In December Deb Josephs was named SVP of Global Human Resources at eXelate, the smart data company powering smarter digital marketing decisions worldwide for marketers, agencies, platforms, publishers and data providers. As SVP of Global Human Resources, Josephs will be responsible for all employee initiatives across eXelate’s worldwide offices, including organizational effectiveness, talent acquisition, learning and development, and corporate culture as well as communication enhancement. Previously, Josephs ran human resources for Everyday Health, Inc., and was a member of the executive team that led DoubleClick through the successful purchase by Google. The Makegood recently spoke with Deb about developing and retaining top talent.
The Makegood: Congratulations on your new position! What made you decide to go to eXelate over other companies?
Through the interview process, it became clear that the eXelate management team and their board were all passionate about the direction of the business, its potential to grow and how having the right leadership team was instrumental to their success. I am particularly excited to join a company that is at the intersection of software, data and marketing.
The Makegood: What skills did you pick up at Everyday Health Inc. that will help you work successfully at eXelate?
At Everyday Health we brought in several senior executives to position the company for future growth. The strategy of hiring ahead, not just for today’s needs, really helped us scale, and I see that being crucial at eXelate as well. We also worked through several organizational changes to better serve our customer base.
The Makegood: You were a member of the executive team that led DoubleClick through the successful purchase by Google. Can you talk about that process? What was your role?
At DoubleClick, we were in a holding pattern for almost a year pending the DOJ’s approval of the acquisition. We thought it would be tough to retain our talent during that time given such uncertainty, but through constant communications, employee engagement in our success and a great culture, we retained over 90% of staff. The HR programs we developed, including mentoring, training, community involvement and more, were instrumental to that.
I was also responsible for bringing a cross-functional team together that helped Google plan for the integration. We had a fairly robust talent assessment process at DoubleClick that made it easier for Google to understand the skills and knowledge of our team and how they would fit in with Google’s organization.
The Makegood: As technology and social media continuously integrate themselves with all walks of life, how have you seen this trend affect the Human Resources industry?
In some ways, technology, social media and marketing in general have become critical to developing strong human resources programs. We’ve seen reduced administration, better analytics, and greater reach, but at the end of the day, it’s the ability for people to connect, communicate and develop relationships face to face that enhance company performance. HR certainly must integrate technology to be more efficient, but the ability to identify and develop talent, build strong leadership teams, tie business strategy to people and programs, and communicate effectively through times of uncertainty cannot be replaced with code.
The Makegood: What will you be working to accomplish at eXelate in the short-term and long-term?
In the short-term, I am getting to know the team here and the intricacies of the business. That way, I can identify talent and skills gaps and needs as well as design HR programs to support our growth. In the long-term, we will hire and develop top talent at all levels to scale our business for continued success while retaining eXelate’s entrepreneurial culture, our super-smart employees and our passion for smart data.
The Makegood: Thank you, Deb