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Meet Dave Hill, Director of Sourcing, Starbucks

Posted on January 27, 2009
Filed Under Interviews | 1 Comment

By Dave Mendoza
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David serves as Director, Executive Search and Strategic Sourcing and served prior as Senior Manager, Global Core Tech Sourcing at Microsoft. David’s specific expertise is in driving operational recruitment strategies focused on executive search, international recruitment, diversity and strategic sourcing. He is adept at managing across complex, large-scale, global, fast-paced and heavily matrixed environments. He has established a reputation as a strong people leader and manager of managers equally capable of building new teams or turning around existing functions. David has developed a solid track record of results-oriented success, evidenced by aggressive promotion history as well as numerous awards and peer leadership/mentoring opportunities.

As Director, Executive Search and Strategic Sourcing, David is responsible for driving partnerships between workforce planning, employer branding, compliance, diversity and talent acquisition teams to develop Starbucks’ first end-end global “talent supply chain” strategy. Responsible for all sourcing channel development, including online posting, employee referral programs, diversity recruitment and agency programs as well as segment strategies including military and mature workforce initiatives. Building a global central sourcing team focused on localizing active channels, research\competitive mapping and passive candidate outreach, including the development of all organizational design, tools, processes and systems (CRM, ATS, reporting). Re-established and directly leading\managing a global executive search function with a leveraged model providing both an internal search capability and professional management of search partner relationships. Developing all infrastructure for the function and partnering with the senior leadership team to manage executive searches for key corporate and field based roles across the United States and EMEA. Lead employer brand team focused on development of the “Starbucks Story”, redesign of corporate career center and brand delivery platforms as well as renegotiation of agency partnerships. Currently participating on a cross-functional core team responsible for developing a retail hourly hiring solution for the company in support of Starbucks’ transformation agenda. Hold operational leadership and management responsibility for a team of twenty-three recruitment professionals

Q&A with David Hill, Director, Executive Search and Strategic Sourcing

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.

David: I’ve been married 17 years to my wonderful wife Jenna. We’ve got three kids – Jessica (aka “Red”, age 11), Noah (no alias, age 6) and Malia (aka “Sharkie”, age 3). We’ve also got a sweet german shepherd\border collie mix – her name is Kona.

Six Degrees: Who is the Dave Hill people wouldn’t expect?

David: I’m a bit of a homebody, to be honest – love to cook, play games or watch movies with the family and that kind of thing. I absolutely love to travel, especially internationally though I haven’t had much opportunity to do that lately. I also have been playing bass in a blues\southern rock\kicked-up country band for the past couple of years – I’m still a bit of a hack, but I enjoy it.

Six Degrees: How many years as a recruiter?

David: I started recruiting in 1994, so I guess that makes it 14 years total – man, I’m getting old!

Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?

David: Well, as I usually tell my friends, I don’t really know anyone who, as a kid, wanted to grow up to be a recruiter. I wanted to be a cop and actually got to do that for a while. After sustaining some pretty severe injuries in an off-duty car accident, I needed a new line of work. I knew someone who was a manager at a small contingency search firm who gave me a shot. They asked me to take on a new area for them -“DP” (Data Processing) as they called it and said it was the up and coming thing. As it turns out, that was right around the time the internet was coming online and things really took off – I never looked back!

After spending a couple of years in contingency search, I decided I wanted to go the corporate recruiting route and joined HCA Healthcare, supporting their IT organization. Man, I loved that company, but was recruited away by the allure of Microsoft a few years later. I started out supporting IT for the sales and marketing organization but quickly moved into executive recruiting, which was relatively new to Microsoft at the time. From there, I went international – building a team that was looking for the brightest engineers from around the world for positions in Redmond as well as Microsoft’s global development centers. For the past year+ I’ve been working for Starbucks in a great role with an awesome team and a pretty broad focus – building out the sourcing, executive staffing and employer brand functions for the company.

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

David: Taking on the challenge of building out the international recruiting team at Microsoft. It was my first management gig, the first time I was responsible for building out a new business and the first time I got to focus on really complex challenges outside the US. I got a tremendous amount of exposure to the business and frankly to the world I had not been able to see before that. Those experiences led me to my work at Starbucks, which has been equally enriching and has built upon what I learned in the international role. I also had an awesome team there – made good friends and had a heck of a lot of fun along the way.

Six Degrees: Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

David: YES, absolutely. I’ve been fortunate to have some pretty killer mentors out there. Bridgett Paradise, who now runs HR for the Services organization of Microsoft was my biggest influence and I love her to death. The biggest thing Bridgett taught me was how to think like a business person first and a recruiter second. She has also been a role model for me on how to lead teams – Bridgett is an ace at that.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your job as Director of Sourcing at Starbucks:

David: When I started out with Starbucks just over a year ago, it was me and one other person on the team – a guy by the name of Phil Hendrickson, who is a really talented sourcing manager focused on cleaning up our online presence, putting some fairly basic sourcing tools in place, etc. Over the last year, we’ve gone from posting to 2 job boards to a presence now in more than 30 general, niche and diversity focused sites at roughly half the cost. We’ve implemented eQuest to help manage our postings along with putting tools\reports in place to measure sourcing effectiveness and ROI. We’ve also made huge gains on the diversity and compliance fronts, having put the appropriate resources in place and establishing a good channel strategy. We’re revamping our employee referral program and the career section of our website (which is LONG overdue) as well.

In December 2007, I picked up the executive staffing function for the company. At the time we used retained search firms exclusively, but quickly built a small team of researcher\recruiters and we began doing most of the search work ourselves. We’re early on, but have had great success so far with a number of completed searches under our belts. We’ve got a solid process in place now with good credibility across the organization. In the new year, we’re looking at how we can become more proactive, addressing the gaps in our leadership bench, tying into succession planning and putting research\outreach programs in place where appropriate.

In February 2008, we launched an internal central sourcing team and now have a team of eight sourcers aligned by business. We did a LEAN process event to build out the core processes, systems and tools, which was a heck of a lot of work and the team kicked major butt in getting it done. We started piloting in July and have picked up momentum ever since. We’ve got a dozen or so hires under our belt and hundreds of fresh candidates in the pipe now – I’m very proud of what that team has been able to accomplish.


One Response to “Meet Dave Hill, Director of Sourcing, Starbucks”

  1. Colleen Maxwell on January 28th, 2009 11:55 am

    David, I love the photos of you traveling around the world. I agree with you. As in geo-political positioning the social-economical landscape must be balanced. The trend of growing India and china will continue. However populations are growing expediently in just about every country. The GDP of India and China will be dropping as the American economy gets tighter. Then the world economy will come into balance. As this happens the world economy will get re-invented.