In the TA Driver’s Seat with Stephanie Zywien of General Motors

Revving up recruiting is Stephanie Zywien’s specialty.  She leads Talent Acquisition in the Americas for General Motors’ Corporate, leveraging her legal, HR, and TA Governance experience to oversee the hiring of 5,000 people annually.  I was privileged to spend some time getting to know her interesting background, life and unique Big 3 automaker challenges on Episode 31 of my podcast, Big Fish in the Talent Pool.

Armed with her JD, Stephanie started her career as a litigator, but after a few years she yearned for a more positive personal mission and transitioned to legal staffing at Robert Half.  She later moved to HR and Recruiting roles with Fiat Chrysler and then GM, and is now in her most challenging role to date.  In our discussion, Stephanie shares her unique perspective as a woman executive, including her belief that although her interest in law gave her a competitive edge, her true focus lies in developing trust, building relationships, and listening, as the keys to achieving personal and professional goals. 

On the podcast, we also discuss measuring TA performance, coaching and advising recruiters, and Stephanie’s approach to avoiding the proverbial recruiting “black hole”.  Intentionality is her watch-word, and it applies to every aspect of the process and technology deployed to reduce friction for candidates and hiring managers. 

How to get to that intentional, friction-free zone?  Design everything for the Candidate Experience, which sometimes takes outright culture change.  My favorite quote from our conversation is Stephanie’s observation about making big changes.  “It’s all about the why”, she says.  “You have to get to the right person and you have to really articulate the why behind what you’re trying to do and what you’re trying to change.” 

Smart talent leaders will take Stephanie’s advice, because knowing and articulating your “why” is the key to recruiting at speed

We hope you enjoy the fast-paced chat on Big Fish in the Talent Pool on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, or wherever you access podcasts.  And when you do, please be sure to rate and review us.  We’d love your feedback and it will help others find us.

Erin McDermott Peterson is a Partner with PeopleResults helping clients as a Talent Acquisition Consultant, Interim Leader, and RPO Advisor. She has led TA and RPO globally for some of the most successful organizations in the world including Accenture, Aon Hewitt, and Amazon. She translates her unique global experience to help clients with TA strategy, employment branding, onboarding, candidate experience, and recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) decisions.

Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPeterson, connect via or email at