top 100 influencers hr examiner v182

In January, 2012, Chris Hoyt is easily recognized as the most innovative recruiter in the business today. The past couple of years have seen him host a variety of events while taking charge of his role at Pepsi where

Chris is responsible for the design, implementation and sustainability of PepsiCo’s global digital and social recruiting strategies inclusive of managing Internet communities, analytics and 3rd party recruitment partnerships. As an industry professional with over 18 years of experience he pushes the boundaries of social and mobile recruiting in big business environments with the help of motivated recruiting teams from around the world. It’s his belief that maintaining an unwavering focus on improving both the candidate experience and job seeker engagement levels has a direct impact on the quality of talent that drives a company’s success.

Hoyt is a practical guy who is comfortable in his own skin. He is the personification of sanguine. Cheery, optimistic and ready to get things done. Unassuming and accessible.

Take another look at his job description (above). Hoyt manages Internet communities, analytics and 3rd party recruitment partnerships while being responsible for an employment brand.. Pepsi is one of the few companies capable of understanding and trying to manage these three things as one. Usually, they are separate. Most often they are not really managed. Typically, they are not all housed in the HR Department.

So, regardless of temperament and initiative, Chris has the great fortune to be in the right place. The result of curiosity, work ethic, experience and timing is an explosion of visibility.

Generally, the limelight has corrosive effects on people their first time through the ringer. Chris appears to have weathered the storm and prospered. It’s probably because he’s less interested in the credit than he is in what he can get done. For some, celebrity (even in the minor forms available in a niche like ours) is an end goal. For others, like Chris, it’s a tool for making progress.

Hoyt is in the enviable position of working for a company with solid resources, a desire to lead and a willingness to experiment. That means that Chris has tried and discarded ideas well before they have turned into the bland, me-too ness of best practices. He works at the front end of the process, trying to identify the next trends and navigate his operation to where they’re going to be.

Once, Chris and I were talking about the fact that innovation rarely comes from our industry. Usually, our new ideas are borrowed or stolen from an adjacent industry (something involving publishing or customer service). It was clear, in that conversation, that the place to look was ‘somewhere else’.

Chris immediately began to figure out how to expose his team to ideas beyond the world of Recruiting and HR. The insight hit him and he began to implement. It was so spontaneous that I almost missed it.

One of the things I’ve noticed about people who influence the industry is that they seem to have budgets with which to influence the industry. Although we’ve been looking at practitioner intensely in the past several top 100 pieces, it’s really the marketers, academics and consultants who have the time and energy for the conference and article circuit.

Somehow, Hoyt manages to slice his time so that he gets it all done.

He influences people by being a public trailblazer. Then he smoothes it out with contagious optimism. It’s a delicious formula.