Caitlin MacGregor talks talent with William Tincup

By Victoria Miller

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Plum CEO and Co-Founder Cailtin MacGregor Gives Advice and Insights for HR Leaders on the RecruitingDaily Podcast


As organizations adapt to constant change and disruption, the ability for them to tap into the full potential of their workforces has never been more critical. Our CEO Caitlin MacGregor recently joined William Tincup on the RecruitingDaily Podcast to talk about the importance of talent resilience and mobility.

They touched on Caitlin’s advice for HR leaders in 2021, how to understand what drives and drains your employees, and the importance of moving employees into new opportunities internally to keep them engaged and resilient.

On Caitlin’s advice for HR leaders in 2021...

Caitlin and William talked about 2020 being the year of survival, where companies were doing everything they could to make sure their employees were safe, healthy and supported through a challenging year. And in light of that focus, 2020 was also the year where HR leaders became the most important voice at the executive table.

“What this has done for the first time,” Caitlin said, “is made every CEO aligned to the fact that their people are really at the core of their business.” This shift in focus at the executive table has created the perfect opportunity for HR leaders to take a bold path forward in 2021, and to focus on setting every employee up to thrive.

“They’re going to thrive with you, or they’re going to thrive without you,” William reflected. “So, if you don’t provide them with those opportunities, and if you don’t set them up for success and set them up to thrive, then someone else will.”

On the importance of understanding what drives and drains employees...

To help employees thrive at work, Caitlin talked about aligning employees’ natural talents with the needs of a job. She talked about the fact that, when employees are playing to their strengths at work, they’re more likely to feel energized and engaged.

“The only way to get an accurate measurement of what drives and drains somebody is to have them go through a psychometric assessment,” she shared, before explaining that Plum’s assessment measures personality, problem solving ability and social intelligence to reveal what makes each employee uniquely exceptional. She explained that Plum empowers organizations to identify the behavioral needs of a role, while also measuring an employee’s talents, and then allows them to compare the two to reveal how well a person is suited for the job.

“I’ve taken the assessment, and I had a wonderful experience,” said William, before revealing that his top Plum Talents were Decision-Making, Adaptation and Innovation.

On what companies need to do to succeed when it comes to internal mobility...

“A lot of companies don’t know their existing people,” Caitlin quipped. “In the past, it was a lot easier if you had an open rec to go and buy that resource from outside and bring them in, rather than build the resource by enabling your existing talent.”

Caitlin explained that, when it comes to moving talent across the organization, companies should focus on aligning people to roles where they have the potential to succeed, even if they’ve never done a similar job before. She explained that the way to understand how someone is going to perform long-term on the job is to understand what the behavioral needs of the job are. With those data points, companies can uncover hidden gems in their talent pools who have the potential to succeed in a role, if they’re only given the opportunity.

On the importance of helping employees grow...

Caitlin talked about the importance of giving employees opportunities to feel like they are accomplishing something in order to avoid burnout, and that taking on new opportunities is key to fostering that sense of growth and movement.

“Part of why 2020 was difficult is that we all need wins,” Caitlin shared. “We all need to feel like we’re doing something, and if we’re doing the same thing day in and day out and we don’t feel like we’re growing, we’ll burn out. We need to provide our employees the opportunity to keep growing.”

Check out the full interview with Caitlin and William.

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