mine, Stacy Zapar joined me on a podcast a few months ago, and she'd been working with a sourcing team. Just one team two, three times a week, working with them for several months trying to make them better. And one of the tips that I really loved from her, because it was counter-intuitive, a lot to do with layoff lists. There has been a lot of buzz if you remember back in April and May, where a lot of lists went up online. Airbnb, I think were the first well-known company to do it, where they put a database out there of employees that they were letting go, up online with the contact details and then other companies followed suit. Then there were lots of different sites available online where you could aggregate all these lists. Recruiters and sourcers from all over the world went on these lists and started saying, "Well, this is a candidate database with contact details and it's fantastic."
Stacy's tip to me after working with the team she worked with and if you don't follow Stacy Zapar online you're crazy. She's just brilliant. And she's one of those energetic trainers and presenters as well and just a wonderful, good person. But Stacy said that the team that she was working with realized that the potential wasn't in the lists per se, the lists were a great source of information and research. They were saying, let's say we find a company, company X, and we have a list of their employees who were laid off. Chances are that the people who were laid off as good as they are, they're not by definition, the best people in the company, because they were the ones they laid off. Right?
So who's left. People left probably have better skills, are better performers. And they've been left in an organization with such insecurity after maybe a third of the workforce was let go. That's the list to go after: they're the people to contact, they are great candidates to go after, and you could have a conversation, talk about their uncertainty, and help them find a better move for them. And that's where the real goal was. So I thought that was just one very unique 2020 tip in terms of what's relevant. I haven't thought that myself and her team had put it into practice. And I've tried to share that with others since then because I think it's a really cool one.
Roberta Cucchiaro: Yeah. That is, I wouldn't have thought about that myself. Very interesting. And it thinks about it the other way around. Well, this has been really interesting and really inspiring. So we're not letting you go with the last question, which if you heard the other episodes, you know, what's coming. So if you were stranded on an island, what were the three things you would bring?
Johnny Campbell: So I would love to cheat and just copy one of your first guests and say my family but there are five of us, so I can't get them all in. So I'm just going to assume my family are with me. For me, the first thing is music. Whatever way I can bring it. My life moves to a beat. I need to have music constantly playing. It annoys my family a lot, because when I'm cooking, working, or doing whatever, I need to have a soundtrack. Brushing my teeth, I need to have a soundtrack of music. So music is really important to me. It gives me energy, gives me inspiration. So I'd have to, for one, bring music.
Second of all, I need education. Learning is something that I just have in me. If I can't keep learning, I struggle. So I'll find me the biggest book or collection of stories. And I would bring that and read that over and over and over again.
If I couldn't have my family, the third thing I'd have is something to remind me of my family and keep me strong to get home off this desert Island that I'm trying to escape from. So I know I will find a way if I have the energy of my music, if I can keep my brain active through reading and learning. And I have something to remind me, a photograph of my family to remind me of what I'm trying to get home for. I think that would do me on the desert Island.
Roberta Cucchiaro: That's wonderful. And Dominika actually had the same idea of bringing a photo book as we were talking about it last week. It's very nice. It's what keeps you going, really it's part of the motivation.
So thank you so much. This has been really, really interesting, and hopefully, our listeners go home with a better idea on why learning is so important in an organization and for personal development. So thank you so much, Johnny.
Johnny Campbell: Thank you both for having me.
Roberta Cucchiaro: Thank you for joining our third episode of The Transform Talent Podcast, we hope you enjoyed it and if you did, don't forget to subscribe in your favourite podcast listening app and leave us a review. See you at the next episode!