The following is an excerpt of an interview between History Factory’s managing director and History Factory Plugged In host, Jason Dressel, and S&P Global Chief People Officer Dimitra Manis. The companies collaborated this year on a S&P Global careers website.
Jason Dressel: Dimitra, thank you so much for joining History Factory Plugged In. First, congratulations to you and your team for the new careers website for S&P Global. It looks spectacular, and it has to be, in our, of course, relatively biased opinion, it has to be one of the most innovative people sites that a company has managed to launch in the last six months or so, given our constraints.
Dimitra Manis: It was definitely a challenge, but the team rose up to it, and I think it’s … I agree with you. I think it’s fantastic.
JD: Great. Well, let’s start with sharing a little bit of perspective on S&P Global. The objective of this new site that you all created is all about representing the company and the brand to potential talent around the world. And who are the kinds of people that you and your team seek to attract there at S&P Global?
DM: It’s a terrific question, Jason, because we’re a company of pioneers and thinkers. We love people who are innovative, and we love people who think, and people who are committed to accelerating progress in the world, which is our purpose. And this progress really begins with putting our people first and putting them first in their careers and putting them first in their lives.
JD: And from your experience, who tends to thrive in the organization?
DM: I think people who do really well, there’s some people who are obsessed with the customer. People who are obsessed with working together, and I think people who are obsessed with learning. I think those stand out to me as people who do really well from a career standpoint. We have a really wonderful, unique proposition where we have career coaches in our company. You own your career. It’s up to you to do it, right? Well, you need help. You do need help, and you need independent help. Good advice is what we all need in our careers.
JD: What were you looking to change and accomplish with the new site? How was it envisioned to be different from what you had previously?
DM: It was pretty simple for us. We needed to upgrade our platform. We wanted our real employees to share their real stories so that we could showcase them in a completely fresh way. Because we didn’t want it to be the usual boring pieces that you’ve seen, that seem to be very, very staged, very much scripted. We wanted people just to be themselves, and they were incredibly real. I couldn’t be prouder about the work the team has done.
JD: When we started working on this at the beginning of the year, it was a lot easier to travel around the world and to capture those authentic people and those real stories, but by April it was looking pretty unlikely that it was going to be possible to capture those stories in the same way you had intended. So how were you all able to pivot in that? How was your team able to still gather and document those kinds of real stories from people around the world?
DM: Thankfully, my team is very agile, and they did pivot a lot. I think the result is better than what I expected. They used special mobile technology to do the filming and to give people direction so that they could do it themselves. This pandemic created a fantastic opportunity for people to bring us into their homes and create and capture that rawness. Some people are sitting in their lounge room working, and some people in their hallway, and some people were cooking meals and some people were drawing. You see them in their home environment or their pseudo work environment, and it’s just a wonderful, personal touch that I don’t think we would have had filming in the street or filming in the office. I just love the rawness of their stories.
JD: I love the term “crisi-tunity,” and you’re absolutely right. In a funny way, the stories are even that much more authentic because before the pandemic, it’s not as likely that you would have been capturing content, people filming themselves in their cars, in their homes. It really did end up—ironically—working for the purposes of this project. Now you mentioned before, the results. The site’s only been up for a week or two, I think, but what have been some of the initial results of the site, and how has it been responded to internally by your teams and colleagues?
DM: Our employees and people love it. The engagement from our employees has been fantastic, but also, the site itself. It’s 12 times what it was before. And we’re monitoring, just on LinkedIn alone, our launch in the first weeks, saw 27,000 sponsored ad views, which we’ve just never had that before. I think we had almost 8,000 organic feed views, which is important as well, because we want to see more people following and being engaged. Our own employees have reacted really positively.
JD: That’s awesome. And I’m curious, given this experience that you’ve had recreating this, have there been other experiences where you’ve had to have that kind of pivot that you see becoming just sort of part of the new norm of how you all operate?
DM: Think about the stories that we captured. People have just become much more comfortable being themselves, right? And I love the fact that people are much more open about their work and their family life together.
It’s combined into one now. You don’t have two separate lives. You’re one person. We always have been one person, but it’s nice that people can actually talk freely about their personal lives. And I think that that’s here to stay.
The most obvious one is that we don’t all need to be back in the office full time. We’ve got this project team working, called Reimagine, on what does it look like post-COVID? How do we serve our customers differently? How do we work differently, and where do we work? And that’s all very exciting because it will be a hybrid model. It will never be five days a week back in the office, ever again.
JD: Well, Dimitra, thank you so much for joining us, and congrats again to you and the team for a spectacular new career site. And we’ll look forward to catching up again soon.
To listen to the entire interview, check out the latest episode of History Factory Plugged in, “Recruitment at S&P Global”