Creative Techniques for Leading Remote & Global Teams with Charlie Nelson (Ep. #61)

Published on
October 4, 2022
No items found.
Follow Our Podcast

Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #61: Creative Techniques for Leading Remote & Global Teams with Charlie Nelson

If your organization has embraced a hybrid or fully-remote work model, your managers need to be equipped with an array of adaptable and effective tools for team development, including coaching. Today’s guest, Charlie Nelson, is responsible for all aspects of worldwide operations for SmartRecruiters, including GTM & distribution strategy and performance optimization. Translation: he knows a thing or two about how to lead, coach, and develop teams.

In the time since SmartRecruiters committed to a fully remote workforce in 2020, Charlie has developed a number of terrific strategies for getting the absolute most out of his remote teams, including a technique he calls “watching game tape.” By watching recordings of his remote calls, observing and listening for things like body language, intonation, and technical details that are tough to gauge in real time, Charlie illuminates and pinpoints opportunities for improved performance. Learn about how this radical transparency aligns the organization around shared goals and drives business outcomes.

In this episode:

Meet Charlie Nelson

  • Charlie is currently responsible for all aspects of worldwide operations for SmartRecruiters, including GTM & distribution strategy, performance optimization, and business insights. Prior to that, Charlie drove enterprise sales at Identified, which was acquired by Workday in 2014.
  • A veteran of making human resources and recruiting professionals successful, Charlie earned his BA from the University of Washington.

Leading Through Empath, Vulnerability, Authenticity & Transparency

  • Leading with empathy and vulnerability can be very effective. Start conversations by talking about something that is personal to you, to see how people respond and react. Are they paying attention? Do they want to build connection? Or is this a transaction for them? Are they someone that really wants to get to know you?
  • Because the other side of being a good manager is that people manage you just as much as you manage them!
  • So asking questions, leading with vulnerability, providing that safety net to determine whether or not these people are in it with you, is the key.

Accountability & Remote Teams

  • The performance expectations of most jobs really hasn't changed, but the way that we maybe go about performing them and the environment in which perform them definitely has.
  • Most roles are measured through performance - data or reports or dashboards that you can look at to help measure if people are meeting expectations.
  • It really hasn't changed that much, you should still be looking at the data and tracking against targets, but you should know your people well enough to be able to understand how they're showing up to work as well.
  • When you're good at connecting with your employees, you'll have a lot of insight into some things that are (or are not!) happening before you get any truly unexpected numbers.

Making Radical Candor Part of the Culture

  • You just have to be comfortable setting the expectation that this is the culture, that radical candor just comes with the job - you're gonna get the good and the bad and the ugly.
  • But you need to encourage it the other way as well, "And I want you to give it to me, too!"
  • If they don't like how you show up to a meeting, or if you say something that seems out of whack, they need to be comfortable calling you out on it.
  • At the end of the day, we're all developing one another. Even though you manage eight people, those people can also help manage you, if you do it right!

Next Steps

  • Even though SmartRecruiters has made the decision to be "remote first for ever," we recognize the importance of face-to-face interactions -being intentional about coaching and leading with vulnerability does have an advantage in those face-to-face meetings.
  • I'm trying to find opportunities to pull together people on on a regular basis - that could be grabbing cocktails with the people that live in the same area, or it can be seeing if a prospect would be willing to have us come on site. (Just don't over do it, because people do want to get back to the place where they get work done.)
  • When employees are being onboarded into a remote environment, be aware of the ones that have never met not only their peers, but have never met their boss in person! How do you accelerate learning curves? How do you establish loyalty and trust?
  • While some things may be boxes that we have to check, we do want to avoid it being just a transactional relationship with our new hires, and existing staff as well! You really need to find different ways to connect with your employees.

Downloads & Resources

Follow Charlie on LinkedIn.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

Charlie Nelson

Charlie is currently responsible for all aspects of worldwide operations for SmartRecruiters, including GTM & distribution strategy, performance optimization, and business insights. Prior to that, Charlie drove enterprise sales at Identified, which was acquired by Workday in 2014. A veteran of making human resources and recruiting professionals successful, Charlie earned his BA from the University of Washington.

View the episode transcript

Wendy Hanson  0:24  

Greetings, everyone, welcome. I'm delighted you joined us here today, because an important conversation is going to happen. We've talked a lot about going remote going hybrid, all the challenges that people have over the last few years. And we need to keep beefing up our ideas and our tool set for connection. And how do we keep in touch with our people, because they're our most important resource, and you know that as managers. So I am, I feel truly blessed that I have Charlie Nelson here with me today. And Charlie and I have known him for quite a while, and I admire him greatly. So for him to share his wisdom with us, I think is a real gift. So let me tell you a little bit about Charlie. He's a veteran to sell of selling and making human resource and recruiting professionals successful. Charlie is responsible for all aspects of worldwide operations, including GTM, and distribution strategy, performance optimization, and business insights. Prior to joining smart recruiters, Charlie drove enterprise sales at identified which was acquired by workday in 2014. Prior to identify Charlie was an early employee of Simply Hired, Charlie earned his BA from the University of Washington. And he knows what he speaks about that I throw in there. So Charlie, welcome. I am so delighted to be with you,

Charlie Nelson  1:53  

Wendy. It's awesome to be here. And we are we're talking about my favorite subject, which is people in leadership. So this is great.

Wendy Hanson  2:01  

Yes. And I love how some salespeople forget about the people aspect. And that's the most important thing because we work through our people. So tell me a little bit about how did you make the transition, you know, in your company, from the office to remote with such a global company, and maybe you can tell us a little bit about where you're located around the world? Because this is something that so many people are dealing with right now?

Charlie Nelson  2:28  

Yeah, so just a little backstory on on, on smart recruiters, my, my current employer, so I've been with the company for almost 11 years. So I've seen us grow from what was five employees to a workforce of over 600 employees. And to your point, we are global. So while I'm based in San Francisco, we have offices all over the world, and truly identify as a global workforce. Specific to the question, so when the world shut down in March of 2020. I think the thing that we made as a as an executive team, that decision that we made was we need to make a concrete decision, there was so much uncertainty that was happening, that for us, we focus most on what was important to our people. And our people just needed confidence that we were handling this the best way that we could, and the best way that we could was making a decision that we were going to be remote for ever, and then start to figure out what that meant. Do we shut down offices do we moved to micro offices in some of our major cities, but I think we gave our employees a sense of hope and competence in a moment, again, as I said, where there was so much uncertainty by just saying, This is what our new reality looks like. And this is what it means for you. We are remote first for ever.

Wendy Hanson  3:53  

What I love about that is you took a real stand on remote forever. Some companies are well, we might do this for a while and then we'll do that. And now they're having challenges with trying to get people back in the office. So I think such clarity on something like that by the company was really an amazing, an amazing way to really set your principles so that people knew this is what I'm in for.

Charlie Nelson  4:19  

Yeah, and we didn't we didn't know what we were in for. We just knew that we needed to take a stance, right? We needed to. As I said, we felt that giving our employees confidence that we were in control, which we knew that we were in control, we just didn't know necessarily what we were in control of. gave them hope that we were going to be okay. And two and a half years later, we're okay. We figured it out. we've navigated and we still remain a remote workforce. I'm you know, I'm dialing in here out of my home office that I've been able to construct over the two and a half years. And as our all of our employees and we figured out I guess the rhythm that works best for our people.

Wendy Hanson  5:05  

Yeah. Well, what's the original? You know, when you made that decision? Was there any backlash from people about, wow, we're going to be remote? We're not going in the office. What did that look like?

Charlie Nelson  5:17  

In the early days, there was a sense of relief. It's, I mean, relief, and once that the company had made the decision, but relief in that, okay, there's so much chaos going on around me. And in many places, people weren't allowed to leave their homes anyway. So you know, just to be able to say, look, you're not penalized if you can't come into the office, I think was was a sense of relief for our employees. We got tired of it quickly, though, as everybody did, sitting, getting used to zoom, not necessarily changing up your daily routine, losing an idea of, of, you know, what, what's, what's home life, first work life? And how do they blend together? So we went through all those trials and tribulations that most companies that most companies faced, but we did it knowing that we need to quickly find the answers. So our employees can move on with life, work life and personal life, because this is the decision that we made, we're not going back on, right. So we're not going to dangle the carrot that, hey, at some point in the near future, you're going to come back into an office. So the focus for us is employees first, how do we make their new reality, their home reality work for them?

Wendy Hanson  6:30  

That's great. I love that stand and the clarity on it. And I think more companies, that ship has sailed. But if they had started that way, they may have less trouble now. And we need to stay connected. And I'm sure that was a challenge that you had in the beginning, is how do you inspire and motivate people when you can't see them face to face anymore? Because you were traveling around before? Right? And and your team members going to visit offices? So what are some of the things that you do to be able to keep that connection? Charlie?

Charlie Nelson  7:04  

You know, the, I guess my first answer to this question is no different than what I was doing before COVID. Bleeding with empathy, remembering that my struggles, while they might be unique to me, and my opportunities, why they might be unique to me, or this, you know, everyone has their struggles, and everyone has their opportunities, right. So leaning into leading with empathy, reminding myself that we're all humans that that at the end of the day, that was really important, really important to not just inspire and motivate. But to what you said earlier, connect. We're at a moment, right, where everything around us there was there, there was so much uncertainty and chaos, like the ability to connect on a different level became really, really important for our people, leaders, as well as our people. I think one of the biggest challenges that we realized very quickly, especially for me, as someone that picks up on body language is you can't do it through zoom that well, right, you can't see, you know, maybe you could see someone slumped in their chair, maybe someone has a motive, and you know, they're, they're frowning a little more frequently than they would otherwise. But that to me, like figuring out zoom culture, and how to connect through through screen was, was a challenge. But it's, it's you just like anything, you start to figure it out. And you start to figure it out by just asking questions by having conversations by by learning more about the individuals that you're talking to and remembering that look, it can't all be about work.

Wendy Hanson  8:39  

Yeah. Empathy. Is that the most important word these days? Yeah. Yeah, really. And leading with empathy is is some people it's a challenge for because, but you really have to put yourself in that other person's shoes. And as you're saying, be really curious about what their experiences. Were there any certain ways that you reconfigured, how you connected? Are your team members connected with their team members, you know, during this experience?

Charlie Nelson  9:08  

Yeah. So it first it was it was everything was zoom, and zoom, I think was a novelty, right? So there was the piece of like, oh, no, I don't need to commute anymore. This is great. And then you quickly realize, Oh, my goodness, my calendar is jam packed because people don't respect the, you know, the need for breaks, right? And it's like, oh, there's a there's a sliver of an opening. And so I'm gonna throw another Zoom meeting on it. And so we went through, we went through zoom fatigue, we still are going through zoom fatigue, which that quickly led us to realize there are other ways to connect and have conversations outside of zoom and video chat. And phone calls. Yeah, just changing things up calling someone either for a business meeting or a one on one. Text messages just to check in just finding different ways to to have conversation things outside of this, which quickly became tiresome. And I think there were people who appreciated the change in approach, and we still do it. Like I take a lot of my one on ones while walking the streets around my neighborhood.

Wendy Hanson  10:14  

That's such a great practice. I've talked to a lot of managers that do that. And it's good, like, Let's go out for a walk together, you know, we can maybe in different parts of the world, but we can go out for a walk together. And that, really, that, that walking, and talking and sharing also facilitates that. And regarding the empathy, you know, everybody has had this problem that you just mentioned, about back to back meetings, and then also not knowing where your personal life is, and your business life. being empathetic as you are, how have you discussed that with your people to try to make sure they don't burn themselves out? Or what what challenges have you seen there?

Charlie Nelson  10:56  

I'm someone that wants to lead from the front. I, so I start with me. And it's one of the ways that I build trust. I have lots of struggles and challenges in my business life and my personal life. And for me to connect, to build trust to motivate, I've found that it's really important for me to set the tone and the expectations with my employees that it's okay to share. And it's not just okay to share, it's actually really important to share. And so that that, to me has been, I think that the key driver in taking my relationships to the next level with with all employees, and it creates a safe space for them when they see me, maybe stretching outside of my comfort zone, being willing to talk about something that I'm struggling with, it gives them the opportunity and that safety net to do the same.

Wendy Hanson  11:51  

Yeah. That leading by example. And, and I don't think people realized as much before, like, if you were working with somebody on a team, and you didn't know they had a young child, or they had an elderly parent they were caring for, and you just like looked at them as this is somebody on my team, when we've had to open up and learn different things about people. What is that opened up for you? And this is kind of your level of expertise and passion?

Charlie Nelson  12:21  

Yeah. You know, it's it's, I'm smirking because I'm looking at my Zoom background. And my Zoom background is very boring right now. Right? It doesn't really tell you anything about me. There was a period of time where for me my Zoom background, told you everything about it photos of my kids photos from vacations, I had a stack of books that I pretended like I read I you know, all these steaks, right? Little trophies, whatever. So I, you know, for all the missteps that we've seen through remote work, one of the blessings is it does open you up to get to know people on a different level. Part of that is through conversation and asking the right questions and reminding yourself as a leader that, hey, it's not all about OKRs, or targets or your business reports, right? It's also about getting to learn about the person but one of the best ways to do that is what's behind them. Right. That's, that's one of the benefits to me is of zoom. And I love that I love being able to comment and I'm a fairly observant person. But I love being able to comment on a sign or a surfboard, it just launches into a deep a deeper level with someone that you wouldn't normally have the ability to do in an office.

Wendy Hanson  13:43  

Well, I have to say I'm very curious because I can see you our audience can't but to almost look like you're in a log cabin. All I see is a wood paneling background, and it's very rustic looking. What made you change from that to being have pictures of your family and the other kind of conversation starters. What was the shift for you?

Charlie Nelson  14:04  

Yeah, I I needed a mental shift. Like I want to go back into the office sometimes, right? Like I want to jump back on BART, which is our, our way of of are a means of transportation here in the Bay Area. But I don't have the luxury of doing that. And that's okay. But I do need to change up my environment some way. And so for the first I'd say 18 months, I had all that my background, I had the photos, I had everything that I mentioned. So this was just I just need a change of scenery. And it yes, my background is very It looks like a log cabin. It's very dull. But I just I just like changing your hairstyle. I just needed something something different. And it's a conversation starter, so the audience might not be able to see it. But what most people will ask is, is that real wood and it's not if you can see how poor my application of this wallpaper is up in the corners, which I intentionally hide. You go up yet no, that's that's that's That's wallpaper and it was it was put on very, very poorly.

Wendy Hanson  15:03  

Well, I could never tell I really did think you put this clapboard or something up there. So yeah, good job and I can't see any edges. Yeah. Another challenge that we've heard from many managers is when everybody is remote and this was a big fear in the beginning, how do we know what they're doing? How do we hold them accountable? You know, that was a big like, they quit. And we've had just the opposite, right? People are working at home, and they usually working too much. But how do you look at accountability now?

Charlie Nelson  15:35  

Yeah, look, the the, the expectations of the role haven't changed, right? The way that we maybe go about performing has changed. And the environment in which we're asked to perform has changed, but that the job still needs to get done. And most roles are measured through performance, right? There's data or reports or dashboards that you can look at, to help understand our people delivering on what we expect. I'm a leader that I don't, leader manager, I'm not someone that sits there and goes, Are you online at 9am? And are you online at 5pm? As long as you're getting work done? And you could do it in an hour? Great. Tell me your secret. Like, tell me what you're doing. Right. So I think from an accountability standpoint, it hasn't really changed because I've always been someone that's that manages my business, by looking at the data by tracking against targets. But then the other side of it is and this may be applies to roles that aren't as black and white. Use it as a manager, you should you should know your people, your personnel well enough to be able to understand how they're showing up to work. Right, I made a comment earlier about body language, it can be hard to pick up on on someone's body language that you know, are they looking down at their hands? Does that mean that there's a phone in their hands? Are they really paying attention? Are they not? You know, if you focus on true connection, you should be able to get to that point quickly with your employees to understand, Are things going well? Do we need to have different conversations, so it becomes less about reports, right? Reports actually become the evidence. But if you're good at connecting with your employees, you should be able to understand that there's probably some things that are are happening or not happening before you even get to the evidence.

Wendy Hanson  17:32  

And, and things that you need to be observant and, and see changes in someone's behavior, not just their productivity, but just in even the person who they are. Is anything wrong? And they need to have like you lead with that kind of thing of being, you know, very transparent. But is there anything else in that area to be able to help? Help managers know? Wow, I'm not sure how they're really feeling, you know, what's going on behind? Behind the zoom?

Charlie Nelson  18:02  

Yeah. I think that's, that's why I, I try and I mentioned leading with empathy, I try and lead with vulnerability. And when I say lead with vulnerability, I actually mean, like, lead conversations, start conversations by talking about something that is personal to me, because I want to I want one, I want to see how people respond and react. Are they paying attention? Do they want to build connection? Or is this a, is this a transaction for them? You know, Are they someone that really wants to get to know me and figure it out? Because the other the other side of being a good manager is what people manage me just as much as I manage it. Like we I think we forget that quite a bit. Right? It's like, oh, you know, I, I have a direct reports. And, you know, it's my responsibility to make sure that they're marching in the same direction, right? To the same to the same drumbeat. I look at those people, and they, they manage me just as much as I manage that. Right. So asking questions, leading with vulnerability, providing that safety net to determine whether or not these people are in it with me, is key. Yeah.

Wendy Hanson  19:12  

And it with me? Yeah. That's really what breaks that team. And when you're leading teams in sales or otherwise, what are some of the strategies for coaching and developing people you know, that, that that maybe is different now than when you were in an office?

Charlie Nelson  19:30  

This this weenie is the the biggest challenge that I think I have had to overcome in remote work. And we'll see we'll start with, we'll start with sales. When you're, when you're managing a team and you go on site with a sales rep. You can see firsthand how they're performing. Right You can we talked about body language we we can see how they're responding to Questions, how they're engaging with others how they're reading the room, you can't really do that. It's hard. But the biggest myths is the moments before the meeting. And the moments after the meeting, right? It's the preparation in the hotel room, or the hotel near the hotel lobby the night before, it's the it's the feedback in the Uber or the taxi on the way to the airport, right. Or the walk back to the office like whatever like you don't you, it's it's challenging to get that real time feedback to your, your field teams. But there is technology that I rely on pretty heavily now. And I call it watching game tape. So actually, I have the ability to coach more people, because I can on my own time, watch call recordings, I can watch zoom recordings, I have the ability to observe and listen. And then provide very detailed feedback where when I was on the road, yeah, I could probably go deeper. But I was only touching one person. Now I can watch this game tape as as I mentioned, on four or five people every day. And you just have to be comfortable to like you have to set the the expectation that tell him that this is the culture that we are like we radical candor just comes with the job, you're gonna get the good and the bad and the ugly. And I want you to give it to me too. If you don't like how I show up to a meeting, if I say something that that seems out of whack, call me out on it. Because at the end of the day, we're all developing one another right? And I said that, even though I manage eight people, those people manage me.

Wendy Hanson  21:38  

And I don't I have not heard that perspective from many managers, I have to tell you, you know, it's, and it's, it's so refreshing because it is true. And and it's why there's that two way street that you have, and say so I love that you call it the game tape. So you're listening to zoom calls, what else are you listening to?

Charlie Nelson  21:59  

Yes, Zoom calls is a we record. We record everything. We record just about everything that we do internal calls, external calls. We have a technology called course that allows us to actually record conversations. And then if there's a demo where there's some sort of screen sharing, then we'll we'll record the zoom. And then we push it all to a shared G Drive, where our managers have the ability to go and watch this game tape. And then internally, we have debriefs on a call recording or a presentation that went well. We talked about what we liked about it. And then we also defined one that didn't go so well. We talked about what we didn't like about it. And then we use that as a training or an enablement tool to then push to all the other, the other field teams that maybe weren't part of those conversations.

Wendy Hanson  22:48  

That's such a great tool, you know, being able to show what works and what doesn't work and get people used to that. So they're not like, Oh, they're going to talk about me, it sounds like you've normalized that whole thing.

Charlie Nelson  23:00  

Or you have to you, you have to, especially in a remote world, you can't hold back, you can't. You can't walk on eggshells around anyone because so much gets lost in translation through zoom through slack through email, right? So you just have to get out in front of it and set the tone and the expectation that we're a culture of learning. And that's okay, we are all here to learn. But I think there's a key difference for me that I've learned through the remote work is the fact that I My job is to develop and coach I need to be intentional about I am failing my people, myself, my company, if I'm not developing others. And through that I'm actually developing myself. I'm actually learning quite a bit about myself, my strengths and my weaknesses. Because again, I'm being intentional about right and I'm I'm spending the time to learn not just about others, but I'm learning about myself.

Wendy Hanson  24:04  

I love that there's an expression that sometimes if people are really left brained they don't understand it. They say no, that makes no sense. We teach what we need to learn. Because when you're gonna go back and work with somebody so how did how does that apply to your style? We teach what we need to learn

Charlie Nelson  24:25  

well, I guess maybe I need to learn a lot. Because I I'm trying to teach as much as possible. I'm a winner. You know this about me, I'm a I'm a young leader. I consider myself to be a young, a young leader. And as a result of that I'm not the one in the room that feels like my voice is the only voice that needs to be heard. I'm very fortunate in that I've been able to manage hire people that are incredibly smart, smarter than me You're more talented than me. And I just try and be a sponge and absorb as much as I can from that. My job is to remove roadblocks so they can go and work. And then I can just sit back and watch.

Wendy Hanson  25:16  

And I know two of the things that always needs to get incorporated to is, you know, we have to explain to people why sometimes as leaders, we don't, we don't explain the why about things. And we also when this in this remote world, we can make assumptions. So those things have to get cleared up with that open communication.

Charlie Nelson  25:38  

Yeah, it's vulnerability, authenticity, authenticity, transparency, all things that are key in that you set the tone. This is who we are, this is how we work. And you start to see another side of people had everyone enters that everyone, people enter a new company, a new team, with their Garda, my job or manager jobs, we need to figure out how do we how do we how do we remove that guard? How do we get them to leave their body armor at the at the door? Right? So I can understand who the person is, what are we working with? And how do we achieve great things together?

Wendy Hanson  26:19  

I love that you're creating, what we all want is that waterfall of leadership from the top, you know that, that your managers, the ones that report to you, and then they work down and they work down and it really gets through to the whole organization, and outliers will soon find themselves. This is interesting, this is not like any organization I worked in before.

Charlie Nelson  26:42  

Yeah, like that's, that's another advantage to remote work is you have the ability to, to engage with more people than you could in an office, or at least I could. And skip levels are an important part of our process at Smart recruiters, making sure that we're not just spending time with our direct reports. But we're going into the additional letter levels. Because if we're doing our job and our job is to develop all people, then it's it's the ones on the ground floor that hopefully are sitting in my seat in the next few years. I need to make sure that I understand what are their challenges, what are their opportunities, how do I remove those roadblocks so they can be the best version of themselves and show up the way that we need and want them to on a daily basis.

Wendy Hanson  27:30  

And it's so important with succession planning and accompany you know, you have to keep building your people. And I love your perspective on that. And we one other wrinkle that we haven't talked about yet too much is complexities of working with global teams, the the cultural piece, you know, what, how they do things over in Europe and how you do things over in San Francisco can look very different. So what are some of the challenges that you've had there? And what are some ways you address them?

Charlie Nelson  28:01  

My answer to this is really going to be no different than what you've heard already. It's it starts with being intentional about getting to know the person. So yes, it there, there are cultural nuances. And there are complexities that are different for me here in San Francisco versus someone that I'm managing in Sydney, Australia. But entering a conversation, entering a relationship knowing that and being intentional about getting to understand the person, right, because even even, you know, the way that I manage someone in Sydney versus the way that I would manage someone in London, yeah, it's gonna be different, but it's not so much different because of where they're based. It's different because we are all different, right? There's, there's no one size fits all. And so I actually focus less about like, the regional or cultural nuances and just remind myself that we're all humans, which means we're all different. And what motivates us and drives us, it's going to be very different from you to the next person. And I need to figure out what those drivers are. So I can continue to hit that button for the benefit of you and the benefit of me and the benefit of our company. Yeah, yeah.

Wendy Hanson  29:09  

That's great. Is there anything that I should have asked you to rally but I didn't.

Charlie Nelson  29:16  

So this isn't so much of a question, but I think it's an important piece to share with the audience. While we absorb recruiters have made the decision that we're going to be remote first for ever. We still recognize the importance of face to face galleries. And so I get these last two and a half years while I'm sitting in my home office. I'm trying to find opportunities to pull together people on on a regular basis now that could be grabbing cocktails with the people that live in the San Francisco Bay area, or it can be pushing on a prospective customer to see if they'd be willing to have us come on site. So even though the plane And is for us to continue, you know, for me to work out of this 10 by 10 space for the rest of my time as smart recruiters, if there are opportunities for us to pull people together, we know that that goes a long way you cannot no matter what you do no conversations, no technology, right? Not being intentional about coaching or leading with vulnerability, nothing replaces face to face meetings, it has just nothing, right? So we try and find ways to weave that in. It also gives her employees something to look forward to. But I can tell you that after three to four days of being with people, they're like, Okay, can I get me back to my home office? This is this is good. But I'm still not used to interacting with people this, this this this much, right. And it's a, it's a muscle that you have to develop. I was in New York City last week for three days at an on site. And I was like, Man, I wish I could just go back to my room and take like a 15 minute nap. You know, my brain is not used to being turned on for so long. And I end the body language piece. I have to you know, so. But it's fun, because we're discovering all of this to together.

Wendy Hanson  31:06  

Yeah. Oh, I love that. Yes. And it's, it's when you're when you're in, there is nothing like being in person. You know, it really does bring it, but especially people that might be introverts. And they they've felt really comfortable now in this kind of space. It is exhausting. You know, totally exhausting. And you're not an introvert person. You're an extrovert. So have you feel it do?

Charlie Nelson  31:29  

Oh, yeah. Yeah. I think the other thing too, that we didn't touch on, but is and it's something that we haven't as smart recruiters solved yet, but we're mindful of it is we're still hiring. Right? So you have new employees that are being on boarded into a remote environment, there are a handful of our employees that have never met, not only their peers, but have never met their their boss, in person. And so how do you accelerate learning curves? How do you establish loyalty and trust? A lot of what we've talked about are all the things the boxes that we check, so we do that. But there's this concept of how do we avoid being for introducing like a transactional relationship with our not just our new hires, but just employees in general. And in the world that I'm in HR technology, specifically, talent acquisition? Who's to say the recruiters are actively poaching or hunting after my employees and dangling a 20%? salary increase? Right. And so this, this concept of transactional relationships between employee and employer is something that we're really mindful of? And the answer cannot be a will match whatever offer you got, right. So you really need to find different ways to connect with your employees.

Wendy Hanson  32:48  

And one thing we know for sure, is that people leave companies, they don't leave managers. You know, if they really like a manager, they're gonna say, well, I might get an increase, but boy, it could be really a terrible work environment or somebody. And so having that connection, when that's important to people, I think really does a lot for retention. Well, Charlie, go ahead. Yeah, I

Charlie Nelson  33:15  

was gonna say, I totally agree with you, I, I. And it comes back to what we kicked off the conversation with like, at the end of the day, we're all humans, like, I had no intention. And I'm sure most of your audience, I never dreamed about being a business leader at an HR technology company. Like, that's not my driver, I could. And I've shared this internally. So I'm fine with sharing this externally. Like I don't really care too much about what we do or what we sell. I care about the people that are getting engagement. I care about my employees, I care about our customers, I care about prospective customers. Like those relationships, those conversations are the drivers for me. Yeah, yeah. Well,

Wendy Hanson  33:53  

all of your customers, your team members are lucky to have you and have you so committed to building relationships, maintaining relationships, and thinking of new ways in this new world that we're going to be in now for a long time. Some companies think they're not going to be in it. But you know, we're, I think we're still vacillating back and forth for people going remote and hybrid. So again, I love the stand that you and smart recruiters took so that people know where they stand. That's important. So thank you, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom today. i We knew each other when pre pandemic when I used to see you walking around the office. And that's how you would get a feeling for people you know, and to have made this big transition and be doing so well. Congratulations.

Charlie Nelson  34:42  

Thank you, Wendy. Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it.

Wendy Hanson  34:45  

Yeah, well, it will be a gift to everybody. So thank you all for tuning in. Now, if you want to follow Charlie, what's the best way for them to stay in touch with you, Charlie,

Charlie Nelson  34:55  

you follow me on LinkedIn. I'm mindful of trying to I use LinkedIn as a platform to share my thoughts and opinions. I'm not great at it. It's something that I need to get better at, for sure. And outside of LinkedIn, I'm really not that much of a social media person. So if you want to know what's going on in my life, LinkedIn is the place to follow

Wendy Hanson  35:16  

me. Okay, spell your first name. So they haven't right? Yeah, so

Charlie Nelson  35:20  

it's Charlie, ch, ar l i. E. And my last name is Nelson, ne, l. S. O N. Great.

Wendy Hanson  35:27  

I will have that in the show notes. And again, thank you for your time. Thank you for for sharing this. I always get inspired when I talked to you.

Charlie Nelson  35:37  

So thanks. Thank you, Andy. Thanks for the platform and the opportunity.

Wendy Hanson  35:40  

Great. Have a wonderful day, everybody.

The future of work has arrived. It's time to thrive.