Recognizing Indeed's 'All Generations Empowered' Inclusion Resource Group
Inclusion is one of Indeed’s core values. We recognise and celebrate all groups and communities. To talk about an Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) that we haven’t discussed before, Chris speaks to Virginia Campoy, client Success Specialist in our Scottsdale, AZ office and also the Scottsdale Site Lead for our All Generations Empowered IRG.
All Generations Empowered (AGE) provides opportunities for networking, community outreach and education while exploring the benefits and challenges of a multi-generational workplace.
Chris and Virginia discuss how Indeed and other organizations can be more welcoming to all generations.
- Hello everyone, I am Chris Hyams, CEO of Indeed. And welcome to the next installment of Here to Help. This is our look at how Indeed has been navigating the global impact of COVID-19. Today is November 16th, we are on day 258 of global work from home. At Indeed as you know, our mission is to help people get jobs. And this is what gets us out of bed in the morning and what keeps us up at night. And we also have five core values that help guide us on that mission. And one of those core values is inclusion and belonging. And we've talked about a number of our Inclusion Resource Groups on previous episodes of this podcast. Today, we'll be talking about a group we haven't discussed before. And I am delighted to be joined today by Virginia Campoy, Client Success Specialist in our Scottsdale Arizona office. Virginia is also the Scottsdale Site Lead for our All Generations Empowered Inclusion Resource Group. Virginia thank you so much for joining me today.
- What an honor to be here with you Chris. It's a privilege, thank you.
- So let's start where we always start these discussions with a quick check-in. How are you doing today?
- I almost feel guilty, but I'm thriving and living my best life today.
- Well, that is always wonderful to hear. I would love to get just a little bit of sort of check in on what it is that you do in your role. You are a Client Success Specialist. Can you talk a little bit about what that entails and what types of clients do you work with?
- Thank you, I have the honor to call our clients. I have about 300 accounts. I work with two phenomenal account executives, both stationed in New York, and together we strategize with our client companies of how to optimize their experience on Indeed of course, bringing in the revenue, maintaining revenue and building relationships. And really primary is number one, building the relationships. That's what we strive at. And so I get to talk to client companies who maybe thriving in the world or maybe struggling right now, but I listen to their needs. And genuinely I just call and say, how are we doing for you? What's missing, what's your experience like? And I always have a little feedback form so I can submit it to the team because I think that really, we are in the front line and I take notes so that hopefully I can bring it back to product or marketing for AGE, that's what we try to do.
- So you mentioned AGE, AGE is for the folks who are outside of Indeed is the acronym for All Generations Empowered. So that is the Inclusion Resource Group that you were the site lead of in Scottsdale. Can you talk a little bit about AGE and what it's all about and what is your focus?
- Thank you, let's start off with the mission statement. All Generations Empowered just provides opportunities for networking, community experience, education, while exploring the benefits and challenges of a multi-generation workplace. So it doesn't necessarily mean just because we have the acronym of AGE, it doesn't really reflect a seasoned population. These are experiences that can be felt throughout one's career. Whether you're up and coming, whether you're 15 and just looking for a job. There's lots of nuances to that. And we speak about that in our group and that's our main focus.
- It's fantastic, so let's talk a little bit about, how you got to Indeed. You've been with Indeed now for nearly two years, but tell us a little bit about your journey.
- What a journey it's been winding roads and experiences that have made me stretch. We are the sum total of all our experiences in life. And so I just, I've evolved over my lifetime. Not necessarily with one set focus, one set career. I was a single mom with two children, overcoming poverty, making sure that they were raised in a good way. So my focus was not my career. My focus was them. I initially I thought I was going to be able to make the career, but because my income was so low, my childcare was so high, it just did not. And then they were turning out like people that I didn't know. So if I wanted them to have my values, that my parents taught me, then I needed to focus on them. And just do what I could do until they were a little bit older. So, ended up becoming a social worker basically because I was able to find resources. I worked in victimology because I wanted to save the world. So my heart is in there anyway, because of my different jobs, I was able to be accepted to USC Master's program for School of Social Work, became an investigator, child abuse, more like a cop than social worker did that for many years, never lost a case. I'm fierce with my passion. No matter if you're my loved one, you're my horse, my dog, I'm fierce with the people who I love or what I feel is vital. And I, my body took the toll. I was tired and I thought, you know, I can't do this anymore. So I decided to look for another way to help people. And I ended up becoming a recruiter for 15 years and that taught me about recruiting, helping people, teaching them how to prep for an interview, coaching employers. So this is what I do as a Client Success Specialist. So it's even juicy information that I can still share with them. And then I ended up being in the fork for the road where I had to make a decision about my career, because I felt like I had aged out. All of a sudden I was applying to opportunities and nobody was biting. And I thought to myself as a recruiter, you know, you're going to hit this ceiling. Typically it happens, but here I am selfishly thinking I'm not there yet, but I kind of was. So I ended up lowering my expectations of my role, because really I was asking myself, what about work-life balance? You've never had that in your life. Maybe I can create some time for personal. And so I took a step down and looked at positions that were customer service. Not that I stepped out, just a smaller role, eight to five and looking for a company that would take care of me, where I could work until whatever. But nobody was biting. And so I was in California to make the long story short, came to Arizona with everything in my car that could fit. My parent's here, my family's here what was I doing over there? No job, but I marketed myself. I had 15 interviews the first two weeks that I was here and got Indeed the second week. I couldn't believe my eyes, I've been using Indeed as a recruiter forever. And thank you very much you helped me put my kids through school, they got braces. I mean, Indeed does make a difference. My recruiter friends are calling now and saying, "Hey man, you guys are not as free as you were." And I said, "No, but we helped you get there, right?" So we've grown up a lot at Indeed, but your reputation follows you. When I went for the interview, I couldn't believe it I thought I was Dorothy. I've said this before everything went from black and white to color Chrome. It was beautiful to see. But I was nervous because I didn't see my reflection. And I thought, well, this'll be a good exercise. I know they'll give me a good interview because it's you're Indeed. I was excited just to have the opportunity and get a behind the scenes view. Never thinking that I wouldn't actually be invited to be family. And luckily my, the Director of Clients Specialists in Scottsdale, Adrian, he walked in and just said, "Virginia, we're going to have a conversation" and made me relax and that's what we did. We didn't talk about my skillset and my tech, lack of tech experience. He was evoking my skillset. I can make friends in three minutes on the phone. My life depended on it. So he found something in me that would be a value. And so I accepted, but was even scared with that, because I didn't want people to find out how dumb I was, because I didn't know tech. Isn't that amazing how we acquaint ourselves to ignorance where we don't know anything or a particular specialty? So your company, our company provides ways for folks like me to be integrated into the system and to be a reflection of the company and show a different work force and expand stereotypes of the tech world. That I didn't even know existed until I came in. And so that's what we're doing with AGE too. That's why I jumped on it right away, saw that we had lit and women I could see that when we were signing up, there were so many I could be a part of, 'cause there's lots of intersectionality, right? But being a Latino woman professional, how refreshing it was to have a group where I could be me where the companies that I've worked for in the past, the Orange County California would not allow in those days, now maybe. But you know, I was required to homogenize, to blend in, let go of my culture, to be a success. And for the first time in my life, I found a company culture that embraces. I was listening to the talk with Danny Stout and Lafawn this morning and Paul, because of our DI and B philosophy, we have 40% of our workforce involved. And that can only improve our product, that can only improve our marketing, that can only improve the relationships between each other and thus fulfilling the five goals of our mission.
- Wow, well, it's an amazing story. I have to say we're very fortunate to have you. So I'm glad things worked out the way that they did. You mentioned that when you were talking about your kids, that you raised your kids to be empowered. And that's obviously, that's one of the words in our acronym for the IRG, AGE, All Generations Empowered. Can you talk a little bit about what it means to you to be empowered?
- My parents taught me self-sufficiency. I don't think I would have been prepared to be a single mom being father, mother fighting the world while keeping a smile on my face and pretending that we weren't living in chaos. So I had tribute that to my parents. My father comes from 13, from a humble beginning, ended up joining the army at 19. My mother is also from humble beginnings first-generation here both of them. But she was one of the first people in her generation to get an AA degree, which was huge in those days, their romance is a beautiful story, we'll talk about later. But whenever that my father taught me young, if I wanted something, I had to earn it. My mother wanted to keep me busy. She knew I had a business since I sold a lot of girl scout cookies. She enrolled in a stationary sales position. They sent her the book and she gave me the book. Here I'm nine and I'm carrying this big old stationary book. And I looked at her, I go, "Mom, you were going to do this." And she goes, "No, you walk around "I'll stand on the corner and you knock on the door, "I know everybody at this street, you'll be safe. "Just wave at me and let me know you're going in." And I did. People were charmed, I didn't know what I was doing, but they liked it, I liked it. And then when I wouldn't go, they called me. They called my mother, where is she? So I realized, oh, my mom says, "You have clients." I go, what are those? And she goes well. So I earned extra money that way. If I wanted a guitar, my dad said, "How are you going to earn it? "To get a $100 to get a guitar?" Little things like that. When I got a car, everything he taught my brother. I changed the oil in my car. I couldn't drive until I showed him I could change a tire. He was the mock-up lead for North American Rockwell in Los Angeles for the Apollo space program. So here is a humble, very, very poor beginnings. And he becomes the number one mock-up engineer for the Apollo space program in California. When our three astronauts passed in the middle of the night, my dad got that call 'cause that was his ship. We knew the astronauts, we would play in the capsule on family days. My mom was traditional, stayed at home, sewed all our clothes. She saved her prom dresses. So those are my, and made us Easter dresses. So it's those resources that I took because I knew that I would not be able to take my kids to private school. And I wanted to end domestic violence. And they did, they grew up to be self-sufficient productive civilians. No boomerangs, they married good men. They have beautiful families. That is my most joyful pride.
- Remarkable, so when you were telling your story about your career progression, you used the term aged out. Can you describe what that means practically in the employment world?
- That means the market no longer finds you viable. It's hard to say, but that's what that term means. When you hear that, that's what you think. It's not really spoken publicly maybe managers, maybe recruiting we talk about that and sometimes I've had to be able to have those conversations with more tenured professionals in a very easy way, not to be offensive. But I want them still be marketable. Change your email. If you've got an SBC global email, we want you to have Gmail that's a little bit more relevant. Because people get judged on how old you are by the email URL. Isn't that amazing? And you know, most people would like to say, I'm an expert at this for 20 years. That's my value. And I would say, no, no, no, no don't do that. Just say my specialty is that, that, that, you don't have to accentuate with the years. You do everything that you can to blend into the market to prove your way into an interview. And then when you're lucky to get an interview, you're hoping that you're not getting the stereotypical question like, well, we know you've done the role, but would you, how would you adapt?
- One of the things you know, that we look at through the lens of all of our Inclusion Resource Groups is, is how these various just qualities of a person can become barriers in the hiring process. So why is it that that age is, has become such a barrier? And what can we do to try to overcome that?
- Age has become a barrier traditionally. But I think that we're slowly seeing that awareness being raised. That just because you reach a certain point in your career does not mean that you have nothing to give. And I always use the term juice, I'm still juicy. I got stuff to give, I'm relevant. I want to learn about Tik Tok. And maybe that's the difference. I want to encourage, you know, more tenured professionals to be open. And rather than thinking those traditional things well back in my day, well, you know what, it's not your day. Today's our day. And how can you stay relevant and use vocabulary that keeps you relevant today? So teaching others how to use and embrace different methodologies of speaking. I know I've adapted my way of speaking and I've changed it since I've become an AGE member because it has raised my conscious level. I never thought I was offensive, but I think some of the terms that I was using a slang is. So I've changed it. So that's what AGE does. And when I love AGE, because of the fact that it's not, it's all generations. I want to hear your experience as an intern. I want to hear your experience as you roll over to our employee position. Oh my goodness, and now you've been here for five years. We have a manager at CA Shared, Steve who's has a wonderful story. We have so many like that. Proving over and over again. If we can highlight people on the tenured side. And I think in referrals to my friends and maybe build that pipeline too, by teaching recruiting, by teaching TA different ways of interviewing and thinking. The blessing for this role for me as co-site lead, it's been a challenge to really lift the whole group up in Scottsdale. I'll be honest because of the work from home and my main population in this is Shared and they are front, front line. So what I've been involving myself with, is making myself available. So I met with the recruiting team from New York and I met seven phenomenal professionals and told them my story of how I came to Indeed. They were taking notes and they admitted that they weren't would never have thought to hire me necessarily. So if it wasn't for AGE, I wouldn't be able to integrate with other folks that I don't know. With AGE now really after the Summit, which was phenomenal, thank you. We connected our AGE group in Scottsdale connected with AMEA. A plus students want to hang out with A plus students and they had a phenomenal year last year. So we want to find out from them tricks that we can improve and together build power and strength. And who else can say, I have friends in Australia that I work with? Who else can say, I have a friend in Japan, right? And they're saying, hey, I have a friend in Scottsdale. So really AGE has a way of enriching our community to a personal level. And I even got a chance to talk to, through AGE and Summit one of your UW design developers called me and asked me about if we could have time. She found out I was in Shared, she's creating a special something about promotions. And we had a 30-minute conversation about how I initiate those promotions, how I think, and she's, we're going to help streamline so that my team members will not have to juggle back and forth to Ad Central. So these are the things and the values that we bring.
- And so you mentioned one of the things that is unique about the All Generations Empowered, IRG is that it really is for everyone. A lot of the other groups have one particular audience they're focused on, and then we have allies. But really everyone is part of All Generations. Can you talk a little bit about the work of AGE within Indeed and what you all are doing to help us challenge some of the preconceptions that you were talking about before?
- Well, you know, as I was going over our notes today, I even remembered that as a culture, you know, we are taught as Mexican-Americans, we are taught not to look at anybody in the eye directly. It's actually an offense. And when I went to the Anglo world, I got in trouble because they said, you're not looking at me. And I'm thinking, well, I would get a whipping if I look at you. And so I think that even training HR teams about various cultures and asking AGE audience, that's one thing. What about, you know, the African-American culture? Is there a nuance that you all are taught that we're not aware of? That we can bring to our HR team, our TA team, so that we can start teaching managers and leaders to have a more open mindset? That would be one way. Also, I have a meeting with the CS leaders and talking with them of how we can maintain our AGE with encouraging them, to encourage the employees to attend. And to see if they would like to come to our meetings and see what AGE is about. They don't all have to be involved, but it would be nice if they saw the benefit and why their employees that they supervise, how we're in love with this. And why it benefits the whole company.
- So you've talked before about sort of homogenization and the fight against homogenization. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
- Well, I was taught to blend in early, you know, I actually witnessed, and I was with my mother at four, at one point where we were actually asked to leave the store because of who we were ethnically. So I realized early that, well, I was such a sheltered child. I really thought that everybody was Mexican and when I found out that people weren't, I just went, "Oh, those poor things." I kept telling my mother, what do you mean? They don't speak Spanish? They don't eat our food They don't have the same... She was, no, they do this, they do that. And I was actually labeled mentally retarded when I went to kindergarten because I spoke Spanish. My mom said she is not retarded, she only speaks Spanish. And so the teacher encouraged my mother not to speak Spanish to my brother and my sister. So I'm the one that's more bilingual and actually I love it. So I didn't want to let go of it and took six extra years in high school to make sure I didn't forget it. So homogenizing I've been that wall has always been there. I mean Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix had a public pool, but they always drain the pool with our once a day visit for the Mexican-American population. After we swam in it, they drained it, refilled it, and everybody knew that. So there was an implied some whatever that we did not match.
- So one of the goals within AGE is this focus on building powerful relationships throughout the business. Why is that work so important?
- Well, because of the examples that I've been focusing on, I think because we only grow better. We only hear new. I've never worked for a company that welcomed outside thoughts without being ostracized. To be honest. Usually you hit a well, this is how it's always been done. It's so refreshing and to me, what I credit in these growth and reputation and continual growth to infinity is my dream. That we stay engaged and we stay focused. So forgive me if I got lost in that tangent, but that's really what I think is important, human relationships. I mean, even in COVID, the blessing in COVID for me, has been learning to value today. I take my mother where she's stuck. Mom, do you want to go for a drive? Okay, we don't go anywhere. Look at the stars, look at this guy and look at whatever. You know, I learned to appreciate the little things. A smile on my dad's face when he's looking at the iPad and watching my grandson, that we haven't been able to hold. But at least we can share those things like on a little phone call. Hi, Jane it's your client specialist. I'm your direct connect to Indeed, how are we doing you? Are you okay?
- So how can we make Indeed more welcoming to All Generations?
- Building education for the decision-makers and awareness. I almost would like to engage more with AARP. I'm trying to figure out how we can do a virtual with them to see if we can, 'cause initially our focus was to go out and to do a lunch and learn. And say to AARP audiences, you have value. Indeed would want to hire you if you have this, this, this, and this. Let's talk about that. And not only that other companies will want you, if you talk about this, this and this. So somehow I'd like to have a lunch and learn that's virtual. So that's an ultimate goal for 2021.
- So when you were talking about your career journey, you described each of the steps along the way, and it was very clear that you took something with you from each of those. How has your Indeed experience changed you and how has it changed the way that you view the people that you work with?
- Well, in my world, my world has changed inside and out. Indeed has changed me in a way that I never thought possible. It's created an environment where I can actually be me with no fear. Rejuvenated in my career that I can actually do more than I thought I did two years ago. And I've learned to be more accepting. I've learned to be more self-aware, I've learned to be appreciative because they knew my limitations, but I have to tell you my folks in Shared, they left me on the phone if I ever got stuck, they would ping me and help me and rescue me and nurture me. So if I have any success, it really is to my leadership team, and my manager, Jeff Whipple, Ben Murphy, my dedicated team, my Shared team. It's been a wonderful experience. And my parents feel better knowing that I have a great company, my children feel more secure. My dog is happy, he's eating bones that are richer than me. So, I mean, honestly Chris, I'm here for the long run and I want to spread the news to everyone that I meet.
- Your passion is contagious. And I think everyone has benefited from having you around. To wrap up one of the things that, that we always do at the end of these conversations is sort of looking forward to the future. Obviously the last eight and a half, nine months have been incredibly challenging for people all over the world. And still in light of that, we've had new experiences and some new insights and had an opportunity to look at things maybe differently than we had before. What of your experiences over the last eight, nine months have given you some optimism for the future?
- I think people have learned to be more genuine. And I hope after this, in your interview, that folks from all over the world can realize that everyone has value. Every single person in this world, no matter what you do, no matter what socioeconomic background you've come from. And that I would share that with my children. I don't care if you want to dig ditches, become, whatever you do, do it with integrity, do it passion. Your name is on it, that's all we have. Make it bright, shine it up, and everyone is welcome here in AGE, please stop by, please ping me, get involved with us. We'd like to hear your ideas because together we can, we're changing the world. We can change the world, but we are changing the world.
- Well, Virginia, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today. It was absolutely delightful and inspiring. And thank you so much for everything that you do for Indeed and to help people get jobs all over the world.
- It's my pleasure Chris, thank you.