Live from SHRM Talent in Las Vegas!
The Chad & Cheese sit down with two of the most exciting companies around today, in two of the most talked about technologies.
Thad Price, CEO of Talroo, formerly Jobs2Careers, talks rebranding and the future of job distribution.
Amit Chauhan, CEO of JobAdX, discusses how they are looking at programmatic ad buying from an entirely different - and better - angle.
Chad: Hey it's Chad. Joel and I were in Vegas all week this week. I know, it's hard being us, guys. But guess what? We've got some amazing interviews and if you didn't know, if you didn't hear, Jobs2Careers is now Talroo. That's right. So we're gonna talk to Thad, the new CEO over at now, Talroo, and also, if you don't know about JobAdX we're going to talk to their CEO, Amit, and the dude is awesome. So, take a listen, learn more about this industry and about these new names that are coming out. Whether they've been in the market and they're pivoting, or they're entirely new. Enjoy.
Announcer: Hide your kids, lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman 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: What's up everybody? We're back with our series of SHRM talent interviews. We're real excited to have Thad Price, newly named CEO. Congratulations, by the way.
Thad: Thank you very much.
Joel: That's quite an honor. When I met you, you were sort of slogging in the trenches with Shelly Mudd and company, so good on you, man. Wanted to really get you in ... You have a big announcement here at the show. Why don't you just tell us what you've unveiled here at the show and we'll dig into the whys and the whats.
Thad: Yeah, great question. So we've unveiled our new brand. Our new brand is Talroo. And from our perspective, Talroo is the unification of the Jobs2Careers.com destination and also our growing employer suite of services. So back in October, we launched On Demand Talent, which is a product that we built under the Jobs2Careers.com brand.
Thad: ODT, that's right.
Chad: Yeah, you know me.
Thad: On Demand Talent. So we launched it and got a lot of great feedback, and so now that product is actually Talroo Attract. And so now we're bringing in the brand together around our new brand that is Talroo.
Joel: So what's going to happen to the Jobs2Careers brand? Because right now I believe, if you go to Jobs2Careers, the logo is still there, powered by Talroo. Are we looking at a multi-brand situation? Will Jobs2Careers go away and everything will be Talroo? Will Jobs2Careers be a separate thing and Talroo will be a tech arm? Tell us exactly what the future holds.
Chad: What's going on?
Thad: You guys really want to know this.
Joel: Chad and Cheese want to know.
Thad: It's a burning question.
Thad: It's a great question. So from our perspective, it's basically the technology. Talroo is the technology, Jobs2Careers.com is the job seeker destination. That's how we look at the world right now as really unifying around this idea of software and technology that helps power how employers attract talent.
Joel: So consumers should think of Jobs2Careers as a job promotion, distribution arm, correct?
Thad: Consumers, or ... Well we-
Joel: As employers, HR people should look at distribution of jobs, pimp my jobs, get exposure. And they should look at Talroo as a technology arm solution?
Thad: As a platform.
Joel: As a platform, okay.
Thad: As a data-driven platform to essentially find and reach unique audiences that we can uncover to help uncover quality candidates.
Chad: So are we talking programmatic?
Thad: It's not so much programmatic in that ... In our world, as you look at the definition of 'programmatic', it's really ... in some cases, it's kind of muddy. Right? Because at the end of the day, a job site should be programmatic in their own ecosystem, right? They're being a great marketer. So if you look at what we do is we read ... All of the programmatic vendors are actually great partners of ours. We actually amplify how we work with programmatic vendors with our system. So the programmatic vendor serves as the rules engine, then we read the rules engine and we provide access to our unique audiences. So as Talroo continues to gain traction and we power more, then there's more audience data. So right now, we're powering about three billion job searches a month. That's actually e-mail alerts, in some cases SMS, site searches, all these things together.
Joel: So why Talroo? What does it mean, and what other names did you come up with that you didn't go with?
Thad: That's a great question. It was fun. We looked at a lot of different things. We looked at On Demand Talent being ... There wasn't a lot of mystique in On Demand Talent. There wasn't a lot of intrigue in On Demand Talent. So when we started looking, we were like okay, what is important for us? And really what was important is we wanted mystique and intrigue. Because there've been aggregators and job boards around for so many years, and from our perspective it was really important to bring this mystique and intrigue.
Thad: So when we looked at it, we said well, what do we really do? Right? And we connect talent and recruiters, and so how can we build a brand around what we do, and what's the connection that's there? So how we look at the word is we say we're bringing jobs seekers together with employers and we're attracting talent. So when that happens, there's this intersection, and so it's been great for us.
Thad: So that was kind of the how we looked at it, and we're like, let's create a word that really speaks to what we're looking to do and what's interesting.
Joel: Any other words that you created that didn't make the cut?
Thad: There were a couple. But that was the one that really stood out that we worked on. Cause-
Joel: Nice sidestepping that question.
Chad: We wanna know the names. Name names, Thad. Name names.
Joel: We'll have to go see what domains they've recently reserved.
Chad: So you said it was fun. But there had to be some like back and forth argument. Tell us about the height of that, because branding, this is like for lack of better terms, like birthing a new child, right?
Chad: So- [crosstalk 00:06:07]
Joel: Let's be honest, Jobs2Careers is not the most innovative name, imaginative name. So-
Chad: Jobs and careers-
Joel: Talroo is a little bit out there, so there must have been a nice conversation?
Thad: Yeah. That was in the conversation, we were saying okay, again this idea of mystique and intrigue. How do we showcase this? And there was a lot of conversation around okay, who do we want to be? How do we want people to receive us as a brand? And that was a lot of fun.
Thad: What was really interesting is that we all rallied around it. So Cindy, who heads up our sales team, she's had a lot of experience in the industry, she was like, "I love it. Let's do it." Tony, our new VP of Product who's like, "This is great, I love it. It feels good." And then we have a new VP of Marketing and Brand that joined us, Keith, about almost two months ago. And he was like, "I love it. It's great." So it all resonated. And then explaining about how we created it, and the intersection of talent and recruiting, and how that's so powerful was really important to us.
Thad: And you know, what's interesting about our story is, we fully believe that great people grow great companies. Because you guys have seen all the turmoil that's happened in the industry over the last 10, 15 years. All the highs and lows. And so-
Chad: We just did a podcast. And I don't know if you saw the Careerbuilder's a Trainwreck podcast. But yeah, it's happening all around us.
Thad: Yeah. And people make all the difference. And so, if we can attract great people for companies that work with us, we can provide a great value and service to them. And just like we've attracted great talent to help grow Talroo to the next level.
Joel: So let's talk about the jobs piece for a second. And you're in a unique situation, and a lot of people don't know that you ultimately share this same space, office-wise, with Indeed. They're in Austin. I mean, you literally could throw a rock and hit Indeed's office.
Thad: We probably did.
Joel: So you have a unique perspective on job distribution, the job board industry, the players. Google For Jobs obviously has been a meteorite into the whole industry I would think. What are your thoughts on the present state of the job board, job distribution industry?
Thad: Great point. So my ... And great question. I agree with you all. I think that the idea of Google For Jobs is bigger than jobs. I think it's all about tapping into a B2B audience, and I think the clickstream data behind Google is what they want, is what's important to them. I think that's very big. When this first announced, I asked myself, I said, this is a big industry, right? 10 to 12 billion dollars worldwide. But it's Google. Is that exciting enough for them? Right? Is a few billion exciting? I don't know, I can't answer that question.
Thad: But I do know that the whole idea to reach a B2B audience is much larger. I think it's like 80 billion.
Joel: I'm pretty sure that 26 billion LinkedIn got their attention as well.
Thad: Yeah, absolutely. Especially with Microsoft and how they can integrate a lot of that. So I think it's changing. And I think it's interesting to see how all of this is moving. With Indeed, we call our office the center of the job search universe. It's like this funny little thing we created, cause it's like literally there's Talroo , Indeed, and we're right there and have the same address. We're Building Two and they're Building One, right? So we do call it the center of the job search universe, which is pretty funny.
Thad: But it's definitely changed a lot in so many different ways. But it's all moved to being data-driven, like any marketing. We talk about what's different about Talroo. We say we're bringing a marketing approach to job advertising, right? And it's not an emotional buy anymore. It's like, does it work? Are the hires in my ATS? And if it does scale and invest. And I think that's the big thing that's happened.
Chad: So, on the employer's side, are you providing that scale of data? So that they know ROI is here, here? And how are you interfacing with applicant tracking systems? These aren't all easy questions, right?
Thad: No. And it's an ongoing process.
Thad: So as we looked at it today, our first real mission was okay, how can we provide transparency and how much opportunity is there? What's the labor supply look like? Right? So if I open a wreck in your marketplace in Jobs2Careers, what does that look like? That was on demand talent. The predictive nature of it, right? I think I can drive 300 clicks at a cost of X price, we saved budget this, right? That's the first step.
Thad: Where it gets really interesting is then taking that down to the additional steps. Into the higher data as well. So that becomes really interesting. But the other thing that's changed in the industry a lot is that the stat that is looked at is the source of hire stat. And the source of hire stat is about volume of hires, where do all the vital hires come from. And so there's a strategy that says I'm gonna be the number one source of hire. And that's a strategy that has worked really well for some. Then there's the other strategy of saying well, I really need to provide efficiency. I need my app-to-hire rate to be decent. Because that's time I'm wasting-
Chad: Plus, it's a candidate experience, right?
Chad: So if they're ejecting out of it, I mean, you want to make sure that it's nice and fluid. It's going to that ROI piece, right? So how do you really help them focus on being able to get that efficiency? And be able to focus on price? You're talking about transparency. Transparency is not easy to get with this. How do you do that?
Thad: Yeah. It's a tall order. It's a tall order. But it's exciting for us, because there's steps. There's steps in the process. It's first, okay, what's available for me? How do I make that work? How do I become more efficient? Number two, I'm building a career site. I'm leveraging one of the platforms that are there. I'm using a recruiting marketing platform. Or I'm taking people directly to my ATS. How do we bridge that? How do we reduce friction, right? And then how do we ensure that there's a great candidate experience?
Thad: So those are the things that we really focus on. And the next step is what are the other data attributes that we can help make decisions for our customers and for our employers? That's where the opportunity really is.
Joel: From an outsider's perspective here at the show, you've got a nice booth. You've got the 20 by 20, it's probably the fanciest booth here at a relatively modest show. You're ramping up hiring. I noticed you brought on Mark Anderson, who has sort of long history in this industry. Cindy's been around forever. Like, a lot of new people, a lot of new energy. What are those new people going to be doing? [crosstalk 00:12:58] In other words, are there global aspirations here? Are you sticking in the US? There's just such a hunger for the products that you're ... I mean, in other words, it's a vast change from some of the other companies, CareerBuilder, that we talk about, that aren't growing and sort of scaling up. So I guess, just talk about what are these people going to be doing? Is it global? Are you sticking in the US? What's going on?
Thad: There's massive upside in the US. Like that market, there's a huge opportunity in the US. So from our perspective, we're focusing on embracing the relationships with the advertising agencies that we work with. We bring on more enterprise business. That business could come through some of the programmatic partners that we work with, or it could come direct through companies that want to work with us direct. And largely when companies work with us direct, there's one key thing that they're yearning: service. Who would have thought that service as a software? Right? You know, the reverse, right? If you think about it.
Joel: Huh. You need to trademark that.
Thad: Yeah. So but I'm serious, right? If you think about what people are yearning for. That level of service is so important for so many different people. And I think that that becomes very important. You look at all of our testimonials from customers, it's great service, great service, great service, great service. So a lot of that is just focusing. And there's so much opportunity here in the US. That there's tremendous upsides. So we have no plans today look international.
Chad: Is that kind of service scalable?
Thad: Yes, with the right people.
Thad: Right. With the right people and the right customers. Right. You mentioned Joel you wrote an article about our product that we launched, Ipply, that was focused on small businesses, and we shut down that product. And it was a great learning lesson for us. And what it told us was that small business isn't something that is in our DNA at this time. So we learned a lot from that. So we retooled a lot of what we do, and we said okay, this is our focus and this is where there's a lot of opportunity.
Joel: So in light of personal service et cetera, some other tech that we talk about on the show pretty frequently are Chatbots, automation, AI. What are your thoughts on that in terms of your own business or just the industry in general?
Thad: I think it's the future. But I go back to this whole idea of humanizing HR. Like Chatbots ... This is what we do. We have a relationship with people. We're in human resources.
Chad: But we got a black hole problem and-
Joel: If you're a job seeker [crosstalk 00:15:23], I'd rather talk to a robot than nothing at all.
Thad: That's a terrific point. That's a terrific point. I think there's an opportunity with it. It's just a very specific opportunity. It's how to become more efficient in what you do on a daily. It's not gonna solve all the world's problems. It's how you use it.
Thad: I think one of the tracks, there was an individual director in town, I think was from Amazon, looking at how do they automate the entire hiring process. So I think that there's-
Joel: Basically drones delivering candidates to your door I think is [crosstalk 00:15:53] where Amazon's going. Yeah. Yeah.
Thad: Dropping them. So it's pretty wild. So I think there's definitely a use case for it. So, we'll see. We'll see.
Joel: Ipply was built sort of on an app. Any aspirations to just sort of revisit the app, sort of native app world, and create anything around that?
Thad: Not at the moment.
Thad: No. Not at the moment. No. It's been interesting seeing from an app perspective. There are a number of things that have to happen and to reduce friction for it to be truly valuable for job seekers. So our thesis has been we're gonna invest in products and services where there's added value. So in the case of, like, we've looked at creating a job seeker app, and we're like, well, there's a lot of work that needs to be done with applicant tracking system integrations. So if we don't have the applicant tracking system integrations, then would an app be that powerful for us? So ...
Chad: So how does a customer actually interact with you now that's you've turned into Talroo, versus the old ODT product? And certainly not the old ODT product, just really rebrand ... Is there a different mechanism in which they're just gonna buy something that's rebranded?
Thad: Yeah, they're buying it rebranded as a product. And as a new company. And a lot of things we're adding into the product as we continue integrate. But as it stands right now, there's no difference in the core product.
Chad: So what is the actual core product? And what do you see as next steps, road map-wise, on being able to evolve that product?
Thad: Absolutely. So today, there's really kind of three pillars of the original product is: how do we predict? And how do we optimize? And how do we deliver? So the whole idea was, how do we predict how well we think your job is going to perform in our ecosystem? How do we optimize it for you? How do we scale up what's working and scale down what's not working? And then how do we deliver right into your ATS or into your career site.
Thad: So a lot of it is how do we make that kind of predict area, how do we make that more robust? What are the other signals and signs we can use of whether people click or they don't? What's the brand like? What's the employer brand like? What are all these types of things that are really powerful? And then more importantly, what are the other areas to make that experience rich for people? What are some other things that people are interested in?
Thad: So data. Going around it. The idea of data. Right now, if you look at our system today, and in most systems ... And I hate saying this, cause we're in the business of people, we're not in the business of clicks, right? But there're clicks in the system, and they're reported. But what do you do next? These are people. How do we bridge that gap?
Chad: Well, how do you bridge that gap? I mean, that's the question. Because-
Thad: You'll have to wait and see.
Chad: Come on, Thad!
Joel: He talks so much about Talroo's mystery.
Chad: Yeah. Sam made us wait, she couldn't even tell us- [crosstalk 00:18:57]
Joel: The Wizard of Oz behind the curtain.
Chad: And now you're making us ... ah. So, into my next question. So you have a vision really for process and for employer brand. You're talking about experience, right?
Thad: Experience is very important to us.
Thad: Absolutely. One of the things when you look at how we interact is, we would rather drive a candidate directly to a career site that's mobile optimized, right? That's not a Jobs2Careers.com experience. I mean, that's a big differentiator, how we look at the world. So if we were saying, hey, we're a job site, we're gonna be focused on okay, how do we keep these people in the ecosystem and have resumes being posted?
Chad: To your ecosystem, as opposed to the employers?
Thad: Exactly. So we look at the world a little bit differently from that perspective.
Joel: Your founder Bruce Ge is a pretty interesting cat.
Thad: Ge. Yeah.
Joel: Or Ge, sorry.
Thad: That's alright.
Joel: What's he up to? Cause it's kind of an interesting story for people who are geeks in the industry. What's Bruce up to now that he's sort of passed the CEO baton to you?
Thad: Yeah. He's having a lot of fun. So he's spending a lot of time being a Chinese entrepreneur. A successful Chinese entrepreneur. He's spending a lot of his time thinking about how he can help Chinese entrepreneurs be more successful in the US, and that can also mean how he helps Asian companies come to the US in a lot of different ways. So it's a very unique trait.
Thad: And it's very interesting now of course, with what's going on politically. But he looks at it and says it's a very different market. The US is a very different market. How did I succeed, and how did I build a great business in the US, a profitable business in the US? And then how do I help Chinese entrepreneurs be more successful? So there is a lot of great opportunity. So that company is with us. There's a conference that focuses on entrepreneurship, it's called F50. It's where he spends a lot of his time.
Joel: What are some of your takeaways from the show so far? Either the Expo Hall or just the attendees, what are some of your takeaways after a day and a half?
Thad: So it's really interesting. There's a lot of focus around changing. I see change, right? I see change in every corner by a lot of the different products and services that are there. People are looking for something different.
Joel: Do you think they know what they're looking for?
Thad: No, I think they need to be told-
Joel: Educated. Told. Yeah.
Thad: Educated, right. Told probably a horrible word.
Chad: Literally, I think they-
Joel: I don't know, I need a Chatbots. Yeah.
Thad: You know, it's interesting because there's just so much opportunity there, cause it's such an important sector. So important.
Joel: Any vendors that catch your eye up to this point? Or from the show-
Joel: Well, obviously Talroo.
Chad: Got this huge tower- [crosstalk 00:22:14]
Thad: Talroo [crosstalk 00:22:16]
Joel: Drink the Kool-Aid for God's sakes.
Chad: Talroo Kool-Aid. So what can you tell us about what's next? Come on,
Thad: How about next episode?
Joel: Wah-wah. Okay. Well, where can we find out more about Talroo for our listeners?
Joel: Thank you, Thad.
Thad: You're welcome. Thanks, guys.
Joel: It's commercial time.
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Chad: It's SHOWTIME!
Joel: With our SHRM Talent Interview Segment.
Chad: SHRM Talent!
Joel: SHRM Talent!
Chad: Hoo hoo!
Joel: Talented people. We're joined today with Amit Chauhan, I hope I said that-
Chad: Is that good? [crosstalk 00:22:55]
Joel: CEO of JobAdX and also Recroup, which some people may know as your previous company, it's still going, but the first company you launched. We're gonna focus on JobAdX here today, which you launched fairly recently. So for those that don't know, and probably that's most of our listeners, tell us about JobAdX, the genesis of it, and what you hope to accomplish with it.
Amit Chauhan: Absolutely. And I'd really like to thank both of you for having me here today. Big fan of your podcast.
Joel: Aw, thank you.
Amit Chauhan: Just putting it out there.
Chad: He's sucking up already!
Joel: The question, though, are you Team Chad or Team Cheese?
Amit Chauhan: I'm Team Chad and Cheese.
Joel: Ohhhhh! [crosstalk 00:23:41] Thank you for listening.
Amit Chauhan: Absolutely. Coming back to your question. Originally we're an ad tech company. My background is from consumer Ad Tech, manage PPC counting for some big companies. No programmatic, not the programmatic we seek in our industry, but what programmatic is in consumer streams.
Amit Chauhan: And the focus has been for us, when we got into recruitment industry, was to bring the consumer Ad Tech into recruitment technology. We did that with recruit, where we brought in ... retargeting more generalized analytics platform as well. And some social advertising and everything. And then, when we saw an opportunity when we started to learn about programmatic in recruitment space, which a lot of companies are doing, and we realized that they're focusing on one specific part, which is the buying side. And it just struck to us that why just buying? How can not you make the delivery that I make? Because when you make delivery programmatic, you don't have to worry anything else, because that takes care of all the rules that you have to set.
Amit Chauhan: And that exactly is how the idea evolved, and we started working on it not too long ago, just maybe mid-last year 2017. An idea was to build the first real IDP-powered job advertising exchange. So the idea was we go to publisher partners, claim dedicated slots on their search results. And whatever topic their search is, we can in real time dynamically deliver a job based on what criteria they're searching. And that just gives us so much control.
Amit Chauhan: Same thing if you to auction you see an ad. That ad is a response off of real time action that happened microseconds before the page was loading. Now the reason you see the vertical ad may be because of the data ad exchange. We as an industry have a lot more power. We have invented base advertising. We know exactly what ad a candidate wants to see. We know what they're searching for, where they're searching for it. And if you're still not delivering that way, like how good are we as a technology platforms. That's exactly what we'll bring you with JobAdX. That intent-based job advertising with real time delivery and real time direct.
Chad: So, talent acquisition. Programmatic sounds good. It's almost like AI and machine learning, and it's like, oh, it's programmatic. It's like I can say it but I don't know what the hell it is. So, you guys talk about smarter programmatic, and you talk about bringing consumer Ad Tech in, right? How's that so different from recruitment Ad Tech? Are we talking about like the horse and buggy versus a Porsche? What are we talking about here?
Amit Chauhan: Yes. So traditionally, we see the recruitment advertising exchanges that are being existed for quite some time now. What we are doing is, we created a network where they will rely on their publisher