Now that the holidays are over, we’re back in business! In episode 7 of Employer Branding: The Inside Podcast we had the pleasure of speaking with Adeline Bodemer, Head of People, at Gorgias. We talked about leadership buy-in and learning from the best to become the best; but also about the impact of data in talent acquisition, growth sourcing methodologies, and a lot more.
What you’ll learn by listening
- Leadership buy-in: learning from the best to become the best
- Making a career shift: overcoming challenges & taking risks
- The impact of data in talent acquisition & employer branding
- Use data to understand the size of your talent pool when hiring & retaining top talent
- Bridging the salary gap using data: how to make the best job offer
- Talent acquisition & employer branding trends for 2022
- The importance of implementing data-driven growth sourcing methodologies
About the company
Gorgias builds a multi-channel help desk integrated with e-commerce merchants’ back-office. It allows merchants to manage all their support from one place. It connects all business apps and all communication channels to provide support agents a unified view of their customers. It sets auto-responses to common customer requests. Gorgias helps merchants leverage support as a way to increase sales.
Georgiana: Good morning, everyone! Hello! This is another episode of Employer Branding: The Inside Podcast. Today I’m talking to someone who is based in my favorite city in the world. And that is not Berlin. That is Paris. Her name is Adeline Bodemer, and she’s Head of People at Gorgias. Good morning, Adeline! Thank you so much for being with me today. I know you are still tired and jet lagged after your trip to the States. If you would like to briefly introduce yourself and tell us what Gorgias does.
Adeline Bodemer: Sure! Good morning, Georgiana! And thank you for inviting me over. So yeah, Head of People are Gorgias. And we are a SaaS platform which provides a help desk to e-commerce merchants. And we’ve been around since 2015.
Georgiana: Okay. Adeline, I know that Gorgias has several locations. I don’t remember exactly what other locations aside from San Francisco and others. But I know you travel a lot. Right? This is something that comes with the job, I suppose. What other challenges are there when you have several locations and you’re Head of People for all of them?
Adeline Bodemer: Absolutely. We’re based in several countries. So we have two locations in the US, in San Francisco, as you mentioned. We’re based in Toronto, Sydney in Australia, and Belgrade, Paris. And we have a few folks in Romania, eight of them so far. Both office and remote workers. Indeed, that involves a bit of traveling, as you were mentioning. Well, so far I’ve been traveling only three times in eight months, which I believe is okay. I would say the two main challenges here are time zones and compliance zones.
Yes, it’s challenging. Between, for instance, Bucharest and San Francisco, there’s a 10 hour difference. So obviously, connecting between each other is more challenging. And it implies a culture of a sync work must be written using docs to document your work. And I believe this has led us to have a very great knowledge base in the meantime, and any of the other challenge is the compliance and the rules, alignments, because each country is different. And we want to make sure that the benefits we offer, the rules between each country are aligned.
Georgiana: Yes, I imagine that it has to be to be challenging to put all of these people together from all sides of the globe. But yeah, Corona has pushed us all to do it. Right? So we have to. Since this is mostly an employer branding podcast, I was wondering how do the Gorgias employees perceive your brand? I know you guys run engagement surveys every quarter. So I’m curious how does it sound like for them?
Adeline Bodemer: Yes, right. And every quarter, we would definitely ask them questions about how they perceive Gorgias, or they feel about the company. Overall, I would say that what stands out the most is the fact that people at Gorgias learn a lot. And this is something they’re really happy with. And it relies several things. First, the diversity of projects during their work life with Gorgias and the complexity of them.
And especially because they own the projects 100%, they have extreme ownership so they can have a huge impact. And they’re only working on a part of a project, but they would be in charge of the project from A to Z. And we’ve also implemented some tools to help the people grow. I believe that’s how we stand out the most. Regarding the trainings, each manager has to go through a specific training about management, which 12 hours long. We also provide individual coaching to everyone who wants to, thanks to a tool that integrates directly with our Slack.
So if you’re feel like “Okay, right now I struggle a bit with time management”, you would be able to log on Slack and find a certified coach to help you for a few a few hours and work on that. So yeah, I would definitely say that what stands out the most for Gorgias people is how fast you can grow the company.
Georgiana: This is, of course, super nice. Not not a lot of companies are realistically interested in the growth and development of their employees. Would you say this is something that unites all of the Gorgias branches from the perspective of culture? Are there other things as well, aside from it?
Adeline Bodemer: I would say that it unifies everyone at Gorgias and that’s is quite impressive. When I joined the company, I was super impressed about that. Overall, what unites people at Gorgias is their eagerness to learn. And I’m quite impressed by how smart the people who are like me. It was like “Oh, my God, being with such smart people every day, I’m gonna develop an imposter syndrome”, you know? So yeah, I would say, eager to learn and this is definitely linked with what I was saying before, about personal growth.
Georgiana: That’s really nice. I know that you used to work for the corporate environment before joining Gorgias, and these are very two different worlds. For sure. So, what determined you to to switch the two?
Adeline Bodemer: Yes. I was working at Carrefour. I believe this is a quite a famous brand in Romania. And the main reason was our CEO. We’ve met and he was by far one of the smartest person I’ve met in my career. And I thought, well, I would love to work with this guy, and to learn many things from him. And he seemed so passionate about his day and company was growing so fast. I wanted to be part of the challenge with him. And I also wanted to learn next to him. That was the main reason why I made this big shift.
Georgiana: I think it’s a very honest response. And this really enforces for me the reality that people actually join people in companies, and we tend to follow leaders and the people that we feel inspired by. We many times say that it’s a super nice company and even in the nice companies, those nice companies are the result of a very strong culture projected by the leader. So yeah, I’m really happy whenever I hear that strong leadership really exists and and influences others to join the trip. Adeline, I know that most people and companies that I talked to don’t really take data into account when it comes to you know, talent acquisition or let’s say Employer Branding. How important is data for you at Gorgias in these departments?
Adeline Bodemer: Data is part of our values because we definitely believe in maximizing our impact by relying data for decision-making. For talent acquisition, for instance, it is key because it allows us to do predictions and to see, where are the best tools. To give a concrete example, for a specific position, you’re like, Okay, I’d like to hire a full SEC engineer. Based on the data, I know that in the talent acquisition funnel, I would definitely need to have at least interviewed 100 of them, so that at least 25 of them would succeed in the coding challenge.
So at least 50 of them would succeed in the hiring manager interview. Based on data I know, for each position, how big my talent pool should be. And I can also see what sourcing tools have been the best for the specific positions and assess my chances of success for a specific location. So I think it’s definitely helping for the decision-making process, and it can be a great alert to tell you well, even if the pipeline looks good, for these specific positions, it’s actually a very small pipeline. So you need to keep working on that.
Georgiana: Exactly. It also involves, or at least I don’t know, impacts, actually, the revenue streams at the end of the year. So I think it’s super important that leaders and C-level managers start to take data into account when it comes to employer branding. Like I said, it does have an influence in the end, on the company revenue and on the company profits, if not on everything else.
Adeline Bodemer: And bouncing back on what you just said. We believe in data and we also believe in transparency. And the way we build our compensation pool. And for me, this is really tied to the talent acquisition process. It is 100% based on data. And so we grew up several big databases across the globe. So that our salaries are based on the 60s percentile of those databases.
And so, whenever a candidate would have a question about compensation, or would challenge us to negotiate, I think it’s pretty fair. We are super confident to share how the package was built and how it was calculated. I don’t believe in negotiation when you take or make an offer. We all know that some countries are more prone to raise the hand and negotiate, and especially male candidates. So if we want to have a strong impact at the very beginning of the process, and to make sure that we’re reducing the gap, the salaries gap, it is, for me super important to be 100% convinced of why your offer is the best and rely on data to make those decisions and offers.
Georgiana: This is one other element that we’ll be promoting along this podcast; the fact that you guys are adepts at reducing the gender pay gap. This is an issue that’s affecting Germany, as far as I’ve heard. And it was really surprising for me to hear when I came here. I thought it would only happen in the US, but apparently it’s not. So kudos for that.
Adeline Bodemer: Thank you. Yeah, it’s a tough topic.
Georgiana: Adeline, what are, for you, three key predictions for the next year in talent acquisition and employer branding?
Adeline Bodemer: Well, 2021 was already daunting, so it’s hard to make predictions. But I would guess that 2022 is going to be even harder in talent acquisition than 2021. Because we can see, especially in the startup environment, that it still ongoing that many hands are raised. And so, some startups are going to look for many talents. So, that would be a first and a bit related to that. I believe that sourcing is key and those who are going to manage companies will find the best ones. They’re the ones who will to improve and bring in new methodologies to source. And by that I mean, implementing growth sourcing methodologies. It’s not like the old method because it has to be data-driven and come with powerful tools, growth hacking tools.
Those who implement those tools, for me, will make the difference in 2022. And I guess the third one would be more about employer branding. The two first set are about talent acquisition. From what I see, during interviews, we have more and more candidates asking about company missions, what Gorgias would do for sustainability. I believe, indeed, sustainability is taking more and more room and people are more and more aware of the problem. And yeah, and for the younger generation, it is something to take into account. So we’re working actively to become better and better every day. And I believe that it is something that will matter more for candidates than it used to matter in the past.
Georgiana: These can also be considered personal predictions, but they’re more like business predictions. What would you expect from the New Year personally?
Adeline Bodemer: Oh, this is a good question. It’s mid December, it looks like resolution time.
Georgiana: Exactly. I’m still asking myself that question as well. I don’t have the answer to it yet.
Adeline Bodemer: I guess I would love to keep growing and developing my network outside from my home country, which is France. Lucky me, coming back from the US. I was able to meet very inspiring people. I have been to Romania once and I’m looking forward to coming back soon. So yeah, growing personally, and also, meeting more inspiring people from different countries are going to help me grow as well. That would be a personal expectation.
Georgiana: I think that’s going to be on the list for me as well. Growing the network and sort of integrating it into several other directions that I’m exploring. Well, good luck. Good luck with that. And Adeline, since we’re reaching the end of this episode, the question that I ask all my guests towards the end is related to something that has helped them in their becoming an Employer Branding Manager or Talent Acquisition Manager. It can be anything from a blog that you follow, or a book that you’ve read and was super inspiring, or a person that you met, and I don’t know, influenced you in some way. What would that be?
Adeline Bodemer: This is a very tough one. I can think of a list of 10 and I have to pick just one. I guess the tool that has helped me the most is a community called CPO HQ, community, which counts 1300 head of people or CEOs across the globe. And I discovered them by chance. And to be honest, I think it was like four or five months ago, and I took my new role at Gorgias on eight months ago, and this has helped me so much. I wish I had discovered them earlier.
And it’s basically a forum where you may ask any questions, you search for any question that has been asked in the past. They share a lot of document and studies. So when you’re wondering something about okay, what should be the salary increase for next year? What are other companies doing about these remote policy? It’s super great because immediately you would have an overview of 20-30 other companies. I think it’s really inspiring for decision making and you feel like you’re not that alone. And you’re not the only one facing this specific situations. Other peers are too, and you can rely on each other, which is super great. Yeah, I would call that one.
Georgiana: It’s a new resource! It’s a good resource for me and for our listeners, for sure. And it emphasizes again, the power of the community and the impact of networking, although virtually.
Adeline Bodemer: Yes, definitely.
Georgiana: Super Adeline! Thank you so much for talking to me today. I really look forward to meeting you in person in Berlin or in Romania or in Paris. Doesn’t matter. someday, somehow!
Adeline Bodemer: Yes. In your favorite city.
Georgiana: Yeah, I definitely have Paris on the list again very soon. We’d love to. Yes, good luck with your personal plans, also with your professional development. Good luck to Gorgias as well. It seems like an amazing company to work
Adeline Bodemer: I couldn’t be happier to be honest. So yeah. Thank you so much, Georgina.
Georgiana: Thank you talk soon. Bye.
This was Employer Branding: The Inside Podcast. You can find our podcasts on Spotify on Apple podcasts and content on employer branding-related things on employerbranding.tech. Until the next time, stay tuned.