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 publishers to show their jobs when they have to. So like, publisher job one X will get a feed from one of the exchanges. They feed from everywhere. And that even becomes like a responsibility of a publisher to show the jobs.
Amit Chauhan: Now in that case, as the exchange itself, as the platform itself, they have no visibility of when the job will be shown, whom it will be shown, and how it will be shown. That doesn't make any ad platform powerful. Now, what makes Google so powerful? What makes Ad Techs so powerful? Their ability to see through other exchanges, through other networks, and place an ad based on what data they collect. And that is the same thing that we're doing. We see everything that is happening in our exchange, we see what keywords job seekers are searching. When they're clicking, when they're not clicking. The ability to turn on a job and turn off a job in real time. So it's not like a publisher has to refresh a feed every three hours or one hour just to make sure there are new jobs. We don't have to do that.
Chad: So it sounds like it's more transparent throughout the network, and just fluid. It just flows, as opposed to you waiting and having to click a button to be able to get into a slot. The system it just works more fluidly than what you've seen in recruitment Ad Tech over the years?
Amit Chauhan: Absolutely. And like we have access to those dedicated slots. It gives us more power that again, how we can locate more jobs. Like one of the more common concerns raised when I'm talking to a lot of agents and clients, that with traditional ad exchanges, especially job ad exchanges, they will give you the budget and the way they're set up, you'll spend your budget within an hour or two. And then you'll have to spend more. We don't do that. Because we understand that okay, if you give us less than a thousand dollars, we can spend it out over the whole period of your campaign. It can be ten days, 20 days, 30 days. So we do the budget continuation for our client. And we do it the same way ... we have been seeing that happening in consumer Ad Tech.
Amit Chauhan: We want to run a cam ... like your job is on page one for a publisher today. Now, it might be on page two or page three with a traditional way of job posting. That doesn't mean that no new job seekers are coming. One thing we also need to see that we are so spoiled by Google, especially like millennials, that we don't want to go to second or third page on any searches. Like, I don't remember like when I went to my second page on Google search. For me, those results are irrelevant.
Amit Chauhan: We think the same behavior we're doing the job search. We don't go to second or third pages. That's why like we see that negate the traffic for any job posting, it drops significantly after a couple of days. That I think is solved by having the placement. Our jobs are where the candidates are. So it's not second or third page. It can be any page where job seekers are. And we have a belief to make sure that if that candidate has seen this job x number of times, hasn't clicked on it, don't show them this job again. So that just gives us more ability to locate jobs more efficiently, conserve the budget, and just make sure that all advertisers get more access to unique candidates.
Joel: We're seeing a lot of activity in this space. Pandologic. Appcast. A lot of ... Joveo. A lot of competition. How do you guys differentiate yourself from the others?
Amit Chauhan: So we do overlap in some way or another. But I think our core focus, which is the technology side of it, is completely separate. Like for example, you talked about Pandologic or Recruitics, Clickcast, that's where they are the buying side of the platform. Which is a Google base and that has been the programmatic in our space for like previous couple of years.
Amit Chauhan: We're not focusing on that part. Because what we have seen from consumer Ad Tech, if you make the delivery dynamic, you don't have to specifically set the rules. Because then, algorithms and then the exchange itself take care of the whole rules that you have to face. Be it okay when to stop a campaign, like when to run a campaign, when to show a job and not to show a job. So all those key factors come in play, but they have just done automatically. That's where we are focusing on, and that's where the core differentiator for us is. At some cases we do work in conjunction with them. So like some of our clients. But from the technology part, I think that we are very separate. And the vision is very separate as well.
Chad: So on the analytics side of the house, do you have an analytics platform that you provide to them? Do you just plug into their analytics platform? How does that work?
Amit Chauhan: So that's where we have capability of doing it both ways. But we do have an analytics dashboard for our clients to use. And like if our clients are using an existing programmatic platform, then we can send it out there as well. Like from technology, I think we have taken care of every aspect to make life easier for our clients. And any advertiser or anyone that comes to us we have seen the challenges of traditional programmatic platforms, the complexity of it. And it happens. Whenever industry evolves and brings you technologies from other industries, the complex part is actually addressed first. And that's exactly what we've seen. So the platforms that are out there, they're complex. They're good, they're performing well, but still. And the end user and talent acquisition manager is not the one using them. That's where our focus has been, to simplify the process so much that even if an end user, it can be like one person shop, can use programmatic to advertise one job or 100,000 jobs.
Chad: So, in most cases, talent acquisition, they feel like they have to go an agency to be able to get this done. Because it is just so complex. What you're saying is with JobAdX, that's not something that you really have to worry about. You can plug into it, it's simplicity, and really the platform does the work for you. You don't have to sit there, watch your budgets, any of that other stuff. You get into the platform and it works for you.
Amit Chauhan: Absolutely. And that's like that is the same thing that we have seen happening almost in I think in every industry around the world, whatsoever. So from consumer ad tech, what we have learned initially, is when you build a platform, if it's too complex at least these price lines, they will go through the agencies. Now the smaller market SMBs, they don't have budget to go to agencies, so they have to either learn themselves to do it, or they just don't do it.
Chad: Mainly the latter, right?
Amit Chauhan: Exactly. And that's exactly where even today's recruitment
programmatic market is, where it's always focused on the high-priced client or the big companies, which can either afford an agency or which can have someone to really manage. Like who can hire someone to manage the programmatic side of it. Which is very rare, though, because most of them actually just go through the agencies.
Amit Chauhan: We want to make sure though we have a platform accessible to anyone. It can be smaller companies, companies with two people, HR department or [crosstalk 00:33:47] department, and they want to advertise their jobs. They don't know if they want to go into Jobbook to do it, or they want to go to one particular place. Just like want it done in a way that it's optimized automatically. So we are building a platform that's accessible for everyone. Not just for special needs or just for enterprise clients or the big agencies.
Joel: One of your big pushes when you launched was to get publishers onboard. In other words, sites where your jobs could be seen. Which I saw as a pretty big challenge. How is that going? You're smiling, so I assume it was. Talk about that, and where you are with that today.
Amit Chauhan: So we're receiving really good response from the industry. I'll say the launch timing was off because we launched in December last year, and all the publishers that want you to Q1 Q2 for their product. And they like, we all understand that. A majority of the companies, publishers in our industry, they have significantly small tech teams. So like squeezing in even a small sprint can take a long time.
Amit Chauhan: What we were able to achieve, working with even the handful of publishers, we were able to achieve something important indeed. Now that we've come to you to share with world perspective of publisher and client. That how, not just be adding our slots there, maximizing their on their revenue, which they will get from many of the job exchange. But also, if they're replacing our unit with a Google Adsense unit, they're actually starting to see more engagement for their other jobs as well. Because now their job seekers are seeing more relevant ads. They're not distracted by a Domino's Pizza ad from Google Adsense, just because someone do it. I've seen those happen myself.
Chad: Unless you're Joel. Joel wants to see the Domino's Pizza.
Joel: I'm good with pizza.
Chad: Here's pizza guy. Now, here's pizza.
Amit Chauhan: But yeah. You don't go to job boards to search jobs there, right?
Chad: No. He's looking for jobs and pizza at the same time. He's a very niche customer, though.
Amit Chauhan: Okay.
Joel: Super niche. Super niche. We talk a lot about on the show the challenges maybe what we think of as traditional job sites have from the top. So you have LinkedIn with Microsoft. You have Google and Google For Jobs. And even Facebook getting into this game. It seems like a challenge that we don't talk about enough maybe is the programmatic buying side. Do you agree with that? And if so, what do you feel like is the programmatic impact on the traditional job site? Is it good for them or bad for them? Or good for some, bad for some?
Amit Chauhan: It's good and bad both. There's no real answer to it, like it's definitely good, or it's definitely bad. The players that you mentioned, like with Microsoft or Facebook, Google. Those so far, they've been staying away from actually entering into the market. But the core of powers that they have, like all of their ad exchanges, they're not doing it just yet. But when they do it, programmatic will become the norm. Because like they're not going to do it like the usual way of how the ad exchanges work in our industry. They will come with the same data bank hosting and like how everything is more real time and everything.
Amit Chauhan: The sooner we adopt to it, it will be a better transition for the industry. So that when these players come in, we'll know where we fit in and where our ... either by the business models or the technology specs are fed, because they will come in eventually. They are very aggressive, like Google especially is very aggressive. And all the publishers, and that's where we think, all the publishers are really using Google Adsense. So sooner we realize that how and where we fit in as technology, as market, as companies and partners, it'll be an easier transition for the industry. But-
Joel: I might have asked the question incorrectly. Do you think programmatic ad buying is good for sites like Indeed, Monster, et cetera? Or good, bad, like what's your opinion?
Amit Chauhan: Oh, it's definitely good.
Amit Chauhan: It's definitely good.
Joel: For all of them?
Amit Chauhan: For all of them. And the reason I'll say it's good. If they can translate that results to their customers. Because in the end, what's good should be good for industry. What they're doing with programmatic, if they're doing with their job distribution-
Joel: But if I'm Indeed, and you're putting ads on all my competitors as well and I'm in a free marketplace competing with the results on other pages, then that's bad for me, right? I'd rather have all your money on my site, and not compete with the other job sites.
Amit Chauhan: But that happens either way. Even if you-
Joel: Not if Indeed doesn't play.
Amit Chauhan: Like in the end, you would have to, at some point.
Joel: Okay. Alright.
Amit Chauhan: When the market will growth. Like you can say okay, I don't want to, we don't want to do it just yet. Yeah, we begin to say that a lot of job boards or exchanges are denying adopting to programmatic, just because they don't understand it. And that happens with every industry when there's a new thing that comes which people don't understand, they want to stay away from it. It's okay for now, but there will be in maybe a couple of years or so, you will have to adopt to it. Even for like bigger players like even Monster, they will have to agree to the point that okay, programmatic is the way to go.
Chad: It ain't. Think that really the short term loss per se, the click dollars versus the posting dollar, is really the issue right out of the gate. It's like, well, I'm gonna lose this concrete $500 or $200, whatever it is, to post a job versus I don't even know how many clicks or what dollars I'm going to get from there. So do you see that as a long-term kind of win versus a short-term kind of, hey, this is the dollars we now, you gotta let that go and you gotta evolve? How does that happen?
Amit Chauhan: Well, without actually naming out, see like-
Chad: No, name, name, name!
Amit Chauhan: No names! No names! No names. I think that we have seen from the bigger players, they are industry, that they're very concerned about the short-term impact rather than the long-term strategy. Because they are companies who should be working with Google rather than not working with Google. Because you need to understand that Google is the destination for job seekers. And when we're in market where there's so little, especially like unemployment where it is historically low, so we need to understand that if you want to play with the most important search engine in the world, and if you just want to go against them, it's not going to help us. Like you have the traffic right now, but you're not gonna have it for long.
Chad: Could you hear that, Indeed?
Amit Chauhan: I didn't say Indeed!
Chad: No, I didn't.
Joel: He didn't mention names, but Chad will mention names.
Chad: Chad mentions names -
Joel: No fear on doing that.
Amit Chauhan: But in the end, whenever you have these companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, entering this space, because they have all the resources, that they can make big changes. It's better to play with them rather than against them. That should be the focus for ... These are the bigger players in our industry. It also opens doors for the smaller ones. Because once they start to adopt to the newer changes and the evolution, it makes it easier for the smaller techs to get in.
Chad: So these smaller Nit sites, and we've actually received comments and emails from smaller Nit sites saying hey, look, what do I do? Job boards are dying, what do I do? This would be your answer for them is like, hey, you need to go programmatic. You need to be a publisher.
Amit Chauhan: Absolutely. But when someone say job boards are dying, and it's a challenge to see how you can save a job board. Because it's a very different topic altogether.
Amit Chauhan: But how you can work with everyone else can really make a lot of difference. Okay, do you really understand your audience? How can some other technology can activate your audience better? Programmatic can. Programmatic, that's the whole power of programmatic in general that how it activates the audience, to capitalize, to really maximize your [inaudible 00:42:19]. A lot of time you post a job when they actually see they're getting keywords, clicking or not clicking. Just see when it comes to tracking the results, tracking the convergence. Job boards haven't done a great job 'til now. There are some that are adopting to it, but largely not.
Amit Chauhan: When you go programmatic on a higher level, you start to see those things. Even if you don't have a huge audience, it can make a lot of difference, because you'll see that your jobs are located more frequently. You can see people are applying, people are clicking. They're really just engaged and the convergent rate is starting to go up. And everything translates end up later on.
Joel: You mentioned the world of marketing, and I appreciate your statement that if you want to make a successful HR business, just look at what's working in the sales and marketing world. And we're five years behind. So just do something-
Chad: At least. [crosstalk 00:43:13]
Joel: In the world of marketing, programmatic ad buying is a huge percentage of what's being bought out there. What percentage are we at in penetration with HR and recruiting? And how big do you think that number of percentage will be in the future, like how high are we gonna get? Where is the ceiling?
Amit Chauhan: Well, the numbers that we're seeing in the industry are very different. So some places I am reading it's five percent, some places I'm reading it's 80 percent. I think-
Joel: You agree there's no chance it's 80 percent?
Chad: No way.
Amit Chauhan: No way.
Chad: No way it's 50 percent, let alone 80 percent.
Amit Chauhan: I think the answer to this is, when we're talking, you respect all. So when we're talking to the job boards, job boards they're going programmatic. And there's a really good percentage of that. If you're talking in terms of agencies, there's a really good percentage of that as well. But if you just talk about employers in general, it's a very small percentage.
Amit Chauhan: And it will also remain a very small percentage until we realize that we really open it up to SMBs, which we aren't yet. Because platforms are more focused on further enterprise. I'll say for the direct employers is definitely one to five percent, at max.
Chad: So, with a platform being easier to access, utilize, kind of go on autopilot per se, how do you really penetrate that SMB market?
Joel: And do you care?
Chad: Oh yeah, they care.
Amit Chauhan: Oh yeah.
Chad: Look at Zip.
Amit Chauhan: And actually that's a very good example. For us also. The motivation to build JobAdX was not just for enterprise, it was for SMBs. And like for example, a lot of time we like to talk, also things like Google Adsense for jobs when we talk to people. And that's exactly what the motivation is, that from the consumer Ad Tech, we have seen that if you don't have a platform that can sort of do smaller spaces, which is like I'll say 85 percent of the market, which is the small and medium size companies, you're missing out big.
Amit Chauhan: DMPs, DSPs, the big companies that came in and they focus only on the agencies, and very soon they realized that if you really want to make big dollars, you have to have self-serve platforms. You have to have easier self-serve platforms which anyone can use. Even if they have a hundred dollars or $500.
Amit Chauhan: The programmatic platform that we have in our industry right now, they're not fit for one job, or two jobs. Or even ten jobs. If you give them anything smaller than maybe a hundred or 200, it's not really worth it. It's not worth for it employers, it's not worth for even the platforms. That's where we are focusing. That's where we want to take it. That even if you have one job, even if you have a hundred dollar budget, you can create a campaign the same way someone will create it with thousands. System is designed to save in a way that won't leave you spending more. You get more visibility and more visibility. But even for the hundred dollars, we get the best value. And that's exactly what the focus is. That's happening in any advertising technology. It's about how much you're spending, how much work results you can get, and just translate it into that.
Joel: So talking about spending, tell me about pricing. What can someone expect to pay if they have a thousand dollar budget to put towards JobAdX? What piece of that do you get?
Amit Chauhan: We get? Let's not talk about that!
Joel: 50 percent!
Amit Chauhan: To be honest, we don't know how much we get. But I'll say it this way. I like traditional exchanges where it's a flat out share between publisher and advertisers, like sometime 50-50, 70-30. We haven't done it that way. Because that just makes, from my developmenting, they just say that makes their life easier. But like whatever we are trying to do, that makes their life so much difficult. But the idea is how we can maximize the returns for publishers. And so-
Joel: So customer doesn't say I'm paying you a thousand dollars to push my jobs? How much of that is actually going toward buying ads? And how much is going to you? Like you don't let them know that?
Amit Chauhan: Not right away. And the idea is, because what happens is, there's some jobs which are less competitive, where the CPCs are lower, and we want to make sure that if the CPC is really low, say it's hovering around 20 cents a click, in that case a really big chunk of that CPC goes to the publisher. And that has been the focus for us. The vendor the CPC starts to increase, that's when our shares start to increase. Where it goes, it fluctuates. But-
Joel: So you're not a non-profit?
Amit Chauhan: Oh, no- [crosstalk 00:48:11]
Joel: You're a for-profit business? [crosstalk 00:48:13] So you don't just say, hey, 15 percent off the top is going to come to our platform? We're gonna get 15 percent?
Amit Chauhan: No. It's like, it's programmed ... the system is designed to see that how it can maximize returns for publishers for good quality. It also does a couple of things from like quality traffic. So for example, we don't do the traditional partnerships in nature that'll give 50-50 from publisher partnerships. We just keep it open. We say okay, the system will analyze the traffic you are sending. If you send, let's say, your convergence rate is anywhere from 10 to 11 percent, you might actually get 80 percent of the click. If your convergence is five percent, you might get another 60 percent. If it's below five, you might 50 or lower. But it's focus on the quality, so that just makes like both sides meet even. And a lot of time it slows down the traffic for job delivery for one just to make sure that they're okay. It's balanced out. It's like there's no friction.
Joel: Tell me something cool you're development team is working on right now.
Amit Chauhan: Well, if I tell you that, those guys will freak out.
Joel: Really? They'll freak out? Well, they don't listen to us. They won't hear this podcast. [crosstalk 00:49:29]
Amit Chauhan: I've told them. I've told the whole team to listen to it [crosstalk 00:49:35]. But the better reason I think is-
Joel: So speak in generalities. Is it new features? Is it just grow out the platform? What's sort of the major direction from that standpoint?
Amit Chauhan: I think right now, our focus is performance more than features.
Amit Chauhan: And something we have learned from Recroup generally, we all built Recroup. We build so much. I used to come up with the stupidest ideas and my dev team never said no. And they would just go and build it. And to realize, we're the only ones using those features. So this time, we're not focused on features that much. We're focused on how, what we have so far. From reusing some prototype one, prototype two, prototype three. And we're going to be until prototype 23. And focusing on what do we have, how we can improve the performance. How we can improve the search matching, job matching, click through rate, impressions, deliverability and all of that.
Amit Chauhan: Right now, more focus is on the job search, so from where we were a month ago 'til now, we have seen significant improvement in our search matching. And now we're actually implementing what we're learning in that, because what we saw was, job seekers searches are really random. Can you guess what is the most common search parameter that we get?
Chad: Jobs near me.
Amit Chauhan: It's actually no strain. People just come and search.
Joel: Just browse, basically.
Amit Chauhan: And they obviously see where it comes. So now how do we address that? That's where the candidate profiling provider comes in. And if that candidate has an important strength, let's show the man his job. And try to see if they click on it, if they don't click on it.
Chad: Learn from it.
Amit Chauhan: Learn from it.
Amit Chauhan: And that's where the emotional learning is coming in very handy.
Joel: Where can our listeners find out more about JobAdX?
Amit Chauhan: Well, they can log in at www.jobadx.com. I just pulled up the spelling for some reason. Or they should reach out to our amazing VP of Sales Tim Hawk at email@example.com. Please don't email me.
Chad: Yeah, yeah. Tim's in the room, so he's amazing.
Joel: Yeah, he's ... yeah. Thank you Amit.
Amit Chauhan: Thank you.
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