Attracting top talent: How Gong wins with an inclusive approach to executive sourcing

Austin King next to the Talent Magnet winner badge

3 mins, 12 secs read time

A few weeks ago, we revealed the Talent Makers® award finalists. And now it’s time to roll out the red carpet to the winner of each category. We’re thrilled to introduce you to the talent magnet winner, Austin King, Executive Recruiter at Gong!

Being a talent magnet means attracting top talent and prioritizing inclusion in your recruiting. And once we had the chance to review Austin’s nomination, it was clear he brings these values to life. As an executive recruiter, Austin’s role involves sourcing and nurturing candidates who will become senior leaders at Gong. He’s literally shaping the direction of his company as a talent magnet attracting top talent – and his passion for this work is undeniable.

Treating candidates like strategic partners

“Austin is one of the best recruiters I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” his nominator, Head of Global Talent Acquisition Kelsey Biggs, told us. “He is a strong partner and consultant to the business, champion of Gong, ambassador of our culture and a true candidate advocate.”

And Kelsey has experienced Austin’s work firsthand – he’s the one who convinced her to join Gong! Describing this experience, Kelsey said, “The relationship we had during my lifecycle felt more like a really good customer success manager or partner. He made a point to understand who I was as a person so he could tailor his pitch. And with that heightened communication, it was hard to ever ignore him because he’d created such a good rapport.”

Skillful storytelling creates a standout candidate experience

Kelsey regularly receives notes from candidates singing Austin’s praises as a skilled storyteller and true strategic partner in their job search – even when they don’t end up receiving an offer. As one recent VP-level candidate put it: “Austin knows and understands the business and the space, and he is a brilliant front-line narrator of the story – I’m officially and fully hooked.”

What’s his secret for attracting top talent? Austin said he considers himself as an advisor who’s there to ensure the role is aligned with the candidate’s expectations. “I make the calls more about them versus trying to push them into an opportunity. I think of myself as more of a strategic partner than a recruiter.”

Austin finds inspiration from the fact that he’s creating opportunities for candidates – and his company. “I get to attract the best of the best talent and then I get to watch them go close new customers and build new functions of the business, so it always comes full circle. I recruit people here, and then I get to see all the amazing things they do,” he said.

Inclusive hiring shapes the future of Gong

In Austin’s nomination, Kelsey also highlighted his commitment to inclusive hiring. “Due to some changes in leadership and reorganization, Austin had a tremendous opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the representation of senior leadership. He knew the hiring managers would want to move quickly and likely have referrals in mind, so he set the goal of sourcing 60-70% of candidates from diverse groups to ensure his pipelines represented a strong mix of backgrounds.” Austin’s proactive approach to inclusive sourcing led to 50% of his hires identifying as women or underrepresented minorities over the past year.

Join us in congratulating Austin – we think you’ll agree he truly is a talent magnet.

Curious to learn even more about our Talent Makers award winners? Watch this space! In the coming weeks we’ll be doing deep dives on each winner so you can learn more about how they bring the Talent Maker values to life.

Learn more about how Gong wins with their inclusive hiring approach, in this case study.

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Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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