Recruiting leadership during a recession with Michelle Rife (VP Talent Acquisition @ Branch – $4B)

We recently had a community roundtable with Michelle Rife, who leads talent acquisition at Branch (a $4b SaaS company that is transforming how users and brands interact across digital platforms).

Our conversation covered everything from the biggest mistakes that recruiting leaders make during economic downturns, to how we can use data more effectively during the hiring process.

Here’s one great snippet from our conversation. As economic conditions change, creative companies like Branch look inwards to fill roles and provide current employees with cross-functional stretch assignments.

Michelle is a creative and entrepreneurial leader, and has been managing large recruiting and TA teams for the past decade. In the past, Michelle has led Talent Acquisition teams at Playstation (yes, the gaming company!), GE Digital, Facebook/Meta and Aurora.

We talked about how the best recruiting leaders are taking this time to cross-train their team.

In our conversation, we cover:

(00:43) Michelle’s background
(01:55) Cyclical nature of recruiting
(02:31) Radical changes to recruiting in past few years. How recruiting leaders must adapt.
(03:20) Rethink “the how and the why” of the role, it’s no longer just doing a job
(04:19) Candidate’s don’t make a job decision based solely on comp
(05:20) How to prioritize recruiting changes on your team
(06:20) Why/what data is a massive differentiator for recruiting teams, when making changes
(08:30) Biggest mistakes recruiting leaders make during a recession
(10:20) Why many large privately-held companies have an advantage right now
(16:19) How to best help former colleagues during a reduction-in-force?
(21:40) Career development, opportunity to jump a few career levels during a downturn, cross-training, and continuous learning
(23:30) Being a champion for early career hires
(25:55) How to kickstart a data analytics program within recruiting
(31:10) Group Q&A and Roundtable
(39:11) End

See below for the full AMA + roundtable!

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