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Meet Jason Buss, Thee “TalentBuzz” VP, Talent Acquisition & Diversity

Posted on August 19, 2010
Filed Under Interviews | Comments Off on Meet Jason Buss, Thee “TalentBuzz” VP, Talent Acquisition & Diversity

I can always count on seeing Jason Buss at any of the assortment of staffing industry events as a speaker or as an attendee. He has an unblemished record for passion on behalf of sharing with his peers and building substantive discussions on how to improve talent attraction. I can sincerely state I have been a fan of his for a number of years for what he has accomplished and it is an honor to have him agree to be featured on “Six Degrees from Dave” today. Jason Buss is a Talent Management & Diversity Executive with over 10 years of global Human Resources Experience. He was the creator of the Recruiting News site – The Talent Buzz, – which has been regularly recognized as a leading industry blof and has built a reputation for designing and leading recruiting organizations as an internal competitive capability for companies.

Jason is also a frequent presenter at both local and national industry events and conferences and has been interviewed for and published hundreds of HR and recruiting related articles online and in several publications. You can connect with Jason through any of the following links / sites:

The Talent Buzz
• Specialties: Workforce Planning, Employee Referral Programs, Applicant Tracking Systems, Blogs, Web 2.0, Executive Recruiting, Talent Management, Employment Law, Employment Branding, College Recruiting, Internships, Talent Acquisition, Recruiting Strategy, Succession Planning, Competency Development, Assessment and Selection, Collective Bargaining, Six Sigma, Blue Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, Project Management Office, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Process Design, Candidate Experience, Metrics, Diversity

Q&A with Jason Buss

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.

Jason: I am single, with 3 amazing kids. Jake is 13, Kaitlin is 11, and Josh is 7. There are also a couple of pets running around… Buddy (dog) and his arch rival Lewis (cat). My hobbies include a variety of sports, games, reading, technology, and outdoor activities with my kids. I also look forward to warm-weather vacation getaways (give me a break, I live in Minnesota). Additionally, I enjoy volunteering and giving to “Feed My Starving Children” and the “Children’s Miracle Network”

Six Degrees: How many years of experience in recruiting?

Jason: Time flies by when your having fun! It’s been 13 years. Before job boards… Remember, back in the day when a big display ad in the Sunday paper meant something and when career fairs were like social media is today?

Six Degrees: How do you find time to manage an Executive Career at a Fortune 500 company, your social presence, your blog, and your family?

Jason: For starters, these are all things I enjoy. My kids are my number one priority, that’s non-negotiable. Beyond that, all of these areas take a strong commitment, prioritization, a passion for the work, doing whatever it takes, and a few late nights along the way. While there is synergy between my career, social presence and my blog – a majority of the time I spend online is primarily after hours.

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your staffing career?

Jason: It is hard to think of one single event, however, I can think several individuals that have had a strong impact on my career. I have been very fortunate to work with some very talented professionals. I have also had great mentors and coaches throughout my life

Six Degrees: Leveraging social media for recruiting continues to be hot topic. What are your thoughts?

Jason: Let me start my answer to this question by stating that there are some great opportunities for HR professionals and Recruiters to leverage social media personally and or professionally. However, I do think that many are falling for the hype and are being sold worthless goods.

If you filter through all of the noise, most of what I see and hear is just that – noise and hype. Consider for a minute how recruiting (tools) have evolved over the past 2 decades – from newspapers and job boards – to the almost endless possibilities today (in comparison). The biggest difference between then and now is that now we can leverage all of these tools to brand our organization and get our messages in front of people world-wide whether or not they are looking for work. And more importantly, we can now do this faster than ever thought possible.

YET, part of the problem with the current focus is most are primarily talking about using social media for posting jobs (advertising) and finding people (sourcing). These are activities. They can be important, yet they are not fixing the issues at hand. These activities are not advancing our cause.
There is no reason to over-complicate “trends” and “best practices”. We don’t need to continue creating and leveraging more job posting tools and web sites. This isn’t about posting your job on twitter or creating a RSS feed of your jobs for your facebook fan page. It’s also not about a really cool expensive tool that will post your job instantly all over the place at once. Big deal.

Do we really think candidates understand the mess being created online with over 40,000 job sites? Are we that naive to think 99% of the job sites even matter – at all? It’s unnecessary clutter, it’s confusing to candidates, and the online experience can be an embarrassment. And people ask how HR and/or recruiting get bad labels.

From my viewpoint, I would argue we need to think broader than job postings, and start thinking about total distribution models, meaningful delivery of content and mechanisms, and true communities of influence that provide a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties – the candidate and the company.

Six Degrees: What motivates and inspires you about the recruiting industry?

Jason: Everyday, we are building the future of the companies we work and recruit for. We have an amazing opportunity to create such a competitive advantage – whether we are focusing on workforce planning, succession management, or filling a req. From these activities all the way to the candidate experience – they all matter and add to the returns on our hiring investments.

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Jason: Stay tuned…

Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry?

Jason: Great question. I think we all have an opportunity to facilitate change and shape the future of recruiting. For me, I will continue focus on being an advocate for the importance – and competitive advantage recruiting plays in any organization. I’ll also continue publishing articles and content from an objective point of view – and by creating dialogue mechanisms for other HR and recruiting professionals.

Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?

Jason: Sure – for your readers interested in networking with HR professionals and Recruiters, please check out the following groups on LinkedIn and facebook.

For those interested is getting a fill for industry news in one place, check out the re-designed HR News site –

For twitter novices, pro’s and cynics – get a flavor of hot topics being talked about in the HR and recruiting community – via twitter on

Last, for those professionals looking for work, check out postings directly from the source on the free HR Jobs site.:

Recommendations For Jason Buss

VP, Talent Acquisition & Diversity
Ameriprise Financial
“Jason is a true builder, a prime mover, an authentic leader. Ideation alone does not ensure success. Building, planning, organizing, and designing processes that dovetail into an organization is both science and art. Combine that with Jason’s ability to bring together a diverse team capable of thinking at many different levels and with various approaches, and you have the makings of a true talent acquisition battlefield commander.”
Shally Steckerl, VP Arbita ACES

“Jason is one of the most strategic and innovative Recruiting Executives I have had the pleasure of working with and for. Jason is a respected thought leader in the industry and quickly builds credibility and relationships with colleagues, staff, and clients.”
Jackie Moes, Business Development / Consulting, Ameriprise Financial

“Jason stands out as a true leader not only for his organization, but also with his talent acquisition peers across the globe. I have had the privilege to work with Jason on several projects over the last couple of years. Jason is an innovator and highly authentic in his approach to solve large scale strategic challenges. Jason has the innate ability to design and implement complex processes and solutions seemingly with ease. Make sure to follow Jason where you can as he readily shares his tremendous wealth of knowledge!”
Craig Butas, Sr Account Executive – Enterprise Solutions, LinkedIn

“Jason is by far the best executive leader I have worked with in my career. Though we work from different locations (read countries), he always makes me and the team members in India feel that he is very close to us. He is a very caring leader and always ensures the team members are motivated, engaged and happy with the work and challenges. Jason always leads from front when it comes to guiding the team to implement latest technologies and innovations in the field of recruiting. It’s a pleasure to work with a leader like him.”
Amit Babbar (Open Networker), Team Lead – Talent Acquisition, Ameriprise Financial

“Jason is a true visionary. I have worked for him at Allianz and Ameriprise and it has been a pleasure. Jason is always on the cutting edge of what is new in recruiting. I look forward to the opportunity to work with him again.”
Chris Wedum, Senior Recruiting Manager Talent Acquisition and Diversity, Ameriprise Financial

Director, Talent Acquisition
Russell Investment Group

“In the short time that I have worked with Jason, I have experienced his pragmatic and focused approach to evolving Russell’s talent acquisition model. Jason is steady in his approach, highly ratioanle, and customer-centric. I appreciate his attention to details and follow through. He is a Can Do guy.”
Rick Len, Director, Contract Consulting Services, Russell Investment Company

“I have had the opportunity to work with Jason twice over the last few years and can say with confidence that he is a true leader in talent acquisition. Jason has a remarkable ability to gain trust and respect and does this with a calm and assertive manner. He understands how to position his recruiting team to create a collaborative partnership with business lines. Jason highly values his staff members and operates with determination, conviction and the fortitude to see his vision through.”
Emily Sell, Recruitment Consultant, Russell Investment Group

“Jason is a thoughtful, creative and fair manager who allows his team to bring new ideas to the table and act on them. He is able to gather and allocate resources to enable his staff to focus on their core roles.”
Beth Arrisi, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner, Russell Investments

“As a mentor and manager, Jason stands out as an innovative leader. He provides great vision, is down to earth and really listens to his people.”
Lisa Ingle Buttitta, Sr. Recruiter, Russell Investments

“Jason is an outstanding leader to the recruiting team within Russell Investments. He fosters a highly professional and mature work environment based on mutual respect for all people within the group.”
Rob Payne, Talent Aqcuisition Partner – East Coast, Russell Investments

“Since coming to Russell, Jason has brought a ton of great ideas and processes to the recruiting function. Under his leadership, he has redefined the recruiting function and has dramatically changed Russell’s presence in the recruitment market. Jason has a love of technology and isn’t afraid to try new things.”
Rebecca Carlson, HR Project Manager, Russell Investments

“Jason is very effective in managing a Talent Acquisition team and comes highly respected by all executive levels within Russell Investments. He is very knowledgeable and has had great success in developing and implementing a “Best in Class” proactive recruiting organization. Jason offers a broad perspective both tactically and strategically in all aspects in Talent Acquisition/ Management and has been successful in providing direction to meet Russell’s business needs. He is an outstanding manager to work under!”
Marybeth Maino, Recruitment Consultant, Russell Investments

“In working with Jason on website projects for Russell, I found him to always have clarity around his priorities and vision. He provides strong leadership and direction around fundamental aspects of the project while remaining flexible enough to allow the creativity and expertise of others to inform and improve the final outcome. He combines graceful professionalism with an upbeat, lighthearted way of communicating and building relationships. It is a treat to work with Jason.”
Kathryn Wachs, Senior Project Manager – Marketing, The Lux Group, Inc

“Jason was a client during his tenure at CUNA as well as at his current position with Russell Investment Group. It was a pleasure having Jason as a client as he is a strategic thinker and understands how to incorporate technology with his company’s vision resulting in measurable value to his organization. He is very knowledgeable about the space and was a great advocate for us. I would love to have Jason as a client again.”
Nicola Medeira, Sr. Account Manager, Kenexa, Inc (formerly Webhire)

“Jason is dedicated to successfully developing and implementing Talent Acquisition initiatives globally. He is customer focused, and has built a solid foundation for executing strategic hiring goals.”
Amod Damle, College Recruiting Leader, Russell Investment Group

“Jason has elevated our talent acquisition function to a new level of effectiveness and professionalism by implementing best practices and forward-thinking process development. Jason’s customer-focused leadership abilities have contributed significantly to the continued evolution of our HR team.”
Pam Johnson, Manager, Global Mobility, Russell Investment Group


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