Current Issue Previous Issues Subscribe for FREE
Building and Empowering a Young, High-Performing Talent Base

by Tara Trunfio
When I first came to Philadelphia nearly 20 years ago, the internet boom was in full swing. Startups were popping up all around the city; some survived, some were consolidated and some failed. While brilliant minds attended our great universities, they often left after graduation. Our city’s offerings just didn’t match the desired lifestyles of the young, entrepreneurial professionals looking to bring and create new opportunity. The positive transformation of the last two decades has been a remarkable journey.

One of the startups that did succeed was the company I’ve been with for 17 years— Radial (formerly eBay Enterprise, formerly GSI Commerce). Radial’s heritage in being one of the early leaders in pioneering the path to eCommerce is firmly rooted in the Philly area. As the industry continues to flourish and more consumers choose to shop online, the talent that Radial has attracted and retained over the years puts Philadelphia in the position to continue pushing e-commerce forward. Our employees are helping some of the world’s favorite brands and retailers succeed by leveraging innovative technology to deliver a seamless customer experience after the purchase.

Since our beginning, two things have remained constant: Philadelphia and change. We’ve always had our headquarters in King of Prussia and we’ve seen firsthand what brings people and keeps them here; our first-rate educational and health care institutions, boundless cultural opportunities, the arts and theater scene and close proximity to beaches, mountains and trails. And now, with recent world events such as the pope’s visit, the Democratic National Convention and next year’s NFL draft, it makes it easier for young professionals to see themselves living and working here. We’ve also been able to relocate accomplished professionals because of what our vibrant city—with its lively energy, deep history and diverse culture, as well as the surrounding suburban areas—now offers.

Our business is also about evolving how we operate to influence change in commerce to ensure clients meet—and exceed—growing consumer demands. Philadelphia has been a great ‘partner’ to our evolution, allowing us to pivot along with market demands and recruit a forward-thinking talent base. For example, the shift to a data-driven economy is not slowing; resources who can turn reams of data into actionable insights are in short supply and universities in Philly are some of the leading institutions educating and energizing the next generation of talent who can do just that.

In my experience, for companies in Philly and the surrounding areas looking to attract, recruit and retain top-performing talent, which is so important for the vitality of our city, it’s critical to communicate, connect and care, as well as:

• Foster an environment where people can learn, stretch their skills and build a rewarding career

• Cultivate a sense of community and team camaraderie with respect and authenticity underpinning every interaction

• Support personal growth, encourage collaboration and embrace smart, calculated risk-taking

Alternatively, I’d encourage companies aiming to expand and enhance their talent base to look for:

• Versatile players who can and will adjust to changing markets and the fundamental company evolution needed to compete and lead

• Curious minds who challenge the status quo and constantly learn by going after opportunities to try a new skill, taking on a stretch assignment or gaining global experience

• Vocal advocates for a great company culture, who will help define, shape and bring it to life

Philadelphia has come a long way since I first began at Radial so many years ago. You can see and feel a new vitality in the city, with more opportunities—both cultural and professional—than ever before. The challenge will be to maintain that momentum in making the city a career destination for talented professionals —one that not only attracts students, but retains them post-graduation. The continual infusion of young, curious-minded professionals in the workforce will create even more innovation and career growth opportunities—a win for everyone. Philadelphia offers a big city feel and experience without the price point. I remain optimistic that our city’s popularity and success will only continue to grow.

Tara Trunfio is the chief human resources officer at Radial, where she is responsible for all aspects of Radial’s human resources capabilities, including talent acquisition and development, organization effectiveness and engagement, total rewards and employee relations. She plays a key role in driving the evolution of Radial’s global culture, and ensures the organization succeeds at identifying and developing exceptional talent.

Published (and copyrighted) in Philly Biz, Volume 1, Issue 10 (September, 2016).
For more info on Philly Biz magazine, click here.
To subscribe to Philly Biz magazine, click here.
To advertise in Philly Biz magazine, call 856-797-9901.