Hey Google! Alexa! Hey Siri!
Voice assistants are all around us, and getting more and more popular by the day. You can even get pizzas delivered with their help. The trend, however, has yet to really breakthrough on the job search front. That's why the boys have invited voice proponent, headhunter, and founder of My Career Fit,
Gordon Collier to the podcast to discuss.
Another exclusive interviewed supported by Sovren, software for humans you'll want to take it to dinner.
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
Gordon: There is an opportunity in voice to really bring authenticity and literally a human voice to your employment brand. That can be really powerful.
Intro: 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.
Joel: Oh yeah. Alexa, we need a guest for today's podcast. Ooh, could she do that? Maybe one day, I don't know.
Joel: What's up everybody. This is The Chad and Cheese Podcast. I'm your co-host Joel Cheesman.
Chad: I'm Chad, I love to ask Google anything, Sowash.
Joel: I should've said Joel, still on the flu meds, Cheesman, so forgive me for any stupid statements that I will assuredly make. Anyway, we are honored to welcome Gordon Collier to the show. Gordon is founder of Pipeline Search Solutions, insert your own joke there. A headhunter and also My Career Fit voice assistant founder. Welcome to the show, Gordon. Did I get everything?
Gordon: You got it. You nailed it. Thanks so much. I appreciate it.
Chad: You forgot lover of Fat Albert. That's what you forgot.
SFX: Hey, hey, hey.
Joel: Oh yeah, it's Fat Albert.
Gordon: Love it. I love it.
Joel: I couldn't find the Voices Carry sound bite by 'Til Tuesday, which I wanted to play for you. So we went with Fat Albert. What did I miss about you that the audience should know?
Gordon: I've been in corporate talent acquisition, that's where I've spent the bulk of my career, probably going twenty ... I think I'm going on 25 years now. And about four years ago I started my own company. Basically just doing recruiting, headhunting for a variety of organizations and I've been doing that for a while now. And then last year, actually probably about two years, I started the My Career Fit Podcast, and then have slowly been kind of transitioning that into voice using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. And I launched that actual product back in June of last year.
Joel: And what is the podcast about? Just like job search help?
Gordon: It really actually is probably more like a job search tool. I'm essentially just using the podcast platform to interview hiring leaders. It's everybody from recruiters to HR people to TA directors upwards through VPs and executives and CEOs of variety of different organizations. And we talk about culture and mission and their vision and we kind of take a deep dive into some of the nuts and bolts of what's going on in their organization, what their culture is like and what it would take for anybody to be successful within their organization. I tried to, I think it's been said a million times, job descriptions that are posted on the web are terrible. And they don't really tell you much of anything about the company and what you as a candidate or an applicant is going to get out of working there.
Gordon: And so we really kind of get into that and they're short, they're highly informational. Somebody could listen to that probably eight to 10 minutes of it, which is basically, that's how long each podcast is. They can listen to that at work, you can listen to it in your car. I mean, that's the great thing about voice. You can listen to those things anywhere, you don't have to give up time.
Joel: Sounds suspiciously like a lead funnel for your other business, Gordon, I don't know.
Chad: Let's go ahead and jump into the actual topic, shall we? Today Joel and I love voice. It's funny because whenever my kids come to me and they ask me a question, I'm like, "Have you asked Google?" I mean, and then I'll sit there right in front of them, voice activate Google and I'll ask Google. There's so many things that we do today, whether it's set alarm or timers in the kitchen or whatever it is, it's all voice activated and we're excited to see that in the job search area. Today, we want to talk about some of the big, I think bait and switches, and then also the opportunity that is actually in front of us today. What can we actually do today versus what do you think we'll be able to do tomorrow? Right out of the gate, I want to get your opinion, Gordon, on the whole McDonald's drive thru apply debacle. What do you think?
Gordon: I would agree and call it a debacle as well. I will say, I'll give McDonald's props because I think they're one of the first organizations who are out there who kind of pointed at the tool and said, "This could be useful."
Joel: Can we get some context on this? Because I think Chad actually made it sound like you drive through McDonald's and talk to someone to get a job. That's not what's happening, right Gordon?
Gordon: No. No burgers, no shakes, no fries.
Chad: It was a voice initiated job search that rolled out globally, although it did not work in some areas. It was ridiculous at best. That's my opinion. And it did nothing more than drive more candidates into a black hole just in a different kind of a way. It was using the allure of voice with the same horrible application process. It was putting a new shade of lipstick on the pig. From my standpoint, any company who comes out literally with a piece of shit and throws it out there and says, "We're the first to do this." I'm in the whole camp of, that's fucking stupid. Right? That's my opinion. Yes. Gordon, you weren't a fan of it, but obviously you're not as harsh as I am.
Joel: He might be.
Gordon: Yeah. I think you're exactly right in what you're saying, but I think at least there was a massive organization, a massive brand that hires people, millions and millions of people all the time. And they pointed at this and said, "This actually could be useful." Now, hopefully that is the case back at corporate somewhere at McDonald's, but the execution of what they were doing I thought was just terrible.
Chad: And the expectation.
Gordon: Yeah. And they basically just, I felt like at the end of the day they just took what you could do on the web and they just bolted it on to Alexa.
Joel: Is it still the same product that it was when it launched? Have they improved that at all, do you know?
Gordon: I don't think so.
Joel: No. Okay.
Gordon: In fact, I haven't ... It's funny, they went gangbusters in advertising for that thing and then all of a sudden it just sort of fell off the map. I haven't seen any more ads. I haven't seen anything run for it.
Joel: McDonald's heard our show, I think.
Gordon: Possibly. I'm sure somebody there is paying attention to The Chad and Cheese.
Chad: I know Paradox is, so that's pretty good.
Joel: Yeah, we do know that for sure.
Gordon: Yeah. I mean, I felt like they just took what you could do on the web and they tried to bolt it onto voice. And that is, my opinion is that that's a misunderstanding of how voice works and what you can do with voice and the problems that voice can solve for people. And that's really where you start I think, when you go to do something with voice, you're going to start with what kind of problem can I solve and how can I do it in the best way possible with voice? I just felt they just missed the mark on that completely.
Joel: What should they have done differently?
Gordon: Number one is some of the research that's come out has said that basically people are more responsive to the human voice versus the Alexa synthetic voice or the Google Assistant synthetic robot voice. It would have been a lot better if you could have had somebody actually, a representative from the company or somebody, an actual voice sort of actually doing that audio. The other piece to it was they just read, I mean they just basically sort of cut and pasted some lines from what sounded like something off of their website or their career page and had Alexa read it. And there's an opportunity in voice to really bring authenticity and literally a human voice to your employment brand, and that can be really powerful. In the same way that people love podcasts, people love podcasts because it's an authentic show. People love The Chad and Cheese Podcast because it's authentic. You guys are real when you have your back and forth and it's fun to
SFX: Hell yeah.
Gordon: Right. Exactly. It's engaging and you can do the same thing with voice and get that same level of authenticity and realness and just cutting and pasting some lines, a couple of sentences and having Alexa read it is just not going to do that.
Chad: It didn't seem like it was well thought out at all. I mean, again, it was almost like a push to be first to market and saying, "Yes, we were first to the market." When you bring something to the market that is sketchy at best. I'm not sure that I would be proud of that.
Gordon: Yeah, you can really do things poorly if all you're focused on is just being first, you're probably going to miss it. I think it's why so many companies fail, start-ups fail because they only either have is that dollar bill at the end when they sell the company, because they're building the company to sell and it's sort of like, when they did this with Alexa, they just built it to be first and that was it. The text me piece. I think that was valuable. That's a good piece to do because it can continue the relationship outside of voice and it kind of mixes and blends the different channels of communication. But the other pieces to it, I feel like they just completely missed the mark. There was so much of an opportunity to really bring the McDonald's brand to people in their living rooms, in their kitchens, in their car, wherever they are on their phone, and they just missed the opportunity.
Chad: It's an experience, right?
Joel: Yeah. I don't think people think of branding when they think of voice. They just think of it as a utility. It's an interesting perspective to say, hey, they should have had the McDonald's CEO or the head of HR in North America, whoever that is. Or if a company has progressive should have flow on the voice, walking people through the application process.
Chad: Or the gecko with GEICO. Yeah.
Joel: You like that? Yeah. That's free progressive.
Gordon: That's good consulting work right there. Yeah, absolutely. I mean that's the point. And that the opportunity with voice is just that. And you can solve problems and you can also create an experience that really communicates who you are as an organization.
Joel: After McDonald's did it, I sort of thought, hey, Taco Bell's going to do it, Burger King is going to do it just because McDonald's did it. But as far as I know we haven't seen that. Do you see something differently or is it going to happen with other restaurants? I mean, what's sort of your take on the aftermath of the McDonald's debacle?
Gordon: Yeah, I mean I think that companies are probably kind of waiting out to see, how can we best use this? And I think McDonald's, like you guys are saying, I mean McDonald's went out first and they kind of blew it. And I think there's opportunities there for other organizations to learn some lessons and that may be what's happening, there is kind of holding off. It's funny because some of them are doing other things with voice like Little Caesars, I think it's a Little Caesars, no, it's Domino's. You can order a pizza through Alexa with Domino's. There's plenty of businesses that are using it to widen their multichannel branding strategy across voice.
Gordon: There's other organizations that are using it too. Capital One, you can do banking through it, that kind of thing. There's businesses that are using it, but they haven't really translated that to HR and recruiting. And McDonald's may have kind of dropped the ball for everybody at least in the short term. But I think there's plenty of opportunity to experiment with this and create some really interesting experiences for the potential talent pool and the candidates that might come to your organization for opportunities to really learn more about you.
Joel: Certainly strange with everything we know about Amazon in hiring lots of people that they haven't sort of built this into Alexa.
Gordon: Well, you know it's funny, yesterday I was kind of playing around with Alexa and I just asked her, I said, "Alexa, find me a job." And the first thing she said was Amazon career opportunities. And she basically led you to the website. That was about as far as she went. But it was interesting that, that was the first time because I've been playing with this for a long time and that was the first time I've heard her do that, to say, "Find me a job." And the first thing she does is give you Amazon career opportunities and tells you where to go. That was interesting. I think they're probably seeing an opportunity, but they're so focused on everything else they're doing that's probably, that may not be at the top of their list right now.
Chad: What can companies even think about doing today and should they even, is voice at the point where it can be used or is it one of those wait and see kind of scenarios, wait about six months, maybe the skills will be able to do more. What can they do today or should they just wait?
Gordon: Yeah. Number one, I think, yeah, companies need to be jumping into this now. I think this is one of those places and technical opportunities where you can grab your space right now and just like it was on the internet, everybody waited and waited and waited to create their webpage or their career page back in the 90s and then they had to play catch up. The same happen with mobile, with apps and that kind of thing. And now everybody's trying to get to their apps. And the same thing is happening with voice. I think a lot of people are holding off on it, but the reality is 54% of people have used a voice assistant across things like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant. We're at this point where there is a bit of a tipping point that's starting to occur where more and more people are becoming used to using voice in their daily lives. Whether it's to, like you said earlier, set a timer, play music, get some information about the weather, that kind of thing. It's just becoming more and more of a natural thing for people to do and there's so much less friction involved. You can just ask the question and get a response.
Gordon: And so yeah, I think absolutely there's an opportunity for companies right now to jump into this because at a time where talent acquisition and recruiters are just, employment branding is at the top of the strategy list these days. This is a phenomenal opportunity to really bring a voice to your brand, to be able to really clearly and effectively talk about your brand, and bring it to people in such a way that it's quick and fast and bring speed and efficiency to it. Versus having to go to a website and click here and click there and read this and watch a video and you've got to stop what you're doing to do all of that.
Gordon: With voice, you just say, "Hey, give me this information." And you get a quick response.
Joel: It's commercial time.
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Chad: It's showtime. What do you think about podcasts? I mean, podcasts are voice, right? And they're really hockey sticking right now with the usage and subscribers. Should companies get into podcasts as an alternative or to supplement what they might be doing with different voice applications with Alexa or Google?
Gordon: Yeah, absolutely. What's really interesting, I think I saw a statistic recently that most people who listen to podcasts typically have one or two voice assistants already in their home. People are really tuning into audio as a channel to get information. And podcasting is such a fantastic platform to do that. And what? I think it's 51% of people listen to podcasts and they listen to the entire thing, which is why so many companies are using it for, to have their own commercials on the popular podcast. I think that's another great opportunity, another fantastic place for companies to do branding, to bring a voice to their career opportunities, to really kind of talk about their culture and all that kind of stuff. I think it's a phenomenal opportunity to do that.
Gordon: And it's multichannel, you can do podcasting, you can do voice, there's opportunities where you could do a podcast, you could break that up and turn it into something for a flash briefing on your Amazon Alexa. There's plenty that you could do there.
Joel: We talked about the side of the employer, but as we know in this business you can't have job postings without job seekers. I want to talk about sort of the consumer side of this. And it seems to me like there needs to be something that happens that the consumer or Joe Public understands that, hey, I can actually do this, right? We didn't know we could search the web until a search bar showed up, right? We didn't quite know about this whole SMS thing until American Idol came along and said, "Text this keyword to this number." What needs to happen to educate the public at large that, oh, you can actually ask Alexa or Siri or Google or whoever it is, that find me a job at a certain company or find me a job near me. What's going to have to happen for that connection to take place?
Gordon: I think McDonald's as an example, I keep picking on them, but as an example, they did a tremendous amount of advertising right off the bat when they launched that. I remember seeing the ad floating around on Facebook and then literally I saw an ad for it on Hulu within the first 20 minutes. I saw the ads and I was like, "Oh my gosh, are you kidding me?" And I stopped what I was doing and I started using it to see what it was like. And then they just sort of faded off the map and that is a challenge with voice right now across the board that I think a lot of folks have to think through. But I think the clear strategy right now is if you're going to build an Amazon Alexa skill, if you're going to build anything for your business, for yourself personally, Google Assistant, any of those voice platforms, you have to do a tremendous amount of marketing and generating content about the tool, about the skill. Otherwise, people are just not going to know it's there.
Gordon: You've got your Amazon Alexa app, you can go in and search for skills, but your fear of even thinking about looking for a job, you've got to remember to kind of go in there and search, job search or job or career or something like that to find the skill. That's one of the things that I do. I feel like that's all I do lately is just a ton of content creation advertisement and marketing for the My Career Fit platform that I have. That's one of the things that people have to do. If you're going to build a skill, if you're going to build an action, then you've got to have a marketing strategy behind it to do it because nobody's just going to like naturally just discover, oh my goodness, you've got to, basically have a career page on Alexa. That's definitely one of the challenges. But I think we're starting to overcome that.
Gordon: Alexa now, they have skills that will now talk to each other. I know they'd been beta testing that for a while. For example, if you look for a movie on Alexa, you can get your tickets through Alexa and then what she'll do is recommend another skill in order to schedule a date at a restaurant prior to your movie.
Joel: What's the market share breakdown for the voice assistants? What's the priority if I'm building these things?
Gordon: Right now, so Alexa owns the lion's share of the market. Second is Google assistant. And then the others follow, so Bixby and Cortana. Cortana really though, Microsoft has really focused primarily on business. Cortana, in fact, I think Cortana is getting away from just sort of playing music and things like that, and they're really focusing that more so on the business side of things. But yeah, it's pretty much Alexa and Google Assistant. I would say for anybody who's going to build a skill, absolutely build an Amazon Alexa skill, but you definitely need to have a Google Assistant. Because I do think in probably the next year or two, we're going to really see Google Assistant begin to surpass Alexa. That's just in my humble opinion, because it's Google. There's so much information that Google can acquire for you through voice and you don't have to go buy a Google Assistant. You can just download the app onto your iPhone, your Apple iPhone. Right now I've got Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant on my phone. And Google can pull all kinds of information for me. Whereas Alexa, she has to go out to things like Wikipedia, and places like Google can really pull a lot of information for you.
Chad: Yeah, that's where I think we kind of missed the boat is that we're talking about all these quote unquote assistants that we buy separate from our actual phones. All of the droid phones have the Google Assistant already built into it for the most part. So to say whether it's the Home versus Alexa, I think it goes well beyond that. And if I want to do a job search and I want to voice activate it, I can do it on my phone or I can do it on my home. I tell you what, this is the first, I guarantee you of many voice focused podcasts that we're going to be doing. Gordon, I appreciate you taking the time jumping in.
Chad: Having some fun with us and and we will see you on the show very soon, I'm sure.
Gordon: Awesome. Thank you so much. I appreciate you guys having me on.
Joel: Hey Gordon, for our listeners who want to know more about you, where do they go?
Gordon: They can find me on LinkedIn, Gordon Collier. And you can also follow the My Career Fit business page on LinkedIn as well.
Joel: Very good.
Chad: We out.
Joel: We out.
Ema: Hi, I'm Ema. Thanks for listening to my dad, the Chad and his buddy Cheese. This has been The Chad and Cheese Podcast. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts, so you don't miss a single show. Be sure to check out our sponsors because their money goes to my college fund. For more, visit chadcheese.com.