“…if we broke off the number of software engineers that we have, we’d be one of the largest software companies in the world. But when you think of Intel, people don’t necessarily equate that with developing software.”

Keith Molesworth
Global Channels Manager, Intel

Meet Keith Molesworth, the Global Channels Manager for Intel Corporation. It’s not a title you may have heard of, but as I learned in a recent interview, it’s an integral role within their staffing organization. Keith explains what his title means, discusses measurement, and shares his perspective on working for a company that operates in 50 countries and has over 81,000 employees.

Can you explain a little bit about your company, size and volume of recruiting?
Sure. We are the world’s largest semi-conductor manufacturer and working toward becoming a solutions company. Intel has about 80,000 employees at approximately 300 facilities in 50 different countries. Not to discount some of the other areas that we do recruiting, but we spend a lot of time on manufacturing and in the engineering space. Our volume of recruiting fluctuates. We may hire 7-8,000 people a year, maybe 15,000, but it varies from geography. One year it’s this focus in Asia, the next year it may be in the Americas or in Europe. Coming out of the economy that we’ve been in, we’re seeing an upswing in the hiring this year, especially in the software areas. We hire an awful lot of software engineers and that’s probably one of the big messages that our group in staffing is trying to get out. If we broke off the number of software engineers we have, we’d be one of the largest software companies in the world, but people don’t necessarily equate Intel with developing software.
No, not at all. I would think engineers, but not software.
You would not be alone.
Tell us about your experience with Intel. How long you’ve been there and what your role has been.
Sure. I started at Intel about ten and a half years ago as a contractor and came from the agency world where I had been a recruiter at a couple of different places in Portland, Oregon and Seattle. I got a contract gig at Intel and decided to make that move over. I recruited component design, electrical and mechanical engineers for two business groups. I was hired as a full-time employee after about 6 months. I became what we call a staffing consultant, which was like an account manager responsible for a business group segment – meeting their hiring requirements for that time period, while working with recruiters to make sure that happened. A lot of times developing and delivering offers to candidates and getting them to accept and come on board.
After a couple of years I moved into a business analyst role. I worked on implementing a new applicant tracking system in the United States, then Europe. I stayed in that space for about 5 or 6 years and worked on implementations of applicant tracking systems and offer tools. I also briefly managed the employee referral program. As I mentioned I did vendor management, so I was engaged with our background investigation and drug-testing vendors, as well as job boards. Recently, about a year ago, I got back into the role that I’m in now and running that project to implement the dashboard, as well as overseeing the channel strategy for staffing on a global level.
You’re a Global Channels Manager, what exactly does that mean?
It’s a relatively new title that we’ve implemented at Intel within the staffing organization. I did a similar job when it was called vendor management, but now I manage vendors for the channels, like job boards and social media, looking at new ways to connect with candidates. When the job was described to me, we really didn’t have an official title. It was related to what we call “channels” so we made it a channels manager. I figure out where to spend our dollars and resources on making the most connections to candidates.
I would imagine that you are responsible for the analytics and the ROI – making sure that what you’re spending is coming back to you?
Yes. I came back into this role about a year ago and we had a strategic objective around improving how we measure and utilize our channels. The first part was about measurement and creating a channel dashboard. We worked to develop a way to more effectively measure channels. We had some data, but it wasn’t always consistent. We needed a more systematic way to understand where the candidates were coming from and whether they got hired or interviewed.
We’re now using the dashboard and finding it effective for the investment, and getting down to the recruiting level – allowing sourcers and recruiters to figure out where specific types of candidates are coming from. We’d like it to be more robust and analytical, but it’s a huge improvement from where we were 12 months ago.
At least you’re measuring now.
Yes. One of the things we still struggle with is, and I hear this from pretty much everybody I talk to and from looking at data, if we can’t set up an auto-tracking system where we capture the source someone came from, then we’re relying on the candidate to tell us. We actually learned the data wasn’t as bad as we thought though.
Yes. It was surprising because we’ve heard it’s notoriously poor. I’d like it to be a lot better but technologically we’re not there yet.
I’ve read research that previously it has been proven to be about 30 percent accurate. Is that about right?
We actually did a small sample of a specific group of individuals over a short time frame, so it may not be expandable across the whole population, especially globally, but we were seeing numbers more like 60 percent.
We had the same reaction, but 60 percent is still missing a lot. That’s why we’ve worked to implement the auto-tracking with our applicant tracking system, trying to make those connections as much as we can.
Very good. You said you put together a dashboard. Is that something a software provider or did you develop it yourself?
It was built ourselves. We have a group within our HR organization that is comprised of developers, business analysts and data experts. We established the requirements for what we wanted and they built it. It’s a completely home grown solution for the dashboard.
That’s incredible. That kind of technology is not the easiest to put together.
No. It still has some limitations but is such an improvement. When we show it to the staffing managers or recruiters, they’re very impressed with its capabilities in terms of information like how a job board is performing for a specific type of candidate.
That’s really great. Have you researched to see what else other companies are doing? Any benchmarking?
We did some and found that everybody was struggling with the same thing. We looked at different reporting environments, but it just wasn’t something out there for us to purchase. There wasn’t a whole lot of robust reporting capability in that channel space among other companies that we were talking to.
Yes. It’s a tough situation to be in. There are a lot of analytics packages, but they’re not necessarily going to tell you where your candidate traffic is coming from and measure it from the source of a job board. Most of them are more search engine focused.
I get it and probably the biggest disconnect is that you can get information about the month-to-month traffic that comes from DirectEmployers and partners, or other job boards, but the data is only telling you how many people clicked through to get to your site – not what happened to them.

And that’s always a breaking point – we know how many people clicked to get here, but we
don’t know what happened to those clicks. The auto tracking that we’ve implemented with Taleo
does provide some of that functionality, but it doesn’t do it all. Obviously if a job seeker looks at
a job posting somewhere and decides two days later to actually show up at the Intel site and
apply, you’re again relying on candidates to tell you where they came from, and often times that
may be the one of many different places.

I commend you for doing the dashboard project though and going that extra mile.
We wish it were more, I mean we get a lot of candidates that select our career site as the source, and that’s probably not the first place they heard about the job. We post on our Twitter feed and are using the auto-tracking within the URL so Taleo can capture that, but if it’s not a direct click followed by completing the application, that auto-track information has been lost. It’d be great if there was a magical solution.
It would be wonderful. Some way to put a microchip in and follow them from the very get-go. So, did you start your staffing and recruitment career at Intel, or somewhere else?
I started somewhere else. I came out of grad school with a degree in industrial relations but few job prospects at the time. I believe I made less money my first year out of grad school than the year before I went in, which is always disheartening – especially when you’re paying those college loans. Then I worked for a small software company for a while. I mean really small. There were 5 of us and I did everything from sales to testing, to filling out quarterly payroll reports. Eventually I was able to find a job working for Volt in their IT branch recruiting software engineers and things like that. I worked there awhile, moved back to Portland, then moved to another agency for about 6 months before I came to Intel as a recruiter.
When I do these interviews and ask people about how they got started in recruiting, it’s always a very jagged path. Most people don’t really set out to do it, but they fall into it and it just sticks. When you think about an organization and the most well-rounded employee, you don’t think about a recruiter, but you probably should because recruiters know just about every single job and the aspects of it because you have to. You have to really get to know what it is, what it takes to be an engineer, and a developer, programmer, CEO, CFO… They’re probably the best spokesperson for the company.
You become intelligent about some of the other companies and what they’re doing working in that agency environment, and you bring that in with you. One of our big clients was Boeing. I worked on some Microsoft stuff, to see what they did, how they recruited or how they wanted their agencies to, even if it was for contractors. It was and still is something that I was able to bring to Intel.
Absolutely. I did some contract recruiting and you get exposure to so many business types and cultures. I did a lot of recruiting for Bosch Automotive, a global organization, and got to see the differences of philosophies, cultures and how the companies are run. The interesting thing that really humbles you is people are people no matter where you go and who you’re dealing with, if you are hiring for an executive-level position, or a line position, you still have the same worries and concerns. You’re dealing with somebody’s livelihood.
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