Phone: 954-692-3553 OR 877-344-4300
Meet my friend Claudia Faust, Independent provider of recruiting services including executive search, professional staffing and passive candidate sourcing. As a recruiter and leader of corporate recruiting organizations for 14 years, Claudia Faust brings her passion for people and analytics to hiring and retention. Over the years she has recruited and managed staffing organizations for globally recognized brands such as T-Mobile USA, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Sprint PCS, and Burger King Corporation; her expertise includes executive search, staffing, recruiter development and training, metrics development and implementation, workforce planning, recruiting technology and vendor selection.
Claudia took this opportunity as a featured member in our interview series to do something those who know her are quite accustomed to: she shared of herself for others, and in the most personal, poignant way. When you venture forward, her responses regarding home and history, - be it children, marriage, and career, - she shares the type of deeply personal and introspective flashbacks that good friends do on a warm summer night sharing a few spirits under a full moon. When all is said and done, you leave refreshed and empowered someone cared enough about you to entrust a part of themselves. For anyone who knows Claudia, it is a familiar take away in what it is to befriend her. She is entirely authentic and even more formidable if you recognize her wisdom is not solely pertaining to a certain day in a week.
Truth be told, I look forward to conference season each Fall and Spring, it gives me an opportunity to see friends new and old, and in each venture I get a hug from my friend Claudia and that endearing smile that is so sincerely welcoming. Claudia is many things, not least among them a class act and someone who so consistently provides value to her industry. More importantly, Claudia is a friend to something far bigger than you or I - she is a confidante and mentor to the daily visitors of RecruitingBlogs.com, not to mention the spotlight featured guest sharing "Wednesday Wisdom"
Improved Experience builds feedback portals to help companies measure and improve the engagement and retention of their best talent. From earliest contact and throughout the employment life cycle, the Better HiresTM suite of products measures and benchmarks critical indicators of workforce engagement, employer brand, and recruiting effectiveness. Improved Experience products are real-time and subscription-based, utilizing patent-pending survey technology. Sales, operations and customer support are provided from Dallas, Miami and Copenhagen
Q&A with Claudia Faust
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world, Claudia.
CLAUDIA: I currently live in Plantation, Florida, about 10 miles inland from Fort Lauderdale. I say “currently” because my husband and I speak often about other places we’d like to live, and who knows where we’ll be five years from now.
My husband is a brilliant, kind, wonderful engineer, and we’ve been married for three years; it took me forever to find my match (you’d think that as a matchmaker I would have been better at choosing a life partner for myself, but that wasn’t the case for me), so he sits firmly at the top of the list of blessings I count every day. I also happen to think he’s the cutest boy in the world, but that’s another story.
I didn’t know my husband when I moved to Florida six years ago, and the story of how we met is too good not to tell you. At the time I was actually dating someone else: an Italian Count I had met while on a cruise from Venice to Istanbul; I dated the Count for over a year while thinking long and hard about what I wanted next from my life. In the summer of 2003 I decided to leave T-Mobile and step headlong into his world; we traveled frequently between his homes and businesses in Italy and south Florida for many months before I concluded that this nomadic life was not for me; I missed my kids and my friends, and even my work -- alas, I was living someone else’s fairy tale; it seemed only fair to acknowledge it and move on.
It was the middle of January by then, and I had a choice: I could return to Seattle, or stay in Florida for a while. I chose the second option (no brainer), and took a condo on the beach for a much-needed sabbatical. It was a life-changing four months: I ate when I was hungry, slept when I was tired, and even recruited a bit here and there to replenish my savings account. But mostly, I walked the beach for hours every day. Family and friends came to visit, and I began to feel like an improved version of my old self once again.
It was at sunset on one of those beach walks that I had a chance meeting with the cousin of one of my neighbors, a dark-eyed Turk with a quiet smile and a European accent wasn’t easy to place (turned out to be Denmark, where he had spent many years on his own journey). We chatted for a moment and then I went for my walk, returning an hour later to discover that he was gone, but a note in a bottle was carefully tucked into my sandals. The rest, as they say, is history; we were married two years later at sunset on that same beach, and my life feels like it has come full circle.
Our blended family is split between two continents: in Denmark it includes a son, two daughters, and four amazing grandchildren, and here in the US, two sons and two more amazing grandchildren. Note the underscore on amazing , and yes I do love being a Grammie.
Last summer our family expanded again with the adoption of three feral kittens that have since domesticated well and taken over both the house and our hearts. Life suits me just fine these days.
SIX DEGREES: Tell us about a day in the life, what is that eclectic past time that makes you tick? Make us believe, Teresa “We Hardly Knew Ye!”
CLAUDIA: Travel is perhaps the most visible pleasure for me – it doesn’t matter where I go or how I get there: I can be packed in a heartbeat, and if I forget something they probably sell it there too. There are so many beautiful places to see in the world, and fascinating people from every culture to meet. How can my feet not itch to start the next great adventure?
I’m not athletic by any stretch of the imagination, but my interests are eclectic; I like to bike, ski (the jet-, water-, and downhill variety), snorkel, sail, and go for road trips in my Z3 (straight six, open road, let the big dog eat…you know what mean). I’ve also started working on a dive certification this year because the Bimini Road is both in my back yard and on my Bucket List. I love baseball (to watch, not to play); hate pub crawls (although hanging out for a while is lots of fun); love dancing (took belly dancing lessons my first year in Florida); and learned to hate golf the minute someone insisted I had to keep score. Pretty much a classic Gemini.
SIX DEGREES: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
CLAUDIA: It feels like a lifetime, but it’s only been 14 years. Even though I’ve run a software company for several years now I still tend to think of myself as a recruiter first.
SIX DEGREES: How did you get started in recruiting?
CLAUDIA: I took a job at an executive search firm in Seattle back in 1995. The owner wanted to train someone to do candidate development for his clients in the wireless telecom industry; I spent the next two and a half years working beside him on what I like to call my hands-on MBA. I didn’t know much of anything about how big business worked before I met Marc, and I soaked up everything he was willing to teach me. It was an excellent education, and I’m thankful for it to this day.
In 1997 my curiosity about the software industry drew me to a consulting firm that placed contractors at Microsoft; it was my introduction to technical product development and the “back office” side of the Internet, and I grilled the developers and architects I placed there to understand how all the parts fit together. This is where I also accepted what a geek I am at heart: my recruiting library contains books like “C for Dummies,” and “From Cloud to Code” that opened for me the world of a well run software organization.
There was no shortage of recruiting opportunities in the late 90s in Seattle; I was recruited to Amazon.com next (where at one point my work load exceeded 400 requisitions); rather than obsess over the obvious, I mostly focused on sourcing and headhunting executive talent for new lines of business. This part of my job was pretty funny, by the way. Recruiting as a function was new to Amazon at the time and there wasn’t a lot of respect for the role there yet. So I was instructed to “go find candidates for the executive team to talk to” – but new business lines were so top secret before launch that I wasn’t even allowed to know what they were. So calls to prospects were interesting to say the least (“Hello Fortune 500 Executive, we’re looking for exceptional leaders with full P&L experience to lead business lines that I can’t tell you about or I’ll have to kill you. Interested?”). Lucky for me the Amazon.com brand was powerful even then, and the doors that it opened with candidates were truly amazing.
In 1999 I joined yet another great Seattle company, T-Mobile USA, where I had the good fortune of leading Corporate Talent Acquisition for several years. If my time at the executive search firm was an experiential MBA, T-Mobile was my final exam. TMO was in a massive growth mode that year that came to a screeching halt when the Internet bubble burst in the economic recession of early 2000, and then rebuilt with locomotive speed in the years that followed.
TMO gave me hands-on experience as a recruiting leader; I worked with an amazing team of recruiters, and had a front row seat to the effects of both good and bad HR and recruiting practices on every functional area of the business. It was, as Charles Dickens penned, “the best of times and the worst of times” as the company grew from fewer than 10 thousand employees to more than 22 thousand in four short years, and simultaneously grappled with stunning turnover rates in many departments. There’s a silver lining to every cloud though, as what I learned there became the catalyst for product development that would follow at Improved Experience.
SIX DEGREES: Tell us about your company, “Improved Experience”
CLAUDIA: Improved Experience is the company I founded with Alise Cortez in 2006, to provide enterprise feedback solutions for HR and recruiting.
Some of my biggest frustrations as a recruiting leader came from the incredible lack of data (and data collection systems, for that matter) that were available to feed the decision making process when allocating recruiting resources, or planning outreach initiatives. It occurred to me that if I could somehow capture feedback from all of the stakeholders in the hiring process – candidates, new hires, hiring managers, recruiters, even my boss sometimes – and present it in a simple and compelling way, I could put critical business intelligence into the hands of recruiting and HR leaders to measure and improve business performance.
So we built an online “feedback portal” technology – a diagnostic platform that measures and manages perception in the hiring process, after onboarding, and throughout the first year of employment. It took two years to finish the engine and the interactive survey technology that feeds it. Since then, we’ve released two products: Get Better Hires, a tool that explores candidate and new hire feedback and engagement; and Make Better Hires, a tool that explores feedback from the internal business customer about Quality of Hire, recruiting services and support, and talent market conditions.
SIX DEGREES: What single event had the most impact on your career?
CLAUDIA: I don’t think that for me it was a single event; rather, it was the opportunity to see recruiting from so many different perspectives: executive search, contract agency, corporate recruiting and corporate leadership. Each has its own unique drivers for success, and that understanding has powerfully impacted my view of recruiting as well as the business solutions my company offers today.
SIX DEGREES: Do you have a mentor?
CLAUDIA: I’ve been fortunate to work for some great companies along the way, and some very smart people. Janice Dilworth hired me at T-Mobile, and I still consider her a mentor; I wasn’t sure if it would work so well at the beginning, because she was a veteran HR administrator and I had a lot of assumptions about HR that came from years of working in a third-party environment (the old “us versus them” mindset). Janice trusted my expertise when it came to setting a bar of excellence for the team, and I came to deeply to trust her abilities to set broader strategy and protect us from the politics inherent in really big, rapidly growing companies. I learned not only from her knowledge, but by her example.
SIX DEGREES: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry?
CLAUDIA: I truly believe that if something can be measured, it can be improved. My work at Improved Experience is about leveraging perception to improve business performance. By creating a mechanism that collects and reports this data in a transparent and compelling way, we can deepen communication between all of the stakeholders: the internal business customers who drive the hire, the recruiters who make it happen, and the talented candidates and employees they want so dearly want to attract and retain. And if that helps to solve the problem of the dreaded black hole in recruiting, while building stronger businesses, I think we’ll have accomplished something amazing.
SIX DEGREES: What inspires you as you continue in your career?
CLAUDIA: I’m inspired by people who don’t give up, ever. Churchill once said, quite simply, “Never, never, never quit,” and I think that that is perfectly said. I’m inspired by the part of the human spirit that rises in adversity, that stands its ground, that finds courage, that clings to hope.
My youngest son spent ten years in the hell of drug addiction; watching in horror, I was there with him. My first year as a recruiter was his first failed attempt at recovery; he was 14 years old at the time. He tried again to get clean when he was 18, and failed again. At 22 he tried a third time; 60 pounds under weight for his six foot frame by then, we all knew that he didn’t have many chances left. He finally did it, and remains clean and sober 4 years later.
People who don’t give up are rock stars to me.
SIX DEGREES: What is your next career goal? How do you expect to get there?
CLAUDIA: You know, I still can’t believe I’m doing what’s on my plate today. In the past three years I’ve taken all I know of recruiting and built a couple of software products, filed a patent, and worked with developers all over the world to get it done. I still have two more products that need to be built to complete this suite of enterprise feedback tools. Who knows what will happen after that? All I can say is that I’m pretty darned sure I won’t be bored.
Recommendations For Claudia
“You have an amazing concept that will revolutionize the industry. Treating applicants with respect will allow a company to attract the best candidates, and maintain a large labor pool!” February 27, 2006
“Claudia is a very talented professional with the ability to make candidates feel relaxed during all phases. She follows up with candidates and lets him know the status in an inspiring manner whether the results are positive or not. Claudia is difinitely a champion among executive search professionals.” July 19, 2005
Jonathan Jordan, client
“As an executive recruiter, Claudia shines! She possesses all of the technical skills and knowledge of a superb recruiter, as well as the innate ability to align with clients and candidates. Her even cadence and unfaltering delivery have earned the trust of top executives world-wide. Claudia reels-in candidates that had no intention of "leaving home". With Claudia you truly get what you pay for.” June 23, 2005
Christy Miller, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, T-Mobile USA
“Claudia is the very definition of what recruiters can and should be. In a world where so much focus is placed on process, Claudia is always looking for the desired outcome and managing to it with her stakeholders. A true a thought leader in her field, and among the most genuine people I know. I would highly recommend as a trusted advisor.” May 21, 2008
Michael Gaul, Director of Compliance & Fulfillment, American Background
“Claudia was a great leader for myself and the entire recruiting team at T-Mobile. Her leadership and support never faulted and her consultative skills are beyond reproach.” August 6, 2007
Nathalie Becker, Manager, Talent Acquisition, T-Mobile USA
“Claudia Faust was more than my manager, she is my mentor. She is a strong leader and extremely relationship oriented. She truly understands the recruiting industry and how talent is a competitive difference for companies. She is strategic in her approach to bring people and opportunites together. I recommend her highly to do retained search work or consult on best practices. Judy Wright” June 21, 2005
Judy Wright, Employment Brand Manager, T-Mobile
“Claudia implicitly understands both the art and science of ALL aspects of recruitment. She is an incredible coach and mentor and very generous with her time and knowledge. I can’t recommend enough to partner with Claudia for any recruitment related needs. You are guaranteed a positive experience and solid results!” June 21, 2005
Annie Rihn, Sr. Recruiter, Zillow
“Claudia has shown time and again her ability to find not only the right skillset but also the necessary personal qualities for senior level positions. Her attentiveness to the process makes candidates feel honored to have been considered no matter what the outcome.” June 14, 2005
Sharon Fitzpatrick, SPHR (LION), Senior HR Manager, T-Mobile
“I worked with Claudia at T-Mobile. She is an exceptional recruiter and evaluator of executive talent. In addition to her great senior recruiting work she put together very good processes to improve the evaluation process and make the interview experience better for candidates. Claudia is very knowledgeable, and just as importantly, is a great person to work with. I recommend her highly.” June 10, 2005
Randall Birkwood, Director of Talent Acquistion, T-Mobile
“I am pleased to endorse Claudia on two counts. First, as my manager, she was easily the most professional, supportive, instructive, competent manager I have had in my 20+ years in the workforce. As a recruiting professional, she has the best command of executive recruiting I have ever encountered and is a true class act.” June 8, 2005
Alise Cortez, Technical Recruiter, T-Mobile…
Diversity Staffing Pros
Cornell University Brings Its Second Series of Diversity Management Workshops to Boston
Boston, Feb. 11, 2010 — Boston’s Diversity Staffing Pros, LLC is positioning itself as the premier leader in helping Boston's most dedicated diversity and human resources professionals gain valuable academic knowledge, and real-world experience. In September, the company offered the first tier of Cornell University’s Diversity Management Workshops and upon their success it is now offering a second series of Workshops starting on February 18.
“Today's increasing globalization requires more and more interaction between people from different cultures, so capitalizing on workplace diversity has become a vital issue for management today and everyone needs to be a part of it”, said Kim Dukes-Rivers, of Diversity Staffing Pros, LLC who has more than ten years of proven leadership providing strategic diversity recruitment expertise. And what better way to do that than attending one of Cornell University’s Diversity Management Workshops in Boston.
Cornell is one of the nation's first universities to develop and promote diversity programs and has extensive expertise in diversity and inclusion initiatives. It pioneered by offering training that meets the developmental needs of diversity professionals in acquiring strategies that connect diversity to organizational performance. “We are very happy to have entered into an ongoing, productive relationship with Diversity Staffing Pros, as we have been able to work together to offer the Diversity Management Workshops in the Boston area for the first time,” states Laura S. Hertzog, Esq., Director of Cornell EEO/Diversity & Inclusion Programs.
The classes will be offered for one full day each from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will extensively use case studies throughout. Necessary course materials will be provided at no additional cost to all participants. Classes are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and interested parties, both companies and individuals, are encouraged to reserve their places as soon as possible.
Diversity training is changing dramatically, by becoming more and more important on the corporate agenda. Today, companies are moving beyond just diversity awareness training by focusing on providing management with precise skills that are intended to attract and retain a diverse workforce. So there is no better time like the present to attend Cornell’s Diversity Management Workshops.
For more information, visit: http://diversityboston.homestead.com/Cornell-Training.html
Diversity Staffing Pros LLC is a full service placement agency that views diversity as a business imperative to advance in today’s changing marketplace. Our primary focus is to provide access to a diverse talent pool, while also matching professionals to companies that value diversity and inclusion. Diversity Staffing Pros, LLC is a minority business enterprise (MBE) as certified by the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council. …
I have to say that I was impressed with the advancements year over year. Though most of my questions have been answered I know that the community here will not be fully convinced that video interviewing (recorded and live) plays a significant role in the advancement of hiring best practices.
Understanding that our community is rather diverse I do expect varying view points how there are a few key questions everyone will want to ask.
If you are a vendor or user and have real numbers to post, please let us know. We'd like to have a debate on the technology and share the outcome with our community.
Here are a few questions we need answered:
What is a legitimate starting point in dollars to buy into this type of engagement. Taking into account there are various forms of usage including full integrations as well as a point of sale plug and play, what can a firm expect to budget?
Is there a precedent for compliance that can be cited for clarification and legal challenges?
How does the internal talent acquisition team of a company position this solution to the business so that the investment proves to be a value add?
What is an expected period of change management during implementation on a full service video interviewing solution?
Are you considering a video interviewing solution in your organization? Below are a few of the video interviewing platforms to consider. Keep in mind that not all vendors offer the same solution and offer a variety of levels at which they can serve you.
Here is a short list of video interviewing platforms represented at HR Tech 2013: (NOT IN ANY SPECIFIC ORDER)
HireVue: click here to learn more
Our Talent Interaction Platform lets people tell their story and demonstrate their talents, enabling high-quality high-touch collaboration and insights - at the speed, quality and consistency of digital. Highly compatable, HireVue augments existing talent management applications, accelerating productivity and decision-making by providing "hi-def" clarity into people’s character, cultural fit, personality, and potential. Turbocharge your recruiting.
WePow: click here to learn more
WePow is a global leader in recruitment communication, offering breadth, depth, and a personal touch to attracting talent. WePow’s scalable and customizable video and mobile recruitment solutions simplify the way talent acquisition goals are achieved.
Our innovative clients are increasing their productivity, improving their efficiency, and significantly reducing their interviewing cost, while improving the quality of their engagement with candidates. At WePow, we translate human interactions into amazing experiences!
Reimagine recruitment and learn more about WePow’s recruitment, branding, and mobile talent acquisition solutions. www.wepow.com
Interviewstream: click here to learn more
From the Interviewstream website: The bottom line? There is no competing provider that can match the flexibility, simplicity, and level of scalability that our system can offer. In addition, since InterviewStream is the only provider to cover the entire interview cycle - from practice to employment - we have developed a knowledgeable user base on college campuses, during outplacement training, from local workforce centers - who are familiar with our tool that is being used by our Enterprise clients. 24/7 Customer Support Available
Jobvite: click here to learn more
From a single login recruiters will be able to invite, interview, screen, schedule, track and hire effortlessly from their desks. These capabilities will not only accelerate candidate screening, but also reduce remote hiring costs and facilitate panel feedback early in the hiring process leading to better candidate matches. The time saved and the feedback enabled will allow recruiters to understand their talent funnels and level of engagement better.
Unlike other video platforms, Jobvite Video is natively built to work seamlessly across the entire hiring process.
Take The Interview: click here to learn more
Learn about the compliance questions on the TTI blog: click here
Take the Interview is a company that changes the way people hire. Its software enables hiring managers and recruiters to ask candidates their most important questions via asynchronous, or not-live, video interviewing. Through its easy-to-use platform, Take the Interview makes the hiring process more efficient by eliminating the need for time-consuming phone screens.
Rivs: click here to learn more
RIVS was born out of necessity. At their previous startup, our founders constantly struggled with the vast inefficiencies of the hiring process. Their company was growing quickly, and so they needed a lot of great people, but couldn't afford to spend the time reviewing every one of the 1,748,921,303,569 job applications they received every week.
GreenJobInterview: click here to learn more
Provides cloud-based virtual interviewing solutions that help employers dramatically reduce the time and costs associated with scheduling and conducting interviews.
Clients reduced their interviewing costs by roughly $18 million in 2012 alone by using GreenJobInterview’s solutions.
More than 20,000 interviews were conducted on the GreenJob LiveTM platform.
The Orange County Business Journal named GreenJobInterview® one of Orange County’s “Fastest Growing Companies.”
Sparkhire: click here to learn more
Lower cost monthly subscription model. Eliminate the need for time-consuming phone interviews. Set up one-way video interviews in which your candidates record video responses to your interview questions. Watch and evaluate candidate responses whenever, wherever.
Montage Talent: click here to learn more
Montage Interview expands your recruiting reach by virtually eliminating the need for candidate and interviewers to be in the same location. With just an Internet connection and a webcam, live video interviews can take place between a candidate and one or many hiring decision makers. Anytime. Anywhere. Even from a mobile device or tablet. We have capacity for unlimited interview participants for an unlimited duration.
Ansync Interview: click here to learn more
Very cool new LinkedIn Feature on the Async video interviewing platform: click here to learn more
Quicker response times? Simple setup? Less insecurity? Most candidates would welcome those additions to the recruiting cycle. Give your candidates a simple, solid solution that makes sense in today’s business climate. Async offers practice interviews and tips throughout the interview process to put your candidates at ease and works with several candidate experience award-winning companies.
In a recent poll of a client’s candidates, 100% of the candidates had never done a video interview before, over 75% of candidates stated they enjoyed the experience.…