Joel is on the record calling Bullhorn's Marketplace "bullshit". Enter Nina Eigerman, SVP Alliances & Biz Dev from Bullhorn who joins this episode to enlighten Joel and feed him his own words.
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SFX: 00:43 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 Sowash: 00:59 Time for a 99 [00:01:07.24] Inaudible] baby.
Joel Cheesman: 01:17 Oh yeah. You want to get nuts? Let's get nuts.
Chad Sowash: 01:17 I'm going to dance.
Joel Cheeseman: 01:18 I'm going to dance. You're listening to the Chad and Cheese Podcast, HR's most dangerous. I'm your co-host Joel Cheesman.
Chad Sowash: 01:26 And I am Chad Sowash.
Joel Cheesman: 01:28 And we are pleasantly joined today by Nina, 99 loof balloons, Eigerman.
Chad Sowash: 01:34 That's right.
Joel Cheesman: 01:35 VP of alliances and business development at-
Chad Sowash: 01:41 Bullhorn.
Joel Cheeseman: 01:44 Listeners may remember a while back I referred to Bullhorn and their paid to play marketplace as bullshit.
Chad Sowash: 01:49 What?
Joel Cheesman: 01:49 So Bullhorn's credit, they said, "Hold the phone, we're going to get Nina, the pit bull, Eigerman, on a podcast with you to tell you how you got it wrong."
Chad Sowash: 01:58 Yeah.
Joel Cheesman: 01:58 So Nina, welcome to the podcast. And more than that, thanks for having the balls to come on the podcast to tell us where we got it wrong.
Chad Sowash: 02:09 Big applaud.
Nina: 02:10 Really happy to be here, and thanks for having me.
Joel Cheesman: 02:12 She's so nice. I can't do this.
Chad Sowash: 02:16 After all of the bullshit calling. Yes. But before we jump into that, first off, I would like to say, thanks for coming on, because as we do here at the Chad Cheese Podcast, we love to have companies on to be able to add more color and more information around our opinion/in some cases, bad research, Joel Cheesman.
Joel Cheesman: 02:40 And we love to rumble. Nina-
Chad Sowash: 02:44 Tell us about you.
Nina: 02:44 Sure. Happy. I am the VP of alliances and business development at Bullhorn, which means that I'm responsible for our marketplace and all of our partnership programs. I've been in the staffing industry for almost 20 years, done everything from working a desk to being out on assignment. I
joined Bullhorn after a brief stint as an investment banker and a longer stint as a consultant. So I have a pretty broad view of the ecosystem and I have a fondness for the staffing industry in general.
Joel Cheesman: 03:21 And as we learned, you like to steal your kids' headphones-
Nina: 03:26 I do.
Joel Cheesman: 03:26 When you're doing podcast interviews because they have way better equipment than you do.
Nina: 03:29 They do it. It's definitely one of the advantages of having children, there's always some electronics around the house that you can pick up.
Joel Cheesman: 03:37 Chad and I both appreciate. We'll get into the marketplace for a second, but I'm curious, the podcast goes live, I think even the title was like, Bullhorn is Bullshit. When you heard the podcast and our comments, what was your initial thought? Did you guys want a pipe bomb our houses? What exactly was the response there internally?
Chad Sowash: 03:59 How would you go to pipe bombing?
Nina: 04:01 No, no pipe bombing. I'm familiar with you guys, I know the style. It wasn't totally shocking to me that you would use the very obvious Bullhorn line, which we've heard before. But, I really wanted to come on because I felt that you really missed the point of the Bullhorn marketplace, which is that we love entrepreneurs and we love the ecosystem and we really want to foster innovation for recruiters and for staffing firms in general. And for you to say that the Bullhorn marketplace wasn't good for entrepreneurs, I was just like, wait, they haven't heard what we do. They don't know about how we spend time with companies and really help them to learn about staffing and recruiting and the ways in which staffing and recruiting are fundamentally different from Corp HR. Because we see a ton of entrepreneurs who come in, they have something that they either developed in Corp HR or that they've started to to sell into Corp HR and then they think, "Oh well we can just bring this over to the staffing and recruiting industry," and they don't have any of the right examples. They don't have the right value proposition. They don't understand the difference of the economics, the fundamental ways in which the staffing firm operates. And we spend time with them, help them get good examples, help them change the language of their marketing material so that it's more applicable for staffing and recruiting and really do a ton to help them.
Chad Sowash: 05:28 Nina, I get all that, and that's all warm and fuzzy and I love that stuff, but this was all really based around Joel's thought process of joining a marketplace shouldn't cost them anything. To be able to ensure that there's a low barrier of entry so that they can get their tech in front of these staffing companies, I think that was really the base of where Joel was coming from.
Joel Cheesman: 05:55 Yeah. And to add color, it wasn't you're anti-entrepreneurial, I think it was an anti-startup sentiment, that these companies don't have the money and you guys still aren't on record as to how much it costs to get in the marketplace. So I'd like to dig into that a little bit. But I don't think there's a sentiment that you guys are anti-entrepreneurial, I just have a problem with the toll that some of the ATS's and platforms are charging startups to get on the field.
Nina: 06:23 Well, I think you're cutting it fine to say that we're not anti-entrepreneurial, but we're anti-startup. I think that we're really trying to make sure that there is a low barrier.
Joel Cheesman: 06:34 They're the same to you?
Nina: 06:34 They're kind of the same to me.
Joel Cheesman: 06:35 Okay.
Nina: 06:35 We really help those startups, and I think the numbers speak for themselves that we've grown. We started the developer program, which is our entry level program for partners to start to develop on the Bullhorn platform, and we started that program maybe two and a half years ago and we now have over 70 companies that are in the developer program. And it is a very low barrier to entry. I'm not going to lay out all of the economics of the entire marketplace program for you, but I will let you know that ... I will tell you that the entry point for the developer program is a $5,000 annual fee. And to be honest, if you're not willing to invest $5,000 into developing for the staffing and recruiting industry and working on the Bullhorn platform, you probably aren't really committed to being in staffing and recruiting.
Chad Sowash: 07:29 Ouch.
Nina: 07:29 For that 5,000 you're getting time with the alliances team, you're getting a sandbox, you're getting access to developer documentation. You're getting your own API key. You're getting your
ability to really develop against the Bullhorn platform. And as I said, I think the numbers speak for themselves. It's pretty popular.
Chad Sowash: 07:45 Yeah. I think that was pretty much my stance when we were talking about this. From a cost standpoint, there are resources that are allocated for a marketplace, and to be able to charge for that, there has to be some kind of barrier to entry to an extent, to be able to demonstrate commitment. Because if it's free, and you'll see with some of the apps that are out there today, if it's free, then anybody can just throw an app in there. Right? So getting to to the actual marketplace strategy itself, okay, there is a barrier to entry, it is $5,000. What is the actual marketplace major strategy right now with startups? Is it to be able to provide a different types of tech and resources to your current clients or is there something else behind it? Because we know, and talking to the other applicant tracking systems, they're using marketplaces for different reasons.
Nina: 08:39 The real thing is, that we don't ever want to be a barrier for innovation. What we see is that every staffing firm is different and they really need to be able to tailor their solution, their technology stack to fit what they're trying to do. And Bullhorn as a platform enables them to have all that technology plugged into a single system and have access to that in a single pane of glass, as we like to say. Having all of your technology integrated is really great for the staffing firm and we don't ever want to stand in the way of the staffing firm being able to do that. So we have a very open policy and we talk to every company that applies to be part of the marketplace. We'll spend half an hour walking through a demo with them, understanding what they're trying to do. And as long as they're really a viable company as opposed to just a guy with an idea, they can join the developer program and be on track to be part of the marketplace. And then the criteria for moving from that entry level developer program into being a full marketplace partner has to do with the market acceptance. It's all about how many Bullhorn customers are using your technology. It's not about whether I think that it's a great technology and it's a brilliant idea, I've certainly been wrong before, it's really about whether our customers are buying it and adopting it. And if we have 10, 15 customers using the technology, then that technology can move on to be part of the marketplace.
Joel Cheesman: 10:10 And then at that point, you start talking about M&A. Right?
Nina: 10:14 Well, I think, I was talking to someone, one of my colleagues in the office, Vinda Souzaand she's like, it's not the only way that we do M&A, we have acquired a lot of companies that are more at part of the marketplace, but she was like, "Well, it's the same reason that you date people at work," right? It's proximity. We know these companies really well. You look at a company like Herefish, we've been working with these guys for a long time and [00:10:40.09] Crosstalk] seen the popularity among our customer base and seen the benefit that our customers have from working with that technology. And so, it was a natural acquisition
Chad Sowash: 10:50 Does the likelihood go up if you're in the market place for M&A, for those startups or does it even matter?
Nina: 10:57 I don't think it really matters that much. It's not really a criteria for entering the marketplace and it wouldn't be a reason that I would cite to someone that they should join the marketplace. I think the value of the marketplace stands on its own. And when you think about the access that these startups have to 11,000 customers who are in the staffing and recruiting industry, and being able to leverage our sales team to go out and talk to folks, I think it's really beneficial for them to be part of the ecosystem. And that should be enough of a reason.
Joel Cheesman: 11:36 We're not going to agree on this, and that's totally fine. I think for you to say five grand is no big deal is a little bit of hubris. I think there are plenty of startups that five grand is a big deal, even though they'd like to develop on the platform. I also think it's a challenge to say, "Okay, how many ATS's hiring platforms, whatever are there?" And if each one is five grand, then that quickly adds up to a lot of money for a lot of startups. So we're obviously not going to agree on whether five is a lot or not, or if they're not willing to spend five, then they're not serious about their business. I don't think we're going to agree on that, personally. I can look at, Apple is $99 a year to develop on their platform. Google is free. Slack is free. iCIMS is now free. I could go on and on. I think it's just a business decision that you guys have made to say, "We're going to make money on our platform and this is the fee to play on our platform." Yes?
Nina: 12:34 Yeah. I often will use the analogy about planned economy versus a market economy. I personally believe in a market economy and I think we need to deliver enough value to these companies to have it be worthy to them to spend the $5,000. And I want to feel like we're on the hook to do that. Free is not a good price point to create an economic exchange.
Chad Sowash: 13:02 The sustainability behind that, obviously isn't very easy, unless again, you're using this as a litmus test for M&A.
Nina: 13:13 It's not a litmus test for M&A, but it is a litmus test for the staffing industry, that sometimes people will say, "Well, I want to be on every ATS out there. I want to be part of every ecosystem." And they haven't really thought about the difference between Bullhorn and a Corp HR system, and the fact that we really are an end to end staffing platform and that it's really designed for the staffing and recruiting industry. And that piece of it, I want them to pause and think for a moment about whether this is something that's worth it, and then I want to be able to help them to have the resources to be able to help them really tailor their solution.
Joel Cheesman: 13:55 And there's also thinking creatively around, Apple takes 30% of everything you make on their platform, that's bought through their platform. There are creative ways to be accessible and yet make money on your end without having the hurdles that maybe you currently have.
Nina: 14:11 30% seems like a lot to me.
Joel Cheesman: 14:13 But if it's free to get on, and you only give you money if you make money, that's just a barrier that you could take down for startups and companies. Yes?
Chad Sowash: 14:21 The heroin drip.
Nina: 14:23 I think that that would not be in the economic best interest of the startups to do it that way, personally. But I'd rather match the value that we're delivering to the cost that's incurred, rather than having it be like, it's going to be free up front, but we're looking to stick it to you at the back end. I'd rather have it be like, we're going to charge you upfront because all of our costs are at that rate. We're spending time with you, we're validating the integration, we're making sure that this all works. We'll provide the sandbox, and at the back end, it's not going to be a 30%.
Chad Sowash: 14:58 And we're basically just talking about the semantics of different business models. There's one way to get paid up front or during the course. The business model is the business model. That being said, another business model we want to be able to talk about is Herefish.
Nina: 15:12 Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chad Sowash: 15:12 And why? You just recently acquired Herefish. I didn't see a number. How much did you guys pay for that?
Joel Cheesman: 15:18 How much was that again?
Nina: 15:20 We're not disclosing the price of the transaction, like most of those transactions. Yeah.
Chad Sowash: 15:25 Uh, okay. Got you. Okay. We're talking about staffing, and obviously staffing is much different than talent acquisition because obviously staffing, it is the business of recruiting, right?
When you're talking to your clients, which are staffing companies, you're always talking about the most efficient, I'm assuming, trying to help them in margins, those types of things, how did Herefish help you?And how do you think, how do you believe Herefish will help you with that conversation moving forward with staffing companies?
Nina: 15:57 Sure. So we have three core components to Run as One strategy, which is about being a end to end platform for staffing firms. One is to have technology that starts at the beginning of the recruiting process and runs all the way through invoicing and payment. The second is AI and automation. And the third is our open ecosystem. Herefish, coming from the open ecosystem, flows right into that second pillar of automation and AI. So the core reason that we acquired them is their ability to automate workflows and enable our customers to spend more time on the relationship aspects of their business and less time doing routine tasks like time sheet reminders or sending people out on assignment.
Chad Sowash: 16:50 Got you. So, when we're talking about the Herefish acquisition, how many of your clients were actually using the product, before you guys went through acquisition talks?
Nina: 17:01 They're relatively small company on the marketplace. They've been working with our customer base, but without having a mass level of adoption. And one of the things that we're really looking forward to is being able to bring their value proposition, which is around data cleanliness and workflow automation and communications to both candidates and customers and colleagues, to bring that to a broader set of our customer base and enable more people to take advantage of this technology.
Joel Cheesman: 17:40 So we agree that was a nice acquisition and we talked about it on the weekly show. So I'm curious, what are some future acquisitions you guys might be looking at? Or if you're not willing to name names, what sort of technologies or directions of companies are you looking to maybe gobble up?
Nina: 17:58 Well, I can tell you what we're seeing in terms of the types of technologies that our customer base are really interested in and the things that we're seeing as good compliments to Bullhorn. I don't have a crystal ball in terms of what the acquisition landscape looks like, but I can tell you that advanced search and match is something that we're seeing a lot of adoption and traction. People being able to ... Sort of this, the promise of hands-free recruiting, right? It can come in, AI can analyze the job description, can then bring back a set of candidates that would be applicable for that job. The second key area that we're seeing, is in chatbots and text communication and candidate engagement. Ton of activity in that space.
Nina: 18:47 We have a number of marketplace partners there. We have SenseHQ. We have Maya. We have TextUs, CloudCall entering into that from the VoIP space. So that's the second area. The third area is that integrated VoIP space, with CloudCall and now TextUs doing that as well, where people are going beyond just click to dial, to actually leveraging the call recording functionality and features to be able to train employees to make things easier and to have more focus on the relationship building and less on dialing for dollars. We're also seeing other communication technologies like portals. I don't know if you guys covered some of the recent tribulations of JXT, which is one of our marketplace partners. But Volcanic is also in that space and Haley Marketing, and the ability for people to communicate with both candidates and customers in an automated way at the time and place that they want them is a big one.
Nina: 19:46 Also, we see some stuff in like video interviewing and there's a bunch of ... The ecosystem's really vibrant.
Chad Sowash: 19:52 Yeah. There's a lot of noise out there.
Joel Cheesman: 19:55 Yeah.
Chad Sowash: 19:55 From your standpoint, what is the mos vapor ware-ish type of thing that's out there today?
Joel Cheesman: 20:03 Biggest poser.
Nina: 20:04 Certainly video interviewing is something. I've been around for long enough to remember when it first came out and it was this huge, we were going to completely transform our recruiting process around the idea of being able to do video interviews and-
Joel Cheesman: 20:17 We all remember that.
Chad Sowash: 20:18 That, and Second Life. I think Second Life came out around that time.
Nina: 20:23 Yeah, Second Life. Oh my God, yes. I remember that. That was big.
Joel Cheesman: 20:27 That was one of my topics in MySpace for a while.
Nina: 20:30 IBM was going to like do all their recruiting in Second Life.
Chad Sowash: 20:32 Yes.
Nina: 20:36 That was big.
Joel Cheesman: 20:36 I do remember that.
Nina: 20:36 Well, I hate to say this, but we're old.
Chad Sowash: 20:39 No, I'm not.
Joel Cheesman: 20:41 Yeah. Sorry, I interrupted you. So video ... Yeah. Sorry.
Nina: 20:44 Anyway. I remember when video first came out, huge amount of noise and all of this stuff, then it died down, but it came back and then different functionality. And there was this promise of sort of self service, first round interviewing that people could edit their own ... It just won't go away. It's like it dies down for a little bit, and then it comes back. We're actually seeing a big swing of startups in the video interviewing space, new companies, and then also more noise from some of our largest customers. [Romstad[00:21:20.27]] made a big investment in Montage and we see Hinterview and there's like a bunch of new companies coming out in this space. And I'm like, if that works, great. I'm just not seeing the uptake that I would expect given how long that's been around.
Joel Cheesman: 21:38 Do any of them have like TikTok editing tools as part of their interview process?
Nina: 21:42 As I mentioned before, old, therefore, TikTok kind of outside of my space of understanding.
Chad Sowash: 21:53 [00:21:54.13] Crosstalk] Yeah. You need to download that app. You need to download that app. Let's pivot really quickly to-
Nina: 21:59 No, no, no, no. I have children, they do that for me.
Chad Sowash: 22:02 Yeah. Let's pivot real quick to high volume. So staffing, obviously staffing industry, high volume's big, what are you guys doing, what are you seeing in high volume that is exciting? We're hearing stories of organizations, staffing-like organizations, that are turning engagements around in less than 10 minutes and having interviews scheduled and so on and so forth. What are you seeing that's exciting around the high volume side?
Nina: 22:33 I'm seeing a couple of exciting things in the high volume space. One thing that I'm really psyched about is we have SenseHQ as one of our partners and they've come out of a real deep understanding of staffing and recruiting and they've done some really cool things around automating, all that stuff of making sure that a candidate actually goes from placement, to showing up, right? In that high volume space, you could have a 30% drop off between the people who are placed and the people who actually start day one. If you can intervene during that time, and then between day one and the end of the first week of the assignment, the amount of communication that you have during that time can really avoid that drop off during the assignment. So they've done a lot of work around that, and I really, I'm a big fan there.
Nina: 23:24 The second one is we have a developer partner, not yet marketplace partner, called Workin, based in Atlanta. That's done some really neat placement stuff. We also partner with a couple of other, I think there's like six or seven, of these automated scheduling tools. And we acquired a company called TempBuddy as part of the Erecruit acquisition that's also in this mobile app placement space. So I think there's a lot of activity there.
Chad Sowash: 23:51 Yeah.
Joel Cheesman: 23:51 Cool.
Nina: 23:55 I have not seen anyone really own the space, but there's a big opportunity. So I'm excited about that.
Joel Cheesman: 24:00 Well, Nina, please come on when you do find that company that is hitting the mark. Nina Eigerman, everybody.
Nina: 24:08 Yeah.
Joel Cheesman: 24:08 Thanks for joining us. Major kudos for coming on the show. We appreciate it. For those listeners out there who don't know Bullhorn or want to know more about you, where do you send them?
Nina: 24:20 They should come to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or follow me on all the major social channels, not Tik-Tok, but you can find me on LinkedIn @Nina Eigerman.
Joel Cheesman: 24:30 And with that, we out.
Chad Sowash: 24:31 We out.
Announcer: 24:29 This has been the Chad and 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 chadcheese.com. Oh yeah, you're welcome.