Kieran Snyder co-founder and CEO of Textio with Sjoerd Gehring, VP of Talent Acquisition & Employee Experience at Johnson & Johnson
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How Johnson & Johnson is adding 90,000 more women to their hiring pipeline

Textio CEO Kieran Snyder interviews Sjoerd Gehring, VP of Talent Acquisition and Employee Engagement at Johnson & Johnson, about how J&J uses data science to improve their talent pipeline.

Video Transcript

Kieran Snyder: “Every time I talk to you I’m always so impressed with the experiments that you run, it’s really unusual for such a venerable organization as Johnson and Johnson.”

Sjoerd Gehring: “You know if you look at the recruiting industry, the industry really hasn’t been disrupted in a really meaningful way in many decades. We recently did this experiment in our team where we pulled a job description from the 1970s and we compared it to a job description from, you know, that’s listed on our career site today, and guess what? There’s not that much of a difference.”

Kieran Snyder: “Can you talk a little about how you’re using data in your talent acquisition?”

Sjoerd Gehring:“So J&J a few years ago made a strategic decision to heavily invest in workforce people analytics. We’ve hired multiple data science PhDs to really figure out not just what data can we collect and how can we structure it better, but also what are some of the very tangible and value-added use cases that we can use it for.”

“And you know one of the tools that we love in that ecosystem is Textio because what it does for our recruiters is it helps them write better job descriptions with very actionable and tangible data.”

“I think what you’ve done very nicely is you’ve focused on an area that is a true pain point for an organization like J&J. Nobody likes to write job descriptions, job descriptions are necessarily the most compelling kind of document candidates can read, and you’re helping us make them better, and that’s really valuable”

Kieran Snyder: “So can you share a little bit about your experience with Textio so far.”

Sjoerd Gehring: “The two things that really stood out to us was one, recruiters really enjoyed using Textio, and I kind of take that back to a great UI, very intuitive design, and real value in the moment. It didn’t take you know 30 minutes to get value, it probably took 30 seconds for them to kind of get a piece of value to actually make those job descriptions better. The other thing that we’ve seen is that hiring managers actually really really appreciated very let’s say traditional job descriptions being enriched with language that actually makes more sense. And then the gender diversity component of it I think was eye-opening for business leaders across the organizations to see you know how male-centric many of our job descriptions were and how fairly straightforward and easy it actually was to make them more gender neutral.

“We actually saw a very significant increase of highly qualified candidates that make a real impact on our company. And so what we said earlier this year was it is working so well for us, there is so much value there, let’s roll that out globally. And I think that’s what we’ve done together in the last few months, and we’re seeing very similar positive results, even outside the US.”

Kieran Snyder: “That’s so exciting. I know from the pilot I think it was a 9% increase the number of women applying which at J&J is about 90,000 additional women each year into your science and technology pipeline.”

Sjoerd Gehring: “Yeah, that’s huge.”

Kieran Snyder: “Because you have how many jobs every year?”

Sjoerd Gehring: “We fill roughly 25,000 positions around the world, and the ability to all of a sudden kind of resonate better with female talent for specific jobs is very powerful.”

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