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VOICES: Does HR Care About Candidate Experience?

Do hiring companies really care about the candidate experience?

Robert Ruff, President of Sovren Technology tackles the hard questions as he and the boys about the black hole experience hiring process which really hasn't changed much in the last 20-years.

Enjoy this Voices Series from The Chad & Cheese Podcast.​


VOICES INTRO: Voices. We hear them every day. Some voices like mine are smooth and confident. Why? While law on the other hand, the Chad and cheese podcast is like listening to a nickel bag album. You rather stab yourself in the ears with an ice pick. Anyway. Y'all now listening to voices, a podcast series from Chad and cheese that features the most important and influential voices within the recruitment industry. Try not to fuck it up boys.

Show Intro: 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 hurts complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls it's time for The Chad & Cheese Podcast.

Chad: Welcome back. We're picking the conversation back up with Robert Ruff, president of Sovren industry veteran and all around smart dude. So the standpoint of companies like HiringSolved, I mean we, we actually spoke with Jeremy over at HiringSolved.

Joel: And Sean.

Chad: And Sean, yeah. Over at HiringSolved and they're going away from this whole public data stance with their platform and they're only going to be working with organizations like a major fortune 500 company who has an applicant tracking system who's getting the data one way or the other. So a candidates are coming into their system, they're applying into their system or those companies have access to the LinkedIns or what have you of the world. And they're getting those individuals to come in again through the applicant tracking system. So it's almost like they're going to get the data, but it's going to be more relevant data because it's individuals who have actually applied into a company's platform. Do you think that's a way to skirt it is like, look, we have to work directly with these companies because they're the ones with the data in the first place.

Robert: Yeah, so I think that this brings up a bigger point, which is that over time, although Microsoft, I think we'll and LinkedIn will win in the short term over the long term, it makes them less valuable to the ecosystem as a whole. So we can think of other job boards who dominate it and a niche very quickly and over a number of years by giving people something for nothing. And as soon as they started to monetize it and take things away from people, they became much less valuable and kind of lost their position and the ecosystem. And I think that's what will happen over time is I think this will actually devalue LinkedIn in the long-term. So it's a short term bump, a long-term negative.

Chad: So that being said, so that being said, what about indeed because indeed did give everything away for free, pretty much right out of the Gates. And they're cutting things off and, they're starting to force individuals or companies or what have you to pay for what they used to get for free. So do you see them going down the same line that you saw Monster, CareerBuilder go down?

Robert: I think it's very possible. So FREE when you get good things out of it is very valuable people and people don't want to pay for what used to be free. So one of the things in business that really upsets people the most is to take something away. And that's what all of those moves feel alike. It's like, well, we, we kind of suckered you in and we got you here and now we're going to take it away. Right? Yeah. And so they, they have the right to do it, but maybe over the long term it really doesn't end up being the best way to make money out of...

Chad: That whole Trojan horse process.

Robert: Yup.

Joel: What do you think happens after the next recession, what happens to some of the established players? So we're in a candidate scarcity situation right now, right.

Robert: And so that'll turn into a job scarcity situation. And actually for our business where we parse a lot more resumes than we do jobs, that will end up being a net positive for us because people will be flooded with resumes. But the one thing that people continue to not do that would make them more valuable, whether they're a job board or an ATS or direct employer site, is they are not making the candidate experience so that candidates feel valued. You know, why does it feel like when you upload your resume, you basically just sent it into the wastebasket somewhere? You know, why can't we give people more feedback on actually, you know, you match these jobs. Are you interested in them? Oh, if you are, then we have some others that are like that, that you might be interested in. I mean, why can't we give them some understanding of where they are in the pipeline? Like you're in this bucket over here that no one will ever care about or see. Okay. Thanks for at least telling me so I can move on to something more productive.

Chad: Yeah. My question is, you know, the whole candidate experience really came from a group of individuals who had no fucking clue what experience was in the first place. Recruiters, HR, talent acquisition, I mean, nothing, there's compliance may be process, may be shitty. Process may be, but they really didn't understand what experience meant. So now we have two decades where we have shitty experience and that exactly what you talked about, that going into the garbage can is the experience that candidates are used to. The problem is, and one of the things that we talk a lot about here on the podcast is that those individuals also buy things. They also interact. They're interacting with your brand, whether they're coming in as a candidate or they're coming in as a buying customer. So from your standpoint, how do, how do we change this whole thought process of more of the customer side of the house as opposed to the candidate side of house? Just get rid of the whole thought process that they're even a candidate and that they're waiting for us. We should be waiting on them. Right.

Robert: Well, you notice that when you go to the site, you don't really get to rate it. So if I go eat at your restaurant and you give me a terrible food or terrible service that's going to show up really quickly and you're going to change, you're going to reach out to me and say, Hey, how can we make this right? And you're also going to actually try to make that not happen again. I think that the problem is there's not enough feedback where the candidates haven't put into the process to let people know like, yeah, I actually am not going to buy your products anymore. I don't know how you change that. Maybe there is some company that comes along and that's their add on and then it catches fire and everybody feels like they got to have.

Chad: It sounds like a great addition for a Glassdoor to come in and actually, you know, provide a reviewing system on your actual platform itself and that will be sellable, right.

Robert: I would think you know, the first test would be can they sell it to their sister company Indeed?

Joel: I think for most people, it's much easier to say, I'm going to go to another restaurant than to say I'm just going to get a job somewhere else. Now, I know in our current state, maybe that is the case for a lot of people, but most people don't feel like, I'm just going to go next door and get a job there. And if I do, it's a whole process that I have to go through that is a pain in the ass. And does the recession really make them really make any of that stuff better because you're taking away resources from companies to hire they're going to get more resumes and not really give a shit, whereas now they probably care more than they ever have and they still don't care that much.

Robert: Yeah. I don't know. I've been through several cycles in this industry and actually y'all asked how Sovren got started. It actually started as a recruiting company. That's what we did for our first year. I built the software and my partner built the sales and I just have never seen anything really changed much in this industry around that cycle. You know? And, and what's sad is that for years, I mean decades, we have had the ability to automatically reach out to people and say, Hey, thank you for this. Hey, I want to let you know that you actually have a couple of jobs that seem to fit you. Hey, if you're interested to this and that, and people just don't do it, I'm at a loss to explain why that is other than nobody else is doing it that well. So they don't feel the pressure to do it themselves.

Joel: So when you say people, you mean employers?

Robert: Employers, yes.

Joel: It shouldn't be like, you know, buying something on Amazon, right? Like, Oh, we've got your order. It's being shipped. Here's how you learn more. It should get here in three days. Like none of that happens when you apply to a job.

Robert: No. Why should you apply to 50 different places and literally have no feedback from him? You know, it would be helpful to know that on 10 of them, they looked at it and said, you simply, we have no idea why you sent your resume. You're not qualified for anything.

Voices Outro: Look for more episodes of Voices. This Chad and cheese podcast series devoted the stories and opinions of industry leaders. Subscribe on iTunes, Google Podcast or wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss a single show. For more, visit

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