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Career Confessions of Gen Z: An Interview with Johnny Campbell of Social Talent

Apr 24

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with, and conduct a short interview with, the CEO and Co-Founder of SocialTalent, Johnny Campbell. SocialTalent is an online training platform where recruiters, sourcers, and recruitment marketers alike can become true business partners by way of bite-sized videos.

I’m a daily-user and huge advocate of SocialTalent, so I reached out to Johnny the second I found out that he was a featured speaker at SHRM Talent this year. I got to watch his presentation twice, and both times, I looked around the room as people scrambled to record every word and capture every slide he presented.

This was initially going to be Q&A type of interview and as time went on, I realized I just wanted to hear what he wanted to share with me, about anything. I left the conversation with both a profound sense of inspiration, along with a better understanding of my own mind.

(Answers are paraphrased but reflect exact responses. Direct quotes will be in quotations.)

1. How did SocialTalent come about?

Answer: SocialTalent was made by design but became by accident. Believe it or not, it started as a hedge. About a year in, we were doing things differently and we knew it was effective. It was just a matter of time ‘til everyone started doing it. We were amongst the first in the space and we were faced with the question, “Is this actually scalable, or do we teach people how to do it?”. SocialTalent would give in-person presentations and at a conference someone said it should be digital.

2. How do you partner with the best of the best for SocialTalent content?

Answer: I’ve always had a knack for patterns. I was figuring all of this out and felt the need to share, so I started blogging. I had eyes on my content early on, which led to meeting with guys like Dean Da Costa, Bill Boorman, and others. We have a sort of “Spotify-model”, in that we have the space for the most knowledgeable people in our space to share their ideas digitally. So there are royalties that come with that – it works great.

3. How do you decide what’s important? And how do you stay on top of producing new and relevant content?

Answer: We test EVERYTHING. We also ask our customers for suggestion on what our platform is missing. We do mapping exercises that layout everything about the recruiting process and then decide how we can make an impact in each of those steps.

4. How do you show the impact of sourcing matter to a very traditional recruiting team?

Answer: The reality is, leadership doesn’t care about the technical work you can do as a sourcer – despite how impressive it really is. It all boils down to the unexpected insights and presentation of your data. How can you present your data to make it matter to leadership, a hiring manager, recruitment marketers, etc? Don’t share the process, share the answers.

5. (BONUS) Does Bill Boorman really always wear a hat?

 

Answer: I have not seen Bill without a hat in 9 years – at conferences, meetings, everywhere. He has an array of them too!

Although the purpose of this interview was to learn more about the coming of SocialTalent, we were able to have a casual conversation. The highlight of the conversation you may ask? It was when Johnny, mid-sentence, said the following:

“You’ve got the best name in the world for a sourcer… like the best [expletive] name!”

It’s safe to say I’ll be keeping my eye out for the next moves from Mr. Campbell and the SocialTalent team. For those who have yet to check out SocialTalent for yourself or your teams, you oughta hop on the platform, or else you’re missing out!


Hunter Casperson — Self-proclaimed “Sourcing Nerd” — Is from Southern California, where he spent lots of time outdoors and in turn, loves nature. Hunter attended UC Berkeley where he studied Math & Psychology for three years before joining Quicken. His all-time favorite thing to do is beat-box, where he has consecutively ranked amongst the Top 10 in the United States over the past 3 years (under the name Huntybeats)!

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