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Live from RECex in Europe

If you thought you'd heard everything from the Chad & Cheese European Tour in Lisbon for TAtech, well, think again. Here's their session on A.I. from RECex.

Enjoy this Uncommon exclusive.


Chad: Enjoy this special RECex edition of the Chad & Cheese from TAtech Europe after a quick word from our sponsor.

Chad: Dude, we're always talking about cool new tech, but it's hard for hiring companies to change. I mean adoption's a bitch.

Joel: Yup.

Chad: New tech can get them to qualify candidates so much faster.

Joel: I know man, but recruiters already have their 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 inhouse kickass 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 kickass 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 project, saving, I don't know, anywhere from 50 to 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: Yup. And all you have to do is reach out to Teg and the Uncommon crew at That's

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, rash opinion and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls. It's time for the Chad & Cheese Podcast.

Joel: Wake up all you Euro trash fuckers.

Joel: Chad, we're screwed dude. The presentation before us said they'd make up their minds in three seconds.

Chad: They've already made up their minds.

Joel: Totally. Who's a listener? A few of you. Excellent, excellent. If you don't, something's wrong with you and you should tune in.

Joel: So we're here to talk about what? AI, automation, the end of the world as we know it, basically.

Chad: Jobs. Yeah, yeah. So, first and foremost, who is sick and tired of hearing AI all the goddamn time?

Joel: I'm sick of seeing at every booth in every trade show that you see.

Chad: Yeah. It's interesting because when we sat down with a bunch of individuals from SHRM who are on the Talent Acquisition and HR side, their hands went up quickly, but yet they didn't feel like they would even be engaging or using AI. And, in most cases-

Joel: But they've got to buy it because everyone says I need AI, even though I'm not really sure what AI is and I don't know what your AI is versus the other vendors' AI.

Chad: But the big question is, why is it so hard to understand what AI is?

Joel: There's many different types of AI, Chad, and I think you've been to Wikipedia recently and you know if you have the different variations of a-

Chad: I'll get my phone out. Okay, so we hear the ... just breaking it down easy because we're dumb guys and we like to make it easy. Narrow AI, also known as weak AI, if you remember Garry Kasparov getting beat by IBM, the chess master getting beat by IBM, that is what you would call narrow AI. That means that algorithm was smarter than that man, that grand champion wizard master, whatever the hell he was.

Joel: It's a bit more decision tree and machine learning kind of AI versus the actual self aware stuff that Google and Microsoft are working on.

Chad: Yeah, but, see, and that's the problem. See, that's where people get hung up is they think AI, every aspect of AI, is self aware, but it's not. It's baby steps to be able to get to the super-

Joel: We've got a while before the Terminator shows up.

Chad: So yeah.

Joel: And the sex robots, unfortunately.

Chad: And fortunately for China. So narrow AI, do we have that today in our industry? Yes, we do have narrow AI in our industry. You take a look at some of the technologies that are out there today, just one quick example. Three years ago, a little company called Brilent 4:44] went to SourceCon, came in third and that algorithm did in six seconds what the winner did in, I think it took 24 hours.

Joel: So it took on three other humans sources, I believe. Experts.

Chad: It took on more than that. So being able to actually outpace humans in a much faster, quicker, more efficient way is, obviously, part of that definition, so narrow AI. Just like, again, IBM computer, Big Blue beating, or Deep Blue beating Garry Kasparov, right? What did that computer do well? Chess. Could it make tea? No. Could it do anything else? No. Could it even tell the difference between a dog and a cat? No. It could do chess.

Joel: Shallow, I get it. I get it, I'm with you.

Chad: Narrow or weak. So the next level would be general or strong AI, which we're not even close to approaching yet. That would allow that narrow band to actually broaden up and do much more of those different tasks. Not separate algorithms, but an algorithm to be able to actually do more of those tasks just as well as, obviously, human beings and then "Super" is pretty much Terminator, life's over.

Joel: So June 13th, 2016, does anyone know what happened on that day? On that day, Microsoft announced its acquisition of LinkedIn. And I would argue that that was the start of the arms race in our industry for AI automation in employment. So 26 billion dollars was the acquisition cost, actually 26.2 billion. At that point, Google said, "Holy shit." Facebook said, "Holy shit." Up until then, classified was like a one billion dollar a year business, Monster's valuation was around there at the time. So that wasn't really enough to get their heart racing, but 26 billion for a little 500 million people in a directory got their attention.

Joel: So, when we look at who's on the cutting edge of the AI that you're talking about beyond the shallow stuff, you've got to look at Microsoft, Google and Facebook in our industry. Those guys are doing real AI stuff. In fact, I would argue that many of the vendors in our space are leveraging their APIs to say that they have AI, even though they're really leveraging Watson, Microsoft or Google.

Chad: Right. And asking CEO Scott Gutz of Monster who, they need some fucking product, their answer was, "Yeah, we should take a look at products like that and build around them. I mean, that's strong, those are strong products, we should built around those products." So does it make sense that these big companies should be driving our industry, or they have been.

Joel: Yeah, and it's a double-edged sword because you're using Google Search to power all your job search activities, but, guess what? Google's learning a lot by having you plug their Search capabilities into your job board or corporate website. So, in a way, you're sort of sticking the knife into your own back by letting Google into the house, a Trojan horse, if you will, to learn more about how people search for jobs and what they're looking for. Although you're getting a good search technology and you're able to lay off a lot of tech people and save a lot of money in the process.

Chad: Save a lot of money, not to mention, you just get better results overall, better candidate engagements, getting your candidates to stick around longer to be able to actually apply to jobs. Companies are actually saying more performance-based [crosstalk 00:08:16]-

Joel: There are tons of stories on saving money on customer service. Apparently, there are a lot fewer calls coming in about, "How do I search for a job," doing a Google search, yeah because of your search sites.

Chad: And then moving beyond that, the applicant tracking system, which is also embedded with AI and automation. One of the big pieces that, and they just went, believe it or not, enterprise, "enterprise", with Hire, by Google. The thing that I love seeing within it, and something that does as well, is the candidate matchup piece, being able to utilize the data you already have in your database, or your client already has in their database, and they've already spent money on those candidates to be able to surface them and get that hopefully in the pipeline much quicker. That's already embedded in Hire, by Google.

Chad: The big question is, when's that going to be popped out as an enterprise API? Because it will be popped out as an Enterprise API, which means everybody else is going to have the same type of technology, AI, embedded into their-

Joel: And, by the way, how does that impact job postings? If I can just search for candidates already in my database or this whole thing called LinkedIn which is 650 and growing, million user profiles around the world, how important is actually posting a job which impacts a lot of you who may be at job boards? I would contend that job boards are becoming less important and commoditized, which I believe, Google for

jobs is also doing as well.

Chad: Yeah, see, and I don't believe that because I believe job boards are still strong from one standpoint, and that's data. That's one of the reasons why they're getting so much traffic, not from traffic from the standpoint of actual dollars, so much of investment dollars is because of the data. If they can use that AI, if they can use that matching to be able to ensure that they can get to the candidate much quicker, that's one of the things that job boards can do to pivot into this new age of tech.

Joel: Well, if you'd rather have Monster's data than LinkedIn's data, then you have at it. But I'd rather have LinkedIn's data and Google's data.

Chad: Well, Google buys Monster's data. I don't think that works.

Joel: No one's buying Monster, let's get that out of the way.

Chad: So from a sourcing standpoint, you take a look at it ... when we were talking to, and actually had a sourcer get pissed off at me on Facebook this week because we were talking about-

Joel: You pissed somebody off?

Chad: Yeah, that's what happens. So Johnny Campbell, you might know Johnny Campbell, he's on the podcast. He popped it off this weekend, he said that 98%, he believes, just throwing out a number, 98% of sourcing should be automated, should be automated today. Not tomorrow, not in five years, today should be automated with the technology that's available. Now, we're actually seeing that. We're seeing RPOs actually go after high volume with programmatic, first and foremost, for active matching from the sourcing standpoint going into different databases, whether it's their database or clients' database, whatever it is. So going after those candidates from active and a passive standpoint, pulling them in at that point, going for engagement so automatically starting either with text messaging, email and then also offering that chat bot, which we haven't talked about yet, capability.

Chad: So after you're going through that process, some cases, some of these processes within 10 minutes of actually having an engagement with a candidate within under 10 minutes, they'll be scheduled for an interview.

Joel: What I think is cool about, you know, you if think of LinkedIn and Microsoft as an asteroid and maybe Google a secondary asteroid, there have been some natural examples today. When you have the asteroid hit, you have the mammals come up and smaller animals take over. So, in a similar way, you're seeing these smaller companies, the chat bots, the text messaging, the programmatic players be smaller, but come up in the world and you're seeing ATSs realizing that, "Hey, job boards have suffered through this new reality, now we have to prepare for what's coming. Hire by Google, you mention, going enterprise, that should get the attention of a lot of ATSs.

Joel: So now they're trying to be the one stop shop platform, so you look at Jobvite recently in the States backing up the Brinks truck and buying Talemetry, RolePoint and Canvas. That was because the asteroid came, now we have to prepare for the survival of our tracking system going into the future. So you're seeing a lot of these smaller players, consolidations are happening and consolidation will continue to happen, I think, because of this new reality with automation and AI.

Chad: So I'm going to call it audible because I took a picture of a slide, imagine that. And a company was talking about automation and how it has helped them thus far. So 57% of online applications an ad, or 57% of applications per month through their system because they had a shitty process in the first place. They started using chat bots to be able to engage and they started to see more applications.

Joel: It's as big a deal in Europe as it is in the States. God, we talked about it in every conference.

Chad: It seems that chat bots, automation, some type of at least form of connection and/or not sending them to a black hole, I don't know.

Joel: Anti-ghosting magic.

Chad: Is magic. And in this case, 66% less from the ghosting side of the house, which means 6% more individuals showed up for interviews and, obviously in this case, high volume day one. And then, 73% decrease in cost per hire, 73% decrease in cost per hire. This is their numbers-

Joel: That's a lot of money.

Chad: ... coming from the actual company. So once again, we talk about AI, automation, all the glitter and that other fun stuff. The thing that we need to really be focusing on first is process over technology and then problems over technology. That's what this company did. They focused on blowing up their process because this technology was going to provide them with more efficiencies. They didn't just try to layer over more technologies and they also focused on the problem, as they understood the problem. Not, "I need a chat bot," or, "I need to do programmatic, everybody's doing programmatic." Yeah, you probably do, but first and foremost, what the hell's your problem? What's your process methodology? How can we make this much easier for you, more targeted, performance driven and then you start to seeing numbers out of this.

Chad: This is one of the reasons why the sourcer was pissed at me this week, because there's actual proof out there that, to be quite frank, if you're doing it right, you could push those sourcers into more of a brand ambassador position, if you'd like. There's many more things that they can do much better within the organization.

Joel: So much of this reminds me of our conversation with Colin Day of iCIMS who said, "You know, my competition isn't the new ATS or the new CRM or the new Talent Management system. It's all the clutter and noise in the industry to try to get a customer or prospect to actually talk to me and understand what I'm doing versus all the noise that's out there." So, I think that when we talk to you guys, if this is overwhelming, I think imagine what your customers and prospects feel when they're getting calls from chat bots, programmatic advertising solutions, text recruiting, job boards, ATSs, CRM.

Chad: We had a room full of HR professionals, TA professionals, we asked who is using, or knows about, Google For Jobs. Two people raised their hand.

Joel: There they are.

Chad: Two people in that group. And everybody-

Joel: And me. Now there's three. Okay.

Chad: Everybody else looked at us, everybody else looked at us like they had deer in the headlights, they had no clue what the hell we were talking about. Had no clue because there's so much coming after these guys. Talent acquisition has so much that's being thrown at them every single day which is one of the reasons why I'm going to go find an agency to put in between so that they can take all this shit. They don't know what's going on. They don't understand. They don't understand the process. They don't understand their problem. They are getting bombarded by everything. So when it comes down to it, we have to focus on process. We have to focus on problem. As soon as we get those two pieces figured out, it makes so much more sense from an ROI standpoint, and you start getting the numbers that I shared with you earlier.

Joel: Companies are looking for a consultant, whether that's an agency or a trusted vendor, it's too much. I know I need AI. I know I need programmatic. I know I need this chat bot thing, but I'll know who to go to and what to do exactly. So if you could do that for them-

Chad: Those numbers not only lead to a happy client, but a retained client. Yes, it's great to do programmatic, even though they can't even spell the goddamn word.

Joel: They can't even spell SEO.

Chad: If they know why they're doing it ... yeah, if they know why they're it, how they're doing it, it's so much different, not to mention, it's not just about getting the active candidates in. What do you do with them afterward? You might have the best active solution in the world, what happens afterward?

Announcer: This has been the Chad & Cheese Podcast. Subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts, so you don't miss a single show. And be sure to check out our sponsors because they make it all possible. For more, visit Oh yeah, you're welcome.

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