Michelle Randall-Berry works for International Game Technology (IGT), a multinational gaming and entertainment company that produces slot machines, cashless payments, lottery and other gambling technology—but her job involves very little gambling. As IGT’s senior director of talent acquisition, Randall-Berry takes a holistic approach to find qualified employees and foster inclusive and equitable practices at the company.
“My role is to really look at the talent acquisition process and standardizing practices globally across the organization, but also maximizing global best practices and thinking about what is leading practice when it comes to recruitment,” she explains. “My role [involves] thinking about our sourcing capabilities, but more importantly, looking at ways to build connections to different talent pools to support our businesses in terms of building capability for the future.”
While standardizing the talent acquisition process is an important part of Randall-Berry’s job, she also has to make sure that the operating model has some flexibility in order to adapt to the needs of IGT’s business units. “Sometimes we need to pause and come up with a solution that’s specific to one business unit,” Randall-Berry says. “It may not apply broadly, but we can get resources around it to ensure that we deliver and provide an excellent experience.”
Before joining IGT, Randall-Berry started her career in social work, then made the move to sales. She was then hired to sell recruiting services, which required her to learn more about the end-to-end recruitment process. She fell in love with recruitment, and she’s never looked back.
“This is what motivates me and what gets me up in the morning and I’ve just sort of stayed with it ever since,” Randall-Berry says.
She was actively recruited to join IGT. After learning more about the company, she was intrigued.
“What appealed to me about IGT is that it’s a company that was somewhat newly formed through the result of some acquisitions and is considered a leader in the gaming and entertainment space,” Randall-Berry recalls. “It was attractive to me in that it is a true global organization. It’s a role where I could look across geographies and really start putting together a talent acquisition center of expertise.”
In the two years Randall-Berry has been with IGT, she has helped to define the talent acquisition process and meet the expectations of the business leaders head-on. When she thinks about how to attract talent from outside of the organization, she considers the company’s strengths and how candidates might fit in there.
“Leveraging our core competencies and our values as an organization is another great way to connect and assess our talent in terms of how well they are going to operate within our structure and within our culture,” she notes. “What makes someone successful at IGT is someone who is able take some time to learn about the company and understand how the organization came to be. We are always looking for the best talent.”
Assessing talent is also about forging connections. Randall-Berry notes that one thing she’s particularly proud of is that she and her colleagues have worked hard to embed equitable and inclusive practice into every step of the company’s recruitment process, including leveraging behavioral-based interviewing. She also relies on data and analytic tools to help her with hiring decisions, which IGT wasn’t yet doing consistently when she joined the company.
“Right now, we are working on strengthening our relationships with our DIGS (diversity and inclusion groups), looking at ways to leverage them to help us source and attract talent both internally and through the external channels of their own networks and inviting them to come in,” Randall-Berry says.
For her own team, Randall-Berry looks for people who are not only passionate about talent acquisition but can also handle the roller-coaster ride of the job.
“You have to love the life cycle of being a recruiter, because while there are lots of ups, there are lots and lots of downs too,” she says. “You may get very excited when you think you’re close to an offer, but if something goes wonky, you could end up having to go back and start your whole search over again.”
The talent acquisition model is constantly evolving, and when Randall-Berry looks to the future, her thoughts turn to building workplace partnerships and pools where she is always recruiting.
“From a data and analytics perspective, what will be coming next is looking at and setting some KPIs with respect to how we’re looking at our hiring and candidate experience to ensure we are providing the best experience we can,” she says. “Something we are very passionate about is telling the IGT talent story and championing that in a way that’s meaningful—highlighting successes and accomplishments and making that more visible. We are a humble company in a lot of respects, but there are a lot of great stories we can tell.”