A Nurturing Acquisition

We've saved the best for last!

Danielle Weinblatt joins Chad & Cheese to talk about ConveyIQ's acquisition by Entelo. What missing pieces will ConveyIQ add? What will change and what sill stay the same.

All brought to you by Nexxt an engagement powerhouse. Check Nexxt out at hiring.nexxt.com.


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Announcer: Hide your kids, lock the doors. You're listening to HRs 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. Bottle up, boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Joel: Aw yeah, we're talking acquisitions today, baby.

Chad: That's right.

Joel: They're popping off like hotcakes, man. Everybody was buying everybody. Welcome to the Chad and Cheese Show, everybody. I am your cohost Joel Cheesman.

Chad: And I'm Chad Sowash.

Joel: Today we are graced with the pleasure to introduce and interview Danielle Weinblatt. Danielle, how are you doing?

Danielle: Hi.

Joel: You may know Danielle from her days it Take the Interview, ConveyIQ, but now because of an acquisition, she is President and Chief Product Officer at entelo. Danielle, for those who don't know you, give us a quick elevator pitch on you and a little bit about the new company.

Danielle: Sure, I'd be happy to. So for those of you that don't know me, I have been building recruitment technology now for almost a decade, which is kind of crazy. I founded a company called Take the Interview, which was one of the first enterprise digital interviewing players in the market. I did that actually while I was still getting my MBA. So created that company literally out of my dorm room from business school.

Danielle: That was fun and that ended up being really successful. I still have people who miss TTI and miss that branding. So it's always great to meet someone who used that product. After several years we recognized with high volume recruitment that there were other problems that we wanted to solve for our clients. I expanded the platform and created a new solution called ConveyIQ. We ended up taking the Take the Interview product and making it one module of ConveyIQ.

Danielle: That product... it's been a real dream for a lot of organizations that had problems following up with the thousands, sometimes tens or hundreds of thousands of candidates that they would have to follow up with in the hiring process. The system ended up being really the first talent communication platform, post apply, to give candidates proactive updates about their status, coordinate interviews, prepare them, and then basically take

them through the entire hiring life cycle.

Danielle: Then fast forward until now... it was several months ago, I was talking to a good friend of mine, John Bischke. I was familiar with the entelo product because I had known him for many years, but last year I spoke at his recruitment automation summit. I knew that he was really passionate about figuring out the automation points from end-to-end, from source to hire.

Danielle: So entelo, if you're not aware of their platform, they spent a lot of time trying to create automation on the front end for sourcers. And then with ConveyIQ, we've tried to eliminate the headaches with all of the manual touch points, post apply. We talked about what our products could look like together. That original partnership turned into a deeper one. I'm excited to announce that the company that I created many years ago was acquired by entelo in August.

Joel: I want to know how many drinks were consumed in that first meeting where you guys thought about, "Hey, we could be good together."

Danielle: It was actually over lunch. John was being very conservative, but over the years we had a friendship where we would have a drink or two and we would have musings about the industry, but it was a fairly sober decision, which I prefer.

Joel: This journey started roughly six years ago? Was that when Take the Interview was first launched? 2013 if I'm remembering correctly?

Danielle: Yeah, that's right. So we launched the first product in 2013 but I had been building out different concepts of what Take the Interview could become for about a year prior to our first release.

Joel: Gotcha.

Chad: That's one hell of a pivot, right? Going from Take the Interview to a Marketo RMP type of platform, that's a lot to take on. What made you look at Take the Interview and say, "Okay, there's this huge gap, which we could prospectively, hopefully, bridge." But that's a big gap. What made you take that choice to try to become an RMP and go away from, really to an extent, what you were with Take the Interview?

Danielle: I think every company needs to think about an evolution. Take the Interview was a great product but it was a point solution. It really only worked for organizations that had high volume roles. What we saw is that if a company was deprioritizing their recruitment for campus or for sales or for community or call centers, frequently they would ask us if there were other solutions that they could leverage that our company offered because they liked our partnership.

Danielle: We just really didn't have anything beyond the digital interviewing screening and the two-way video interviewing, which in itself was becoming a commodity. I don't know if you recall, digital interviewing saw a lot of entrants after our emergence, after our initial product launch. There were several players in the market who we all know and they were excellent, but there were a lot of entrants.

Danielle: I just believe that you need to consistently be ahead of where the market is going and what people need or else you will be a company that becomes a dinosaur. You will wither away. You'll go into the abyss so you have to think about expansion and more pain points that you can solve for the clients that you know and care about.

Chad: Right. So when you're taking a look at this, if from our standpoint we can pretty much take a look at sales and marketing and that industry itself and start to model off of certain products or what we're seeing that could be perfect for recruiting, for an example. Because we're a few years behind, generally, from a standpoint of technology, sales, and marketing. Did you take a look at the Marketos are the exact targets? Did you look to model off of one of those types of organizations or did this just come out of nowhere?

Danielle: No, we did. We definitely took a look at HubSpot, which is an amazing client of ours. We took a look at Outreach and Marketo and so there are definitely a best-in-class solutions out there that we examine. But here's the thing, there are still dynamics of recruitment that are very different than sales and marketing that you need to consider.

Danielle: To understand a candidate's relationship with an organization and be able to personalize that at scale, I believe is more important than sometimes the personalization that you're sending to a prospect because this is someone's potential livelihood. This is sending a message to someone at the right time so that you can encourage them to make a huge shift in their life. Particularly if you think about passive recruitment, sending communication to someone and convincing them to leave their current situation to come work at your organization. That requires a lot more sensitivity and a lot more detail when you're thinking about communication and and marketing comms.

Danielle: We had to approach it by being inspired by marketing automation, but remembering that recruitment is a totally different ballgame in some respects.

Joel: The platform wars are in full effect in recruitment. We're seeing iCIMS making a lot of acquisitions. They just bought Jibe, TextRecruit before that. We're Jobvite, Canvas, all kinds of acquisitions. Obviously, LinkedIn's relationship with Microsoft.

Joel: You guys seem to be sort of putting your hands together in terms of hoping to create an end-to-end solution from the sourcing and recruiting piece to the... I'm assuming the onboarding and everything else.

Joel: How do you guys, am I right and, if so, how do you guys plan to compete with some of these big players with deep pockets or are you hoping to be a platform for maybe a particular niche or a certain size of company or maybe geographically a platform that they can use?

Danielle: I think we're still very complementary with the vision that I have for the combined solution. We still integrate with all of the major enterprise applicant tracking systems we're partner of iCIMS, we're a partner of Workday's, of "Taleo's". We can really work as an end-to-end automation platform or communication platform from source-to-hire.

Danielle: And so what does that mean?

Danielle: All of the gaps that you may see in your existing ATS that aren't working for you right now, we can basically plug that hole. So your ATS, for example, just like if you're using Salesforce, if we're going to go back to that analogy, your CRM system isn't going to tell you which prospects are the right prospects for you. It's not going to go out there and source for a job description for you.

Danielle: Whereas, some of the algorithms that entelo has built based on their database, they're able to identify candidates to recommend. Why wouldn't we apply that science to the candidates that are already sitting in your ATS or candidates that recently applied or candidates that are already in your organization that may be overlooked because there's no person focusing on internal mobility.

Danielle: When you think about how we can interact, at least on the front end of the process, we can basically understand the roles you're recruiting for and your organization to help you then surface or identify the right candidates that then could be automatically engaged, and then screened, and then scheduled, and then communicated with to the point of hire.

Danielle: Your ATS still serves a tremendous purpose. You can still house the candidates in the ATS. You can still have a lot of your integrations, like your background checks and your assessments if you still want to use those integrated with your existing system, but this is a smart layer that would go on top of your ATS or your CRM to basically do a lot of the work that your recruiters are doing manually and take it now from your first touchpoint to the first day. That, to me, is really beautiful.

Announcer: We'll get back to the interview in a minute, but first we have a question for Andy Katz, COO of Nexxt.

Joel: What kinds of companies should be leveraging programmatic?

Andy Katz: Every Fortune 1000 company out to anybody with extreme volume of jobs. You're recruiting for 20 positions a year. You don't need programmatic. You can go to a recruitment marketing agency or a job board and do a direct email with your company only you're not in with another 20 companies in a job alert or you're not just on a career site or a job board.

Andy Katz: You can do banner advertising by premium placements. Where programmatic again is one piece of the puzzle, it's not going to ever be the end all, be all. And I do believe all the programmatic platforms out there have ancillary services to support that, knowing that you can't just survive on a one-trick pony.

Announcer: For more information, go to hiring.nexxt.com. Remember that's Nexxt with the double-X, not the triple-X. Hiring.nexxt.com.

Joel: Any plans to start an ATS or maybe looking to get bought by an ATS?

Danielle: No plans to start an ATS. No plans right now to be bought by anybody. The ink really hasn't even dried on our acquisition. I think we just want to build a great product. We have 600 clients now globally, so that's a lot. In terms of my new role, it's a lot of companies to talk to, to make sure they're getting value from our product. I'm really excited about building this vision. I'm sure there's going to be excitement in the marketplace.