We stopped by Hireology HQ in Chicago and found ourselves as guests on The Best Team Wins podcast hosted by Hireology CEO, Adam Robinson. They had free beer , swag, and a bunch of smiling millennials. How the Hell could we say no?
Enjoy this special Chad & Cheese edition of The Best Team Wins podcast.
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
Announcer: Welcome to The Best Team Wins Podcast with Adam Robinson. He's talking to today's industry leaders and entrepreneurs about the people side of their business.
Adam: Welcome to this weeks episode of The Best Team Wins Podcast where we feature entrepreneurs and business leaders who's exceptional approach to the people side of their businesses has led to incredible results. You're listening to a special live edition of The Best Team Wins Podcast.
Chad: Bring it.
Adam: I'm Adam Robinson Co-Founder and CEO of Hireology, and we are coming to you live from our Chicago office with two very distinguished guests, Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman, the cohosts of the famous/infamous Chad and Cheese Podcast billed as the most dangerous-
Joel: HR's most dangerous ...
Adam: HR's most dangerous-
Joel: Which is not as dangerous as just being dangerous.
Adam: It is HR's-
Joel: HR's not very dangerous.
Adam: What is HR's second most dangerous podcast?
Chad: There isn't one.
Joel: Yeah, no.
Chad: They're all boring as shit.
Adam: There can only be one. Highlander style.
Adam: Well, I'm excited to talk to you guys today. Today we're going to demystify the recruitment technology space for our listeners, which, as we discussed before the show-
Joel: And this is a 30 minute show? And we're going to demystify it ... Okay.
Adam: We're going to demystify it-
Chad: All right.
Adam: In 20 minutes or so. We're going to cover a couple of big topics. I mean, most of our listeners are running a business or location, and it's all on them, and they don't have local HR, and they're trying to navigate this mess of vendors, and sourcing, and technology around hiring, and they get lots of messages, and it's all expensive and very confusing, and the world is not built for them. It's all built for the big guys. So with your help, maybe we'll send them on their way with a couple of ideas they can put into place to be better [crosstalk 00:01:59].
Joel: I feel confident that we can do that. Couple ideas for the small guy, the little guy.
Chad: It's possible.
Adam: Yeah, this one's for the-
Chad: For the little guy.
Adam: For the little guy, yeah.
Chad: We're for the little guy.
Joel: We're out of the ivory tower today and we'll help the little guy out.
Joel: I think we can do that.
Adam: Welcome, and let's get started.
Joel: Thank you.
Joel: Proud to be here. Chicago. Let's do this.
Chad: We're here, Chicago.
Adam: So let's keeping going with that. I'm an operator of a mainstream business. I have somewhere in 20, 30, 40 employees. Talent acquisition is hard. I just know I can't find enough people. I don't know where to go. What is it out there to help me? I hear ads from companies telling me to post my jobs for free. What do I do?
Chad: So, after you've completed crying in your pillow for a week or so, I mean, there're a ton of job sites that are out there, and that's generally the thing that companies do, is they like ... they're going from job site to job site, and that's the first, the easiest thing, because it's generally the least expensive. So, the ZipRecruiters, the Indeeds, the so on and so forth. But they don't generally offer you that many tools to be able to provide you kind of like some kind of infrastructure, to make it easier, not just to get candidates or people who believe they're candidates, but to be able to sort through them.
Chad: So I mean, the first thing is you have to understand your process. Understand what that process looks like from A to Z, so that when you start to look for technologies, you have an idea, at least mapped out in your head, on how to become more efficient there. Because you don't have time to do that. You have other shit to do, right? So, the first thing is, and this is, even on the enterprise side, if you don't understand your process, how can you go and buy tech? You can't. You shouldn't. But they do. So, for the little guy, it's the same way. You have to understand your process, map it out, and then start going to ... pretty much, go to the market and start looking for those different types of technologies that will help you through that process to be more efficient so that you don't have to waste your time doing it.
Joel: So what came to my mind when you said that everyone's focused on the big guys, there are actually big guys that are hoping to help the little guys, and there are three that come to my mind is LinkedIn, number one, which has historically been known as a buttoned up, white collar, professional network job search site. They're going hard after the SMB market, and so they released a new feature last year where, when you post a job, they will show you candidates that they believe are relevant to your job posting. And they think, pretty strongly, that they feel that they have every kind of level of professional that you could need. Here in Chicago, you see a lot of LinkedIn ads at bus stops and whatnot. So they're hitting bigger markets to try to do that.
Joel: Number two, I would say Facebook got into this market about two years ago. Now they have certain problems with privacy and maybe public opinion about them-
Chad: I've heard of them.
Joel: You've heard of them. Yeah. Three billion people strong. And though, they are losing a bit of the younger demographic, they do Instagram, so you can still reach those people. So you can post jobs on Facebook. You can also source people on Facebook, and they're getting into the game more to cover really all kinds of professionals.
Joel: I think the third element of that is when you look at Google getting into the game and launching Google for Jobs, which is essentially, if you're familiar with Indeed, and I think some of your clients probably are, it's sort of basically putting Indeed on Google. So you have actual job listings that you can see, and no matter how big or small your company is, you can put your jobs on Google for Jobs, which gives you a fighting chance to compete with any big brand in the market place, and we know that around 78% of all job searches start at Google, so if you can just leverage that tool, which is also free, by the way, you're giving yourself a leg up in recruiting, no matter what kind of skills you're looking for.
Adam: So you just referenced something we talk about often which is most
job search starts in the browser bar.
Adam: So, whereas 20, 25 years ago, you'd go to a Monster or a CareerBuilder, because that's where the inventory was. Now it's all indexed and it's available through your favorite search engine, right? And 78% of the time, that's Google.
Adam: So what that tells us is, all of the tactics and techniques these operators have had to master to be found by consumers, all should, theoretically, work to be found by job seekers, and one of the things we like to say is, jobs are products, they should be retailed like products online. Right? Job seekers are consumers. These things-
Chad: Yeah, but job descriptions aren't even close to sales. I mean, they're horrible-
Adam: So let's talk about that for a second.
Chad: And that's the hard part.
Adam: How can business owners make the transition from thinking about B to C marketing of products and services-
Adam: To the B to C marketing of job opportunities and control their own destiny here.
Chad: Yeah, first thing you don't do is go to the web and copy and paste something from a competitor. I mean, because you're already screwing up as it is right there. So, generally, the actual job description itself is so bad that candidates don't even know what they're applying for. I mean, even job titles, in many cases, right? So, think about the actual job itself. The description of what that individual is going to be doing, and give them the most lifelike description of what they will be doing day by day. No question, right? Then, also, the requirements, be smart about your requirements, right? Do you really need a bachelor's degree to sell cars? I mean, or to sell really anything? No, probably not. So, think about that. If they have one, that's great. That's awesome. But is it really a requirement? Is it necessary?
Chad: So, start thinking about that, and start thinking about that job description at that point, after you've done that, now turn it into an ad. Because, that job posting is really an advertisement. So, what you can do to actually reach out and pull more readers in, is what you're looking to do, right? This is isn't something that should be a bland kind of operation. It should be something that you actually put your heart into, because if you put your heart into it, and tell your story, the people that actually align with that story, and they believe in that purpose, they're going to want to come work for you. Companies are not doing that at every single level today. Once you start doing that, that's step one. But that's one of the most important steps.
Joel: So one of the great ironies for me, and you deal with the car dealerships in particular, who are some of the best local marketers in the world, right? I can't tell you the last billboard, TV spot, radio ad for a car dealership that I heard at the end, "Looking for a job? Check out opportunities on our website." They should do that if they really need people. That's an obvious sort of bridge, I think, to getting job candidates into your door.
Joel: I think the other thing to look at in general, with social media, and just marketing their dealership in general, they should be some of the best marketers for job opportunities in every local market. So if you're using Facebook, if you're on Instagram, I've seen car dealerships using Snapchat, and even more progressive mediums. You're promoting your cars there, why aren't you promoting your jobs there, too?
Chad: Well, and it's demos. Right? You've got to think of those demos. So, on the LinkedIn side of the house, you're not seeing the gen-Zs and a portion of millennials, not even really jumping into LinkedIn and utilizing LinkedIn as much. But they are using the Instagrams, I mean, you have to go where they are. So there's Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, look at them as marketing channels. I mean, we used to have radio, cable, billboard-
Joel: Second Life.
Chad: Yeah ... Shut up.
Adam: Second Life.
Chad: You're such a dumbass. But, I mean, we have to-
Joel: Can we cuss on this podcast?
Adam: Yeah, too late, apparently.
Adam: Keep it up. Keep it going, guys.
Joel: That was pretty lame.
Adam: It's all good, yeah.
Joel: We could really turn it up if you want to.
Adam: Yeah, man, it's your show, guys.
Chad: So, anyway, yeah. I mean, that's the basic premise behind it. You need to start looking at it. As a marketer, you have your content that you're putting out there, so if you did ... Back in the day, when you did a radio ad, you focused on the content because you were trying to pull people in to buy a car or buy whatever you're trying to sell. Okay? The same thing you're trying to sell and ... You're trying to sell a job. You're trying to sell livelihood. You're trying to sell culture. If you're not doing that, you are doing it wrong.
Joel: And I think, you know, we go back and forth on employment brand, but I think, and you guys no better because you deal in this industry, but car salesmen have a historically bad reputation. So to sell an opportunity around doing that job that people think is full of scumbags and [crosstalk 00:11:07]-
Adam: Literally hiring used car salesmen.
Joel: That's got to be a major challenge in recruiting. So, how many of your companies or dealerships out there are tackling the challenge of like, salespeople are noble people. Here's some of the ones in our company that have done social service, and have families, and they're good people. Try to break through that stereotype of douchebag sales guy, would probably go a long way into getting some people to apply for sales jobs at a dealership.
Chad: He always says that because he knows my background's in sales. But, so, one of our local dealerships, they have [crosstalk 00:11:43]-
Joel: And douchebagery. [crosstalk 00:11:44].
Chad: They've created-
Adam: And what's it with douchebag salespeople and hats?
Chad: And hats. Every-
Joel: I haven't even brought up millennials, yet. He's a millennial, right?
Adam: Oh, yeah.
Joel: Right Kyle? Yeah. Fucking millennials, man.
Chad: They've actually created a culture that's different, and that's how they sell cars, and that's how they sell how to work there. So, it can be done, and there's no reason why it can't be. How are you different? Tell your story.
Adam: So think about industries like automotive retail, or home healthcare, or hospitality, where we see maybe eight to 10% overlap of the candidate pool in a LinkedIn profile. So, this talent pool is under-profiled, let's say, they're less findable, so in this paradigm of Google, arguably, they're pretty good at search, if I'm looking for a job, we make the argument that the media you just mentioned are really ... they're visual channels. Are video job descriptions a thing? Is a video job preview, is that a thing, and how do you reach, with content, under-profiled talent pools-
Adam: Who ... You're not going to find a home healthcare aid on LinkedIn. You just aren't.
Chad: You've got to be smart about video, because people are only going to watch so much video. I think the limit was like around two to three minutes, I can't remember the last survey. It goes back and forth before two and three minutes. Video should be used to capture somebody with, I mean, just ... to grab them, and pull them in to learn more, right? And to be able to apply. Not a half hour segment on ... I do love the whole day in the life of kind of a thing. But I think that's good if somebody wants to do more research. It's not good on the job-
Joel: And if it's VR-ed. ... Are you done? Did I just [crosstalk 00:13:49]-
Chad: Go ahead.
Joel: I think we get caught up a lot in the job description and having that, but why couldn't you have sort of traditional marketing strategies where, instead of a job posting, you have a download for 10 Reasons Why Working At a Dealership Is Awesome, or something. And you market that to Facebook, Instagram users that are between 18 and whatever. And then they click on the landing page, they go, "Oh, that looks kind of interesting. I might be interested in a job in that." They give you their email address. They get the content. And now you start marketing to them like they were a consumer.
Chad: Then you hit them with a cookie, and it's all over.
Joel: So don't get ... I don't think you need to get too caught with the job description. I mean, think outside the box with your marketing, if you're having trouble getting it to these people.
Chad: Well, then you can serve the video ads, right?
Adam: Let's talk about Google. As you guys-
Adam: Do on your podcast. Google?
Adam: The search company.
Joel: Heard of them.
Adam: Most people who had heard of CareerBuilder, they had their moment in the sun. Indeed is having their-
Chad: I don't know that most people nowadays really-
Joel: Are you talking employers or job seekers?
Adam: I'm talking both, actually.
Chad: I think on the job seekers' side, it's easier to forget, right? It's easier to forget, pretty much, the Monsters, the CareerBuilders-
Chad: If you're not out there advertising constantly-
Joel: To most kids, Monster is an energy drink, not a job board.
Adam: So in a world where recruitment site branding, so the third party lead generators, that brand has arguably less value. When Google is serving search results. Because that's really brand agnostic.
Chad: And driving traffic to those sites now.
Adam: Yeah, so where does this go? I mean, how, as a third party marketer-
Chad: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Adam: Or lead generator, can you differentiate it, and what does that mean to a local business owner? Why do they care about any of this?
Chad: You can't. You can't differentiate. Okay, so, from an experience standpoint, what is Google looking for? Who do they care about most? Their users. They don't give a shit about the company that's trying to sell you something. They care about the user, because the user's going to come back. Google's a lifestyle platform and they want to continue to be a lifestyle platform, so you're using them for whatever it is. Going to the restaurant, going to ... I doesn't matter. So, for their standpoint, they care about user experience. If they start to see jobs that are performing incredibly well, right? And there're not a bunch of users that are jumping onto a job and ejecting off, then they're going to provide better lift to those jobs. Which is one of the reasons why I think many applicant tracking systems, if they don't get their shit together and have a great experience, the job boards will continue to get more traffic, right?
Chad: So we saw from iCIMS, Colin Day and iCIMS, that they received ... What was it? It was a crazy amount of traffic from-
Joel: They had like a 60% increase-
Chad: In traffic from people.
Joel: And they saw like a 30% decrease in-
Joel: Indeed traffic.
Chad: But from that standpoint, as the algorithm learns, that could drop, dramatically. If there's not a great experience that's there. So that's one of the things that the Monsters and the Indeeds and the CareerBuilders need to do, is they need to work on a great experience, so that those job seekers are coming through ... those users. We have to stop saying job seekers. Those customers are coming through and they're staying. And they're engaging in content. And they're applying for jobs. At that point, Google will see that, the time on sites. And then those jobs, those sources, will lift in the actual search.
Joel: I think that's where ATS is really playing a big roll.
Chad: They could kill it, too.
Joel: In understanding what Google wants from, you know, when users go through, so, how difficult is your apply process? If it's very cumbersome, verses like LinkedIn, where people might already have a profile or sort of easy to register, then you're probably going to lose the SEO Google game. So ATSs need to be really focused on how do we optimize the experience of clicking to the job and then applying to the job, because that's going to help you in the long run, and help your customers. Ideally, Google hopes that job boards, you stop posting on job boards, and just post and get your job on Google, and then they'll charge you for a pay per click later, and get all that money [crosstalk 00:18:15] are getting.
Adam: Are ad units coming? Are you ...
Chad: Oh, yeah.
Joel: Yeah. I mean, we don't have a line into Google, but, historically, why wouldn't they eventually have-
Chad: That's a search, at least.
Joel: You know, put your job in a pay per click format and make that easy to do, yeah. I mean, they'd love to take all the money you're giving CareerBuilder and LinkedIn and everybody else and have you give that to Google.
Adam: Employment brand, in a few minutes here. What's the one most important thing everyday business can do to help to win the visibility game on Google visa vie employment brand?
Joel: So, I mean, branding and Google are, I think, a little bit different. [crosstalk 00:18:55].
Adam: Well, contents. Let's say content-
Joel: Now they're ... I do think that companies need to be aware than in their Google for Jobs listings, they do have, what's your Glassdoor five star rating? What's your Indeed five star? What's your CareerBliss? And they're pulling sites that a lot of people don't even know exist. So if, at a minimum, you should go see your jobs on Google, and see what sites they're pulling in terms of employee reviews, and if you suck at one of those, like you should probably focus on that. So, I think twofold is ... one is sort of monitoring where reviews are and what's going on, and there are tools that can do that.
Joel: And then secondly like, the reality is, people, and particularly younger people, they don't want to hear about the company from the CEO. They don't want to hear about what it's like to work from the HR department. They want to know what it's like from the former salesperson on Glassdoor. They want to know what it's like from the former accountant that's leaving a review on Indeed, or the female salesperson that leaves a review on Fairygodboss. Right? That's where they go to find out what it's like to work at your company, and if you're not aware that these sites exist, and you're not sort of trying to manage those reviews, I think you're really putting yourself at a disadvantage. And most companies don't even know these reviews exist, or these sites exist, and they're getting killed because the reviews are so terrible for some employers.
Adam: So they lose control of their brand because they're not watching the content-
Joel: You can't manage what you can't measure, and you can't measure
what you don't even know-
Joel: Right? So the first step is actually knowing what's out there, and that's sort of a big step for most companies.
Chad: You have to understand purpose. The purpose of your organization. The purpose that brings people to your organization. I'm not a big believer in quote unquote, employment brand. I believe in the overall brand. And the reason why employment brand is being splintered out, is because most companies have a shitty brand. Because there's no purpose. And you're going to-
Joel: Or no brand.
Chad: Yeah, no brand. And you're going to slog all day, right? We're talking to the former head of Global Community at Airbnb, and we asked him about employment brand, and he just kind of shook is head almost like, you know, he's like, "What the hell are you talking about?" The focus of an organization, big or small, is around the purpose of your organization. What are you giving back to the community? What is that person coming in to do every single day? Not only will you be able to drive more individuals who are purpose driven to do what you are doing, but your retention will be much higher. So, it is more of a wholistic kind of an approach, but it does have to do with brand, and your brand does have to be real. If it doesn't, you're going to lose.
Adam: And we think about candidate experience, consumer experiences being ... We've seen that focus shift from ... I'm going to make this easy for the payroll administrator. Require job seeker profiles so that we don't have to double key stuff to a world where it's really consumer focused, really is table stakes.
Adam: For folks listening now, and we'll wrap with this, what are one or two things they can do to improve candidate or customer experience as it relates to jobs?
Chad: So the hard part, I think, is trying to get their data, because you want that data to make it easier for you. It's the experience in how you get the data, and what we're seeing right now, and everybody's talking about chatbots, and they're not talking about really how chatbots are really just engagement vehicles. That's the big key, is not having this long list of fields that you have to sit there and just fill out, that really suck, right? If you have an opportunity to be able to pull and parse their resume, or their information into fields, that's another way. Anything that makes it easier for them to have a better experience, but you still get the data, that's the answer.
Joel: For our legacy friend in the back, the black hole of the resume database is something that's existed since the dawn of the job board or, putting jobs on the internet, and there's been such animosity towards.... So I give a company my resume, and I don't hear anything. I mean, if I get a reply, you know, like an automated email saying, "Thanks for applying," like that's supposed to be good enough. So I think, in terms of what you said, in terms of ... in user experiences, like communication is really important, and there are tools, whether it's ATSs, or we mentioned chatbots, that can alert a candidate in terms of where are they in the process, right? Or ... I forget who we were talking to, but they had an interview scheduled, so they had messages, via text or Facebook or whatever it was, like little check-ins with him. Like, "Hey, just wanted to let you know our address is this in case you didn't have it." And then two days before, "Hey, just a quick reminder, it's casual, don't feel like you need to dress up."
Joel: So those little things, even though they might be automated, to a job seeker, like, "Holy shit. They really care. They're actually communicating." And by the way, most of those people will buy a car, eventually, and even if you don't hire them, if they've had a nice experience and sort of an open, transparent, honest experience in the job search process, they might be more likely to buy a car from you. And I think, when you start framing that to car dealerships, like, "These are people who buy cars," they might pay a little more attention to how they treat their candidates.
Chad: Stop looking at candidates and start looking at customers. Everybody that you touch, every day, is a prospective customer, or is a customer.
Adam: Okay, so final question here. What's the next frontier for talent technology, in your opinion?
Chad: It's fairly simple, I mean, everybody talks about AI ... but, in automation-