Video Transcript

00:09 Kevin Ryan: If there are any questions, they asked me to keep five minutes for Q&A. I don't know if there are questions that we can do it in an audience this large. Yes?

00:20 Audience Member: You've commented on using retained search…

00:27 Ryan: Sure. Question is on using routine search. So, a couple of things. One, I over-invest in HR and in recruiting. So even five months ago, we had 10 full-time recruiters, in-house at Gilt which is a... You can get away with fewer. But I guess, the couple of things I'd add there... Sorry and routine search will be a subset of this, which is that for very senior executive spots, I think you need to have routine search in most situations. Now if you're in an industry where you kind of know all the players in your industry, then that's okay. For us, when we're recruiting people from California and all over, we need to broaden out the search, we think we need to have routine search. Below that, I like to have a lot of recruiting in-house because I... Also, when you have those recruiting resources, it makes you feel more comfortable saying, "You know what? Whatever, our receptionist is not that great, let's get another receptionist," instead of saying, "Oh, my God! No one has time to look for this, I can just turn to a recruiter and say, 'You know what, let's just start looking for that, over that spot.'" So I definitely over-invest in both HR professionals as well as the recruiters.

01:38 Ryan: Yeah.

01:39 Audience Member: Another comment you made regarding resume, interview, reference-checking, emphasis to reference checking, in today's environment, getting reasonable reference checking...

01:50 Ryan: The question is, "How do you get a really reasonable reference check if people are concerned about legal issues and things?" So, that's where it takes real work, and so I guess, again, it's sort of a different way of getting back to whether you think human talent is important. If I came in to you as a salesperson and said, "You know, we've been trying to sell to this company and I don't know, I just can't get to anyone." I think you'd say, "Guess what? That's your job. Your job is to work out a way to find the brother of the guy who makes the decision and you'll probably have to make a lot of calls to do that, but that's the job." Good salespeople figure out a way to get to that person and have that meeting. But here, people don't wanna spend a lot of time. So if that's a big account for us, our sales guy might spend an entire day trying to do it. He might have a lunch that leads to a dinner that leads to a call that leads to that meeting, and he'd feel great about that. Here, people make two calls and they're done.

02:44 Ryan: So the questions really is going to be linked in to... The key is, and it's never easy to do, we need to find someone who we know, "we" broadly meaning "anyone I know must know someone who knows you." And I've got to do work to find that. It's harder when they're 22 and just out of college, but someone who has 10 and 15 years experience, who worked for two or three companies, I think that work can be done. Sometimes the senior executives will just do independent checks. Well, the firms will do that. You know what? They're not geniuses, they just make a lot of calls, and they have those personal relationships. And someone called me the other day and I've seen it myself, if you call me, I have no idea who you are.