Bonnie Anderson, Global Manager of Talent Acquisition and Future Talent at Tetra Pak shares insight with Sarah on how the service world needs to evolve hiring at the strategic and practical levels as well as discusses how COVID has changed the game when it comes to recruiting and hiring.

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Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast. I’m your host Sarah Nicastro. Today we’re going to be talking about recruiting and hiring success. So recruiting and hiring in the service industries was already a hot topic and has become even more complicated with COVID being introduced this year. I’m excited to welcome today to the podcast, Bonnie Anderson, who is the Global Manager of Talent Acquisition and Future Talent at Tetra Pak. Bonnie has a lot of experience in the recruiting space and specifically recruiting at Tetra Pak four different roles specific to service delivery. Bonnie, thank you so much for joining us today.

Bonnie Anderson: Thank you so much for having me, Sarah. It’s really great to be here.

Sarah Nicastro: I’m excited too to have you, so Bonnie is going to be sharing with us today in our discussion her four keys for recruiting success, that she’s learned during and I’m sure even before her time at Tetra Pak. And we’re also going to talk about how COVID has changed the game when it comes to recruiting and hiring this year. Bonnie, before we dig in, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and your role at Tetra Pak.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah, absolutely. And so today I’m as you mentioned, the Global Manager of Future Talent and Talent Acquisition at Tetra Pak. I took this role at the beginning of 2020 and prior to this role and from 2015, I’ve been recruiting service engineers at Tetra Pak. I am originally from Australia. I’ve spent about eight years in the UK, and came to the U.S. in, I think, Oh, 2013 now. But I started my HR career and started in the recruitment space from 2008. So have really enjoyed, I love talent acquisition. It’s a real passion of mine and I’ve found a real nation in recruiting, highly skilled engineering type roles. So really enjoy that piece of my work too.

Sarah Nicastro: Yes. And at Tetra Pak, this is something you’re doing on a global level. So it gives you an interesting perspective because you can pick up on these trends and challenges, trends and commonalities or differences from country to country, region to region.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. So when I first started at Tetra Pak and up until the end of last year my geographical scope was really U.S. and Canada, recruiting for service engineers with a little bit in Central and South America. But now I do have a global role and work with the teams across the globe in the different regions. And I can tell you that service engineering recruitment is difficult across the world. It’s not just specific to our region.

Sarah Nicastro: Right. And that’s what I was getting at. You have that perspective of how this is challenging at the global level, not just here specifically.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: And I’m excited to have you Bonnie, because I shared with you a bit when we connected that this is, it has been a very big topic among our listeners and our readership of our content for quite a while. Right? So as we see a lot of the workforce aging out and needing to be replaced, this is a bigger and bigger challenge, and there’s a lot of layers to how the field technician role is evolving and what will that mean for the skills we need going forward? How is technology playing a role in what we may be able to automate? Or how service delivery is changing, et cetera. But the way that we have always discussed this topic on our podcast or within our content, and I’ve shared that with you, is from the perspective of service leaders, not from the perspective of recruiters and folks responsible for talent acquisition and development.

Sarah Nicastro: So I think it’ll be very interesting today to have this conversation with you and interesting for our service leaders, which is a huge portion of our listeners to hear how a huge, huge company, global company like Tetra Pak, is tackling this. So, as I said, we’re going to talk today about four key areas that companies need to consider or focus on if they’re looking to improve their recruitment and hiring practices. And I want you to walk us through each of those four things, what they mean and what your perspective and advice is. So the first is, to understand that we’ve moved to a skills-based economy from an experience economy. And this is going to be tricky because some of these terms are also terms used in service content. And we’re about something a little different here. So I want to make sure we take the time to explain it. So tell our listeners what this shift from a skills-based economy to an experience economy means in the recruitment world and how it would impact their practices.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. And when we talk about the skills based economy, it’s really a shift that we started seeing probably about five years ago, maybe a little bit longer, but the trend is really here to stay. And I think it’s just going to continue to become more skills oriented as we go through. And the skills are really at the end of the day, what we look for and what we develop in ourselves, to make ourselves more employable, I suppose. And where in the past, we’ve used qualifications and experience as a proxy for identifying somebody with hard or soft skills, there’s been an underlying assumption there that if a candidate has X degree or Y experience, then they have A, B and C skills. Now with I guess, the way that information is available, at the moment skills can be acquired in so many more different ways.

Bonnie Anderson: It’s not just about acquiring skills through a degree or through work experience. It can be skills acquired from, I don’t know, just throwing it out there, sort of like YouTube, something like a hobby, how somebody has grown up. So skills acquisition can come from just about any direction. And when we look at skills based economy, it’s shifting that mindset that a candidate needs to have a certain background to be able to fill a position. And having an experience-based assumption has limited talent pools for employers particularly for in demand and niche skills, that are hard to find.

Bonnie Anderson: So, by flipping that a little bit and saying, “Okay, well, actually, a candidate might get a skill from somewhere else other than from their qualification or from their experience.” You can find a whole talent population that might be untapped, or that you’ve never considered before. So and with that in mind, in today’s world with digitalization and technology, we can actually use those tools at our disposal to identify those skills faster and quicker.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay. And so, I want to give a shout out to my friend, Roy Dockery, who from Swisslog Healthcare, he was on our second podcast we ever recorded. And we talked about this topic and I’m going to paraphrase a bit for Roy, but he communicated the same message in a different way. Again, from the service executive perspective, but basically saying, when you hear people say we have a talent gap, his argument is we do not have a talent gap, we have an experience gap. And service organizations have become, I don’t know if this was his word, but I’ll say it, lazy in defaulting to wanting to hire based on experience, because it’s easier in the sense of having that comfort level that they’ve done the job and minimizing, maybe training and ramp up time, et cetera.

Sarah Nicastro: But the reality is, particularly when we’re talking about service, that experience pool is dwindling. And so if I’m understanding what you’re saying, service organizations have to understand that continuing to hire based on experience is not a realistic path forward. We need to consider how can you find similar skills and necessary skills to do the job without that specific qualification.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. And maybe creative. You have to get creative. Particularly, pre COVID and obviously COVID has had a significant impact on the employment market, but pre COVID, we had, I think, less than 3% unemployment within STEM skills, within STEM fields. And so we had a huge amount of pressure on finding the right skills that we needed in time to support our customers on the field. And we had very long lead times and it took a long time to find those skills. And sometimes we would fail at the last hurdle.

Bonnie Anderson: We thought we had a great candidate, but in the end, because they said they have the experience or on paper they have the experience and the qualifications that we think somebody needs to do this job, at the end of the day, at the final hurdle, they don’t have the skills that we’re looking for. So that was a real gap that we had and that we had to close quickly. But yeah, when an economy is as tight as it was in 2019, you have to find creative ways to get the talent that you need.

Sarah Nicastro: So let me ask you this question, Bonnie, for an organization that is still reliant on that experience economy, they’re still working to hire based on experience, what’s the biggest or the first step to shifting to a skills based approach?

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. I think you have to start by challenging your assumptions and taking… And this is where it comes to, and we’ve talked about this a little bit around outcomes based recruitment and outcomes based hiring. What was it about that education or experience that is the crux that you know that you need from that experience that is important for your role, and that is the skill that you want. So you need to break it down in essence, to uncover and discover the skills that is coming out of that experience.

Sarah Nicastro: So, you said very nicely. You said, people need to start getting creative. And so again, not trying to sound like a jerk, but I do think there’s a parallel here of, companies need to stop being lazy and, or get comfortable having to work harder than they have historically to find this talent by digging into, in that experience that you’re used to searching for. What is it actually that you need?

Bonnie Anderson: Yes. Exactly.

Sarah Nicastro: And where else can you find that? Okay, so that’s a good point. And it’s funny because like I said, when you talk about the experience economy, there’s a whole other connotation of that term. That is a positive thing in the service world, in terms of moving toward an experience economy, in terms of how you’re servicing customers. So that’s why I wanted to make sure we really were clear on why it’s a bad thing related to recruiting different in the sense of, you cannot continue to just search for talent based on who has had relevant experience. You need to really dig into what within that experience do you actually need and where else can you find it. Otherwise you’re going to run out of options.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. And that’s a very good point. And to be clear, experience means somebody’s background and history, their employment history and their employment experience. The experience of, for example, in talent acquisition, when we talk about candidate experience, so the journey that a candidate goes on through the hiring process, and I know you would have a customer experience and that’s something that we’re very passionate about at Tetra Pak. They are different things, but just to give you an example of that, a hiring manager might say to me, I need somebody with dairy experience. And that, the dairy industry is a very close network. It’s specific to certain areas within the U.S.

Bonnie Anderson: And so, to break that down, you say, “Okay, what is it about the dairy industry that’s important for your role? Why do they need to have dairy experience?” Oh, well, they need to know aseptic technology. They need to know fluid dynamics. They need to know, how to separate the milk. And then you start to break that down from something that’s broad, like the dairy industry into specific skillsets and that’s how you can take it from an experience based to a skills based hiring processes.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. So the second key we’re going to talk about also is parallel to another service term. So we’re going to go through the same exercise here of clarifying all of this, which is to use an outcomes based approach to recruiting. So obviously in service, we also talk a lot about the trend toward outcomes-based service and delivering specific and often guaranteed outcomes to our customers instead of just time-stamped service delivery. So let’s talk about what outcomes based approach means as it relates to recruiting and why it’s important.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. So, outcomes based could be another way of saying skills-based hiring. But when we talk about outcomes, it could mean so much more as well. So it’s not just about the skills. It could also be the potential that you might see in somebody. It might be also their communication. It could also be various conditions around their employment, such as maybe where they’re located or their availability to travel, which is super important in the service engineering world. It’s not just about skills, but also can encompass a little bit more. So that’s why it’s important to have that differential because there are additional things that we look for when we look for candidates. But let me put it this way, I guess when we talk about outcomes based, it’s about knowing where you’re going before starting out.

Bonnie Anderson: And I’m sure you’ve heard that map analogy many times before, but if I was going to drive from New York to San Francisco, my ultimate outcome is to get to San Francisco. But there’s multiple ways that I can get there. Right?

Sarah Nicastro: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Bonnie Anderson: I can fly, I could take the train, I could drive. And then once you have that ultimate outcome, you can start to feed into other certain parameters that you’re looking for. Maybe you have a cousin in Nashville that you want to go and visit while you’re on your journey. Maybe you want to go see the Great Lakes, you’ve always had the Grand Canyon on your bucket list. From that, once you’ve been able to understand what your outcomes are, then you can start to prioritize. And so maybe it’s really important that you go and see your cousin in Nashville because you haven’t seen them in 10 years. So that becomes priority number one. Maybe, the Great Lakes is, you have a friend that you can visit while you go and see the Great Lakes. The Grand Canyon might be able to just stay on your bucket list. And that’s for another day.

Bonnie Anderson: So, from there, you can determine, okay, maybe I take the South route or the North route via Tennessee. So when it comes to outcome based hiring, then you start to lay out all the skills that you need, work with your recruiters to understand what that might be and then you can prioritize those accordingly. The day of a jack of all trades is really, doesn’t exist anymore. So it’s, we can’t find a person that can do everything. As skills become more niche, more specialist, it’s unrealistic to be able to find somebody that can do everything. And so this prioritization of skills I think becomes more and more important. And you can maybe take an 80/20 approach to that and say, “Well, if I can find somebody that has 80% of the skills that I’m looking for, I can compromise on those 20% that are less important or something like that.” So yeah, that’s how I see outcomes based.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay. So a couple of things I want to ask about. one is, the outcomes though, are really looking at what do we need to deliver to our customers, right? That’s where you’re defining what the outcome is. So in your example, the fact that you’re going to San Francisco is dictated by what the customer need or expectation is, right?

Bonnie Anderson: Absolutely. Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: And the route you’re taking to get there is the process of changing that thinking to the skills-based approach to determine what skills do you need to reach that destination. Am I, is that-

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. And then another way you can think about it is, if we think about it as a customer, and customer oriented position, perhaps and I’m going to talk more about it in the Tetra Pak world. Perhaps we have a customer, for example, in Philadelphia and they might have a lot of packaging equipment on there that needs servicing. And so we don’t have necessarily… It’s a new contract, so we need a new service engineer to be able to service that contract. But then we have another customer perhaps in Pittsburgh, where there is already a service engineer. They’re more of a processing equipment, the customer. So their equipment is slightly different. The outcomes there is okay, our customers here, one in Pittsburgh, one in Philadelphia, have two different needs.

Bonnie Anderson: Can that engineer in Pittsburgh service that customer in Philadelphia? Well, we need to look at that skills set of that engineer. Maybe they can, but maybe there’s some gap in knowledge. So I guess it comes around to resource planning ultimately, and whether the resources that you have can fill the needs of that customer. And if they don’t, then what are your other options to servicing that customer? You can recruit somebody in, you can perhaps shift some resource planning around, or you can have somebody that already services at another packaging customer in Texas, for example, fly to Pennsylvania to do that. So really and it’s where you start to get creative, where you start to think about, okay, what are the outcomes that I need for this particular customer and how can I fill those needs?

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. And I think, there’s a couple of comments I just want to make related to these first two points, because I think that this is really important insight, but I think it’s also, we’re at a point where we need to be looking forward. And I think particularly when we talk about taking an outcomes based approach to hiring, part of that is, you need to be thinking about how those outcomes are changing. So Bonnie, you and I were introduced by Sasha at Tetra Pak who runs industry 4.0.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: And Sasha’s role is really around this new way of serving Tetra Pak customers. And so yes, to you guys have been doing that now for a few years, but it’s relatively new and it’s rapidly evolving, right?

Bonnie Anderson: Yes.

Sarah Nicastro: So, there are outcomes that are new to Tetra Pak needing to meet that didn’t exist before. And there are roles that have to be introduced that didn’t exist before and therefore skills needed that that weren’t needed before. I just think it’s interesting, this advice is super applicable to present day. And just, I guess I think of it almost in terms of catching up with the times. For a lot of organizations that are very accustomed to being able to hire based on experience. You have to catch up with the fact that it’s not really a good strategy at this point, but it’s also important to think about how you take these practices and apply them to the future of this industry, which is really rapidly evolving.

Bonnie Anderson: Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: So I just think it’s, this idea of looking at not only what are the outcomes we need to deliver to our customers right this moment and how do we work backwards from there and what skills we need, but also what are those outcomes going to look like six months from now, or a year from now? And how do we start planning for that?

Bonnie Anderson: And it’s really interesting because, it’s a strategy that we at Tetra Pak have had since 2017, when we first launched our graduate development program, Future Talent. And it’s not necessarily about future-proofing, because I think that’s impossible, but perhaps future preparing. And particularly for skills that haven’t been invented yet. We don’t know what the future holds. Look at this year, we’ve been completely derailed because we weren’t prepared for it. And we don’t know what the future jobs will be. And so it’s really important, I think for organizations to have a long-term strategy to make sure we have the talent that can develop those skills, perhaps the new generation will be inventing new technologies and inventing those skills along with it.

Bonnie Anderson: And our future talent program is really pivotal to ensuring that we have what we need to prepare for the future. So yeah it’s something that I think keeps a lot of us up at night in terms of what the future might hold and what happens to our own skills and how do we keep developing our own skills to keep up with the new generations. But yeah, I think it’s important for them.

Sarah Nicastro: And perhaps I’ll have you back on to talk about this, because we didn’t even touch on this in our introductory chat you and I, but there is this whole topic too, as the service technicians role changes, how can you re-skill and up-skill some of those folks to these new, maybe almost customer service or human touch, more oriented service positions. So that’s an interesting topic too, when you look at this future preparing strategy is not only how do you bring in the new talent, that you’ll need, but how do you reshape some of the existing talent you have, whose roles are changing in a way that works for them and the company as well?

Bonnie Anderson: Absolutely. It’s so much more than just the hard skills, isn’t it?

Sarah Nicastro: That’ll be another good topic. Okay. And we are going to get to the Future Talent Program, because I think that’s a very important thing, but before we do let’s talk about the third key or the third area, which is, ensuring clear expectations and clear communication on all ends of the recruiting and hiring process. So talk a bit about how mismanaged expectations or communication breakdowns can occur and how you can really work on streamlining that.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah, there came a point in the recruitment of service engineers where we just weren’t able to find the right talent. We were taking too long. It was very difficult and clearly something wasn’t working or multiple things weren’t working. And we actually, I’m sure many of your listeners are familiar with all the types of problem solving methodology that are out there. But we use some within HR at Tetra Pak as well. And so we utilized some problem solving methodology, like 5W2H’s fishbone to really get to the root cause of the problems, and working directly with our team leaders, our service engineer team leaders on those problems. And one of the highest occurring root causes was around communication and the relationship that we had between the recruitment teams and the hiring managers.

Bonnie Anderson: And so ultimately what we did is we just laid it all out on the table. And we really went through a storming phase of just putting it all out there. The difficulties that we have both sides of the table, because it’s not just one person or one team that has the problem, but both sides. And so we came up with a number of different strategies and it was really exciting because not only were we able to come up with some really great actions, but we came together better as a team. Some of the solutions that we had was from group messaging, group chats, we implemented a WhatsApp group, just starting something simple like that. Having group accountability. So making sure that everybody was accountable for their actions.

Bonnie Anderson: And, at the time, we had in-person assessments that required travel from the candidates because of course the candidates can be anywhere in the U.S. And, our team leaders, which are based all over the U.S. as well. So the logistics of getting everybody in the same room at the same time was quite frankly a nightmare. And so we had to make sure that we had commitment from the business to get everybody in the room. And following that things went a lot more smoothly. Of course it was still difficult to find the talent, but I cannot stress enough how important having an open and transparent communication channel with your recruiter or recruiters with the hiring managers and just being really honest about what’s going on and recruiters need to bring their game as well. They need to bring their market knowledge, need to bring their knowledge of what’s happening. And so I think, both sides need to take accountability and bring up what they need to. Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: Well, and as you said earlier, particularly when we talked about this idea of moving to the skills-based economy, it is a big mindset shift and it is a big change in how these service leaders are used to hiring. And so any time you’re talking about a significant change in how things are done, you see some resistance to that and you see how important communication is and explaining the why behind, here’s why this is necessary and those sorts of things. So that makes perfect sense.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay, so you talked a little bit earlier about Tetra Pak’s, future talent program. And I think this is our fourth key. And it’s a very important one because if you’re moving away from the experience economy and you’re moving to the skills-based economy, when it relates to hiring, how do you take those skills that you know are important and make sure that they’re leveraged in the right way and harnessed toward the outcome you’re trying to achieve, et cetera? So tell us a bit about the Future Talent Program.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah, absolutely. As I mentioned, Future Talent is really our graduate development program designed for graduates, brand new graduates coming out of university. And for us to build our long-term strategy in developing that new talent. We essentially have two tracks. We have what we call a leadership track, which tends to be more towards commercial roles or management development type roles. But we also have one thing that we really identified when we were developing the program, was that we do have a skills gap between industry and the skills that we require in the organization. So the technical track is really there to help us close that skills gap.

Bonnie Anderson: And so, we don’t really expect those graduates to have the skills that they might need, that we might look for in somebody that does have experience. But we do look for potential, how willing they are to learn, how quick they are to learn. And the program is really then to expedite that learning so they can pick up those skills very, very quickly, particularly specialist skills that we look for. And the service engineering profile, is a huge component of that technical track. So it’s really important to us. And like I said earlier, we’re future preparing, I suppose, for skills that we don’t really know we need yet.

Sarah Nicastro: And I asked you when we spoke last, how common is a program like this? And I think you said that from a leadership perspective, the leadership side of it, it’s fairly common from the technician side, more of the engineering side, it’s not as common.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah, that’s right. I think somebody had quoted to me at one point that maybe IKEA maybe except four or five graduates per year globally into a leadership type of graduate development program. We’re accepting eight to 10 technical track graduates within the U.S. alone. We’re investing a lot of time, and were truly committed to this type of program in helping us prepare for the future and that long-term strategy that we need to have. Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: And it seems to me like this is a path folks need to be taking. It seems to me that when you talk about this idea of getting away from being able to hire on experience, and you talk about evolving customer expectations and how do we meet those? It seems like to be able to nurture the volume of, and level of talent you need to have in a service organization, you have to take a more hands-on approach in making that click, you said, closing that gap.

Bonnie Anderson: Closing the gap. And that’s really a big part of what it’s about, particularly if you pride yourself of being at the forefront of technology, because you might not necessarily find that talent with your competitor companies. So you really have to invest your time to get the talent that you need to have that competitive advantage. And I think that’s really, at the end of the day, what’s really, really important for organizations to consider, is how can you use talent to find your competitive edge.

Sarah Nicastro: Right. Right. Okay. So four very important areas and really good insight. And so great. So you’ve learned these things and you’re plugging along and then everything changes because COVID hits. So tell us what impact COVID had on the recruiting and hiring process, how Tetra Pak has adapted and what you think the lasting change of that would be.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah, yeah. It’s interesting. It was never in our mind that we had to stop or halt recruitment. We always had the mindset of, we have to make this work. At the end of the day, our customers need to operate particularly, they’re at the forefront of food security, so we need to continue to service it. It would be able to service our customers. So there’s never any question that we had to stop or that we couldn’t make it happen. We had to continue hiring. And on the service engineer side we’d utilized an in-person assessment. And I touched on earlier, it’s something that we had to logistically arrange on a regular basis. And it wasn’t something we had considered changing because it really worked. Worked very well. And at the beginning of the pandemic, I think in March, we had something like 200 candidates globally that needed to be assessed, and that were in our pipeline, that needed to go through this assessment, interviews and exercises.

Bonnie Anderson: And so, we had to move really fast, and adjust very quickly to be able for business continuity. And this is where really the outcomes based hiring really came into play, because we were able to take that in-person assessment and those exercises and pull it apart and understand, okay, what is it from this exercise that we’re looking to assess? What is it that the candidate needs to have for us to move forward with them as a candidate? I think we came up with something like 65 different outcomes from those exercises alone. Sometimes they were duplicated, sometimes things like problem solving came out time and time. And again, mechanical knowledge, dealing with pressure, working with others, those sort of outcomes were all part of it. So we knew that we needed to somehow assess all of these outcomes in a virtual or digital way.

Bonnie Anderson: And a lot of these exercises, with equipment, candidates are using their hands to solve these problems, it’s like, “Well, how do we do that in a digital way?” And so what we ultimately did is we worked with an assessment partner to help us identify those different behaviors or those different competencies and knowledge. And we came up with some digital tools, some psycho metrically valid tools that we were able to use. Again, here we use the 80/20 rule, it was okay that we weren’t looking for a perfect solution. We wouldn’t be able to always measure 65 different outcomes. The biggest one today is manual dexterity. How do you measure somebody’s manual dexterity if you can’t actually see them working with their hands? We understood that risk and we’re mitigating that risk through stronger onboarding, for example, supporting those new hires.

Bonnie Anderson: And last I counted; I think we’re up to something like 65 different new hires through that digital process. And we’ve been able to continue supporting those, onboarding those new hires across the world. So it was very, very difficult time. We worked with our teams across the world to help us validate those outcomes. And we’re still keeping an eye on it to make sure that the outcomes are still valid, that the new hires that we’re onboarding are performing as expected. But we’re very, very hopeful and think it’s working well. So I think it’s we challenged the status quo there.

Bonnie Anderson: And we were able to switch into digital tools, which is really cool, where the new normal comes in to play and as the pandemic recedes is about, “Okay, how can we maybe continue with these digital tools, but building back in some of that human touch?” Maybe it’s important for the candidate to see where they’re going to be working, to meet face to face. And we still recognize that that is a very important part of the candidate experience. And in some parts of the world, well, they have been able to open up some of the sites. And so we’ve built that back in as a hybrid process, a digital plus in-person process. So, yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: I don’t know if this is a fair question, but do you have a sense of the balance, if it was 100% in-person before, do you think going forward, it will be 80% digital, 20% in-person? Or do you think you don’t know that yet?

Bonnie Anderson: I think hiring managers are going to get comfortable with the speed of digital, using digital. And I think we’ve been able to break down and demystify some of that need of meeting in person. But it’s not a one size fits all. I don’t think, I think it’s important that hiring managers continue to challenge some of those assumptions, but at the end of the day, if they do feel that they do need to measure somebody’s manual dexterity, if they have questions still around how this person is using their hands, then it’s important that we get the hire right.

Bonnie Anderson: And they invite them for an in-person interview to complete that gap in knowledge about that candidate. So some hiring managers might feel 100% comfortable with making a hire using digital tools only, some are not. So it’s about striking that balance for that particular case. Of course, in places like the U.S. we just cannot, our sites are closed apart from critical personnel. So we really make sure that our hiring managers are comfortable with the hires and we’re exploring as much as we can using interview questions as well. So, it’s a blended approach.

Sarah Nicastro: It is safe to say that COVID has definitely forever changed the process and moved it in the digital direction for Tetra Pak?

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah, absolutely. No question.

Sarah Nicastro: Which is again, there’s a lot of parallels between this conversation and some of our service delivery conversations. You see companies that have had different levels of resistance to varying technologies that by force, like you said, had to challenge the status quo and adopt, and now it’s just that realization of, “Okay, this could work and let’s look at how we make it work when we have to make it work and how we incorporate it into some hybrid world, as things return to some level of normal.”

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. You said it just there, you have to make it work. There’s no question that you can’t make it work.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah.

Bonnie Anderson: And so, you have to accept imperfection and you have to accept sometimes that you make a call that might be the wrong call, but that’s okay.

Sarah Nicastro: Everybody’s feeling their way through. Right?

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: And for me, covering the space to me, it’s the after that’s so interesting because I think I’ve seen firsthand the resiliency of service organizations across a wide variety of industries that I’ve talked to and everyone is making it work, in some way to some degree. And I think everyone has set up to that task, but what’s really interesting to me is how do things land as recovery ramps up and what will the new mix look like? Because I think the companies that have had been agile and adopted and adapted and are doing things differently by force, now have that comfort level. They’re not just going to abandon those tools and go back to an all manual process. So it’s just going to be really interesting to see how things net out over time.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. And I think one thing that’s really important on that is to measure the changes that you’ve made, related to COVID and measure the differences between pre COVID processes and post COVID. And that’s one thing we’ll be doing with the recruitment process and we’ve seen efficiency gains because we’re moving to a digital process already. And we’re only a few months in, so we continue to keep an eye on it. And we’ll be in a position where we can take the best of the best, we can take the best of both worlds at that point. And that’s where the hybrid will really come into play.

Sarah Nicastro: Yep. Okay. Any final words of wisdom for our listeners?

Bonnie Anderson: I was thinking about this question and you can really take it down a practical route or take it to a, I don’t know, a different type of route, but I think for me the one thing that I think is really important at the moment is to remember that it’s a super tough time for candidates right now. It’s a tough time for all of us and having that empathy for our candidates and providing a great candidate experience when you’re talking to them is really important. Sometimes they might’ve lost their job.

Bonnie Anderson: They may have lost loved ones. As hiring managers and recruiters, we really need to be mindful that all of us have other things happening in our lives that could be out of our control, but could be impacting our state of mind in a given moment. So having empathy and compassion will also help you really build trust with your candidates and will really help them shine and bring out their best selves in their hiring process. And if there’s one thing that I really emphasize is just have that empathy, that top of mind.

Sarah Nicastro: Absolutely. We all need that right now.

Bonnie Anderson: Right.

Sarah Nicastro: All right, Bonnie. Well, thank you so very much for joining today and talking through this, I really appreciate it. And hopefully, like I said, you’ll come back at some point and maybe we could have a conversation about up-skilling and re-skilling and what that might look like going forward.

Bonnie Anderson: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a wonderful conversation. Always happy to come back.

Sarah Nicastro: Thanks again. I do urge you if you’re listening and enjoyed this conversation to go back to futureoffieldservice.com, you could check out the episode I referenced earlier with Roy Dockery of Swisslog Healthcare, it’s podcast episode number two, where we had a conversation about this topic from the service leaders perspective. You could also check out some of the coverage we’ve done on a Tetra Pak’s move to outcomes-based service, you can just search under Tetra Pak. So check that out. You can also find us on LinkedIn as well as Twitter @TheFutureOfFS. The Future of Field Service podcast is published in partnership with IFS. You can learn more about IFS service management, by visiting us @www.ifs.com. As always, thank you for listening.