Jobvite CEO Dan Finnigan

We're not worthy! We're not worthy!

Since taking over the reigns at Jobvite a decade ago after running HotJobs, Dan Finnigan has been a strong voice and leader in the recruitment tech space. Most recently, Jobvite swung for the fences, raising $200 million and acquiring Canvas, Rolepoint and Talemetry to help round-out a full marketing suite for customers. In this interview, Chad & Cheese get the lowdown on the deal and discuss a variety of timely topics.

This Nexxt exclusive is a must-listen.


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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.

Joel: All right, all right, all right. We're back again. Guys, super special treat today. We're joined by Jobvite's CEO Dan Finnigan. Dan, welcome to the show.

Dan: Thank you very much. It's good to be here.

Joel: Dan is CEO of Jobvite, like I mentioned. What else would you like us to know about you, besides the fact that the highlights of your career were interviewing with me once when you started at Jobvite and then another time when you were-

Chad: Lies.

Joel: ... ruling the world at HotJobs?

Dan: Well, after just hearing your intro music, I think my future highlight would be having my band play "Fight for Your Right to Party" live for your blog post one time.

Chad: Yeah, yeah, we could do that. We could do an event, Dan, 'cause we're doing a ton of events now, and we don't just do a presentation on stage. We actually do entertainment while we're on stage. Having the band bring us on would be kick ass.

Joel: By the way, Dan has the most epic beard in the industry. It's sad that we have to do this on audio only, because it is impressive.

Dan: As good as yours?

Joel: Oh, way better.

Dan: Oh wow. Thank you.

Joel: It's got that salt and pepper leadership quality that mine just doesn't have.

Dan: Oh, it's coming, Joel. It's coming.

Joel: Well, Dan, thanks for joining us. Man, we had some big news coming out of your world last month. Tell us about that and how that transpired.

Dan: Well, the argue for quite some time has been that the history of recruiting software has been overly focused on in-applicant tracking, what happens after someone applies for a job, and that a lot of innovation has been going on for some years now and our disciplines with sales and marketings around how to build prospects and databases and communicate and engage with prospects before they ever become an opportunity. And we felt that recruiting was gonna go through the same change, and that's why years ago, we launched Jobvite Engage to help recruiters and companies build their own database of prospects and become less dependent on my old world of advertising.

Dan: The fact is that the opportunity in this economy and given what's happened in the marketplace to focus on applicant tracking, given the needs companies have, was so great that it was, I felt, a challenge to continue to invest in innovation in these other areas. And I felt there was a window of opportunity for a company like Jobvite to seize the moment and really put a stake in the ground to be a platform and recruiting, as we say, that helps engage with candidates from the first look on your employment brand to the first day on the job. And when we started looking at the landscape, we saw companies like Telemetry crushing it, helping large enterprise companies build campaigns and provide a better candidate experience.

Dan: We've always been very proud of Jobvite about creating the ability to share jobs on social networks to drive employee referrals. But then there was this company Rolepoint that was doing a better job than us. And then finally, I always joke that my son, who just graduated from college and he's working in San Francisco as a computer programmer, would never in his life communicate with a company or a recruiter via email. He would only text.

Joel: Or phone. Or audio.

Dan: Exactly. And so what are we doing? Jobvite was the first ATS to ever integrate into email and calendaring via Microsoft Outlook 10 years ago, and now we're living in an era where the candidates don't even use email. And so we decided to seize that moment and pull these companies together and we're really excited.

Chad: Talking about putting the band together, right? If you just stick with that metaphor. That's a big, big job. K1 comes, you get K1 at the door, and then you start pulling Canvas, Rolepoint, and Telemetry together all at once. How long did something like that take?

Dan: Well, you gotta seize the moment when you have it, and it's not as if we, for example with Canvas, we had developed a relationship with them. We had already launched a version of Canvas last year and had great success with it. We certainly, and with Jobvite Engage have been competing with Telemetry and others for quite some time and new about their strengths and we had customers coming to Jobvite saying, "Hey, look, I like your employee referral product, but we needed to do more and therefore we want you to integrate with Rolepoint."

Dan: So based on that, and our experiences in the marketplace with these companies, we went to K1 and said, "Here's an opportunity. And we could be the first platform that provides the best candidate experience, the best recruiter experience, the best hiring manager experience from first look, not only for the first day on the job, but with Telemetry and Rolepoint to the next promotion because of internal mobility, the capabilities that they have." And K1, this is what they do for a living. They only invest in SAF software companies. They've been one of the fastest growing investors in this area. They've seen this movie before, they've seen what's going on in sales and marketing. And they wanted to, just like us, apply those principles in the area of recruiting and talent acquisition.

Dan: And the funny thing is is when I started taking to them about Canvas, about Rolepoint, they said, "Ah, we've already talked to all those companies." What most impressed me about K1 is that they've been doing their homework and researching for about two years.

Chad: Okay, okay. So from a brand standpoint, all three of these companies have their respective brands in those markets. Are they going to stay separate? Are you going to roll them up underneath the Jobvite umbrella and create Jobvite's Canvas version and Telemetry, etc., etc.?

Dan: Yeah, good question. We're definitely one company. We've come together as one team. We had wonderful meetings. It all happened over the holidays. It all came together over the holidays, and we hit New Year's Day running. And we're all excited about the ideas that have come out of our meetings to date. Immediately, we're almost complete with many of the integrations that are taking place through our APIs. Obviously we like any Jobvite customer to utilize any of these three other wonderful products. I know Telemetry is already working with Rolepo