DEATH MATCH: Uncommon's Teg Grenager


Uncommon.co recently faced a panel of four judges at TAtech in New Orleans for Chad & Cheese's Death Match competition pitting four start-ups against each other.

Listen now to see how it went down for them.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

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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.

Chad: Welcome to Death Match, part three of four. This Chad and Cheese Death Match episode features Teg Grenager, CEO of Uncommon. The Death Match took place at TAtech on September 27th in New Orleans at 9:00 AM in the morning with a room full of TAtech practitioners loaded with mimosas, Bloody Marys, beer, and Chad and Cheese snack. Enjoy after a word from our sponsor. Okay, Joel, quick question.

Joel: Yeah.

Chad: What happens when your phone vibrates or you're texting alert goes off?

Joel: Dude, I pretty much check it immediately and I bet everyone listening is reaching to check their phones right now.

Chad: Yeah, I know, I call it our Pavlovian dog reflex to text messaging.

Joel: Yeah, that's probably why text messaging has a freaking 97% open rate.

Chad: What?

Joel: We had a crazy high candidate response rate within the first hour alone.

Chad: Which are all great reasons why the Chad and Cheese Podcast love Text2Hire from Nexxt.

Joel: Love it.

Chad: Yeah, that's right, Nexxt, with the double X, not the triple X.

Joel: Bom chicka bow wow. So if you're in talent acquisition, you want true engagement and great ROI, that stands for return on investment folks, and because this is the Chad and Cheese Podcast, you can try your first Text2Hire campaign for just 25% off. Boom

Chad: Wow. So how do you get this discount you're asking yourself right now?

Joel: Tell them Chad.

Chad: It's very simple, you go to chadcheese.com and you click on the Nexxt logo in the sponsor area.

Joel: Easy.

Chad: No long URL to remember, just go where you know, chadcheese.com and Nexxt with two X's.

Chad: All right, make sure you got that drink in hand. Anybody who wants a beer, if you would rather have a beer, we have beer up here at the Georgia Stage. Good morning everyone.

Peter: Good morning.

Peter: You can tell there's very few things that would bring a crowd like this out at 9:00 AM after a night on the town in New Orleans, so props to our good friends Chad and Cheese. Without further ado here's Chad and the Death Match.

Chad: Hello. Good morning, good morning. So today we're going to do our very first Death Match. So hopefully everything goes off without a hitch. If you've listened to the podcast, we do firing squad. This is kind of like an iteration, what's going to happen is we have four contestants, they're going to have two minutes to pitch. No PowerPoint presentations, they are going free falling. So no PowerPoint presentations, they are going to do two-minute pitch, and then after that the balance of their time, their 15 minutes is going to be Q&A by our American Idol judging panel. Last but not least we have CEO from Uncommon, Teg Grenager. Come on, bring it, today. There we go. Watch out, stuff is being thrown. Excellent. Last, you know you've got to really knock this out of the park after these guys, right?

Chad: He's not even paying attention. All right, there we go. Are you ready?

Teg: I am ready.

Chad: So you're from San Francisco?

Teg: Yes, sir.

Chad: What the hell are you doing with that (Cowboy) hat?

Teg: All right, how are you doing everybody? The next thing I want to say is I love text messaging, I think text messaging is very important but I'm here to talk about a completely different topic. It's a topic that nobody in this room is talking about and it's a topic that is the single most important thing to employers today. You know what that topic is? That topic is quality, a qualified candidate. The reason nobody in this room is talking about qualified candidates is that nobody in this room can deliver qualified candidates to employers. But you know who is thinking a lot about qualified candidates right now? The people not in this room. Yeah, I'm talking about those people that didn't stop by to pick up their resumes yesterday, I'm talking about Google and Facebook and LinkedIn and even ZipRecruiter and Indeed.

Teg: Those guys are not here because their heads down with their data science teams trying to figure out how to deliver qualified applicants to employers. It's scary, they're doing pretty well. But I have good news for you, my company's called Uncommon, our team of data scientists, serial entrepreneurs, we just raised $18 million and we have built a candidate matching system that is best in the industry for identifying qualified talent. So how does it work? We're the only system that shows for every candidate his side by side comparison of how that candidate stacks up to the qualifications of the position. Why is that so important? It's because recruiters love it, they love it because they understand it and they can configure it. So we've brought this core technology to market in two ways.

Teg: One, a programmatic advertising product that delivers qualified active candidates, and the other one is a database search and candidate engagement system that delivers passive qualified candidates to employers. But make no mistake, we're a data company first and we're here to provide the data-

Chad: There it is.

Teg: ... the industry so deeply needs. Thank you.

Chad: Faith Rothberg, you've got the first question.

Joel: Thanks Teg.

Faith: Thanks.

Teg: Thanks guys.

Faith: Just so you know, I own a job board. We do have qualified candidates, so-

Teg: I know I'm going to ruffle feathers.

Faith: ... I'm just telling you, you might have pissed off one of the judges.

Teg: I'm going to ruffle feathers, it's okay.

Faith: But, okay, it's a Death Match so we're good. My question for you though is that when you talk about matching the qualifications, one of the things that's been in our industry as a problem for many, many years and really I think that recruiters have not moved away from this yet is that they put qualifications on job postings that are pretty much worthless, unneeded, unnecessary qualifications.

Teg: Yeah, totally agree.

Faith: So many candidates but they lose many of the qualified candidates because of screening them out. In your situation, how many basically false negatives do you have? How many candidates that should be looked at are falling through the cracks?

Teg: Good, okay. We've got false positives and false negatives, so in the world of passive search and engagement, false negatives are way worse and in that world we do pretty well. I wouldn't say recruiters like 100% of our candidates, of course they don't, right? We can't do that, nobody can do that. But recruiters like more than 50% of our candidates on average and that's really pretty darn good, that beats the industry average of what recruiters generally get. On the active side, yes, you're right, we care about both false positives and false negatives, and one of the really nice things about the way our system works is that it's verifiable. So when we say that somebody is qualified, you can see side by side all the points that they match and why they're qualified.

Teg: Now I agree with you that they may not get the job ... The qualification in the job description are definitely not usually enough for a recruiter to like a candidate, so the recruiter also can put in place their own preferred qualifications behind the scenes that don't have to necessarily show up in the job description that are also used for additional filtering. So they're in control of that and when they're seeing a lot of candidates they don't like, those false positives, then they can configure the system differently because it's a qualification base system. On the false negative front, if we say someone's not qualified, we showed exactly why, "You're not qualified for this position because in the job description it says X and you don't have X." Very transparent.

Deb: I'm actually going to piggyback on Faith's question, take it a little deeper. I don't know what the stats are, maybe someone in the audience knows, but we all know that when qualifications are set out on a job posting, typically, if a man is not 100% qualified, right, there's a high percentage of them that will apply for the job whereas women tend to be sticklers for if I don't have every single one of these things, I'm not going to apply. I guess my question is, is there a little concern around gender bias and your solution?