April 4, 2022

Unlocking Hidden Talent at Activision Blizzard with Justin Ghio

In March, we kicked off our first-ever Community Conversation, a space for talent leaders to have honest conversations about how Eightfold helps their teams hire more people, faster, with Activision Blizzard’s Director of Talent Sourcing, Justin Ghio. By consolidating recruitment efforts into a single talent intelligence platform, Ghio’s team of 100 recruiters can focus less on tracking applicants, and more on sourcing the very best talent in the video game industry.

In case you missed the conversation, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top five takeaways from our conversation with Activision’s Justin Ghio:

Talent rediscovery establishes connections in a competitive environment

In 2021, 41 percent of all new hires at Activision were made through the process of talent rediscovery. By connecting with historical candidates, or candidates who had previously applied to the company up to seven years prior, recruiters were able to make connections with hidden talent that other companies may overlook. Integrating with Activision’s ATS, then strategically rationalizing and arranging disposition statuses within Eightfold, was what equipped Ghio’s team with more meaningful data for candidate re-engagement. In a competitive labor market, it’s more important than ever to provide a best-in-class candidate experience, and that includes recognizing their previous interest in joining the company.

Talent rediscovery is all about finding the right role for an individual at the right time. Ghio said, “People can learn all sorts of skills in a short amount of time, now more than ever. Leveraging historical data allows us to reopen the conversation and find the right fit for them. Candidates are elated knowing they are being re-connected with, and we ultimately see this approach converting many of them.” 

Understanding a candidate’s likelihood to accept new opportunities opens new doors for recruiters

One lesson from our conversation with Ghio was to know your industry. Putting an AI platform in place to determine “likelihood to leave” doesn’t hurt either! Being in the gaming industry, Activision and its competitors are in the business of shipping things on schedule, which means talent is likely to search for new opportunities after a project concludes. 

With Eightfold, Activision has been able to target talent that fits this description by adding unique filters. “This gives us more context about the individual, which really opens the door to approach them,” said Ghio.

Role calibration brings hiring managers to the top of the hiring funnel

If you’ve ever worked with a hiring manager to fill an open position, or have been in that seat yourself, you know they are often set on hiring someone from a certain background, company, or university. They may even have an ideal candidate in mind. With Eightfold, talent acquisition teams are transforming how they work with hiring managers, serving up candidates they may not have otherwise considered.

Streamlining hiring manager touch points can happen right away in the intake meeting with live role calibration. When a hiring manager sees how the talent pool changes in Eightfold’s system based on their requirements, it shifts the paradigm. For example, if the skill Python is marked as required, it could shrink the talent pool in half and offer up a less diverse group of candidates. 

Leveraging skills adjacencies expands the talent pool

Bringing hiring managers into the role calibration process also exposes them to the concept of skills adjacencies. In essence, it’s the ability to infer that because someone has Skill A under their belt, they are likely to know or easily learn Skill B, even if it’s not on their resume. This is particularly valuable for certain roles, like with the Python example – by seeing the candidates with adjacent skills related to Python, organizations are able to tap into a wider and more diverse pool of candidates. 

At Activision, one of its biggest use cases for leveraging skills adjacencies is when it is looking beyond the video gaming industry. If a candidate has experience working in data streaming at a media company, or has worked in film animation, understanding their skills adjacencies enables the organization to look outside of the niche video game creator talent pool and bring a fresh perspective to the industry.

Consolidating systems puts the focus back on candidate-recruiter relationships

With over 100,000 applications each year (who doesn’t want to work in video games?), having a single system of record not only decreases overhead for recruiters and minimizes duplication of the same requisition, but it gives Activision’s team consolidated information to determine the right candidate to reach out to at the right time.

Ghio added, “Because of Eightfold’s power, our system became indexable and searchable. For example, we knew that someone declined a position last year due to inability to work remotely. With that information, we can put together a personalized outreach plan and approach them with a new remote opportunity.”

Our Next Community Conversation

We look forward to featuring more leaders in the talent space at our next Community Conversation, taking place April 7! Join us for another live conversation to learn more about how Eightfold can tap into hidden talent for your organization by adding layers of intelligence to enhance your talent acquisition strategy.