After graduating from Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing/Public Relations/Communications, Susan Vitale kicked off her career as a marketing coordinator at iCIMS in 2005, when the company comprised of approximately 35 employees. She was fortunate enough to see her responsibilities at iCIMS grow as the company grew, and by age 30, she was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer. Today, iCIMS is one of the largest and fastest growing talent acquisition software providers, with more than 600 employees and surpassed $100 million in annual revenue at the end of 2015.
Susan took some time from her busy schedule to share some thoughts and insights with The HR Gazette, right after speaking at the TAtech Conference in Las Vegas.
Editor: Please tell us about yourself – your career history up to and including your current role.
Susan: As CMO, I play an active role in portfolio strategy, helping to ensure iCIMS’ products are aligned to industry needs and changes. Ultimately I’m responsible for iCIMS’ story across various audiences include prospective customers, existing clients, the media, industry thought leaders, employees and candidates.
One area that I am also responsible for that is unique to many in marketing is our recruitment marketing strategy. Given iCIMS’ role in talent acquisition, our marketing team has a deep understanding of both recruitment and marketing. As such, it makes sense for us to manage recruitment advertising investments, social recruiting strategies, our CRM, recruitment events, and more within marketing vs. talent. I love the convergence of recruitment and marketing so it’s an area I’m proud and excited to lead.
Editor: Why did you decide to be a speaker at the TAtech Conference & Expo?
Susan: At iCIMS, we are all about talent acquisition, and fully believe that TA needs its own suite and platform. As a company, we are big fans of TAtech and believe in its mission to enhance all facets of talent acquisition through the application of the very best technology and expertise in the world. All of the attendees at TAtech are looking to learn about the most useful tools and technologies to enhance their hiring process, and I am excited to share my expertise and knowledge with them. iCIMS’ Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Mike Wilczak, participated in TAtech’s Industry Congress in April and had a great experience speaking on a panel and networking with attendees, and we are looking forward to another successful event with this organization.
Editor: What did you speak about at the TAtech Conference & Expo?
Susan: One trend that I’m the most interested in and passionate about is the collision of recruiting and marketing. From where I sit as both a marketer and as a leader of a recruitment software company, I see this happening and totally geek out to it. The world of recruiting talent into an organization is becoming more of a marketing role every day with SEO, drip campaigns, PPC, social targeting and more all becoming critical areas to attracting and hiring top talent. It introduces new functions into businesses and opens up a very cool opportunity for subject matter expertise and technology to emerge. At TAtech Conference, I educated attendees on the behaviors of today’s job seekers and reciprocal mobile and social recruiting strategies. Some supportive points included iCIMS’ in-platform data from our base of more than 3,200 contracted customers, survey insights, and case studies from iCIMS customers who have successfully deployed these methods. My session outlined how HR professionals can apply recruitment marketing tactics to their operation to find and hire the best-fit talent.
I also explored how recruiters and employers can use these modern recruiting strategies – with social, mobile and video – to bridge the talent gap with speed and ease. After all, according to iCIMS Talent Platform data, approximately 3.3 million applications were submitted using social media profiles to pre-populate online submission forms in 2015, so it’s time to embrace these methods that candidates are using to search and apply for jobs. My session attendees learned high volume hiring best practices that are applicable to all specialized, non-corporate, and university recruiting, including case studies from some of our customers, to demonstrate how employers are putting these practices into action.Editor: How do you think your session helped promote dialogue and understanding between TA technology companies and their customers?
Susan: Leveraging iCIMS data and survey insights on social media, mobile recruiting, video tools, SEO, talent pools and other tools, my presentation will help attendees to feel more comfortable and empowered to embrace TA technology that ultimately makes their job easier. I also pulled information relevant to the attendees, including their specific industries, regions, to generate a discussion that is directly applicable to their unique challenges. Additionally, real case studies from iCIMS customers were presented to encourage discussion and propose new ideas for recruiters and hiring managers.
Editor: How did the TAtech Conference & Expo provide you with a platform to talk about Talent, HR and tech in new ways?
Susan: The best types of presentations are the kinds that are interactive, relatable and present actionable advice and tips to implement new tools and technologies. TAtech Conference provided a great platform for HR leaders and executives with years of experience to have authentic conversations, discuss best practices, present data, and talk through common HR issues, so we can all return to our companies with new insights and strategies to implement.
Editor: Please share 2 or 3 social media ‘influencers’ in HR and Talent space who you follow and tell us why.
Susan: I’ve always been a fan of Madeline Laurano (@Madtarquin) as she was an early embracer of talent acquisition deserving its own technology platform and conversation.
Editor: Can you provide two or three examples of online Talent solutions which you love and tell us why?
Susan: Two solutions that I love are TextRecruit and WayUp. TextRecruit was founded from the simple observation that people have changed the way they communicate, but businesses have not adapted to them. So, TextRecruit launched as the first software to give talent leaders the ability to manage their recruiter’s text/mobile communication in one central location. Companies that leverage iCIMS and TextRecruit communicate with candidates more efficiently and experience greater ROI compared to those using disparate applicant tracking and text campaign management software.
WayUp is another talent solution that I’m a big fan of. College students typically don’t like utilizing the resources available through their school’s Career Services department, so WayUp serves as the largest website for students to find part-time jobs and internships, as well as for recent graduates to find full-time entry-level jobs. Millennials are unique in ways they communicate, search and apply for jobs, and WayUp is the perfect solution for them, adapting to their needs by using online and mobile solutions to find jobs and internships.In addition to being big supporters of these solutions, I’m so excited to have them both as iCIMS partners, working with us to streamline the hiring process for recruiters, hiring managers, and job candidates.
In addition to being big supporters of these solutions, I’m so excited to have them both as iCIMS partners, working with us to streamline the hiring process for recruiters, hiring managers, and job candidates.
Editor: Which other speakers are you looking forward to meeting at the TAtech Conference & Expo and why?
Susan: I’m looking forward to meeting all of the speakers at TAtech! Networking with other like-minded leaders and learning from their experience is one of my favorite things to do. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with Peter Weddle, CEO of TAtech, and Tony Lee of SHRM, as iCIMS is a big supporter of SHRM events and conferences. I’m also excited to connect with Lindsay Stanton, CCO of Digi-Me, and Ken Clark, CEO of Recruitics, and see the both of them speak, as they are two of our fantastic, trusted partners.
Editor: Finally… if you could be a superhero, which superhero would you be and why? Michelle Obama.
Susan: Michelle Obama.