If you thought Google was going to be content offering its Hire product to small businesses, well, you're in for a surprise. Big G recently announced it would be supporting Enterprise customers as well. Look out LinkedIn ... and, um, every popular ATS on the planet. The boys have a chat with one of Google's early enterprise customers and the results are ear-worthy to say the least.
Enjoy this Uncommon exclusive.
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
Chad: Dude, we're always talking about cool new tech but it's hard for hiring companies to change. Adoptions a bitch.
Chad: New tech can get them to qualified candidates so much faster.
Joel: I know man, but recruiters already have the routine in place and nobody wants to jump into another platform, especially when it's expensive and also requires hours, maybe, days of training.
Chad: Exactly, but that's where Uncommon's new service comes into play. Uncommon pairs expert recruiters with in-house, kick-ass technology.
Joel: All right. Interesting, interesting. It sounds like Uncommon understands the problem of change.
Chad: That's why they hand select veteran recruiters, train them on this kick-ass technology that has access to over 100 million active profiles.
Joel: Yeah, yeah. But I bet they're expensive and I bet it requires some kind of annual commitment or contract, right?
Chad: No, man. Uncommon is not an agency. They don't require a contract, any contingencies. All they do, they charge one flat fee per projects, saving, I don't know, anywhere from 50-80% on each hire versus the average agency cut.
Joel: Oh, snap! Companies could save big stacks of paper. Especially if they're rapidly scaling and need hires today.
Chad: Yep. All you have to do is reach out to Teg and the Uncommon crew at Uncommon.co. That's Uncommon.co.
Joel: Change doesn't have to be a pain if you're using Uncommon.
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, brash opinion and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.
Chad: Oh yeah.
Joel: All right, all right, all right. What's up gang? We have a special treat today. We talk about Google more than most human beings on the planet, particularly hire Google for jobs and their job search API. Today we actually have a big ass company who's using Hire by Google to talk about it and tell us about her experience. Amy Smith, head of talent at Framestore out of London, England. She thinks she's too British for the show. I don't think so. Amy, how are you?
Amy: Good, thank you.
Joel: Thanks for joining us. Give us just a quick snapshot of you and your job and what Framestore does because Chad and I had no idea but the company is badass. So, tell us a little about Framestore.
Amy: Sure. So, as you said earlier, I am the head of talent.
Chad: There it is.
Amy: Yeah, have to give it that emphasis. Which means that I oversee all of our recruitment, but also look at retention. So, great, we get the talented people here but how do we keep them here once we've done that? Then, in terms of Framestore, so, Framestore is a digital content studio. Which basically means, we make computer generated images for any screen you can think of. So, film screen, TV screen, mobile screen, installation VR headset, you name it. Some of the stuff we've worked on lately, which I think you're referring to, we worked on Avengers: Endgame.
Chad: Oh my god.
Amy: Yeah. Yeah. We made smart Hulk, amongst other things.
Joel: Who cares about Endgame. She just said VR-
Chad: Oh geeze.
Joel: On our podcast.
Chad: See one of the biggest box office hits and then Joel goes down the fucking VR rabbit hole again.
Joel: Hey. Amy is super bullish on VR, I can tell. I can tell in her voice.
Chad: Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, the new Spiderman movie that's coming out. I actually told you before we got on, Amy, took my daughter to see Alita: Battle Angel twice and there's so much cool graphics in that movie. I mean, when I say what you guys did, I was like, I was so stoked. I was happy that we actually didn't have Tarquin on the show and we got to talk to you instead.
Joel: Yeah, just wait until she creates a VR headset experience for getting a job at Framestore. Then maybe you'll pay attention to VR.
Chad: Yeah. So, what's the possibility of that happening any time soon, Amy?
Amy: Well. You know, we've made a VR experience where we can have you walk on the moon.
Chad: Walk on the moon?
Joel: That's cool.
Amy: Yeah. It was something we did in collaboration with Samsung. Yeah. We put you in a rig, basically, that secretly weights you and then it simulates for you the weight you would be on the moon. Then we put you in a VR headset that shows you the moon and you bounce up and down as if you were actually walking on the moon.
Chad: So, you have to do all this and then we're on a podcast to talk to you about your applicant tracking system. Jesus.
Amy: Yep. I know.
Joel: I feel like I'm doing everybody a disservice with this first question.
Chad: So that's the big thing. Right? And it's cool because working with the Tarquin and the team over there, they were like, "Look, don't talk to us. Talk to our clients." And we were lucky enough to actually get you on the show.
Chad: You are one of the very first enterprise customers for Hire by Google, and they just announced that they went from SMB and they're moving toward enterprise. How does that feel to be on the leading edge?
Amy: Actually it's been awesome because Google are obviously really keen to make it work, so they've been amazingly helpful, and they've made it incredibly smooth to make the transition as a result. We sort of get the opportunity to beta to test things for them and that's really great going from our previous solution which was a long-standing solution where, getting any kind of change which was almost impossible, to now dealing with Google who is so keen to hear feedback is just brilliant.
Chad: Okay, so who was that? Who did you move from?
Amy: Dun dun dun, the dreaded Taleo.
Chad: See, the interesting thing Amy, is that Taleo, back in the day, first it was called "RecruitSoft", it was known as almost the same as Google now because it really was focused on just ease of use and it's turned into this crazy piece of shit that you just can't use.
Amy: Because Oracle bought it, basically it was fine until Oracle bought it.
Joel: Bam. Amy pulls no punches, I love it.
Chad: So there are plenty of other brands in the industry, why choose an unproven product like Hire? Cause they're still proving it, it hasn't been out that long and it's only been SMB. You guys are a relatively large company, why go with an unproven product?
Amy: The one thing that we did like about Taleo was that if you're familiar with it you can customize it a lot yourself. We had customized it very heavily and I was a Super User, so we could make it do most things that we wanted. So, there didn't really seem any point moving to anything else on the market at the time because where we would make wins in some aspects, we would lose in others.
Amy: And the difference with Hire was that we're using at Framestore the rest of G Suite for business. So for us, it was about the fact that it synced up all of our work tools, because the big thing Taleo couldn't do for us was sync up with our meeting room calendars, so we were doing things like booking interviews twice. Once in our actual calendars and once in Taleo.
Amy: All these things, and that ability to sync all our work tools together was the big sell for us.
Joel: I'm curious because there are listeners out there, companies that say, "I wish I could be Google's guinea pig. Why did Google pick you? Was it because you're already using G Suite and the relationship with the IT department, do they have a special relationship with you? Why did you guys get picked?"
Amy: Honestly I actually don't know. I reached out to them when Hire was first announced and said, "Look I know you're only interested in SME (SMB in the US) and you're only interested in the US at the moment, but we would be very interested in having a conversation with you when you are thinking about going larger." And then when they were, they reached back out to us. So I don't know what the decision making at Google was about that, but I guess we'd shown interest.
Joel: It sounds like you just took some initiative. What a novel concept. Good for you, Amy. Good for you. Good.
Joel: You're very outgoing for British people.
Amy: Not the norm.
Chad: So, the case study that Google's put out is entitled fifty percent uplift in hiring manager engagement, which is one of the hardest things to do. One of the reasons why many companies lose great candidates, great talent, is because the hiring managers don't move fast enough because they're not engaged in the process and or the system. So this is big, so can you explain what that actually means fifty percent uplift in hiring manager engagement?
Chad: Where was the uplift? Why was the uplift? How did this all happen just by using Hire?
Amy: Yeah, sure. So, essentially I could probably count on one hand, the number of hiring managers who actually looked at candidates in Taleo, and I think there are a few reasons why that changed.
Amy: One was a single login. So obviously with Taleo they had to login to a separate system, with Hire they don't. But also, I just think it's that familiar interface thing because we're using the rest of the G Suite tools.
Amy: When we sent out the email saying, "Here's the link." And they clicked on it, it looked like something they were familiar with and it was easy to navigate and it was straight-forward and what the fifty percent uplift looks like is without any training, we fully anticipated we were gonna have to training and without any training all of a sudden, hiring managers were pinging us about candidates that we weren't even aware they'd seen.
Amy: Because they just gone in there and started looking at stuff. What is happening right now?
Chad: We're just talking about something that just looks and feels familiar to them, right? So they're used to G Suite? It looks and feels familiar, so they just jumped right in without any training?- Is that what you're saying?
Amy: Yep. That's what I'm saying.
Amy: Worldwide as well, not just in one location. [crosstalk 00:10:49]
Joel: Wow, wow, wow. How big is your team, Amy?
Amy: There's about eleven of us world-wide.
Chad: How many hiring managers do you serve?
Amy: Oh, lots. I actually haven't counted them.
Joel: The, "Uh" really tells me a lot. There's a shit ton of them, yeah.
Joel: So, Amy, whether you know you're using it or not, you're instantly going up to Google for jobs and you're also using the Google Search capability, so you've talked a little bit about how you're recruiting team is benefited by the switch to Google.
Joel: Can you talk at all about the candidates or quality of candidates, or even the user experience, as part of using hire?
Amy: One thing I've noticed is that our jobs definitely have more visibility now. One of the problems we had with Taleo was actually the way that our instance of Taleo was set up. Our jobs were effectively hidden from Google Search, which was massively helpful to us.
Amy: Fortunately with Framestore we work on Endgame, so a lot of people knew to find us. But yeah, it wasn't ideal. So, already just the fact that if you search, "Framestore jobs", they actually come up or, "visual effects jobs", they come up.
Amy: That's really helpful. Then I think the other thing is that the application forum is so much easier to fill in and there's no sign-in for candidates so that whole thing of having to sign-in to your account and update your details and all of that stuff was gone.
Amy: You literally just fill in some basic details and hit submit. You can do that as many or as few times as you like. I think that's hugely beneficial to candidates and then, let's not forget, with our hiring managers being all over it you're now also getting a response from us much, much more quickly than you ever were before.
Joel: Any anecdotal evidence by candidates that user experience is so much better? Do they come in interviews and say, "Wow it was so easy to apply and use the system.", and they really enjoyed it, or not so much?
Amy: Honestly we've only been using it since January so we haven't actually surveyed that and we don't have any anecdotal evidence. No one's said anything as such, but certainly no one's complained.
Amy: One of the things we had with Taleo was candidates who would write to our general email address and say, "I've had problems applying.", for one reason or another. We haven't had any of that with Hire.
Chad: It really doesn't make much sense that doing everything else on the web, you can buy things, you can do whatever you want, without having to quote unquote, "create an account", never really understood why we still have to create an account an applicant tracking system.
Chad: But, on the integration kinda like transition, moving from Taleo to Hire by Google, how was integration? I'm sure you had a ton of candidate records, did you migrate those over into Google? Or how did that actually work?
Amy: Yeah, so we did. We migrated all of our data which was seventy-seven thousand candidate profiles, and I have to confess and I hope Google don't mind me saying this, that we did have a bit of problem with our data migration because we were one of the first of this size to do it.
Amy: And they learned some things along the way, but actually the good thing is that we fed back and everything that was a problem has been fixed and its now fine. So, although there were some teeny problems, they were things that could be resolved, so it wasn't a complete disaster and like I said, people have learned from the experience and they know what to do next time they have a customer as large or larger than we are.
Amy: I didn't mind that so much particularly as they were so keen to get it right and so fast to respond to anything that went wrong, and our account manager Jessica is just awesome and she's been brilliant.
Amy: We've had at least a weekly conversation with Jessica since we started this process so, I can't complain about it. Given that I didn't even know who my account manager at Taleo was, having a weekly call is something of a turn-up for the books.
Chad: So this is a message to Taleo, get your shit together. So, as you have seventy plus thousand candidate records in your database, one of the things is that Hire has been pressing and I thought was really cool is that there is this automatic candidate surfacing piece that is in, so that when you post a job, it automatically serves up candidates in your database that could perspectively be qualified for that job.
Chad: Are you seeing that? Is it working? If so, is it working pretty well, or does the algorithm need help?
Amy: It's working now. When we first started the algorithm wasn't working. It was a thing between brilliant search and not brilliant search and which one it was doing and it was being weird. But it's resolved now and it works really well now.
Amy: It's definitely turning up the right profiles of people. Now, whether they're people with previously dismissed rather reasons or not is a different thing, but, there's not necessarily a way the algorithm could know that.
Amy: It's definitely turning up the right profiles of people for sure.
Joel: Amy, you mentioned some problems with the data migration, so let's dig into some other problems or things that maybe Google Hire doesn't do yet that's on your wish-list. What would that look like?
Amy: When we first rolled out, offer approvals wasn't in Hire, that's recently gone in in the last month. That's now been resolved, but that was definitely something to start with, and obviously we've now got a bit more data migration to do cause we've got to migrate in all the offers that we were doing externally for a couple of months.
Joel: Amy, would you dare say that you love your current ATS?
Joel: Cause you may be the first person in history.
Amy: Well, that's a lot of pressure now to say that.
Amy: Can I say I like my current ATS, with a view that may be a longer relationship I might love it?
Chad: I like that.
Joel: You can say that, sure.
Joel: I like it a lot. [crosstalk 00:16:57]
Chad: I like it a lot.[crosstalk 00:16:58]
Amy: Oh no, I knew that was gonna happen; mocking the accent. Reports, that's the other thing that I think still needs some work is reporting.
Amy: There are reports in there and the reports that are there are great, but if you want to do something fairly custom, that involves basically downloading all of your data into an Excel spreadsheet and then interrogating it from there which is obviously not ideal when you have seventy-seven thousand candidate records.
Amy: Cause that takes a while to download, but for example, one of the things we used to do in Taleo was a weekly scheduled report for certain departments that needed to know certain information about who was joining the business or- that kind of thing.
Amy: And you can't do any of that kind of reporting at the moment in Hire, so, that's definitely one of the things that I think we're looking for improvements on but I know its on their road map.
Chad: So, in the case study it also refers to increased candidate response time to "almost instant". Now, okay almost instant is pretty damn good. Why do you believe it has gone to almost instant? What is Google doing to be able to help you get candidates their response time is so fast?
Amy: What happens is when someone applies, the hiring managers gets a notification, if they've chosen to have those on and a lot of our hiring managers have been trustingly. If I have the choice to define that for them, I probably would have switched that off for them, but actually a lot of them have chosen personally to keep that on.
Amy: So they get that notification and they're like, "Oh I'm gonna click on that." And they look at their candidate and they look interesting and within about five minutes after the candidate applying, the recruiter has a notification from the hiring manager saying, "I like this person, let's meet them.".
Amy: And if the recruiter says they do, then there's an email that's gone back to the candidate after no more than ten minutes saying, "Hey, just saw you apply to come in and meet us.". I mean that's phenomenal.
Chad: So, the experience itself, and companies are always talking about candidate experience, makes sense because again, candidates could be customers. Many of those companies have very verbose kind of cosmetic experiences on their site. Tons of content, all that stuff. You guys don't, and Hire really doesn't.
Chad: Hire is very "keep it simple" stupid and it's very bare-bones. Do you believe that's one of the reasons why candidates get through the process so quickly and do you think that, maybe, you might need to have something that has more content-rich information or do you think the "keep it simple" stupid process is really perfect for you guys?
Amy: So for our experienced artists, the "keep it simple" stupid process really, really works and I just have to explain a little bit more about how the industry works. So, most people in this industry are on what we call, fixed term contracts which basically means they have a start-date and an end-date of them rather than being permanent.
Amy: And the reason for that is obviously this industry is project-driven, and so it may be that for example, we run out of work for a particular kind of skill set at the end of a project, but it might also be that an individual wants to move around from project to project. We've got this show, but the studio down the road might have Superman or might have Star Wars, or might have something that they particularly really want to go and work on and so they just work on a project for us, and then they go down the road and work on a project somewhere else.
Amy: It means that we have artists who move around a lot between studios, and so when they apply back to us they don't need the job description. They don't need to know what the job is, they don't even need to know how many frames there are; they know who we are, they know what the job is cause its the same job they've done at fifteen studios before us.
Amy: All they want to do is get us their details quickly. For those people, Hire is perfect. I would say though at the more junior end, at our entry-level and internships and all of that stuff, I do think having more content available would be valuable to help them really understand cause I think if you're a new grad or you're at a school; you worry about what the work environment looks like and who you might be working with and- how much is gonna be expected of me and my first job and that kind of thing.
Amy: I think having content that could help reassure people at that level would be hugely valuable.
Joel: Add it to the wishlist, I guess for Google.
Joel: Amy, so you know Google makes a lot of money when people click ads on their main search and we've speculated for a while on this show that eventually you'll be able to post on Google for jobs and have those jobs boosted in some fashion, where you as the advertiser pay for those clicks, for that added exposure. Is that something that they've talked about with you to test? Is that something that you'd like to see in the future?
Amy: They haven't mentioned that as being on their road map. Although we're getting hopefully a road map update in the next couple of weeks, so it might be.
Amy: But they haven't spoken about it yet, but I think definitely its something that would be of interest for particular roles. I don't think we'd do it for all of our jobs, but for certain hard-to-fill roles I think it would be really helpful to have that as something you could bolt onto a job.
Joel: I'm sure they would agree with you. I'm curious, what are you using in term of job boards now? Because as you know, on Google for jobs, they'll show your listings but also people could still apply through other job sites. So, talk a little bit about what you're doing externally and how that interacts with your Google Hire experience.
Amy: So here's what's interesting about our industry. People in the majority of jobs in our industry don't go on job boards. There are only really a finite number, I would say certainly less than fifty, major visual effects studios in the world, and so if you want to work in this industry you generally learn who they all are and you just go to them direct. You certainly don't go on to Monster or any of the sort of, bigger job boards out there because that's just not where these jobs are.
Amy: So in that sense, we don't really post. Obviously that's different if you're talking about some of our support departments. Like every company, we have marketing and finance and HR, and all those departments and obviously those will go up on the traditional job boards.
Amy: But through Hire, we already have integration with Monster, with Glassdoor, with Indeed, so you're already hitting some of the larger ones anyway in terms of profile.
Amy: And obviously LinkedIn, offer you job wrapping if you've got company page, so that's happening as well. We generally find, I'm gonna touch wood now, that we don't need to post on other boards as well; that it's kind of working for us as it is.
Joel: Can you see a day where you don't post on job boards at all for any positions?
Amy: Maybe, although I still think for those that have support departments, like you guys said before we started, you had no idea who Framestore was, why would you?
Amy: You know, if you don't work in this industry, you wouldn't necessarily. I think probably for support departments, there's still value in posting more widely than just on our own website and on Google search.
Joel: But you are saying there's a chance.
Amy: I think there is a chance cause I'll develop that VR experience and then everyone in the world will just try it out [crosstalk 00:24:29]
Chad: I think Joel was messaging you on Facebook Messenger or something like that, that was a coordinated effort, I could feel it.
Chad: So, as you were talking about before, many of the applicant tracking systems that are out there, one of the biggest issues companies have is service. They don't even know who to call, when they're having issues, for what issues, there's so many different departments; it seems very kind of fractured out there, with Google.
Chad: And I know it's very early, especially with Hire and you're one of the first enterprise customers, what is your experience been? And, what would you say to pretty much any startup out there also, Hire, really being a startup at this point, to be able to focus on customer service in scalability?
Amy: Our experience of Hire and their customer service has been phenomenal. As I said, Jessica, our customer account manager is available all the time. She's really fast to respond to things.
Amy: We've had a weekly call with her since we started this process and she's happy to continue that for as long as we want. It's driven by us, not by her. I know that she has other clients as well, we are by no means her only customers, but she makes us feel like we are almost. She's also really good at, where she has a client who has solved a problem that we're coming up against, she might put us in touch directly with another customer which I also think is interesting.
Amy: So you could actually directly share customer experience which I think, why not? That's hugely valuable and I think in terms of talking to other startups, I think that piece is a huge difference and no question has been too silly and I think that's the other thing.
Amy: I think sometimes when you buy a piece of software you get your implementation team and they've been through this a million times before and they give you a timeline that's a calendar and they go, "Okay. This is it, this is what we're gonna do when, this is what we need from you when. Great let's go.".
Amy: And you kind of feel like, "Oh, I've got some really dumb questions, but they seem so confident they know what they're doing, I don't wanna ask.", whereas with Jessica she was like, "Ask me anything. Doesn't matter, there's no stupid questions. We're new, you're new to us. Ask." And she's been true to that word, we've asked her some very dumb questions and she's made us feel really stupid sometimes, but that's okay. That's absolutely fine.
Amy: It's been really good and like you said, I have a very good anecdote about Taleo. It was the day of our Christmas party, and Taleo went down and it said it was because we hadn't paid and I checked with our finance team and we had paid. So, I tried calling the last person who told me they were our account manager in the U.S, and couldn't get through to them.
Amy: Got bounced to India, by this point I'm in the taxi on the way to our Christmas party. The person in India couldn't help me and bounced me to Ireland, where I got through to a lady who was packing up for her Christmas holidays and said, "I don't have anything to do with account services whatsoever, I have no idea why you got through to me but I feel for you and I'm gonna try and sort this out for you.".
Amy: And so she helped me, and I only missed about the first hour of our Christmas party, but that's just typical of a lot of people's experiences I think.
Chad: Not only are they screwing up every day in the office because they had this kind of system that is not workable, they're screwing up your Christmas party, Amy and that [crosstalk 00:28:02]
Joel: Such an asshole!
Chad: That's gone too far.