FIRING SQUAD: Adam Gordon, CEO and Co-Founder of Candidate.ID

CandidateID is WAKING THE DEAD in your ATS resume database and then nurturing those newly awaken candidates with engagement and scoring. Companies like Crowded (Firing Squad alumni), Lever and ConveyIQ are getting noticed for taking the best strategies in marketing and bringing them to recruitment. Will CandidateID be the newest name in this strategic category?

Candidate.ID is taking on this challenge to solve the problem of keeping candidates engaged and warm when a new opportunity arises instead of starting all over again to attract new talent.

The Chad and Cheese put the company's CEO and co-founder Adam Gordon through the wringer to see if his company has the mettle to thrive in this new, competitive landscape.

Will he get the gun? Gotta listen to find out.

And be sure to checkout, exclusive sponsor of the show. - Jobs 2 Awesome is more like it!


Announcer: Like Shark Tank, then you'll love Firing Squad. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest and baddest start-ups through the gauntlet to see if they got what it takes to make it out alive. Dig a foxhole and duck for cover, kids. The Chad and Cheese Podcast is taking it to a whole other level.

Joel: What's up, kids? Joel Cheeseman here of the Chad and Cheese Podcast. Welcome to Firing Squad. In our long tradition of having people with much better accents and probably a lot smarter than us, today we're going to be talking to Adam Gordon from Glasgow, Scotland, from CandidateID. Adam, how are you?

Adam: Great. Thank you very much for having me on the show.

Joel: Assuming your at happy hour at this hour in Glasgow, so have a drink or two on us. The show's a lot better if you're a little bit tipsy, I promise.

Chad: Seriously, when is happy hour in Dublin? Isn't it like a 24 hour clock?

Adam: It is, it is. Glasgow is better though. There are pubs, which are open 24 hours.

Joel: So Chad and I are going to Dublin, which I assume you've been?

Adam: Yes.

Joel: Any recommendations for us on beer or pubs?

Adam: Anywhere in Temple Park. That's where you want to be. That's the very center of Dublin. For the live music and cool people.

Chad: Excellent.

Joel: That's all you've got? A city as big as Dublin and you give us one pub?

Adam: No, no, no. The area, the whole area is called Temple Park. And once a little known fact, Guinness is great but look out of Beamish. Beamish is bad-ass.

Chad: There we go.

Joel: That's what I'm looking for.

Chad: Yes. Beamish.

Joel: Thank you. And the show is over. Thank you very much.

Chad: Okay, Joel. Before get into Firing Squad, I have one quick question.

Joel: Yeah?

Chad: Would you say that most companies find it hard to attract the right candidates to apply for their jobs?

Joel: Well, Jobs2Careers certainly thought so. That's why they created their new talent attraction platform, ODT. Yeah, you know me.

Chad: Dude, that's OPP. This is ODT, which stands for On Demand Talent, where data driven talent attraction is made easy. The On Demand Talent platform enables recruiters to reach the right talent at the right time at the right price.

Joel: And the best part?

Chad: What?

Joel: You only pay for what Jobs2Careers delivers.

Chad: No.

Joel: So if you're attracting the wrong candidates or you feel like you're on a recruiting hamster wheel, just go to and learn how On Demand Talent or ODT, yeah you know me, can get you better candidates for less money.

Chad: I'd say you just got Click on the Jobs2Careers logo there and it's just that simple.

Joel: It is simple. Arm me with harmony.

Chad: It's showtime.

Joel: Chad, why don't you read the listeners the rules of the Firing Squad?

Chad: Okay, for all those listeners who haven't heard a Firing Squad, shame on you, first and foremost. But, here we go. Okay, Adam. You will have two minutes to pitch CandidateID. At the end of the two minutes, you will hear this bell. Then Joel and I are going to hit you with some rapid fire Q&A. If your answers aren't concise, Joel's going to hit you with bell or he he's going to hit you with the crickets. That just mean you need to tighten up your game and we need to get some quick and easy answers out of you. At the end of Q&A, you'll either have big applause, which means you kicked ass, a golf clap, means that you got some work to do And the last but not least, you don't want to face the Firing Squad. That means your shit is bad and it needs to go back to the drawing board. So that's Firing Squad. It's time to buckle up and pitch. Okay, Joel, start that pitch timer.

Joel: Adam, are you ready?

Adam: I'm ready.

Joel: Here we go.

Adam: So when I started in recruitment in 1999, candidates couldn't access much information about opportunities or employers. So they needed to talk to recruiters to guide them through the education and consideration phases of their decision-making. Today, we have an abundance of information online. Candidates can become aware of an employer through an advert or a LinkedIn post. They can educate on a career site and they can more deeply consider, by reviewing the hiring manager's Facebook page, the company's Glassdoor reviews, and they can practically taste the coffee served, that's an employer, before deciding whether or not to talk to the recruiter. So, candidates are in control and they're making themselves invisible. Meanwhile, talent acquisition teams are being told to find and hire everyone in record time, but 80% of the total addressable market according to LinkedIn are not interest. So how do employers adapt? CandidateID is a talent pipeline software for the age of the candidate. It allows employers to distribute content to potential candidates, multi-channel, multi-format, and it tracks and scores their interactions on email, text message, social media, landing pages, career sites, and more.

Adam: Unlike CRM, CandidateID was built as a system of engagement so the two main benefits are that recruiters can reduce time to short list by 60% because they can filter their candidates according to the engagement score. Recruitment marketers can serve up a personalized, nurtured experience at scale and much better measure the effectiveness of all their brilliant work.

Chad: Damn. That was tight.

Joel: All right. You had 20 seconds left. But, yeah, well done. At first I thought you had someone there with a stopwatch because you kind of sped up at the end and I kind of thought someone was saying, "Go, go, go."

Adam: No, I thought I was going to get crickets.

Chad: No.

Joel: No, no, no, you never get crickets on the first two minutes. The crickets will come when you start droning on about whatever later in the show, probably.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: You might be tight. You're a Scotsman, so it might be clean. I'll start with the first question. I'm always interested, Adam, why this idea? What was the catalyst for it? Do you have a background in recruiting or not? Give me some of the genesis of all this.

Adam: So yeah, I started in recruitment in 1999. I started a research and sourcing business in 2009. In 2015, I was asking some of my teams, "What are we working on?" And we were working with a big buyer tech company. And I said, "What are you doing for them?" And she said, "We're trying to find sales people and scientists for them in Western Europe." I said, "Have we not been doing that for the last two years?" I mean, if we don't find everybody, what about the people we found six months ago and the people we found 12 months ago? It turned out that employer was simply making contact with all those people at the point we were finding them but then never going back to them three months later or six months later or nine months later.

Adam: So we were always looking for net new and topping up the pipeline. What occurred to me was talent acquisition teams are always doing that. They got a dependency on what I call, an addiction to what I call the dependency triplets, which are recruitment agencies, job boards, and social media. They're constantly topping up the pipeline. They don't need to be doing that because most of them, many international employers have millions of people in their ATS. One big American pharmaceutical company told me 70% of the people we hire are already on the ATS. When we go to onboard them, they were already on the ATS. Most of them we are finding through employee referral, through direct sourcing, and through advertising. What a complete waste of time and money.

Adam: I've got a background that includes recruitment, but also sales and marketing. We have, between myself and my co-founder Scot McCrae, who's a recruitment technology guy, we just realized there's certain types of technology in sales and marketing which would work so well to solve this problem. So products like Pardot and Marketo and Infusion Soft and Sales Fusion act on. Those kind of marketing automation products are designed to give sales team warm leads. A constant stream of warm leads. So they know which prospects not to pick up the phone to and which prospects to pick up the phone to today because the people have been looking at the company's pricing page and their products spec and all that sort of stuff. So the sales person phones up the prospect and the prospect goes, "Well, that's a coincidence because I was just looking at your pricing page yesterday." And the recruit, the sales person is like, "Well, yeah, I know that because I've been stalking you online." But basically, that's exactly how it works and it's precisely the same as we ... You know, the way we go about buying products and services or other high-consideration things like a house or a car or a wife, is exactly the same way we go about making career decisions. So the parallel is just identical and that's where we came up for the idea for CandidateID.

Chad: Here's the thing, Adam. Here's the thing. We're talking about many different silos that are kind of blended together very nicely. But the thing that your whole ... I've read the Wake the Dead white paper that you guys pulled together. I don't believe you guys have enough emphasis on that. You're 100% right. The money that's being spent, we'll go over that here in a few minutes, is huge on the job sites, media, referrals, so on and so forth. But a big question for you. Do you know the percentage of candidates that are hired from the applicant tracking system resume database through your current clients? What is that current percentage.

Adam: At the point where a customer becomes a CandidateID user, it may well be that the percentage is zero. They're not hiring anybody because their applicant tracking system is just not searchable. And even if it is searchable. Let's say a company's a pharmaceutical business, has regulatory affairs manager and they're looking for somebody in London. They'll go onto their ATS. They'll filter regulatory affairs managers, bring up 2000. Who do they pick up the phone to? Do they do it A-Z? Do they send them all one email. Which, it's kind of spammy for most people because they're not in the market. So, the answer is zero percent. We've got a couple of customers who are a year down the line with CandidateID, because we only launched in January 2017.

Adam: I haven't gotten any data for them around what proportion they're now able to say their hiring from their own database. But what I can say is that they're getting to shortlist 60% faster. And they're getting to shortlist 60% faster because they're not picking up the phone to people and cold calling them without knowing whether they might be interested or not. Because they're able to track exactly what are they looking at. That gives them the insight that tells them who to pick up the phone to. Who are the hot leads today, in real time? So I've got to be honest, I can't answer that exact question. But what I can tell you is that the 60% reduction in time to shortlist is the big thing that our customers are highlighting as the main benefit they're getting from CandidateID.

Chad: Got you. So, job sites, media, and referrals are the top three, but what companies are doing is they're really just sending the same people back into their applicant track. Are they buying those candidates over and over and over, without using their applicant tracking?

Adam: That's it. I mean, that's it. That's exactly what they're doing. I said last year a couple of times that I think recruiters are addicted to heroin and some people didn't like that analogy. So I no longer say that. They're addicted to job boards, social media, employee referral. And they're addicted to anything else which will help them find a whole lot of net new talent. But that net new talent's probably already on the ATS. Our mission is for an employer's database to become the first place that they go and that they're able to get to short list by using their own database. It's the exception that they need to go and do other things.

Chad: Well, tell us, real quick, tell us how the Wake the Dead process actually works within an applicant tracking system. Because I think most companies would be incredibly interested in understanding how they can take this graveyard of candidates and turn them into live, walking, engaged candidates. How does that process start? How do you start with it and how do you keep them engaged? How do you nurture them?

Adam: We love this, we love this sort of Waking the Dead analogy because recruiters are always talking about, "My database is dead. The information in it's all stale. I can't really use it, even if I can search it." So the concept of waking the dead is taking all of that stale data and running it through CandidateID for an initial probably six week kind of nurture period. By the end of which, you're going to know which email addresses are dead, which candidate records should be taken off the system. You can do some progressive profiling with people to find out more information about them by getting them to give you information. To access this white paper that will help you get ahead in your career, what's your current salary banding, or what's your likelihood of making a job move in the next six months.