Interview: Mike Temkin of Shaker Recruitment Marketing

Chad & Cheese chat with industry veteran Mike Temkin, vice president of strategic planning and development. Enjoy this look into the past of recruitment marketing and a glimpse into the future.

It's a Nexxt Exclusive!


Disability Solutions is changing minds and changing lives through disability inclusion.

Announcer: When you're afforded the opportunity to interview a recruiting, marketing, and advertising icon, you take it. Or just do what we do, corner them and force them on the mic. It seems to work. Check out our interview with Mike Tempkin from Shaker Recruitment and Marketing, right after this word from our sponsor.

Nexxt: Okay, so you need candidates fast and you're sick and tired of being nickeled and dimed to death. I totally get it. You should check out FlexxPlan from Nexxt. It's perfect for employers and staffing firms who are busy. They need candidates and flexible pricing now.

Nexxt: FlexxPlan is also perfect for recruitment ad agencies who need targeted distribution and tools to help demonstrate client ROI. If you're sick and tired of all the BS, hassle, and just want candidates now check out Nexxt and Flex Plan with over 70 million members. Nexxt takes all of your jobs and puts each one in front of the best candidates across their entire ecosystem. No muss, no fuss. Nexxt does all the work and FlexxPlan makes it cost effective.

Nexxt: Check out everything Nexxt has to offer at That's, and if you like to save even more cash just go to, scroll down and click on the next logo, discounts a plenty. Remember, Nexxt with a double X. Not the triple X.

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: Give me some levels here, mic test.

Mike: Testing 1, 2, 3. Perfect, man. [crosstalk 00:02:05] Cut.

Chad: Check, check, check.

Mike: You two are right now in basically the middle of the epicenter of disruptive media. Disruptive HR, but definitely what podcasts are right now, are definitely growing tremendously. Legacy broadcasters are definitely having to embrace it after fighting it for a while, including recently Sirius XM buying Pandora and one of the initiatives they're doing right now is making sure that as much content as they have they can be utilized for podcasts.

Mike: Because right now, the statistic I saw most recently was that at this point, those who are regular podcast listeners listen to seven podcasts per week. What's been seen in a lot of media surveys and analysis is that a lot of that listening is during drive time, when they're commuting. Either on a train or in a car, really eroding broadcast market share. The two of you are really, at this point, very important.

Joel: So the question is, how many employers do you guys have podcasting right now, to take advantage of that growing- [crosstalk 00:03:16]

Mike: They could get Chad and Cheese to actually do some stuff for them.

Joel: Well that's a whole other conversation, I'm not sure any employer wants their brand going through that kind of mess.

Mike: Well, wait a second, we are talking to clients, employers, about how you can basically find the target, turn the content of a podcast, onto a skill set. So it's not necessarily always a broad audience, it's not all American life. And like your podcast, it's very qualitative, and niche, focused for who you're going after. But, now the question I have for you, and I'm sure you're gonna throw questions at me, all's fair- and this is relevant to those of us in the industry, so it's not irrelevant, is who do you think in the month of March, as well as February and January this year, was the biggest advertiser on podcasts-

Chad: ZipRecruiter!

Mike: That's right! Yep.

Joel: That would've been my guess.

Mike: Well you got it.

Joel: But they have yet to spend one penny on the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Chad: Which I love, because it gives us instant cred.

Joel: Yeah, for everyone who says we're being bought, ZipRecruiter, biggest money machine in the podcasting advertising market hasn't given us a penny.

Mike: All right, so Chad, you got it, number one. All right, so number two is square space- I'm sorry, no number two is Robinhood financial services. Number three is square space, number four, Indeed. Trying to catch up.

Joel: What's the first mattress on the list? Casper, purple-

Mike: That I didn't see. Actually, after Indeed I believe it was Quip who sells dental services.

Chad: Yeah, I had one of those.

Mike: And then after that was Geico insurance.

Joel: So maybe I'm just getting targeted for my nap prowess for mattresses. Maybe that's my problem.

Chad: So, already out of the gate, we've started an awesome-

Joel: And we didn't do an intro.

Chad: We didn't do an intro, so today-

Mike: I'm sorry.

Chad: No, this is awesome! Today, we have Mike Tempkin, what is your title? You're like the old man at Shaker-

Joel: Gandalf in Chief-

Chad: Thirty-one years like a wizard of recruitment, marketing-

Joel: Yoda executive.

Mike: Oh that's very generous and nice of you.

Chad: That's good shit, yeah man!

Mike: It's very- I mean, definitely-

Chad: Give me some background about you, dude you've been in this industry, you've seen change, we think we've seen change-

Joel: Tell us what year one was like for you in recruitment marketing for the kids out there.

Chad: In column inches.

Mike: Well year one actually for me, my background was consumer advertising at agencies and radio and television.

Chad: I was in radio.

Mike: And then, in 1984 basically Shaker had a client, and I had known the Shaker family through my own family and also through the work they do for St. Jude, for the research hospital. So we knew each other and they were looking for, to help a client who was doing IT job fairs in 1984 that was having trouble getting the applicant flow.

Joel: Who was the employer? Do you remember it was like-

Mike: It was a career fair-

Joel: Was it Jazzercise or-

Mike: No no no-

Chad: Was it Brass Ring?

Mike: No no no.

Chad: Because they started out as a career fair.

Mike: It was actually an independent woman if I remember correctly, and she was managing these job fairs in IT.

Chad: Nice!

Mike: And wasn't getting the flow that she needed for the job fairs. Shaker family came to me, said, "We need some help," and, "what do you think we could do?" And I mentioned, well at that point, 1984, I said, "Well, we can look at radio stations, we can identify to a certain extent the listenership by skill set, to a certain extent. And then basically advertise on those stations. So we had two stations, one was a classic rock and one was an album rock format.

Chad: Oh yeah, AOR.

Joel: Because techies love classic.

Chad: Oh shit yeah, and AR, that was the format.

Mike: So I do remember it was actually here in Chicago, it was WXRT which is one of the, I guess, ultimate, eclectic, album adult rock stations. And then it was WCKG which was the classic rock at that time. And we advertised on those two stations, and she got the applicant flow she needed to fulfill satisfaction with her clients, the companies, the employers who were there. And in meeting afterwards, I said, "Okay, how did it work, what was the difference?" And she said, "Well the people from radio, we didn't get as many as we'd get from print, but the quality was better." And I said, "Well, why was the quality better?" And she said, "Because they're currently working."

Chad: Ahhh.

Mike: You know, their skills were up to speed, they didn't have to be trained on certain languages or components, and I guess as far as recruiting, the shark effect was handled by the candidate generation through media.

Chad: Yeah.

Mike: So I listened to that, again my background was health & beauty products, retailers and apparel and furniture, theater and entertainment, and so some direct response advertising, which you think about it, recruitment marketing is just direct response advertising, but instead of selling let's say exercise equipment or books or records or clothing, we're selling jobs. And instead of cash, we're looking for the resume.

Mike: So, looking at that, I went, "Okay, this was intrusive advertising." You know, classified advertising, be it print in the old days or job boards today, is basically directory advertising. People are directed to go there, to look for certain information. How do you use media to intrude upon people who don't expect the message. Who right now are pretty much complacent and content with their current job. But like any sort of consumer advertising, you put the pebble in the shoe, you basically in some ways address that complacency, that being content, with certain components, certain differentiators that are going to make a company and an opportunity possibly more attractive to- I guess, well later on, I said, and you know Chad from you're background I'm sure, for mass communication, that's what all consumer advertising is. Is just general using these mass consumer components. For recruitment though, It's a little different, you differentiate it, okay this is intrusive advertising because you're intruding upon the person when they least expect it. You know, 5:20 on a Monday afternoon, a radio spot in drive time. Someone's leaving work-

Chad: The stop set.