‘Edu-taining’ Interview with Susan Vitale, CMO at iCIMS – A Nexxt Exclusive Podcast

In this Nexxt exclusive, in partnership with TAtech, Chad and Cheese bring industry veteran Susan Vitale, CMO at iCIMS, on to discuss iCIMS’ recent job seeker survey, and any other timely topic they want. Included is a deep dive into employment branding issues.

In their recent report, iCIMS discovered that Glassdoor reviews have a tremendous impact on recruitment. For instance, nearly half of Millennials surveyed said they’ve turned down a job offer because of poor reviews. Other findings are discussed too.

Also highlighted in the survey is the importance of mobile and the impact social media and peer referrals have on the modern job seeker. The podcast also goes into questions of ATS platforms and whether it’s better to build a recruitment technology yourself or provide a platform similar to the iPhone’s AppStore where third party vendors can provide services.

It’s a great interview, providing entertainment and education in equal parts. Would you expect anything different from Chad & Cheese? I mean, c’mon now. This podcast is sponsored exclusively by Nexxt. Checkout their product Text2Hire, and access an exclusive Chad & Cheese discount by clicking here.


Chad: This the Chad and Cheese Podcast brought to you in partnership with TAtech. TAtech the association for talent acquisition solutions. Visit TAtech.org.

Intro: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Joel: Hey, what's up everybody? This is Joel Cheesman of the Chad and Cheese Podcast. Today we're doing a special deep dive into a variety of topics. And our special guest today is Susan Vitale of iCims, popular ATS provider. Susan, how are you?

Susan: Hi, I'm doing great, thank you. And I've got to say, I've heard that intro music many times before, but hearing it when you're a guest just makes it a little more special.

Chad: Little special.

Joel: It does, right. It's like hearing Springsteen live. We'll do kind of Jersey theme today since iCims is in New Jersey.

Joel: The annoying laugh is my cohort Chad. Chad, how you doing?

Chad: Well, hello. Excellent.

Joel: Hello.

Joel: All right. iCims did a survey recently where they talked about at least three main things. We'll probably dive into other topics as well. So, Susan has a safe word. If Chad and I hear it we will switch topics immediately. So, if that happens, you know why.

Chad: Bridgegate.

Joel: Yeah, Bridgegate, Chris Christie, Springsteen. Yeah, she'll say something and we'll change topics.

Joel: Speaking of topics. Which one do we want to start with?

Chad: Come on, Susan. Pick one.

Joel: Come on, Jersey. You're supposed to have attitude and spunk.

Susan: Sorry. I think we should start off talking a little bit about the branding and the referral side of things.

Joel: Okay, cool. So what did you find in your report?

Susan: We found that ... in some respects it's no surprise, but I think the numbers were the surprising piece here ... that employee reviews actually matter tremendously to working Americans. And actually about half have actually declined a job offer primarily because of the negative online employer reviews out there.

Chad: Half?

Susan: Yeah, 47%.

Chad: Half?

Joel: That's Millennials, right?

Susan: 47% are Millennials. Nearly one in three full-time working Americans.

Joel: Yes. And it's like 92% look at reviews before applying to a job? Or part of their job process?

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: So, it's safe to say that transparency is not going anywhere?

Susan: No, it is not and I'm pretty happy about that given it's one of the core competencies at iCims. We hire quite a bit so we think it's really important.

Susan: But I think, we talk about one in three full-time working Americans, about half of Millennials. But actually more workers in management positions versus nonmanagement positions have declined a job offer for the reviews themselves. So this is not just a generational thing.

Joel: Do you have any sense for how many people don't even apply to a job because of bad reviews?

Susan: We do. Hold on. Let me ...

Chad: That's going through research.

Joel: My point is like for so long with reviews, employers that I've talked to have historically put their head in the sand.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: If it's out of sight, it's out of mind. If my CEO doesn't bring it up, then it doesn't matter. It's just sort of anecdotal and sort of ignorant. And the fact that you guys are actually putting metrics around what reviews mean, it's going to start building context and importance around, "Holy crap. We should actually care about what our reviews are because if we're actually losing out on people because they're not even applying to our job. Forget the fact that we're interviewing and then they're going to Indeed, Glassdoor, kununu, or any of the other dozen review sites out there."

Joel: This is a real impact on recruiting, right?

Chad: Okay, so, real quick and let's dive into that. But there's a much larger impact because these people are consumers as well. So if I actually bought products from this company and then I want to go and I want to work there and I go take a look at some of the reviews that the employees have put in, that could perspectively turn me off as a consumer. So, this isn't just losing great talent, which is obviously a big issue. But it's also losing perspective revenue.

Susan: Yeah, absolutely. I think that piece is not just tied to the employee reviews. We've seen some stats outside of this research that showed that consumers were far less likely to purchase products from a hiring organization if they did not have a good or positive candidate experience. And certainly employee reviews are part of that. But that's also anything from is it a mobile-friendly apply process? Is it a miserably long apply process? Is it 508 compliant?

Susan: When we talk about candidate experience, it's far more than is it a sexy, flashy, pretty career site. There's a much more holistic view of candidate experience that can absolutely hurt top line revenue.

Chad: Right.

Joel: Do you have examples of any companies that are doing a really good job through that process?

Susan: We do. It really depends on which component we look at. To be honest, I don't think anyone is completely nailing it. But when we look at a couple of examples. Advantage Solutions is a client of ours who does a really nice job of making the process really short and to the point. They ask just a couple of questions and then they do a lot of Drip followups.

Susan: Another client of iCims does a really nice job of being really transparent ... there's that word again ... throughout the entire process letting candidates know what the workflow looks, what those stages look like.

Susan: Two of those clients come to mind right off the top of my head.

Chad: So, in some cases, what I've been able to see, and I'm sure what you've seen over the years, is that on the surface you see all these companies who are using new technologies or new recruitment marketing platforms to be able to make the first layer of engagement really sexy and really awesome. But then you get into the actual application process and the interviewing process and then it all goes to hell. Because the process is horrible.

Susan: Exactly, it all falls apart.

Chad: Yeah, it's horrible. And they're using 1990's, early 2000's process methodologies and they're jamming those methodologies into advanced technologies.

Susan: Yeah. I think the process is dated and many times, quite frankly, the technology is dated. That they might use something from an ERP or an HCM module that was thrown in as part of a larger package.

Susan: Maybe they try and put something pretty as a wrapper around it, but it's a really superficial lay on. And it's not necessarily solving the true problem around candidate experience.

Chad: So, jumping around a little bit. Let's jump back to employer brand. Those are some pretty telling numbers with regard to 50% of the people won't even go through with the application.

Chad: What else do you have in that segment that just pops out at you?

Joel: I want to hear some generation Z data. Just kidding. We said that for the first time on our show this week. Generation Z.

Susan: Well, I forgot what the term is for those that are in that bucket of Millennials that are little too old to be Millennials. Do you know how many posts I saw of people in my peer group that were circulating that because they felt so special to be called not a Millennial but not Gen X. I'm like this is the problem you guys.

Chad: You can tell you're a Gen X'er when you actually are genuinely pissed at those kinds of discussions.

Joel: We're just angry about everything.