Get your temporal lobe ready for the fast talkin', recruitment teachin', ninja wearin' Johnny Campbell from Social Talent. WARNING: You might have to slow this pod back to 1/2 speed to capture all of Johnny's nuggets.
Brought to your by our MENSA laden friends over at Jobcase.
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
Joel: Yo, Chad, got a question for you.
Joel: Say I'm looking to hire hourly workers for hard to fill jobs. Where should I go?
Chad: Easy. Jobcase.
Joel: Okay. All right. Now let's say I've tried the job boards, and all I'm getting is clicks, and what I really want are qualify candidates, actual people. Where should I go?
Chad: Dude, Jobcase.
Joel: Now what if I want the team who is helping me with all this sourcing to be really, really, really smart, and before you answer, keep in mind I'm talking Mensa smart, like MIT affiliated data scientists and people who are at the forefront of machine learning. Who you got?
Chad: Oh my God, dude, it's Jobcase. Jobcase. Look, with 100 million members in their community, active and passive job seekers, a huge team of data scientists who are experts at targeting and connecting employers with the right candidates, the answer is always going to be Jobcase.
Joel: I dig it. I'm picking up what you're putting down, but what if-
Chad: Hard stop. Jobcase. See for yourself why the answer always comes back to Jobcase for all your hiring needs. Learn more at jobcase.com/hire. That's jobcase.com/hire.
Announcer: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, clash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.
Joel: Let's start with this, you're speaking at this event called SHRM talent, correct?
Chad: Let's do an introduction of him first. Who is he? What does he do? Why is he even here?
Joel: Fine, we'll look into that. So yeah, welcome to a SHRM talent edition, Jobcase sponsored interview with Johnny Campbell. I'm Joel Cheeseman.
Chad: Johnny Campbell. And I'm Chad Sowash.
Joel: And we are the Chad and Cheese podcast. Johnny, welcome to the show, give us the elevator pitch on you for those who don't know who the hell you are.
Johnny: So that might be many, right. All I'll say is 10 years ago, the first ever blog I read in recruiting was Joel Cheeseman's blog.
Joel: No shit.
Johnny: So I'm here being interviewed by one of my legends. My legends. I am in awe. I want to hear your story. I'll give you mine, but I need to hear the Joel Cheeseman story.
Joel: I wondered why you walked up and said, I'm not worthy, with the, the Wayne's World-
Johnny: Pretty much, dude.
Joel: ... bowing.
Johnny: I had the long hair, the baseball cap.
Joel: Did you?
Johnny: No, so yeah. So actually I run a company called SocialTalent. And I started, I guess I was telling somebody earlier on, I started coming to SHRM events as a blogger. Which we all were, as in we had like 10 Facebook friends and we 20 followers on Twitter, which was like 20 times more than SHRM had and every other organization. So they thought they had to do something in this space, and none of us could afford tickets to these events, so we're like, yeah, we'll tweet, we'll write some posts.
Joel: We'll blog.
Johnny: Just let us in for free. Give us free food and coffee and drinks in your lounge. We'll go to some vendor's free party. And Woo. So, that was 10 years ago and that's how I started. But yeah, the short version, recruiter, 20 odd years ago, I started an agency 10 years ago, set up an agency, the world was changing, recession, world of social media was booming. We found a new way of doing it, realized there's more money to be made and more people need help in learning how to do what we were doing then they need to another agency doing that.
Johnny: So we shut down our recruiting agency or staffing agency, set up SocialTalent to teach other recruiters how to use what was then new technology, new tools. And now we're a platform used by enterprises and mid-tier companies to train their staff to be smarter at hiring.
Chad: Now are you the ones that actually came up with the whole ninja thing that we see on Linkedin all the damn time?
Johnny: Let me take you back to Japan in the year 204.
Chad: Were you there? Did you start it?
Johnny: So no, that wasn't those.
Johnny: We are the people who took it though.
Johnny: So I remember I was... When we were looking to first set the company up and we needed a name for our course, I booked a gig training a staffing agency for a day, and they were giving me a thousand books. That was our first gig of training and we had no name for the course, like no name. I was like, fuck, we need a name.
Joel: [crosstalk 00:04:42] training.
Johnny: Can I say fuck in this podcast?
Johnny: Okay. Darn it, we need a name. And I just really, one afternoon, we were like, we need a name that scales, so it has like we can choose other courses and they have things. And we're like, well you don't want to call it, the certificate in something, because AIRS had CIO and all that kind of stuff and it felt boring. And then we're like, well it's kind of corporate-ey but more fun and we looked at the whole kind of Six Sigma type stuff and black belts and stuff and we said, that would be us. But let's call this the blue belt. And we start with the blue belt. And then about two years later I was putting this stuff up, we do blue belts and black belts and someone tweeted out from my conference in the UK one day, I feel like I sourcing ninja having seen these guys talk about the black belts. And I'm like sourcing Ninja. That's it. That's gold.
Johnny: And literally the next day we had ninjas on our website and all over collateral.
Joel: It's essentially like Udemy for recruiting. So your platform is a who's who of recruiters, Bill Bowerman, Craig Fisher, et cetera, and they teach how they source,
and companies pay to have access to this education?
Johnny: So yes, but different to Udemy or LinkedIn learning, it's curated. So you take most of those platforms, where they've very broad base of knowledge. We hand pick people, the best person on a topic, like we got candidate experience, who do you have for candidate experience? We got Gerry Crispin, right?
Johnny: You pick a topic and go, let's just have one person. Nobody wants to have to pick from 600 different courses on interviewing. Just tell me the good course on interviewing and give me that. So we got John Valestilica and he does the good course in interviewing, the really good course in interviewing. So about 50 people are on the platform, but more than that, it's kind of, we realized that the having a load of videos was confusing. Enterprises want to try and solve for very different problems, different teams, different levels of experience, different markets, recruiting different things. So really what it's used for today is companies customize the heck out of it. They build learning paths for their teams and those teams look different around the world, but it's scalable. There's loads of reporting, all those kind of, what you might call the boring enterprise features.
Johnny: They're all in there to make it work for large companies on scales. So it's like personalized Netflix for all of your teams. So everyone feels like, hey, somebody built this just for me. That's kind of what we try and do.
Joel: What's the revenue model for the presenter? So you mentioned Gerry Crispin, do you pay them a flat fee? Does he do it out of the kindness of his heart? Like how does that work?
Johnny: So there's three models. One is the kindness of your heart model genuinely, which is people out there going, I want to spread the message about this thing. Like our customers hired a million people last year, right? The direct use of our platform directly hired a million people, excluding staffing agencies. And so there's people who have ideas in their brain, they're really good at it and they just want to spread the word.
Johnny: You've got like people like Lars Schmidt, who want to spread the word about opensource HR. And so therefore, as a friend of ours, we can give him a platform and he can give great content to people. Gerry Crispin, again, wants to spread the word about candidate experience. But then you've got professionals who want a business and have bills to pay. We all have bills to pay, but they do it for a living and they're brilliant. And we've royalty models with those guys. So it's like Spotify, in that you can get paid as your content's used by our customers. But also we do on-stop people go, that's great, but I just need cash right now, I prefer cash right now. And we do that model as well.
Joel: How many people do you have right now providing content for the platform?
Johnny: About 52, 53 people who all bring their expertise to the platform, yeah.
Joel: Okay. So what does it span? Diversity, bias training. I mean, what kind of training?
Joel: Yeah, podcasting, yeah.
Johnny: How to hold a microphone and not look like a fool.
Chad: Hey, this is harder than it looks.
Johnny: It's hard. You're doing good though. You're doing good.
Joel: Not everybody makes it look this sexy.
Johnny: So we started with sourcing, right? Sourcing was what we knew, which was largely me. Talking about my experience sourcing, what worked. Then we kind of said, you know what, we need to broaden to recruiting. So we started looking at, further down the funnel, the broader world of recruiting. And now we look at hiring, right? So the three differences, like recruiting and sourcing, yeah, we get the difference. Hiring means you're not just talking about what recruiters do, you're talking about hiring managers, the HR people, the diversity inclusion people. It's like in this big thing we call hiring, getting someone into our organization.
Johnny: Lots of people involved in that. So we try and to provide the knowledge that hiring is done better in the in the company. So yeah, it's DNI. Inclusion for example, in that piece is usually not part of recruiters remit. But yeah, recruiters are thinking, I want to bring somebody in and have them, sure, and after six months, after all the hard work trying to find this minority background person, so they care about inclusion and they work with inclusion folk in the organization. We've got people on interviewing. We got hiring managers. We teach them how to ask really great interview questions, how to do interviewing really well, give a great candidate experience. What does your profile look like? What's your role? Can you use your network to try and amplify what the recruiters are doing? And we, of course, teach everyone in recruiting everything you could possibly need to know about the full process from start to finish.
Johnny: So yeah, it's kind of migrated into that broader thing of just hiring them.
Joel: So let's talk about your session, what did you talk about?
Johnny: So with 30 tips to be a recruiting ninja.
Chad: 30 tips?
Johnny: Let me tell you about the 30 tips, right?
Chad: 30 tips. Holy shit. That's a lot of tips.
Joel: Can you encapsulate those 30 tips, or maybe give us the top five?
Chad: Can you give us just the tip?
Johnny: I had a woman come up to the end, right... Just sum it down to like one sentence please. I had a lady to come up at the end. She's like... At the start, I said, I've got 112 slides to get through, 30 tips, and only 60 minutes, so let's go. And she said, I wanted to walk out, I'm thinking here comes death by PowerPoint. 30 tips, right? But you'll like this. I started the talk with a 1:15 clip from one of my favorite movies, Any Given Sunday. It was the Al Pacino in the locker room.
Joel: The Irishman, one of his favorite movies is a football-
Joel: As in-
Chad: And American football.
Joel: ... the egg shaped football that you run with.
Johnny: But you know, see, context.
Johnny: I'm a kid who grew up working in a video store from 11 years of age till I was 19. I watched every movie in that video store about 50 times. Like I worked four shifts a week. It would be dead 80% of the time. That's why I love that movie.
Joel: We'll talk about the Irish child labor laws on another podcast, but yes, to get to your Any Given Sunday.
Johnny: Any Given Sunday, right? So what does he talk about in that locker room? He talks about inches, right? We had a retreat last week for 20 global heads of talent in Barcelona. Two days, we talked about what they're doing, what the challenges are, and three of them said that they'd done a bit of work internally to analyze how many steps are involved in hiring.
Johnny: So there was an average that emerged out of the group, right? How many steps amongst 20 of the largest companies in the world that they basically have in their hiring process. So what do you think it is? What would be the number that jumps to your mind, how many steps in hiring?
Johnny: 50. What about you, Joel?
Johnny: 57 or seven?
Johnny: So we average between 70 and 80 steps per organization.
Chad: Holy shit.
Johnny: And I don't think it's - they're not bad organizations, right? There's 80 steps in hiring somebody, right? That's insane, right? So when people kind of go and say I want to improve my recruiting process, they walk around an expo hall like this and go, I need to find a solution, right? I've always believed there is no solution. There's 80 steps and 80 ways to be better. So what I try to do is show 30 small things.
Johnny: And none of them on their own would be impactful. You kind of go, well that's not going to solve the world of hiring. But the inches thing from Al Pacino's Any Given Sunday talk is all the inches matter because they accumulate. And in a team sport, and hiring is a team sport, it's the inches that make the difference. So if you're taking approach to hiring and say, how do I fix it, let's break it down into the 80 steps, let's pick each one, pick the ones that most matter and make a difference on and add an extra inch. Like if I get a 25% better reply rate by changing my messages, well that's good. What if I add then, double my response rate from my engaged and if I get twice as many people to turn up for an interview.
Johnny: Tim Sackett, who you guys know well, have had on this podcast before, we were talking before the session, and he was saying he did some work with an organization that do high volume recruiting, right, so hourly work, and they were saying that that for every 10 people they invite to interview, two turn up. So they did a little bit of work with them to say, right, how can they turn that around? Because this is a problem with all kind of hourly hiring. So they said, well we want to make the people, we want to develop an experience that's going to improve those numbers. And they developed experience that improved it to nine out of 10. and all they did was, for the week between when they booked the interview and the interview is due to take place, they send a text message every day. The text message would be random, like, hey Joel, just double checking. Are we 9:00 AM or 8:00 AM? Can't remember. You reply back, go 9:00 AM. Okay, cool. Hey Joel, just before we come in for interview, let's double check I got your zip code, can you reply?
Johnny: They were formulaic. They built these 10 questions to text, and they were just catching up and confirming stuff that seemed like they were irrelevant, but when they interviewed the people that turned up to say, hey, why did you turn up? They said, you know what, this time around it felt like someone cared about me, like people actually gave a damn. And hourly hiring, companies don't often show that they're caring, but having these 10 touch points by text turned that around.
Johnny: So that's an example to me of like the inches. Do something that's super simple, anyone could do it, doesn't cost you any money and you can have a really impactful difference on one of the 80 steps that makes hiring better.
Joel: You can even automate that.
Johnny: Yeah, you can. [crosstalk 00:14:11] can automate it.
Joel: We've had companies call texting anti ghosting magic.
Joel: And this is an example, not automated in this case, but texting is sort of a cure all for not getting stood up for interviews.
Johnny: And this was Tim's point. He said there's automation software, but the companies he was dealing with, they are hotels and motels, who employ 50 people and he's like, so it's a big problem for them. Ghosting is a big issue, wastes a lot of management time, reduces the funnel, but they can't afford, it's not justified to have automation software. So he was like, just buy a burner, buy a burner phone for the office. That's the phone we text people from so that if people are off on shifts, there's always somebody replying. Add their contact details and that's the candidate phone.
Joel: Burnerphonerecruiting.com. I can see it now.
Chad: Tell Tim to quit being so damn cheap and just get a fucking texting platform. Jesus Christ.
Joel: All right, so the elephant in the room, automation is going to kill sourcing-
Joel: Change my mind.
Johnny: No, it will.
Joel: And we're done. And thank you. That's exactly what we're going to do on stage later. And done.
Johnny: 98% of sourcing should be automated, right, because it is literally people passing around the same Boolean search strings or they've got their own Boolean search string they copy and paste for the same search every single time, right? That's crazy. That's a stupid process for humans to do. You still got to do it in a lot of tools, like LinkedIn you still got to do it, right? But so 98% of this stuff, yeah gone. Now there's some real niche sourcing where it isn't just about the... You're not going to have a copy and paste Boolean search string. You're going to really think about where would I find this person? What data would that show?
Johnny: There's a lot of thinking that goes into that and there's a lot of permutations, right? Machines aren't good when there's a lot of permutations that have a lot of different interdependencies from various different datasets. It just multiplies out to the nth degree and there's too many different permutations for the machine to work with. Humans have great instincts about thinking about, well that person would or wouldn't do that. We managed to figure this stuff very well, but if it's rote stuff, hey LinkedIn sales managers in Idaho, copy paste, copy paste, machine learning, all that kind of stuff, kills that. So I think sourcing will be a very niche thing. So super high end, very well paid people who fill really difficult to fill roles that the machines can't but what most of us do with sourcing, like seriously, who loves copying and pasting this stuff into LinkedIn? It's awful.
Chad: The end of the day, I mean again, machines can do it faster.
Joel: And how close are we to this? Like how close are we till source con has eight people show up for sourcing conference.
Chad: It's all robots.
Johnny: You haven't seen the... Go back and look at the agenda for the last three source cons, right? Go back to when Jeremy was at running the agenda there. Back in his time, he started changing and really, really taken that, right? Source con, it was very few sessions about sourcing, right? Because the definition of sourcing has gone beyond that. There are sessions about selling, about influencing, about working with hiring managers, about how do you basically improve your outreach efforts. It's not about how do you write Boolean search strings. Like there's still a few of those and you've got people, IT, and the cost of getting up.
Johnny: But he's actually talking about the niche stuff these days. He's not talking about mainstream volume sourcing. I don't think anyone in that room believes that that is a future, but it's the... The definition had to be broadened and source con as a name probably doesn't work anymore because it's not really sourcing, but it's all the other stuff you've got to do and that's a recruiting... When you take away the sourcers, you don't reduce the size of the recruiting team. You put them to work doing better value added tasks, inputting, closing, getting the ratios better further down the funnel. Like it's just a funnel problem. You used to put all the work at the top of the funnel. Machines do that better. Like things like hiring solved. You guys have seen these kind of competitor tools. They do it better. Like in tests against humans, they outperform every time or most of the time.
Johnny: So that the top of funnel stuff is being sorted. But you have more recruiters doing mid and bottom stuff of the funnel that they never had to do before.
Joel: Yeah. So I totally get the, we should have humans doing more human things, reaching out, being brand ambassadors, those types of things. But I also see human beings looking at the bottom line and saying, we can cut heads.
Johnny: Yeah. Some teams will cut heads, right. So some teams will go, let's deliver the same service for less money. Dumb. Right. That's a no brainer. Some will go let's improve the service. So we'll take an example here. Kevin Blair, friend of mine, you guys know Kevin, he runs global TA for IBM, right? He's got like a team of 1,600 people. As he said, and this is kind of paraphrasing this, but every single year he's asked to get 15% more from the team with 15% less.
Johnny: Now he's not talking about reducing head count per se, but he absolutely... The business says, we got to get more and we got to deliver less. So he's got to force his team to look at the system, the tools, the processes that deliver more. Now rather than just cutting costs, including the team, which is one way they've done it, he's like, well where do we add revenue to the business, right? Because the business always sees recruiting and TA as a call center. So what are you going to do? You're going to cut it every year. Oh you got great new technology, brilliant. Do 10% less next year, like automation's going to do that. So they kind of looked, and his philosophy is more if I can prove that if I hire better people or more people in these, like in sales roles or consulting roles, I can produce more revenue for the business, then I get bigger budget, my at team can grow and we can do more things.
Johnny: So I think it comes down to how you think about it as a leader, right? Do you let the business continued to treat you as a call center and if so, yeah, you're going to have your budget slashed every year, and you're going to reduce head count. Or can you start thinking about revenue generation, more strategic stuff. How can I get the skill set of TA, which is people, analysis, influence and start contributing to the business from a revenue perspective?
Joel: What impact do you see GDPR and the trend of privacy and making sure data records online are protected and not shared, because there's a whole lot of sharing of resumes going on now. Talk about GDPR and what's eventually going to happen here in the states, and probably most of the developed world.
Johnny: My personal opinion, a waste of fucking time and a brilliant time to be a lawyer. So I was at a session 10 years ago and the quote... It was the first time I ever met Bill Boorman and I was quoted as saying that day, your Facebook settings don't scare me, to somebody, right? So I'm a believer that nothing is private. I accept the reality that people hack information, they find data. I used to be able to find a lot of data I couldn't find, online, people can do this, right? You can fool yourself into thinking that legislation gets rid of this and gives you privacy, right? It gives you the right to sue, but the data is out there, right? I was asked as example years ago, somebody said to me, you know, what's your most private data? And we were talking about, oh, my credit card details. I'm not going to tell someone that. And like, oh yeah, well you don't want that made public to the world, people's just pour through your credit card details, where you spend money.
Johnny: He's like, no. Like what if they gave you 3% back? If they gave you 3% back, would you share that data? And that makes most people stop and think, going how much do I spend?
Johnny: What's 3%? How important is it for this stuff to be private? Do I really care if people know what I spent in CVS or whatever? I think the incentives around privacy maybe just aren't aligned, right? But we live in a world where people, at the moment, want things to be locked down, they want that comfort, data privacy is an important thing. I think data mobility is more important. I think owning your data, being able to port it, which was the promise of blockchain, which was really interesting, hasn't really come about and that really excited me because rather than focusing on privacy, we talk about the mobility and the ownership. I think privacy isn't so much the problem. It's just that I don't want Facebook making money off my data. If someone's gonna make money off this data, I want a cut. I want to give it to charity. I don't want a private organization making money off it. So actually I think it's less about a privacy thing, but it's become a privacy thing and that's what gets all the headlines.
Joel: So I'll give you an example. We talked to hiring solved last November. They had 9 million profiles in Europe. They basically throw them away and said, we're just not going to do business in Europe. We've heard that dice shut down operations in Europe, partly due because of GDPR. So I guess in terms of context in our industry is GDPR going to quicken the pace of sourcing becoming obsolete or will it maybe create a wall or a slowing process or make sourcing more valuable I guess is what I'm asking.
Johnny: So you asked about content we have in our platform and how wide it is, right? We launched a GDPR for recruiting course last year on our platform for our users in Europe, which... Sorry, our global users, but only European ones paid attention to it. I wouldn't ever pretend to give someone advice in GDPR. I'm not a lawyer, right? So we found lawyers who are expert in GDPR, who worked with recruiters and recruiting companies, and could give that advice. And GDPR is a mess, right, as legislation goes, and there are so many back doors and holes that you can get around. So the organization's, like hiring solved and others who made decisions to pull out of Europe and dice, in my personal opinion, because I've never discussed it with any of those owners, is that they did it out of fear for the possible legislation, and what it would look to their brand, rather than sitting down and saying, Oh hang on, this is illegal.
Johnny: What they were doing wasn't necessarily illegal, right? Like we looked into GDPR and we took it into advisement we have an enterprise platform. We've got user data, you know, we had to get it ready for May last year as well and make sure it was ready. And again, all the advice I took, you can look, because the lawyers go, you should do this, you should do that. I go, what do I have to do? Like I get I should and I could. I could do loads of things, but some are going to cost me money and from my perspective, I was building software and therefore it was costing me develop points in sprints. I'm like, I want to build all these cool things for our customers. I got to throw it into GDPR, which produces zero money for me. I get it, but why do we have to do it?
Johnny: So we went and said, well, what do we actually have to do, and I pushed back on some of the legal arguments. And then, when you do that, you kind of realize the lawyer's going, yeah, but to be safe you should probably do that. It's like, hang on, to be safe's going to cost me two months of development work. There is no precedent that says I have to do this. And actually if I do this other thing, because again, the spirit of the law is about ownership of the data and as long as the user, the person who owns the data has control, and not the company-
Johnny: You're okay. So we kind of fell back to that, going, it's not that companies have the right to do this, that or the other. It's like as long as you maintain control for the person who owns the data and that always supersedes the companies, apart from this magic catchall called legitimate interest, which is the big thing that gets you out of jail for pretty much everything GDPR, until of course somebody gets sued and successfully gets prosecuted.
Joel: Legitimate interest. Yes.
Johnny: Legitimate interest. Yeah.
Joel: Anything else you want to talk about?
Johnny: About GDPR? Absolutely not.
Joel: Or anything. No, not GDPR.
Johnny: And so did you guys see Dan Heath's talk this morning? The opening keynote talk, Power of Moments? Have you guys ever read the Heath brothers, Chip and Don Heath, any of their books?
Johnny: So you've got to read these books, right? So they're not HR books, but they are brilliantly important for marketing and for people, right? So they wrote a book called Switch was their first book I think. And these guys look at behavioral psychology and apply it to the real world and look at the research. Bit like Dan Pink, only brothers, right? And they had book called the Power of Moments last year, right? The Power of Moments, on the face of it, is not an HR book, not a recruiting book, but if you're interested in candidate experience, hiring manager experience, employee experience, there isn't a better book in the world, right?
Johnny: And Don Heath got up, he's a great presenter. He got up this morning and blew me away as a keynote, because sometimes you get like, hey Martha Stewart's getting up and talking to you about recruiting. It's like, the heck does Martha Stewart know about recruiting, right? Nothing. Or Hillary Clinton gets up. It's like, well she's a big name, but what the hell has she got to do with recruiting? Nothing. So Don Heath got up this morning and talked about moments, right? But moments that matter. And he took the psychology principle called the peak end principle, and Danny Canoman, who won the Nobel Prize for psychology, several years ago, 20 years ago, he kind of came up with this theory, saying that any experience like your vacation, where'd you go on vacation last?