This month’s interview features one of our new 2011/2012 Board Members, Angie Grilliot. After taking an unpaid internship 16 years ago, Angie has found a fulfilling career helping people find work and developing expertise around compliance.

Angie is also a member of the DirectEmployers Recruitment Regulatory Compliance Committee, Director of Talent Delivery at UnitedHealth Group and a mother of four girls. She masterfully balances her commitments and was kind enough to sit down for a great in-depth conversation about her career, what her team does well, how she benefits from DirectEmployers and the hopes she has for her children.

Nancy: Tell me about how you got to your position at UnitedHealth Group.

Angie: HR was a fairly new program when I was in college. I sought out an internship, which ended up being unpaid at a local hospital in the human resources department. That eventually led to my first job at the same hospital doing administrative duties. After a couple of years, I moved into recruiting position at retirement community. UnitedHealth Group was expanding in Ohio at the time and I got my third job out of college within a 2-year period – now I’ve been there for 16 years.

Nancy: What differentiates UnitedHealth Group’s approach to finding talent?

Angie: Not many people know UnitedHealth Group’s mission is to help people live healthier lives. We need to find people who can really resonate with our mission. It’s not necessarily about finding someone who can work on the benefit services side of the house and pay claims, it’s about that person fitting within that idea that we’re really here to help with a system, a healthcare system as it were, for that purpose and mission.

We’re really looking for candidates who demonstrate 5 core values – performance, integrity, innovation, compassion and relationship development. I feel like our talent acquisition team absolutely demonstrates those values every day in how they treat candidates, how they work with our hiring managers, how they think about innovative ways to find people and how they interact with candidates in a social media space.

Nancy: What do you feel your team does really well?

Angie: First of all, I think our talent acquisition team is best in class. We’ve looked at ways to really build almost an internal search function, especially for our executive-level placements.
Our talent acquisition team is great at developing relationships, building a pipeline of talent and knowing where the talent belongs within the organization. Our recruiters are actually aligned by function as opposed to business segment. The beauty of being functionally aligned is that all of our recruiters can work together to figure out, “If I have an IT professional, what part of the organization really has the need?” There are many ways candidates can interact with our recruiters. Even on the very front end of the process through recruiter chat and social media, we look at the candidate as our customer. I think a lot of recruitment teams look at the hiring manager as their primary customer. And of course, we have both, but the candidate is a key customer too and could be a current customer of our business or will be in the future, so we really have to think about our interactions.

Nancy: What would you say are some of the key benefits of DirectEmployers that you and your team utilize on a regular basis or that you find the most valuable?

Angie: Initially our partnership with DirectEmployers was really about finding a solution to post all of our jobs with the state job services. That’s been wonderful and we’ve been able to meet our compliance needs. Last year was my first DirectEmployers Conference and I was so pleasantly surprised on the networking ability, to find people in other companies who do similar roles as myself. It’s not like I don’t have other ways to network with people, but I was just surprised at the level of people who are focused on compliance within a recruiting function and the number of people from a staff perspective who are really focused on some of those diversity initiatives.

With the veterans outreach for example, it’s not just about “Oh, how many job boards can we make sure your jobs are going to,” but rather “How do we build partnerships and testify on Capitol Hill to make sure that we’re really shaping the future of policy as a representative of the employers?” For UnitedHealth Group we’ve seen value in getting our voice heard through an association, without needing to do that work internally ourselves.

We’re just now starting to get into the idea of the .jobs and are we going to put together some microsites.


Check out some of UnitedHealth Group’s rankings and awards:

  • Earned a top rating of 100 percent three years straight on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation
  • Ranked #1 for “Innovation in the Insurance and Managed Care” category on Fortune Magazine’s 2011 list of the World’s Most Admired Companies

Nancy: Given your role professionally and as a mother, what are your hopes for your girls in terms of the job market and how they’ll progress as they enter into their careers?

Angie: I think about a lot of different things. First of all because I have four girls, I’m amazed at the world of work difference now. During the 2008 election for example, I found it fascinating that none of my kids were surprised that an African American and female candidate were going head to head in the primary. For them it was just normal and it made me reflect on the progress we’ve made as a country. And I think a lot of credit can be given to human resource professionals out there who have helped drive that idea of diversity in the workplace. That gives me a lot of hope that there’s not going to be a glass ceiling, or that phrase is won’t even exist in their vocabulary as they are going through college.

Thank you so much Angie for taking your valuable time to share with us. You can also catch Angie sharing some wise words for job seekers in the following video made for the Social Jobs Partnership:

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