GradLeaders recently interviewed Cindy Loggins, the Global Head of University Recruiting and Programs for eBay. We wanted to check in with Cindy to learn more about eBay as an employer partner and how they’re remaining successful in a virtual environment. Cindy Loggins graciously shared her educational and professional background, gave valuable advice to job seeking students, and gave great insight into eBay’s recruiting efforts today! Here’s what she had to say to our own intern, Emily Mowry:
Interview with Cindy Loggins, the Global Head of University Recruiting and Programs at eBay
Emily: How long have you worked for eBay?
Cindy: I am coming up on three and a half years.
Emily: Awesome, and If you wouldn’t mind, please describe your role and a little bit about the team structure.
Cindy: I am the Global Head of University of Recruiting and programs for eBay, and I sit in the San Jose or the Bay Area office which is our headquarters. My team is comprised of recruiters, sourcers, programs people and then also coordinators as well for the interview scheduling. The role of our team is to bring in and infuse eBay’s talent base with early career talent so whether that be through the intern program or through our recent college graduates’ program, bringing in early talent that are typically, I would say zero to three years of experience if they are bachelors or masters, and then three to five years’ experience with their MBAs.
Emily: Okay awesome, so what would you say are your favorite parts about your role?
Cindy: I definitely think it’s the people. The people on my team, my teammates, are incredibly talented individuals that bring something new to the table every day. I always tell my team that I am only as good of a leader as they are good individually on our team, and the roles and responsibilities that each of them hold. So, I think that aspect of it is well, Emily. Alongside the population that we get to engage with on a daily basis looking for candidates to fill our roles, if it’s somebody that’s a bachelors or Masters candidate looking to be in technology, is there a right opportunity for them here to explore? Obviously, our interns, being able to convert them into full-time roles is really exciting and is a favorite part, and then ultimately also watching this early in career talent population come in and do really really well, and then get promoted into another role is well within our company. I would say that is equally my favorite, so I’ve got a couple different components to that.
Emily: I’m sure watching them grow as you welcome them into the company is really rewarding.
Cindy: I have nothing to do with that part, that’s all them but I definitely feel like we’re doing something right when we see that.
Emily: Can you share a little bit about your educational background and some of your previous work experiences and how that led you to where you are today?
Cindy: Sure. So, I did my undergrad at Boston College. I did it in Political Science and Sociology if I remember correctly, and I absolutely loved it. I started my career in commercial banking, that’s what my family had done so it seemed like the right path to go. I was able to utilize my ability to speak Japanese to cater to the international community that was in Boston in the area that our commercial banks were at. Over the years I had sought out different roles and transferred over to investment banking and then eventually traveled out to California with the same company within investment banking and I did that for a few years. As an employee at that time I wasn’t able to connect with anybody in human resources or on the people team. I had questions about my benefits that I had to call an 800 number and it took days for anybody to get ahold of me and I think as an employee at that point I had this revelation of “I can do better than whoever it was on the other end of the email, or the other end the phone call.” I couldn’t focus on my work because I had these personal things that I needed to get done with my employer that I couldn’t get answers to in a timely matter. So, I made a decision in my mind like “I wonder what this industry is on the human resources side because I feel like I can do better.” As I networked with individuals across the board, internally and externally, the constant message at that time was that you either need to have prior work experience in HR to have an HR role in that company, and/or you need a degree. Clearly, I didn’t have any prior experience in HR so I thought okay, I might as well go back and get another degree. I went back and got my MBA from San Fransisco State University up here in the Bay area and focused on international human resources. I learned a lot from there and from graduating from there I was given an opportunity, I worked in retail for a little bit because I graduated right around 9/11 with my MBA and then eventually got an opportunity to be a part of an organization that had everything from professional recruiting, college recruiting at the time, EEO, affirmative action, so I had a boss that carpeted everything, and I worked for him for a couple of years and under his wing was college recruiting. I thought “how interesting is that, less tenured individuals looking to get into a career,” so I started out as a coordinator for that team and then slowly moved my way into a recruiting role and had been in a recruiting role for many years before I was given the opportunity to be a manager for university recruiting or college recruiting function. So, been in this managerial role for probably more years than I’d like to count but absolutely loving it. This is my sweet spot, this is where I want to be, this is the type of audience I choose to work with and if you think about the reason I went into HR, whether it’s myself individually or my teammates, we’re making a difference. We’re giving opportunities to individuals to start their career if they’re earlier in their career but if they’re a masters or an MBA or a PHD, we’re connecting them with super smart individuals that work at any company I’ve been at and then watch them grow. I’ve taken a little bit of a journey but I’ve always had really great managers that have guided me to be where I am today, so I’m eternally thankful for that.
Emily: That’s awesome. I think this is one of my favorite questions to ask people because sometimes when people come right out of college, they know exactly what they want to do and they stay in that position for a long time and other times it’s the experiences that you have personally that lead you to open other doors.
Cindy: Absolutely, and I think there’s different majors to your point Emily, I think if someone comes out as an accounting major, they’re prepped for that career. I think what industry you do accounting in may change but you don’t see as many folks coming out with accounting degrees go into human resources as an example right. So, I think a major like mine that I got is so broad that I think you could easily switch careers. When I stop and think back about what I did as an undergrad, I didn’t know what I wanted to do coming out of school, I didn’t have my heart set on being in accounting or education or whatever it might be and so looking back on it now and some of the learnings I had like sociology and political science maybe not so much the political science piece but sociology is the art of people which totally leads into what I do today. I had to get other layers of education on top of that in terms of organizational development, and as I started to dive deeper into the human resources field, compensation; I like it but I don’t want to be on that team, I’m not good at that. Those are your numbers folks. Benefits; I like having benefits, I partner really well with the benefits team, that’s just an area that to me is so complicated and I don’t have the desire to want to learn it. For me, it’s the people aspect and bringing people on board and making sure that they’re connected with the right people. I think it’s a little bit of how I was brought up in this world and in the working world of giving people opportunities and things that people gave me, they gave me different opportunities to be on different teams or different projects and guiding them. I feel like it’s a little bit of a full circle where I’m now hopefully giving it to candidates that whether it’s myself for the rest of my teammates I encounter.
Emily: Yeah that’s awesome it sounds like you’ve really hit that sweet spot where you’re actually really happy with your job and not everybody has that.
Cindy: I am. It’s challenging but I love it.
Emily: So what would you say are a few factors that differentiate eBay from other companies you’ve worked for?
Cindy: For me it’s really the people, we’re not the sexiest company out there although I think that in itself is being redefined like back in the day you had Google, Facebook and maybe Apple if you were truly into that side of technology and each of them do really fascinating things on their own but there’s two things that I feel differentiate eBay. It’s the people. The people are innately good at eBay, not to say they weren’t good at others but you see it in the day to day interaction, you see it in conflict resolution you see it in relationship building, you assume good first and then you go from there. The culture of eBay internally and how we’re all super supportive resonates really highly with me. The other aspect of eBay as a company is who we cater to from a business perspective, and what our platform does. We connect that middle layer of business, the small and middle size businesses that are out there and I think with coronavirus you see that amplified even more. Wherever you might live you might see a street or two or a block or a neighborhood that are super cute boutique stores that only sell one of whatever item exists and then with COVID and you have no customers, then what? So being able to help people like that get their businesses online, not only to allow their current customers to be able to shop their products, but what about the other however many billion we have on our platform and people that aren’t even directly in the neighborhood like people that are out of state and out of the country. Creating a platform that continues to allow people to empower themselves, to me if I can be even a small part of that you know then I feel like I’m doing good.
Emily: That’s awesome. To your point about good people, I feel like you don’t realize how good people can be until you start working with them and it’s just so natural that it’s so evident how good they can be.
Cindy: Absolutely and how much they can teach you as well. With all the crazy going on with the Coronavirus and everything the US has been working through over the last couple years it’s really easy to make judgment on other people and I think internally at eBay from the tops of the steeples there, you need to assume good intent. You need to assume that the person at the other end of the conversation has good intent. You may not agree and that’s okay, but we also don’t need to bite our heads off, we need to be open to conversation with hopefully that similar goal of whatever that resolution is, and I think at eBay they really put that externally and internally and to me that’s really important.
Emily: So how would you say eBay’s hiring and onboarding efforts have changed since COVID-19?
Cindy: The hiring hasn’t changed as much. I mean we still have a ton of folks to hire I think it’s part of the beauty of being in technology where we’ve been remote since the beginning of March of last year I think. I went remote maybe the second week of March along with the rest of my team. I think company wide we were probably on a quick role after that. We think of our employees first and foremost. Most of us either we care for elderly people, we live with elderly people, or we have families or neighbors that are at risk. So we’ve been able to pivot pretty effectively I think to a virtual format for recruiting we’ve always done things over zoom or whatever platform we used for interviews so that hasn’t been an issue. I think the hardest part Emily, maybe not so much for interns because their graduation is a little bit farther out but for those that we bring on board as recent college graduates the inability to really experience the culture of a campus being on campus and I feel like students feel that anyway right? If their remote they’re missing out on walking to the cafeteria and finding friends or “hey can I come sit with you guys?” That socialness I think is definitely missing. I think the only saving grace is that we will get out of this at some point right it is not going to be like this forever, we will be okay. And so for my onboarding perspective I think us as a company is committed really seamlessly for lack of better term. It’s a little bit more work on our IT side because we have to ship everything out but from a programmatic standpoint we pivoted pretty quickly. With our intern program last year we’re almost doubling the amount of interns that we have this year in a virtual format as well. So different types of activities trying to make sure that we’re engaged with our early career population holistically, but overall for eBay I mean we have hired so many people not just my group but in general and eBay since coronavirus and we chuckle about it and say we’ve hired so many and not one of these people have set foot on an eBay campus. Productivity levels have gone up I think people are having to be way more creative in terms of how they get work done, me as a leader I’m trying to be way more accepting and creative in terms of how my team gets our work done and it doesn’t always have to be because we are in the office so I would say that our population that we look to bring in and or that we’ve brought in across the board has proven to be super resilient and then us as leaders just constantly are focused on making sure that we’re checking in with our team, that they’re finding the balance that’s necessary with each individual because each individuals scenario is different.
Emily: It’s definitely a different experience but you definitely can still benefit from it and it sounds like you guys have done great with productivity levels and engaging with your employees so that’s really good. You mentioned the internship programs, can you talk a little more about what those programs look like and how students can benefit from having an internship with this organization?
Cindy: So, we use our intern program as a direct pipeline to full-time hiring so it’s the main method that we make full-time regular hiring in the entry level or the early in career band I guess I would say in any role whether it be engineering, product management, operations, marketing, finance. So, we heavily utilized this this opportunity over the summer to not only evaluate individuals that we might consider from a full-time component but also to have them evaluate us to see it we truly are who they think we are and if they are supportive of it and they think that they have the ability to grow in this organization. I think from a programmatic standpoint, not much has changed with our core initiatives. Every year we change it up and the contents of it can be a little bit different but ultimately focusing on learning. So learning about the different businesses no matter what organization you sit in you’re learning about all the different aspects that make up eBay and then also visibility to leaders and giving them an opportunity to have a voice and have a seat at the table whether it be talking to the head of marketing and some of their marketing initiatives that they might be working on whether it’s talking to product and using the interns that we have in a user group to say this is what we’re thinking, this is how we’re thinking of advertising it, launching it, this is what the home screen looks like if we’ve got a new problem, what do you think? So, I think from a candidate perspective you make opportunity to take part in shaping who eBay will continue to be. We’ve been around for 25 years so who we’ll continue to be and the relevance we’ll continue to play in the ecommerce market. So, I think from an intern perspective and even as a recent college graduate, it’s a unique opportunity to have a voice and it’s sort of that midsized company that you do have a voice, your opinion does matter and on the programmatic side on my team we just make sure that those that are coming in as interns or recent college graduates understand how to connect with people in order to have a voice so whether it be leaders, certain projects, giving them enough information across the board so that they are able to make decisions on where to push their career. So, for us I think it’s a really unique opportunity to be able to come in to try and make a difference and then if you think about our goal and our purposes as a company, hopefully the work that these individuals are coming into do, they have the ability to tie in how that makes a difference for the buyers and sellers on our platform.
Emily: I think that’s super interesting that you guys truly value the input of your interns and recent graduates because sometimes with bigger name companies they can get lost in there, so I think that’s really special. What are a few qualities you look for when you’re recruiting students? What’s one thing that separates one candidate from the rest of them?
Cindy: So, it depends on the role, Emily that we’re recruiting for. If it’s a software engineering role we’re looking for computer science fundamental mastery right, or if you’re an intern on the way to mastery depending on what year you are in school. You’ve got data structures, algorithms, problem solving, coding skills for those roles and then for other roles some sort of passion around ecommerce is always helpful understanding ecommerce as well. For marketing roles social media, marketing, marketing analytics, those types of roles, garner those skill sets but I would say overall we target or reach out to pretty much every school across the US for our US opportunities. We’ve got roles in Europe, we’ve got roles in China as well in each of those segments we recruit a little bit differently but the majority of our roles I would say across the board tend to be engineering. For us that’s the bulk of our employee base so core computer science fundamentals. On the non-engineering side again it’s just going to depend. We’ve got a bunch of finance roles that we just filled but again looking for people in finance, accounting, people that can sort of come into a rotational development program fulltime and garner all of those skills. We’re looking for just initiative, people that just want to be in this industry. Understand what eBay is, understand who our competitors are, if you get into an interview be cognizant of a lot of that. Coming in blindly and just wanting a job isn’t going to cut it. You can be the smartest person out there but you have to have a passion and knowledge about our business at a minimal scale to be able to have that conversation. Hopefully that helps.
Emily: Yeah definitely, thank you for sharing that. If you were to look back at your college self, and know everything that you know now, what advice would you give about internships, navigating your first career, professional development, or networking, anything like that, what’s one thing you wish you knew?
Cindy: Without dating myself, my career services sucked when I was back in the day so I think students coming out today, at the majority of the schools the career services and the career service advisors are there for a reason so leverage them. They tend to be pretty connected to us in the business and what we’re looking for in timelines, and don’t be afraid. I think going into every opportunity with a huge amount of willingness to learn is going to pay off. Every company does things a little bit differently no matter if the roles seemed to be the same and so what I’ve encouraged my old self is, and I did an internship sort of in a little bit of a different format and capacity but the whole point was to learn what you like and what you don’t like. By doing an internship you’re sort of creating this tally card for yourself, “these are the things that I like these are the industries that I like, Oh my gosh my manager is great what are the qualities that I feel make that person great?” So that when you start to look for employment you’re going to get a lot of different job offers but then go back to your tally card and say what’s important to me is this, what’s important to me is that. The common conversation I have with candidates but not as much now but I would say over the last couple of years is “Cindy I’m grateful for the offer at eBay but I also have an offer Google Facebook and blah blah blah and at Google and Facebook they give me free food” but at the end of the day, great Emily if that’s if that is what is on your scorecard of what’s important absolutely go there. As much as I would want you here you would be miserable coming to eBay because we don’t have free food and so the components are different. I think it’s just, is compensation you’re top and most part of what a company needs to offer you? Then fine. Then figure out which gives you the most compensation. Going back and forth trying to negotiate and all of that starts to make a recruiter unsure if they want you here. Depending on where you are in your career, do your research, network, and then go all in. Whatever it is that you decide, go in all in and be a sponge to learn from your peers, to learn from the company, so that you are continuously adding to that tool belt of skills and that’s what I ended up doing. I was in investment banking I look back on it now and think why but I learned a couple of things. I learned ability to operationalize I learned ability build relationships because I needed to get information from different teams in order to get my work done early in my career. Those skill sets are really important to the role that I’m in now right and just keep building on that until you find out what it is. I think the day you land that job is going to be awesome no matter what industry you’re in but keep your blinders off. When somebody says “Cindy you’ve got this and that skill I think that you could be good on this project as well as this job.” Take the opportunity. Don’t say no because you want to keep your options open because it relates to your learning.
Emily: You never know where one experience can lead you and every experience is going to teach you something valuable you just have to have that learning mindset. Well, that was well said that was great advice thank you so much. Switching over to your relationship with GradLeaders, what are some of the main things you’re trying to achieve with this partnership? What made you chose to work with GradLeaders?
Cindy: So, one of the main reasons I had looked at GradLeaders, well first of all I’ve known Amy forever and so being we have the same mindset in terms of what terms a vendor might offer versus what our needs are, ultimately with GradLeaders I was looking at an opportunity to have sort of a one stop shop for predominantly MBA. I know GradLeaders does more than that but I didn’t have a tool in my back pocket of aggregating MBA candidates, job postings, etc. and so that’s why I had reached out to GradLeaders and sort of fulfill that as a sourcing platform for me. It’s been working well we probably don’t use GradLeaders maybe as much as a lot of our peers do solely because our numbers for MBA hiring isn’t as large although part of the reason of tapping into Amy was my MBA ask doubled from last year and so rather than go to each school individually it made more sense to sort of have it aggregated. Again I have a very small team and so having one platform that can accommodate all of that for us was really important.
Emily: Well that’s pretty much all the questions I have for you.