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Meet Craig Campbell, Principal at Talentwoo, Veteran Strategic Sourcing Manager & Industry Speaker

Posted on February 12, 2009
Filed Under Interviews, | 1 Comment

To Read the complete Interview, HERE

By Dave Mendoza

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Meet our friend, and fan, Craig Campbell. It is a pleasure to feature today someone with as varied contributions and personal appeal as Craig. He has been a talent acquisition leader with 15 years of experience creating strategic talent programs including, but not limited to sourcing, recruitment marketing, college, diversity and workforce analytics. Craig attributes his success to having worked with world class companies such as Manpower International, Microsoft,, Starbucks Coffee Company and most recently MGMMIRAGE. These experiences have afforded Craig a depth and breadth of recruiting insight and best practices across these various industries. If you ask Craig the secret of his success, he will tell you he owes it to his years having an opportunity to showcase effective internal consulting skills, a strong bias for innovation and an ability to connect the dots between business strategy and talent strategy. Jason and I first met Craig in Las Vegas at the Recruiting Roadshow and he has been a ceaseless advocate for our efforts towards building community. I am a fan and a friend, and I see Craig going places as far as his imagination allow him, and I see no limits to that end – only fresh beginnings.

Q&A with: Craig Campbell

Six Degrees: Tell us about your home world, Craig.

Craig: I have a smart, hot girlfriend and I’m the father of beautiful 11-year-old daughter. As of late, I’m really upgrading my daddy skills because my daughter is now a pre-teen and has started wearing a training bra – HELP!

I love to devour good books that are mostly non-fiction. A few of the more recent I’ve read are “A Sense of Urgency by John p. Kotter; a re-read of “The DIP” by Seth Godin, “CrowdSourcing” by Jeff Howe and I’m bouncing around the chapters of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. My favorite book is called A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from inner City to The Ivy League by Ron Suskind.

I’m a sports fan, but not avid because I prefer playing vs. watching. I played college basketball, which deeply influenced my sense of team, my desire to win and some of my approach to recruiting. I’ve dabbled in martial arts over the years, Tae Kwon Jo, Jujitsu and even tried mixed martial arts some years back. I decided to quit the MMA that after a co-worker upon seeing a few bruises on me, came into my office one day and said to me “I know the first rule is that there isn’t one, but are you in a fight club?” I thought it was pretty funny, but a couple of months later I experienced what they call a rear naked choke and didn’t sleep that night because I thought my throat would swell and cut off my breathing. To be clear, I wasn’t naked when this happened, it’s just non technical name for it…lol. Anyway, after that, lets just say I sought out other hobbies and decided to watch UFC from the sofa. I’m a “geek” and would consider myself a very early adopter of new hardware and software technology of all kinds and In case you were wondering, I’m a Mac with PC roots from my days at Microsoft. I love metaphors and my favorite one right now is one that I read in a guest blog post on cheezehead. Paraphrasing: You have to ask yourself – are your recruiting solutions painkillers or vitamins. I might extend that and add placebos. I’m a fan of painkillers

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?

Craig: I’ve been in recruiting for about 15 years and done everything from professional, college, diversity, workforce analytics and branding. I got started by being a recruiting champion when I was working in the insurance industry. It wasn’t my fulltime job, but when they would invite my out to the events, the engagement, the process and end game came very naturally to me and shortly thereafter, I started to explore this profession called with recruiting, which I didn’t really know existed.

The most exposure I had to recruitment was my experience of being recruited for sports in high school, which did and still does influence my recruitment style today. One of the cool things about my summary of experience is that I’ve been able to scale across different industries and functions from temp to perm, software engineers to ecommerce to retail and most recently hotel casinos. I’m primarily a recruiting programs guy, eg. Sourcing, employee referral, college diversity, etc. and my best work zone is start-up, turnaround or growth challenges vs. maintenance.

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

Craig: I think the event that had the most impact on my recruiting career was while I was at Microsoft during the dotcom era. It was fierce direct competition and I loved it. I was a senior member of the college recruiting team and we were as many as 500+ college candidates a year and it seemed as if there was a new start-up attacking our talent pool every week. These were the days when college students were getting huge cash signing bonuses, BMW leases and other crazy tactics to close the best and brightest.

The bottom line is that it was such a sweet intersection of systematic logic; creativity, candidate experience and the tenacity to win that sealed my love for the game of recruiting. What I’m proud of in that experience, is that so many of the individuals that my teammates and I hired during that time went on to become high performing leaders in the organization.

• I would also reference MGMMIRAGE. First and foremost it’s Vegas baby! It was very unique set of challenges that mostly revolved around solving for
• the sweet spot of high touch and high volume
• how to differentiate your employer value proposition in an extremely hyper competitive market in one geographic location
• managing hiring manager complacency around attracting the hourly job seeker
• External factors of housing foreclosures
• Successfully developing and managing the employer value proposition against the perception of the lifestyle of Vegas

These were really juicy, highly engaged challenges that many times were a moving target and I think will continue to be a moving target. It gave me the opportunity to dig deep into these challenges end to end at the property level and collective as an organization. The internal consulting and change management skills were truly battle tested. I think Las Vegas has a ton of runway for recruiting solutions.


One Response to “Meet Craig Campbell, Principal at Talentwoo, Veteran Strategic Sourcing Manager & Industry Speaker”

  1. Life Critical Illness on February 12th, 2009 3:12 am

    I tried the recruiting thing a few years ago but like Craig says, it’s got to be a natural thing otherwise you just won’t enjoy it. I stuck at it for 2 years but decided I wasn’t a natural.