Client Spotlight: An Abnormal Approach to Talent Branding

When we first started talking to Evan Reiser, CEO of Abnormal Security in October, 2021, the company was comfortably the world’s fastest-growing cyber security company. The entity had exactly what it needed for success as a startup– an exceptional product in a high stakes, desiring market.

However, the Founders knew that a successful product alone doesn't make a company sustainably successful. People do.

For Evan Reiser, Founder and CEO, scaling and execution boiled down to two very important pieces– hiring the best people in the world and growing them at a pace and scale they couldn’t experience anywhere else.

“We knew that the most important thing for us to invest in was talent.” -Evan Reiser, CEO Abnormal Security

With a dramatic shift in the talent market over the last two years, many CEOs and Founders are grappling with the same priorities and, like Abnormal, having to pivot significantly in order to attract and retain talent. While most normally request “best practice playbooks” or rely on antiquated processes, Abnormal Security was willing to live up to its name and engage Truist to take an original approach to its Talent Attraction & Experience challenges.

"We were at Ground Zero with a big vision. We didn’t just have the chance to revolutionize Abnormal’s Talent Strategy, we finally had a chance to revolutionize how talent strategy work is done the right way for any company who shares our human-centric talent philosophy." -Lisa Colella, Truist Founder

Reiser knew candidates were hearing the same pitch from other companies during the recruiting process. Not only did he want Truist to honestly illuminate what candidates are looking for in their careers in the current state of the world, but he also wanted us to help him deliver on those needs in a 10x way, and in doing so, revolutionize labor market dynamics - much like the success of the product his team is delivering to revolutionize the cybersecurity market.

Reiser felt it was incredibly important to work with someone that was thoughtful and empathetic towards the candidate's journey, as well as helping Abnormal differentiate itself from other companies. Being thoughtful goes a long way when it comes to connecting with your candidates.

“That’s one of the things that initially attracted us to Truist. They shared our value of Customer Obsession and I could tell they genuinely cared about our success.” -Evan Reiser, CEO Abnormal Security

Starting with our shared customer in mind and talent as the center of all we did, we delivered our A+ --> 10x Talent Brand Platform solution seamlessly. While the solution itself is something we've done many times before, the process with Abnormal felt abnormally successful. Why? We can sum it up as the 4 S’s of success in this work:

1. Speed. Through a combination of live co-creation sessions, hyper-efficient project planning and a heightened sense of urgency we were able to move from the Insights gathering phase to a comprehensive build of Talent Brand Foundations and priority Activations in less than 10 weeks. Oftentimes this process can drag on for months (or even years!) if the project isn’t run by veterans, collaboration-oriented and set up for success from the start.

2. Integrated Strategy. We adapted Abnormal’s successful Customer Experience Model to a holistic, people-centric Talent Experience Management Model that is designed to continually improve upon itself as the company grows, scales and changes. Traditionally, these sort of connections are not made and the organization struggles to implement a model that is foreign to any department outside of HR.

3. Staffing for Success. At Truist, we don’t just do projects that help today; we build best-in-class Talent Experience & Marketing capabilities for sustainable success. Thus, in parallel to the solution delivery, we designed a Talent Brand, Experience & Marketing org design for Abnormal that included both Candidate Experience & Attraction roles and Employee Experience & Advocacy roles. Traditionally, these roles have different functional reporting lines which makes continuous improvement of a 360 Talent Experience journey near impossible. We also referred their first hire to that Talent Experience & Marketing function org and provided weekly coaching to accelerate her growth towards Head of Function within 6 months.

4. Executive Support. Evan was serious about making the growth of his People as important as the growth of his Company, and the Talent Experience at Abnormal as important as its Customer Experience. He personally took ownership of this work and was open to new, non-traditional ideas we presented. His engaged support made all the difference in our ability to do great work that is creating tangible value vs. good work that is hiding in a PowerPoint deck. The importance of CEO-level support and organizational accountability cannot be overstated when it comes to this type of work.

We look forward to supporting Evan and his team as they continue to evolve and set a new standard for how to attract, grow and delight talent in abnormal ways.