Announcer: Hello and welcome to Eightfold Radio. Meg Blight is VP of innovation scouting with BT. At BT, striking the right mix of employees is a priority, particularly in the face of the current restructure. Let’s listen now as JoAnne McDougald speaks with Meg about how Eightfold offers the ability to recruit for tough to fill roles and strike the right balance of employees.
Eightfold: Hi, everyone and welcome to Eightfold Radio. I’m with Meg Blight from BT. And your position at BT is?
Meg: I’m VP of innovation scouting.
Eightfold: Oh, okay innovation scouting, so you’re responsible for talent acquisition?
Meg: Not talent acquisition, actually technology acquisition, so I work for a British company but a few of us are based out here in Silicon Valley. I like to say I have the best job at BT to seek out exciting new technology that can benefit the U.K. business.
Eightfold: Oh, great. So you’re in the office of the CIO?
Meg: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Eightfold: And so what was it that came across the desk there that made you guys even want to evaluate Eightfold?
Meg: Well, so one of our big challenges as a business is having the right set—mix of employees. So it’s public knowledge that we’re actually going through a process where we’re going to be actually downsizing a lot of our middle management and restructuring. With simultaneously also hiring quite a few more frontline staff. And actually there’s also lots of key roles that are quite hard to recruit for, so we’re conscious that we’re going to need a lot more data scientists for example in the future, and it’s quite hard to find the really talented great people in that area. So I guess our challenge is both finding the right people but also within our current workforce, finding the right people that can do new roles and new opportunities. So it’s as much for us looking internally within our existing employees as it is looking externally.
Eightfold: Yeah and that’s one of the nice things that I like about Eightfold and sort of one of their—like the Eightfold path is behind their naming structure, that’s sort of what that is. And that path is very important, identifying ways for employees to find internal paths that keep them engaged and it’s a way for folks that are in talent management than companies to communicate with them at the right moment. And ensure that they stay engaged or find other roles and you can set some time—they have to be in their current role for 18 months or something before you offer these other opportunities, job retraining, other things you should take. You can take your ultimate career path, if you want to become…
Meg: Completely, and we do a lot of internal training. We have an academy program internally and we’re a huge employer in the U.K. and across the world. But we employ, I’ve forgotten the exact numbers, around a 100,000 people, so we’re a huge organization and so much talent within the business. But as the whole market changes what we need from our employees changes and what they want from their job’s changes. So it’s really important that we have the tools internally to empower them and help them find their path.
Eightfold: Yeah that’s terrific. In terms of new talent acquisition, and engaging with millennials, what’s your strategy?
Meg: Ooh, do you know I’m not 100 percent—we do have a clear strategy, maybe we should, I probably—I don’t work in HR, someone in HR will be listening to this going, Meg you’re crazy we have a complete strategy, I’ve been working on it for years. Certainly historically in the U.K. we’ve done a lot of recruitment of both graduates, so we have a graduate scheme and also we do apprenticeships for engineering community and quite a lot of outreach particularly in STEM. And also we frequently host in our innovation area young women and people from various different backgrounds that maybe would be less familiar with going into engineering and technology careers, so that’s a really important part of a business.
Whether we’ve changed that style specifically to change what millenials are looking for, I don’t know if we have yet. I mean I am the very oldest you can be to be a millennial, so I was recruited. But certainly we use a lot of social media. I actually got my role five or six years ago through LinkedIn, so yeah.
Eightfold: Oh, nice, nice. Hopefully we’ll find new grads this year that will find it through Eightfold.
Eightfold: Thank you so much for joining us for Eightfold Radio, it was a pleasure to talk with Meg Blight from BT. Thanks again.
Meg: Thank you.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to Eightfold Radio. To find out more about Eightfold please visit us at Eightfold.ai, and be sure to listen to our other episodes chronicling the experiences of Eightfold’s customers and partners.
In this episode, Meg Blight talks about how Eightfold offers the ability to recruit for tough-to-fill roles and strike the right balance of employees.